Affirmative action doesn’t hurt white medical school applicants

first_imgFirst OpinionAffirmative action doesn’t hurt white medical school applicants About the Author Reprints Adobe [email protected] The assumption that minority applicants are “stealing seats” in medical schools bothered me. So I put it to the test. Using publicly available data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), I compared the odds of getting into medical school between 2013 and 2016 for white applicants and black applicants with the same MCAT scores and GPAs. (At the time, the top score on the MCAT was 45. The scoring system has since changed, and the top score is now 528.) Some of those who contend that affirmative action is what kept them out of medical school argue that some low-scoring black applicants are in the med school seats they should have gotten. I did the math to see how likely that is.Figure 4 shows that it’s far more likely a white applicant “stole a spot” than a black applicant. For a white applicant with a 31 MCAT score and a 3.7 GPA, for every black applicant who scored lower and was accepted there are, on average, 4.11 white students who also scored lower and were accepted.It’s only low-scoring white applicants (less than a 26 on the MCAT and a GPA less than 3.2) who are more likely to have “their” seats offered to black students than to white students. Yet at that end of the statistical spectrum, the chance of getting into medical school is less than 5 percent for both whites and blacks. But look at the average number of low-scoring black students accepted each year (132) and the total number of white applicants accepted each year (26,420). The chance that a low-scoring white medical school applicant will “lose” a spot to a low-scoring black applicant is 0.5 percent. How unlikely is that? It’s even less likely as the applicant dying in a car accident.White applicants with low scores should realize that their MCAT scores and GPAs are holding them back far more than their black colleagues.These analyses didn’t surprise me. When I interviewed at 11 medical schools last year, I saw no more than 10 black applicants among the 100-plus applicants I met. How could such a small group — blacks make up 9 percent of medical school applicants — be usurping so many white applicants medical school seats? The answer is that they aren’t.My message to those who whine that minority students took their spots in medical school: Think about the five other white applicants who got in with the same statistics as each minority student. Then notice the amazing minority students who did cutting-edge research and incredible volunteer work just like you. Notice the obstacles that many of them have faced every day because of the color of their skin yet have excelled as students and as people in and out of the classroom. Think about how many more amazing doctors we could have if we had equality of opportunity earlier in the educational system.Increasing the number of blacks and other minority students in medical schools can change the trajectory of the medical field for the better. And it isn’t costing white applicants a thing.Spencer Dunleavy is a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. He will begin medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in the fall of 2019. Newsletters Sign up for First Opinion A weekly digest of our opinion column, with insight from industry experts. Related: With role models, can minority students change medicine’s racial imbalance? Please enter a valid email address. As shown in Figure 1, at nearly every comparison, black applicants were, on average, preferentially admitted to medical school over their academically similar white peers. For example, a black applicant with an MCAT score of 31 (the median for all individuals accepted to medical school) and a GPA of 3.7 (the median for all individuals accepted to medical school) had, on average, a 30.7 percent higher chance of getting into medical school than a white applicant with a similar MCAT score and GPA.I can almost hear the anti-affirmative-action readers saying, “I told you so. Why should we be giving such a massive boost to black applicants?”In addition to righting the decades-long structural and historical factors that have limited opportunities for black students to enroll in medical school, there are many benefits to having diversity in the medical profession. A diverse physician population encourages innovation, promotes cultural competence to reduce health disparities, and shows minority youths that there are places for them in science and medicine. And physicians of color help society at large, not just minority communities.But convincing readers that affirmative action is important and necessary isn’t my goal. I want to demonstrate how little affirmative action hurts white applicants, how few medical school spots black