Will it hurt me to include my race/ethncitiy on AMCAS APP if I'm not an URM?

STAT EKG

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Is there a possible disadvantage to listing race/ethnicity if you aren't an URM (i.e. white/caucasian)?

I know this seems like a dumb question, and I feel silly for having to ask it, but I feel like it's a pertinent point. It's optional to list this information on AMCAS, so I don't think I'm going to list my race/ethnicity if there's a possible disadvantage for doing so.
 

StPlayrXtreme

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I don't think it matters.

But considering all schools require interviews, and some even require a picture with your secondary...you might as well list it because it's pretty easy to figure out.
 

mboaz

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I'm pretty sure that white people get accepted to medical school all the time. Don't sweat it.
 

Mattabet

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It won't hurt you, but if you don't feel comfortable then don't list it.

Even non-URM criteria (ie, religious affiliation) can qualify you for things like small scholarships down the line, so you'd miss out on that.
 

19nbj58

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Is there a possible disadvantage to listing race/ethnicity if you aren't an URM (i.e. white/caucasian)?
Yes. If you're white and have less than 35/3.8, then your app is automatically thrown into the trash can. If you dont list your race then this screening method wont apply to you. Shame on you if you actually took this post seriously, even for a moment
 
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STAT EKG

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yes. If you're white and have less than 35/3.8, then your app is automatically thrown into the trash can. If you dont list your race then this screening method wont apply to you. shame on you if you actually took this post seriously, even for a moment
lol
 

Alvarez13

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Make up a new race. Those guys like diversity.
 

searun

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I said that I was the drummer in "The Average White Band" and I am a third year med student. So I doubt that it will be held against you if you are a pasty white guy as long as you can play the drums like a maniac in a killer rock and roll band. If you are just a pasty white guy and can't rock and roll, well, good luck with that, definitely a liability. Hang out at the beach and try to get some color. Or get a personality.
 
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STAT EKG

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It seems to me like a lot of people are missing the point here. I realize that adcoms will find out my race/ethnicity from an interview (or possibly a secondary), but why would I potentially hurt my chances of getting that interview or secondary if there was no need? If my race/ethnicity isn't going to matter to med schools, then why is it even included on the app?
 

Narmerguy

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It seems to me like a lot of people are missing the point here. I realize that adcoms will find out my race/ethnicity from an interview (or possibly a secondary), but why would I potentially hurt my chances of getting that interview or secondary if there was no need? If my race/ethnicity isn't going to matter to med schools, then why is it even included on the app?
Statistical purposes probably.
 

majestic red

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I've heard that, for college applications at least, if you choose not to list your race, admissions officers will just assume that you're white. I suspect that medical schools would do the same, so it probably wouldn't make a difference.
 
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I was going to leave that blank on mine, too, because I think that not being a URM could potentially hurt me. But then, I realized, my full name is so obviously not anything diverse, and they would know right away that I'm white. Bummer.
Personally, though, I think the whole URM thing is complete bull. I mean really, I understand that they're under-represented, and medical schools want more diversity, but does that really mean that URM's should be considered more than a white or Asian person with the same or better stats? It doesn't seem right to me. People want equality, but this puts URM's higher than whites and Asians, where race SHOULD NOT even be a considering factor, at all, in my opinion! People are so worried about inequality among minorities that they've swung it in the opposite direction...:confused:
 

Narmerguy

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But why are these kinds of statistics being taken? Just for the heck of it?
Well a lot of those very convenient charts that the AMCAS provides on trends and acceptance rates by major, ethnicity, state, gender, etc are made possible by this.

I was going to leave that blank on mine, too, because I think that not being a URM could potentially hurt me. But then, I realized, my full name is so obviously not anything diverse, and they would know right away that I'm white. Bummer.
Personally, though, I think the whole URM thing is complete bull. I mean really, I understand that they're under-represented, and medical schools want more diversity, but does that really mean that URM's should be considered more than a white or Asian person with the same or better stats? It doesn't seem right to me. People want equality, but this puts URM's higher than whites and Asians, where race SHOULD NOT even be a considering factor, at all, in my opinion! People are so worried about inequality among minorities that they've swung it in the opposite direction...:confused:
In an ideal world, race doesn't matter. But race does matter in America and in more places than just the admissions process to medical school. I suppose the preferential treatment is their way of trying to account for that. To what extent and whether it's merited are the points of contention.
 

johncalvin

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I've heard that, for college applications at least, if you choose not to list your race, admissions officers will just assume that you're white. I suspect that medical schools would do the same, so it probably wouldn't make a difference.
Do you think considered "white" by default would be "better" in med. school applications than be considered Asian or South Asian? I think so.
 

apumic

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Do you think considered "white" by default would be "better" in med. school applications than be considered Asian or South Asian? I think so.
lol... well you're last name will probably give it away, as might your PS topic and/or essay questions from the secondaries (if any of them relate in anyway to your family background, etc.). If none of those things give it away, I'm pretty sure your physical appearance will if you're invited to interview and/or submit a picture with the secondary.
 

