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Recently discovered my URM roots, should I use this to my advantage?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by asilvey, Nov 26, 2001.

  1. asilvey

    asilvey Member
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    Over Thanksgiving I had a chance to talk to some relatives that I hadn't seen in years. To make a long story short, I found out that I am part Cherokee Indian, an "Under-represented Minority," or URM, in the medical field. This is important in that having a URM status WILL make you MUCH more attractive to prospective med-schools. I have already been accepted to LECOM & PCSOM on the merits of my applications, but my top choice schools are PCOM & UMDNJ, mainly for proximity reasons, but both are outstanding programs, and I have heard from neither as of yet. Should I, or even could I, use my newfound URM roots to gain an upper-hand at these schools? Let me know your opinion on this ethical dilemma.
     
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  3. yasostegirl3437

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    Are you serious? Please tell me this post is a joke. Do you understand what it is like being a URM? URM's are admitted to medical school no matter how bad their grades are, huh. I will be a URM when it suits me and white all the other times. Try being a URM in the business world.

    Affirmative Action, reverse discrimation, white slavery. Did you ever stop and wonder what advantages white skin affords you. White skin is a form of affirmative action but it is the natural order of things. It is ok to get that job over a URM that may be more qualified for the job.

    What are you going to tell admission when they interview you? I woke one morning and found out that I am an URM. Please admit me to your medical school.

    Good luck!
     
  4. careerchanger

    careerchanger Member
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    i agree with the above post -- you just can't wake up one day and decide that you qualify. in addition, in order to qualify as a native american -- you need to present a tribal affiliation card. this is not easy to get, even if you are part cherokee.
     
  5. John DO

    John DO A.T. Still Endowed Chair
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    True, true. In fact, I know of one med school dean who recently turned down an applicant solely on the basis of his claim to be a Cherokee Indian, even though he knew nothing about the tribe or culture. His reasoning was that being a physician is all about honesty and this kid was being everything but honest.

    Be true to your heritage, but not for personal gain. Being a Native American is not about getting free handouts, although we often have that reputation. This country at one time belonged to us and now we have lost most of it--will you sell your heritage to partake of the order that was established in its place? Or will you celebrate your heritage with the honor it deserves? If you do not celebrate its value, then you definitely should not exploit it.
     
  6. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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  7. wsu

    wsu Senior Member
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    i agree with the above post. if he can quailfy and certify the status of URM, why not? I'm asian american and I'm not considered URM when it comes to applying to medical school. So I agree with the above post, go for it..good luck.
     
  8. drdrtoledo

    drdrtoledo Pharm Delicious
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    In case you guys aren't aware...
    If you are white, the world is your oyster. You can get any job and are not limited. The reason all this URM stuff exists is because they were not being let in because of their skin color. Also, not many white folk are interested in working in a real ghetto when their are many dollars to be made in "more prestigous" areas. The hope with the URM projects was that people from such areas would return to such areas.
    owcc16, if you were as poor as you claim, then government assistance would have been neccessary to survive, not a bonus. If you dress up in a suit and tie, you are at an advantage because you are white. If you don't see this, you are blind. As someone else posted, you don't become a URM all of a sudden. You are born one and you know it. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule... but keep it real. In case you are wondering I am hispanic, but I don't count as URM because I am not mexican or puerto rican.
    Just think before you speak, it is easy to criticize what you have never been.
     
  9. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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  10. Boomer

    Boomer Supreme Sooner Member
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  11. PTjay

    PTjay Senior Member
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    i believe there are standards to meet in order to qualify as an URM. i am part native american (seminole indian) but don't claim it as a part of my heritage and therefore will not use it to my advantage. i believe you have to be 1/8th or something like that of the URM to claim (if that makes sense).
     
  12. drdrtoledo

    drdrtoledo Pharm Delicious
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    owcc16,
    Do you realize that schools were desegregated not even 40 years ago? That is not one generation ago! Look at the fortune 500 CEO's... Do you see any URM's? No. Why? Because URM were not allowed to progress. They were not wanted. Are you ascertaining that the injustices done had no effect on the outcome of this population? I have heard your song before. You are crying "not fair! Why are they getting special treatment?!" Guuess what? We were wondering the same thing not too long ago. Government aid is not neccessary??? How many people are using it now that the WTC fell. Somehow, "just go get a job" doesn't sound too feasible. There is nothing wrong with getting some help if there is a true need. I am fully aware the there is serious abuse in the system and cannot condone that. It is not meant as a freebie The tables are not turned on caucasions. I would love to see what education system you came from Mr. Ghetto. Do you think that the education system in the upper middle class neighborhood is similar to our inner-city schools? Please. Work hard and you will be rewarded? I know you mean well... but you know that it wouldn't be that way. Let's go shopping together at convenience store, we'll see who the security follows.
    Boomer,
    That is a very good question... I don't have the knowledge needed to answer that. I can however speculate that someone who is brought up having never seen a ghetto would not have a desire to practice there. Does that make someone anyone less of a minority? I don't think so. What do you think?
     
  13. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist
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  14. drdrtoledo

    drdrtoledo Pharm Delicious
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    socialistMD,
    I have no clue! It is my understanding that the purpose was to increase the NUMBER of MINORITY physicians with the HOPE that they would serve in underpriveleged areas. This was thought up when there weren't too many upper-class minorities. Now there are more... whether or not to "disqualify" them is a conundrum. I again ask, what do you think?
     
