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Some asians may have a legit reason to want URM status but...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by medicine2006, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    I'm Vietnamese and the first in my family (immediate, extended, and of any generation) to go to medical school. And my mother and I are refugees, she's a single parent, we had to learn a new culture and language and deal with poverty and some discrimination. BUT the reason I think many do not consider any asians URM becuase the history of racism against african americans affects that group the most. I feel that this country owes more of a debt to black people than to asians (although I do acknowledge the war crimes in vietnam, internment of japanese, and abuse of chinese railroad workers). I go to Howard and that school's purpose is to train black physicians and they gave me (an asian) a chance and I am eternaly greatful to them. I say to all the asians out there complaining of URM preferences that we have it good compared to the oppression faced by african americans, and I'm not just talking slavery, remember the civil rights movement was only some 30-40 years ago in the 60's.
     
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  3. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Why are you equating URM with blacks? What about the hispanics that get URM status. They weren't slaves. Hispanics are equivalents of asian refugees in terms of background.
     
  4. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    The hispanics definitely benefit from affirmative action and so do white women. But it could be argued that a large part of mexico was taken from them. Personally I think the worst injustice was done to native americans.
     
  5. Cat Scratch

    Cat Scratch Member
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    Hey instead of complaining how you did not get URM status stand up and be extra proud that you got into Gtown med despite the odds and without special treatment. I personally would not want that cloud of doubt to linger over my head of whether I got in because of my merit or because of URM status.
     
  6. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    I would agree with all of that, but we took a large part of France (Louisiana Purchase) away from them as well. We also took a large chunk of Canada (via Britain), yet we do not have AA policies for them. So I think there are definitely other reasons for AA for hispanics, but losing territory is not one of them.
     
  7. Cat Scratch

    Cat Scratch Member
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    Napolean willingly sold us the land.
     
  8. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    :laugh: I couldn't help but laugh at your statement about Mexico. First off hispanic doesn't just equal Mexican. Mexico is just one of many hispanic countries. You forgot about the whole continent of South America and the countries in Central Amercia that have hispanics.

    Also, hispanics now make up the largest minority. There are 36 million hispanics and 35 million African Americans out of 284.4 million people in the US.

    In terms of percentage, whites make up 70% of the US population, hispanics 13%, African Americans 12%, and Asians 4%. Given these numbers you can see why hispanics and blacks are considered URMs due to their numbers in medicine.
     
  9. Spitting Camel

    Spitting Camel Anteater for Life!
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    What about arabs... 0.35%? :laugh:
     
  10. DoctorDoom

    DoctorDoom Witch King
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    The "U" in URM stands for UNDER-REPRESENTED, right? as in big disparities between the population percentage and representation in medical schools. Hence, despite many well qualified applicants, Asian and white, the definition doesn't apply. It ain't perfect, but let's remember the terms of definition. I for one have no problems with not being designated URM as I am not under-represented.

    Distinctions based on nationality rather than race, such as they are, would be even more divisive, I think, and make the system impossible to administer.

    And Arabs definitely don't count, there's more than 0.35% of them in medical schools. ;)
     
  11. Spitting Camel

    Spitting Camel Anteater for Life!
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    Hehe... I don't think Arabs even fill out the census. They're afraid of the gov, so we may never know how many there are in the US. I wish they would just be more on top of things (my family included).

    Oh, and I was wondering how much of the population, not of the medical field :D
     
  12. CalBeE

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    I think the argument is that "Asian" refers to a large group. Immigrants from this "Asian" group have totally different cultural beliefs and languages, beyond what you will find in "regional differences" in a country. That's why some people believe that some Asian groups like Hmong and Thai should be considered URM.

    It's just like German, French, British, and Spaniards are all "Europeans", but lumping all of them and concluding that they're the same will be oversimplification.
     
  13. DoctorDoom

    DoctorDoom Witch King
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    Yes I understand the argument (believe me I know that "Asians" are diverse), which is why I posted the following:

    It would open the door to an impossible balkanization of the system, "I'm white, but there are too few Albanian-Americans, I should be a URM." etc.

    The current system is certainly limited and doesn't accurately reflect cultural diversity or socioeconomic disparity as well as perhaps it should, but there has to be limits to what a blanket government policy can provide in terms of succor on this issue.

