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Just had a pretty interesting conversation with someone I knew from my alma mater last night. He was ranting about how he didn't get into any schools this cycle (his first), and how broken the med school system is. So I asked him about his stats, activities, and his school list... looks like he applied with a 3.98/520, a Google internship, some TA'ing, a few pubs, some service org nonclinical... but no clinical time or shadowing. He applied to HYS, UCSF/LA/SD, Pitt, Cornell, NYU, Tufts, Dartmouth. Didn't receive a single interview. Claimed he's a shoe-in at Dartmouth and Tufts because those are his "safeties," since his MCAT/GPA are far above their medians. Says he didn't need any clinical volunteering because his Google internship will make up for it (lol).

I don't get it. If you're able to maintain a 3.98 at a grade-deflating school, and score a 98th percentile MCAT, how hard is it to spend 1 hour online and see how crucial other aspects of your applications are?

I straight up told him he's an idiot for applying like that, and told him to beef up his clinical time and reapply more broadly. He replied, and I quote WORD FOR WORD, "I will never be able to forgive myself as a doctor if it takes me more than 1 try to get in, and god forbid I end up at some unranked school." Funny thing is, he had a very specific speciality in mind. Probably wouldn't consider anything outside of it. You can probably guess what that field is. Says the reason he didn't get a single interview is because of affirmative action, and says people admitted under AA are not qualified to become doctors (subtle racism, yikes). He says he "doesn't want to be part of a broken system that rewards under qualified people," and he's switching paths to tech. His new goal is now "FAANG or bust" (Facebook/Apple/Amazon/Netflix/Google, i.e. "top tech companies or bust").

Good riddance, since people like him should never become doctors. How many delusional premeds like him have you come across? Is it more common than we think?
 
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Morc

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Reeks of privilege, that is all I have to say.
 
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I see this a lot more than I would like among students I advise.

They are ultra-focused on grades and the MCAT, but I cannot convince them of the importance of service, shadowing, and clinical experience in their applications. A lot of them end up putting it off until the very end, and then either don't have the experience or have relatively little, not to mention it being really obvious from their application that they only did it because they had to.

I've even tried to point out that maybe the fact that they seem to have no interest in shadowing or gaining clinical experience should tell them something about how interested and invested they actually are in becoming doctors/going into healthcare work.
 
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AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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All I can say is I'm glad they switched fields. No one needs a physician who would probably want to name-drop their school with every patient.

Also, the one big question you're asked on med school apps is "why medicine?" - how the hell do you choose a career in medicine with zero shadowing and clinical experience?? Watching ER isn't enough buck-o (this is probably outdated, I'm sure there are far more popular medical dramas now lmao)
 
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RJ McReady

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Applying to only 9 schools, even with those stats, and especially without EC’s, is an invitation for disaster. The unfortunate thing is probably would have been accepted somewhere if he had applied more broadly.
thank goodness for the rest of us (and future patients) that he did not and is choosing another career.
 
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gonnif

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Just had a pretty interesting conversation with someone I knew from my alma mater last night. He was ranting about how he didn't get into any schools this cycle (his first), and how broken the med school system is. So I asked him about his stats, activities, and his school list... looks like he applied with a 3.98/520, a Google internship, some TA'ing, a few pubs, some service org nonclinical... but no clinical time or shadowing. He applied to HYS, UCSF/LA/SD, Pitt, Cornell, NYU, Tufts, Dartmouth. Didn't receive a single interview. Claimed he's a shoe-in at Dartmouth and Tufts because those are his "safeties," since his MCAT/GPA are far above their medians. Says he didn't need any clinical volunteering because his Google internship will make up for it (lol).

I don't get it. If you're able to maintain a 3.98 at a grade-deflating school, and score a 98th percentile MCAT, how hard is it to spend 1 hour online and see how crucial other aspects of your applications are?

I straight up told him he's an idiot for applying like that, and told him to beef up his clinical time and reapply more broadly. He replied, and I quote WORD FOR WORD, "I will never be able to forgive myself as a doctor if it takes me more than 1 try to get in, and god forbid I end up at some unranked school." Funny thing is, he had a very specific speciality in mind. Probably wouldn't consider anything outside of it. You can probably guess what that field is. Says the reason he didn't get a single interview is because of affirmative action, and says people admitted under AA are not qualified to become doctors (subtle racism, yikes). He says he "doesn't want to be part of a broken system that rewards under qualified people," and he's switching paths to tech. His new goal is now "FAANG or bust" (Facebook/Apple/Amazon/Netflix/Google, i.e. "top tech companies or bust").

Good riddance, since people like him should never become doctors. How many delusional premeds like him have you come across? Is it more common than we think?

