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Pre-med and Affirmative Action

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by NubianPrincess, Aug 19, 2001.

  1. NubianPrincess

    NubianPrincess Perpetually Bored 7+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2001
    The Dirty Dirty
    Before transfering, I was in an opportunity progam mostly for minority students at a prestegious university. The program required us to take seperate writing classes, and it required us to take non-credit workshops, which meant that while most freshman pre-med students jumped right into taking two sciences simultaneously, we could only take one. My pre-med advisor honestly told us that she had been working there for 5 years, and during her time no one had ever gained acceptance to medical school (yet). I was extremely discouraged by this fact. There are maybe 200 students in the program. I guess it made me question whether certain affirmative action programs are preparing students to be competitive enough. Don't get me wrong, I am an advocate for affirmative action when it gives disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to be just as competitive as anyone else. I do want to participate in a program that gives minority students prep for mcats during the summer, because I cannot afford Kaplan prep courses. What do you think? Has anyone else had a similar experience?
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  3. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    No. I'm white. However, I'm poor, so I couldn't afford a prep course either. I studied on my own, and still did well on the MCAT. If you're a self-starter (and from your previous posts it sounds like you are), you should be able to prep yourself adequately for the MCAT. As for the AA programs, they seem to vary quite a bit in quality and focus. I think you're right that these programs are of little use if they don't prepare you to be competitive coming out. I had a friend in one, but she dropped out of it for just that reason--she didn't feel it was preparing her for med school. So I think you are correct to be wary.
  4. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2001
    Hi Nubian,

    I do not have direct experience, but I know there are a lot of medical schools that offer programs for disadvantaged and/or minority pre-med students wanting to apply to medical school. They usually help with MCAT prep, work on personal statements, ways to enhance your application, etc. I do not know what the cost is, but I think some of them have scholarships. The only summer program for college students I know of is at UCSF (obviously there are lots more). The best way to find them is to look at different med school websites to see what they offer (might be in the admissions or education sections of the page). Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

    -- Becky
  5. Bruin4Life

    Bruin4Life Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2001
    nubian, you sound like a very smart person. don't rely too much on programs to prepare you well enough to be competitive for med school. some programs may be very beneficial; however, I think I learned more hanging around discussion forums like these than I would've learned from "AA" programs.

    i'm mexican-american and attended overcrowded inner-city schools all my life. the quaility of education I recieved really sucked. however, when I entered college; it was my turn to navigate my education. i asked successful upper-classmen for advice on how to do well in class; though non of them were URMs, they were happy to share thier insight.

    as for the MCAT, i was pretty broke to enroll in any MCAT course and honestly wasn't to trustful of the "free" MCAT prep offered via a AA program, so I went on EBAY and bought a ton of MCAT material for a relatively cheap price. i asked around on these forums how to best prep for the MCAT, and most everyone agreed that PRACTICE was the key. a few months before the MCAT I devoted a vast amount of time working through the stuff I bought and I ended up with double digits on the sciences. I didn't fair as well on the VR; however, I faired well enough to be applying this year.

    In short, be strong and don't let anyone guide your education-- you have to take charge. AA programs may help prepare you, but I would make sure on my own that I do the most I can to succeed.
  6. NubianPrincess

    NubianPrincess Perpetually Bored 7+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2001
    The Dirty Dirty
    Thank you for the great insight. I have noticed that some MS websites have minority recruitment info. I am so glad I found this forum. I went to pretty bad schools as well. I did good at these schools, but the standards were low. I always did well on standardized tests, but looking back that hasn't done me any good. When I entered my first year of college, I felt so dumb around so many intelligent people, (thanks for the compliment Bruin4Life) but i've finally let go of the self pity in order to discover if I have what it takes to get into med school. I look forward to the information this site is sure offer in my premed process.
  7. Sarena

    Sarena Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2001

    There are some really good programs out there designed to assist minorities in preparing for med school. I am an AA female and just finished a six-week program at Yale University. The Minority Medical Education Program is run by AAMC and is held at 13 different medical schools across the country. It is an awesome program. You can find information about this program on the AAMC or Yale web sites.

    MCAT prep is just one aspect of the program. I had already taken the MCAT in April and was pretty satisfied with my score so I did not take full advantage of this part of the program. I probably could have retaken in August and increased my scores but I just could not bring myself to sit through that test again. ONCE was enough.

    Yale also has a program called BIOStep which is more research oriented. Both programs are free and provide you with a small stipend. Again, you really need to check these out. I promise you won't regret it!
  8. pcl

    pcl Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Look and see if the local med school has a chapter of the Student National Medical Association. You might be able to find good resources there.

    Good Luck!

  9. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    Hi Nubian - Kaplan is considered an accredited school and so they offer financial aid normally in the form of scholarships for those who demonstrate need. Unfortunately, they rarely advertise this - but just go and speak to an onsite manager and they should be able to help you.

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