applicants get, and who is most likely to lose a spot to a black applicant with lower scores.To start, realize that today there are only about seven black medical students in a class of 100. Affirmative action opponents somehow seem to think those seven take more spots from qualified white applicants than the other 93 white applicants do.center_img I compared only white and black applicants because underrepresentation in medicine is most clearly defined for these two groups. However, it is likely that the results would also apply to other underrepresented minorities.advertisement Spencer Dunleavy By Spencer Dunleavy Jan. 9, 2018 Reprints Privacy Policy Related: Experts discuss how to improve diversity in medicine Six in 10 medical school applicants end up with nothing more than a pile of rejection letters after pouring their hearts and souls into studying, volunteering, researching, and more. A few understand that their quest was a long shot. Many others start looking for reasons why they didn’t get in. Was it low test scores? Not enough volunteer time? Or was affirmative action the culprit?Lively — and often bitter — threads on studentdoctor.net and Reddit condemn the use of affirmative action in medical school applications, usually with claims that black or Hispanic students got in while white students, with the same or higher scores, were rejected. Despite the social, capital, and educational advantages of growing up white, these gripers seem to believe that the world has suddenly flipped and being white is holding them back.Many look past the importance of hard-to-quantify factors for getting into medical school like research, volunteering, recommendations, essays, and interviews and instead fixate on how minority applicants have lower scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and lower grade point averages (GPAs).advertisement Leave this field empty if you’re human: Let’s set the acceptance rate of black and white applicants equal to each other. If 63 percent of white applicants with a 31 MCAT score and 3.7 GPA are accepted, then 63 percent of black applicants with the same stats are accepted. This essentially takes away the advantages seen in Figure 1. By holding black applicants to the “same standards” as white applicants, we would expect about 750 fewer black applicants accepted to medical school each year, effectively halving the number of blacks who get into medical school.Now let’s give all of those 750 spots to white applicants. (Of course, that’s not what would happen in the real world.) Figure 2 shows the outcome: Those who get the biggest bump in their odds of getting into medical school are the ones who are already most likely to get into medical school — applicants with high MCAT scores and GPAs. Those who have little to gain are already on the edge of not getting in anyway. By opening up 750 medical school seats to white applicants, those with a 26 on the MCAT and a 3.6 GPA probably still aren’t getting in.Reducing the number of black applicants admitted to medical school by 750 and giving all those seats to white applicants would increase the acceptance rate of white applicants from 45.15 percent to 47.97 percent, a 2.82 percent increase. But as I learned from my analyses, that small increase is negligible when compared to the impact of increasing MCAT scores on applicants’ chances of admission. Though I do not show the analysis for GPA here, small increases in a white applicant’s GPA (maybe getting a B+ instead of a B in one class) improves his or her chances much more than reducing the number of accepted black applicants.As shown in Figure 3, an increase of one to three points on the MCAT score does more to improve a white applicant’s odds of getting into medical school than would eliminating affirmative action. With a median 3.7 GPA, going from a 29 on the MCAT to a 32 increases the odds of getting into medical school by 17.38 percent — far more than the “equal acceptance” scenario posed above.From the perspective of the AAMC, though such an increase in the MCAT score is relatively meaningless. A 3-point higher score on the MCAT could mean answering correctly just three more of the 230 questions, perhaps getting 75 percent of the questions right instead of 73 percent. Given that some guesswork is involved, and that applicants would likely get slightly different scores if they took the test multiple times, the AAMC reports MCAT scores with a 4-point range. If an applicant scores a 29 on the MCAT, the AAMC reports that his or her true MCAT score is somewhere between 27 and 31. In other words, a white applicant with a 3.7 GPA and 29 MCAT who correctly guesses the answer to one more question, simply by chance, is better off than if we “level the playing field” by holding black applicants to the same score-based admission standard. Tags affirmative actioneducationphysicianslast_img read more

Two Dead, Two Critical After Los Angeles Auto Shop Fire

first_imgLOS ANGELES – Investigators combed through the debris of an East Los Angeles auto shop searching for clues to the cause of a fire that left two people dead and two with critical burns, fire officials said.Firefighters dispatched shortly after 6:30 a.m. Monday found flames and smoke pouring from the industrial building, fire spokesman Devin Gales said.Firefighters were not immediately summoned to fight the blaze by people at the site, fire Capt. Jaime Moore said.“When this fire initially broke out, they tried to extinguish the fire using a garden hose and they delayed the 911 response because of their activities,” Moore said.He did not say who made that decision.Firefighters had to stay outside the building and surround it to prevent the blaze from spreading, Gales said. It took 124 firefighters more than an hour to douse the blaze.The cause was under investigation.Two bodies were found inside the building. Two other men were in critical condition.A 61-year-old man who may have been sleeping in the building had first- and second-degree burns over 40 percent of his body, Gales said. A second man had burns on about 20 percent of his body.The blaze left scorched vehicles and singed metal sidings. Signage on the building read Gamez Auto Center and offered tires, radiators, mufflers, glass and other auto repair.last_img read more

October 1, 2016 On the Move

first_img On the Move Ellie S. Einhorn, Julian L. Rudolph, Christopher J. Perini, Alberto Luis Ramos Zorrilla, Ricardo A. Gomez, Mauricio J. Vaca, and Brittany L. Fayne have joined Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod, Kantor focusing on premises liability and commercial transportation defense. Vaca and Fayne will work in the West Palm Beach office and the rest will practice in Miami. Rahul P. Ranadive has joined Carlton Fields as of counsel in Miami in the international and business transactions practice groups. Audrey Schechter has opened the Law Offices of Audrey Hildes Schechter, P.A., in Largo focsuing on health-care fraud litigation, government fraud litigation, whistleblower, and False Claims Act cases. Katrina M. Sosa has joined Haber Slade in Miami as an associate focusing on complex business law and litigation, condominium association law, and construction law. George T. Levesque has joined GrayRobinson in Tallahassee as of counsel. Angela R. Morrison has resumed her solo practice, Morrison Environmental Law in Tallahassee, focusing on land use, environmental policy, permitting, and compliance matters on behalf of industry and utilities. David I. Spector of Miami was elected by a partnership vote to succeed Andrew M. Smulian as Akerman’s chair and CEO. Spector will serve a three-year term that begins February 1, 2018. Spector co-chairs the firm’s fraud and recovery practice group. Jesse E. Graham, Jr., has launched Graham Legal Group PLLC, in Orlando. He is joined by his father, Jesse E. Graham, Sr. The firm serves commercial real estate owners, developers, lenders, and other industry-related businesses in buying, selling, leasing, and financing retail, residential, office, and mixed-use projects. Ian M. Comisky has joined Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia as a partner focusing on civil and criminal tax litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and complex corporate and commercial litigation. Jason Lambert has joined Broad and Cassel in Tampa as an associate in the commercial litigation practice group. Nurelys Pereiro and Ernesto Perez have joined The Law Office of Rier Jordan, P.A., in Miami. Pereiro, in addition to handling both family and criminal cases, is bringing a new bankruptcy department to the firm. Perez focuses on criminal defense work. Thornton “Brad” Henry has joined Barner & Barner in Palm Beach Gardens focusing on estate, trust, and guardianship litigation. Beth-Anne Thye Sexton has joined Rocuant Law Firm in Estero as a partner, which will now be known as Rocuant & Sexton. Sexton focuses on marital and family law. Daniel A. Krawiec has been promoted to partner with Hinshaw & Culbertson in Ft. Lauderdale. He represents public and private companies in labor and employment matters. He also handles risk management. Grace Gutierrez has joined Cummings & Lockwood in Bonita Springs as counsel in the private clients group. Mark R. Klym has been named the managing partner of Hahn Loeser & Parks’ Naples office. Klym focuses on estate planning and probate and trust litigation. Alejandro J. Fernandez, Gregory L. Hillyer, Joseph R. Sozzani, Stephen J. Leahu, and Evi T. Katsantonis have joined Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, an intellectual property firm. Fernandez and Hillyer join as partners and the rest as associates. Fernandez, Sozzani, Leahu, and Katsantonis will work in the firm’s new office in Tampa, while Hillyer will practice in Washington, D.C. William Shepherd has become the executive partner of Holland & Knight’s West Palm Beach office, overseeing the day-to-day management, while continuing his white-collar and complex commercial litigation practice. Frank L. Eaton has joined Linda Leali, P.A., in Miami focusing on bankruptcy and restructuring matters. Michael A. Flegiel has joined Bennett Legal Group, P.A., as an associate practicing in the areas of construction and business litigation. Cyndy Trimmer has joined Driver McAfee Peek & Hawthorne in Jacksonville as an associate focusing on real estate law, retail leasing and commercial real estate transactions, and land use and zoning law. Tania Galloni of Miami is the new managing attorney for the Florida office of Earthjustice. October 1, 2016 On the Move October 1, 2016 On the Movelast_img read more