    So make money and set up nation/culture-specific scholarships!!! No one can stop you from doing that! ;)
     
  14. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    Yeah, and we paid Mexico for it as well (though under coercive terms in our favor)... of course, Napoleon desperately needed the $$$ for his war-chest.
     
  15. Xmulder

    Xmulder Member
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    You are a complete fool. You have been living in DC or wherever too long to not realize that Asians are totally discriminated against in the U.S. It comes in more subtle forms than discrimination against blacks, such as the offensive designation of Asians as "model minority," and pressuring Asians (esp the women) to feel as if they need to look and act white. Hollywood does a consistent job of leaving out key strong roles for Asians. The classification of us as any kind of "model" suggests we are passive, decorative trophies that look good on the melting pot statistics of America, while consciously preventing Asians from entry into politics and any kind of political power. And let's not forget the fact that despite the interracial dating today, it is mostly one sided, AND that polls of Americans have consistently stated that 50% of Americans "distrust Asians living in the U.S." Many of these Asians are home-grown here, and are fourth and 5th generation. So, the dominant population co-opts Asian culture, cuisine, and "exoticism" (like Asians are some kind of exotic birds with colorful feathers in a zoo) while refusing to acknowledge us as "true Americans." Lastly, let's also not forget the age-old issue that any white American in the U.S., if he/she had to choose who was "more American" between a first-generation and heavily accented European immigrant and a 5th generation Chinese/Japanese U.S.-born citizen who speaks flawless English and studied English at Yale, would still consider the former to be an American and the latter to be a "foreigner", simply for the fact that Asians do not look white.

    This is the irony and true nature of the melting pot we call America. Looks integrated on the surface but is completely discriminatory under the surface.
    The truly ironic thing is that many of my black friends totally understand this, while my Asian friends are too whitewashed and want to assimilate so badly that they no longer see the racism that happens all around us.

    I totally empathize the all the grave injustices that white America has imposed on the black population. But, do not think Asians have had it easy. Do not belittle the fact that white ppl used to deliberately send thousands (that's right, thousands) of Chinese workers over the hill to set up lethal dynamite and then detonate before they completed their job. Sometimes i do not know which is worse: the blatant discrimination that happened 100 yrs ago, or the subtle racism that occurs today. Example: The Last Samurai.

    You, like many Asians in this country, either need to open your eyes or stop denying what is happening. The Asian groups are too fragmented in the U.S. We need to unify like NAACP and other minority groups.

    so yes, we should absolutely be a URM. No question about it.
     
  16. DoctorDoom

    DoctorDoom Witch King
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    I think you are being a bit harsh in you evaluation of the OP...

    Regardless, are you saying that the actual percentage of representation is irrelevant? In other words, there should be preferential admissions for Asian Americans regardless of the actual percentage of Asian Americans in medical school, because of discrimination?
     
  17. HitokiriX

    HitokiriX Member
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    :laugh: haha you sound just like one of my asian friends, but yea, I know exactly what you're talking about. Although I was born in Taiwan, I came to the U.S. when I was 2 yrs old so technically I'm a first generation kid but speak fluently trilingually. I remember in middle school one of my "white" friends invited me to go fishing with his dad and one of his dad's friends (called themselves Christian, mind you). When his dad's friend saw me, he asked my friend's dad "hey, why is a chinese boy coming with us?"

    another funny incident was with our backyard neighbor whose wife owns two big golden retrievers. Most people in our subdivision have qualms with the woman cause she takes her dogs on excretory bathroom breaks on other people's lawns and the woman has a history of calls from the police to tell her to cease her disrespectful activity. Anyways, one day my parents and I were repainting the outside of our house when one of the dogs came and almost ripped off my dad's arm. So we found out that the woman was letting her dogs take a dump at one of our trees in our backyard. So my parents and I told her respectfully FOUR TIMES not to do it anymore, but the white woman kept denying it. Eventually my dad got pissed off and yelled at her not to do it again or he'll call the cops.
    The woman said "Well, it's cause u have a ****ty lawn"
    I said back to her "It's cause of your dogs that killed our lawn"
    She said "You don't have proof"
    I said "I've been taking pictures of you and your dogs with my digital camera"
    She said "Why should I listen to you asians?"
    My dad yelled at her "DON'T COME ON OUR LAWN AGAIN!"
    She said "Don't you dare yell at me!! (gave us the finger) Don't you dare yell at me!! You may be abusive to your women in your country but don't you dare be abusive to me! GO back to your country!!"

