Why spanish requirement for some California Schools

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Dr. Grkovich, Sep 24, 2002.

  1. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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    Am I the only one that's wondering about this. Obviously I know why they do it, it's because
    almost half the population in California is Spanish speaking, but what gives them the right to ask
    for Spanish in order to be accepted to the Medical School.

    I say this from a point view of an immigrant, I was not born in this Country. I am a first
    generation Yugoslavian and when I came to US I didn't go to school for Yugoslavians I didn't
    have the luxury of being around people who spoke my Language other then my parents and some
    friends at church, and that's because this is US. Not Yugoslavia! I think this is very unfair of them
    to do, because it basically favors one person over another. In other words Spanish speaking
    student will most likely be of Latin background and will have close ties to Latin America.

    So if this is the case it provides favoritism for one group of people over other. When Stanford?s
    admissions officer came out to Talk about his school at our campus. I noticed he was Latin and
    the two other students who were with him were Latin as well. This makes me uneasy, not
    because they were Latin but because it seems like the rules of this school on admissions is
    determined by a few biased individuals. Tell me what you guys think.

    PS. I have nothing against Latin Americans I just have a concern that "minorities" might be miss
    represented in US. In my case I am not considered a minority because I am a from Europe and
    considered Caucasian. Although, the minorities refers to unprivileged group of people for most
    likely socioeconomic reasons. If that is true then I should be considered a minority, because my
    family was poor when we first came here. Anyways nothing against Latin Americans.
     
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  3. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member

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    Whoa...bad assumptions going on here. First of all, a lot more people speak Spanish than just "Latins." Yes, someone of a Latino background is more likely to be able to speak Spanish, there are plenty more people who can. I don't buy the "close ties to Latin America" part.

    Second, they're allowed to have any admission requirement they want! Furthmore, I think you answered your own question when you said that half the population in California is Spanish speaking.

    Third, a lot of colleges have a language requirement, and many people have the opportunity to take another language in college, if they haven't already done so in high school. If you knew you wanted to go to a med school that required or recommended Spanish, you could have taken Spanish in college.

    The affirmative action issues here are separate. The language aspect isn't completely related to affirmative action, just because so many people have taken a second (or third) lanugage.

    -RA
     
  4. chapinsita

    chapinsita from premed to med!

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    I'm a translator for a free clinic in Cali. About 90% of patients that walk in are Spanish speaking. The doctors in the clinic cannot communicate with them, and that is why people like me are needed. When the doctor can't communicate with the patient, he is helpless! That is why doctors in the US are expected to speak English, they are helping English speaking patients. In a state like California where half of the population speaks Spanish, it makes sense to make sure that the doctor speaks Spanish as well. It makes such a huge difference! I am the gate to communication between the doc and the patient and there is so much that you are missing by not speaking their language. At the end of the visit the patient thanks me, not the doctor! He was able to relate to me not to the doctor.

    If you want to practice in the US, then you should be able to help people in the US, and it just so happens that half of the US speaks Spanish. If 50% of the population spoke a slavic language, then I am sure it would be an admission requirement. But the fact is that Spanish is what is spoken and that is what's needed
     
  5. Nefertari

    Nefertari Undercover Premed

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    Dr. Grkovich,

    There are very few schools that require Spanish--most recommend it. I agree w/ RA--all of us have the option of learning Spanish (or any other language widely used in immigrant communities). Med schools are responding to a public need that reflects demographics/immigration affected by years of U.S. interference throughout Latin America. W/ challenging patients, there are already enough communication barriers. Add a language barrier to that & it's a real obstacle to establishing a trusting relationship w/ the patient.

    Those of us from non-Latino backgrounds who choose to learn Spanish are fairly credited in the admissions process for making the effort to branch out beyond our own cultures.

    You make several assumptions regarding the advantage of Latino apps. First of all, many 2nd generation Latinos growing up in the U.S. may not speak Spanish very well, and it is up to them to choose to relearn it. The 1st generation immigrants who are fluent often have a very tough time adjusting & very few actually make it to this stage of the med school app process, thus spawning the need for URM consideration.

    If your family had a tough beginning, you have every right to apply under disadvantaged status. You express resentment, but please be careful to not make generalizations. Doing that usu. leads to racial stereotyping & an underlining hostility against URM's that is unproductive.
     
