Our Commitment to Addressing Discrimination & Bias

With the tragic and unnecessary deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other people of color, important conversations are happening throughout the nation, including at MCAT Self Prep. We wish to echo the AAMC’s determination to “harnessing all of our resources to catalyze meaningful and lasting solutions. We can no longer be bystanders. We must not be silent. But while our solidarity is necessary, it is not sufficient. Together, and in partnership with the communities we serve, we must work together to heal our nation.”  

Many of you may be familiar with the Zimbardo study from your content review. This study conducted at Stanford clearly showed how any human is capable of discrimination or violent acts when placed in an environment of unchecked authority. You may also be familiar with implicit bias tests that expose how we as a society harbor bias, regardless of our conscious actions. We recommend taking the time to see implicit bias in action by taking Harvard’s Implicit Bias Test. It takes sustained effort from all of us to correct these implicit biases as well as systemic injustice. We know there is work to do, in the premedical community and throughout the nation, for us to better come together to address these issues. We remain committed to doing our part to combat the systemic biases present in the world.

In recent years, research has made important advances in explicitly documenting racial discrimination and bias in employment [1], in the criminal justice system [2], in identifying policing and criminal justice reforms [3], in the long-lasting impacts of slavery [4], in racially targeted violence [5], in school segregation [6], and in limited voting rights [7]. Even over the past three months, the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the racial health inequities harming our black communities [8], exposing the structures, systems, and policies that create social and economic conditions that lead to health disparities, poor health outcomes, and lower life expectancy. 

At MCAT Self Prep, we are painfully well aware that the medical profession, like many others, has had its own problems of discrimination and bias [9]. As a company, we want to express our commitment to work both in our private lives and as educators to valuing diverse perspectives and life experiences and to helping our students develop the tools to critically engage with our challenging world.

Our philosophy has always been to make MCAT prep affordable for all students regardless of financial situation or  race. If you’ve wanted access to our Deluxe Pro Plan or another Pro Plan, but haven’t been able to afford it due to circumstances outside your control, simply reach out to Andrew, and he will provide you with a custom discount to fit your unique budget. We will do everything we can to support you in your MCAT journey regardless of your financial circumstances or race. 

Warm regards,

The MCAT Self Prep Team


1. Evidence on discrimination in employment  Neumark, D. (2018). Experimental research on labor market discrimination. Journal of Economic Literature56(3), 799-866 is a fantastic overview of the research in this area. Summary:  “We have learned that for most groups for which nonexperimental data on wages is consistent with labor market discrimination, much of the experimental research provides confirming evidence of hiring discrimination. This is most evident with respect to race and ethnicity, perhaps because there is so much more evidence.”

2. Evidence of racial bias in criminal justice  For racial profiling, see Antonovics, K., & Knight, B. G. (2009). A new look at racial profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department. The Review of Economics and Statistics91(1), 163-177.  and Horrace, W. C., & Rohlin, S. M. (2016). How dark is dark? Bright lights, big city, racial profiling. Review of Economics and Statistics98(2), 226-232.  For bias in sentencing see Rehavi, M. M., & Starr, S. B. (2014). Racial disparity in federal criminal sentences. Journal of Political Economy122(6), 1320-1354. And Alesina, A., & La Ferrara, E. (2014). A test of racial bias in capital sentencing. American Economic Review104(11), 3397-3433. For bias in bail decisions see Arnold, D., Dobbie, W., & Yang, C. S. (2018). Racial bias in bail decisions. The Quarterly Journal of Economics133(4), 1885-1932.

3. Evidence on criminal justice reforms. Dr. Jennifer Doleac has a great podcast about rigorous evaluations of criminal justice reforms.  Here is a recent thread where she posted a series of high caliber research studies on police reforms:  https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1267112352010420227.html

4. Evidence on long-run effects of slavery   Miller, Melinda C. ““The Righteous and Reasonable Ambition to Become a Landholder”: Land and Racial Inequality in the Postbellum South.” Review of Economics and Statistics 102.2 (2020): 381-394. And  Sacerdote, B. (2005). Slavery and the intergenerational transmission of human capital. Review of Economics and Statistics87(2), 217-234

5. Evidence on long-run effects of lynching and racially targeted violence. See Cook, L. D. (2014). Violence and economic activity: evidence from African American patents, 1870–1940. Journal of Economic Growth19(2), 221-257.  This is a new working paper on how historical lynchings before 1930 affect black voter registration rates today.

6. Evidence on school segregation. Terrific overview in Rivkin, S., & Welch, F. (2006). Has school desegregation improved academic and economic outcomes for blacks?. Handbook of the Economics of Education2, 1019-1049.  The negative impacts of more recent re-segregation of schools is discussed in Billings, S. B., Deming, D. J., & Rockoff, J. (2014). School segregation, educational attainment, and crime: Evidence from the end of busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Quarterly Journal of Economics129(1), 435-476.

7. Effects of voting rights limitationsCascio, E. U., & Washington, E. (2014). Valuing the vote: The redistribution of voting rights and state funds following the voting rights act of 1965. The Quarterly Journal of Economics129(1), 379-433. and Naidu, S. (2012). Suffrage, schooling, and sorting in the post-bellum US South (No. w18129). National Bureau of Economic Research.  

8. Hospitalization and Mortality among Black Patients and White Patients with Covid. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa2011686

9. Evidence on racial bias in medicine. Maternal mortality rates are 2-4 times higher for black mothers when controlled for all other variables. https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb243-Severe-Maternal-Morbidity-Delivery-Trends-Disparities.jsp. Black/African American patients are 22% less likely to receive pain medication. https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/13/2/150/1935962

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