  15. Boomer

    Boomer Supreme Sooner Member
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  16. drdrtoledo

    drdrtoledo Pharm Delicious
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    Considering what has been said so far, I would like to pose this question to the group:
    Instead of having "special treatment" for minority applicants, would it be more beneficial to the health care system to help those of "disadvantaged economic status"? This would not delineate race and would help those who may have been deprived of equal opportunity (in an economic sense). Wouldn't that be a nice ethical interview question ;)
     
  17. Boomer

    Boomer Supreme Sooner Member
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    I agree that this would be BETTER than race, but how could it be implemented?

    I mean, I certainly didn't come from an economically disadvantaged background, but if you look at my state of affairs now, I'm dirt poor. Would I qualify?

    Maybe AA should only apply for people who went to public undergrads (because, we all know that private colleges/universities provide better educations, right???). But wait, then you'd have to account for public universities such as UMich, UVa, Berkely...

    I think you see where I'm going with this one. Life isn't fair. The world isn't fair. Sh!t happens. You can't bitch and moan about circumstances forever, so, again I say, AA's length has outlasted its usefulness.
     
  18. med student

    med student Senior Member
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    It is very simple if you feel that you grew up disadvantaged then write about how it in your essay. Everyone knows that it is much harder if you have to work full time while in highschool/college. So the schools can take this into account during the admissions process. People like to talk about the disadvanteged minority but this is mainly due to a lack of finacial resources so why not provide some consideration for all poor people who had to struggle more to get where they are and not some predetermined groups. A poor white kid in the gheto has many of the same problems that a poor black kid does.
     
  19. med student

    med student Senior Member
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  20. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist
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    How about we give no one a hand up as a general policy and evaluate each applicant on an individual basis? One could make a case for any type of life having its "disadvantages" and there is no real way to say which is tougher to overcome. By having a policy where you look at each individual and see where s/he is from and has overcome, you eliminate the cracks and walls created by a blanket policy.

    Just as a side note, I think it is kind of funny that people say it is ok that some URMs take advantage of the system and some non-URMs are screwed by it, but if there were no policy, the occasional racist would prevent the admission of an URM which is some sort of atrocity that we cannot allow. Sometimes it seems people lose site of the two-way street that is life.
     
  21. drdrtoledo

    drdrtoledo Pharm Delicious
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    By asking one to explain their disadvantages in order to "hav[e] a policy where you look at each individual and see where s/he is from and has overcome" you are once again trying to place a value on something that is nearly impossible to quantify. I think it is still a little too soon to consider racism abolished in this country. Trust me, it's there. Racial unity has functioned well in the urban environments but it still has not been widely accepted. While some things point to AA having run it's course, I feel there is evidence showing otherwise.
    For every upper middle class minority you know... how many wealthy non-minorites do you know. Is it 1:10, 1:20, 1:50? Whatever it is, you know it isn't even.
    I ask this: If AA is just an excuse for poor perfromance, why don't er object when people address their inadequacies in their med school essay. "I didn't speak english yet, There was a death in my family, I had a car accident, I had to work full time, etc." Excuses are excuses aren't they? Doesn't everyone try to justify their performance somehow? Couldn't you have done better hadn't X,Y, & Z happened?

    med student,

     
  22. med student

    med student Senior Member
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  23. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist
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  24. John DO

    John DO A.T. Still Endowed Chair
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    I think everyone here is shooting from the hip without much ammo. It is my understanding that AA died years ago legally. Individual schools may still use it, but interviewers are not even allowed to ask what your race is. THAT is the nature of discrimination prevention. In the current system, you are evaluated on your merit, not your race. Obviously, most often the applicant's race is obvious, so in reality it may be considered, but it is no longer legally required (by legislation, which used to impose quotas). Do you really think, though, that minority students are not required to take the same tests and pass the same classes to pass med school? Please . . . give me a break! I am of minority status, but have not yet been pulled aside and told that I flunked a test, but they are going to raise my grade since I am underrepresented. That just doesn't happen!
     
  25. med student

    med student Senior Member
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  26. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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    Friends, Friends..

    this can all be solved by saying this:

    Let one's accomplishments speak for themselves! No excuses based on race, or one's upbringing.

    Here is a news flash from the thing we call life: Not everyone has equal opportunities, or is born with the same abilities!!

    Med school admissions should be based on one thing: Accomplishments. Now, this gives one alot of room to toy with, but I *hate* handouts and I *hate* excuses.

    Now, about WTC...I don't feel it is the gov't's role to provide the people with assistance..I believe it should be charity..BUT....temporary assistance for widows and orphans is NOT the same deal as someone who is on welfare. I think that the WTC tragedy is a special circumstance, because of the massive loss of human life and economic providers.


    Nevertheless,the keyword here is temporary! If the breadwinner dies or is removed from the household, it is our responsibility to take care of the widows and orphans. Remember that..

    owcc16, who will remember widows and orphans (URM or not) when he is a rich doctor!
     
  27. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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  28. SocialistMD

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  29. drdrtoledo

    drdrtoledo Pharm Delicious
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    OK, Let's not call eachother names. This is a sensitive area of discussion and need to act professional.

    Now, I've read pieces of his story. and found this:
     
  30. med student

    med student Senior Member
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  31. drdrtoledo

    drdrtoledo Pharm Delicious
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    Yes, med student. I agree entirely. It is equal OPPORTUNITY that I feel is needed. I think an economic based program would aid in such an endeavor.
     
  32. tidy_kiwi

    tidy_kiwi Senior Member
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    Why not just make it a rule that every adcom has to have one or two URM members on it (I have no idea how many people on an adcom)? And that adcom assesses each application on its merits - whether the applicant is black, white, yellow, blue, green or paisley, rich, poor, had to work 24572 hour weeks while at college with triplets, whatever.
     

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