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Just a thought, while reading through these comments: 

I wonder what impact being a pre-med VS. already being in medical school/residency/staff has on an individual's opinion on BSAP/other special admissions streams. if any? 

For those already in medical school/residency/etc well before these admission streams were implemented (or just gained admission), do you think your opinion would change if you were currently seeking admission to medical school (presumably, your lifelong dream) today? 

I'd really like to hear from individuals like me, who is still seeking admission to MD program as a non-Black applicant AND a proponent of these special admission streams... most people here speaking FOR these admission streams have already evaded the sheer luck it takes to get admitted. Not accusing anyone of being disingenuous, but I think there are personal biases on both sides of this argument.

I'd really like to see more transparency and data to support these claims. I am all for BSAP and ISAP, but I still think any novel admissions process deserves external critical appraisal. But for now, in the grand scheme of things, we know BSAP and ISAP are BENEFITTING our communities. I guess the only question is, do the ends justify the means and more frankly, what are the exact means? That's why we need more data/transparency.

 

 

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On 7/27/2020 at 11:38 AM, scoobydoo1623 said:

I'd really like to hear from individuals like me, who is still seeking admission to MD program as a non-Black applicant AND a proponent of these special admission streams... most people here speaking FOR these admission streams have already evaded the sheer luck it takes to get admitted. Not accusing anyone of being disingenuous, but I think there are personal biases on both sides of this argument.

.

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“This example is a microcosm of reality, and showcases how GPA does not always represent "skill." I undusted your argument completely. By skill I mean an “existence of knowledge”, which is binary, you either have or you don’t and the GPA shows that. Again, it is a completely different issue what prevented someone from getting the knowledge, in the end, the GPA tells me yes or no in terms of knowledge.

“If someone with a high SES got the same GPA as someone with lower one I would say the one with the lower SES has a high likelihood of having the superior potentialabsolutely, I don’t think we disagree here.

My concern is more about med schools including a phenotypic trait as a section criterion, which is not fair because it prevents someone from participating because of his/her wrong race. In modern society being poor is much more damning than being black, and being an immigrant (refugee) is even worse (but it does not mean there should be a separate stream for Syrian refugees). There are far better tools to bring in diversity into the school, I argue that SES diversity is better than racial diversity.

Before you try to argue that race is not a criterion for selection, look at the UofT, they admitted 24 black premeds, I think, up from 1 premed last year. Is it good or bad? I can’t say that it is good. What prevented UofT from admitting black premeds last year? Racism? No. Adding an additional identity check mark made it possible to admit more black premed. It is as simple as that. And people denying this simple fact are dishonest.

My last point, I never implied that newly admitted black premeds are less qualified or less competitive. I don’t care that they have a 3.9+ GPA, so do all other premeds, their high GPA is not a valid argument to justify their admission, it’s not what got them admitted. A simple example, two premeds have 3.9, one has great EC, the other does not. The first one got admitted and his/her great EC got him/her admitted. Same with race.

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5 minutes ago, yesandno said:

“This example is a microcosm of reality, and showcases how GPA does not always represent "skill." I undusted your argument completely. By skill I mean an “existence of knowledge”, which is binary, you either have or you don’t and the GPA shows that. Again, it is a completely different issue what prevented someone from getting the knowledge, in the end, the GPA tells me yes or no in terms of knowledge.

“If someone with a high SES got the same GPA as someone with lower one I would say the one with the lower SES has a high likelihood of having the superior potentialabsolutely, I don’t think we disagree here.

My concern is more about med schools including a phenotypic trait as a section criterion, which is not fair because it prevents someone from participating because of his/her wrong race. In modern society being poor is much more damning than being black, and being an immigrant (refugee) is even worse (but it does not mean there should be a separate stream for Syrian refugees). There are far better tools to bring in diversity into the school, I argue that SES diversity is better than racial diversity.

Before you try to argue that race is not a criterion for selection, look at the UofT, they admitted 24 black premeds, I think, up from 1 premed last year. Is it good or bad? I can’t say that it is good. What prevented UofT from admitting black premeds last year? Racism? No. Adding an additional identity check mark made it possible to admit more black premed. It is as simple as that. And people denying this simple fact are dishonest.

My last point, I never implied that newly admitted black premeds are less qualified or less competitive. I don’t care that they have a 3.9+ GPA, so do all other premeds, their high GPA is not a valid argument to justify their admission, it’s not what got them admitted. A simple example, two premeds have 3.9, one has great EC, the other does not. The first one got admitted and his/her great EC got him/her admitted. Same with race.

Have you ever considered that maybe this year there were some stellar black, biracial, or mixed race applicants who crushed their interviews, have amazing GPAs, and a great CV? This smells a lot like the “well if I’m white and I can’t do it then certainly someone of colour can’t do it,” trope that we see far too often in any competitive professional or academic setting. Seriously yesandno, every thing you are saying sounds very rooted in jealousy. I know you said earlier that I’m policing your thoughts and speech (which I would never because we need to defund the police but that’s besides the point :P)and I am really sorry that I made you feel that way since you are more than free to speak your mind; but consider how someone with a different experience may interpret everything you have been saying. I don’t think you’re ill-intended but this is not the way to go about it. More opportunity for other people does not mean less for you. 

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4 hours ago, scoobydoo1623 said:

Just a thought, while reading through these comments: 

I wonder what impact being a pre-med VS. already being in medical school/residency/staff has on an individual's opinion on BSAP/other special admissions streams. if any? 

