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IgJ

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  1. by underrepresented i don't mean fewer rural medical students total, i mean a number that is disproportionately lower than the number of rural people in the population. and you're right, there are no medical schools i'm aware of that have criteria that explicitly select against rural students. the problem is systemic and ingrained, which when you think about it, is worse. rural populations in canada have lower educational levels, lower average income and higher unemployment on average. rural students have less financial opportunity to go to post-secondary education on average and fewer opportunities to get the same kind of extra-curricular experiences, go to the private schools, win the right awards, or make the right connections as urban students. obviously lots of rural students make it and many go on to the very top of their fields, but on average it's a bit tougher. medical school admissions criteria that give an advantage to rural students are an attempt to restock rural areas with physicians, but they also recognize that the traditional concept of a great med school application does not favour students with a rural background.
  2. again, the research shows that rural students are underrepresented at Canadian medical schools in general. why is that not discrimination, but NOSM's admissions criteria are?
  3. The implications are there, but A for effort on the backpedal. Also just some information for people who aren't very familiar with NOSM but who like to think they are: NOSM has the same accrediation standards as all Canadian and US medical school hence NOSM students can apply to and enter the postgraduate programs of their choosing, not just family medicine and community-based specialities. We will have a special skill set for working with rural, northern urban and underserviced populations (and I think most NOSM students would prefer to work with them), but there are no restrictions in that regard. Our relative ability to compete for subspecialties in major urban centres is yet to be determined but will likely depend on the perceptions and misperceptions postgraduate directors have about NOSM more than anything. NOSM is also the most difficult school to get into in Canada numbers-wise with just over a 1/40 chance. For two years straight we also have the highest first-round acceptance rate and the fewest offers of admission to waitlisted candidates. Our average GPA of entering students is higher than the Canadian average. And even though most of our students have lived in rural or northern communities, most of us have also lived in and/or received a degree in large urban centres. Not saying anyone on here is an unsuccessful applicant, but those who are should stop blaming the admissions process for being discriminatory and realize that the competition is extremely stiff. Also I find that people who use the word "discriminatory" to refer to medical school admissions criteria often have no idea what discrimination is.
  4. rural/northern students are underrepresented at all the other medical schools combined. rural/northern students are overrepresented at NOSM. i fail to see the problem. i find it hilarious the sense of entitlement some brats have about getting into medical school and how the system is stacked against them. try thinking about how on average the opportunities to put together a great medical school application are different in rural vs. urban areas. also the insinuation that NOSM students are somehow second-rate because we only got in due to geographic factors is insulting and you should be ashamed of yourself. many of us got into multiple other medical schools and chose to come to NOSM. i know a lot of great people from cities and most of my friends are from big cities, but one of the things i like most about NOSM is we don't have the spoiled rich urbanite medical student type which seems to exist in varying proportions almost everywhere else. we've got great down-to-earth students from all walks of life who don't have to hide in an ivory tower and who care about patients more than themselves. makes me so glad i chose this school.
  5. Actually I'm a medical student with a masters degree.
  6. Your assumption is that I only read StatsCan. All manner of publications produced by Francophone and Aboriginal organizations use these numbers as well. So does NOSM. By calling everyone who relies on the information Statistics Canada provides foolish, you've just painted a pretty wide brush that includes every federal and provincial government branch, public health department, social service agency, university, bank, corporation, health care provider, school board, etc. And no survey tool is 100% accurate, but until mind-reading becomes common practice, self-declaration is the best of all evils. I certainly don't condone giving people ethnic labels they don't want. StatsCan can has hundreds of qualified employees who think about this sort of thing all day, so I'm going to go with their numbers over ones that come off the top of people's heads. Even if they're not quite perfect to the 2nd decimal they're the best we have. Saying that Francophones make up 30% and Aboriginals make up 20% of the Ontario population is a GROSS inaccuracy no matter how you slice it.
  7. Actually, Francophones make up approximately 5% of the Ontario population and Aboriginals less than 3%. Check your facts.
  8. Actually, none of the curriculum components surrounding electives, specialty exposure, etc. have been set in stone and the NOSM Student Society is working full-time to negotiate a fair shake for the students. A curriculum that prepares students at least on an equal footing with other Canadian medical graduates in terms of preparedness and competitiveness for post-graduate positions is within reach. The tiresome task of taking battle positions every time a new piece of the curriculum unfolds is the price the Charter Class pays for getting to say we were in the Charter Class for the rest of our lives. But it's working. The difference between what we have now and what we would have had if no one had spoken up is astouding, and there is still much progress to be made.
  9. By that logic, applicants should be forced to jump through burning hoops since it shows dedication. According to the evidence, the MCAT is not much better than a burning hoop, and the application process entails quite a bit of short and long-term dedication as it is. Application requirements should be predictors of success, not arbitrary or simply because of tradition; otherwise I go to a frat house and not a professional school.
  10. Anyone who believes the MCAT or any standardized test is "objective" should probably join those of us who live here in the 21st century. Research shows that (a) the MCAT disproportionately disadvantages linguistic minorities and ( is NOT a predictor of one's ability to succeed at medical school or medical practice. These are the reasons that some schools - those less locked into traditional ways of doing things - have dropped the requirement.
  11. Medicare Needs Your Help Attention Canadian medical students, At the 2006 Annual General Meeting of the CMA, delegates voted on several resolutions that are critical to the future of Canada’s publicly funded health care system. Though the General Council supported a number of measures to strengthen public health care, they defeated a resolution which would have reaffirmed the right of Canadians to health care access based on need and not ability to pay. The General Council also elected Dr. Brian Day as President-Elect of the CMA, a known proponent of private financing of health care. Doubtlessly these conflicting actions have arisen out of physician frustration with a system in need of innovation and reorganization. It is no secret that wait times for primary care and procedures are unacceptably long, and physicians bear constant witness to sub-optimal care for their patients as a result. However, it is now conceivable that policy-makers could state that the will of physicians is to abandon Medicare as they begin to roll out plans to dismantle it. We cannot allow this to happen. In fact, an overwhelming volume of evidence from Canada as well as countries around the world confirms that a private parallel system of health insurance actually lengthens wait times for all but the wealthiest citizens, and creates different standards of care based on socioeconomic status. The most extreme example is the United States where tens of millions do not have access to health insurance and the primary cause of personal bankruptcy is failure to pay medical bills. Meanwhile the US government spends 15% of its GNP on health care – compared to Canada’s 10% - due to the massive administrative costs of a multiple-payer system. This same volume of evidence, which includes the Romanow and Kirby Reports, outlines positive steps for change within the publicly funded system to improve wait times and enhance sustainability. The time to act to save Medicare is now. As future medical professionals we have a responsibility to critically consult the available evidence and advocate for our patients. A new physician, resident and medical student group called Canadian Doctors for Medicare is doing just that, and with a membership of 1000 and growing it has already reached the forefront of the movement to protect and strengthen Canada’s most cherished and renowned social program. Canadian Doctors for Medicare recognizes that medical students are central to the debate. In fact a student-initiated petition opposing private health care financing for physician and hospital services was signed by a staggering 1,134 students from all 17 medical schools and has already made national headlines. Join Canadian Doctors for Medicare today. Growing membership will counter any public perception that doctors have abandoned patients by abandoning Medicare, and at the same time will send a message to the CMA from within that physicians demand efficiency, quality and equity in the Canadian health care system. Evidence, information, contacts, and a community of advocates can be found at http://www.canadiandoctorsformedicare.ca.
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