Quick hit: Men, Medicine, and Meritocracy vs Affirmative Action
It was those very numbers that made me start to look at the breakdown of the applicant pool, in terms of the ratio of male to female, and the discovery of what was, I think, an over-emphasis on grade point average.
Normally we hear words like this when we’re talking about low female enrollment, but in the case of medicine, it seems that meritocracy is failing the men.
The Globe and Mail article asks, “Is affirmative action for men the answer to enrolment woes?” and the article talks about how they’ve broadened the selection criteria so the focus is less on marks so that more men meet the cutoff.
Some other choice quotes:
[Some] universities across [Canada] have been tinkering with admissions to boost the number of men in medical school – looking beyond marks to give male applicants, in particular, credit for things like community service.
While women apply to medical school in record numbers – and make up nearly 60 per cent of students admitted – men still stand a better chance of being accepted in every province but three, according to data from the entering class of 2007. They were Alberta, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.
The notion of a stealth policy of affirmative action for men is not new. It first surfaced south of the border in 2006. That year, the dean of Kenyon College wrote an op-ed in The New York Times lamenting that she had to pass over “glorious stacks of girls” in favour of less qualified boys in order to keep some semblance of a gender balance at the school. She said the trend is widespread in postsecondary schools in order to keep themselves marketable.
Dr. Cappon says it’s an image issue here too: “If it looks like a woman’s program, you’ll have trouble attracting both men and women.”
What do you think of stealth affirmative action? I’ve definitely had many a bitter male student rant that it’s happening for women in CS, but to be completely honest it’s largely been the less successful students who wouldn’t have made the grade anyhow and just wanted a scapegoat. However, this is the first I’ve heard a public admission of universities doing this sort of thing and I’m curious now if it’s been done for other faculties for any other groups other than men in medicine.