For those already in medical school/residency/etc well before these admission streams were implemented (or just gained admission), do you think your opinion would change if you were currently seeking admission to medical school (presumably, your lifelong dream) today? 

I'd really like to hear from individuals like me, who is still seeking admission to MD program as a non-Black applicant AND a proponent of these special admission streams... most people here speaking FOR these admission streams have already evaded the sheer luck it takes to get admitted. Not accusing anyone of being disingenuous, but I think there are personal biases on both sides of this argument.

I'd really like to see more transparency and data to support these claims. I am all for BSAP and ISAP, but I still think any novel admissions process deserves external critical appraisal. But for now, in the grand scheme of things, we know BSAP and ISAP are BENEFITTING our communities. I guess the only question is, do the ends justify the means and more frankly, what are the exact means? That's why we need more data/transparency.

 

 

 

I think that some pre-meds are so focused on getting in, that they look at things through the lens of "is this fair to me as an applicant?", which is understandable. But the admissions committees have to consider more than just fairness for the applicants - they are deciding who become the physicians in our communities. That's a tremendously important task. The lack of black and Indigenous physicians in our society is an issue that needs to be addressed so that different demographics can feel represented by the medical community and be properly advocated for.

Does this put students who cannot apply through these streams at a disadvantage? Maybe, depending on whether you think the "advantage" of these streams outweighs the disadvantages that certain minorities face throughout other aspects of the process. But creating a more equitable healthcare system is in the greater interest of our society more so than having as fair an admissions process as possible, in my opinion. Even though some people going through the admissions process could be negatively affected, and that is a legitimate concern for a pre-med who is grinding their butt off to get in

For the record, I was just admitted this cycle and would have had the same response a few months ago

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FingersCrossedPls, I am just going to react to your comments this one time. You are making judgements about my perceived behaviour, and are stating how bitter, racist and jealous I am. This is not generally nice (although it doesn't bother me) and is wasting everyone's time (which bothers me). I am actually shocked that you chose a career of serving people while having such a high level of prejudice, disdain and intolerance to people. As a doctor, you are not going to meet only nice and agreeable people. So, maybe consider switching careers. Again, if you are going to assess my behaviour and my character (falsely), please stop.

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5 hours ago, yesandno said:

“This example is a microcosm of reality, and showcases how GPA does not always represent "skill." I undusted your argument completely. By skill I mean an “existence of knowledge”, which is binary, you either have or you don’t and the GPA shows that. Again, it is a completely different issue what prevented someone from getting the knowledge, in the end, the GPA tells me yes or no in terms of knowledge.

“If someone with a high SES got the same GPA as someone with lower one I would say the one with the lower SES has a high likelihood of having the superior potentialabsolutely, I don’t think we disagree here.

My concern is more about med schools including a phenotypic trait as a section criterion, which is not fair because it prevents someone from participating because of his/her wrong race. In modern society being poor is much more damning than being black, and being an immigrant (refugee) is even worse (but it does not mean there should be a separate stream for Syrian refugees). There are far better tools to bring in diversity into the school, I argue that SES diversity is better than racial diversity.

Before you try to argue that race is not a criterion for selection, look at the UofT, they admitted 24 black premeds, I think, up from 1 premed last year. Is it good or bad? I can’t say that it is good. What prevented UofT from admitting black premeds last year? Racism? No. Adding an additional identity check mark made it possible to admit more black premed. It is as simple as that. And people denying this simple fact are dishonest.

My last point, I never implied that newly admitted black premeds are less qualified or less competitive. I don’t care that they have a 3.9+ GPA, so do all other premeds, their high GPA is not a valid argument to justify their admission, it’s not what got them admitted. A simple example, two premeds have 3.9, one has great EC, the other does not. The first one got admitted and his/her great EC got him/her admitted. Same with race.

There were 15 Black students admitted to the class of 2T3 in 2019, not 1. 1 Black student was admitted to the class of 2T0 in 2016. Thankfully, in the 2017-2018 cycle BSAP was introduced.

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55 minutes ago, yesandno said:

You are making judgements about my perceived behaviour, and are stating how bitter, racist and jealous I am.

 

55 minutes ago, yesandno said:

 This is not generally nice

 

55 minutes ago, yesandno said:

 I am actually shocked that you chose a career of serving people while having such a high level of prejudice, disdain and intolerance to people... Again, if you are going to assess my behaviour and my character (falsely), please stop.

I'm not sure if you're consciously trying to troll or genuine, but stating it's not nice to accuse people of being bitter/racist/jealous and to stop doing this, and then almost immediately say someone is prejudiced/disdainful/intolerant is a self-defeating line of thought. 

