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10 times GPA plus MCAT=relief

unicorn06

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    Good news for people who are disappointed with ~32-36 MCATs.

    I was talking to a friend of my parents who is involved in admissions at a top ten school, and she said that a good rule of thumb is to multiply your GPA by 10 and add it to your MCATs. If your total is above 70, most top schools will definitely consider you a qualified applicant. Thus, if you have a 3.9, you only need a 31 MCAT to hit the 70 mark. A 4.0 and 42 really aren't necessary, according to her.
     
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    {:(

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      possibly they use it as a cut off point for screening applications. Filter out ten percent of the population of applicants right away (meaning it would change year to year) and then start reading through applications. A person with a 2.0 GPA and a Composite of 19 on the MCAT is not going to get into Yale. Why bother looking at their applications pass that?
       

      Law2Doc

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        {:( said:
        possibly they use it as a cut off point for screening applications. Filter out ten percent of the population of applicants right away (meaning it would change year to year) and then start reading through applications. A person with a 2.0 GPA and a Composite of 19 on the MCAT is not going to get into Yale. Why bother looking at their applications pass that?

        That would have to be a very very prestigious school that is screening applications with this kind of formula -- it's basical would equate to an average of something like a 3.7/33, which I think mimics the average (not the low) for a lot of the most highly ranked schools, and is above the matriculant average for allopathic schools over all (which is about 3.5/30). We are talking about filtering a lot more than ten percent of the applicant pool right away.
        All these formulas are silly in that this is simply not the way most (if any) adcoms work. There are non-numerical factors that weigh heavilly and cannot be dismissed in favor of the numerical ones. A 4.0/40 student can still not gain admission if his LORs/interviews/ECs/PS are terrible. Similarly, there are no shortage of 3.4/29 students with amazing non-numerical credentials who have gotten into (US allo) med schools. Don't put much stock in formulas.
         

        osli

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          penguinophile said:
          Man..I've seen that exact formula about 10 times within the past 4 months. the general consensus is that its bull.
          Not sure about the whole top ten thing, but this general format is used by some universities as initial screening cutoffs.

          Some require a minimum GPA, and a minimum MCAT composite to get past initial screening. Some require minimum GPA, and a minimum on each MCAT section. Some have no minimums. Some use a GPA + MCAT forumula for initial screenings. Initial screening may or may not mean interview invites are guaranteed... for example, it may only remove some applicants that they definitely won't consider (for better or worse), i.e. less paperwork, and then they choose interview invites from the remainder.

          At one particular mid-tier school, they use the formula (GPA x 10) + MCAT => 59 as an initial screen of applicants. In this particular case, everyone passing this initial screen gets an interview. Apparently they believe that virtually no one below that line (which is set pretty low) would be qualified after complete consideration, while many people with mediocre grades and scores might have other redeeming qualities and deserve an interview. Right, wrong, who knows? It's their formula.

          And this, btw, came directly from the Asst. Dean of Admissions, in a ppt presentation no less. It isn't "bull."
           

          argonana

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            People are throwing around vague references to schools that actually use this formula. Would you mind actually revealing which schools you're referring to? Otherwise, the info's just not very helpful--schools within the same "tier" likely screen in vastly different ways.
             

            osli

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              argonana said:
              People are throwing around vague references to schools that actually use this formula. Would you mind actually revealing which schools you're referring to? Otherwise, the info's just not very helpful--schools within the same "tier" likely screen in vastly different ways.
              To be specific, U of MS. But I think the important point is just what you've said - different schools are likely to screen in vastly different ways. I figured that would be obvious.
               
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              ExtraAverage

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                unicorn06 said:
                Good news for people who are disappointed with ~32-36 MCATs.

                I was talking to a friend of my parents who is involved in admissions at a top ten school, and she said that a good rule of thumb is to multiply your GPA by 10 and add it to your MCATs. If your total is above 70, most top schools will definitely consider you a qualified applicant. Thus, if you have a 3.9, you only need a 31 MCAT to hit the 70 mark. A 4.0 and 42 really aren't necessary, according to her.


