Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Questions raised about quota system at UAMS Med School

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 6:15 AM

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Ryan Saylor at The City Wire reports on an evolving discussion about the legislatively imposed quota system on admissions to the University of Arkansas College of Medicine — 27 entries each year from each of the four congressional districts. Applications — and qualifications — range dramatically, from 58 applicants in the 4th District to 117 in the 2nd in the most recent batch.

When the admissions process produces a ranked list of all applicants for the class of 174 (150 must be from Arkansas),  some cuts can be made in some districts if other districts fail to hit the 27 mark.

Richard Wheeler of UAMS described the process:

Once the interviews are completed, the committee members review each applicant’s complete application file and give them a ranking of one to seven.

“Then we simply take those, add them up and divide by 15, and then we come up with an average score of (all) students. Students are put into one organic rank list. Then we go through where we would cut if (we were to admit last year’s class size of) just 174. Then we have to go up and count to make sure we have 27 people from each district. Almost always we don’t, so in that case we have to go down lower and displace some people who were in district two with people who were lower on the admissions committee’s list to get at least 27 from each district. We do sometimes displace people from the bottom of the list who would have otherwise been admitted,” Wheeler said.

This is an open secret, by the way. Several years ago, I told a friend from another state having difficulties getting admitted to med school to move to Pine Bluff and work there long enough to establish residency, then apply to med school. 

At least one legislator promises to delve into the geographic quota system. If it were a racial quota system they'd be calling for a special legislative session.

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