  6. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
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    I read a study that in California, by the year 2050, Spanish will be the most widely spoken language. By then, I'm betting that fluency in Spanish will be even more important than English.

    In other words, given 2 applicants, A and B:

    A: speaks spanish fluently, can speak broken english at a functional level but not fluent

    B: speaks fluent english, knows a little spanish but not fluent

    A will be taken hands down over B
     
  7. none

    none 1K Member

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    Stanford doesn't require Spanish. They "strongly recommend knowledge of a modern foreign language, specifically Spanish or Asian languages." I added the italics to differentiate between knowledge and fluency. It's on the same level as calculus. In fact, I don't believe ANY California school actually requires Spanish. The only schools that require Spanish are in Puerto Rico and as you can understand, there are many differences between Puerto Rico and California. Spanish is not a difficult language. I've seen students learn what they need simply from immersion on the wards and most California schools have medical Spanish classes if you need more. Stanford isn't exactly in a very Spanish speaking area. I don't think they'd be one of the first to institute such a requirement, if anyone ever does, which I doubt.

    http://www.med.stanford.edu/osa/admissions/mdprogram/Admissions_Brochure/app.info.html
     
  8. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member

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    I live in an area of St. Louis where there are many thousands of Yugoslavian immigrants and refugees. There are certain jobs within the government and services infastructure that require a Balkan language. Many of my neighbors speak little to no English. However, there are very few of Latin American decent.

    I say, if you feel uncomfortable with the Spanish requirements in Cali, move to St. Louis, where your Balkan language skills will be valued highly.
     
  9. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    While thats true the latin community here in St Louis has risen by 94% over the last 2 years! I live in an 4 apartment building where before it was me plus 4 balkan families. Now its me, one balkan family and two spanish speaking families (one cuban, one mexican). So I think the importance of Spanish is rising even here in St Louis ;)

    Note that this Saturday they are starting the areas first all Spanish chat program on WB11...
     
  10. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    since bush is making all of these aggressive moves maybe he'll make one that forces everyone to speak english or be imprisioned or deported???

    :laugh: :clap: :rolleyes:
     
  11. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    but Bush speaks Spanish himself... (which just goes to show...anyone can do it! ;) )
     
  12. applejuice1979

    applejuice1979 Patiently Waiting Member

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    Hi physicians to be. For those of you concerned with Spanish requirements or recommendations, many medical schools allow you to take Intro spanish at their respective undergraduate schools & some schools even have their own Spanish for Physicians (Medical Spanish) courses
     
  13. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    since ill prolly be going to UIC, i plan to brush up on my spanish anyway..
     
  14. Gumshoe

    Gumshoe LARGE Member

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    For the yugoslavian original poster, I feel your pain, but you need to do what others can and have done. MOVE to another state (TX or Ohio, specifically). It is just flat out easier to get into med schools that way.

    As for the spanish thing, I speak spanish too and it is a HUGE + for a doctor to know this (I am from Chicago, so it is big here). Obviously in Cali it is almost essential. I think people in adcoms should look at this as a big plus when they look at people with solid gpas and scores. Amor pa' mi amiga chapinsita.

    As for spanish being most widely spoken that is POSSIBLE, but don't miscontrue this meaning (MacGayver, I love the name though). Until latinos in this country focus on assimilation, they will never be viewed as people who want to make it in America. You think in 50 years there will be legitimate (prestigious) Spanish speaking universities? Of course not.

    And don't think I am trying to "force" anyone to do anything. In assimilation, I mean knowing english and being american --- which is having ethnic diversity in combination with identifying with our great country. Spanish will grow and we need to be aware of it. But I think the country, in order to fully prosper needs to look at this place as not another "mexico" that just happens to have a great economy. If you come here, work hard, and respect it, be american, and love the country. If that doesn't happen, we will go down and lose our world power status. Our society will determine how good we are to each other and the rest of the world.

