Doodl3s

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We all know class rankings are an annoying part of med school. My school happens to be "open" and tells us our ranking via quartiles before our Dean's letter goes out.

They tell us it's made up of step scores, core clerkships, research, leadership, volunteer, extracurriculars, and awards. Oh wow, how transparent.

Problem is, in my case. I 've managed to get a step I score in the 250s, and Honors in all but psych in my 3rd year in a system where only the top 25% of each rotation gets honors. Somehow, multiple students with much lower statistics academically are receiving AoA, let alone high ranks, while I was not even placed in the top quartile.

Many of them are suspiciously running school specific programs and ECs with research advisors on the committee of the school. When my friends who received AoA, who know my situation, found out, they literally did not understand it.

This is in a top 20 school in the NE.

Obviously, I am upset, and there are negative factors like a lack of research from a failed project and only moderate ECs (not none). However, it is clear my school is not ranking us academically at all, even though it's a very high ranking institution.

My question is: Do residencies see through this kind of bullsh*t? Do they feel a student who helped run a school created community program, for example, (with 240 and high passes) is more worthy of a position than a person 256 and all Honors in third year who had less ECs/research? Do residencies understand that class rankings can be manipulated by a school and not give a true sense of academic rank?
 
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DermViser

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AOA selection highly varies by school. There are some schools that do it solely based on academics - grades and board scores (this is usually for Junior AOA). For example VCU -http://www.medschool.vcu.edu/facultyaffairs/career_dev/awards/aoa.html

Very rarely will a medical school tell you the EXACT FORMULA they use to compute class rank.

Do you think you're not in top quartile bc of your preclinical grades? Your case is quite unusual.

I've never known a med school to use research, volunteering, ECs, and awards for official class rank calculation but more for AOA selection.

Which quartile do you fall in?
 
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Doodl3s

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I happened to fall in the 2nd quartile (yes i know, I should still be happy, bla bla bla...) but this is more the principle of the matter that I know I should be first based on academics and my peers being pretty open about grades.

My school has true P/F rankings 1st and 2nd year so it's not factored (even if there was an unknown internal rank, I did very well on 1st and 2nd year exams)

My school uses the same algorithm for AoA as it does class rank and then just takes the top like 15% and they get AoA.

So again, assuming my school is very "unusual" as it must be, will residency programs know this?
 

DermViser

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Oh, so you know the algorithm for AOA, then. No, residency programs don't have time to cull the different combinatorix of calculations. They'll just flip to the last page and see which quartile you fell in.
 
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Doodl3s

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Oh, so you know the algorithm for AOA, then. No, residency programs don't have time to cull the different combinatorix of calculations. They'll just flip to the last page and see which quartile you fell in.
I'm sorry, maybe it's cause I was on late call today, but I'm a little confused.

I don't know the algorithm for AoA or class rank, but I know its the same and AoA is just the top 15% of class rank, and that rank is stated as a combination of a lot of things as stated above. step/clerkships, And leaderships/ec/research/volunteer/awards/etc... We obviously don't know the algorithm how its finally calculated.

So are you saying they really will just jump to the end at the quartile cause they don't have time to make their own rank decision of you? or they know it's BS and you're being sarcastic by saying they'll just flip to the last page to look at it?
 

DermViser

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I'm sorry, maybe it's cause I was on late call today, but I'm a little confused.

I don't know the algorithm for AoA or class rank, but I know its the same and AoA is just the top 15% of class rank, and that rank is stated as a combination of a lot of things as stated above. step/clerkships, And leaderships/ec/research/volunteer/awards/etc... We obviously don't know the algorithm how its finally calculated.

So are you saying they really will just jump to the end at the quartile cause they don't have time to make their own rank decision of you? or they know it's BS and you're being sarcastic by saying they'll just flip to the last page to look at it?
When it comes to giving out interviews, they will note your rank as in your MSPE. They don't have time to take a magnifying glass to every line of your MSPE. So they will jump to the end of your MSPE that summarizes your performance in medical school.

I don't think any PD believes class rank is "BS".
 
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Doodl3s

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When it comes to giving out interviews, they will note your rank as in your MSPE. They don't have time to take a magnifying glass to every line of your MSPE. So they will jump to the end of your MSPE that summarizes your performance in medical school.

