Current Applicants with MDApplicants Profiles: Unintentionally showing your hand?

abcehmu

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I’m sure this will be brushed off as “paranoid” by many readers, but at a recent interview an admissions officer acknowledged frequently checking out SDN. The thought had never occurred to me, but it makes perfect sense. If there is anyone who thinks and worries about the medical school admissions process more than applicants, it’s probably the people who do it for a living.

I am sure that if they frequent SDN they are very much aware of MDApplicants as well. So my point: with all the information that applicants provide on MDApplicants (State of residence, undergraduate college, MCAT, GPA, experiences) it would be incredibly easy for an admissions officer to match an application they receive to an MDApplicant profile. With all the search options provided on the web-site, they could retrieve your profile in seconds.

In doing so, they would have access to the information AMCAS has kept confidential for you (your school list) and furthermore, where you have been interviewed, accepted, and in the case of individuals who makes annotations next to schools, what you really think of different schools, including their own.

This next thought is too ridiculous for me to even entertain, but for those people with MDApplicant links with their SDN posts, they could even see what you really think on a variety of issues.

I’ll be the first to admit that this probably doesn’t happen very often, but it is something current applicants should consider. I think MDApplicants offers a great service, but maybe it's better to wait until the process is over for you to post.
 

ShyRem

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Good lord. I think admissions offices have better things to do (certainly more things to do) than take hours and hours browsing through mdapplicants to match their applicants up.

I'd definitely file this under 'paranoid'.
 

dabigv13

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It's not too outlandish. Consider imaginary school X, who matriculates a class of 100 each year, invites 400 to interview, and accepts 200 of those. It wouldn't be too difficult to do searches by school/MCAT/GPA to find someone's MDapplicants profile (you could write a program in fact). Let's say 40 of their interviewees have MD applicants profiles that turn up in the search. 40 profiles is NOT that many to go through, however if they go through their profiles and see where else these people have been accepted and where else they've applied, they might get a good idea of their likelihood to matriculate at their school. It would be even worse is somebody actually puts up comments next to the schools.

I think this is very feasible.
 

LizzyM

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Good Grief! I hang around here because I find that it gives me some insight to how it is to be on the other side of the fence but I can't imagine anyone with adcom responsibilities would have any interest in matching up profiles online with applications. Every good school knows that those who are accepted at School X are likely to have offers from 3-5 other schools. That's what the second look weekends are for -- wooing the best and brightest. Then getting some love is on the other foot to mix a metaphor.
 

rocketman

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I don't think it is out of the realm of possibility. Schools want the best applicants who they think will matriculate. If the information is publically available, then why not take advantage of it?

I don't think it happens too often and I don't think schools rely on this information. But please don't dismiss the possiblity that schools might take advantage of this great resource.
 
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abcehmu

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LizzyM said:
Good Grief! I hang around here because I find that it gives me some insight to how it is to be on the other side of the fence but I can't imagine anyone with adcom responsibilities would have any interest in matching up profiles online with applications. Every good school knows that those who are accepted at School X are likely to have offers from 3-5 other schools. That's what the second look weekends are for -- wooing the best and brightest. Then getting some love is on the other foot to mix a metaphor.
I've received interviews from many good schools, including 5 ivies, and overall i've been left with the impression that schools, in particular the good ones vying for top rankings care an awful lot about keeping their acceptance offers/matriculated students ratio low. it seems like columbia has even resorted to playing an "put everybody on the waitlist and only admit those who send adoring letters" game to keep this number low. having this kind of info would help them do that.

again, i don't think this is something to fret about, and I wouldn't run over and erase an mdapplicants profile because of it, but it is something to consider.
 

jackets5

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Wow, if you really beleive that you have serious issues and need to find a hobby
 

MoosePilot

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I considered it, but I'm not really afraid. I've answered honestly any time an interviewer has asked "What other schools did you apply to?" and that's basically all they'll get from MDapplicants.
 

angietron3000

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OMIGOD! So that could have been an adcom member rustling in the bushes outside my window last night???
I mean, I'm sure they have better things to do but it is a possibility, right?!?! :p
 

RayhanS1282

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Um....that idea is a bit far-fetched. Matching up applications with MDapplicant profiles will take an insane amount of time. And I really doubt adcoms will be doing that. It seems at least to me, very difficult to associate a SDN name with the exact applicant. For example, I have difficulty figuring out how they are going to connect a poster with the name saltygroin with an applicant named John Doe to their school.
 

ti89

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Well on the bright side they may be like hmm they have so many interviews must be something we missing so lets interview them to see if you saying they won't interview because they see on mdapplicants how many you have. :p

This is just silly.
 
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abcehmu

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RayhanS1282 said:
Um....that idea is a bit far-fetched. Matching up applications with MDapplicant profiles will take an insane amount of time. And I really doubt adcoms will be doing that. It seems at least to me, very difficult to associate a SDN name with the exact applicant. For example, I have difficulty figuring out how they are going to connect a poster with the name saltygroin with an applicant named John Doe to their school.
I agree with you on the second part (very difficult to associate SDN name- nearly impossible and not worth it in terms of time) but I'm not sold on the first.