I don't understand the hostility to the Indigenous Streams/BSAP programs (the original and UofC's copycat) based on anything but a zero sum argument or "Affirmative action is bad" vein. The first is selfish, the second is usually an ideological question in my experience. At this point everyone should understand that Indigenous peoples got the short end of the stick, over and over again, and dedicated seats help create Physicians who can connect with communities who have had a bad history with outsider authority figures, be it the RCMP or various churches. I also don't see how being black is a "Straight ticket to Medical school", I'd like to see evidence of this. It doesn't even make sense since programs like the BSAP one don't have any quotas, they simply remove opportunities for implicit bias (whether you believe in it or not, that doesn't matter,  the test itself isn't a great measure, but I don't think anyone would dispute that people tend to connect better with people more similar to them). Canada is not a country which is big on collecting racial data (the Americans, in comparison, seem to love doing so for whatever reason, we historically focus on ethnicity and have only recently begun to examine race in the same vein). I've never seen any sort of evidence that black people who apply with above average GPAs are guaranteed admission. You can't look at raw numbers without any context and claim it's evidence of anything, or we go down foolish and short-sighted arguments. For instance, why are there consistently more female medical students than male ones nowadays? Is the system anti-male, or pro-female? No, a closer look shows you that way more women apply than men, and according to CMES data the success rates are very similar/per application (the Male one is actually marginally better!). I'm sure you can draw other similar comparisons, the point being that context matters. Canada's black population has doubled since 1996, and it's a young population, so it's not surprising to me that we're seeing more successful black applicants, BSAP or not, since there are more young black people who may apply. Here are some actual stats for proof since truth and evidence matters, not unsupported statements: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/89-657-x/89-657-x2019002-eng.htm

You can argue that low SES is better than racial-based, but it's not a zero sum game between the two. I'm not black so I'm not going to pretend to understand what life as a Canadian black person is like, but from the accounts I've read there is still bias and racism in Canada. There is no need to argue that "SES diversity is better than racial diversity", schools are moving in both directions so why not both? ACCESS and SAI. UofT BSAP and UofC BSAP. There are high SES black people who've experienced racism and bias and there are low SES non-black or not Indigenous people who've experienced their own barriers, acting like one is better than the other strikes me as short-sighted and kinda offensive to everyone. The existence of Syrian refugees doesn't invalidate any of the challenges any other group has ever encountered and each group has faced. 

And for the record, my opinions did not change between pre and post admission. 

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42 minutes ago, yesandno said:

FingersCrossedPls, I am just going to react to your comments this one time. You are making judgements about my perceived behaviour, and are stating how bitter, racist and jealous I am. This is not generally nice (although it doesn't bother me) and is wasting everyone's time (which bothers me). I am actually shocked that you chose a career of serving people while having such a high level of prejudice, disdain and intolerance to people. As a doctor, you are not going to meet only nice and agreeable people. So, maybe consider switching careers. Again, if you are going to assess my behaviour and my character (falsely), please stop.

People are not obligated to tell you "nicely" when they are asking you to look at your own racism.  When somebody tells you to look at your own racism, you are obligated to swallow the instinctive urge to deny it and really take a good hard look at yourself.  Even if it's painful and doesn't line up with your own self-concept.  Tone policing is yet another form of violence that is rooted in privilege.

Even those of us who do not see ourselves as consciously believing that Black people are inferior still a) benefit from living in a society that is systemically racist and b) are steeped in that normalized racism such that even "good people" can believe, say, and do racist things without meaning to.

I also don't understand how it is possible to argue that Black students are not systemically disadvantaged in Canada today.  If that is true, how do you explain the underrepresentation of Black people in the medical profession?  It can't be purely moderated by SES without any interaction between race, racism, and SES - otherwise you wouldn't see the racial disparity.  SES is absolutely also important and we should be supporting low SES applicants as well - but that does not directly address systemic racism, which is in fact still alive and well in Canada.

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10 minutes ago, MedicineLCS said:

 

 

I'm not sure if you're consciously trying to troll or genuine, but stating it's not nice to accuse people of being bitter/racist/jealous and to stop doing this, and then almost immediately say someone is prejudiced/disdainful/intolerant is a self-defeating line of thought. 

I don't understand the hostility to the Indigenous Streams/BSAP programs (the original and UofC's copycat) based on anything but a zero sum argument or "Affirmative action is bad" vein. The first is selfish, the second is usually an ideological question in my experience. At this point everyone should understand that Indigenous peoples got the short end of the stick, over and over again, and dedicated seats help create Physicians who can connect with communities who have had a bad history with outsider authority figures, be it the RCMP or various churches. I also don't see how being black is a "Straight ticket to Medical school", I'd like to see evidence of this. It doesn't even make sense since programs like the BSAP one don't have any quotas, they simply remove opportunities for implicit bias (whether you believe in it or not, that doesn't matter,  the test itself isn't a great measure, but I don't think anyone would dispute that people tend to connect better with people more similar to them). Canada is not a country which is big on collecting racial data (the Americans, in comparison, seem to love doing so for whatever reason, we historically focus on ethnicity and have only recently begun to examine race in the same vein). I've never seen any sort of evidence that black people who apply with above average GPAs are guaranteed admission. You can't look at raw numbers without any context and claim it's evidence of anything, or we go down foolish and short-sighted arguments. For instance, why are there consistently more female medical students than male ones nowadays? Is the system anti-male, or pro-female? No, a closer look shows you that way more women apply than men, and according to CMES data the success rates are very similar/per application (the Male one is actually marginally better!). I'm sure you can draw other similar comparisons, the point being that context matters. Canada's black population has doubled since 1996, and it's a young population, so it's not surprising to me that we're seeing more successful black applicants, BSAP or not, since there are more young black people who may apply. Here are some actual stats for proof since truth and evidence matters, not unsupported statements: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/89-657-x/89-657-x2019002-eng.htm

You can argue that low SES is better than racial-based, but it's not a zero sum game between the two. I'm not black so I'm not going to pretend to understand what life as a Canadian black person is like, but from the accounts I've read there is still bias and racism in Canada. There is no need to argue that "SES diversity is better than racial diversity", schools are moving in both directions so why not both? ACCESS and SAI. UofT BSAP and UofC BSAP. There are high SES black people who've experienced racism and bias and there are low SES non-black or not Indigenous people who've experienced their own barriers, acting like one is better than the other strikes me as short-sighted and kinda offensive to everyone. The existence of Syrian refugees doesn't invalidate any of the challenges any other group has ever encountered and each group has faced. 