I don't think any PD believes class rank is "BS".
So, that's it then, I picked the wrong school to go to and got screwed by their arbitrary system? How do i let schools know that by their standards I would have easily been in their top quartile? I basically got screwed by my school which played favoritism for those doing ECs in school created programs...

I know I'm just sounding like someone who maybe is crying and really isnt top rank. But even my advisor confirmed I have some of the most impressive combination of step scores and clerkship grades, but I "lacked some ECs and research" that other students had. Is that fair for him to say?
 

DermViser

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So, that's it then, I picked the wrong school to go to and got screwed by their arbitrary system? How do i let schools know that by their standards I would have easily been in their top quartile? I basically got screwed by my school which played favoritism for those doing ECs in school created programs...

I know I'm just sounding like someone who maybe is crying and really isnt top rank. But even my advisor confirmed I have some of the most impressive combination of step scores and clerkship grades, but I "lacked some ECs and research" that other students had. Is that fair for him to say?
It's not that simple, of course. For example, you go to a top 20 school, so that will be taken into consideration of course. A student at NYU is not the same as one that goes to NYMC. They are in different "tiers". A school can decide it's formula however it wants. I guess you lacked ECs and research with respect to their school formula for calculation so in that respect he's right bc he knows the formula. Whether it will have a real tangible effect on your application is hard to measure. Also, this whole conversation is for naught, bc it also varies by the specialty you're shooting for.
 
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Doodl3s

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The scary part is that they are making arbitrary rankings based on their preference for students that take part in ECs that are very intwined with school faculty, thus favoritism and nepotism.

If I assume my clerkship grades and step are in the top 15% of my class (with 256 and all Honors [except P in psych] where honors is only 25% per clerkships I think that's fair), then my school must be weighting EC/research more heavily than academics, which is absurd.

I'm applying for academic high ranking IM programs as I desire a competitive sub-specialty in the future.
 
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Dude, I think your grades are not as amazing compared to your peers as you think they are. And you should come to terms with that, because if you walk into interviews and try to convey what you're talking about right now, you're going to come across poorly.
 
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Doodl3s

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Listen, lympho, what I said is based on other students who got AoA and their steps/clerkships.

But if you feel my step I and 3rd year grades is pretty common, then I'm willing to admit I may have overestimated my abilities.

...and i would never bring this up on interviews or bash my home institution on interviews, that would just be dumb lol
 
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I dunno man, I feel like you're 100% sure that you 'deserve' to be top of your class. It's rubbing me the wrong way, but I know it can be a pretty emotional time when an award you thought you had in the bag ends up going to other people.

Keep in mind, it's not always just the grades in the classes. Some schools (like mine) also rank based on the clinical evals themselves. Some will care more about the shelf score grades. Is your school P/HP/H? Maybe the P is a bigger black mark than you might expect, in which case I feel for you. Maybe talk to a Dean? I'm sure you wouldn't be the first, and you can phrase it in a way that doesn't seem too much like you're angry at them or complaining. Something like, 'I was disappointed to see my class rank, I wondered if we could meet to discuss it so I know what to work on going forward.'

Edit: forgot a space.
 
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SouthernSurgeon

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So, that's it then, I picked the wrong school to go to and got screwed by their arbitrary system?
Lol.

How do i let schools know that by their standards I would have easily been in their top quartile?
You don't.

I'm applying for academic high ranking IM programs as I desire a competitive sub-specialty in the future.
You go to a top 20 school. Which if we limit that to the NE means you go to Harvard, Hopkins, Penn, Pitt, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Mt. Sinai, or NYU (*the only top 20 schools in the Northeast).

You have above a 250 step one.

You have honors in every 3rd year clerkship but psych.

You're applying to medicine.

You will be an extremely competitive applicant. Calm down.
 

DermViser

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The scary part is that they are making arbitrary rankings based on their preference for students that take part in ECs that are very intwined with school faculty, thus favoritism and nepotism.

If I assume my clerkship grades and step are in the top 15% of my class (with 256 and all Honors [except P in psych] where honors is only 25% per clerkships I think that's fair), then my school must be weighting EC/research more heavily than academics, which is absurd.