                Hmm.... 3.02 times 10 plus 29... that equals.... um.... hold on, I can get this.... no, seriously... uh... that makes 59.02! I win!!!
                 

                Comrade

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                  {:( said:
                  possibly they use it as a cut off point for screening applications. Filter out ten percent of the population of applicants right away (meaning it would change year to year) and then start reading through applications. A person with a 2.0 GPA and a Composite of 19 on the MCAT is not going to get into Yale. Why bother looking at their applications pass that?

                  that's assuming they don't donate an international airport. otherwise, they won't get in. Yale COULD use an international airport.
                   

                  jebus

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                    ExtraAverage said:
                    Hmm.... 3.02 times 10 plus 29... that equals.... um.... hold on, I can get this.... no, seriously... uh... that makes 59.02! I win!!!
                    Oy vey, should we wait a little longer? It's 59.2, not 59.02.
                     

                    einnewt

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                      SailCrazy said:
                      Bad news for people who are disappointed with ~32-36 MCATs:

                      You have lost your sense of perspective and are doomed to a life of stress and worry! :scared:

                      :D


                      Everyone always thinks that others have lost their perspective when it doesn't coincide with their own, but there is some truth to what you say, most likely (I, for one, am unsatisfied with my very solid score and am, as well, plagued by stress and worry on many fronts; chicken or egg, anyone?)

                      For damn sure, however, I want a physician who thinks excellence is a 40 on the MCAT, works to achieve that and is disappointed if they don't (not suicidal, just constructively disappointed). As long as they're not a friggin cyborg, of course. My perspective is that the (over)emphasis on the softer qualities seen in medical school admissions is misguided (I am open to being shown the error of my ways), not only because I value competence much more (though there is some overlap in the two, to be sure), but because our system does not allow the time to make much more than fleeting contacts with patients when they have to see so many per day, anyway. This results in 1) their fantabulous bedside manner ultimately unable to compensate for their lack of time in the patient's mind and 2) many, many patients presenting fantastic amounts of data which the doctor must assimilate and integrate into a differential diagnosis accurately. . . and rapidly. In this case (i.e. the way the system works), I'll take the offish genius any day. No C's=MD (at least not a pattern of them) for my doc, thank you.
                       

                      einnewt

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                        I mean that we practice medicine with the system we have, not the one we want (IED anyone?), and as such, I prefer a Dr. Romano who might be a prick, but he knows his **** (that was so f'ing awesome when his arm got chopped off!)

                        P.S. I mean no disrespect to those who have lost their arms in freak, roof-top helicopter accidents.
                         

                        Law2Doc

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                          osli said:
                          Not sure about the whole top ten thing, but this general format is used by some universities as initial screening cutoffs.

                          Some require a minimum GPA, and a minimum MCAT composite to get past initial screening. Some require minimum GPA, and a minimum on each MCAT section. Some have no minimums. Some use a GPA + MCAT forumula for initial screenings. Initial screening may or may not mean interview invites are guaranteed... for example, it may only remove some applicants that they definitely won't consider (for better or worse), i.e. less paperwork, and then they choose interview invites from the remainder.

                          At one particular mid-tier school, they use the formula (GPA x 10) + MCAT => 59 as an initial screen of applicants. In this particular case, everyone passing this initial screen gets an interview. Apparently they believe that virtually no one below that line (which is set pretty low) would be qualified after complete consideration, while many people with mediocre grades and scores might have other redeeming qualities and deserve an interview. Right, wrong, who knows? It's their formula.

                          And this, btw, came directly from the Asst. Dean of Admissions, in a ppt presentation no less. It isn't "bull."

                          There is a HUGE difference between using a 59 as a cutoff and using a 70 (as the OP suggested). To that extent I say the latter number is bull.
                          But most schools don't use as numerically objective a system as people on SDN want to believe. There is a ton of subjectivity in the process, and things like your essays, interviews, and type and quality of ECs do matter quite a bit. I think that is why people a few months from now are going to assert how "random" the system is, when you see high scoring people not getting in places, and people with more average numbers getting a ton of love from schools. In fact the process really is not very random, it is just that it is not a purely by the numbers process, and varies drastically from school to school (and what things get emphasized/sought maybe even vary amongst adcom members within each school).
                           