And for the record, my opinions did not change between pre and post admission. 

This was beautifully written and supported and explained very well. Thank you for taking the time to craft this response.

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20 hours ago, scoobydoo1623 said:

Just a thought, while reading through these comments: 

I wonder what impact being a pre-med VS. already being in medical school/residency/staff has on an individual's opinion on BSAP/other special admissions streams. if any? 

For those already in medical school/residency/etc well before these admission streams were implemented (or just gained admission), do you think your opinion would change if you were currently seeking admission to medical school (presumably, your lifelong dream) today? 

I'd really like to hear from individuals like me, who is still seeking admission to MD program as a non-Black applicant AND a proponent of these special admission streams... most people here speaking FOR these admission streams have already evaded the sheer luck it takes to get admitted. Not accusing anyone of being disingenuous, but I think there are personal biases on both sides of this argument.

I'd really like to see more transparency and data to support these claims. I am all for BSAP and ISAP, but I still think any novel admissions process deserves external critical appraisal. But for now, in the grand scheme of things, we know BSAP and ISAP are BENEFITTING our communities. I guess the only question is, do the ends justify the means and more frankly, what are the exact means? That's why we need more data/transparency.

 

 

I'm still pre-med and going into my 4th application cycle. I am not Black or Indigenous. I am racialized and come from a very low SES background. 

I completely (100%) support BSAP and ISAP.  In fact, I think more needs to be done from the medical school's part to encourage more Black and Indigenous applicants. Not just at the point of admissions through these admission streams but also supporting them throughout undergrad to foster students to be equipped to apply for medical school if they choose to. 

I have never questioned the way these admissions streams work and whether the student deserves to be accepted. At the end of the day, I trust the medical schools to have selected more than qualified individuals to enter medical school and they will work hard to become great physicians to support their communities. Also who's to say that a high GPA and great ECs means you're qualified to be a doctor? I know plenty of current medical students with a high GPA/great ECs but lack the compassion and understanding of complex social issues to serve folks from marginalized backgrounds. Sometimes lived experiences and understanding prepares you more than a 4.0 GPA. 

To speak to some of the other comments: Yes, my low SES background has disadvantaged me in the past but I will never experience the same type of violence, racism and intergenerational trauma that many Black and Indigenous students may experience. The effects of gentrification, slavery and colonization lingers for generations to come. Please remember that Canada continues to have a serious problem of racism and discrimination. This is not just an issue of the past. 

 

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9 hours ago, ubcmedxx said:

I'm still pre-med and going into my 4th application cycle. I am not Black or Indigenous. I am racialized and come from a very low SES background. 

I completely (100%) support BSAP and ISAP.  In fact, I think more needs to be done from the medical school's part to encourage more Black and Indigenous applicants. Not just at the point of admissions through these admission streams but also supporting them throughout undergrad to foster students to be equipped to apply for medical school if they choose to. 

I have never questioned the way these admissions streams work and whether the student deserves to be accepted. At the end of the day, I trust the medical schools to have selected more than qualified individuals to enter medical school and they will work hard to become great physicians to support their communities. Also who's to say that a high GPA and great ECs means you're qualified to be a doctor? I know plenty of current medical students with a high GPA/great ECs but lack the compassion and understanding of complex social issues to serve folks from marginalized backgrounds. Sometimes lived experiences and understanding prepares you more than a 4.0 GPA. 

To speak to some of the other comments: Yes, my low SES background has disadvantaged me in the past but I will never experience the same type of violence, racism and intergenerational trauma that many Black and Indigenous students may experience. The effects of gentrification, slavery and colonization lingers for generations to come. Please remember that Canada continues to have a serious problem of racism and discrimination. This is not just an issue of the past. 

 

Agreed - I 100% support BSAP and ISAP. Thanks for the balanced view. 

Thus far, most people on this thread who seem to be talking favourably about BSAP/ISAP are already IN medical school (you can claim it hasn't changed pre-post admission, but I guess we'll never know how true that is). I just thought this is an important context to point out because at the end of the day, I see yesandno 's comments rooted in past rejections, moreso than anything else in my opinion. We all know how TOXIC pre-medical culture is, and the desperation it cultivates amongst us to gain admission, particularly in Canada, where the acceptance rates are already incredibly poor. He/she/they probably just wants to get in, and I have a strong feeling that if yesandno was already in, maybe he/she/they would not be so vocal about his/her/their concerns around BSAP/ISAP. Each and every one of us have to be honest with ourselves and with each other. Many of you were desperate pre-meds at one point, and I find it hard to believe that most of you, as PRE-MEDS, would be selfless enough to be completely agree with BSAP right off the bat. This is borne out in the evidence on perceptions of special admission streams in the literature. Look it up. 

I'll be honest: I had the same initial thoughts when I heard about BSAP as a non-Black applicant a few years - and we can't forget NOR deny that A LOT of non-Black applicants did (atleast, the ones that I've spoken to). Yesandno was just brave enough to be vocal about it. BSAP's introduction had plenty of people, who are also disadvantaged in some form, saying: "what about me?" However, I spent a lot of time learning, growing, educating myself, through friends and literature, and I've since been a full supporter of BSAP. I took some time to examine my own biases, which was driven by being a non-Black person, but also being in a toxic pre-medical culture (which is already toxic for EVERYONE, but perhaps moreso for Black people) where we need to get in or die. 