I think it's silly to picture an adcom sitting with a pile of applications trying to match each one to an MDapplicant profile, but if I were an assistant dean of admissions or something like that and was having a tough time making a decision on an applicant I wouldn't hesitate to drop their year of matriculation, sex, undergrad school and MCAT in the MDapplicants search box and see if anything popped up that could help me make my decision. it would take 2 minutes and potentially give me some very valuable info.
 

speranza

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Like some others have said...I think they have better things to do.
 

SpeedRacer

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angietron3000 said:
OMIGOD! So that could have been an adcom member rustling in the bushes outside my window last night???
HAHAH :laugh:
 

SpeedRacer

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rocketman said:
I don't think it is out of the realm of possibility. Schools want the best applicants who they think will matriculate. If the information is publically available, then why not take advantage of it?

I don't think it happens too often and I don't think schools rely on this information. But please don't dismiss the possiblity that schools might take advantage of this great resource.
i :love: your avatar/user name. that was the strangest like 8 minute interlude in an episode ever. sweet.
 

jackets5

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well considering most people probally exagerate their GPA and MCAT a bit it would be useless. Again, if you even remotely believe this get a hobby
 

IAMS

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Iffn they're reedin this,
Im gunna have to start to usin' spel chek
 

BaylorGuy

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SpeedRacer said:
i :love: your avatar/user name. that was the strangest like 8 minute interlude in an episode ever. sweet.
Strangest, yet funny. Some of the stuff they do tends to drag-on....this one dragged on tooooo long.


As for the original post, do what you feel. I doubt any adcom is going to be crazy about wanting to know everything about. If they do, then maybe its a good thing...if not, then dont go to the school.
 

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I would not be the least bit surprised to discover that admissions folks take a good look at this site, and also at MDapplicants. So? None of this freaks me out, because I am the same person on SDN and on MDapplicants as I am in the real world. I never assume that anything on the internet is anonymous, so I don't post anything that I would be ashamed of. It would be trivially easy to figure out who I am... I'm the only MDapplicant profile in my age range from my state, and statistically speaking there can't be too many RNs that achieved my MCAT score. If a school wants to reject me based on something they see here, then I wouldn't have been a good fit for them anyway.
 

veenut

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BaylorGuy said:
Strangest, yet funny. Some of the stuff they do tends to drag-on....this one dragged on tooooo long.


As for the original post, do what you feel. I doubt any adcom is going to be crazy about wanting to know everything about. If they do, then maybe its a good thing...if not, then dont go to the school.
have you guys seen the william shatner clip that inspired it? craziness...
 

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abcehmu said:
I’m sure this will be brushed off as “paranoid” by many readers, but at a recent interview an admissions officer acknowledged frequently checking out SDN. The thought had never occurred to me, but it makes perfect sense. If there is anyone who thinks and worries about the medical school admissions process more than applicants, it’s probably the people who do it for a living.
Actually, at my last interview, the admissions secretary said she and the adm. dean frequently read the posts on this forum.. she didn't mention mdapplicants, but I'm sure they do look, out of curiosity, on occasion. She said she mostly reads the interview feedback for their school, too.
 

themadchemist

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jackets5 said:
well considering most people probally exagerate their GPA and MCAT a bit it would be useless. Again, if you even remotely believe this get a hobby
Absolutely. While I think it's a very interesting and amusing thing to think about, I ask that we consider just for a moment what great lengths schools take to certify our information. They use an expensive organization, AMCAS, to check against our transcripts course by course. I find it doubtful that schools, which have a legal obligation to approach this process with accurate and ethically-obtained information, would base their decisions on something like mdapplicants.com. First, there would be little incentive: we don't even trust mdapplicants, why should med school admissions committees? Second, if anyone really started prying and it came out that med schools had formalized the process of looking at a student-created website and patching together conclusions about who was who on the basis of largely incidental numbers like GPA and MCAT scores (which could be fabricated anyway), then those schools would look unethical, but more importantly, foolish.

So, I just don't think it's in the cards.
 

jbrice1639

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why would they even care? they have a printout of every class we've ever taken and a grade for each class, every school we've ever been to with a gpa, every activity we've done...

what could they possibly gain from the summary on mdapplicants?

male, IL resident, age 24, 3.2/3.2, 36 (12, 12, 12) Q, U of IL, Loyola.
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doesn't seem worth the effort to hunt us down just to find information they already have...the only new information they'd get is what schools we applied to, and hell, i'd tell them that if they asked anyways...it's not some big secret.
 

OwnageMobile

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Who knows... maybe they are reading this exact thread and laughing at the moment


P.S. That C in english my first semester was due to me not being challenged enough, really; I'm your school's type of student.
 

thesauce

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dabigv13 said:
It wouldn't be too difficult to do searches by school/MCAT/GPA to find someone's MDapplicants profile (you could write a program in fact).

