tavokeri9

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I've always liked SDN and find it helpful, but recently, I have been hearing contradictory info. from outside sources that make me wonder if I can trust SDN completely. I mean, it is anonymous and we don't know if people are for real or just making multiple accounts to chat. There is no guarantee that the people who claim to be students who have gotten into top 10s, adcoms telling us where to apply, or pre-meds who got 40+ on the MCAT are actually legit.

SDN practically helps us make life decisions. For example, my school advisor and all my peers tell me its okay to be complete in September, but SDN tells me not to apply. Everyone else tells me that I have plenty clinical experience (lots of shadowing but low volunteering), but SDN tells me to wait a year and get more. The rest of the world says MCAT retakes and being a reapp is not bad at all (and that it can actually be good!), but SDN places a big stigma on this. Needless to say, I'm confused. :confused: Is the SDN advice real? Or too neurotic for the average pre-med? Can I trust this website to guide me safely thru the med school process?

Most of the decisions I have to make are based off of SDN advice, so just looking for some reassurance :unsure:
 

piii

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May 21, 2013
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SDN advice is mostly conservative. Sure the adcoms on this site can be harsh, but it comes from the perspective of anonymity and desensitization from dealing with all of us annoying af premeds. They aren't those adcoms paid to give speeches to your class admissions fair, under ordinance to recruit many students for the profit of their own schools. So, they have the ability to give you the worst case scenario, which you should really be prepared for. I'd take the advice in this context, and with a grain or two of salt. And some wine.
 
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Roxas

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I've always liked SDN and find it helpful, but recently, I have been hearing contradictory info. from outside sources that make me wonder if I can trust SDN completely. I mean, it is anonymous and we don't know if people are for real or just making multiple accounts to chat. There is no guarantee that the people who claim to be students who have gotten into top 10s, adcoms telling us where to apply, or pre-meds who got 40+ on the MCAT are actually legit.

SDN practically helps us make life decisions. For example, my school advisor and all my peers tell me its okay to be complete in September, but SDN tells me not to apply. Everyone else tells me that I have plenty clinical experience (lots of shadowing but low volunteering), but SDN tells me to wait a year and get more. The rest of the world says MCAT retakes and being a reapp is not bad at all (and that it can actually be good!), but SDN places a big stigma on this. Needless to say, I'm confused. :confused: Is the SDN advice real? Or too neurotic for the average pre-med? Can I trust this website to guide me safely thru the med school process?

Most of the decisions I have to make are based off of SDN advice, so just looking for some reassurance :unsure:
Be cautious.

Literally everyone on SDN:

 
Jun 4, 2015
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At the end, advice is just advice and you have to decide what's best for you. Many posters don't give the full details of their situation for the sake of anonymity, so it's
difficult for even the most experienced of adcoms to give sound advice in such situations.
 
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Although SDN is a great way to size up your competition, I wouldn't trust any of the advice given here. That's not really the fault of the forum though - there's not a whole lot of collaboration in medicine.
 

mehc012

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Although SDN is a great way to size up your competition, I wouldn't trust any of the advice given here. That's not really the fault of the forum though - there's not a whole lot of collaboration in medicine.
The gunner is strong in this one...
 

NotYou20

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in addition to the verification, I really don't believe a non-physician could write many of the posts those with the physician badge have.

See the residency and moonlighting thread
 
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Roxas

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Although SDN is a great way to size up your competition, I wouldn't trust any of the advice given here. That's not really the fault of the forum though - there's not a whole lot of collaboration in medicine.
The gunner is strong in this one...
 

Goro

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As an example, I had to send them not merely my email addy, but my own webpage from our university's website.

Where there is a lot of angst here, if not outright neuroticism, the overall advice is good, you can sense the gestalt of what's correct vs. what's BS, and most SDNers are quite helpful.

The trolls range from merely amusing to outright toxic. Don't worry, they get splat with the banhammer if they go off the rails (a very satisfying sound). You generally can spot a loose cannon right away.

In no particular order, and this list is NOT meant to be comprehensive, I have a very high regard for gyngyn, LizzyM, mimelim, SouthernSurgeon, HushCom, Law2doc, Catalystic, Ismet, DrMidLife, Winged Scapula, WedgeDawg, gonnif, DoktorMom, Cabinbuilder and GrapesofRath. They are plenty others who belong on the list, but my brain is shorting out right now.


We send them information that can be verified from our home institutions.
 

Lawper

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As an example, I had to send them not merely my email addy, but my own webpage from our university's website.

Where there is a lot of angst here, if not outright neuroticism, the overall advice is good, you can sense the gestalt of what's correct vs. what's BS, and most SDNers are quite helpful.

The trolls range from merely amusing to outright toxic. Don't worry, they get splat with the banhammer if they go off the rails (a very satisfying sound). You generally can spot a loose cannon right away.

