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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kelpy, Jul 25, 2006.
They are a breed of mythical creatures comprised of parts of faculty, admission officials and/or senior medical students. Sightings are rare and their habits are shrouded in mystery, though a few specieman are known to visit SDN on occasion.
The acrediting body for medical schools requires that the decisions for medical school admission reside with the medical school faculty.
Typically, an adcom consists of physicans in private practice who are on the voluntary faculty (they admit patients to the affiliated hospital and teach students and residents), basic scientists,(those who teach anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, etc), physician-scientists on the full-time faculty of the medical school (teaching+research+patient care), as well as faculty who have expertise in the behavioral sciences and humanties as they relate to medicine (medical anthropology, medical sociology, bioethics, social psychology, etc). An adcom will usually have a diverse membership: age, race, sex, socio-economic status growing up, birth place, undergrad school, religion, ethnicity, political philosophy, etc. I've been on an adcom with faculty members as young as 30 and some who are semi-retired and in their 60s-to ~80.
A subset of the committee (that doesnt' make the final admission decisions) may include 3rd or 4th year students. Students may also serve as interviewers although most interviews are conducted by full-time members of the faculty.
How many people are typically on the adcom, or does that vary quite a lot from school to school? Do they get involved in the screening of applications for interview invites, as well as the post-interview decision making? Given the large number of applications, I assume that they will somehow be split among the adcoms.
(1) New faculty members who get stuck with it
(2) Faculty members who don't have sufficiently large research obligations to avoid having to sit on the committee
(3) Faculty members who have "god complexes"
I'm making a guess for my school: about 80 people. Only a handful (6-8) work as a group to make admission decisions but they are advised dozens of people (faculty and senior students) who have a role in the process. It takes a lot of work to review the thousands of applications that come in to each school.
How carefully do the ADCOMs read the apps? Most schools do not have a pre-secondary screening, so I'm assuming they must receive thousands of applications with several essays and letters of recommendations. Do they just skim over them and read parts of it? or would they read them very carefully and discuss it? Also, when do schools read the whole app? before or after the interview?
Private practice docs who have to serve on a committee to justify their medical school appointment (it's called "good citizenship")
Aged, semi-retired physicians and basic faculty who enjoy having something to do with their free time.
Faculty with kids in college who want to get an inside view of how this works so that they can help their kid with the process....
Most seem to be clinicians in the hospital, with a few PhD scientists thrown in.
I can only speak for one school (not saying which one) but every application gets read thoroughly by one adcom member (20-30 minutes) and a quick (or not so quick) review by a second reader who either concurs with the first reader's assessment or tweaks it a little bit. (If a first reader whom I trust tells me what I need to know and recommends an interview, I won't spend much time with that application... in other instances, it can take 20-30 minutes for a second review). In a few cases, a third reader is called in. Those recommendations to interview or not to review go to the Admissions office which makes decisions to interview or not based on the readers' recommendations and the number of interview slots available. (Keep in mind that only 10-15% of the applicants to some schools are going to get an interview offer).
There are opportunities to discuss after the interview but this doesn't come up too often except when there is a wide variety of opinon on a particular applicant. More often, it is quiet, solitary work like grading term papers.
Oh my lord. I know how boring grading can be, and I know that the adcom knows there are people behind the files, but pushing paper all day on the adcom has got to be a boring/grueling task. This just further encourages me to keep essay answers short and to the point. I don't want someone to have to dig around in there for what I am trying to say.
When I was a first reader, I would limit myself to no more than 1 hour per day (7 days/wk) because otherwise it all blended together. And I never read applications if I was in a bad mood because it was not fair to the applicants. No one should get rejected because I have PMS.