    Gumshoe
     
  15. Jet915

    Jet915 Shi*ter's Rule

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    Amen Gumshoe

    Jetson
     
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  17. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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    Some of us are gifted with explaining our selves some of us like my self are not :) But Gumshoe basically said what I meant to say about asimilating into this country. I have nothing against spanish language or people but a lot of latinos that come here, they hate the US and refuse to learn the language and asimilate to this country. I don't agree with this and My original disagrement was with these schools who are helping these people. Yes there are two sides to this issue, i agree ther needs to be better relatinship between patient and doctor and sometimes language barriers are the major obsticles but what gumshoe said hit the spot. thanx man.


    From now on I give permission to gumshoe to translate my jargon into readable English :laugh:
     
  18. Doctora Foxy

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    Should everyone who moves to the US learn English? Yep.

    Should patients be denied proper medical care because of a language barrier? No.

    It's not our place to care who wants to assimilate and who doesn't, but I think future docs should do all they can to help their patients. If learning a new language will help, then do it! :D

    That's all there is to it.
     
  19. Street Philosopher

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    AMEN.
     
  20. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  21. kreno

    kreno Candy Man

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    When I studied in Greece last year, I was surprised to learn that two foreign languages are REQUIRED. English being the required, and the third an elective (most picked German). This is *WHILE* in medical school. Of course, 98% of matriculants already had fluent knowledge of one language, so just had to take a third while in medical school (mind you medical school there is a straight 6 years after high school). Now, of course... it TRULY is a necessity there because how are doctors supposed to keep on global medical issues and read journals that aren't translated into greek? It's essential.

    My point is, we are the only country where being bilingual is like some big deal. It's not, get over it.

    And spanish. Of course it should be a requirement; doctors must have the skills that reflect the needs of their patients. And besides, it's like the easiest language known to man to learn...

    The issue isn't who knows and doesn't know english. The issue is as highly educated individuals, I don't understand how *ALL* medical schools make foreign languages a requirement if simply to make us more aware and capable of being part of a global, sick world.

    Leon
     
  22. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member

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    Hmmm...I wouldn't say that Latinos hate the US. The assimilation does happen, even if it doesn't always look like it. For many Latino children, I have noticed that the parents talk to them in Spanish, and the kids answer in English.
     
  23. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    Dr. G-
    i was born in egypt and lived there for 2 years... i am fluent in spanish as i learned it throughout high school and minored in it. california has a large spanish speaking population, especially southern cali. i don't know of spanish being a 'requirement' to get into the schools, or any schools- but, just like having a higher GPA or MCAT score, knowing spanish is appealing to universities which deal with spanish speaking populations.

    oh yeah- you could really piss a lot of people here off if you come around here with your kind of attitude.
    p
     
  24. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member

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    I was going to side-step the attitude part, but yes, you're being a [email protected]$$...
     
  25. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member

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    Since the US has no official language, one would have to pass a law first for that to be a requirement. I believe some states might have a law that establishes English as the official language, but the IRS, for example, is required to print tax forms in a variety of languages due to this.

    -RA
     
  26. Doctora Foxy

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    I don't think they have to learn english, but i think it will only help them if they do. :)
     
  27. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    Dr. Grkovich,

    Would you want to go to a program where patients mainly speak a language you can't? I think your learning experience would be most frustrating. For this reason, the schools are just making sure the students are prepared for this challenge; otherwise, their medical training would be compromised.
     
  28. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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    I guess a lot of you idiots missed the point. Before u come on the post and start bashing what I
    said, maybe you should CAREFULLY read what the hell we are talking about.

    Random Access- US Does have an official language it was voted in the early part of the century.
    Between German and English language. English won by a few votes. U should take US history,
    maybe next you will say that the US civil War was fought against the Germans.

    Doctora Foxy- Obviously you are spanish, I mean I don't want to speculate but your name
    "Doctora" well explains it. My point is you are biased against my view because this might be your
    heritage I am talking about. From my personal experience Mexicans are very sensitive when it
    comes to discussing Mexican Issues in US.

    Poloace- You my friend, let's just say I hope you are not examining my hemorrhoids when I get
    older. How did you ever derive that I had an attitude in my original post. Maybe you didn't read
    my first post but read all the water down post following mine. Honestly though where were you
    going with the "I was born in Egypt" Sorry to say but I don't care if you were born in Swahili it
    has no barring on my topic.

    Kreno- I know two languages fluently I am not mad because I have to learn to speak spanish.
    You too missed the point. No offense but read the post again.