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Yes. If you're white and have less than 35/3.8, then your app is automatically thrown into the trash can. If you dont list your race then this screening method wont apply to you. Shame on you if you actually took this post seriously, even for a moment
If only you knew how true this was at a few top schools...:smuggrin:

OP, I responded to the race/ethnicity question from the very first because I figured that they would know soon enough anyway and it wouldn't do any good to try and hide it. Plus I didn't want the schools to think I was an ORM applicant.:laugh:
 
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TooMuchResearch

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I was going to leave that blank on mine, too, because I think that not being a URM could potentially hurt me. But then, I realized, my full name is so obviously not anything diverse, and they would know right away that I'm white. Bummer.
Personally, though, I think the whole URM thing is complete bull. I mean really, I understand that they're under-represented, and medical schools want more diversity, but does that really mean that URM's should be considered more than a white or Asian person with the same or better stats? It doesn't seem right to me. People want equality, but this puts URM's higher than whites and Asians, where race SHOULD NOT even be a considering factor, at all, in my opinion! People are so worried about inequality among minorities that they've swung it in the opposite direction...:confused:
John Smith?
 
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guestdoc

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It's not like being ORM gets a penalty.
No, it's not necessarily like that. But plus points for some or minus for the rest gives the same outcome. Missing out on a bonus just because an applicant is unfortunately an over-represented race seems like an arbitrary penalty to me.
 

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I was going to leave that blank on mine, too, because I think that not being a URM could potentially hurt me. But then, I realized, my full name is so obviously not anything diverse, and they would know right away that I'm white. Bummer.
Personally, though, I think the whole URM thing is complete bull. I mean really, I understand that they're under-represented, and medical schools want more diversity, but does that really mean that URM's should be considered more than a white or Asian person with the same or better stats? It doesn't seem right to me. People want equality, but this puts URM's higher than whites and Asians, where race SHOULD NOT even be a considering factor, at all, in my opinion! People are so worried about inequality among minorities that they've swung it in the opposite direction...:confused:

You are GROSSLY misinterpreting the point of URM. The point is to provide doctors to populations that are traditionally under served in health care. The thought being that if you turn out more black/Latino/Native American doctors, they are more likely to return to those neighborhoods and work there (when traditionally those areas have a lack of doctors). The point is not to increase the diversity of the schools...it's to attempt and make the overall doctor population resemble that more of the United States' population. i.e. if the nation is 15% Hispanic/Latino then approximately 15% of doctors should be...obviously this hasn't been the case in the past so some medical schools are trying to make up for that by admitting more now. The reason it may seem that URMs are able to get in with lesser scores is due to the fact that there are far fewer of us applying. Trust me though, there are plenty of us who do not get in, and plenty of us who do not get into our top choice.

Hopefully this clears up your misconception.
 

Narmerguy

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No, it's not necessarily like that. But plus points for some or minus for the rest gives the same outcome. Missing out on a bonus just because an applicant is unfortunately an over-represented race seems like an arbitrary penalty to me.
Right but I was merely pointing out that it's not simply divided between ORM and URM. So being ORM (for example, east asian) won't be penalized over whites. Basically anything that isn't URM is lumped together. I only bring this up to point out that if you had been mistaken for an ORM it wouldn't have been any worse for you than if you had been mistaken for a white person.
 

Moebius

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To be honest, you should fill it out because its impossible to hide it. In fact, they EXPECT you to fill it out. By not filling it out, you are not giving them what they expect. Unfortunately, medical adcoms are also human. Its better to start the interview on a good note. Maybe, when you are an adcom or enough adcoms are like you, you can afford to be less biased.
 
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STAT EKG

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You are GROSSLY misinterpreting the point of URM. The point is to provide doctors to populations that are traditionally under served in health care. The thought being that if you turn out more black/Latino/Native American doctors, they are more likely to return to those neighborhoods and work there (when traditionally those areas have a lack of doctors). The point is not to increase the diversity of the schools...it's to attempt and make the overall doctor population resemble that more of the United States' population. i.e. if the nation is 15% Hispanic/Latino then approximately 15% of doctors should be...obviously this hasn't been the case in the past so some medical schools are trying to make up for that by admitting more now. The reason it may seem that URMs are able to get in with lesser scores is due to the fact that there are far fewer of us applying. Trust me though, there are plenty of us who do not get in, and plenty of us who do not get into our top choice.