Dont get me started...... If I ever wrote a book it might be called "Premeds: Neurotic, Obsessive, and Delusional"

1) I have seen applicants from high powered schools (with their high powered parents) insist on ONLY applying to Harvard, JHU, Stanford, etc and ONLY want to be an Ophthalmologist or Cardiac Surgeon because that is the only place little Johnnie/Janie will go and of course they will take them

2) I have seen the woefully under qualified in all areas do the same

3) Oddly, I see alot of well qualified who apply way below their level because they have totally pessimistic view of their chances

4) About 1/3 of the nontraditional, atypical or problematic applicants I see are high stats without, volunteering or shadowing or nothing very personal in their personal statement.
 
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2) I have seen the woefully under qualified in all areas do the same

3) Oddly, I see alot of well qualified who apply way below their level because they have totally pessimistic view of their chances

This is actually a really interesting phenomena called the Dunning-Kruger effect, and it's explained pretty well in this article about intellectual humility. To summarize it, it basically states that people who perform worse tend to be overconfident of their abilities, while those who perform better (top quartile) tend to be under-confident of their abilities.
 
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Isoval

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I don't remember the name of the thread, but there's one here in pre-MD that goes on for pages on this very subject.

I'm not a mental health worker, but even I know personality disorder when I see one.

 
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Hzreio

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To be fair, it is a little weird that not checking passive boxes like following a doctor around can end you despite stellar performance in other, active areas.

Why that person would let that happen to them I do not get though.
 
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Achieving 3.98/520 is no small feat and speaks to your friend's strong work ethics and book smart. I wish him well.
 

Hzreio

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To be fair, it is a little weird that not checking passive boxes like following a doctor around can end you despite stellar performance in other, active areas.

Why that person would let that happen to them I do not get though.

It's not unreasonable that before entering a profession that requires 7+ years of commitment, $100000+ debt, and exhausting work hours that they want to you get a couple hours of exposure within the field...
 
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deleted1005514

To be fair, it is a little weird that not checking passive boxes like following a doctor around can end you despite stellar performance in other, active areas.

Why that person would let that happen to them I do not get though.

It’s not about passively checking boxes, it’s about knowing that a doctor spends lots of time on paperwork, dealing with insurance companies, working with a healthcare team, and often working with noncompliant patients. It’s about knowing all this before you commit 10+ years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt going down this road. No one wants jaded doctors who didn’t know what they were getting into.

I would recommend shadowing, interning or just taking someone in any profession you’re considering out for a cup of coffee to pick their brain before entering into that profession. If more people would do that before they embark on a career, they’d have a clearer vision and purpose for their future unclouded by idealism.
 
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It’s not about passively checking boxes, it’s about knowing that a doctor spends lots of time on paperwork, dealing with insurance companies, working with a healthcare team, and often working with noncompliant patients. It’s about knowing all this before you commit 10+ years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt going down this road. No one wants jaded doctors who didn’t know what they were getting into.

I would recommend shadowing, interning or just taking someone in any profession you’re considering out for a cup of coffee to pick their brain before entering into that profession. If more people would do that before they embark on a career, they’d have a clearer vision and purpose for their future unclouded by idealism.

Sure, but that’s the same as every job isn’t it? Teamwork, policy, paperwork, noncompliant customers—pilot, law enforcement, government agency, any management position, etc etc. I’m sure the typical prospective law student unrealistically dreams of being Atticus Finch—but to deny a top GPA/top LSAT/teach for America applicant because they didn’t spend a few afternoons watching a lawyer fill out paperwork? I dunno that just seems weird to me.
And even weirder, what if the applicant has several doctors in the family? Arguably anyone with 2 doctor parents can attest to the various difficulties of the profession better than someone who clocked 40 hours of following a doctor around right? But I think the prevailing conclusion would be that the one with shadowing checked would fare better than the one without it, regardless of the actual lifetime worth of firsthand experience. What would you say to that case?
 
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deleted1005514

Sure, but that’s the same as every job isn’t it? Teamwork, policy, paperwork, noncompliant customers—pilot, law enforcement, government agency, any management position, etc etc. I’m sure the typical prospective law student unrealistically dreams of being Atticus Finch—but to deny a top GPA/top LSAT/teach for America applicant because they didn’t spend a few afternoons watching a lawyer fill out paperwork? I dunno that just seems weird to me.
And even weirder, what if the applicant has several doctors in the family? Arguably anyone with 2 doctor parents can attest to the various difficulties of the profession better than someone who clocked 40 hours of following a doctor around right? But I think the prevailing conclusion would be that the one with shadowing checked would fare better than the one without it, regardless of the actual lifetime worth of firsthand experience. What would you say to that case?

