Stanford’s Pre-Med Diversity Program Is Back

PALO ALTO (KCBS) – Stanford has revived a program aimed at increasing the number of minority students seeking admission to its medical school. That number had essentially fallen flat over the last 20 years.

The program was shut down three years ago because of a lack of federal funding. The program was recently reinstated after the university received a $3 million federal grant.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

The funding would allow Stanford to make a series of connections with California State University and community college students around the Bay Area.

“We believe that by giving them information early in their career it will help guide them and prepare them for the health professions,” explained Ronald Garcia, PhD, assistant dean for minority affairs at Stanford University School of Medicine.

“You can look at the last 20 years in terms of medicine and it’s been a flat line, you know, almost 10%, 12% something like that for all these years. So programs like this are just really key in terms of contributing to that diversity.”

He described a sense of shock when he studied the numbers.

“We’re talking about 150, 160 Native Americans in the entire country going into medicine.”

He hoped that the newly revived program would help clarify the application process for minorities.

“I don’t believe that applying to medical school is a very intuitive process at all. There’s a lot of steps that you need to take to put your portfolio together and so I’d like to sort of think of what I do is demystifying that process early and in a timely fashion.”

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  • Max Kiang, San Jose, CA

    I am not a fan of affirmative action, especially when the school admits less qualified students, and let them struggle through the class works and exams.

    And I am also concerned about the flat admission rate of med schools throughout the years. That while U.S. population grows moderately, but the number of students admitted to med school did not grow as much. Actually, it’s basically stays flat (see data). That seems only to serve the purpose of protecting the existing doctors, and preventing future competition.
    If we really want to improve/maintain the quality of doctors, it’s not enough just to put a very high standard at the entrance gate. But there should be ways to openly evaluate performance and allow the bad doctors to change professions.

  • Tony

    Max Kiang,

    How in the world do you interpret this program as being affirmative action? In fact, it sounds more like the school is simply enhancing its outreach and recruitment efforts more than anything. In other words, they are starting a dialog with a community that might not normally hear the message Your comments allude to a narrow and perhaps bigoted mind set considering that you automatically equate minority applicants with poor performance. Let’s see how you feel about that being done to you. The etymology of your name taken together with your poor syntax might lead me to the generalization that you are foreign, perhaps of Asian descent. Therefore, whether you know it or not, you would be considered a minority. Is any of that true, and, if so, are you less qualified to enter Stanford based solely on your socioeconomic status.

    I think your patently ridiculous “competition” conspiracy theory isn’t even remotely worth addressing. However, I also couldn’t help but to notice your faulty appraisal, qualification and conclusion with respect to the data (or lack thereof) concerning the growth of the US population and admission rates to medical school. As you state it, I’m not sure that one even has anything to do with the other, but I’m quite sure that you have no idea of what you’re talking about anyway.

    So, based on your statements, I can conclude that either you are an unqualified minority who can’t intelligently interpret this article or you just don’t understand English well enough adequately interpret the article and communicate your thoughts on it. I’m inclined to believe that it is a nice mixture of the two. If any of what I have said is offensive or untrue, I apologize…ignorant generalizations can sting quite a bit can’t they…

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