I'm applying for academic high ranking IM programs as I desire a competitive sub-specialty in the future.
You can complain about the system. Everyone in your class, has their rank calculated the same way by the same formula. Based on the same formula for everyone, your rank fell in the 2nd quartile. It is not arbitrary by the definition of the word.

Had you gone to a less competitive school or a state public school, would you have been in the 1st quartile? Maybe, maybe not, we'll never know. But let's face it - you chose a highly competitive school based on what it could do for you in terms of opportunities and resources, as did others in your class. It's not at all surprising that even with your stats, that there are many others just like you who are just as highly achieving. That's the tradeoff when you go to a high tier school that gets more of the cream of the crop.

You're applying for Internal Medicine. You'll be perfectly fine.
 
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DermViser

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Lol.



You don't.



You go to a top 20 school. Which if we limit that to the NE means you go to Harvard, Hopkins, Penn, Pitt, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Mt. Sinai, or NYU (*the only top 20 schools in the Northeast).

You have above a 250 step one.

You have honors in every 3rd year clerkship but psych.

You're applying to medicine.

You will be an extremely competitive applicant. Calm down.
Jinx!
 

DermViser

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I dunno man, I feel like you're 100% sure that you 'deserve' to be top of your class. It's rubbing me the wrong way, but I know it can be a pretty emotional time when an award you thought you had in the bagends up going to other people.

Keep in mind, it's not always just the grades in the classes. Some schools (like mine) also rank based on the clinical evals themselves. Some will care more about the shelf score grades. Is your school P/HP/H? Maybe the P is a bigger black mark than you might expect, in which case I feel for you. Maybe talk to a Dean? I'm sure you wouldn't be the first, and you can phrase it in a way that doesn't seem too much like you're angry at them or complaining. Something like, 'I was disappointed to see my class rank, I wondered if we could meet to discuss it so I know what to work on going forward.'
If OP attends a "true" P/F school, had a great board score, and his only "P" is in Psych (unusual as that's usually one of the easy clerkships) and the rest "H"s, then it's not likely that the "P" in Psych bumped him from the first quartile.
 

WeAreNotRobots

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Look, there’s no mystery here. You mentioned your own “shortcomings” with psyche, lacking ECs/research/leadership; you’ve got to have the whole package. You very well could be ranked at the 26%-ile, but unfortunately that would put you in the 2nd quartile. Sucks.

In general, I’d also be wary about comparing yourself to other students because you rarely get to know all of their grades, activities, and scores the way your school does.

That said, you definitely have strong points in your app that will speak for themselves.
 
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DermViser

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Look, there’s no mystery here. You mentioned your own “shortcomings” with psyche, lacking ECs/research/leadership; you’ve got to have the whole package. You very well could be ranked at the 26%-ile, but unfortunately that would put you in the 2nd quartile. Sucks.

In general, I’d also be wary about comparing yourself to other students because you rarely get to know all of their grades, activities, and scores the way your school does.

That said, you definitely have strong points in your app that will speak for themselves.
Or at least the way his medical school calculates it. This is why talking to your Student Affairs office early on and asking to see a sample MSPE, asking how class ranks are calculated, etc. are important.
 
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Doodl3s

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Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. There are, of course, a lot of things at play. I was just trying to see how other schools do it.

I know I'm 'competitive' and will 'do well' and all that. It's just an issue of principle and me not being represented fairly in what I felt would be a general opinion on how ranking should work (i.e step/clerkships>research>ECs/other)

Also, just because I'm going IM shouldn't matter. :p

(I was originally pretty hardcore surgery, but missed all the medicine we spent years learning, so I'm going for procedural medicine specialties in the long run)
 

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It's just an issue of principle and me not being represented fairly in what I felt would be a general opinion on how ranking should work
Unless you have full transparency regarding your classmates' performance, you aren't in a position to accurately judge this. All I hear is a case of ego-bruising.
 
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Doodl3s

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Unless you have full transparency regarding your classmates' performance, you aren't in a position to accurately judge this. All I hear is a case of ego-bruising.
I happen to be pretty close with students that were ranked above me and I'm fairly certain they weren't lying about their statistics, it's possible though.
 

