Originally Posted by Iwillheal
It's just that I work in a medical setting and I'm just tired of certain people thinking people go into psychology because they can't get into medicine. I was accepted into a program that had a 8% acceptance rate. The associated medical school here accepts 15% of applicants. That does not mean, of course, that psychology students are more brilliant. But I usually make reference to it whenever I hear someone says, Oh, you failed organic chem? Well, I guess you could always go for a PhD in clinical psych.
A better retort might be, "Oh, so your research failed, huh? Maybe you should go to medical school."
Acceptance rate data is fairly hard to interpret. The barrier to APPLYING to psychology grad school is pretty small. Basically, take the GRE, and you're qualified to submit an application. That of course won't be a successful application, but it still winds up in the denominator at some places. Plenty of psychology applicants don't really understand how unqualified they are for a ph.d. program, or they are applying for a less competitive psy.d program, and "what the heck, I might as well sent an application to these fancy places too."
However, just to apply to medical school, you have to complete all those pre-requisites and take the MCAT, which unlike the GRE, you can't really just decide to take and go take it. If you impulsively decide you want to go to medical school, it will take you 1-2 years of science classes and then studying for the exam. Compare that it to the LSAT, which you can decide to take in April and take the exam in August and do well on it.
So, as whopper said wisely, the problem is that we're comparing apples to airplanes. The sort of skills that will make you successful in these programs are fairly different, the applicant pools and processes are very different, and the things you do to prepare are very different.
I went to college with plenty of people who I thought were idiots who went to medical school, and some of them wound up doing quite well. I knew a few folks from my psychology minor who wound up going to psychology ph.d. programs (accredited, decent ones), and I also thought some of them were pretty dumb, but they weren't any dumber than some of the idiots that still got into medical school. So it's not all that valuable to talk about what the bare minimum is for entry into these fields, because at the margin, there are some total morons who get in, and there are some pretty smart people who for some reason struggle to get in.
We wouldn't compare which specialty was better at shooting blindfolded half-court shots, and sometimes I don't think that would be any worse a selection process than we have now.