    I laughed and said "Why don't you go back to your country?? Your ancestors were europeans who came and stole the land from the Native Indians and killed them with your syphilus."

    One of our nextdoor neighbors from India started laughing and also yelled at the woman to stop letting her dogs piss on their lawn. The other nextdoor neighbors were white but they agreed that the woman needed to be put in her place.

    Not all white people are racist, but yea, subtle racism still exists.
     
  18. Ginkoba4

    Ginkoba4 Member
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    I believe debating over who should be considered a URM is a moot point. There are just too many gray areas, you guys didn't even bring up mixed students. Ex. I'm one quarter Hispanic, please let me into medical school as a URM even though I have been mistaken for a white person my whole life! And so on! It just gets very wishy-washy. I think the students medical schools should be helping are the people who are below the poverty line. These people have overcome the most challenges because their problems are very real and urgent. And mind you, poor people are not just minorities; they are also the people you would call "white trash" because they live in a trailer in the middle of nowhere. They are the people who know what it's like to not have medical insurance and they are the ones who will treat the poor people of America with the compassion they deserve. I am Chinese, but when I was younger I never used race to define who my friends should be, who I should respect, who I should act like. My best friend was all the URMs combined, Cherokee, Cuban, and black! Unfortunately, medical schools have to use affirmative action to encourage URMs to become doctors. I think it's very sad indeed.
     
  19. DoctorDoom

    DoctorDoom Witch King
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    And away we go again...
     
  20. Ginkoba4

    Ginkoba4 Member
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    muahahhahah puhahaha
     
  21. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    This thread is going to be end up 8 pages long if its any precedent.
     
  22. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member
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    does anyone have the census data for population percentages of individual ethnic groups in america? if so, you can calculate relatively which group has the most docs using data from page 4 of this report from the aamc which lists percentage of graduates who took the surve and breaks it down based on individual groups (i.e. asians are subdivided into regions, etc.)

    http://www.aamc.org/data/gq/allschoolsreports/2003.pdf
     
  23. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    being an URM does not guarantee admissions into medical school. you'd be foolish to think that.

    i dont think most asians should be considered URM since we do have a high % of people that get into medical school. yeah we are discriminated against, but...its not really stopping us from getting into a med school...
     
  24. which is the whole point. AA isnt about making things fair. its about making the numbers pretty, fair or not.
     
  25. CalBeE

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    ...but not all Asians are fortunate enough...Kalbi Chef is probably what many people end up doing ;)
     
  26. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    I think that summarizes the debate quite brilliantly.
     
  27. W222

    W222 2K Member
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    Last year's Supreme Court case basically stepped away from the use of Affirmative Action as a means to "make up for past injustice" and took a step toward wanting to reflect actual diversity in our society. They said that for the sake of higher education and society professional schools have an obligation to increase diversity, this has nothing to with past injustice and everything to do with having graduate percentages that equal the percentage of people in that population. Asian are present in a large proportion in our society BUT they are equally reflected in medical school classes, African Americans and Hispanics are definitely not.
     
  28. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    First off by starting off your reply by calling me a fool it just shows me how immature you are that you can't make a valid argument so you have to insult me. Second if you actually read anything I wrote you would know that I acknowledge the discrimination that several groups of asians have been through. I realize that asians are not portrayed acccuarately by Hollywood. Just look at that stupid show the OC, it has all white rich kids. And we all know that many well-off kids in the OC are asian.

    But the victimization that you play up is pathetic. Yes there is still a glass-ceiling for asians in corporate america but we are slowly breaking through. The discrimination you talked about has not stopped asians who make up 4% of the population to have 20% representation in medical schools. I want to fight for better asian representation in areas where we are underrepresented BUT medical school admissions is NOT one of those areas. I also hate it when people complain about how their group also had it bad, because it just leads to competition between the minorities. And thus those in power have us fighting for a small slice of the pie (thru divide and conquer), while they still hold to the large majority of power and wealth.
     
  29. W222

    W222 2K Member
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    Last year's Supreme Court case basically stepped away from the use of Affirmative Action as a means to "make up for past injustice" and took a step toward wanting to reflect actual diversity in our society. They said that for the sake of higher education and society professional schools have an obligation to increase diversity, this has nothing to with past injustice and everything to do with having graduate percentages that equal the percentage of people in that population. Asian are present in a large proportion in our society BUT they are equally reflected in medical school classes, African Americans and Hispanics are definitely not.
     