It takes some time, but happy that alot of posters here gave incredible insight for yesandno and OTHERS to think about. It takes a lot of empathy and sympathy to understand others and their point of views (even if implicitly racist), but at the end of the day, it's the same empathy and sympathy that this profession calls for. It's been a productive conversation here! 

TLDR: Don't forget that perhaps, in addition to implicit biases/racism, toxic pre-med culture may also play a large role in people's view on BSAP. Sample many pre-meds and I bet you yesandno is not standing alone in their views. Productive and HONEST conversations are the way forward!

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“I'm not sure if you're consciously trying to troll or genuine, but stating it's not nice to accuse people of being bitter/racist/jealous and to stop doing this, and then almost immediately say someone is prejudiced/disdainful/intolerant is a self-defeating line of thought”. This was in response to her “assessment” of me. But I don’t want to dwell on this, so don’t bother reacting to this particular point.


“being black is a "Straight ticket to Medical school", I'd like to see evidence of this”, the dramatic increase in admission of black students specifically after the introduction of the BSAP. If we assume that in previous years the number of black premeds did not vary much, then after the new stream was introduced the number went up 2400%, this tells me the racial identity is a deciding factor here. And it is literally in the name of the stream. Just a side-note, Obama got 96% of black votes because every one supports their in-group. And it's normal. You can't argue with that. So, inviting a black interviewer for a BSAP premed actually introduces this new variable -the in-group bias- which is not accounted for in the selection process. But it is a separate discussion. 


“There is no need to argue that "SES diversity is better than racial diversity", since the schools are on the bandwagon of increasing diversity we all are involved in this conversation regardless of whether we want this or not. If you think this is none of your business and you don’t want to participate in this important conversation, please don’t, there are people who want to be a part of the solution.


“...underrepresentation of Black people in the medical profession?  It can't be purely moderated by SES”, I argue that there is an underrepresentation of people in medicine in general. It is hard to get in. Period. If only 6% of premeds are getting in, that percentage also includes black premeds. According to Canada stats, the black population represents only 3.5% of all Canadians, it’s not a lot, to be honest. So, how many of this 3.5% are permeds? A couple of hundreds? How many are qualified? How many get accepted in the end? Probably around 6%. So, you see that saying “underrepresented” does not mean “unfair”. I would be interested to see the race stats on premeds. Let’s say there are 200 black premeds in all of Canada, it means that on average only 12 are accepted which is a normal portion. With new separate streams, there will be an inflation of acceptance (20%, 30% - the USA data is very clear, and, if I am not mistaken, a black premed with the GPA 3.7 has an 87% chance of being accepted in the USA). And it will not be fair to other premeds.


“SES is absolutely also important and we should be supporting low SES applicants as well - but that does not directly address systemic racism, which is in fact still alive and well in Canada”.

SES is the biggest (if not the only significant) driver of inequality in Canada. There is street-level prejudice that black people experience, but the system of laws, rules and social norms is not against black people. I repeat, there is no system designed to methodically disadvantage the black population. So I can’t agree that there is systematic discrimination against black people in Canada in 21th century. Again, rich black people are very privileged as all rich people are. Poor white people are powerless and unprivileged as all poor people are.


I argue that a white doctor who came out of a low SES background can connect with a black low SES patient way better than a black rich doctor can. The black rich doctor can’t understand the hardship of living paycheck to paycheck, of finding affordable housing and so on. Hell, I argue that a rich black doctor could live a safe suburb life and never experience street-level prejudice as he/she never mingled with commons on the street, goes to private schools and never take a sub. I do realize this is debatable and I might be incorrect on the level of street-level prejudice that a rich black person encounters. But overall, being rich is better than being poor REGARDLESS of race.

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I think that part of BSAP is actually the correction of the in group bias that generally would work in favour of white people, as most interviewers would be white due to, as has been stated, white people making up a greater proportion of the population, and specifically of physicians and med students who often interview applicants. Therefore, it may not really be an advantage for black applicants to be getting the same sort of process that other applicants get. Also, as has been said, this program specifically (of course there are other programs that are set up differently) does not have a certain number of seats they look to fill. From my knowledge, they basically are just trying to allow applicants to be interviewed by a black panel and then assessed in just the same way as other applicants (someone can correct me if I have this wrong!).

I also do want to touch on some other statements made in order to bring in some different perspectives that may not have been previously considered. While racism is not explicitly written into laws etc it is very much prevalent and, especially recently, many people have shared their experiences of this and there is data showing disproportionally high numbers of black people being arrested (especially in the US, Canada doesn’t allow the data collection necessary for this information to be determined very well but I did find one estimate based on the 2006 census that may provide some idea https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-Representation-of-Ethnoracial-Groups-in-Canadas-Federal-Corrections-System-2011_tbl1_274314275). Additionally, black people are more likely to be low SES (https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/five-charts-that-show-what-systemic-racism-looks-like-in-canada-1.4970352) and black individuals who are higher SES can have that chalked up to being “diversity hires” and/or feel out of place in their own neighborhoods. This is all to say that while there may not be obvious racism in Canada from one persons point of view, others can still see/experience it and it’s important to listen to those people and not diminish those experiences.

