Module 3.3 – Canadian Medical Schools and “Affirmative Action”

Affirmative Action is a buzzword in the United States.  US Universities and Colleges frequently use applicant demographics to select students for admission, including increasing the percentages of ethnicity diverse students admitted, sometimes with slightly lower scores than other applicants. The intent of such a program is to increase minority representation at institutions of higher learning and to, ideally, decrease negative outcomes experienced more frequently by minority groups, primarily underemployment and poverty.

McGill University’s medical school is an example of such a policy put in place in Canada.  I know that at UBC we have created a distributed medical program which puts our students into clerkships in smaller communities across the province in the hopes that they pull put down roots in these more disparate regions and thus help to resolve a doctor shortage.  I’d hope that in addition to admitting more Indigenous students that universities are making more efforts to have, for example, Inuit doctors train in Inuit communities with the resources that are available there.

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