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uwopremed last won the day on December 21 2016

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  1. There is a need to get more black, hispanic and aboriginal doctors. We all agree on that. I believe we need to improve outcomes at the HS and undergraduate level to do so organically - including special classes and programs for talented minority students. I feel that AA is a lazy solution, and may cause more harm and worsen stereotypes. The factual evidence is very profound about potential harm - though i won't change your mind with any facts. But because you asked, USLME pass rates by ethnicity are inversely correlated with how much affirmative action help is required. The same is true with board certifications. I have no desire to post some of the more damning research as some people may be upset - so i'll post some data looking at average usmle scores for you to peruse. The differences are profound. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hsr2.161 The biggest issue is with malpractice. In locales where affirmative action is more aggressive, the cases of malpractice are sadly very common. One of the biggest cases in regards to affirmative actions was by a Mr Bakke in 1978, a well qualified white student who did not get into UC Davis while a new AA program admitted students with lower credentials - it went to the supreme court. One of the affirmative action admits was a Patrick Chavis - he used to be roundly hailed as a reason why affirmative action should exist by the left for his presumed successful career. Sadly his career took a bad turn. His obituary from the NYTimes is a valuable read. https://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/15/us/patrick-chavis-50-affirmative-action-figure.html . https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB872642722185174000 Michael Jackson's "Cardiologist" never passed his board exams for cardiology. He didn't even pass his internal medicine exam. His incompetence caused Michael Jackson's death. He went to a medical school that had very low MCAT and GPA standards for admission for URM (it still does). https://www.huffpost.com/entry/michael-jackson-how-not-t_b_221994?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJHl0n9wJfMw8IELCww61KE_zFqWRDNUo7JQRBG-b8pEko-CGAJx9O-QQJCMFQXqmuP5W_yzkyMsw16WSnFvYbZhJCtJN9SpgS-vsgmqrhUZU8AHU3R4DxCx_rCrDhmssVQ9uCFLhAms-xXf_Wqo1dKtIkN1PKzxVQPPEuDxd9Qs Kanye's West's mother died at the hands of Dr. Jan Adams. She got a liposuction and another minor procedure. He was sort of a celebrity plastic surgeon promoted by Oprah at the time - the media basically promoted him as this gifted surgeon. He never passed his plastics board exams though, and actually was involved in several very severe malpractice cases. He graduated from a Ohio medical school that had a very strong AA program. Kanye West was outraged about him advertising himself as a plastic surgeon and to this day still remains angry. https://edition.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/11/22/ep.cosmetic.surgery/ There are many great black physicians out there. But AA programs in the US have become so extreme, that they have graduated some MDs that should never have been MDs. And they hurt people in their community. Because of AA, a high percentage find it hard to pass their licensing exams, so they work as board eligible as opposed to board certified. And this can hurt their patients a-lot. Even prominent people in their own community. I don't have evidence that UofT has gone the extreme that the US has of course. Being a resident at UofT, I do know as a fact that it is a much easier stream, knowing lots of people involved in admissions (which should be obvious of course- the classes of 2019/2020 had a combined single black person, while the class of 2024 has 25).
  2. On a total aside, something I think that provides an even more unfair advantage on balance to society, simply because of how large the program is, is McMaster Health Sciences. The program is chock full of privileged Asian, White and East Indian kids - who essentially are given a near free ride in terms of GPA. The 4.0s are everywhere. Countless such students get admitted into UofT every year (largest source by far). Reforming or reevaluating how such programs promote privilege is also very important. To be honest, the segregation rampant in similar programs likely also contributed to black underrepresentation in school.
  3. The admissions pools are different (as they are for aboriginal students - of which i have ancestry and relatives on one side of the family). So yes, people admitted within separate groups got in on their own merit, but their self identification or proven identification with one group provided a massive boost. Most BSAP admits, if they were Asian or East Indian, simply would not have had a file review. That's just reality. Some people support such initiatives and think they are important for society, others don't think they address the root problems of bias in elementary school or even earlier - and just mask society's issues by providing some good public PR 'look we are doing something'. They can also potentially increase stereotyping. Malcolm Gladwell touched on some of these issues indirectly in David and Goliath. Similar initiatives have not helped improve public health for ethnic minorities in the USA - in fact, in some aspects, things have got quite worse. Of note, I received a full warning for my posts above for not creating a safe space for people of colour. While my posts are more centrist and even center right than left, and were critical of some aspects of BSAP, I do think warnings for slightly deviant political opinion on a premed forum is quite shocking. I've privately helped countless students through PMs over the last 6 years of all backgrounds on this site. I think bullying people to accept a single narrative on any issue (excluding outright bullying or racism of course) is shocking. It helps drive moderates and dissenters underground, and to some degree even helps radicalize people.
