The charge made at a recent meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges that Jewish students find it difficult to gain admittance to medical colleges because of prejudice and discrimination, was denied by three City College professors, at least one of whom is Jewish, who declared the accusations unfair. The three professors disputing the charges of anti-Jewish discrimination in the medical schools are Prof. Axel Melander, Prof. Abraham Goldfarb, and Prof. George G. Scott, all of the biology department.
Denying that prejudice was responsible for the small number of Jewish students from City College admitted to medical schools, Dr. Melander, head of the biology department, laid the blame on the overcrowding in the medical schools. He pointed out that it is a matter of supply and demand, and the present facilities of the medical schools are inadequate to admit all who apply. “The fact that a smaller percentage of students is admitted to medical schools from City College than from such places as Yale and Harvard may be due to the reason that this college is a free institution and that the students are poor and are liable to be unkempt. The personality of the student, not so much his scholarship, is taken into account in deciding on his qualifications. What patients look for in a doctor is impressive personality added to physical charm.”
Dr. Goldfarb, who has been active for many years on committees for admission to medical schools, gave his statement in the form of a parable, as follows:
“The lions each year destroyed more and more sheep. At last the sheep called a meeting. There was much oratory and invective. After consulting with the bearded elders, it was unanimously resolved:
“1. That the lions were behaving undemocratically.
“2. That their behavior was inimical to the best interests of society.
“3. That their conduct was hurtful to the sheep and ultimately to the lions themselves.
“Having so resolved and transmitted such resolutions to each member of the fraternity of lions, the problem was considered solved.”
Professor Scott declared:
“I think that the argument that Jewish students are often excluded from medical schools merely because they are Jews is overstated. Many students are rejected by the medical schools every year, and the majority of these are not Jewish.
“However, in my opinion, the solution of the question will be found in the establishment of a medical school in New York by some wealthy Jews New York can stand another medical school, and this would certainly relieve the pressure on aspirants for the medical profession.”