People who have higher SES are privileged, as are white people, and someone can be privileged in someways, but not in others. Having some privilege does not erase the inequalities or discrimination that a person faces as a result of not having other privilege. Therefore, while in some ways a white low SES doctor will be able to relate to a black low SES patient better than a black high SES doctor, the opposite is also true. Since some experiences that the high SES doctor could not share were listed, I will note that the white low SES doctor would not be able to understand many of the micro aggressions that POC (and especially black people) face regularly.

As a final note, I do want to acknowledge that I think that the socioeconomic barriers to getting into medicine are definitely there and that actions should be taken to make medical school admissions as equitable as possible in this regard. However, I don’t think that having the BSAP pathway (specifically) is taking away from that possibility and so, debating one versus the other may not be the most productive way forward. I will leave you all with one final link from an article published on none other than May 12th 2020 about the demographics of Canadian medical students showing significant disparities between the census population and medical students in terms of SES, identifying as black and other factors (https://bmcmededuc.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12909-020-02056-x) to illustrate that there is a long way to go in order to increase all types of diversity in medicine.

Hopefully this discourse is able to expose people to different viewpoints than their own, I know it has for me. I do want to say that I think that it is important to be respectful and really understand what others are saying, especially when the topic is not within a persons own lived experience. I have been able to take many of the points that have been brought up here and apply them to help form educated opinions and I hope that others are able to do the same.

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19 hours ago, yesandno said:

“being black is a "Straight ticket to Medical school", I'd like to see evidence of this”, the dramatic increase in admission of black students specifically after the introduction of the BSAP. If we assume that in previous years the number of black premeds did not vary much, then after the new stream was introduced the number went up 2400%, this tells me the racial identity is a deciding factor here. And it is literally in the name of the stream. Just a side-note, Obama got 96% of black votes because every one supports their in-group. And it's normal. You can't argue with that. So, inviting a black interviewer for a BSAP premed actually introduces this new variable -the in-group bias- which is not accounted for in the selection process. But it is a separate discussion. 

This thread has gone on long enough on off-topic discussion so I'll keep it short, but your anecdote doesn't prove anything. Give me statistics with context to prove that "Being black with an above average GPA is a straight ticket to Medical school". Not anecdotal news articles. Look at it this way, you have 0 context other than knowing that there was 1 black student admitted in 2016, and more afterwards. How many black students were admitted in 2015, 2014, etc? If I was writing a news article, or needed an impetus for a new program, I'd pick the absolute worst year as my benchmark, and it's hard to go lower than 1. Your numbers are also off, since there were 14 BSAP students in 2018, 15 in 2019, and 24 in 2020, not a overnight 2400% increase.

The onus is on you, making the argument/statement, to prove it, but I can disapprove at least part of your argument since there was more than 1 black student in the Class of 2019 (admitted 2015). 

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On 7/28/2020 at 8:08 AM, scoobydoo1623 said:

Agreed - I 100% support BSAP and ISAP. Thanks for the balanced view. 

Thus far, most people on this thread who seem to be talking favourably about BSAP/ISAP are already IN medical school (you can claim it hasn't changed pre-post admission, but I guess we'll never know how true that is). I just thought this is an important context to point out because at the end of the day, I see yesandno 's comments rooted in past rejections, moreso than anything else in my opinion. We all know how TOXIC pre-medical culture is, and the desperation it cultivates amongst us to gain admission, particularly in Canada, where the acceptance rates are already incredibly poor. He/she/they probably just wants to get in, and I have a strong feeling that if yesandno was already in, maybe he/she/they would not be so vocal about his/her/their concerns around BSAP/ISAP. Each and every one of us have to be honest with ourselves and with each other. Many of you were desperate pre-meds at one point, and I find it hard to believe that most of you, as PRE-MEDS, would be selfless enough to be completely agree with BSAP right off the bat. This is borne out in the evidence on perceptions of special admission streams in the literature. Look it up. 

I'll be honest: I had the same initial thoughts when I heard about BSAP as a non-Black applicant a few years - and we can't forget NOR deny that A LOT of non-Black applicants did (atleast, the ones that I've spoken to). Yesandno was just brave enough to be vocal about it. BSAP's introduction had plenty of people, who are also disadvantaged in some form, saying: "what about me?" However, I spent a lot of time learning, growing, educating myself, through friends and literature, and I've since been a full supporter of BSAP. I took some time to examine my own biases, which was driven by being a non-Black person, but also being in a toxic pre-medical culture (which is already toxic for EVERYONE, but perhaps moreso for Black people) where we need to get in or die. 

It takes some time, but happy that alot of posters here gave incredible insight for yesandno and OTHERS to think about. It takes a lot of empathy and sympathy to understand others and their point of views (even if implicitly racist), but at the end of the day, it's the same empathy and sympathy that this profession calls for. It's been a productive conversation here! 

TLDR: Don't forget that perhaps, in addition to implicit biases/racism, toxic pre-med culture may also play a large role in people's view on BSAP. Sample many pre-meds and I bet you yesandno is not standing alone in their views. Productive and HONEST conversations are the way forward!

Also have grown to support these programs over time! I agree with your assessment; the disdain a lot of people have for these programs is usually born out of selfish worry, not hate for any group! My biggest issue with these programs when I used to disagree with them was that they take a blanket approach to all applicants of a single race, when the issue is much more nuanced than a blanket approach allows for. If schools are truly trying to account for systemic biases, it would be better IMO to approach it from an intersection of SES and race rather than just race. That being said though, knowing what I now know about under-representation of various races in the medical field, and the improved quality of care that people of marginalized groups get when they receive care from a member of their race, among other things, it's hard to argue with these policies even if they do have imperfections.