In no particular order, and this list is NOT meant to be comprehensive, I have a very high regard for gyngyn, LizzyM, mimelim, SouthernSurgeon, HushCom, Law2doc, Catalystic, Ismet, DrMidLife, Winged Scapula, WedgeDawg, gonnif, DoktorMom, Cabinbuilder and GrapesofRath. They are plenty others who belong on the list, but my brain is shorting out right now.
Not me, @efle @NickNaylor and @Faha? :cryi::cryi:

But i definitely agree with your post. Like i said, SDN (especially preallo) is infamous for trolls and neurotic premeds. Shun that aside and look for stickied threads, you will receive valuable information that will help you succeed in achieving your goals and dreams.
 

Lawper

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You're delusion if you think the likes of us belong on that list

SDN is not perfect, but is miles better than premed advising at universities
Well i mean GrapesOfRath and WedgeDawg are in the list so... :naughty::naughty::naughty::naughty:

I kid i kid. :p

I definitely agree SDN is better than premed advising, but much of the credit is given to adcoms (they've been patiently helping us for many years and should receive an award), and sticky threads, with some very helpful tidbits in MCAT and SSD forums.

My only request is for continuing and new residents and attendings to join SDN, not necessarily to help premeds and med students in guiding us through the medical journey, but to contribute to the mildly deserted resident/specialty forums

Well Nicknaylor should be on that list
Not supposed to be comprehensive. I'm just messing with Goro :p
 

Dr.Sticks

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Nov 24, 2014
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SDN is way better than advice you will receive in real life
SDN pushes you to over engineer your application, while often the pre-med clubs or other pre-meds will under engineer their app..
Think of it like this
SDN teaches you how to build a luxury home, school advisors/co-students generally teach you to build an average home.

In college they generally tell you to not even really worry about volunteering until sophomore year.. That's when you should be studying and getting ready to take the MCAT next year! (that's what SDN said)
Oh and when you talk volunteering they just say.. oh do a lil here and there, and ta da you're so great.
Reading SDN I found it is better to be dedicated to at least two different volunteering groups to gain both clinical, and non clinical experience.

I'm honestly convinced none of the pre-med advisors know what they are talking about.. I never even met on that has an M.D or a PhD.. SO what do they know? I'd rather read advice from actual faculty and physicians.
 

Roxas

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SDN is way better than advice you will receive in real life
SDN pushes you to over engineer your application, while often the pre-med clubs or other pre-meds will under engineer their app..
Think of it like this
SDN teaches you how to build a luxury home, school advisors/co-students generally teach you to build an average home.

In college they generally tell you to not even really worry about volunteering until sophomore year.. That's when you should be studying and getting ready to take the MCAT next year! (that's what SDN said)
Oh and when you talk volunteering they just say.. oh do a lil here and there, and ta da you're so great.
Reading SDN I found it is better to be dedicated to at least two different volunteering groups to gain both clinical, and non clinical experience.

I'm honestly convinced none of the pre-med advisors know what they are talking about.. I never even met on that has an M.D or a PhD.. SO what do they know? I'd rather read advice from actual faculty and physicians.
Excellent summary.

SDN begins to become toxic when MCAT/Step scores begin to be discussed, leading to ridiculous "what are my chances" threads
 

rocklobstr

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Apr 6, 2015
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I trust SDN more than my school's PreMed office
Yup. My pre-med adviser was able to tell me what the pre-req classes were, and that was about it. My chem professor, on the other hand, is a wealth of information
 
H

HCHopeful

Depending on your goals, SDN may not be the place for you to gather advice.

Truthfully, this forum is filled with people who are very knowledgeable of this process and give amazing advice. Having said that, there is a tendency to overvalue numbers and undervalue what the candidate, as a person, brings to the table.

This forum has served me extremely well throughout the past year or so. I'm very grateful to the many users whose input adds immense value. I just think some could use a lowering of expectations for what the average applicant truly looks like.

I'd much rather take advice from a source that's too harsh than too lenient. It's always better to work harder and find out you could have slacked off than to slack off to only find out you needed to work harder. SDN is the perfect place to kick your butt in high gear, so I say go with it.
 
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Dr.Sticks

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I will also argue that the pre-meds on SDN are better than the pre-meds that you will meet in general in real life..
How can you be a pre-med rising junior and not even know what the MCAT is?????????????????????????
How can you just think that getting into med school is just about your gpa??
These misinformed pre-meds are misinformed because of misinformed pre-med advisors, and the lack of credible advice. There certainly is a reason why only 41% of applicants actually matriculated. I'm willing to bet that many were rejected due to a lack of leadership experience, and no show of altruism.
I'll explain my thought process before SDN
"Good grades, MCAT, shadow some doctors, a little volunteering and I should be golden"
If I actually followed that model I would be rejected from every single medical school. Instead I did my research, read the advice of actual Physicians and Faculty and realized what it takes..
I can say with full confidence I'm on the right track.. Already volunteering, looking into research for Spring semester, etc..

