The Ivy Coach Daily

November 14, 2022

Medical School Legacy Admission

Inside Higher Ed features an op-ed calling for an end to legacy admission at America’s medical schools.

From atop our soapbox in elite college admission, we have long called for an end to the practice of legacy admission. Legacy admission, the act of offering preferential treatment in admissions decision-making to the progeny of a school’s alumni-base is an anachronistic practice more befitting an aristocracy than our proud American meritocracy. But much of our focus over the years has been targeted to end legacy admission at the undergraduate level. Today, we wish to draw attention to the fact that many graduate schools, including many medical schools, also practice legacy admission — and it’s high time for this to end.

As Christoph Baker writes in an op-ed for Inside Higher Ed entitled “Excise Legacy Admissions,” “While the ills of legacy admissions have been well recognized in the undergraduate sphere, they have failed to be appreciated in medical school admissions. Of the nation’s top 100 universities, 75 have been known to use legacy admissions. While readers may believe that they are only used in undergraduate admissions, medical schools are equally if not more culpable. Even medical schools such as Johns Hopkins, which famously eliminated legacy admissions in 2014 [sic], continue to ask applicants if they have relatives who attended or are employed by the School of Medicine. They state that this information is not used to determine interviews or acceptances. Nevertheless, concerns remain about the use of this information, who has access to it and the message it sends to applicants.”

We echo Mr. Baker’s sentiments. Hey hey, ho ho, legacy admission has got to go — not just at the undergraduate level but at the graduate level as well and especially to America’s medical schools. Our nation’s future batches of physicians should be a diverse and highly qualified group to take on the world’s medical problems as their own. No medical school applicant should have an edge in the admissions process — an edge to become a doctor — because their mom or dad happened to go to the institution. Not in 2022.

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