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MedicineLCS, all my numbers were taken from documents that were provided by med schools or AAMC. So, here is the AAMC table that shows GPA and MCAT score distribution and acceptance rate among the racial groups. So, with an average GPA, black applicants were almost 4 times more likely to be accepted to medical schools than Asians (81.2% vs. 20.6%), and 2.8 times more likely than white applicants (81.2% vs. 29.0%). If you see the above-average GPA and MCAT, the rate of acceptance for a black applicant is 93%, which is virtually a “straight ticket” to a medical school. For me, these data suggest that medial schools favour black premeds. Even you admit that in the 2016 year there was only 1 black admitted premed, and after the implementation of the BSAP, the admission rate rose at least 1500%. Can you argue that race has nothing to do with it? Can you honestly argue that?

medschool.png

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You're using American data to try and make an argument about BSAP, and data that is 4 years old using the old MCAT at that? This isn't at all relevant to your original argument (posted in a thread about the UofT, a Canadian medical school's BSAP program) that:

On 7/26/2020 at 12:50 PM, yesandno said:

I don’t understand why people deny that being black or indigenous with an above-average GPA is a straight ticket to med school. The objective statistics data overwhelmingly support this.

Try again with Canadian statistics. We all know America is an entirely different ballpark. It's also impossible to prove that race didn't play a factor, because that's not how logic works, it's essentially impossible to rule out a negative in this kind of discussion. Besides, you're strawmaning, I never argued that race wasn't a factor, I pointed out that your original line of thought (quoted above) is unsupported and almost assuredly wrong, and I don't really want someone to chance upon this thread and believe that statement, which could reinforce racist ideas about black physicians/medical students or wrong views of the admissions process. Even if BSAP did increase the share of black matriculants you'd need to account for context (GPAs, total representation in the pool, competitiveness changes year to year) and that it's perfectly possible implicit bias (which BSAP helps alleviate) played a role prior to that time so any increase from BSAP is merely correcting a wrong (as intended) as opposed to stacking the deck (what you seem to be suggesting). Take your earlier attempt at trying to prove BSAP inflated numbers: 

On 7/28/2020 at 8:11 PM, yesandno said:

So, how many of this 3.5% are permeds? A couple of hundreds? How many are qualified? How many get accepted in the end? Probably around 6%. So, you see that saying “underrepresented” does not mean “unfair”... With new separate streams, there will be an inflation of acceptance

Once you do an age adjustment (which is necessary when the black Canadian population is significantly younger, 8.2% of that population is 20-24, or 8.2% of 1,198,540=98K, 20-24 is conveniently also a class size in the CMES report, which states that in 2016 there were roughly 514 applications per 100K in that age group, the countrywide acceptance rate was about 18% (lower in Ontario) so that means, if the black 20-24 Canadian population is equally likely to apply, and be accepted, 93 black Canadians should be accepted every year, coast to coast.

This makes it hard to believe your original argument that BSAP was/is artificially inflating the accepted numbers. In fact, with a class size of 259, and 24 BSAP matriculants, you get an acceptance rate of... 9.2%, very close to the same as the population representation of black Canadians in the age group (~5%) that is most common in first year Medical students. So, it appears that BSAP has lead to a staggering increase of the number of black medical students to... 12% higher than their population's share in the overall Canadian population, at only the UofT, which really isn't significant since it's a small sample size and I'd imagine the proportion of black Canadians is higher in Ontario than the national average. No "inflation of acceptance" at all, more like "ending of deflation to more accurately match the province's demographics". This is of course assuming that black Canadians are equally likely to apply, if they were less likely that would increase the % a bit, but even if this was the case it doesn't prove your original point, and it would even hurt your original argument since having significantly less black Canadians applying than their overall share in the population raises interesting "Why?" questions that programs like BSAP can address. 

In any case, I'm done with this "discussion". My attempt to ask you to support your positions with objective, Canadian, data has failed and I see no point in feeding the fire. I think anyone reading this from beginning to end can see that there is no objective statistical data supporting the idea that being black with an above-average GPA is a straight ticket to med school and the truth is, even with programs to alleviate biases and racism, the proportion of BSAP students is basically the same (or lower in past years) than the overall proportion of black Canadians aged 20-24 in the Canadian population, which should raise some uncomfortable questions as to why, even with BSAP, this is the case.  

EDIT: Math error. 

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3 minutes ago, yesandno said:

Thank you, Ian. I hope people will continue a calm discussion without the abusing behavior.

Yesandno, 

I apologize for the terminology that I used to describe your behaviour. I have been informed that that word is not tolerated here and I won’t be using it again. Moving forward I just ask that you do not speculate on what you assume to be the black experience and what we need and don’t need. If you do not know the struggle; it is not your place to comment. 

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Try again with Canadian statistics”. I use the US data because it is the only one available. Unfortunately, Canadian schools do not gather the data (or simply do not release). The absence of data should not be a STOP sign to discuss the issue. The American data is very applicable to us because we have a somewhat similar admission and licensing processes. We also have a very similar culture. Canadian schools begin implementing affirmative action and it is very reasonable to employ the American data for this discussion (including predictions) because Canadian data simply does not exist yet (or not published).