  4. One of the more interesting things that I've noted, and I'm curious if you have as well, is that black students from the sticks seem to do much better academically than peers in the big city. Partially it's probably because their parents are professionals - but I've noticed this not uncommonly. As a result, maybe they tend to be more wordly to begin with (compared to their fellow white villagers). I'm talking small northern towns, or places like Kingston or Cambridge. I'm comfortable with some indigenous-focused initiatives. Reservations are even more underserviced than small towns. But at my school, unfortunately, many of the students admitted through that program (though not all) have not done that well academically. As a result, Western seems to now be much stricter with at least the MCAT requirements for the indigenous pool (few if any students will be considered with <50 percentile scores according to updated guidelines) to make sure admitted candidates are capable of doing the work and passing. The aboriginal population around London is not as large or as dense as other parts of the country though - so recruitment is somewhat limited that way. The pool is larger in places like UManitoba, UCalgary and U Alberta, though I can't comment on how well they perform academically. Med school is not hard, per ce, but it's not really super easy either. There were several exams where relatively bright students failed, and had to repeat. During clerkship, people having to remediate is not rare. Occasionally people get held back - but the vast majority make it through. But I feel that the school doesn't really have it to actually kick someone out (unless they do something professionally bad like ask out a patient (it's happened believe it or not)). I feel a few students that graduated in my class should not be practicing - all UWO 2019 people know what im talking about. They will likely run into issues in the real practicing world - but not before possibly hurting some people. This is true for all medical schools - if anything, I'd say Western is more strict than most other medical schools (looking at MAC!). Look, I do think we need to find ways to increase the number of black people in large urban medical schools (Toronto and UdeMontreal). But I'm concerned that such dramatic lowering of standards top get there is not the way to go. Once we go this way, it can never be removed. Affirmative Action will never be removed in the USA for example. If there is a big difference in LMCC pass rates noted in the next decade, I'm actually feeling it could backfire. I wish you the best in your studies!
  5. To be honest, I don't think it keeps getting harder and harder. UofT will still take 259 students under either policy. For some people it might be harder, for some people it might be easier. On balance, it might be about the same! If anything, this may actually hurt some of the BSAP candidates that likely would have their wGPAs lowered. Somewhat interesting after the discussion I was having in another thread.
  6. The fact that you use a single data point to make a conclusion about whether a problem exists or needs a solution is somewhat disconcerting considering that you are a fifth year resident. No one single data point disproves or proves anything. As much as our emotions push us to sometimes do so (especially if we have preconceived biases). Presuming you are right in your conclusion that there is widespread systemic racism that needs systemic solutions (and that it's directly applicable to Canada) - it's pretty sad that you needed something like to make you 'woke'.
