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Adcom concerns

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by nick_carraway, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. nick_carraway

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    I found this report on the website for University of Oklahoma's SOM:

    http://www.oumedical.com/workfiles/College%20of%20Medicine/Final%20Report-Admissions.pdf?oTopID=961

    It offers a fly-on-the-wall perspective on an otherwise confusing process.

    While poorly organized (in my opinion), the report does offer some insight into the concerns of some adcoms.

    Apparently, they think that ochem and physics are just as useless as we think they are. They also realize how difficult it is to find good shadowing opportunities in this era of patient advocacy. And they, unfortunately, are of the opinion that changing their standards is a bad idea when they already have so many qualified applicants to choose from.
     
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  3. 236116

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    is koko a book cat?

    i'm working on reading through this-- sick=slow-- and i can't help but wonder what would happen if, suddenly, we quit putting up with the bullshi t? if the people who are supposed to be training doctors actually started requiring useful things.

    now with some reading: educationialese is still bullshi t. some things haven't changed since i was 15. pandering and equivocating.

    the idea of a psychology/psychiatry- eval is terrifying.
     
    #2 236116, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  4. 236116

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    wuzzat??? :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:
     
  5. NeuroChaos

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    A while back (aug/sep 08??) there was an article in NEJM by the dean of HMS on similar issues. Lack of prep of premeds and changing the curriculum.
    He touched upon similar issues that pre-med are not very well prepared for the rigours med. school curriculum. He stressed on making pre-med more science educated as opposed to more humanities based. I doubt that our system is going to change any time soon. adcoms/medschool are all well aware of the faults in the process, but it will take slow gardual change ( a decade)....unless Obama chairs AAMC. In that case, YES, WE CAN!!
     
  6. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    lets call it what it is: Lawsuit addiction and the expectation of unreasonable standards.
     
  7. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    the MCAT doesn't always test physics knowledge as much as it does your ability to make intelligent decisions based on minimal physics knowledge. It's still a test of critical thinking, just with basic science concepts.
     
  8. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    [​IMG]
     
  9. 236116

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    yes.
     
  10. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    thanks for this link. I'm really interested in becoming involved in admissions at some point in my career, so this is really neat stuff to read.

    I think a lot of adcom's opinions on what should be required and what is meaningful would change a lot if they read SDN.
     
  11. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    They wouldn't get past the "I have a 3.9 gpa and 40MCAT but my favorite color is blue and I heard adcoms hate blue-lovers, am I doomed?" threads and immediately retreat
     
  12. 236116

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    lmao
     
  13. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
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    Actually, Dienstag's argument was to make the science education more efficient and biologically relevant. "No one is arguing for more time in college devoted to pre-medical science courses; rather, I support greater efficiency and a tighter focus on science that 'matters' to medicine." At one point, Dienstag asks whether if students need a second semester of organic synthesis as preparation for biochemistry.

    A secondary argument in the opinion was that college is more than just a science education, and should, in fact, be more humanities based. "The college years should not be designed primarily to prepare students for professional schools. College should be a time to explore and stretch academically and intellectually; to engage creatively in an expansive liberal arts education encompassing literature, languages, the arts, humanities, and social sciences; and to prepare for citizenship in society."

    Thanks for reminding me about this article. It was a Perspective piece from NEJM Volume 359, No. 3, July 17, 2008. It was written by J.L Dienstag and was titled Becoming a Physician: Relevance and Rigor in Premedical Education.
     
  14. nick_carraway

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    Thanks for finding the article! I was interested in reading it after it was mentioned earlier.
     
  15. nick_carraway

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    Congrats on getting into med school, BTW. It's always encouraging to see people make it, especially someone who had to jump through so many hoops.

    I wish I moved to Texas! Or that my parents kept their house in New Mexico...
     
