There is no such thing as a URM in medical school admissions anymore


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Mar 18, 2003
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For anyone interested, the term URM is no longer used in medical school admissions. Instead, the term "underrepresented in medicine" is used. Here is a FAQ regarding this new definition. Since it is so long, I will include a few parts of it in quotes. It has been discussed in another thread if all hispanics are underrepresented in medicine now. Question 7 says that a person is underrepresented in medicine if he or she chooses "hispanic" on AMCAS.

"Approved by the Association of American Medical
Colleges' Executive Council on June 26, 2003,
the new definition states:
"Underrepresented in medicine" means those
racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented
in the medical profession relative to
their numbers in the general population.
The new definition is effective immediately."

"7. Can a person be considered "underrepresented
in medicine" if any of the racial and ethnic categories
with which he/she self-identifies is among
those reported as underrepresented?
Yes. A person can be considered a member of a
group underrepresented in medicine if he/she
selects either a Hispanic ethnicity or any one of
the racial groups identified as underrepresented
in the medical profession relative to its numbers
in the general population.
(See Data Collection–
Role of the AAMC section in the next column.)"

"2. Is the AAMC still using the acronym "URM"
for the new definition?
No. In the former definition, the Association
identified four racial and ethnic minority groups
that were then underrepresented minorities in
medicine. Individuals and groups could refer to
themselves as underrepresented minorities or
This is no longer true with the new definition. It
does not specify explicitly which ethnic and racial
populations are underrepresented, and it refers
to groups, not to individuals. It is not possible to
say, for example, that "Mary Smith is underrepresented
in medicine." Mary may identify with a
racial or ethnic population that is underrepresented,
but it is the group or population that is
considered underrepresented, not Mary.
If the AAMC or its constituents use the term
"URM" for both definitions, it will cause confusion.
It is suggested that underrepresented
minority or "URM" be used for the former definition,
and the phrase "underrepresented in
medicine" be used for the new definition."


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I support the change, but an wary that the broader definitions may invite abuse of a system underlined in good intentions...

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