I think this is very feasible.
They wouldn't find the person if they searched by MCAT because so many people on the MDApplicants page are lying about their scores.
 
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abcehmu

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jbrice1639 said:
why would they even care? they have a printout of every class we've ever taken and a grade for each class, every school we've ever been to with a gpa, every activity we've done...

what could they possibly gain from the summary on mdapplicants?

male, IL resident, age 24, 3.2/3.2, 36 (12, 12, 12) Q, U of IL, Loyola.
volunteered
applied to a bunch of schools

doesn't seem worth the effort to hunt us down just to find information they already have...the only new information they'd get is what schools we applied to, and hell, i'd tell them that if they asked anyways...it's not some big secret.
I don't think that the school list and more so, where students have been interviewed/accepted, etc. is useless information. AMCAS goes as far as protecting this information for you.

As for interviewers asking what others schools you have applied to, which at least in my case has happened a handful of times, I don't think they ask this because they think it would be something cute to chat you up about or because they believe they can discern some valuable information about the kind of person you are and the potential doctor you will be based on where you are applying. It's valuable information for schools in trying to make up their incoming class.
 

jbrice1639

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abcehmu said:
I don't think that the school list and more so, where students have been interviewed/accepted, etc. is useless information. AMCAS goes as far as protecting this information for you.

As for interviewers asking what others schools you have applied to, which at least in my case has happened a handful of times, I don't think they ask this because they think it would be something cute to chat you up about or because they believe they can discern some valuable information about the kind of person you are and the potential doctor you will be based on where you are applying. It's valuable information for schools in trying to make up their incoming class.
i realize it's useful information...but at the same time, it's useful information that they can get by asking me anyways. i wouldn't be one to lie in an interview, so if they ask where i applied, why i applied to those schools, where i'd interviewed, etc, then i'd tell them. it just seems like stalking us on mdapplicants would be way more time consuming than this small amount of information would warrant.
 

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jbrice1639 said:
i realize it's useful information...but at the same time, it's useful information that they can get by asking me anyways. i wouldn't be one to lie in an interview, so if they ask where i applied, why i applied to those schools, where i'd interviewed, etc, then i'd tell them. it just seems like stalking us on mdapplicants would be way more time consuming than this small amount of information would warrant.
I don't think anyone is saying the schools are "stalking" applicants. I also don't understand why everyone thinks it would take so long to uncover this type of information on that website. It's not time consuming. It's based on simple searches in which you can narrow it down by gpa, mcat, and the school you are interested in. What is so time consuming about that?

I agree that more often than not, it would be a waste of time because the large majority of applicants do not post on the site and there is some misinformation. But at the same time, I happened to be browsing the site the other day and am 99% sure about the identity of an individual who created of one of the profiles. It's not like I was even looking for this person's profile.

It is true they could just ask you where you applied at your interview. But many people don't tell the truth or simply decline to answer that question. Further I think if some med schools look at this information, it is probably used to decide who to interview and not who to accept after an interview.

But you all could be right. Maybe we are all just paranoid. Hey, maybe the government is telling us the truth about the war too! That would be great.
 

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rocketman said:
Hey, maybe the government is telling us the truth about the war too!
Whatever you are smoking I want some. Besides, the american people have moved on. The newness of other issues trumps the olditude of the war. We know other stuff is more important because it happened more recently.
 

rocketman

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Whatever you are smoking I want some. Besides, the american people have moved on. The newness of other issues trumps the olditude of the war. We know other stuff is more important because it happened more recently.
Though I am glad you feel comfortable as spokesperson for the american people (which includes me by the way), I was merely making an analogy to demonstrate that it might be naive to accept that organizations are always going to act ethically. I did not mean to incite a debate about the war.
 

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angietron3000 said:
OMIGOD! So that could have been an adcom member rustling in the bushes outside my window last night???
I mean, I'm sure they have better things to do but it is a possibility, right?!?! :p
Oh yeah... about that rustling...

Sorry.

I wanted to ring the bell and introduce myself, but on my way to the door, I chickened out. So then I was thinking that maybe I'd just spell "hello" in plastic forks in the grass (I always carry a large supply of plastic utensils,) but tripped and fell into the bushes. Then I just panicked and ran.

It happens to everyone, I think. :D
 

Stroganoff

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I called up my adcom representative when I was applying to colleges, and she was like "Oh BTW, I've been reading your posts on **** forums. You've had a lot of good things to say. tee hee." That freaked me out.

If it's public information and it's possible, then it happens. As far as how often it happens, bleh, who cares. :D

The only thing they can really glean from SDN is personality. And since none of us have personalities, there's nothing to worry about.
 

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thesauce said:
They wouldn't find the person if they searched by MCAT because so many people on the MDApplicants page are lying about their scores.
Keep telling yourself that :laugh: