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Are we non-trads expected to have stellar post grad experience(s) be4 we apply?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by toff4l, 04.15.11.

  1. toff4l

    toff4l

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    As non-trads do adcoms expect us to have EC's and experiences that are superior to our traditional counterparts?

    In other words, as older applicants, are they expecting much more out of us?
  2. Helen Wheels

    Helen Wheels

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    I think so. I mean, we have been around longer and have had more adult years. I suspect you need to have done something worthwhile during those years to be accepted and that adcoms scrutinze how you have spent your time. And even though you are a nontrad you are still expected to have clinical, leadership, and volunteering experiences. In some cases, you can get a lot of this from your job as a nontrad.

    In some respects I think nontrads, esp older ones, have to prove themselves a little more than trad applicants. Some people view accepting a nontrad as giving an older person with fewer working years as a physician a coveted seat in medical school.
  3. n3xa

    n3xa "the anchor"

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    Define "superior." I turn any opportunity that comes my way into a positive learning experience, give it 110%, and am good to people. And people are good to me back. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    As I'm thumbing through my personal statement and secondary essays, I think making your case as to why medicine/medical school is even more important as a non-trad.
  4. Torr

    Torr Never Forget Tupac

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    Not really. You're expected to have fulfilled the minimal requirements (done well) and have exposed yourself to clinical settings, proven to yourself, and to an adcom, that you're ready and know what you're getting yourself into. That's basically what everyone needs to do.

    Many non-trads had drastically different careers (business,law etc) before becoming pre-med. They've only got about 2 years to get all their pre-reqs done with and throw in enough clinical EC's. These guys definitely aren't expected to have more experience than a traditional pre-med that potentially had a full 4 years of medically relevant EC's.

    IMO non trads have had a slight advantage because they've taken on more responsibilities (in many cases) started a family, lived more life and I think this shows during interviews and creates a more unique story for your PS.

    If there was one thing I might expect from non-trads it would be maturity....I'm constantly proven wrong but part of me still expects it.
  5. toff4l

    toff4l

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    This is good advice.

    What I meant by superior is that do adcoms expect us to have mission trips, weekend volunteer service, EC leadership roles, and things of that nature beyond our 9-5 and family life?

    When you are a traditional undergrad, hopefully you won't have too much responsibility and you will have all the time in the world to bulk up your resume' but in the non-trads case, time is not on your side as you are usually trying to become qualified within several years.

    I understand maturity is on our side and we are probably in a better position to answer the "Why Medicine?" question but I don't know if we need to show "stellar" experiences to validate that point.
  6. Torr

    Torr Never Forget Tupac

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    Well the application process is competitive. If you want to give yourself the best chances you should take advantage of every EC opporutunity,internship,research position that you can.

    No one is going to cut us any slack because we have more family/financial responsibilities than traditional students.

    I believe what you're asking is are non-trads held to a higher standard, to which I say no. The answer is that you need to be at least EQUALLY qualified. You dont have to be significantly MORE stellar than the average, traditional matriculant.
  7. mauberley

    mauberley radiating prestige

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    I would say no, based only on my own application. I certainly do not have mission trips on my activities list and I only really started volunteering in earnest the year of my application (although I have a few activities outside of work, they weren't clinical as this volunteering was/is).

    Everyone's paths to medicine are different and don't necessarily include "stellar" activities. If you can present a cogent narrative on how you arrived at this career decision that is appropriate for your background (age, maturity, life experience to date), you're fine.

    HOWEVER, I do think adcoms may expect us to type in proper English ("before," not "be4"). ;)
  8. toff4l

    toff4l

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    Good advice, BTW, I had to type be4 because "before" would not fit in the title.
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm going to go against the grain here a bit and suggest that nontrads will have higher expectations on them. If you are going to make a career change and uproot your life you had better have done things that enable you to be better thought out than the typical traditional student, who may have gone to med school because they ran out of premed requirements. Being a 20 year old who "always" wanted to be a doctor is a very different analysis than being a 35 year old who is giving up his accounting career and uprooting his wife and kids to start something new. So the 20 year old might be able to get away with a modest minimum amount of shadowing and be able to say this is what I want my career to be. But if the cliff you are jumping off of is as big as a career changer, you had better have scoped out the landing point a lot more thoroughly.

    Additionally, a lot of nontrads bring value to a med school class because they have diverse experiences. So if you don't have these, a program looking to put together a diverse class may well move on to the next nontrad who does.

    So yeah, I think the nontrad who gets into med school (1) has very clearly thought out his decision in objective ways such as significant shadowing/volunteering, and (2) brings something unique and interesting to the table, like prior work experience, degrees, etc. I don't think mission trips are what you need -- there are plenty of sick people in the US, and a field hospital in some third world nation is about as far from knowing what you are getting yourself into as you can get.
  10. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks

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    I'm with Law2Doc here. I don't know if adcoms think like I do, but I know that if I were an adcom, I would expect a 35 year old to have a few significant accomplishments in life.

    It seems to me that non-trads can be divided into 2 classes. Those who have been successful in their lives and are moving into medicine for the sake of accomplishing more, and those who have accomplished nothing and think that medicine will finally get them some respect. I, personally, hope the second group do not become doctors.

    I'm not talking about anyone who regularly posts in this forum (even those that I conflict with) since the regular posters here are normally high-energy people.
  11. gonnif

    gonnif Director, OldPreMeds.org Lifetime Donor

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    I will have to concur with Law2Doc but I would frame a bit differently. Applying to medical school should be a coherent, concise, and compelling narrative, showing a strong pattern of motivation, commitment, and achievement. (note: I use the term narrative as both telling the story and the components that make the story up such as classes and MCAT). As previous posters have said, being older, with richer life experiences, often means atypical paths to medicine, including career changes. So showing that strong pattern of motivation, commitment, and achievement becomes more complex than a typical recent young college grad. In addition to being a coherent and compelling narrative, it needs to show a highly competitive a candidate against all other students.

    So the question is not do you have to be exceptional per se but rather as an older/nontraditional student what can do have that can make you shine, standout, be competitive? Obviously going above and beyond academically is one way (as I tell students, Rule 6: the MCAT is your Friend). Another is the depth and richness in all aspects your life. So you can't expect that having two kids, a job, and the normal things of life to cut you any slack. But integrate that into the narrative of how you took classes, got a 3.7 GPA, a 31 on the MCAT, volunteered while taking care of two kids, working a high level job, going to the PTA, and coaching you son's little league, etc.

    BTW, if any of my writing above is incoherent it is before coffee!
    Last edited: 04.16.11
  12. toff4l

    toff4l

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    I disagree on your assessment of non-trads. There is also a third group that simply matures late.
    Last edited: 04.16.11
  13. mauberley

    mauberley radiating prestige

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    I concur with gonnif, who expounded much more on what I wanted to say in the single sentence I composed. Certainly as a non-trad, you won't be measured using the same yardstick as those coming straight out of or recently departed from undergrad; the stick will be longer by virtue of your added years. That's what I hoped to convey by saying "appropriate for your age, maturity, and life experiences." I also hoped to capture toff4l's statement that yes, a few may mature late, in that sentence. One might say the statement was too vague to be helpful, but it's about as accurate as I can get away with given my experience with the application process.
  14. toff4l

    toff4l

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    I want to add one more thing. How do you view a non-trad who just finished their undergrad and pre-req's.

    I other words, I will finish my degree and pre-req's at 30. I didn't like most people at 22 and then decide that medicine was for me.

    I had lots of health issues and I can complete my degree now. Am I still a non-trad?
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    For purposes of this board you are a nontrad (Q did a FAQ sticky on this page which explains that it's a very encompassing group). For purposes of med schools, the term nontrad usually just means someone who is older than 25ish.
  16. toff4l

    toff4l

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    I was wondering if they will just bunch me in with the 22 year olds because I will actually be graduating with them. Even though I am graduating at 30, will they look at my life from 22-30 and take that into consideration?
  17. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    When putting together a diverse group, if age is one of the things schools consider a diversifying factor than no, you won't be put in with the 22 year olds.

    However I think folks on this board make too much of the nontrad "category". "Nontrad" is a self imposed term, not an application imposed term. We are nontrads because we consider ourselves nontrads, not because it's a box we check in the application. Folks over 30 do have a lot more in common with each other than with the 22 year old college grad.

    Schools aren't really looking at nontrads separately. They look at the entire pool, and cull out the folks who don't have the numbers/experiences/etc to merit an interview. Then they put a lot of weight on the interview. And then they select based on those they like and that will make an interesting diverse class with solid numbers and who bring a lot to the table. So they will want some hardcore science types, some humanities types, some folks with advanced degrees, some folks who are concert violinists/ranked sports competitors, folks with armed forces experience, and some who have other intriguing prior life experiences that might add to the class. There is no -- "this is a nontrad" box that your application will get stuck in. But I do think that when they get to the point that they are composing a diverse class, the other nontrads over 30 are who you are most likely to be compared to, not the similarly inexperienced 22 year olds.
  18. BPlaysItCool

    BPlaysItCool

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    OP, this is your answer.

    Now. What do you do with it? As your shifting inquisitiveness implies.

    Ed, hits on something true for many, at the gate. The opposing correllate of which is that. Not many of us who find the most interesting things about a person, incompressible to the format of a resume, will be spending our time joining comittees and doing the selection of our likeness for the sake of ego-politics....for the future of something we only feel loosely, if maritally, related to.

    However. There is a paradox. Which can be probed. Bumbed against. And tangoed with. That knows. Recognition of the human spirit in a broad range of situations requires development outside of a clearly delineated preparation for medicine. Futhermore, that without a distinct development outside of premedical/medical culture, it will be sorely lacking in a medical class. Human populations do not resemble the extemist, unimaginative, ambition we cultivate and prize.

    Therefore we need translators.

    If you have the courage. You can make a different case than it is assumed you will make.

    If you do, you might just get lucky like me. And get one of the few medical school experiences in the country that could save you from radicalist isolation.
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    I think I need a translator for your post. :laugh: Unless the OP is more on your wavelength than I, I think you may need to spell things out a bit more.
  20. toff4l

    toff4l

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    Thanks law2doc, you actually answered the next question I was going to ask you.
  21. Shakespeare37

    Shakespeare37 WINNING

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    I look at being a non-trad as an advantage. I'm 31, and know who I am and what I want to to. I think most older students bring that to the table. The average 22 year old undergrad may have everything (numbers and EC wise) that an adcom is looking for, but we have maturity on our side. I think it matters what you have done with the time that you've had, but I think, so long as your numbers are competitive, that maturity will be on your side as a non-trad. Conveying that maturity in your application can be hard, but with the right letters and PS can be done. Of course, I'm applying this year, so I may be off base. Maturity may also be viewed by adcoms as an attribute that can be developed in medical school.
  22. gonnif

    gonnif Director, OldPreMeds.org Lifetime Donor

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    That's the key, expressing what you have done, who you are, and what you can be.

    BTW, I want to thank everyone for this thread. It is nice to see varied opinions, well expressed, agreements and disagreements stated and not screamed about. Dare I say this was a mature conversation, what a novel concept!
  23. Torr

    Torr Never Forget Tupac

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    I'm outraged!! You're wrong and I'm right....and ummm... you'd make a terrrrible physician!

    We must maintain the delicate balance that exists here.
  24. jl lin

    jl lin

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    *smirk* :p

    I agree with toff's 1028 AM reply. We have to be careful on making judgmental values on other people's lives based on we would expect by thus and such age. I am reminded of Atticus Finch's reply in To Kill A Mockingbird. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
    - spoken by Atticus Finch, by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    Everyone's particulars are unique in usually more than a few ways, regardless of age or other demographics. It's impossible, and it should be in my view, to count or discount a person's acceptance based on a few pieces of information or generalizations about what we think people should have done by a particular time period. When you are talking about stages of developmental skills for children and teens, its one thing--in terms of how we are to help the child based on where he or she is compared to the norm. After that point though, there can be huge variations and individual factors that are not easily quantifiable.

    The best means of selection should involve looking at the particulars BUT also looking at the whole person--the whole application and interview.

    And what a person thinks I should have done, based on my age and not on the particulars and values of my own life is, simply stated, just gross. Stop using cookie cutter approaches to trying to understand people. They are wrong, and they don't work.
    Last edited: 04.16.11
  25. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    I just want to point out that ageism works both ways, and it's equally wrong for nontrads to look down on trads as "immature" or "box-checkers" as it is for younger students to look down on us for "wasting a seat" or "low achievers." I have read hundreds of apps over the past four years, and there are trad applicants who have accomplished things that most of us can only fathom from afar. I'm talking about things like founding (and finding funding for) free clinics, starting their own businesses, publishing books, and working as professional musicians, all while pulling close to straight As in college and acing the MCAT. Don't underestimate your trad future classmates. They are a group of incredibly accomplished and diverse people in their own right.

    To the OP, we basically look for the same things from nontrads as we do from trads: competitive stats, passion for medicine, accomplishment in their former endeavors, diversity, professionalism, and all the other characteristics you'd want to see in a physician. As a student interviewer, I'm also always imagining working with this person in small groups or on the wards. If I wouldn't want them on my team, I'm sure not going to subject the incoming class to their toolishness!
    Last edited: 04.17.11
  26. BPlaysItCool

    BPlaysItCool

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    I didn't read the thread in every detail. But I didn't see anyone looking down on younger folks. As for box checkers. Yeah. F them.
  27. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Maybe not explicitly in most cases. But if nontrads are supposedly standing out for being "mature" and "diverse," it implicitly suggests that trads must not be those things. The reality is that some trads are while others aren't, and the same is true of nontrads. "Older age" is not a synonym for maturity, nor for diversity.
  28. BPlaysItCool

    BPlaysItCool

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    I certainly agree. With regards to your inferred use of "accomplishment."


    It is my position that...what if the most brilliant plastic surgeon that there ever was is a 20 year old sculptor with an interest in science. She has an uncanny 3-dimensional imagination. She's curious about the way things work. But not driven to rise to the top of whatever pyramid is constructed by society.

    What medicine will do is select the extremist felatiotic impresario who's resume is 18 pages long. Because if they stopped turining tricks for 2 minutes and actually thought about enjoying the quality of something their head might explode.

    And they will never discover the genius of our friend the sculptor who does things because she likes to do them.
  29. toff4l

    toff4l

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    Dude, I appreciate the posts but take it easy with the dictionary. I have no idea what you're trying to say or communicate.

    I typed in felatiotic into my dictionary and I got back falafel.
  30. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    I've gotta disagree here. In a class of 150 people where the average age is 24, the person who is 30+ by definition adds a component of diversity. That doesn't suggest that individually trads are immature or non-diverse. It doesn't suggest that there aren't trads who have accomplished more in their 22 years than most nontrads will do by age 50. It's simply not a necessary corollary to that statement to suggest that by saying nontrads on average have maturity and add diversity that trads don't have these things, and not one anyone on this thread made. While there absolutely will be mature and immature nontrads and mature and immature trads, the odds of a nontrad being wiser with age are at least stacked in their favor. But again, older age IS going to be a synonym for diversity in a class where the average age is early 20s. Age and years of experience do make you diverse by definition. Not always in a better way than a given trad might distinguish himself, but diverse nonetheless. Doesn't mean adcoms will go out of their way for someone simply for that reason, but you are kidding yourself if you think that when someone sees their role as putting together a diverse class and they are choosing between a handful of very qualified people, they might give the nod to someone accomplished who is 30+ if they don't have anyone of that generation on the roster yet.

    Nontrads face a lot of hurdles. They have to be better thought out. They have to have a more solid story of why medicine, why now, why not before. It's not always easy to jump from a career back to school. They often have to give up the safety of a career to leap off a cliff into the abyss of starting something new. They will face friends and family telling them they are crazy for giving up what they are giving up. But the one hurdle they rarely face is not being able to bring something diverse to the table, even if only thanks to being on the planet longer.
  31. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Your conception of diversity is overly simplistic. By this logic, being a teenaged applicant also adds age diversity. In fact, we've admitted several of them--the youngest person in my class was 17 when we started. However, it's not the age; it's the life experience. Granted that older nontrads have lived longer, but that in and of itself doesn't diversity make. What matters is what the applicant does with the years they've lived, no matter how many there are.

    Considering that I've been helping make these decisions for the past four years, I'm not sure you're really in the position to tell me that I'm kidding myself. ;)

    I don't think anyone would argue about older applicants having special challenges in many cases. But speaking as someone who has been on an adcom at a school that aggressively recruits nontrad applicants, I repeat that what we want them for is *not* their ages. Again, whatever their ages, we're looking for people who stand out for what they've done. Put another way, we don't aggressively recruit *all* older applicants. We recruit the ones who do add diversity based on what they've accomplished. We do the same thing for the younger applicants.

    I wrote my earlier post because there can be a tendency for older nontrads to get a little smug and even patronizing sometimes. That's not the headspace we should be in. We're not better than younger applicants. We're not inherently more diverse. And if anything, we're being unfair to ourselves if we chalk up our accomplishments to our merely having lived longer.
  32. Torr

    Torr Never Forget Tupac

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    I understand why you pointed this out and I think many of us are guilty of generalizing. I really hope I'm not propogating the message that younger kids aren't capable of the maturity you find in older applicants because that's false. I've been amazed by kids that are way more mature than I ever was at their ages.

    I've just really loved working with non-trads in the past and so I tend to almost prefer them to the majority of younger pre-meds I've worked with.

    I do disagree that age alone can make someone more diverse. It has nothing to do with the fact that you've lived longer (as Q said). My class will be made up primarily of ~23 year olds as well but I'm pretty sure some of them are going to add more diversity to the class than I will.


    Edit: just realized I keep referring to them as kids. Can't help myself :|.
  33. BPlaysItCool

    BPlaysItCool

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    Diversity. Such a Company word. Nobody knows what it means.

    I've spent some time at the Harvard campus. With their extension school, but studying in those palaces and picking up on the scene. They've got Diversity in a sense. In the same Company framework that is being referred to by the purveryors of the word "accomplishment."

    We're not all that diverse. Even as a species. But let alone in this microcosm. Medical school is not unlike military training in that acculturation is the goal as much as knowledge acquisition.

    Old or young. Do you make a good soldier? Can you accomplish the things that will bring honor and glory to God's annointed.

    Oh yeah. And we spend our lives talking to people. So you should have some passing familiarity with them. But don't worry will give you a course in that.
  34. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    I would suggest that it's actually pretty hard to have been on the planet 5+ years longer than the typical college graduate and have nothing to show for it. I'm sure some people accomplish this, but they aren't the norm hopefully and IMHO. So sure, I'm overgeneralizing. But I do think that with age comes the experience so commonly that you can, with broad brushed statements say that older applicants add diversity and not be wrong. Sure it's the experience not the gray hairs. But one goes with the other.

    Sorry if I offended.
  35. n3xa

    n3xa "the anchor"

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    Obligatory:

    [​IMG]
  36. gonnif

    gonnif Director, OldPreMeds.org Lifetime Donor

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    some of you may already know this, the tag quote that was on the last posting is by a nontrad who graduated medical school at 50 years of age and went into surgery

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by njbmd [​IMG]
    BTW, in case you are wondering how I fit in with the team??? I run the team now so they fit in with me.


  37. Lazarus

    Lazarus The Windmill Chaser

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    I hope this helps the OP's question...

    Recently a series of admissions folks have been driving this point home that a good applicant needs to have a passion. Now this is in the context that this school is trying to value "humanism", and as such is trying to objectively score this criteria whatever that may mean...

    I think it demonstrates that you are a three dimensional character, and not the typical 2d applicant with all the numbers but just a series of disjointed quasi medically related ECs. So I think that if you can show a proven track record that you have stuck with something you care about, whether medically related not...obviously if it is more the better.

    Long story short: if you demonstrate a passion in your life this will appeal to an admissions committee. I think this applies even more so to older "nontrads".
  38. BPlaysItCool

    BPlaysItCool

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    This would be ideal. And is often bantered about. But I'm not sure the degree of traction it has. As there is a certain mania inherent to 7000 applications:125 spots. Admissions people sort of represent a certain public persona. Hippyish notions of personal uniqueness. At least as a PR tactic.

    But they want killers. High board score snatching, research grant getting, filling in the fluff mercenary assasins.

    I just can't decide how inconsequential or not the purposeful exploitation of paradox is in this situation.

    I feel lucky to be here. Like i conned the queen and am stuck trying to fake the court formalities.

    Good luck. Is about all I can really conclude.
  39. jl lin

    jl lin

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    Really? You needed to look that one up? :laugh:

    Your dictionary has things categorized by similar actions I suppose. :whistle:
  40. Torr

    Torr Never Forget Tupac

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    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: 04.19.11
  41. Pons Asinorum

    Pons Asinorum "Please see your attached ERAS token..." Moderator Emeritus

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    Indeed ;)

    B - I love your posts. Keep riffing, friend.
  42. lsu hopeful

    lsu hopeful

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    I'm calling troll.

    However, if you really feel that way, be sure to include it in your personal statement, so you don't become a fraudulent, mercenary, felatio-performing, queen's court jester, yourself.
  43. Lazarus

    Lazarus The Windmill Chaser

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    "But they want killers. High board score snatching, research grant getting, filling in the fluff mercenary assasins."

    Well I am assuming that someone reading this is already the above filling fluff assassin type...or else should they even be trying this nutty adventure?

    I suppose all I am trying to get at is care about your EC's and try to have consistency, it would seem to help set you apart. The perfect grades and exceptional MCAT are qualifiers so that you can even enter the race.



  44. BPlaysItCool

    BPlaysItCool

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    I am the troll under your bed. The edge of a dark dream. Chattering in psychedelic weirdness. Your reaction is not unfamiliar to me. You despise something you can't quite name. But you want it to shut the F up. Like now.

    I'm the first to admit to corruption. My point however is that interior corruption is a mainstream mindf@ck here.

    What does the Budda who wants to apply to medical school put in the EC section.....Enlightenment. That's sitting under a tree smoking The Pot. Wasting a perfectly good workaday to the good citizens of Medicine.

    But it's not like coolness doesn't happen of it one accord. Ocassionally Awesome smacks you upside the head too. I wouldn't linger in negative percpetions were it not for the stange sensation that if at least one mf'er doesn't agree with something I'm saying. Then I'm crazy.

    Luckily for me. Cause I'm just a lucky mf'er I guess. I got a good buddy in my class who's got the same screw loose. Except as a seventh generation legacy student at the University of Hard Knocks, he's teaching me how to play the game with deadly cool.

    Notably his Midwestern school tried to collect him as it's Diversity Exhibit and he declined.

    Hopefully my desire to see my thoughts on this screen will wane in kind. Because I'm kind of getting my @ss kicked now and don't have the time.

    So good luck. I got some tricks to turn real quick.
  45. Torr

    Torr Never Forget Tupac

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    B, you're a better read than Kerouac :cool:
  46. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks

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    I understand B, even though the only way that we could ever be friends is online - as far from one another as possible. He's intelligent; he understands the whole process; he's able to do the whole pre-med thing. But when he starts talking about it, his non-conformist, 60's hippy, kicks in and he's got to rail against the establishment.

    The ghost of some poor lost dead-head who died of a LSD overdose in '68 has grabbed him. It's possession baby.
  47. Torr

    Torr Never Forget Tupac

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    Based on this thread, it's shocking to see that toff4l is now banned. I think SDN can be too much for some.
  48. StudyShy

    StudyShy XOXO

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    It seems like a lot of people are being banned lately.

    I got an infraction, but I seriously wasn't trying to be bad.
  49. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    Bear in mind that folks are often not be banned based on statements in a single thread, but rather for their whole body of work (including postings under other screen names).
  50. Pons Asinorum

    Pons Asinorum "Please see your attached ERAS token..." Moderator Emeritus

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    I'll just post it with minor edits for clarification and public consumption (again) because it's a great post...


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