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Are medical schools starting to prefer "nontraditional" applicants?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by postbacpremed87, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. postbacpremed87

    7+ Year Member

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    Non-traditional (in the way I am using it) means applicants that do not have traditional majors....perhaps majors who major in Economics, History, Philosophy etc

    ...and applicants who are slightly older than the median, say 24-26 - because of the maturity factor.

    Your thoughts...
     
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  3. aviendhae

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    From what I have read here on SDN, yes. However it really depends on everything else as well. They still need the GPA, MCAT scores, and EC's to be competitive. They might like the diversity and maturity of a nontrad, but they still have to work as hard, sometimes harder due to families.

    As for the type of major, I hear that doesn't really matter as long as you have the GPA and MCAT scores they are looking for.

    Even though I am untrad, having flunked my first semester nine years ago, my chances are slim due to the lack of grade replacement for MD schools. There is no way I can pull up my GPA to a nice 3.0>, even with straight A's my second time around. Not to say I am not going to go for it despite this!

    Will they like me over trad students? Only time will tell...:xf:
     
  4. willen101383

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    I fall into this category..well 27 but close enough. I think non trads are a safer bet than most coming right from undergrad. Many of us did post baccs etc and in many (my) cases years of post grad work were needed in order to get accepted to medical school. That really shows your commitment to medicine and that you are likely to make it through. Not saying that undergrads arent committed. But i think for every super genuine premed another one exists solely because of parental pressures/other influences/the wrong reasons.

    Plus we are generally less stressed out and have more school life balance than the just out of college crowd. :D (as i sit here sipping coffee at home in my boxers listening to the day's lectures online.)
     
  5. Narmerguy

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    Medical schools want someone who stands out. Because you get the same song and dance from so many of the chemistry, biology, biochemistry majors, it's easy for a humanities major or perhaps social science major to stand out through activities related to what they're interested in. When you've seen 50 applicants in a row that majored in a bio/chemical science with similar research and then there pops up a guy who majored in Economics whose honors research was on the economic impact of ethnic healthcare disparities, who sounds more interesting to interview and talk to? Adcoms are people and they can get bored of seeing the same stuff over and over again.

    In addition to this, I recently remember seeing stats that showed that the average MCAT score for nonscience majors was slightly higher than that for science majors. Part of this is probably because so many otherwise mediocre applicants decide to choose a biology/chemistry major to "augment" their chances. When they ultimately get rejected, it can give the appearance that medical schools have some preference for non biology/chemistry majors but I'm willing to bet there's just so many bad biology/chemistry applicants that it had nothing to do with their major.

    The age thing I think is good. Keep in mind that being older means that you have more time to make up for weaknesses in you application strength from freshman/sophomore year. It may be the case that it is this ability of older applicants to have times to "prove themselves" that gives them the benefits you perceive, and not simply that they are older. However, it doesn't seem to be the case yet that anyone is "harmed" from applying right out of college so I wouldn't get too concerned with the age stuff just yet. I think a good way to look at it is, if you decide you want to do other things before applying, medical schools are just as receptive to that decision (provided you're not flying kites in your backyard). If you imagine that someone like me would be 25 as a resident if I applied right out of college, that's a little weird for me to think about when you consider where most 25-year old males are on the maturity scale.
     
  6. Big Dog

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    it has been increasing since the '70's.....
     
  7. aSagacious

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    No. The average matriculant is 23 years old, and considering how many students take more than four years to finish undergrad it's hard to discern those who have done non-traditional things outside of undergrad from those who have simply taken their time in undergrad. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of matriculants remain the biological and physical sciences majors. I don't think age or major have any direct effect on how AdComs view you. Of course older applicants tend to have more ECs, but as long as an applicant takes care of their ECs and has a relatively rigorous courseload they'll be fine.
     

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