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This is not a thread about something ridiculous you heard that from that one clueless pre-med. What would you say are the biggest misconceptions you hear in the whole medical career process, premed, med, app cycles, etc?

For me it'd be the grand ol' :

"I wanna be a doctor so I can find the cure for cancer"

99% pre-meds I've heard said this also HATE the idea of doing/conducting scientific research. Good luck discovering any cures then folks! :p

Of course there's the DO vs MD misconception too.
 
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Goro

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That a good MCAT will overcome a poor GPA, and vice versa.

That having only good grades and MCAT will make up for lack of ECs.

That lots of ECs will make up for poor grades.

That what worked in undergrad will work in medical school (I get tons of students who crash onto this mountain).

That the whole app process is completely random, and so by applying to a lot of schools, they'll get in somewhere.

That because someone with a poor GPA got into a top 10 school, they can too.

That because the median GPA and MCAT scores are lower for the HBCs, then it's perfectly OK for people who don't fit the mission of the HBCs to apply to them.

Ditto for people who apply to very regionally biased schools, like U ND or Mercer, when they live in FL or CA.

Your turn!

This is not a thread about something ridiculous you heard that from that one clueless pre-med. What would you say are the biggest misconceptions you hear in the whole medical career process, premed, med, app cycles, etc?

For me it'd be the grand ol' :

"I wanna be a doctor so I can find the cure for cancer"

99% pre-meds I've heard said this also HATE the idea of doing/conducting scientific research. Good luck discovering any cures then folks! :p

Of course there's the DO vs MD misconception too.
 

Catalystik

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That applying with great stats and ECs guarantees an acceptance.

That applying anytime before the AMCAS deadline gives equal odds, whether early or late in the cycle.

That applying late for the second cycle in a row will magically result in a better outcome.
 
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I remember once having a conversation with my college pre-med advisor about what schools to apply to during my second admissions cycle. As a quick note, I like to think I have decent stats (3.9 GPA/3.8 sGPA/36)

Me: "So do you have any recommendations for other types of schools I should look into?
Advisor: "Oh, you should definitely apply to schools with average stats lower than yours."
Me: "But I've also heard that that might not necessarily help too much since if my stats don't match with a schools', they may be less willing to interview me because they don't think I would matriculate there."
Advisor: "That's true, you should definitely apply to schools with average stats about the same as yours."

He pretty much just agreed with every point I made during any conversation I ever had with him, including my points that contradicted one another.
 

BurghMed

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That applying to their state school guarantees them an interview

That without even knowing what's on the MCAT (let alone taking it and not knowing their score) they can gauge whether or not they'll get in to medical school
 
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DermViser

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That a good MCAT will overcome a poor GPA, and vice versa.

That having only good grades and MCAT will make up for lack of ECs.

That lots of ECs will make up for poor grades.

That what worked in undergrad will work in medical school (I get tons of students who crash onto this mountain).

That the whole app process is completely random, and so by applying to a lot of schools, they'll get in somewhere.

That because someone with a poor GPA got into a top 10 school, they can too.

That because the median GPA and MCAT scores are lower for the HBCs, then it's perfectly OK for people who don't fit the mission of the HBCs to apply to them.

Ditto for people who apply to very regionally biased schools, like U ND or Mercer, when they live in FL or CA.

Your turn!
I wonder if so much of your job with students is like this:
 

Goro

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DermViser

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2+ years on SDN....yup!
Maybe they think they're like Elle Woods and think the same applies to medical school admissions. If it's one thing I think every M4 realizes by that time is that just bc you CAN go to medical school, doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD go to to medical school.
 

194342

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That m3 and m4 of medical school is basically a big preceptorship where you basically do not have a role.
 
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giraffesuptop

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Not knowing what residency is. Honestly I didn't know what residency was until sophomore year of undergrad.
 
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Lucca

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Your only motivation for going into medicine should be wanting to help people and you should never consider the money, security, or work inherent in the profession.

Your only motivation for going into medicine is money, security, and prestige and has nothing to do with wanting to help people.

Basically anything that introduces a false choice.

