- Feb 29, 2012
- Medical Student
I'm not sure how you can say the bolded part with any real confidence. The average applicant coming out of the top schools is going to be a lot stronger than the average applicant from other schools. It stands to reason that those students will fill the majority of those slots. I mean I can think of a couple dozen examples of 'randoms' from non-top schools that are all over the most competitive/"top" residencies that make no sense if 'prestige' had any real value.
Also, I'm not really sure what "top 10 medical school" means or "top 10 program" since those are essentially pre-med terms that are fairly nebulous.
Have you seen the match lists for top medical schools? Do you really think every single person coming from these places is that much stronger than say the top 10% at a school with a lesser reputation, however you define it. Hell no. We all learn the same stuff, take the same exams, and yet somehow everyone from Harvard is deemed a rockstar, and the kid from Podunk U who finished near the top of his class and crushed the Step has to scratch and claw just to get an interview at the "big name" places.
Coming from a lesser known university, I can tell you this was absolutely true for me when applying to medical school. My stats were comparable, and often times better, than your "average" applicant at most of the big schools, but interview after interview, it become abundantly clear that I was at a disadvantage. Sure, there are exceptions, but inbreeding very much seems to be the rule.
For instance, how do you explain the match list for a place like Yale, which is purely P/F with optional exams etc. Obviously their students must have been stellar pre-meds, but when it's all said and done, does anyone truly know how well they did in medical school, or how prepared they are to begin a residency? I mean really, the P/F system is only possible by way of a school's reputation, that's why you don't see Podunk U implementing it.
Anyways, I'm in no position to argue with residents/attendings. Prestige matters, from my experience, and I'm going to continue operating under this assumption until proven otherwise.