DermViser

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I know I'm 'competitive' and will 'do well' and all that. It's just an issue of principle and me not being represented fairly in what I felt would be a general opinion on how ranking should work (i.e step/clerkships>research>ECs/other)

Also, just because I'm going IM shouldn't matter. :p

(I was originally pretty hardcore surgery, but missed all the medicine we spent years learning, so I'm going for procedural medicine specialties in the long run)
An issue of "principle"? Bc you didn't get what you want, and you feel that you DESERVED to be in the top quartile? Of course you would feel that your Step 1 and clerkships should matter more than everything else - as you excelled in those areas. Just one problem: Obviously those in the top quartile had those things PLUS Research and ECs. Per their formula, you were in the 2nd quartile, fair and square. I HIGHLY doubt your classmates would tell you their real Step score and clerkship grades due to the jealousy it engenders.

I'm sure the fact that the procedural IM specialties pay more had no influence whatsoever.
 
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Doodl3s

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An issue of "principle"? Bc you didn't get what you want, and you feel that you DESERVED to be in the top quartile? Of course you would feel that your Step 1 and clerkships should matter more than everything else - as you excelled in those areas. Just one problem: Obviously those in the top quartile had those things PLUS Research and ECs. Per their formula, you were in the 2nd quartile, fair and square. I HIGHLY doubt your classmates would tell you their real Step score and clerkship grades due to the jealousy it engenders.

I'm sure the fact that the procedural IM specialties pay more had no influence whatsoever.
I've seen score report pdfs...

and if I thought on average surgical specialties make more than IM specialties? I was just saying procedural so I can both do intellectual stuff like rounding and get to do some actual interventions like c-scopes or cardiac caths or ICU lines/intubation every now and then (sub-specialty undecided)
 

DermViser

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I've seen score report pdfs...

and if I thought on average surgical specialties make more than IM specialties? I was just saying procedural so I can both do intellectual stuff like rounding and get to do some actual interventions like c-scopes or cardiac caths or ICU lines/intubation every now and then (sub-specialty undecided)
Score report PDFs can be altered.

Even then, in a formula the Step score only counts so much, even if each point matters (vs. ranges) in the formula, it's given a max contribution in the overall formula.
 

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I am honestly pissed on your behalf. Perhaps I expect the formula to weigh academics more heavily, idk. When I hear "top of the class," I am not thinking research assistant ability.
 
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In OP's defense, this does seem a bit confusing. If the school truly says they somehow assign a numeric value to "reseach" or "extracurriculars" to come up with class rank, that's just idiotic.

Class rank should be based on GPA. Or a surrogate for this if the school uses some other variation of letter grading under the guise of "pass/fail" (e.g. Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail). Step I score shouldn't really factor in either. When I was in college, no one used my MCAT to decide my class rank. Or, perhaps more apropos, when I was in high school my SAT was never factored into my class rank.

All of these things (Step I, research, EC's, etc) are criteria for evaluating whether someone gets AOA. Or at least should be. It would make much more sense if the OP's circumstances were such that he was in the top quartile (and thus AOA eligible by definition), but didn't have the intangibles to get AOA. I just don't see how the intangibles can change your actual class rank.

That said, maybe it's possible that you truly are in the 2nd quartile . . . if your school is anything like a lot of medical schools, it might give out Honors like candy. In that case, purely having "all honors" is like saying you graduated high school - it doesn't really mean much, and certainly doesn't guarantee you something special.

Regardless of whether the OP sounds like he's got sour grapes about all this, the school is stupid if it actually "calculates" class rank with some odd subjective garbage.
 

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I have no idea why no one has any empathy for the OP. Based on his stats, he got swindled.
 

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When it comes to giving out interviews, they will note your rank as in your MSPE. They don't have time to take a magnifying glass to every line of your MSPE. So they will jump to the end of your MSPE that summarizes your performance in medical school.
The summary page is actually at the beginning of the MSPE, acting like a cover letter (at least for most schools that i've seen - don't think I've seen a summary page at the end of a MSPE). I've seen a couple medical schools include undergraduate information (majors and undergrad gpa) in their summary page. After the summary page, usually it's like a mini-transcript, with grades. Often (but not always), it will also include a histogram of how that applicant performed compare to the rest of the class. Sometimes it's just an overall summary, but often there will be histograms for each individual classes. So most likely the information is there if the PD or interviewer really wants to analyze your medical school performances.