                          Kleintje

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                            einnewt said:
                            No C's=MD (at least not a pattern of them) for my doc, thank you.

                            There are plenty of intelligent, hard working people with very high GPA's who do not score a 40 on the MCAT. I think that is the point...the other point was that any MCAT score of 33 and above is in the 90th precentile, which is pretty impressive. Yes, the MCAT test a certian ability to apply and integrate outside knoledge with new information - and yes, some people can do this very naturally and without much effort and yes there is a correlation with Step 1 board scores and MCAT scores - but that does not mean that the people who are happy or proud of a MCAT score below a 40 means that they are lazy or unmotivated nor does it mean they do not wish on some level they had scored higher. My point is, you know nothing about me or the other applicants - and for you to assume that someone who is happy with a 30 MCAT score is the same person who is happy with C's is absurd.

                            The application process is long and exhausting on everyone - I just do not think we should be trying to bring our peers down.
                             
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                            einnewt

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                              Kleintje said:
                              The application process is long and exhausting on everyone - I just do not think we should be trying to bring our peers down.


                              To be more precise about it, I would be tickled pink with a doctor who does not naturally score a 40, but is studious and has a profound sense of responsibility, to one who can but skates. I don't think the level of treatment (and this is just a feeling) is much different between someone with 35 or a 30. Where my own health is concerned, when presented with a zebra, I want a doctor who doesn't just see horses, and pure intellect can make that difference (given diligence is assumed). Mostly, however, I prefer that someone capable of getting a 3.7 of a 35 earn those scores (if circumstances permit) b/c it may indicate a broader dedication to excellence/achieving their best for patients (though to be honest, I could not include myself in that group at times).
                               

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                                i find that hard to believe. avg medschool gpa/mcat is 30/3.6. this includes schools which are really easy to get into in-state, urm's, legacies, and all the other soothing circumstances. so in fact, 35/3.5 (70) would seem like a reasonable score to be considered(not accepted) by an average school. and mdapplicants supports that.
                                 

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                                  pip00 said:
                                  i find that hard to believe. avg medschool gpa/mcat is 30/3.6. this includes schools which are really easy to get into in-state, urm's, legacies, and all the other soothing circumstances. so in fact, 35/3.5 (70) would seem like a reasonable score to be considered(not accepted) by an average school. and mdapplicants supports that.
                                  Keep being cynical.
                                  http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2004/2004mcatgpa.htm
                                  Source: AAMC: Data Warehouse: Applicant Matriculant File as of 11/16/2004.
                                  For Matriculants:
                                  Avg. Cum GPA: 3.62 (std dev: 0.28)
                                  VR: 9.7
                                  PS: 9.9
                                  BS: 10.3
                                  MDapplicants is shît and I hate you.
                                   

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                                    einnewt said:
                                    Everyone always thinks that others have lost their perspective when it doesn't coincide with their own, but there is some truth to what you say, most likely (I, for one, am unsatisfied with my very solid score and am, as well, plagued by stress and worry on many fronts; chicken or egg, anyone?)
                                    I never said that the perspective didn't coincide with my own. Everyone always assumes that they knew another's thought our intentions. :p
                                    Unfortunately the current medical school selection process is built such that a lot numbers-obsessed compulsive grade chasers are going to succeed. Those aren't necessarily traits that make a good physician. (I'm not suggesting that I have a great alternative...)
                                     

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                                      einnewt said:
                                      My perspective is that the (over)emphasis on the softer qualities seen in medical school admissions is misguided...
                                      I didn't know there was an (over) emphasis on softer qualities! I'm certainly glad that we aren't choosing doctors (who actually do have to interact with patients remember) based more strictly on numbers and statistics alone. :eek:
                                      einnewt said:
                                      My perspective is that the (over)emphasis on the softer qualities seen in medical school admissions is misguided (I am open to being shown the error of my ways), not only because I value competence much more (though there is some overlap in the two, to be sure), but because our system does not allow the time to make much more than fleeting contacts with patients when they have to see so many per day, anyway.
                                      I would argue that the limited opportunity for patient contact places and even higher importance on effective interpersonal skills.

                                      I had an interesting related discussion with one of my interviewers at Michigan. He noted that competence is assumed, and a huge majority of patients judge the quality of the Dr./care based on personal & emotional considerations. Obviously a patient's perception does not equal reality as far as quality of care is concerned, but it isn't entirely irrelevant.

                                      einnewt said:
                                      I don't think the level of treatment (and this is just a feeling) is much different between someone with 35 or a 30. ... Mostly, however, I prefer that someone capable of getting a 3.7 of a 35 earn those scores (if circumstances permit) b/c it may indicate a broader dedication to excellence/achieving their best for patients (though to be honest, I could not include myself in that group at times).
                                      einnewt said:
                                      For damn sure, however, I want a physician who thinks excellence is a 40 on the MCAT, works to achieve that and is disappointed if they don't (not suicidal, just constructively disappointed).
                                      Once someone is already a physician, I could care less what the physician's MCAT score was - and undergraduate performance couldn't be less relevant to me. I care a lot more about their reputation as established by their history of patient care and competence. I know some very good physicians who didn't have stellar undergraduate careers and/or MCAT scores. I also want someone who isn't an intellectually gifted @sshole that can't effectively relate to the emotional need of the patient.
                                       

                                      einnewt

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                                        SailCrazy said:
                                        I never said that the perspective didn't coincide with my own. Everyone always assumes that they knew another's thought our intentions. :p
                                        Unfortunately the current medical school selection process is built such that a lot numbers-obsessed compulsive grade chasers are going to succeed. Those aren't necessarily traits that make a good physician. (I'm not suggesting that I have a great alternative...)


                                        Touchee. Like most things, it is complex, but regardless, the MCAT is a decent measure of intelligence and I am positive that intelligence matters and matters a good deal (more distinctly, the ability to manage complexity matters).
                                         

                                        einnewt

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                                          SailCrazy said:
                                          I didn't know there was an (over) emphasis on softer qualities! I'm certainly glad that we aren't choosing doctors (who actually do have to interact with patients remember) based more strictly on numbers and statistics alone. :eek: I would argue that the limited opportunity for patient contact places and even higher importance on effective interpersonal skills.

                                          I had an interesting related discussion with one of my interviewers at Michigan. He noted that competence is assumed, and a huge majority of patients judge the quality of the Dr./care based on personal & emotional considerations. Obviously a patient's perception does not equal reality as far as quality of care is concerned, but it isn't entirely irrelevant.

                                          Once someone is already a physician, I could care less what the physician's MCAT score was - and undergraduate performance couldn't be less relevant to me. I care a lot more about their reputation as established by their history of patient care and competence. I know some very good physicians who didn't have stellar undergraduate careers and/or MCAT scores. I also want someone who isn't an intellectually gifted @sshole that can't effectively relate to the emotional need of the patient.



                                          My point was that preparation for MCATs/GPA achievement is a metaphor for those qualities we value in an effective physician, not their sole form of measure. I would think that while not irrelevant, the patient's opinion of their physician's personality is pretty damn close to being so when talking about whether treatment was effective or not, as opposed to their level of personal customer satisfaction.
                                           

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                                            einnewt said:
                                            My point was that preparation for MCATs/GPA achievement is a metaphor for those qualities we value in an effective physician, not their sole form of measure. I would think that while not irrelevant, the patient's opinion of their physician's personality is pretty damn close to being so when talking about whether treatment was effective or not, as opposed to their level of personal customer satisfaction.
                                            I don't disagree with you, but I also think that many patients do not draw such a definite distinction bewteen satisfaction and effective treatment.

                                            You, I and the rest of the premed/med world knows about MCAT, board scores, various med school, & residency ranks, etc. I would suggest that most patients don't have the foggiest clue of how their physicians "rank" in these areas.
                                             

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                                              SailCrazy said:
                                              I don't disagree with you, but I also think that many patients do not draw such a definite distinction bewteen satisfaction and effective treatment.