  30. PublicEnemy

    PublicEnemy Senior Member
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    I don't know exactly where I stand on all this. Conceptually, I don't really have a problem with advtanges for URMs. I think its important towards building a healthier society. Being of Indian descent, however I wouldn't like to see negative quotas for "over-represented" minorities like South Asians and East Asians.

    I don't know, I'm completely in favor of providing URMs, or economically disadvantaged students, or any other disadvantaged status people opportunities for higher education at the Undergraduate level. I don't have any problems with AA if its really giving deserving people a chance to excel. I think everyone should have a right to a quality higher education. However, on some level, part of me thinks that the further you go and the more specialized the education gets, this should be less and less important.

    Initially, URMs and economically disadvantaged students should be given the chance to succeed with admission at the undergraduate level. But once we're at this point, don't we all have the same opportunities to succeed as pre-meds? finish the required courses, maintain a good gpa, take the mcat, build a portfolio with ECs, LORs, research, shadowing, etc? Part of me is inclined to believe that once at the undergraduate level or even at a post-bacc level, we're all square, we've all got an equal chance to prove ourselves regardless of ethnicity or background(assuming finances are taken care of through grants or loans or whatnot). Just a thought.

    That being said, I do however think it is good that med schools use methods to encourage matriculation of URMs to better represent the population. This does build a healthier society.
     
  31. thewebthsp

    thewebthsp Shoobeedoowap
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    k, I'm not touching the "URM admissions" area.... no siree bob

    I think Asians and Hispanics are already intermarrying with Whites at a very high rate, and the intermarriage rate between Whites and African-Americans is increasing nicely. I do think in about 100-200 years there will be an "American" nationality, maybe ~10% black, 20% hispanic, some asian, some white, but it will be a while till then.

    Interestingly, if Arabs are a minority, should Ashkenazy Jews be the same minority (a semitic box :) )? Sephardim and Oriental Jews are "Middle Eastern/Arab" already, but Ashkenazy Jews are usually written down as white, I suppose. Ashkenazy are paternally basically close to Arabs but maternally we're a mix of Turks, and Arabs (Y chromosome vs. mtDNA), and not at all close to Europeans. But then again most Jews in this country have a parent who's not Jewish, so that would screw things up, eh?
     
  32. merle

    merle Junior Member
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    Not just in the U.S., but in Europe, too, probably.

    You're so right! :)
     
  33. Orchid 209

    Orchid 209 Member
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    there are cultural differences as well.


    To the poster who said help for the URMs economically disadvantaged students should stop at the undergraduate level, I dont' think I would agree completely with that. Just because you're going to college doesn't mean things are going well from there. A lot of people from those areas go to school that is close to their families (under a two hour drive or even live at home) and their families still rely on them to come home every weekend and help out. Some families will even depend on student contributing to the family financially. Also, these people lack the guidance most other students will get from their family who had gone to college and the whole process could be a hit and miss to them. Even when the students are aware of the resources out there, they may not be able to use it due to a number of reasons that come with being from an economically or socially disadvantaged family.

    I'm all for increasing the URMs in medicine.... but adcoms need to realize there are other asians out there (besides for the indians, chinese, korean, vietnamese, and japanese) that deserves to be in that category. Oh yeah.. to the person that says since the Asian groups are listed we might as well have a list for each of European descent..... well some of the asians are grouped as "other asians" which includes many different ethnic groups..... we can't help it that the continent of asia is soo huge.....

    What annoys me about the URMs in medicine is that I do know of some who abuse that system. There are some people out there who are from rich minority families and have no intention of serving the people from the underserved communities are taking advantage of the URM programs.... and that pisses me off..... :mad: but then again... no system is ever perfect.....
     
  34. Orchid 209

    Orchid 209 Member
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    I don't think that is the whole point of recruiting URMs. I thought it was because the URMs would have a better understanding and more efficient means of communicating with the people from their culture, thus providing them with the best medical treatments and outreach for preventive medicine. Also, having physicians from these communities can set examples for future generations to come.