Program Directors and Assistant Program Directors are going through hundreds of applications if not thousands if its a large program. They are doing this is on top of all their other administrative duties (eg running a residency program) and occasionally being on service. They're not going to spend more than a few seconds on the MSPE - they just want the highlights from MSPE - class rank, honors in specialty?, honors in other specialties?, did you fail a class or two or had academic/ethical problems in med school?

Faculty Interviewers are usually interviewing a lot of people at a given time, and since each ERAS application packet is a small book in itself, probably won't spend more than a few seconds looking at the MSPE for each individual interviewees.

How residencies will rank you based on being in the 2nd quartile vs top quartile - depends on each residency program and whether they factor it in their algorithm. Some programs will probably use it, some may not. For those who use it, who knows how much weight it actually will be.
 

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It sucks, but life is unfair sometimes. In terms of AOA, at my school, you had to be in the top 25%, and be voted on by your peers. So think half grades, half high school student council elections if you catch my drift.
 

DermViser

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The summary page is actually at the beginning of the MSPE, acting like a cover letter (at least for most schools that i've seen - don't think I've seen a summary page at the end of a MSPE). I've seen a couple medical schools include undergraduate information (majors and undergrad gpa) in their summary page. After the summary page, usually it's like a mini-transcript, with grades. Often (but not always), it will also include a histogram of how that applicant performed compare to the rest of the class. Sometimes it's just an overall summary, but often there will be histograms for each individual classes. So most likely the information is there if the PD or interviewer really wants to analyze your medical school performances.
By Summary Page, I am talking about the end paragraph which either states your class rank or uses the code word:

http://meded.ucsf.edu/sites/meded.ucsf.edu/files/documents/undergraduate-medical-education/sample3yearlong-research.pdf

https://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/education/docs/current-students/sample-mspe-2010.pdf
 
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We all know class rankings are an annoying part of med school. My school happens to be "open" and tells us our ranking via quartiles before our Dean's letter goes out.

They tell us it's made up of step scores, core clerkships, research, leadership, volunteer, extracurriculars, and awards. Oh wow, how transparent.

Problem is, in my case. I 've managed to get a step I score in the 250s, and Honors in all but psych in my 3rd year in a system where only the top 25% of each rotation gets honors. Somehow, multiple students with much lower statistics academically are receiving AoA, let alone high ranks, while I was not even placed in the top quartile.

Many of them are suspiciously running school specific programs and ECs with research advisors on the committee of the school. When my friends who received AoA, who know my situation, found out, they literally did not understand it.

This is in a top 20 school in the NE.

Obviously, I am upset, and there are negative factors like a lack of research from a failed project and only moderate ECs (not none). However, it is clear my school is not ranking us academically at all, even though it's a very high ranking institution.

My question is: Do residencies see through this kind of bullsh*t? Do they feel a student who helped run a school created community program, for example, (with 240 and high passes) is more worthy of a position than a person 256 and all Honors in third year who had less ECs/research? Do residencies understand that class rankings can be manipulated by a school and not give a true sense of academic rank?
A 240 with high passes and strong leadership ECs IS more worthy of a position than a 265 with less ECs/research. You spent more time studying. They spent more time making a difference in the world. What do you think AOA is? And what do you think residencies want?
 
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DermViser

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In OP's defense, this does seem a bit confusing. If the school truly says they somehow assign a numeric value to "reseach" or "extracurriculars" to come up with class rank, that's just idiotic.

Class rank should be based on GPA. Or a surrogate for this if the school uses some other variation of letter grading under the guise of "pass/fail" (e.g. Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail). Step I score shouldn't really factor in either. When I was in college, no one used my MCAT to decide my class rank. Or, perhaps more apropos, when I was in high school my SAT was never factored into my class rank.

All of these things (Step I, research, EC's, etc) are criteria for evaluating whether someone gets AOA. Or at least should be. It would make much more sense if the OP's circumstances were such that he was in the top quartile (and thus AOA eligible by definition), but didn't have the intangibles to get AOA. I just don't see how the intangibles can change your actual class rank.

That said, maybe it's possible that you truly are in the 2nd quartile . . . if your school is anything like a lot of medical schools, it might give out Honors like candy. In that case, purely having "all honors" is like saying you graduated high school - it doesn't really mean much, and certainly doesn't guarantee you something special.