Hopefully this clears up your misconception.
The point may be to bring more doctors to traditionally under-served areas, but it's not like anyone's signing a contract prior to medical school admission saying that they will. Here's a statistic I'd be interested in: The percentage of URM applicants that end up practicing in under-served areas.

I'm not saying that I disagree with bringing healthcare to the traditionally under-served; however, it would be pretty unfair for an under-represented minority to use this philosophy to their benefit during the admissions process and end up going into say... plastic surgery in Beverly Hills.
 
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ChemEngMD

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The point may to bring more doctors to tradtionally under-served areas, but it's not like anyone's signing a contract prior to medical school admission saying that they will. Here's a statistic I'd be interested in: The percentage of URM applicants that end up practicing in under-served areas.

I'm not saying that I disagree with bringing healthcare to the traditionally under-served; however, it would be pretty unfair for an under-represented minority to use this philosophy and end up going into say... plastic surgery in Beverly Hills.

True, but not all of us are interested in serving the under served, there are many URMs who have just as high of stats as anybody else around...the thing is that if you are URM and have exceptional stats...not only will you get acceptances...but schools will fight for you. We are not all in this for the same reason and we are not the system, so if somebody who is a URM slips through the cracks with lower scores and plans to work in "plastic surgery in Beverly Hills" then so be it. It's better to have the system in place and have a few people manipulate it then toss it aside and give up on these under-served areas.
 

Sully21

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I don't think it matters.

But considering all schools require interviews, and some even require a picture with your secondary...you might as well list it because it's pretty easy to figure out.


true- your going to have to interview eventually- but theoretically it COULD get you TO the interview if you were amazingly borderline - then you could ace the interview and get accepted.

its a long shot that it would ever really work like that, but in theory it makes sense to me.
 

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I wonder about people like me. I'm physically white but I'm half mexican and have lived most of my life in Mexico. My second surname is like really weird of a minority group of both Mexico and the US called Basque ethnicity (however I can't speak Euskera sadly). Where would I fit in that clasification???

So far I'm the only white intern at my hospital. Heck, everyone at my job recognizes me because of my paleness. Of course in Mexico, universities don't care about your race and since there's a lot of med schools where the intuition each semester is 1 penny (I'm 100% serious, it's that laughably cheap in some very well respected schools), people that come from poor backgrounds can become MD's and usually end up working for their communities. Plus in order to graduate you have to pass 1 year working as a junior doctor in an undeserved community no matter if you're from a preppy university with wealthy parents so there's always an unlimited influx of new temp employees working for these communities.
 

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I wonder about people like me. I'm physically white but I'm half mexican and have lived most of my life in Mexico. My second surname is like really weird of a minority group of both Mexico and the US called Basque ethnicity (however I can't speak Euskera sadly). Where would I fit in that clasification???

So far I'm the only white intern at my hospital. Heck, everyone at my job recognizes me because of my paleness. Of course in Mexico, universities don't care about your race and since there's a lot of med schools where the intuition each semester is 1 penny (I'm 100% serious, it's that laughably cheap in some very well respected schools), people that come from poor backgrounds can become MD's and usually end up working for their communities. Plus in order to graduate you have to pass 1 year working as a junior doctor in an undeserved community no matter if you're from a preppy university with wealthy parents so there's always an unlimited influx of new temp employees working for these communities.
kaixo! I can't speak it, either, though.:p

Can you speak Spanish or identify with the culture? If so, I think you would be ok. You're half Mexican, you've lived most of your life in Mexico (which makes me think you can speak Spanish) so I think you'd be able to back it up as well. Sounds good to me... Thoughts?
 

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I've always been deeply disturbed by the whole URM and AA concept. Why in the world is it acceptable in admissions to consider race equal to socioeconomic status? Where else in the world is attributing a characteristic to an entire race not considered racism?

You argument was: if you're a URM, you will go back to your underserved community and make the world a better place.
There are so many things wrong with that. I don't know where to start.
1. If you're white, it doesn't automatically mean you're rich. If you're a URM, it doesn't automatically mean you're poor or ever faced hardships.
2. Just because you come from somewhere underserved, doesn't mean you'll want to be a doctor there after you graduate. In fact, I would bet that people want to avoid these places as much as possible. What, you think many minorities live in the poor part of town by choice?

Does it make sense to have a different category for race when they already take disadvantaged backgrounds into account? Does it make sense to consider race when they already look at socioeconomic status? I usually only get anecdotal, sob stories from people who benefit from URM status. The fact of the matter is that they are admitted with far less competitive stats and other applicants notice this difference. If you don't think this perpetuates prejudice, then I don't know what does.

And don't tell me I don't know what it's like to be poor. Trust me: been there, done that. But I'm Asian so adcoms don't give two craps about the concentration of melanin in my skin.