  16. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    Shame I won't have the chance to read it until after January 5th*



    *Only place I have free access to any journal is where I work and they're closed until the 5th
     
  17. nick_carraway

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    :bow:
     
  18. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado On Sabbatical
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    reading this article made it pretty obvious why med schools like biomedical engineers :D
     
  19. 236116

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    lol it's from my birthday.
     
  20. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    Thanks. What have you been up to?
     
  21. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    Wow. Thanks! :thumbup:
     
  22. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    pretty interesting. for years they've been pushing for these science requirements, and now they realize they've been going about it the wrong way?

    I don't know what took so long. I don't know how much of any of the physics I've learned will be relevent to me, or how much o-chem will be. I don't know if I'll need to remember any functional side-groups when I'm an anesthesiologist, surgeon, or neurologist. Who will use that kind of knowledge on a routine basis? A researcher?
     
  23. Narmerguy

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    I was under the impression that the inclusion of some of these requirements such as physics was simply to see how well premeds could handle tough course material.
     
  24. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    why not see how they could handle tough, but relevent course material?
     
  25. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    O chem to me thus far is absolutely irrelevant.

    Physics has had some application in hemodynamics and cardiovascular physiology, but not enough to where you need 2 semesters of lecture and a BS lab. The only part that we used was some fluid dynamics and the basic concepts of parallel and series circuits to describe pulmonary and systemic circulation.
     
  26. 236116

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    So what would we change? What would the current medical students/residents/attendings change? What can we change? How do we pursuade adcoms to consider revising standards without losing qualified applications? What's really important?

    (Kaus- I guess once I'm done with k-12, I'll have to tackle post-secondary. LOL)
     
  27. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    I imagine adcoms are already considering the type of courses that premeds are taking. The issue comes with how you get undergraduate institutions to change their curriculum. Who's going to teach these new classes? Who's going to design them? What books will be used?
     
  28. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    some ofthe things in this report are distressing i think:
    "Should we be influenced by high scores and MCATs? Most board members felt they
    were influenced and we might need to consider blind interviews or interviews where a
    part of the process was blinded. Therefore, we might need to modify the rolling
    admissions process so the first students don't always interview first. The applicant pool
    should be mixed and qualified student interviewed at will."

    that would really not be cool of them at all.
     
  29. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    oh wow.. this is really interesting i think:

    The minimum MCAT score required of an applicant is 21 (7 average) with no minimum
    score requirement on the individual sub-sections of the exam. However, statistical
    analysis of our current medical students indicates a correlation between the Physical
    Sciences sub-score with academic difficulty in the first two years of medical school and
    success on USMLE Step 1. Based on this evidence, the suggestion was made to
    require a minimum Physical Sciences sub-score of 7 but allow flexibility in the other two
    sub-scores.
     
  30. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    and scary :( I really suck at the physical sciences. it has something to do with the calculations.
     
  31. 236116

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    I have to wonder if there's actually a correlation, or if it's just "86% of the kids with 7+ on PS managed to pass med school b-chem."
     
  32. cyclin M

    cyclin M megaman
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    90% of statistics can be made to say anything 50% of the time.
     
  33. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    :laugh:

    Why not incorporate a curriculum that starts from highschool and have them continue on into college like foreign countries?

    /gets flame suit on as statement is made public
     
  34. 236116

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    *gets out fire extinguisher*

    I'd be okay with a 2-4 plan, or 2-3 or 3-3 or something... TBQH it doesn't seem that unless you're going into basic sci or devo, that you need hardcore science. Yeah, it's nice to know that x drug does y b/c of z pathway and q abnormality gets you j reaction, but how useful is that in Real Life?

    But doctors can't talk to anyone. Ethics, foreign language, humanities, communication skills, practice methods and materials, education...
     
  35. Charles_Carmichael

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    I agree with this. For biochem, the only organic that I needed to know was electron pushing and there's no need for a whole semester of organic to learn that. I've never used anything other than electron pushing from organic in my biochem class and everyone I've talked to always mentioned that organic was there to prepare you for biochem. Am I missing something here?

