Jaycie Dalson, shown in this recent handout image, will be attending the University of Toronto's medical school starting in August through its Black student application program but says Canada needs more medical professionals of colour to reflect the country's diverse population.

Jaycie Dalson’s path to medical school started with her wondering if she even belonged there.

As a biomedical sciences freshman in Ottawa, she saw a photo of a class at a prestigious graduate program she dreamed of attending. In the sea of smiling faces, only one resembled hers.

“Out of 270 students to have one Black student, it’s not good,” Dalson, now 21, said of a class at the University of Toronto.

But she applied to the medical school anyway through the Black Student Application Program and was accepted for the fall class along with 25 other Black students, the highest number since the optional stream was introduced in 2017.

While the academic requirements are the same as for the regular stream at the medical school, the program uses Black reviewers and interviewers to vet the applicants’ achievements and a 250-word essays specific to the program, a spokeswoman for the faculty said.

Two other medical schools, from a total of 17 across the country, have collaborated to initiate an admissions process specifically for Black students starting this year — the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary.

Dr. Remo Panaccione, director of undergraduate admissions at the Cumming School of Medicine in Calgary, said the inclusion of application reviewers who are Black or people of colour is aimed at preventing any “conscious or unconscious bias.”

“Introducing this process is just one step, really, in the right direction as part of our commitment to anti-racism and equity,” Panaccione said, adding applications must be submitted by Oct. 1 for the first cohort of students who apply through the Black Applicant Admissions Process.

Improving patient outcomes

Having more Black doctors is a plus for Black patients as well, he said.

“Research suggests that a lack of Black physicians has really resulted in Black patients suffering from a poor quality of care and poorer …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Music

      

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