But my favorite (and @DermViser already touched on it):

If you are at the top of your class with a resplendent resume then you should go to the most competitive medical school; if you are at the top of your medical school class with a resplendent resume you should go into a competitive specialty; if you are the top of your specialty's applicant pool you should go into the most prestigious residency program available....etc, etc.
 

username456789

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If you are at the top of your class with a resplendent resume then you should go to the most competitive medical school; if you are at the top of your medical school class with a resplendent resume you should go into a competitive specialty; if you are the top of your specialty's applicant pool you should go into the most prestigious residency program available....etc, etc.
Leave me out of this.
 

Doctor Strange

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That every god damn thing you learn in medical school is going to be "fascinating" and you won't mind the long study hours because you're "passionate" about the material. Don't get me wrong, stuff is interesting, but, man, some of the stuff just downright sucks.
 

bjb305

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I still remember the whole "there is a direct correlation with your verbal MCAT score and your score on USMLE step 1"

FALSE. I took the MCAT twice. 34, 38. First verbal score - 10, second verbal score (yes SECOND time taking it) - 9.
Step 1 score - 267
hence.. zero correlation.
The verbal section on the MCAT is ridiculous and the worst predictor of anything
 

194342

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I still remember the whole "there is a direct correlation with your verbal MCAT score and your score on USMLE step 1"

FALSE. I took the MCAT twice. 34, 38. First verbal score - 10, second verbal score (yes SECOND time taking it) - 9.
Step 1 score - 267
hence.. zero correlation.
The verbal section on the MCAT is ridiculous and the worst predictor of anything
Dude? Not sure if serious. Your scores would prove there is a correlation....
 

username456789

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I still remember the whole "there is a direct correlation with your verbal MCAT score and your score on USMLE step 1"

FALSE. I took the MCAT twice. 34, 38. First verbal score - 10, second verbal score (yes SECOND time taking it) - 9.
Step 1 score - 267
hence.. zero correlation.
The verbal section on the MCAT is ridiculous and the worst predictor of anything
You've come this far and you never learned anything about statistics? I'd ask for my medical school tuition back if I were you.
 

Baron Samedi

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Depending on what field you go into, physics can be immensely important.
 
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Ismet

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Maybe they think they're like Elle Woods and think the same applies to medical school admissions. If it's one thing I think every M4 realizes by that time is that just bc you CAN go to medical school, doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD go to to medical school.
This.

You've come this far and you never learned anything about statistics? I'd ask for my medical school tuition back if I were you.
Thinly veiled humblebrag perhaps? :p
 
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kthxbai

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I still remember the whole "there is a direct correlation with your verbal MCAT score and your score on USMLE step 1"

FALSE. I took the MCAT twice. 34, 38. First verbal score - 10, second verbal score (yes SECOND time taking it) - 9.
Step 1 score - 267
hence.. zero correlation.
The verbal section on the MCAT is ridiculous and the worst predictor of anything
A singular data point won't prove or disprove a **trend**. It would also do you well to note the difference between correlation and causation.
 

Goro

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The VR section is quite perverse. I still can't see how people who excel in college and ace both the Bio and P sections do poorly on VR. Luckily, Adcoms seem to cut people the most slack on VR scores.

Now, the entire MCAT as a predictor for med school and/or board performance? That has some data behind it.

Keep 'em rolling folks; I'm enjoying this thread.


Oh, here's one more I see posted here now and then: I did well on my SAT (or LSAT, or GRE), I will therefore do well on MCAT.

I still remember the whole "there is a direct correlation with your verbal MCAT score and your score on USMLE step 1"

FALSE. I took the MCAT twice. 34, 38. First verbal score - 10, second verbal score (yes SECOND time taking it) - 9.
Step 1 score - 267
hence.. zero correlation.
The verbal section on the MCAT is ridiculous and the worst predictor of anything
 

Ace Khalifa

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The VR section is quite perverse. I still can't see how people who excel in college and ace both the Bio and P sections do poorly on VR. Luckily, Adcoms seem to cut people the most slack on VR scores.

Now, the entire MCAT as a predictor for med school and/or board performance? That has some data behind it.

Keep 'em rolling folks; I'm enjoying this thread.


Oh, here's one more I see posted here now and then: I did well on my SAT (or LSAT, or GRE), I will therefore do well on MCAT.
So does this mean my 13 on verbal doesn't mean anything even though it was the my highest scored section?
 