    I don't know; maybe it's just me, but I found organic to be very boring but I absolutely loved biochem. It was harder to force myself to study for a class that I didn't enjoy at all but I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lehninger's after each biochem lecture. I think the prereqs should be changed to something that is relevant for medical school and not just force you to take classes that people think are hard (because this is very subjective).

    Edit: Thanks for the link koko...it was an interesting read. And yea, I remember that NEJM article. It was a good read too and Dienstag makes some valid points.
     
  36. Sangria

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    Kaushik, I love your avatar
     
  37. Narmerguy

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    Well most of the hard relevant material are in higher up courses which would pretty much require premeds to devote pretty heavily into the biology department to reach them whereas physics can be taken without any prior physics experience and ochem can be taken with with only 1 semester of general chemistry first (maybe some schools require 2 semesters, not sure on this but mine doesn't).
     
  38. cyclin M

    cyclin M megaman
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    The idea behind 4 years is so you get a chance to experience other things i.e. a liberal arts education.

    Cut it down to 2 and everyone is pretty much a bio major. Not cool for those that wanna study engineering, chem, physics, music, history, etc. A wide knowledge base is just as important as depth.
     
  39. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    then how do you make an argument that an intro-level class is "tough course material"?
     
  40. mcgyver

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    I have to disagree with this article. It says pre-med curriculum needs to be focused on medically relevant sciences. But what exactly defines whether something is "medically relevant"? How could we have discovered new drugs, or developed the MRI, without MD's that have strong backgrounds in organic chemistry or physics?

    Given the nature of modern medicine, we actually need all these talents. If the premed curriculum is made much more rigorous than it is now, we would likely produce a doctor population that are much more homogenous in terms of educational background. I can't think of any benefit this may have other than that we may squeeze in more advanced material in pre-clinical years. But what is the point of that when doctors are going to learn them later anyway?

    I actually think it's better that pre-meds learn topics that will never be covered in medical school. So when they go to medical school, each will have something unique to offer.
     
  41. bigserve99

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    I completely agree .
     
  42. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    There's a new report from the University of Arizona College of Medicine

    Premed Requirements: The Time for Change Is Long Overdue!
    James E. Dalen MD, MPH and Joseph S. Alpert MD

    Am J Med. 2009 Feb;122(2):104-6.
     
  43. VMedDream

    VMedDream Health

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    Thanks for posting this article. provides a lot of great insight into this mysterious process of medschool admissions
     
  44. mfrick

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    I'm on the fence with a premed major curriculum. What happens to the student that goes 4 years to college with the premed major and then does not get into medical school. What does one do with such a degree at that point? Hang the diploma on the wall and kick oneself each day.
     
    #43 mfrick, Feb 4, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  45. nick_carraway

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    What does one do with a general biology BS/BA?
     
  46. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    I think that's part of the point of what these admissions committees are saying. They force anyone pre-med to spend too much time in the basic sciences and not enough time studying broadly. Theoretically, if they loosened up the science requirements you could major in anything that interests you and still get a job when you're done.

    I mean people do it now, it would just make being an English major and pre-med a little bit easier.
     
  47. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    I think this is why students shouldn't be allowed to have a pre-med major. At my undergrad, you were required to major in something else then take the battery of pre-med classes in addition.

    I just happened to be interested in microbiology, so it was easier for me to fit these classes in as they were already a part of my major. Even with the most unrelated major ever, I don't think it's too much to fit in these pre-med classes. Most non-science majors are required to take some basic science classes anyways. Though they usually take the non-sci majors science courses, the pre-med classes can still fulfill these requirements.
     
  48. Bacchus

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    I would take a major in another science to "protect" yourself if you don't end up making it into medical school. Speaking from my University, majors such as chem, biochem, biology, microbiology and a few others have the 4 pre-requisites built in so there is no extra time or scheduling woes added.
     

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