    That being said, not all Asians should be an URM, but there are some that deserves to be in that category, esp SE asians (not Vietnamese though.. I'm Vietnamese myself and I know we are not underserved in general). I don't know about you guys, but I come from a very diverse city with a huge SE Asian community, but know of few SE Asian health professionals. In fact, I only know of a few pharmacists and one DO, but then again.... the people in these SE asian communities don't even know what a DO is due to their lack of education/awareness. You can't expect someone who speaks only Mien to go to a Physician that speaks only Chinese and English and expect the best treatment for the patient when there is a lack of communication. At least most Hispanics share a common language and most people of African American descent can speak English, but even that's not enough because there are cultural differences as well.


    To the poster who said help for the URMs economically disadvantaged students should stop at the undergraduate level, I dont' think I would agree completely with that. Just because you're going to college doesn't mean things are going well from there. A lot of people from those areas go to school that is close to their families (under a two hour drive or even live at home) and their families still rely on them to come home every weekend and help out. Some families will even depend on student contributing to the family financially. Also, these people lack the guidance most other students will get from their family who had gone to college and the whole process could be a hit and miss to them. Even when the students are aware of the resources out there, they may not be able to use it due to a number of reasons that come with being from an economically or socially disadvantaged family.

    I'm all for increasing the URMs in medicine.... but adcoms need to realize there are other asians out there (besides for the indians, chinese, korean, vietnamese, and japanese) that deserves to be in that category. Oh yeah.. to the person that says since the Asian groups are listed we might as well have a list for each of European descent..... well some of the asians are grouped as "other asians" which includes many different ethnic groups..... we can't help it that the continent of asia is soo huge.....

    What annoys me about the URMs in medicine is that I do know of some who abuse that system. There are some people out there who are from rich minority families and have no intention of serving the people from the underserved communities are taking advantage of the URM programs.... and that pisses me off..... :mad: but then again... no system is ever perfect.....
     

  35. Hello everyone,
    I've been reading various posts for a few weeks now, and find the forum both fun and educational :love: (and very helpful! :) :thumbup: )

    Unfortunately, after reading medicine2006's posting, I feel compelled to write this not-so-friendly reply... :( Being negative is such a downer :mad: so I'll make this really short...

    Medicine2006, I think you've completely misunderstood the meaning (quite literal in your case) of URM. URM has more to do with an effort to represent those segments of our population that are not proportionately represented in medicine, than to your comment that this "country owes more of a debt to black people..." Most medical schools do not consider certain asian groups as URM because their presence in medicine is well represented relative to their percentage in the general population... URM has nothing to do with how much "this country owes more" to one ethnic group over another. By the way, are your really a medical student at Howard??? Just curious :scared:

    "Grateful" is spelled like this...

    Just in case you're curious... I'm also asian (but east asian), came to this country during my teen years, had to learn a new language and culture, have been poor during most of my childhood, and trying to be the first in my family to goto medical school. Unlike you, I could care less about why asians do not quality for URM status.
     
  36. CarerraGT

    CarerraGT Junior Member
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    im all for URM's.... so when are we going to let URMs into sports based on less numbers regardless of slightly less talent ( i mean dammit, id like to play in the NBA but im not THAT good )
     
  37. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    Why does everyone have the need to attack me or one another? If you disagree then fine. Tell me your side and I'll read it. Not everyone has to agree with anyone else. Attacking some typos errors is real lame. Attack my arguments all you want but personal attacks are quite frankly tasteless.

    If we had an actual debate and not one on an anonymous forum I could speak my mine better than I can type it out.

    Anyways, I know that the main purpose of AA is that minority doctors are much much more likely to practice in areas where many non-URMs physicians will not. I guess I made it sound like I believe AA was payback for societal injustices. I was merely pointing out that inevitably one group always wants to claim that they have been vicitimized also and deserve URM status. I was just saying african americans and native americans have been the most victimized so don't use the victim card (poor me attitude, my people have suffered just as much as anyone) to ask for special considerations. If you want to talk about how we need more URM because certain groups are underreprented then fine, but let's get off this sob story thing.
     
  38. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    Attending Physician
    Finally to the people dinging my karma just because they disagree with me, I have this to say. Grow up! Why can't people here have an exchange of opinions without going into attack mode?
     
  39. Ryo-Ohki

    7+ Year Member

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    Yes, that's why medical schools make every URM who wants AA write an essay on why they want to practice in underserved areas. And that's why they pull AA admittes aside and say "As part of your admittance under AA standards, we expect you to practice in underserved areas"

    Yeah, the AAMC does not have any ulterior motives. They just want people to practice in underserved areas.
     

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