So when SDN says take a gap year, I personally would follow the advice. Every year more students apply, and fewer get in. It's best to have the most solid application possible.​
 

Dr.Sticks

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For instance, virtually any poster with <30 (or equivalent on 2015) MCAT is told to retake no matter what. The truth is, though, that 50% of applicants are accepted with a 31 or below, so a retake may not be necessary all of the time.
I object
https://www.aamc.org/download/321494/data/factstable17.pdf
Average MCAT of a matriculate is 31.4, and average applicant MCAT is 28.6 per 2014 cycle
So.... It's best to have an MCAT of above 30 if you want the best odds of matriculating according to the facts tab;e.
 
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619959

Depending on your goals, SDN may not be the place for you to gather advice.

Truthfully, this forum is filled with people who are very knowledgeable of this process and give amazing advice. Having said that, there is a tendency to overvalue numbers and undervalue what the candidate, as a person, brings to the table.
I'm very grateful to the many users whose input adds immense value. I just think some could use a lowering of expectations for what the average applicant truly looks like.

Finally coming full circle, I'd much rather take advice from a source that's too harsh than too lenient. It's always better to work harder and find out you could have slacked off than slack off to only find out you needed to work harder. SDN is the perfect place to kick your butt in high gear, so I say go with it.
As the saying goes, take everything with a grain of salt...apply your own knowledge and find other helpful people who will support you every step through until you get to your destination :)
 
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Law2Doc

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I've always liked SDN and find it helpful, but recently, I have been hearing contradictory info. from outside sources that make me wonder if I can trust SDN completely. I mean, it is anonymous and we don't know if people are for real or just making multiple accounts to chat. There is no guarantee that the people who claim to be students who have gotten into top 10s, adcoms telling us where to apply, or pre-meds who got 40+ on the MCAT are actually legit.

SDN practically helps us make life decisions. For example, my school advisor and all my peers tell me its okay to be complete in September, but SDN tells me not to apply. Everyone else tells me that I have plenty clinical experience (lots of shadowing but low volunteering), but SDN tells me to wait a year and get more. The rest of the world says MCAT retakes and being a reapp is not bad at all (and that it can actually be good!), but SDN places a big stigma on this. Needless to say, I'm confused. :confused: Is the SDN advice real? Or too neurotic for the average pre-med? Can I trust this website to guide me safely thru the med school process?

Most of the decisions I have to make are based off of SDN advice, so just looking for some reassurance :unsure:
First "don't believe everything you read on the internet" is always sage advice. But also don't believe everything your "peers" tell you. Your peers (presumably premeds) are just as in the dark as you are and you are infinitely better off reading a post from some anonymous person who has apparently already gone down this road than someone you know personally who hasn't. You are basically getting information on how to fly from someone who has never been in a plane. And premed advisors are a mixed bag -- again usually people who never went to med school, and some know more than others.
 

Vespasian

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The only pre-med advisor I've encountered at the school I'm doing pre-reqs at has consistently provided advice that contradicts SDN. It has included such gems as:
- Volunteering is unnecessary if you do well in your pre-reqs.
- B's get degrees- getting them in "hard classes" like Chemistry is fine.
- Bio and chem majors receive admission preference.

I've pretty much shut them out and I try very hard to ignore it when other kids repeat the advice to others.

Me: Just need to bust my ass and get an A.
Other Pre-Med: Dude, B's get degrees. Don't worry.
Me: ...
 
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Law2Doc

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The only pre-med advisor I've encountered at the school I'm doing pre-reqs at has consistently provided advice that contradicts SDN. It has included such gems as:
- Volunteering is unnecessary if you do well in your pre-reqs.
- B's get degrees- getting them in "hard classes" like Chemistry is fine.
- Bio and chem majors receive admission preference.

I've pretty much shut them out and I try very hard to ignore it when other kids repeat the advice to others.

Me: Just need to bust my ass and get an A.
Other Pre-Med: Dude, B's get degrees. Don't worry.
Me: ...
B's do get degrees, but usually ones with a B at the beginning (BA, BS). At least they didn't say C's get the cheese.
 
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Vespasian

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B's do get degrees, but usually ones with a B at the beginning (BA, BS). At least they didn't say C's get the cheese.
B's get Bachelor's Degree... Or maybe B's don't get med degrees...

Maybe I'll start gunning some and pass "C's get the cheese" around.
 
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Gandyy

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The saying I've heard is C's get degrees, not B's get degrees. Usually used for engineer majors who are guaranteed a job right out of college since the job market is in dire need of engineers. So all they have to do is get like a 3.0 gpa and they land a 60-80k salary job after 4 years of college.
 

hypericum

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SDN practically helps us make life decisions. For example, my school advisor and all my peers tell me its okay to be complete in September, but SDN tells me not to apply. Everyone else tells me that I have plenty clinical experience (lots of shadowing but low volunteering), but SDN tells me to wait a year and get more.
FWIW, my school advisory committee disagrees with yours, and they agree with SDN that while it's not a kiss of death to be complete in September, it does hurt your chances relative to earlier applicants.
 

mehc012

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I just want to throw out there that excellent, well-informed premed advisors do exist. In my case, my advisor agreed with all but the insanely neurotic bits of SDN (apply to a bajillion schools, you need x gpa before even attempting, etc). SDN is more convenient, though!