I was reading some of the posts in here and I got struck by a random thought (thankfully this is a rare occurrence) Right off the bat I want to apologize for the length of the post. I've often heard medical schools criticized for concentrating too hard on standardized numbers and not looking past that to consider personality to judge whether a person will be a good doctor. Personally, I agree that ad coms should look more at the individual and not just the pure numbers stapled to his or her head. However, if you think about it, it's practically impossible to do that. How can you really know someone's personality by one or two applications and a 20 minute interview? The personal essay is going to say who you are, but it's not going to reveal any personality flaws. Generally it will make the author look like an empathetic soul who cares only about helping people. This may actually be the truth, but for those people that that doesn't apply to, it will still say the same thing. LOR's will be written by people that the student suspected would produce a favorable letter. During interviews most people will tell the interviewers what they want to hear. Yes, I know most of it is probably true, but how many people have answered the question "What are your weaknesses" with the standard "I'm a perfectionist" etc. How many people have really answered that question bluntly and honestly? (I'm talking about those of us without 4.0 GPA and under 40 MCAT's) Now, I'll agree that most people that do volunteer work do so because they enjoy it. I've seen many applicants who have put in many years of volunteer work and that says a lot about them. But the fact remains that there are people out there who volunteer simply because they know med schools will look for it and they don't want a gaping hole in their application. Anyway, the point is, as much as I'd love to see med schools look past the numbers, I don't think its very realistic to do so with the limited amount of information they have about the thousands of applicants they get each year. This sucks, because it means that a bookworm who spent 4 years in a library with perfect scores and no clue how to deal with people will have no trouble getting in, and a person with a 18 MCAT, who would make the most wonderful doctor in the world, would be rejected at every turn. Anyone have any thoughts about that? Am I off base here? Do you think it's possible to judge whether a person can be a good doctor based on the present system? Anyone have any ideas on what could improve it?