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Does anyone ever get an interview/acceptance with a wGPA in the low 3.8s?


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Yup, i already acknowledged that these numbers are higher than average. You'll get no push back from me when it comes to this; I personally wouldn't feel comfortable if I felt I only got into med school 'because I was black' (i think URM systems in the states are much more unfair and counterproductive in this way) which is why my multiple offers were a relief to me honestly. It would be inaccurate to say no advantage exists with BSAP. I even caught a non-black student posing as black (he confessed to me) during my interview weekend because it's known that the odds are better.  I think things to keep in mind are:

1) there's no quota or formal decrease in the thresholds/cutoffs

2) this is exclusive to Toronto in the interest of serving the community properly

3) coursework and matching are still just as hard, so it would be a bad look if the admitted students didn't have what it took to be successful physicians

aside from that, i agree that equity programs should be limited and heavily scrutinized to ensure fairness for all! :)

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All these posts speaking against BSAP and other forms of "affirmative action" and we have yet to see a single factual piece of statistics to prove that favoring black applicants or other applicants fr

To be honest, it's not really clear to me that a person with a 3.9 will automatically be a better physician than someone with a 3.7 anyway.  I get that that feels really unfair when you're the person

Sorry for the late reply, I've been away from this forum for a bit. Thank you so much for the book recommendation, it seems very intriguing and it being from a Canadian perspective I think will help m

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11 minutes ago, supadupafly said:

Yup, i already acknowledged that these numbers are higher than average. You'll get no push back from me when it comes to this; I personally wouldn't feel comfortable if I felt I only got into med school 'because I was black' (i think URM systems in the states are much more unfair and counterproductive in this way) which is why my multiple offers were a relief to me honestly. It would be inaccurate to say no advantage exists with BSAP. I even caught a non-black student posing as black (he confessed to me) during my interview weekend because it's known that the odds are better.  I think things to keep in mind are:

1) there's no quota or formal decrease in the thresholds/cutoffs

2) this is exclusive to Toronto in the interest of serving the community properly

3) coursework and matching are still just as hard, so it would be a bad look if the admitted students didn't have what it took to be successful physicians

aside from that, i agree that equity programs should be limited and heavily scrutinized to ensure fairness for all! :)

I agree! The mentality that a certain applicant only got in because they were X certainly exists, and it is horrible and it undermines the accomplishments of said applicant. If I were to have any reservations about this program, it'd be because of the small number of people who pose or "pretend" to be a certain group just to gain a statistical advantage in the admissions process. 

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6 minutes ago, mcgillmdbd said:

I agree! The mentality that a certain applicant only got in because they were X certainly exists, and it is horrible and it undermines the accomplishments of said applicant. If I were to have any reservations about this program, it'd be because of the small number of people who pose or "pretend" to be a certain group just to gain a statistical advantage in the admissions process. 

Hear, hear. Although I'd like to think these streams do more good then harm, and it's very problematic to try to interrogate people on their ethnic heritage when they choose to apply through these streams LOL. There's always that one student who's like 1/16th Algonquian and applies to every indigenous stream and scholarship under the sun and scoops them all with zero shame. All we can do is not be those people

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11 hours ago, supadupafly said:

Yup, i already acknowledged that these numbers are higher than average. You'll get no push back from me when it comes to this; I personally wouldn't feel comfortable if I felt I only got into med school 'because I was black' (i think URM systems in the states are much more unfair and counterproductive in this way) which is why my multiple offers were a relief to me honestly. It would be inaccurate to say no advantage exists with BSAP. I even caught a non-black student posing as black (he confessed to me) during my interview weekend because it's known that the odds are better.  I think things to keep in mind are:

1) there's no quota or formal decrease in the thresholds/cutoffs

2) this is exclusive to Toronto in the interest of serving the community properly

3) coursework and matching are still just as hard, so it would be a bad look if the admitted students didn't have what it took to be successful physicians

aside from that, i agree that equity programs should be limited and heavily scrutinized to ensure fairness for all! :)

Agree :) 

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On 5/13/2020 at 9:05 PM, rcmp1234 said:

Was responsible for admissions at UofT previously (resident now) and the only ones who were accepted with low GPAs (lower than 3.9) are graduate applicants. For undergraduate students its next to impossible, though if you are black, there is a separate Black diversity program at UofT that doesn't take GPA into account, so you can get in with GPA in the 3.6, 3.7 or 3.8s.

