UC Davis applies UC Davis research to create unsuccessful physicians

Econ nerds at University of California, Davis did a huge study across hundreds of years of history and came to the conclusion that success was heritable, just as intelligence and conscientiousness tend to be genetically determined (see “The heritability of conscientiousness facets and their relationship to IQ and academic achievement”). I summarized this research in the following blog posts:

How is UC Davis applying its own research? “With End of Affirmative Action, a Push for a New Tool: Adversity Scores” (New York Times, July 2):

The scale rates every applicant from zero to 99, taking into account their life circumstances, such as family income and parental education. Admissions decisions are based on that score, combined with the usual portfolio of grades, test scores, recommendations, essays and interviews.

In other words, if your parents were unsuccessful, UC Davis wants you as a medical student!

The NYT article actually confirms the UC Davis economists’ conclusions:

There is also a family dynamic. Children of doctors are 24 times more likely to become doctors than their peers, according to the American Medical Association. It’s hard to know why the profession passes down from generation to generation, but the statistic drove the association to adopt a policy opposing legacy preferences in admissions.

The tendencies to enjoy sitting in biology lectures, studying for tests, and slicing up cadavers are “passed down from generation to generation” but the Followers of Science at the New York Times can’t come up with an explanatory mechanism.

Separately, let’s have a look at UC Davis’s most famous recent pre-med major, Carlos Dominguez. KCRA:

Dominguez came to the U.S. near Galveston, Texas in 2009 from El Salvador.

A U.S. and Immigration and Customs Enforcement official confirmed to KCRA 3 that ICE has placed a detainer with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, which means the agency would take custody of Dominguez should he be released from local custody.

Detainers are requests to state or local law enforcement agencies to remove non-citizens arrested for criminal activity once they have been released from their custody.

The ICE official referred to Dominguez as Carlos Alejandro Reales-Dominguez and said his immigration case had been closed in April 2012. He had come to the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor from El Salvador in 2009 near Galveston, Texas, and was transferred to a family member at the time.

Mr. Dominguez thus will qualify for preferential admission to UC Davis Medical School due to the adversities of (1) being an undocumented immigrant, and (2) having an encounter with our racist criminal justice system.

The good news for folks who actually live in Davis, California, is that their health is guaranteed to be excellent because the town is rich in (“essential”) marijuana:

12 thoughts on “UC Davis applies UC Davis research to create unsuccessful physicians

  1. Had a classmate go to Davis & become a wealthy doctor despite coming from a privileged family. Meanwhile, the lion kingdom became a blog commenter despite being descended from the rich.

  2. The heritability of IQ and the effect of IQ on success in our society is the big nut that can’t be discussed and certainly can’t be swallowed because doing so would obviate the welfare state and all of the jobs that go with it — there is nothing you can do, redistribute wealth if you want. Though notwithstanding the very worthwhile The Son Also Rises it seems common sense. When was the last time you saw high IQ parents with a low IQ child or a really smart natural child with low IQ (stupid, not uneducated) parents? How often do you see adopted children who are low IQ compared with natural siblings or their parents? Then throw into the mix children born of marriages where one parent is high IQ and the other low, like when a doctor or engineer marries a pole dancer. The kids can go either way, no? In the US we often muck up the argument with my father was a janitor and I am an engineering professor at MIT but I would bet that the father was probably high IQ but uneducated for whatever reason.

    • From talking to supporters of the welfare state, I can tell you that swallowing the nut you mention would in no way reduce the need for a welfare state in their minds. If anything, it would increase it. The now burdened with less capability to succeed would need more, and for longer term, support to live decently, and to overcome the pain of knowing they are not expected to succeed. Redistribution wouldn’t be needed, as today’s fig leaf states, to give everyone a chance to succeed, but to give everyone a decent life.

  3. IQ may be heritable, and I have no ideological objections, but the methods used in this book continue to surprise me.

    Clark tracked Swedish nobility and people with latinized names (i.e., the upper class) some centuries back and still sees them doing better now in terms of social status.

    A lot seems to be about social competence and not IQ. This includes having strong family cohesion, nepotism and appetite for dominance.

    Hunter Biden was “doing well” at Burisma and I suspect Navy Joan would do better with that surname as well.

  4. Doctors’ children know about loopholes not widely known to the general public in the strict limits their guild, the AMA, puts on med school places to keep prices high. Things like going to med schools in the Caribbean if your grades are not good enough (or you are too Asian) for a U.S. one.

  5. What do they call the guy who finished dead last in his class in medical school?



  6. It’s not about IQ, it’s about discipline, persistence, and responsibility.

    If a parent doesn’t discipline their kids, their kids will not know right from wrong and thus not care.

    If a parent doesn’t show persistence toward their kids, their kids will not learn about time management and thus not care.

    If a parent doesn’t show responsibility toward their kids, their kids will blame others for their failure and thus not care.

    This is why once in a while you see the kids of a no-name janitor raising doctors [1]. This is also why once in a while you see the kid of well know person [2] becoming a junker.

    [1] https://www.nytimes.com/1977/06/20/archives/a-janitor-who-dreamed-that-his-daughters-would-be-doctors.html
    [2] https://time.com/5952773/hunter-biden-memoir-beautiful-things/

  7. This dumb-down of medical education is happening here in backwards, racist Alabama, too.

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