That a student with stats that high and 2 physician parents either needs to address their extensive knowledge of the day to day lives of their physician parents in their personal statement, or use their physician parents or their extensive connections to get their shadowing hours and clinical experience in. They should also do their homework to know that they would need these things. I do feel that it’s unrealistic to say that because your parents are in a certain profession that you understand it implicitly. Can you give a day to day accounting of what your parents do?

They don’t get to be exempt from following the rules everyone else has to follow because they’re high stats applicants or have physician parents. Medicine is a service profession, if the applicant isn’t willing to give up some personal time to shadow and serve in a clinical setting, maybe they truly aren’t the best candidate.

And I do think law students should have to shadow lawyers. I have a lawyer in my family, and he often encourages young people to work in a law firm in high school and college so they don’t go into debt thinking every week is going to be like a episode of Suits. My oldest daughter took a job in a law firm for this reason and after 3 months knew that law wasn’t for her. She just as easily could have loved it and would be pre-law right now.
 
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AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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Sure, but that’s the same as every job isn’t it? Teamwork, policy, paperwork, noncompliant customers—pilot, law enforcement, government agency, any management position, etc etc. I’m sure the typical prospective law student unrealistically dreams of being Atticus Finch—but to deny a top GPA/top LSAT/teach for America applicant because they didn’t spend a few afternoons watching a lawyer fill out paperwork? I dunno that just seems weird to me.
And even weirder, what if the applicant has several doctors in the family? Arguably anyone with 2 doctor parents can attest to the various difficulties of the profession better than someone who clocked 40 hours of following a doctor around right? But I think the prevailing conclusion would be that the one with shadowing checked would fare better than the one without it, regardless of the actual lifetime worth of firsthand experience. What would you say to that case?

How would someone with doctor parents but no clinical experience be able to answer "why medicine?" I don't think it's wrong to not accept someone who has never interacted with an actual patient before. I'd go even further, I wouldn't want to accept someone who has never interacted with a patient before and who has never worked/interacted/served someone less fortunate than themselves.
 
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Am actually genuinely surprised your friend added anything beyond HYS given his apparent disposition, lol
 
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That a student with stats that high and 2 physician parents either needs to address their extensive knowledge of the day to day lives of their physician parents in their personal statement, or use their physician parents or their extensive connections to get their shadowing hours and clinical experience in. They should also do their homework to know that they would need these things. I do feel that it’s unrealistic to say that because your parents are in a certain profession that you understand it implicitly. Can you give a day to day accounting of what your parents do?

They don’t get to be exempt from following the rules everyone else has to follow because they’re high stats applicants or have physician parents. Medicine is a service profession, if the applicant isn’t willing to give up some personal time to shadow and serve in a clinical setting, maybe they truly aren’t the best candidate.

And I do think law students should have to shadow lawyers. I have a lawyer in my family, and he often encourages young people to work in a law firm in high school and college so they don’t go into debt thinking every week is going to be like a episode of Suits. My oldest daughter took a job in a law firm for this reason and after 3 months knew that law wasn’t for her. She just as easily could have loved it and would be pre-law right now.

My parents are computer programmers so I can account their day to day, but that’s not a very fair example of the point you’re making :).

Your second paragraph there is the weird part for me—“rule”. The progression of logic everyone follows is a. Following a doctor around gives insight into the profession, and if someone already has that insight then b. It becomes a “rule”. If it is merely a rule that must be followed to check that box—even if it adds no value for that particular applicant—I hardly think it qualifies as “serving” anyone nor a worthwhile use of that given up personal time.
Using the original example—if that person falls into the category of b., and they already had a good perspective of medicine, it seems they gave up their personal time for a much more worthwhile endeavor, doesn’t it? (With that google internship or whatever it was)
I dunno. I’m coming from the military and I’m just so sick of box checking. The officer evaluation system is entirely based on it, and consequentially a great officer is equal in the eyes of the promotion board to a merely adequate officer—since technically they both checked the same boxes. Maybe me and all the others who despised that system are the crazy ones, but it just seems so contrary to the goal of identifying the best potential senior officers. I dunno, just an interesting discussion topic to me.
 
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deleted1005514

My parents are computer programmers so I can account their day to day, but that’s not a very fair example of the point you’re making :).