This statement is so incredibly inflammatory and can only be nothing more than a troll trying to target a group of applicants. When applying through BSAP you need to meet every single requirement that any other student needs to meet (GPA/MCAT/Essays/ABS). The only difference is that during the file review and interview process you are reviewed and interviewed by people who understand and respect cultural nuances that may have been a part of your experience. I challenge you to find any successful BSAP applicant with a GPA of 3.6-low 3.8 like you mentioned. This is disgusting. I pray for your future black patients. 

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8 hours ago, FingersCrossedPls said:

This statement is so incredibly inflammatory and can only be nothing more than a troll trying to target a group of applicants. When applying through BSAP you need to meet every single requirement that any other student needs to meet (GPA/MCAT/Essays/ABS). The only difference is that during the file review and interview process you are reviewed and interviewed by people who understand and respect cultural nuances that may have been a part of your experience. I challenge you to find any successful BSAP applicant with a GPA of 3.6-low 3.8 like you mentioned. This is disgusting. I pray for your future black patients. 

Not sure why you find my comments inflammatory. Like I said I was involved in admissions, were you? The BSAP applicants need to meet the min requirements to get an interview (min gpa is low to mid 3s, hence why I said they are accepted with 3.6-3.8) and are evaluated on a separate stream as other applicants. You can’t reap the benefits of a diversity program then turn around and deny the advantages of said program. There’s no reason for me to be biased, like I said, I’ve been done medical school for years now, so there’s absolutely no benefit for me to be biased or to skew facts from my experience as part of the admissions committee. Anyways, I was merely answering the poster’s question regarding if it’s possible to get into UofT med with gpa in low 3.8s or below so I’ll leave it at that, not planning on getting into a dispute on a forum. Have a good day.

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15 hours ago, rcmp1234 said:

Not sure why you find my comments inflammatory. Like I said I was involved in admissions, were you? The BSAP applicants need to meet the min requirements to get an interview (min gpa is low to mid 3s, hence why I said they are accepted with 3.6-3.8) and are evaluated on a separate stream as other applicants. You can’t reap the benefits of a diversity program then turn around and deny the advantages of said program. There’s no reason for me to be biased, like I said, I’ve been done medical school for years now, so there’s absolutely no benefit for me to be biased or to skew facts from my experience as part of the admissions committee. Anyways, I was merely answering the poster’s question regarding if it’s possible to get into UofT med with gpa in low 3.8s or below so I’ll leave it at that, not planning on getting into a dispute on a forum. Have a good day.

You're absolutely right, there is no need to get into a dispute on a forum. Your experience on admissions is exactly that; your experience. Its not exactly what you said, but how you said it. Consider how what you can say can minimize the experience of another group (almost exactly why BSAP was created in the first place). 

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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.   

 

 

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1 hour ago, uwopremed said:

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.   

 

 

Although I understand what you're saying, and this is an imperfect solution to a real problem, these kinds of comments make me as a POC really uneasy. Especially at this time it is important to think about how your intentions/sentiments can come across when talking about issues of representation

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To be honest, it's not really clear to me that a person with a 3.9 will automatically be a better physician than someone with a 3.7 anyway.  I get that that feels really unfair when you're the person with the 3.9 that you've worked your ass off to get, thinking about not being chosen over someone with a 3.7, and I also think there's some truth to the idea that a 3.9 and a 3.7 aren't that different.  For one thing, GPA isn't exactly impervious to manipulation.  I got into medical school with a 3.8 - I was a double major and my GPA in one of my majors was about 3.95 and in the other was about 3.7.  I worked equally hard on both.  Just by choosing a different degree to do, I could have finished my bachelor's degree with either a 3.7 or a 3.95 GPA - and I would still be the same equally smart person working equally hard.

It seems to me that there are two aspects to it:

1) Black applicants (even those who are privileged in other ways, e.g. by way of gender or socioeconomic status) face systemic barriers to academic success such that actually, a lower GPA does not represent less intelligence or less suitability for a career in medicine but rather the impact of systemic marginalization and racism.  Therefore from an equity versus equality standpoint, accepting a lower GPA makes sense and is not actually indicative of accepting someone less qualified.  I hear what you're saying that different people experience different levels of marginalization due to other intersecting identities, and I still think that the role of systemic racism is important even in people who are privileged in other areas.  Also, while I do need to educate myself more on this to be able to speak about it knowledgeably, I have read some arguments that the degree and type of marginalization faced by Black people differs from other POC, partly due to the legacy of slavery in North America, and therefore requires particular consideration, and that made sense to me.  That said, of course working on appropriate inclusion of folks from other marginalized communities is also very important.