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Jul 16, 2014
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who would ever say that?

hold on mr. patient, i need to go calculate the tension in your chordae teondineae right after i figure out what the spring constant is in my ballpoint pen.


(some real basics i could see.... but some of this is ridiculous)
Critical care medicine involves a ton of physics (or so I've heard)
 

pharmolu

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The VR section is quite perverse. I still can't see how people who excel in college and ace both the Bio and P sections do poorly on VR. Luckily, Adcoms seem to cut people the most slack on VR scores.

Now, the entire MCAT as a predictor for med school and/or board performance? That has some data behind it.

Keep 'em rolling folks; I'm enjoying this thread.


Oh, here's one more I see posted here now and then: I did well on my SAT (or LSAT, or GRE), I will therefore do well on MCAT.
As someone who scored okay in the PS and BS but bombed the VR, I can attest it to slow reading. On the PS one could skim the passages and on the BS, time was never an issue.However, on verbal, I always ran out of time, especially on the humanities passages
 
OP
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I just don't think some pre-meds understand what being a physician is. It is not a glamorous job whatsoever. Some specialties are less gooey then others, but for the most part, being a doctor is awfully gooey.

http://www.cmaj.ca/content/177/12/1545.full
yeah. even during shadowing doctors harldy actually encourage the students to pursue medicine. theyre sorta just like good luck work hard, but never like omg doctors are awesome they do this tht
 
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DermViser

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I still remember the whole "there is a direct correlation with your verbal MCAT score and your score on USMLE step 1"

FALSE. I took the MCAT twice. 34, 38. First verbal score - 10, second verbal score (yes SECOND time taking it) - 9.
Step 1 score - 267
hence.. zero correlation.
The verbal section on the MCAT is ridiculous and the worst predictor of anything
Please tell me you're kidding.
 
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I still remember the whole "there is a direct correlation with your verbal MCAT score and your score on USMLE step 1"

FALSE. I took the MCAT twice. 34, 38. First verbal score - 10, second verbal score (yes SECOND time taking it) - 9.
Step 1 score - 267
hence.. zero correlation.
The verbal section on the MCAT is ridiculous and the worst predictor of anything
This has to be a joke right? This is why medical schools need to require statistics.
 

onceawolverine

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One misconception that has always bothered me is: "if so-and-so has a family member in medicine, then he/she is guaranteed admission into medical school because #nepotism."

Just my n=1 story, but having family in medicine has actually made things relatively difficult. The only "edge" I have is that I really understand the commitment of medicine - that certain specialties are not jobs, they are lifestyles. But as for getting a leg up? My "connections" actually point-blank refused to let me shadow them or any acquaintances in the hospital, saying "go find your own opportunities." Same held true for research. Therefore, I had to think pretty hard about other, more creative ways to obtain research/clinical experience. In short, my "ties" only forced me work harder.

Now that I'm applying, I feel that I have to work a little extra hard to convince interviewers that I know "medicine is not my birthright," and that I know that just because I have familial ties does not make me any stronger/better/smarter/etc.

Just my 2 cents, after seeing a somewhat frustrating fb post from a friend, ranting about how so-and-so only got into medical school "cause daddy is pretty popular there." Believe me, sir, it takes more than a family connection to get a seat in medical school.

Of course there are always exceptions; nepotism is a pervasive creature, after all. But I wish people weren't so quick to attribute the sole cause of acceptance to "connections" (for those with connection, of course), because there's often much more to the story.
 

Goro

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Any score like yours is impressive. But a 13/8/8 isn't going to help anyone!
About the 13 in verbal? Nope, 11 bio 12 phys, 13 verbal was my 1 and done score.
 
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Gurby

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I just don't think some pre-meds understand what being a physician is. It is not a glamorous job whatsoever. Some specialties are less gooey then others, but for the most part, being a doctor is awfully gooey.

http://www.cmaj.ca/content/177/12/1545.full
I can't handle the cleverness:

Note: Be wary of surgical specialties such as ophthalmology that try to fool you by assigning pretty names to their goo, such as “aqueous humour” and “vitreous humour.” Let's be honest: when a nail gun meets an eyeball, there is nothing humorous about it — it's just aqueous goo and vitreous goo.
 
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