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Black Senior At Top University Claps Back At Top Medical School After Triggering Email

Why is this important? Representation & Inclusion. That's why. *note: the student currently attends the University of Michigan which is NOT the Medical school responded to

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In 1978, there were 1,410 black male applicants to medical school, compared with 1,337 in 2014. For matriculants, there were 542 in 1978, compared with 515 in 2014.

36 years pass and no improvement in black representation in medicine. Representation is important, inclusion is key.

This is the email received.

Dear [blank],

I am sorry to hear that you are not able to attend this weekend. I understand that emergencies can happen, but if that is not the case in this situation, then I must tell you that I am very disappointed by your decision to not attend. Hosting 150 visitors for two days is no small task, and requires an enormous amount of resources and planning, and a team of people. For many students, this weekend is a precious opportunity to help in making an important life decision and had you told us earler, it would have been possible for us to invite someone else to come. Now your spot will go unfilled because it is not reasonable for someone to make last minute travel arrangements.

As you begin your education in medicine, please be mindful that it will become increasingly important to honor your commitments and to behave with professionalism and conscientiousness.

Sincerely, [blank]



Dear [blank], I hope this e-mail finds you well. After reflecting on your previous message, I wanted to convey my sincerest thoughts and demonstrate the impact that it had over the past few days. Although I tried my best to assume the best intentions behind it, your message of disapproval and disappointment in my late cancellation of your Second Look Weekend had a different impact. I would like to address this impact in hopes that students like me will not have to experience this similar feeling upon notification of their unforeseen circumstances.

First, I would like to thank you for addressing that you understand that emergency situations do occur. In addition to this, however, the statement that followed led me to believe that an assumption was made that I cancelled due to irresponsibility. Although my cancellation was due to a family emergency, I felt as if my character was called into question because of this. Fortunately, it was not the case that a more serious family matter occurred but the assumption was blind to the challenges that I am faced with in my personal life.

Next, I would like to address my sentiments considering the identities in which we carry. As a minority student, specifically a Black student, more than often, my intelligence, character, and professionalism are called into question. Experiencing these microaggressions is not something I can run away from, so I constantly have to make it my priority to do all I can to prove my value and ethics to individuals, specifically esteemed professionals, who may stereotype me otherwise. As mentioned, I tried my best to assume the best intentions behind your message; however, for your email to trigger these emotions experienced by microaggressive behaviors, shocked me. Since you are the Dean, your message has honestly made me feel the utmost of indescribable regret for handling a situation the most professional way I could.

To conclude, I have withdrawn my acceptance to the [medical institution] for this reason and many others. Through this e-mail, I simply want to bring attention to the power that our words have and the identities in which we all carry. Thank you for your time and enjoy the rest of your day.

Sincerely, [blank]

Moral of the story

Don't be afraid to speak up.

People at all levels of medical administration need to be aware of the stereotypes and micro-aggressions that underrepresented minority students face and take these into consideration. Promoting diversity and inclusion is not just something to put on your mission statement but should be obvious in the daily interactions and communications with all students.

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