2) Increasing the number of Black physicians serves the Canadian public on a number of important levels, and Black physicians have unique contributions to make to the medical system that should also be considered in the admissions process, not only as some sort of "justification" for lower GPA but as an important qualification in and of itself.  I would imagine that the essay and interview component of BSAP would serve to clarify this further.

I think the murder of George Floyd in the US has made it very clear that systemic racism needs to be addressed with systemic solutions.  As a white physician I absolutely want to educate myself and work on myself to be able to provide the best care possible to my Black patients, and at the same time I also think that having more Black physicians is extremely important on both macro and micro levels.

 

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2 hours ago, uwopremed said:

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.   

 

 

There is a fair amount of bitterness and falsehoods in this post, but I will only address two. I am not sure where this idea that "all of the students who get in through BSAP must have a lower GPA than the other non-BSAP students" comes from. As one of the 24 new med students, I can assure you my cGPA (and other BSAP student's GPAs) is a 3.9+. 

Second: That photo that is circulating is a photo of the amazing Black Medical Student Association members who run the BMSA at UofT and foster an amazing community of support. You can join BMSA regardless of race/ethnicity presentation. That being said, despite what sort of box you seem to want to squeeze black people into as a ticket for their "easy" ride to medical school: Black is diverse and bold and beautiful. Light skin black people exist and are valid. Dark skin black people exist and are valid. Every shade of black comes with its own struggles, and they are certainly not evenly distributed, but we do share culture and knowledge that is lacking in the medical field. You my friend are a great example of that deficit. If you were not admitted to medical school this year, I would urge you to do some introspection as these sorts of feelings can show themselves in ways you may not understand, and could be negatively affecting your success. If you are in medical school or are a working physician, please consider how your clearly subconscious prejudice might be affecting your patients. 

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As someone who is a strong advocate for the #BLM movement, and a POC myself, I somewhat understand the sentiments of @uwopremed, although theirs did sound a little bitter and negative, ngl ;) . As someone that's worked with immigrant families and black/non-black POCs, one large trend I've noticed is that yet another barrier to representation is family income. the BSAP program at UofT is fundamentally  a force for good to increase representation by understanding the discrimination and disadvantages many black Canadians face.

BUT, my experiences have led me to understand that black students/families aren't the ONLY individuals facing disadvantages. Plenty of black individuals that get into medical school come from wealthier families, and the poorer black communities benefit very little from this. Overall, I really do appreciate that some schools such as Western and Ottawa have noticed the large role of income as a barrier to obtaining a medical education and hope that UofT sees that barriers and lack of underrepresentation aside from race also exist to create a more diverse class.

But once again, this is all based on my anecdotal experiences. Right now, we should focus on the BLM movement as this issue continues to persist in society, but I do hope that in the future we can extend this discussion and use this movement to shed light into other disadvantages and discrimination individuals face (Culture, disabilities, wealth, etc..) 

 

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1 hour ago, RaptorsFan123 said:

As someone who is a strong advocate for the #BLM movement, and a POC myself, I somewhat understand the sentiments of @uwopremed, although theirs did sound a little bitter and negative, ngl ;) . As someone that's worked with immigrant families and black/non-black POCs, one large trend I've noticed is that yet another barrier to representation is family income. the BSAP program at UofT is fundamentally  a force for good to increase representation by understanding the discrimination and disadvantages many black Canadians face.

BUT, my experiences have led me to understand that black students/families aren't the ONLY individuals facing disadvantages. Plenty of black individuals that get into medical school come from wealthier families, and the poorer black communities benefit very little from this. Overall, I really do appreciate that some schools such as Western and Ottawa have noticed the large role of income as a barrier to obtaining a medical education and hope that UofT sees that barriers and lack of underrepresentation aside from race also exist to create a more diverse class.

But once again, this is all based on my anecdotal experiences. Right now, we should focus on the BLM movement as this issue continues to persist in society, but I do hope that in the future we can extend this discussion and use this movement to shed light into other disadvantages and discrimination individuals face (Culture, disabilities, wealth, etc..) 

 

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.

