When I began my studies at the University of Utah in 1970,
I had no idea it would be as arduous a task as it proved to be.
From my background growing up and being educated in New York
City, I thought I would be prepared for the academic rigors of
medical school. However, I was not entirely prepared for the
special obstacles confronted by Third World students added to
the cultural barriers which face all students in their transformation
from civilians to physicians.
This work evolved from my desire to distill from my personal
experiances broader lessons to assist those students who would
follow me in professional schools. Data and conclusions reached
were obtained from friends at the University of Utah and other
medical schools, both Third World and non-colored.
I hope that this work will find its' way into the hands of
school faculty and administrators in order to sensitize them to
the exceptional situations which often burden even the brightest
and best of their Third World students. Those students must come
to be seen not as "darker complected white students" nor as necessarily
"disadvantaged". A better perspective is that those students are
confronted with their own culturally defined blend of psychological
conflicts and expectations for which the mainstream educational
process has not evolved appropriate coping mechanisms.
On the other hand, I hope that Third World students can use
this work to illuminate beforehand areas of potential conflicts
in their expectations of themselves versus the expectations of
their instructors.