September 1, 2022

U Penn Med School Eases Admissions for Certain Minorities

By infantilizing its medical school admissions standards, the University of Pennsylvania puts future patients at greater risk.

When we think of the toughest pathways to a particular profession, it’s hard to beat medical school, right?

Right. Med school is excruciatingly hard. And for good reason. These medical school graduates will become physicians, and they’ll thus be tasked with nothing less than the health and well-being of their fellow man. Talk about a tall order.

Medical school isn’t for everyone, and it shouldn’t be. The stakes are simply too high. That’s why the MCAT exists — to weed out right up front everyone who doesn’t have the intellectual firepower to succeed. The Medical College Admissions Test is a nearly eight-hour exam that assesses one’s aptitude in the physical and biological sciences, verbal reasoning, and writing skills, and it’s required when applying for most medical schools, according to Princeton Review.

Put simply, the MCAT gauges whether you’ll be able to hack it in medical school. And yet at the University of Pennsylvania, which is home to one of the nation’s premier medical schools, they’re doing away with the MCAT. But not for everyone. Only for certain “underrepresented” people. What we have here, then, is the infantilization of medical school standards.

As The Daily Caller reports: “Minority students are exempt from taking the [MCAT] when applying for Penn’s medical school if they participate in a summer research program, according to a press release. The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine partnered with five historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to offer a summer research program for ‘underrepresented’ groups.”

And so, just when you thought that physician of color — the one who just now entered the delivery room to help your wife give birth to your child — earned her MD just like everyone else, here come those Ivy League wokesters to cast doubt on that proposition and to diminish everyone involved.

Because nothing says “great medicine” like lower standards for medical school admissions.

It could be worse, we suppose. For example, they could be teaching critical race theory as part of their academic curriculum. Next thing we know, they’ll be relaxing the standards for flight schools and airline pilots. Or counting by race when it comes to hiring pilots. Because, hey, nothing says “airline safety” like lower standards for airline pilots.

Earlier this week, we covered a New York Times opinion piece by John McWhorter, himself a black man and a linguistics professor at Columbia University. In it, McWhorter took to task the Association of Social Work Boards, which now apparently believes that the test it administers for the licensure of social workers must be racist.

Why does the ASWB believe its test is racist? Because a petition says it is, “based on the claim that the association’s clinical exam is biased because from 2018 to 2021 84 percent of white test-takers passed it the first time while only 45 percent of Black test-takers and 65 percent of Latino test-takers did.”

McWhorter takes apart this fallacious charge piece by piece, and he concludes with this: “Insisting simply that it is racist, and therefore, constructively, immoral, to subject Black and Latino social workers to standardized test questions is itself a kind of immorality. It’s a squeak away from arguing that Black and Latino people just aren’t very quick on the uptake or can’t think outside of the box. What kind of antiracism is that?”

He’s right, of course. Just like the University of Pennsylvania is wrong to assume that aspiring black doctors need dumbed-down standards in order to succeed. That belief, in and of itself, is the most pernicious form of racism.


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