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2 hours ago, ellorie said:

 

I think the murder of George Floyd in the US has made it very clear that systemic racism needs to be addressed with systemic solutions.  As a white physician I absolutely want to educate myself and work on myself to be able to provide the best care possible to my Black patients, and at the same time I also think that having more Black physicians is extremely important on both macro and micro levels.

 

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'.  

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39 minutes ago, uwopremed said:

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?

 

Please forgive me if I sound ignorant about this but I feel that this is a fair point. I 100% agree that the systematic racism against POC in the United States is a huge culturally ingrained issue that must be addressed there. The African-Americans/Black Americans in the States have been subject to hundreds of years of racism manifested in all sorts of traumatic ways like slavery and segregation, and continues to today (as we have seen from the recent police brutality cases). Hence, it's completely understandable why equity measures must be in place today to ensure such African-American families are given a fair chance at education.

However, it seems to me that Black Canadians have not had such a history. The population which has had such a history in Canada and thus is significantly disadvantaged is the Indigenous population. It's therefore completely understandable that measures are taken at every Canadian school to ensure Indigenous applicants are fairly represented. Given that Black Canadians have not really experienced systematic racism in Canada (to my knowledge), it doesn't make much sense to me why there should be equity programs for Black Canadians as well. Once again, I truly apologize if I sound uninformed on this matter; I am only commenting this because I would like to hear from others who may be more informed and to understand what perspectives I could be missing. 

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11 hours ago, uwopremed said:

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 root issues being systemic racism? The education system should most definitely be improved. From what I understand, in the US (maybe here too?) schools are funded by the taxes of the district. With higher proportions of African Americans in poorer areas this leads to less education funding and often a poorer quality of education for AAs. This is only one factor that may affect how many go on to higher education and would require much more work to change than it takes to implement a quota. Not to mention the lack of connections and free time for unpaid activities that are so crucial to the application. But beyond the many factors of the systemic side of racism, there are the general biases that people hold against minorities which the BSAP attempts to factor out. If we agree that all races are inherently equally capable of becoming good doctors, why are certain groups consistently underrepresented in medical classes? 

I think the BSAP is one of the best solutions at the university level. Rather than lowering the requirements (which may be harmful to the individuals it aims to help) the focus is on having reviewers/ interviewers of the same race who are more likely to understand the applicant's background and minimize bias. White applicants are statistically likely to be afforded this courtesy through the regular application stream. I also think I read an article on the program that said applications had increased after its introduction which is great. The only stated benefit of the program is to directly remove bias and encourage applications. Neither of these things should offend anybody.

Also, I am a 2nd gen Canadian on my black side. My ancestors were slaves. Black people have had to pull themselves up from bad situations in many countries, not just the US. The individuals who imposed said situations, in most cases, also formed the foundations of those countries. Systemic racism (towards blacks) is not just an American problem although I would think it is worse there it is very present in Canada.

And all this "white minority" stuff is interesting. What exactly are whites "on their way out" of? The positions of majority/ power they've held historically off the backs of minorities? White people will most assuredly be able to find a doctor who understands "white culture", white doctors are available pretty much everywhere and barring that, almost all of us grew up in this culture. Please understand the word minority has more weight that a mathematical term, there is an implication of power imbalances as well as historical context. Changing demographics is not particularly amazing, but the result of clear trends in immigration, birth rates etc. Maybe a little more amazing is that we now have the opportunity to learn about so many different cultures and their perspectives on healthcare and the challenges they face.

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6 hours ago, uwopremed said:

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'.  

I mean, I could also have quoted other examples or gone for Canadian ones - I just named one that happened to be a US one because it's been so in public consciousness lately and has caused so much unrest.  It's been a recognizeable and horrifying flash point for a lot of larger issues that yes, have been going on for some time and are also issues in Canada.  But way to go for the personal attack - you actually have no idea how many data points I'm using to draw my own personal conclusions or when that process might have started for me - so I'm not actually sure why you felt the need to take it to a personal level or bring my credentials as a physician into it.  That was frankly unnecessary.

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8 hours ago, kiara said:

 

Please forgive me if I sound ignorant about this but I feel that this is a fair point. I 100% agree that the systematic racism against POC in the United States is a huge culturally ingrained issue that must be addressed there. The African-Americans/Black Americans in the States have been subject to hundreds of years of racism manifested in all sorts of traumatic ways like slavery and segregation, and continues to today (as we have seen from the recent police brutality cases). Hence, it's completely understandable why equity measures must be in place today to ensure such African-American families are given a fair chance at education.