    Bottom line is that I brought up an issue about fairness of some Universities requiring a language
    which is not an official language of this country. Some of you had good points about that in
    Medicine it is very helpful to know the language of the people who live in the area where a
    Doctor practices. Where we got off on a wrong track is because there were more then one issue
    entangled in my original post. I get mad when I start receiving post from people who didn't
    entirely understand the discussion and where they start badgering me for something that was not
    my intended meaning. I still believe that Spanish should not be a requirement although Stanford is
    trying to pass it . I don't think it's fair not for the case of being hard or that someone who
    was born in Egypt thinks I have an attitude, but because of the whole American Issue. I guess I
    got emotional because I love this country and I hate when people exploit it in ways that can
    jeopardize it's American values one being the English Language.+pissed+
     
  29. Nefertari

    Nefertari Undercover Premed

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    Dr. Grkovich,

    Seems as though you're getting flamed maybe b/c you used some very loaded terms, but did not clearly define them. I hope some of these points are helpful to you in understanding the strong response you received from most of us:

    1) How do you define "American values"? (Central to the American ideal is the notion of diversity / "the melting pot")

    2) If Spain had gained power during the colonial days, who knows, you might now be here speaking Spanish instead of English . . .

    3) Politically, sentiments along the lines of: "They need to learn English . . .get off welfare roles, etc . . . they're taking advantage of the system " may be associated as being conservative, and brings on a strong emotional response for some of us because of the legacy of racism in the US.

    4) How has your experience as a Caucasian immigrant been in the US compared to (i.e. imagine yourself inside a different skin color) Latino immigrants?

    Please refrain from hostility. It's a barrier to communication. When you post on this board, you need to be open to diverse opinions . . . . Peace to ya! ;)
     
  30. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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    Well Just cause i am Caucasian doesn't mean I was not around people who were not racist to me. I came here when i was 10 Yes Caucasian but i went to a elementry school which was predominantely Spanish and a bigg part of the population was black. I didn't come into this country with racial predijuces but learned them in that school. When you try to have a normal conversation with a Mexican student it seems like every other phrase is that dumb white boy. Trust me i ve seen reverse racisim to it's fullest. For a time being when I was starting Junior high I used to bad talk white people. Why because off all the exposure to the negative atmosphere towards white poeple. So to answer your question was I treated differnetly being a Caucasian immigrant, well yes I was given a Cliffnotes meaning on Racism. I grew up in L.A I have seen all points of view and let me tell you one thing. A lot of people in my shoes whould have almost guaranteed become racist against those people who were racist towards them, but I have looked past the ignorant people to still look at a person as a person and not prejudge by their heritage or their skin color. Peace
     
  31. Nefertari

    Nefertari Undercover Premed

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    Aha! Now I see where your anger comes from. That's too bad you had to deal w/ "reverse racism". I'm Asian & in grade school was also picked on by black kids. Racism certainly is not one-way. However, I've been lucky to have met tons of wonderful people from all backgrounds since college, and that has balanced out the negative childhood experiences.

    Not to excuse anyone's behavior, but it's sad that when people are discriminated against, it can cause them to act the same way against another race. Just the vicious cycle of hatred.

    It's important to also look @ the big picture. In basic areas such as employment, housing, etc., you probably have a greater advantage over people w/ darker skin. Racism ain't dead here yet! Just look @ the URM debate, it's inherently racist b/c URM's are stereotyped as "below par". Though I'm Asian (& therefore not URM), I still support that status b/c after studying race politics in the US & Third World development (which is the driving force of US immigration), I clearly see the necessity for it.
     
  32. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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    Stupid Question, What is a URM? I thikn it'slate and my brain is not working with me right now :)
     
  33. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member

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    You know, I have taken American history. And I know I'm right and I don't have to make an ad hominem attack to make my point. Next time do a fact search before you question people's intelligence and before making an angry bitter ignorant remark.

    This is an unintelligent point and another ad hominem attack. I could say: "Dr. Grkovich, you are also biased, because you don't know Spanish and therefore you're bitching about it. From my experience, non-Spanish speakers are very sensitive when it comes to discussing Spanish issues in the U.S."

    When you learn how to make a valid point, please come back to SDN.