  7. I've already graduated from medical school. I've been fortunate enough to do electives broadly, including within the usa, and those that know me well, know that I do have several relatives (not my parents) involved in medical education in Canada. I'm also part metis - but not card carrying - but applied in the non-aboriginal standard stream as a medical student applicant years ago. I did have a 3.99 GPA and near perfect MCAT at the time along with several first author pubs - so was a good 'on paper' candidate at the time. The USA has had affirmative action for well over 45 years now at most medical schools. The initial idea was that it would eventually disappear. It is now simply more entrenched. Most US schools reserve between 10-20% of spots for african americans, and another 10-20% or so for hispanic americans. These numbers slowly increase over the years because of changing demographics. The GPA averages and MCAT averages are much lower than that of asians and whites (MCAT averages for admitted blacks are sadly more than one SD below that of other ethnicities). Unfortunately this big difference in starting skill sets leads to a sort of segregation in medical schools that is obvious to everyone but rarely talked about openly. USLME scores and pass rates are SO different between the different groups, that in REAL LIFE, people sadly just expect less from AA graduates. This is true and obvious when visiting the US, and in particular hurts black students that would have been admitted on their own non ethnic merits and have indeed done very well in medical school. The root cause issues that made them less competitive in the first place are never addressed at the elementary school, high school or undergraduate level. The easy solution, quotas, has become entrenched. The obvious difference in group averages simply furthers stereotypes. How society benefits from this is unclear - especially because urban black areas STILL remain underserviced despite near proportionate numbers of blacks matriculating medical school (the people that serve them are usually IMGs from south asia or the middle east). The identity politics of the USA have absorbed Canada and will simply increase polarization. It exists on both sides of the political spectrum no doubt - Trumpkins are certainly awful people and people with their rigid views live in Canada too. But the issues on the left has created a bunch of people that feel like perpetual victims all the time. No slight insult or miscommunication can be ignored in outrage culture. The hard work for achieving an end outcome is not valued - only the end outcome matters. If the ideal equal outcome does not organically form - it must be forced - damn the consequences. Lastly, the USA black population is 90% or so descended from slaves, and have had family in the USA for 10+ generations. I do understand some support for them because of generational trauma (though the fact that 1st gen nigerian and ghanian americans take those spots disproportionately in the USA is an issue that should be addressed). In Canada, well in excess of 90% of the black population is 1st to 3rd generation. Either they or their recent ancestors immigrated here on their own volition. This idea of lowering the admission bar this dramatically is pretty amazing for a relatively recent population that is still growing fast. I imagine there will be no end game to this new affirmative action - it will continue to grow and will never disappear. The fact that perpetually abused arab and south asian muslims are not remotely eligible, but any person with african ancestry is, is also mind blowing. I would think brown kids growing up after 9/11 would have had it rough - amazed at how so many have done well in school despite that. I also can count on 1 hand all the latinos i've met in medical school - despite a growing latino population in both London and Toronto. Why no helping hand for them? Lastly, it's pretty obvious that white people are on their way out. They are clear minorities in medical school throughout most of Canada (quite underrepresented in general). While the numbers are not out yet, white Canadians will be almost certainly be a lot less represented proportionately compared to their representation in the general population at UofT than all other ethnic groups, including blacks. This has in fact been the case the last 2 matriculating classes. They are clear minorities in most major cities now - at least in the age cohorts under 40. Considering Canada was over 95% white less than 50 years ago, these rapid changes are really amazing. The term POC does seem silly in such an environment where whites are diminishing in number and typically a minority (at least in medical school). Especially in the GTA.
  8. I believe you just need to have any black ancestry, and identify with it in some way. They are not doing a genetic test - and it makes getting into medical school infinitely easier. Definitely take this route!!
  9. This year 24 students were accepted into meds via the BSAP program this year https://globalnews.ca/news/7010646/24-black-medical-students-accepted-u-of-t-medicine/. That's close to 10% of the medical school - which is actually over-representing the black population for the GTA, Ontario, and even Canada (3.5% of Canada's population). Considering that the class of 2020 had only 1 black student, and the class of 2019 I believe had zero - it's obvious the effect of BSAP is HUGE - in reality there are separate pools of candidates with no real overlap. Considering how underrepresented Filipinos, Portuguese, and Hispanics are in medical school - I imagine there should be programs to increase their representation too? In theory the standards to apply are the same for both BSAP and non BSAP groups - but the base MCAT and GPA cutoffs are extremely low. Non BSAP candidates really need over 3.9 to even be competitive - a GPA that is astoundingly harder to get than a 3.6 or 3.7. I had hoped that there would be more changes at the pre-med levels to increase competitiveness of black candidates. Instead to look good, standards have essentially been lowered. This will manifest itself as time goes on - and the results may not be all ideal. I should note that self identification is all that matters. If you feel you have a black great-grandfather, even if you pass for white and are extremely privileged - you now have an easy way into medical school. A few in this years class may very well be phenotypically privileged so to speak looking at the photo.
  10. I remember looking back on my own med school odyssey - and looking down on applicants who didn't have even a single 1st author publication while applying to med school. Interesting counter-point article. Especially as I've seen several high school students working on projects with doctors recently https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/924457?src=soc_fb_200204_mscpedt_news_mdscp_residency&faf=1
  11. A combination of unfortunately going to UofT, some poor studying, and probably some back luck. Queen's is your best bet without a 5th year (when Western could also give you a shot)...but of course...you'll need stellar MCATs and ECs. Good luck.