                                              You, I and the rest of the premed/med world knows about MCAT, board scores, various med school, & residency ranks, etc. I would suggest that most patients don't have the foggiest clue of how their physicians "rank" in these areas.

                                              I would also add that since most of these things are steps to the same result, most doctors wont care either. The sentiment in medicine (that most hospital docs will tell you) is that you are "only as good as the last place you've been". Thus once you get into med school no one cares what your MCAT was, you cease to be the guy with 4.0/40 and are now the MS1 at JHU, etc. Once you get into residency, no one cares how you did at the boards or where you went to med school -- you are now a resident at say, Penn and that is what will be looked at from then on -- each step looks only to the prior. It's hard for a premed who is told that these numbers are SO important to grasp that in a year they will mean nothing, but that's basically the truth.
                                              As for patients, I doubt the efficacy of the treatment dictates what they think of the doctor. Perhaps with surgeons, who fix things in the short term or not at all. But in terms of other docs, since many either don't get better or will get better on their own with or without medical attention, for this possible majority of patients, the doctor they are happiest with tends to be the one who spends the time with them and actually listens. Not necessarilly the most effective one or the smartest.
                                               

                                              Kleintje

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                                                There have actually been studies done relating physician's personality to how many times they have been sued - and the ass-hole (excuse my language) physician's who don't treat their pateints with any compassion and don't have the time to listen to their patients (about whatever they have to say) were sued exponetially more than those physician's which showed compassion and behaved liked they cared about the patient and their feelings.

                                                I was shadowing a physician just the other day and a patient was telling me how great it was that I was going to medical school and then she went on to tell me about the bad experiances she had with doctor who acted like they did not care or had no feelings at all, and how she never went back to them and as she was leaving she emphasised how important compassion and listening is to the medical profession.

                                                The reality is if a patient likes you and you screw up they are much less likely to sue you (studies have proven) yet if you are jerk (excuse my language) they will look for any reason they can to sue you. In court, it will not matter where you went to school or what your scores were.
                                                 

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                                                  Law2Doc said:
                                                  There is a HUGE difference between using a 59 as a cutoff and using a 70 (as the OP suggested). To that extent I say the latter number is bull.
                                                  Obviously. And let's be clear - the example I gave is for initial screening to generate interviews. Once past that point, there isn't a strict forumula for acceptance of course, though clearly grades and MCAT will weigh heavily into the adcomm's selection process.

                                                  I don't believe any schools are so hard numbers oriented that they use a formula for acceptance; however, it wouldn't surprise me if many used one for interview invites or for more preliminary screens (say, 20% rejected on formula screen, 20% of the remaining not given interview invites, and then half the remaining rejected after interview - substutitue appropriate numbers and you get the point).
                                                   

                                                  osli

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                                                    einnewt said:
                                                    To be more precise about it, I would be tickled pink with a doctor who does not naturally score a 40, but is studious and has a profound sense of responsibility, to one who can but skates. I don't think the level of treatment (and this is just a feeling) is much different between someone with 35 or a 30. Where my own health is concerned, when presented with a zebra, I want a doctor who doesn't just see horses, and pure intellect can make that difference (given diligence is assumed). Mostly, however, I prefer that someone capable of getting a 3.7 of a 35 earn those scores (if circumstances permit) b/c it may indicate a broader dedication to excellence/achieving their best for patients (though to be honest, I could not include myself in that group at times).
                                                    You would be surprised how many times the patient has information or knowledge about their own illness that can save their life or prevent grueling treatment, and it is ignored by an "off genius" who "knows all/knows best."

                                                    Don't underestimate the profound importance, in FP/ped/IM at least, of listening to the patient and having a good personality so that they are willing to talk. Being a prick doctor doesn't just make people not like you, it also prevents you from hearing all of the important information, and God forbid in some cases it prevents you from believing that anything the patient knows might be more useful than your almighty intelligence.
                                                     

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                                                      SailCrazy said:
                                                      I don't disagree with you, but I also think that many patients do not draw such a definite distinction bewteen satisfaction and effective treatment.

