Sunday, January 01, 2012

GWU student tells me affirmative action for medical school admissions is alive and all too well, everywhere

I try to report the news that I personally encounter, and last night, riding home from the bars on New Years Eve, I met a George Washington University student, of Vietnamese ancestry, who said he was applying to medical school (an MD-PhD program), wanted to become an oncologist. He also said to have increasing difficulty being admitted because he was Asian.  He said that Asians and Whites are lumped together, because university medical schools have to maintain certain quotas of black and Hispanic students and have lowered admission standards for those groups, particularly on the West Coast. He said that technically reverse discrimination was illegal at public schools but everyone did it.

I haven’t kept up with the Affirmative Action issues.  The issue, in sum, remains ambiguous and deceptive. There has been a decade-long battle in Michigan, summarized here in a July 1, 2011 article in the New York Times, with some important Supreme Court decisions around 2003 and again recently. Everyone remembers the 1978 Bakke case (and some people called Bakke a “jerk”).   I recall a conversation with a retail book store owner in Richmond VA in 1997 when I was placing my book there, as to how much he supported Affirmative Action.  I also remember some angry emails on AOL while living in Minneapolis when a debate erupted about the Michigan cases then, with someone saying "You don't realize we don't all start in the same place in line".  Some co-workers chuckled at these when I showed them in the office.  

I don’t know how accurate this GWU student’s comments are, but they seem to come from the “real world”.
Some months ago, I noticed on the Metro some GWU students wearing a “National Day of Service” T-shirt.

GOP candidate Ron Paul is an MD, actually served as a flight surgeon. That's interesting. 

Last Picture: Corocoran Hall at GWU, 21st and G in Washington, where the dreaded Organic Chemistry is taught, or at least was in the 1960s.  

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