Also, to the guy who is half Hispanic. This example is a perfect illustration of systematic racism. If you people are familiar with the way the US categorized race historically, you'd know that as soon as you have a drop of minority blood, they would consider you 100% minority. Read about this and you'll understand. It's very much the same way today. For some reason the mentality that a person is "tainted" with this foreign blood still lingers today.


Also note: just by throwing out the word "diversity" in no way answers the question of why it is important. There is nothing intrinsically favorable about diversity. You want to learn about culture? Go to a different country. You want to learn how to work with different people? Go outside. But the idea that you're learning to "deal" with "these different colored people" just by sitting next to some ambassador of an entire race in classes is highly offensive to me.

I know someone here will tell me racism is still alive. But that's not what we're talking about here. This is a knee jerk response I always hear. We both agree that racism is still here. We disagree that AA and URM is the way to fight it. Had to throw this last part in because I'm sure someone would have brought it up.
 
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ChemEngMD

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I've always been deeply disturbed by the whole URM and AA concept. Why in the world is it acceptable in admissions to consider race equal to socioeconomic status? Where else in the world is attributing a characteristic to an entire race not considered racism?

You argument was: if you're a URM, you will go back to your underserved community and make the world a better place.
There are so many things wrong with that. I don't know where to start.
1. If you're white, it doesn't automatically mean you're rich. If you're a URM, it doesn't automatically mean you're poor or ever faced hardships.
2. Just because you come from somewhere underserved, doesn't mean you'll want to be a doctor there after you graduate. In fact, I would bet that people want to avoid these places as much as possible. What, you think many minorities live in the poor part of town by choice?

Does it make sense to have a different category for race when they already take disadvantaged backgrounds into account? Does it make sense to consider race when they already look at socioeconomic status? I usually only get anecdotal, sob stories from people who benefit from URM status. The fact of the matter is that they are admitted with far less competitive stats and other applicants notice this difference. If you don't think this perpetuates prejudice, then I don't know what does.

And don't tell me I don't know what it's like to be poor. Trust me: been there, done that. But I'm Asian so adcoms don't give two craps about the concentration of melanin in my skin.

Also, to the guy who is half Hispanic. This example is a perfect illustration of systematic racism. If you people are familiar with the way the US categorized race historically, you'd know that as soon as you have a drop of minority blood, they would consider you 100% minority. Read about this and you'll understand. It's very much the same way today. For some reason the mentality that a person is "tainted" with this foreign blood still lingers today.


Also note: just by throwing out the word "diversity" in no way answers the question of why it is important. There is nothing intrinsically favorable about diversity. You want to learn about culture? Go to a different country. You want to learn how to work with different people? Go outside. But the idea that you're learning to "deal" with "these different colored people" just by sitting next to some ambassador of an entire race in classes is highly offensive to me.

I know someone here will tell me racism is still alive. But that's not what we're talking about here. This is a knee jerk response I always hear. We both agree that racism is still here. We disagree that AA and URM is the way to fight it. Had to throw this last part in because I'm sure someone would have brought it up.

You're very lost and should be quiet now.

URM does not equal AA man
 

ChemEngMD

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What would an Iraqi list himself as?

White/Caucasian...Middle Easterns (be it Arab, Israeli, Kurd, Persian or any other ethnicity) are considered White/Caucasian according to the US Census and according to most everything in the US (I even noticed it when I was signing up for the bone marrow registry).
 

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Is it better for a white person to list himself as white or not list his ethnicity at all? which is better for his chances?
 

ChemEngMD

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Do you have an exotic-looking name? If you do, I wouldn't list my race.
That's completely ridiculous...they'll know you're white eventually.

whys that? why do you say that?

He thinks that you will get more interviews if you don't appear to be white on paper...but eventually they'll know you're white.
 
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That's completely ridiculous...they'll know you're white eventually.

He thinks that you will get more interviews if you don't appear to be white on paper...but eventually they'll know you're white.
I didn't mean to make anyone mad, but everyone wants to try and stand out in their applications in order to get invited for an interview. Being a minority will stand out more than being white, because more white people apply every year. Sure they'll know eventually that you're white, but I'm hoping that they wouldn't make their final decision based on your race anyways. So it might just make your application stand out a little more, is all I'm saying. It's just my opinion.
 

ChemEngMD

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so it's better not to put white, if you're like israeli or something with an israeli last name?
It's your decision bro. There is no way to tell whether or not it will help or hurt you. I say you be honest and put whatever you feel is right :thumbup: checking or not checking the box isn't going to get you in.
 

anxiousteen

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race isn't going to get you in. your gpa and mcat are. work on those instead of overthinking something so simple.