Your second paragraph there is the weird part for me—“rule”. The progression of logic everyone follows is a. Following a doctor around gives insight into the profession, and if someone already has that insight then b. It becomes a “rule”. If it is merely a rule that must be followed to check that box—even if it adds no value for that particular applicant—I hardly think it qualifies as “serving” anyone nor a worthwhile use of that given up personal time.
Using the original example—if that person falls into the category of b., and they already had a good perspective of medicine, it seems they gave up their personal time for a much more worthwhile endeavor, doesn’t it? (With that google internship or whatever it was)
I dunno. I’m coming from the military and I’m just so sick of box checking. The officer evaluation system is entirely based on it, and consequentially a great officer is equal in the eyes of the promotion board to a merely adequate officer—since technically they both checked the same boxes. Maybe me and all the others who despised that system are the crazy ones, but it just seems so contrary to the goal of identifying the best potential senior officers. I dunno, just an interesting discussion topic to me.

I used the word "rule" (perhaps incorrectly) only to address any mindset that because an applicant has high stats or physician parents that they can circumvent the requirements to shadow or serve in a clinical capacity. Also, the service I spoke of was in reference to clinical volunteering, not to shadowing. Even though I had the opportunity to actually help and be of service during my shadowing experience, I don't think that's the norm. However, I think that even forced volunteerism can have a beneficial impact on an applicant that would otherwise choose not to volunteer in a clinical setting. In the drive to achieve high MCAT scores, great grades, research publications, leadership roles, etc. students can neglect other areas of personal growth that are central to being a good physician. This is where the "check box" of clinical volunteering comes in, and it comes with the benefit of seeing a variety of roles in the healthcare setting, serving those less fortunate than yourself, and helping to mature you as an individual. Even applicants with physician parents probably haven't seen all aspects of their jobs, but they can definitely address knowledge of long hours, late nights, and the toll of being a physician on their personal lives.

I understand the fatigue of feeling like you're checking a box just to check a box, without gaining any benefit, though probably not to the degree that you are experiencing it (I'm a civilian). Unfortunately, box checking doesn't ever go away...you're going to check boxes in medical school for residency, in residency for fellowship or job opportunities, and throughout your career you're going to be expected to forever check boxes to move up (RVUs, patient satisfaction surveys, outcome statistics, etc). All I can tell you is that's life...I just want to help some people while I'm checking those boxes.
 
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Sure, but that’s the same as every job isn’t it? Teamwork, policy, paperwork, noncompliant customers—pilot, law enforcement, government agency, any management position, etc etc. I’m sure the typical prospective law student unrealistically dreams of being Atticus Finch—but to deny a top GPA/top LSAT/teach for America applicant because they didn’t spend a few afternoons watching a lawyer fill out paperwork? I dunno that just seems weird to me.
And even weirder, what if the applicant has several doctors in the family? Arguably anyone with 2 doctor parents can attest to the various difficulties of the profession better than someone who clocked 40 hours of following a doctor around right? But I think the prevailing conclusion would be that the one with shadowing checked would fare better than the one without it, regardless of the actual lifetime worth of firsthand experience. What would you say to that case?
I would submit that instead of saying "why do people wishing to enter the medical field have to do this?", people should be asking why don't those other fields require it as well?"

It's not about box checking, it's about knowing what a doctor's day is like, and knowing how different doctors approach the practice of Medicine.
 
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I used the word "rule" (perhaps incorrectly) only to address any mindset that because an applicant has high stats or physician parents that they can circumvent the requirements to shadow or serve in a clinical capacity. Also, the service I spoke of was in reference to clinical volunteering, not to shadowing. Even though I had the opportunity to actually help and be of service during my shadowing experience, I don't think that's the norm. However, I think that even forced volunteerism can have a beneficial impact on an applicant that would otherwise choose not to volunteer in a clinical setting. In the drive to achieve high MCAT scores, great grades, research publications, leadership roles, etc. students can neglect other areas of personal growth that are central to being a good physician. This is where the "check box" of clinical volunteering comes in, and it comes with the benefit of seeing a variety of roles in the healthcare setting, serving those less fortunate than yourself, and helping to mature you as an individual. Even applicants with physician parents probably haven't seen all aspects of their jobs, but they can definitely address knowledge of long hours, late nights, and the toll of being a physician on their personal lives.

I understand the fatigue of feeling like you're checking a box just to check a box, without gaining any benefit, though probably not to the degree that you are experiencing it (I'm a civilian). Unfortunately, box checking doesn't ever go away...you're going to check boxes in medical school for residency, in residency for fellowship or job opportunities, and throughout your career you're going to be expected to forever check boxes to move up (RVUs, patient satisfaction surveys, outcome statistics, etc). All I can tell you is that's life...I just want to help some people while I'm checking those boxes.