However, it seems to me that Black Canadians have not had such a history. The population which has had such a history in Canada and thus is significantly disadvantaged is the Indigenous population. It's therefore completely understandable that measures are taken at every Canadian school to ensure Indigenous applicants are fairly represented. Given that Black Canadians have not really experienced systematic racism in Canada (to my knowledge), it doesn't make much sense to me why there should be equity programs for Black Canadians as well. Once again, I truly apologize if I sound uninformed on this matter; I am only commenting this because I would like to hear from others who may be more informed and to understand what perspectives I could be missing. 

I don’t know enough to give a whole history lecture on this topic but from microagressions to full on systemic racism almost every non-white group has faced the backlash of racist ideology on which many countries were built; Canada included. However, I would like to point out that Black people are still HUGELY underrepresented in medicine! This discussion surrounding whether or not Black people in Canada have been oppressed enough to deserve having a system in place to ensure that they can treat their own community is so strange to me. I’m not sure what the people on this thread (presumably white or non-black) would have liked to have happened to Black people in order for Black people to warrant this program, but I also probably don’t want to know. If any other ethnicity/race becomes significantly underrepresented I would truly hope they would do the same for them. It’s very clear on the website that there is no quota, so they must admit the candidates who they deem as a quality applicant through the program, and thus admitting more black students doesn’t suggest that seats are being taken away from more-qualified non-black students, but perhaps that this year there was many amazing black students. 
 

As a side note: white people have been getting advantages in STEM for a very long time (connections to the field, non-discriminatory questions during interviews, no subconscious prejudice) and the fact that BSAP and ISAP have been created to help lower these barriers is incredible. Unfortunately, many people (certainly not implying you because you seemed very respectful in your post) will always be upset to see black people win for once.

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13 hours ago, uwopremed said:

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.   

 

 

BSAP was started because a Black UofT med student noticed the lack of Black representation in her class and began advocating for changes to be made (https://www.flare.com/identity/black-physicians-in-canada/). If any other ethnic groups feel they are under-represented in medicine I really hope that they feel comfortable enough pushing for changes like this to be made as well. I know that a Filipino Association of Medical students was founded at UofT last year to address the underrepresentation of Filipinos in Medicine which is awesome. U of T also founded the Community of Support which is specifically for Filipino, disabled, and economically disadvantaged students in addition to Black and Indigenous people (https://applymd.utoronto.ca/community-support). They offer so many useful resources and definitely do not bar anyone that is not Black or Indigenous from joining! 

Also, UofT's standards have not been lowered for Black students lol. I know so many Black med students at UofT that received multiple offers from other schools...this would not be the case if they had a 3.6/7 GPA and 50th percentile MCAT. They also state explicitly on their website that cut offs are not any different from the regular stream. 

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53 minutes ago, mcatty said:

BSAP was started because a Black UofT med student noticed the lack of Black representation in her class and began advocating for changes to be made (https://www.flare.com/identity/black-physicians-in-canada/). If any other ethnic groups feel they are under-represented in medicine I really hope that they feel comfortable enough pushing for changes like this to be made as well. I know that a Filipino Association of Medical students was founded at UofT last year to address the underrepresentation of Filipinos in Medicine which is awesome. U of T also founded the Community of Support which is specifically for Filipino, disabled, and economically disadvantaged students in addition to Black and Indigenous people (https://applymd.utoronto.ca/community-support). They offer so many useful resources and definitely do not bar anyone that is not Black or Indigenous from joining! 

Also, UofT's standards have not been lowered for Black students lol. I know so many Black med students at UofT that received multiple offers from other schools...this would not be the case if they had a 3.6/7 GPA and 50th percentile MCAT. They also state explicitly on their website that cut offs are not any different from the regular stream. 

I definitely see the need for the BSAP program as there is a great need for more Black physicians. However, I think it's a bit disingenuous to state that the standards for GPA is the same for those applying through the BSAP compared to those that are not. One of my buddies applying through the BSAP this year who is 1 of the 24 incoming student has a weighted GPA above 3.7 but below 3.8. This is unheard of for non-BSAP applicants in the recent years.  

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33 minutes ago, OddSensation said:

I definitely see the need for the BSAP program as there is a great need for more Black physicians. However, I think it's a bit disingenuous to state that the standards for GPA is the same for those applying through the BSAP compared to those that are not. One of my buddies applying through the BSAP this year who is 1 of the 24 incoming student has a weighted GPA above 3.7 but below 3.8. This is unheard of for non-BSAP applicants in the recent years.  

 

12 hours ago, FingersCrossedPls said:

There is a fair amount of bitterness and falsehoods in this post, but I will only address two. I am not sure where this idea that "all of the students who get in through BSAP must have a lower GPA than the other non-BSAP students" comes from. As one of the 24 new med students, I can assure you my cGPA (and other BSAP student's GPAs) is a 3.9+. 

Second: That photo that is circulating is a photo of the amazing Black Medical Student Association members who run the BMSA at UofT and foster an amazing community of support. You can join BMSA regardless of race/ethnicity presentation. That being said, despite what sort of box you seem to want to squeeze black people into as a ticket for their "easy" ride to medical school: Black is diverse and bold and beautiful. Light skin black people exist and are valid. Dark skin black people exist and are valid. Every shade of black comes with its own struggles, and they are certainly not evenly distributed, but we do share culture and knowledge that is lacking in the medical field. You my friend are a great example of that deficit. If you were not admitted to medical school this year, I would urge you to do some introspection as these sorts of feelings can show themselves in ways you may not understand, and could be negatively affecting your success. If you are in medical school or are a working physician, please consider how your clearly subconscious prejudice might be affecting your patients. 

I also know someone who applied through BSAP and got into U of T med with a GPA of 3.6-3.7 this coming year. Very great guy and would make an excellent doctor. For me personally, I don't have anything against the BSAP.

However, I would think its not fair to the rest of the applicant to say that the GPA requirement is just as high as non-BSAP applicants. It's about honest and transparent and not about denial. I personally don't think there's much different in terms of intellect between an individual with 3.6, 3.7, 3.8,3.9+ GPA. Anyone with such high GPA would make an excellent doctor! There's a lot of factors that also matter like personality. I think these are a lot more important than GPA.

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I'm not involved enough in the process to know what the average GPA would have been for BSAP versus non-BSAP.

I think it's just easy to use GPA to fuel the narrative that "less qualified" Black applicants are being accepted over "more qualified" white (or in some cases non-Black POC) applicants.  I'm not saying that's what you think at all - I think that that's the danger of fixating on the GPA issue in general, that that's how it shapes the broader narrative about programs like BSAP.

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On 6/8/2020 at 1:12 PM, Neutral1234 said:

 

I also know someone who applied through BSAP and got into U of T med with a GPA of 3.6-3.7 this coming year. Very great guy and would make an excellent doctor. For me personally, I don't have anything against the BSAP.

However, I would think its not fair to the rest of the applicant to say that the GPA requirement is just as high as non-BSAP applicants. It's about honest and transparent and not about denial. I personally don't think there's much different in terms of intellect between an individual with 3.6, 3.7, 3.8,3.9+ GPA. Anyone with such high GPA would make an excellent doctor! There's a lot of factors that also matter like personality. I think these are a lot more important than GPA.

I personally know three individuals who applied through BSAP who were rejected pre-interview...all had below 3.9 wGPA. This is why I took issue with the original post I responded to who was acting as if all BSAP applicants that are accepted have 3.6/7 GPAs, which is definitely not true lol. 

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31 minutes ago, Neutral1234 said:

 

I also know someone who applied through BSAP and got into U of T med with a GPA of 3.6-3.7 this coming year. Very great guy and would make an excellent doctor. For me personally, I don't have anything against the BSAP.

However, I would think its not fair to the rest of the applicant to say that the GPA requirement is just as high as non-BSAP applicants. It's about honest and transparent and not about denial. I personally don't think there's much different in terms of intellect between an individual with 3.6, 3.7, 3.8,3.9+ GPA. Anyone with such high GPA would make an excellent doctor! There's a lot of factors that also matter like personality. I think these are a lot more important than GPA.

I agree as well. I just wanted to make it clear that the notion that all the BSAP applicants have low GPAs is false, and many BSAP students receive offers from multiple schools as a result of having great GPAs, ECs, Essays etc. I also believe that GPA does not have have a great deal to do with being a good doctor. As for the GPA “requirements” (ie. an actual competitive/ average successful gpa and not the 3.6 cut off for all applicants) being lower for BSAP students: that claim is still unfounded since UofT does not release these stats. If they are ever released and it does prove to be the case then I am absolutely willing to accept that. That being said, I’m sure there are several non-BSAP students with GPAs in the 3.7-3.8 region as well. 

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