“...unsupported and almost assuredly wrong can you actually argue that it is wrong, not just state it? I argued that having a 93% chance of admission (which is supported by the AAMC data) is so high that it can be called a “straight ticket”. What are your arguments that 93% chance is not a “straight ticket”?

“My attempt to ask you to support your positions with objective, Canadian, data. Please check your previous post, you asked for “statistics” (not mentioning “Canadian”). I gave you an official AAMC statistics, and now you are narrowing your request to “Canadian”. When Canadian schools start gathering and releasing the data, I will gladly give it to you. FYI and if I’m not mistaken, AAMC releases an average acceptance rate for 3 years, so they should release new stats soon (I assume, don’t quote me on that). But it’s not the point, you have the stats at hand, you just don’t like it.

with a class size of 259, and 24 BSAP matriculants, you get an acceptance rate of... 9.2%, you are confusing the “class demographics” with the “acceptance rate”. The acceptance is rate is simply a portion of “accepted” out of “applied”. So, unfortunately, we don’t have the premed data and I acknowledged that in my previous post. I would be very interested to see how many black premeds applied, their stats and how many were accepted. If we apply the data from the US med schools, which have a history of affirmative action, can we reasonably infer that the acceptance rate for black premeds is extraordinary (in the range of 90%)? You have cited my initial post, which was exactly about that. I am glad that after 20+ posts we got to it. Now, the heart of the issue, if you take two average applicants (white and black), with equal GPAs and MCAT scores, the chances for admission will be 40.3% and 86.9% respectively. Is it not fair to say that the second number is inflated (for whatever reason, reasons are not my concern now)?

I understand that you want to steer the conversation into the realm of social justice and convince me that the inflated acceptance rate for black premeds (inferred based on the US data and history of affirmative action) is a good thing. Well, I disagree. My position is that there should not be affirmative action based on race, and the wide range of SES of students is more productive and brings more diversity, including racial, gender, country of origin, language, and global awareness. For me, these factors enrich the student community much better than only one factor of race.

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On 7/30/2020 at 5:19 PM, yesandno said:

with a class size of 259, and 24 BSAP matriculants, you get an acceptance rate of... 9.2%, you are confusing the “class demographics” with the “acceptance rate”. The acceptance is rate is simply a portion of “accepted” out of “applied”. So, unfortunately, we don’t have the premed data and I acknowledged that in my previous post. I would be very interested to see how many black premeds applied, their stats and how many were accepted. If we apply the data from the US med schools, which have a history of affirmative action, can we reasonably infer that the acceptance rate for black premeds is extraordinary (in the range of 90%)? 

Lol, just applying available US data to Canada and trying to justify your claims isn’t going to cut it my guy. Here are some actual statistics.

 

image.thumb.png.233ee09f4e50baede4f7ba2d31351f97.png

 

As you can see from the most recent Canadian data available from U of T, 17/92 = approximately 18.5% of Black applicants are accepted which is absolutely no where near your 90% estimate. I assume that the number of applicants to U of T has increased greatly with the implementation of the BSAP, which has in turn increased the acceptance rate of Black students. This increase is also likely due to the reduction of implicit bias which often negatively impacts Black applicants. Even with 24 BSAP students being accepted at U of T, that equals 9.2% of the class being Black as you said. In a city like Toronto where 10% of the population identifies as Black, it is great that the makeup of a medical school cohort will match the demographics of the city where the students will be learning and practicing for four years. I really encourage you to read this article written by two Black students at U of T which clearly explains the necessity of this program.

And for a (presumably) non-Black person to be stating that there is no systemic oppression of Black people in Canada in 2020 ... are you serious? Here is literally one article of the many available with a simple Google search to disprove your point. In addition to the income disparities, Black people face many health disparities in Canada as well, along with Indigenous people. I encourage you to read up on this as someone who is an aspiring healthcare professional. 

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burnerboy Thank you for these statistics although it does not provide the full picture. For example, we don't know how many of them are actually qualified with a high GPA. Yes, from this document the acceptance rate does not seem to be 90%, but it is twice as higher than that of on-black premeds, so the chances of being accepted for a black premed is two times higher compared to a non-black premed. Interestingly, the American data shows the breakdown of GPAs and MCAT scores, from which we can see that the chances of being admitted if you are black and with a high GPA is 90%+ That’s what I was referring to. If you take a non-black premed and a black premed with the equal GPAs and MCAT scores, who will get accepted faster?

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29 minutes ago, yesandno said:

burnerboy Thank you for these statistics although it does not provide the full picture. For example, we don't know how many of them are actually qualified with a high GPA. Yes, from this document the acceptance rate does not seem to be 90%, but it is twice as higher than that of on-black premeds, so the chances of being accepted for a black premed is two times higher compared to a non-black premed. Interestingly, the American data shows the breakdown of GPAs and MCAT scores, from which we can see that the chances of being admitted if you are black and with a high GPA is 90%+ That’s what I was referring to. If you take a non-black premed and a black premed with the equal GPAs and MCAT scores, who will get accepted faster?

As a person who has applied to the U.S., this is not new nor is it a secret in US MD schools. Some even state it on their website, that they are specifically encouraging and looking for underrepresented minorities. I don't think this is bad thing - at the end of the day, they have the community in mind when choosing applicants. 

Bigger picture in my humble opinion: as long as students make it on the other end of medical school, it doesn't matter what GPA or MCAT they had coming in. They will be great doctors regardless. 

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