  12. This is a very interesting topic. As medical schools emphasize 'inclusiveness' and 'diversity' with greater vigour - nuanced opinions on the matter, and even more so, critical opinions, are essentially not permitted. I am of part metis background myself (I think i mentioned this back a few years back) - though I would never have declared it - nor likely even qualify. At Western, we have a few aboriginal students most years - and they are great folk in general. There is a paucity of good medical care in remote reservations - or even in urban areas with large aboriginal populations (ie Winnipeg) - so more aboriginal doctors, who are likely to work in such environments, is a good thing. That being said - a few points. Many of the people admitted under the aboriginal program, for lack of a better word, are mostly white and get mistaken for white. Several of these people are from urban/suburban areas as well. Now I'm not saying they are Elizabeth Warren types (ie 1/1000th native) - but it's clear that many of the disadvantages natives experience in getting into medical school (ie discrimination based on physical features or environment raised) they don't get. They actually have 'white privilege' in some capacity - and also get a WAY easier pathway into medicine. Of course, its not as bad as Australia's aboriginal preferred admissions program - where most graduates would be challenged to find one person of pure aboriginal ancestry among their great-great -grandparents. https://nacchocommunique.com/2013/01/23/real-good-news-stories-four-new-aboriginal-doctors-coming-to-a-hospital-or-accho-near-you-congratulations/ is one typical example - there are literally dozens to be found from simply googling. These graduates with truly questionable genetic connections to the aboriginal community do not genuinely represent the truly underserviced population that well on balance. Their admission simply makes the medical school look good - but rarely benefits the reserves that need the medical care. Which also leads to the simple fact that aboriginals are as likely as non aboriginals to have social issues. Minimizing the interviews importance in screening (while already lowering the academic standard) is dangerous. And lastly - no affirmative action program has ever disappeared - they just strengthen. Creating different tiers of doctors. I think all such programs should have an expiry date - and programs to increase academic interest at the high school and undergraduate level should be done.
  13. Because our transcripts are absolutely useless - getting into competitive specialties is not actually as reflective of how smart students are (in relative to the USA - where grades are on transcripts, and board exams results are required (Step 1 at least). There are a few dummies in my class that are gunning for some high paying specialties - and because they can present themselves reasonably well for short periods of time on a focused subject , and have some research, they will have a great shot of matching next year. I'm talking plastics and ENT and urology as specialties. Oh well...
  14. I've been off the boards for a bit of time (nothing like 3rd year western clerkship to take the piss out of you). But I did want to comment to this board. Take the numbers in the original chart with a major grain of salt. Some specialties have significant NON-OHIP sources of income. I'm talking Ophthalmology, Plastic Surgery, ENT, Physiatry, Dermatology and even Radiology (quite a few Radiologists here do outsourcing CT reading for the USA during evenings - and add an extra 100K+ to their earnings from US HMOS). Many of the specialties with 'high overheads' are exaggerated (cardiology, gastroenterology, etc- they include fancy dinners that are meetings, conferences in Hawaii that also are vacations for family, a portion of the payment of nice cars, computers that are often more personal use than work related, etc. Even GP Other specialties, like Anesthesia and Oncology are bang on - they have few things that one can write off (though they do), and there are no sources of non OHIP money. The work/hour is also hard to really calculate. In the end, all doctors work hard, and have trained a long time to make their income. Some doctors could not work outside regular hours anyways; not sure they should be punished selecting such a specialty with more pay cuts. The top earning specialties generally correlate with competitiveness. If you are willing to work 50=60 hours a week - the below is pretty accurate AFTER expenses. 1 million plus: ophthalmology, plastic surgery (many make 2-3 million+ - often within a year or two of developing a cosmetic practice in an under serviced region), cardiology 600K plus: gastroentrology, anesthesia, ENT, neurosurgery, orthopedics, vascular, nuclear medicine, emergency 450L plus: most other specialties <300K: the underpaid - Neurology, Peds, Psychiatry GP income varies so much, it's very difficult to give an accurate assessment. It depends on where you live, if you can get onto a family health team, and how smart your business sense is.
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