I think that is definitely the bottom line best mentality. To new officers good advice is always—don’t cheat yourself, make sure the board knows you’re a box checking officer; don’t cheat your sailors/marines/soldiers/airmen, make sure they know you’re a great officer. I suppose that sentiment applies anywhere—lawyer: make sure the boss knows you billed the right hours, make sure your client knows you didn’t lose them custody of their kids. Interesting dynamic to think about/apply.
 
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deleted1005514

I would submit that instead of saying "why do people wishing to enter the medical field have to do this?", people should be asking why don't those other fields require it as well?"

It's not about box checking, it's about knowing what a doctor's day is like, and knowing how different doctors approach the practice of Medicine.
This so much! I did a lot of shadowing (over 100 hours) because I was in a program for it, but it was the best thing I did in preparation for medical school. I met doctors who’s patients loved them, they really enjoyed their work, worked well with their mid levels and support staff, and were just awesome people to be around. I got to hear how a physician thinks through a diagnosis or surgical procedure, or chooses drugs based on insurance and socioeconomic issues the patient might have. I got to see noncompliance and how they handled that.

I also met doctors who were truly jerks, didn’t come in one time, were difficult to work with, patients and staff didn’t like them, etc. It’s good to have models of both how you want to be as a future physician and how you don’t want to be.
 
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Hzreio

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Sure, but that’s the same as every job isn’t it? Teamwork, policy, paperwork, noncompliant customers—pilot, law enforcement, government agency, any management position, etc etc. I’m sure the typical prospective law student unrealistically dreams of being Atticus Finch—but to deny a top GPA/top LSAT/teach for America applicant because they didn’t spend a few afternoons watching a lawyer fill out paperwork? I dunno that just seems weird to me.
And even weirder, what if the applicant has several doctors in the family? Arguably anyone with 2 doctor parents can attest to the various difficulties of the profession better than someone who clocked 40 hours of following a doctor around right? But I think the prevailing conclusion would be that the one with shadowing checked would fare better than the one without it, regardless of the actual lifetime worth of firsthand experience. What would you say to that case?

With other jobs it’s easier to quit and look for other or related careers in the field. But if you’re in, say, second year of Med school and you want to quit, it’s pretty bad. So what do you do? Suck it up at take the $50-150k loss? Or continue on to ultimately be a burnt out, jaded doctor?

I don’t know about law school admission standards but I’d imagine they would expect a similar level of conscientiousness of their applicants (or they’ll just happily take your money idk).

Also, just because your parents do something doesn’t mean you know what their job entails, especially the day to day specifics. My parents are in technology and I did not understand their jobs, besides a vague general idea, until I took some classes related to their careers.
 
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deleted1005514

[QUOTE="Hzreio, post: 21953419, member: 966379"

I don’t know about law school admission standards but I’d imagine they would expect a similar level of conscientiousness of their applicants (or they’ll just happily take your money idk).
[/QUOTE]

They happily take your money
 
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readmypostsMD

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Just had a pretty interesting conversation with someone I knew from my alma mater last night. He was ranting about how he didn't get into any schools this cycle (his first), and how broken the med school system is. So I asked him about his stats, activities, and his school list... looks like he applied with a 3.98/520, a Google internship, some TA'ing, a few pubs, some service org nonclinical... but no clinical time or shadowing. He applied to HYS, UCSF/LA/SD, Pitt, Cornell, NYU, Tufts, Dartmouth. Didn't receive a single interview. Claimed he's a shoe-in at Dartmouth and Tufts because those are his "safeties," since his MCAT/GPA are far above their medians. Says he didn't need any clinical volunteering because his Google internship will make up for it (lol).

I don't get it. If you're able to maintain a 3.98 at a grade-deflating school, and score a 98th percentile MCAT, how hard is it to spend 1 hour online and see how crucial other aspects of your applications are?

I straight up told him he's an idiot for applying like that, and told him to beef up his clinical time and reapply more broadly. He replied, and I quote WORD FOR WORD, "I will never be able to forgive myself as a doctor if it takes me more than 1 try to get in, and god forbid I end up at some unranked school." Funny thing is, he had a very specific speciality in mind. Probably wouldn't consider anything outside of it. You can probably guess what that field is. Says the reason he didn't get a single interview is because of affirmative action, and says people admitted under AA are not qualified to become doctors (subtle racism, yikes). He says he "doesn't want to be part of a broken system that rewards under qualified people," and he's switching paths to tech. His new goal is now "FAANG or bust" (Facebook/Apple/Amazon/Netflix/Google, i.e. "top tech companies or bust").

Good riddance, since people like him should never become doctors. How many delusional premeds like him have you come across? Is it more common than we think?

funny... maybe he’ll be POTUS one day
 
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