                                                      You, I and the rest of the premed/med world knows about MCAT, board scores, various med school, & residency ranks, etc. I would suggest that most patients don't have the foggiest clue of how their physicians "rank" in these areas.




                                                      It seems as if you are measuring a physician's effectiveness (i.e. does the patient get better) by the patient's opinion (or at least focusing on that). Of course the patient doesn't make such distinctions--they don't know their ass from their elbows, for the most part; that's the physician's job. And we know better.
                                                       

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                                                        Law2Doc said:
                                                        Thus once you get into med school no one cares what your MCAT was, you cease to be the guy with 4.0/40 and are now the MS1 at JHU, etc. Once you get into residency, no one cares how you did at the boards or where you went to med school -- you are now a resident at say, Penn and that is what will be looked at from then on -- each step looks only to the prior. It's hard for a premed who is told that these numbers are SO important to grasp that in a year they will mean nothing, but that's basically the truth.
                                                        As for patients, I doubt the efficacy of the treatment dictates what they think of the doctor. Perhaps with surgeons, who fix things in the short term or not at all. But in terms of other docs, since many either don't get better or will get better on their own with or without medical attention, for this possible majority of patients, the doctor they are happiest with tends to be the one who spends the time with them and actually listens. Not necessarilly the most effective one or the smartest.



                                                        It seems like every one is focused on simply how these measures (i.e. MCAT, GPA, etc.) contribute to the impression of competence, not the existence of it. I personally do not care what fellow docs think of my MCATs and GPA. What I am saying is that they do, indeed, measure qualitites that are important for a physician, though again, we are talking about a correlation, not strict causality (i.e. plenty of ****ty docs with a 40).

                                                        I'm sorry to say, but I have trouble believing that the efficacy of the treatment does not matter as far as the patient's opinion of it is concerned. This statement, unfortunately, is wrong prima facie, though I will acknowledge that the doctor's soft qualities are most important in their opinion of their doc's efficacy, perhaps. Again, why are we measuring everything by the patients's self-report.

                                                        Finally, I have trouble believing that given an equal bedside manner between two physicians, I find it hard to believe that all of you, like me, would not choose a doc who scored higher on MCATs, GPA, USMLE, etc. Given equal soft qualities, smarter is better and we should also avoid the trend, like one poster mentioned, to assume that these qualities (compassion and intelligence, loosely) are mutually exclusive (but rather, we assume them to be for the comparison).
                                                         

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                                                          Kleintje said:
                                                          The reality is if a patient likes you and you screw up they are much less likely to sue you (studies have proven) yet if you are jerk (excuse my language) they will look for any reason they can to sue you. In court, it will not matter where you went to school or what your scores were.


                                                          Good to know. Interesting (and cynical) argument for mediocre test scores.
                                                           

                                                          einnewt

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                                                          1. Pre-Medical
                                                            osli said:
                                                            You would be surprised how many times the patient has information or knowledge about their own illness that can save their life or prevent grueling treatment, and it is ignored by an "off genius" who "knows all/knows best."

                                                            Don't underestimate the profound importance, in FP/ped/IM at least, of listening to the patient and having a good personality so that they are willing to talk. Being a prick doctor doesn't just make people not like you, it also prevents you from hearing all of the important information, and God forbid in some cases it prevents you from believing that anything the patient knows might be more useful than your almighty intelligence.



                                                            Here's more of this absolutist nonsense. The two (intelligence and personality) are not mutually exclusive (regardless of your opinion of me). If you read my comments earlier, they were more measured than you seem to indicate. I no where said that personality is not extremely important, too, only that intelligence (as measured by the MCATs) is extremely important in my book, and more important, for that matter. I, personally, could care less how chummy mine and my doctor's relationship is if they choose the wrong therapy or inadvertently prescribe a medication that further harms me b/c they can not manage complexity/recall smalll details in their head.
                                                             
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