    -RA
     
  34. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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    Handicap Access,

    You still didn't make a valid point and you are telling me to make one. Just because you use the word hominem twice thinking it's going to get you cool/intelligence points it didn't. If you took the class then what were you doing when and if they talked about English language. Just because you took the class it doesn't mean squat. I took calculus guess how much I got out of it, probablly as much as you did from American History.

    You cry that I insult people but just because I do it in a direct manner and you in a indirect manner doesn't make you any more right or intelligent then me.
    :eek:

    Another comment you made was about as inmature as 7th ahh I ll give you 8th grade.

    "When you learn how to make a valid point, please come back to SDN."

    What the hell is that? Come on grow up kid.
     
  35. ScreamingTreesRule

    ScreamingTreesRule Senior Member

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    I agree that they are separate issues. I'm not a fan of affirmative action, but I think there's more sense to it than to require more than 1 language at a U.S. school. As has already been said, everyone knows *why* they do it (because there are so many Spanish speaking people in CA), but as long as there are schools that teach in Spanish only (some exist in CA) and stores that hire only Spanish speaking people, I don't think the Spanish-speaking population will have much of an incentive to speak English.

    Other than the Spanish-speaking community, all of the past non-English speaking citizens or immigrants seemed to have learned English. I think it's so important for us all to speak a common language, that having Spanish-only requirements (not options) are not helpful for our country. Now....if CA wants to declare its own independence and break away from the U.S. and my tax dollars aren't being tied to it anymore, then I wouldn't care less what they did. :D

    And some may ask, if you're going to advocate 1 language, then "Why English?"

    Because it's spoken by 99 % of the people in this country.

    If Italian were spoken by 99% of the people in this country and not English, then I'd be for everyone learning Italian. The same with French, German, Spanish, Japanese.... :cool:
     
  36. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member

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    If you can prove to me that English is the official language of the United States, I will concede the point. Good luck ;)
     
  37. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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    Hey TSTR

    Buddy thanx for the civilized comment, thats what I like to see on these threads. I agree with you tree. There is no incentive for some spanish speaking people to learn English. One example when i came to this country I was in 5th grade at the same time a a kid from Mexico came into this country same grade, and at same time. by the end of 6th grade I spoke English pretty good and he in contrast didn't know how to put a phrase together, which goes to show you that there is really not much of an incentive in some areas of the US expecially in California.

    And Access I will prove to you not for the sake of you conceding the point but so you know what is the official language of the country you live in.

    God Bless America, God Bless Random for thou he has sinned.:rolleyes:
     
  38. ScreamingTreesRule

    ScreamingTreesRule Senior Member

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    Hmmm. If that's what it takes for people to see that it's not good to require people to speak a language that's not spoken by 99% of the people in this country, then maybe I'll get on the bandwagon to pass an "English-Only" law. :D

    And then, if a mass exodus of people out of country X occurs and a great influx of X-speakers come into our country .... and 99% of us speak only 1 common language and it happens to be X, then I'll rally for an "X-Only" law. ;)
     
  39. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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  40. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member

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    You're reading too much into my comment. The point was to prove that English is the official language of the United States. Keep trying... ;)
     
  41. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member

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    hmm... didn't foxy just major in spanish and wasn't of spanish heritage? i think she might have been part irish or something...
     
  42. ljube_02

    ljube_02 Senior Member

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    ?????? Dr Grkovich,
    It is true the admissions process is not fair to you. And it also wasnt fair that USA bombed Serbia. But there is nothing any of us can do to change this. And I understand how frustrating it is to pay those high taxes in California...
    You sound very intelligent, so perhaps you'll still have a shot at those California schools. But if not, there are plenty of other nice states. Those loans will all be gone in 10 years anyway.

    ????? ? ????? ????????!
    ____________________
    ???? ???????
     
  43. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
    Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Thanx Ljube,

    Hey your name sounds and looks Slavic? Em I right or em I seeing things, by the way I am not sure what the characters were supposed to be in your post. I don't know if I have a decoder for that script. Thanx, and also I plan to apply all over the US. I was in the military so I am used to moving around.:cool:
     
  44. Dr Sum Day

    Dr Sum Day SDN Lifetime Donor
    Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Good thought!
     

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