Regardless of whether the OP sounds like he's got sour grapes about all this, the school is stupid if it actually "calculates" class rank with some odd subjective garbage.
MCAT doesn't figure into your college rank bc not everyone is going for medical school in college. That being said, I agree with you, that at most medical schools, official class rank usually only factors in grades from medical school coursework on a transcript.

AOA takes academics but can also include leadership, community service, research, and peer vote, as you know. I believe OP says there is a formula for that calculation which he doesn't know what it is or didn't bother to find out. It just so happens that this calculation (here is an example for AOA at one school that assigns a numeric value to research or extracurriculars: http://utswaoa.wordpress.com/join/criteria-for-selection/) at his school is used for AOA AND official class rank. So he may have gotten max points in the formula for board scores and almost max points for clerkship grades, but he left out the other part of the formula.
 

DermViser

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It sucks, but life is unfair sometimes. In terms of AOA, at my school, you had to be in the top 25%, and be voted on by your peers. So think half grades, half high school student council elections if you catch my drift.
Yikes! I understand it if makes up a part of it, but 50%?
 
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Yikes! I understand it if makes up a part of it, but 50%?
Ours is 1/3 grades; 1/3 step; 1/3 research, leadership, service. Voting done by current AOA.. which is much more logical than voting by peers. The opinions of people not in AOA should have no say in the voting process.
 

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MCAT doesn't figure into your college rank bc not everyone is going for medical school in college. That being said, I agree with you, that at most medical schools, official class rank usually only factors in grades from medical school coursework on a transcript.

AOA takes academics but can also include leadership, community service, research, and peer vote, as you know. I believe OP says there is a formula for that calculation which he doesn't know what it is or didn't bother to find out. It just so happens that this calculation (here is an example for AOA at one school that assigns a numeric value to research or extracurriculars: http://utswaoa.wordpress.com/join/criteria-for-selection/) at his school is used for AOA AND official class rank. So he may have gotten max points in the formula for board scores and almost max points for clerkship grades, but he left out the other part of the formula.
I understand that, it's just that the formula is stupid.

And I included the SAT example because I knew someone would point out that not everyone in college takes the MCAT. And yes I realize not every high school student takes the SAT.

The point here is that if the school is using subjective criteria to determine class rank, that's just plain stupid. The while point of AOA selection criteria is "you have to be at least in the top 25% numerically to enter the conversation, then we'll talk subjectives/intangibles.

I fully understand how somebody in the top quartile of a correctly compiled class rank would not get AOA. I absolutely do not understand how somebody who mathematically has scored in the top 25% of their class during the preinical years is somehow not in the top 25% of the class rank. They have completely redefined "class rank" at this school, if we are to believe the OP.
 

DermViser

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I fully understand how somebody in the top quartile of a correctly compiled class rank would not get AOA. I absolutely do not understand how somebody who mathematically has scored in the top 25% of their class during the preinical years is somehow not in the top 25% of the class rank. They have completely redefined "class rank" at this school, if we are to believe the OP.
OP goes to a "true" P/F school in the first 2 years. His only real stratified grades are in the clinical years.
 

DermViser

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Ok, and that changes none of what I just said.
You said "I absolutely do not understand how somebody who mathematically has scored in the top 25% of their class during the preclinical years is somehow not in the top 25% of the class rank." He didn't.
 

jw3600

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A 240 with high passes and strong leadership ECs IS more worthy of a position than a 265 with less ECs/research. You spent more time studying. They spent more time making a difference in the world. What do you think AOA is? And what do you think residencies want?
lol
 
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operaman

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I think your school has made the right call. People who are academically strong AND heavily involved with productive research, leadership, etc. are far more impressive and I applaud the school for taking a more holistic approach to class rank than purely grades and boards. I know that hoses people who focus solely on grades/boards, but c'est la vie.

I also think you're underestimating just how strong your classmates are. You are probably right on/near the cutoff, but many of the others are just as strong/stronger AND they've done that while devoting extra time to ECs and research. It really goes beyond arse-kissing; it's the mark of truly intelligent and accomplished people that they can make the grades while doing so much else.

That said, you will do fine in the match. You have the grades/boards to get in the door and coming from a top school you should have good letters from well known people. If you interview well, you should do very well. My guess is that any PD reviewing your application will decide whether they want to interview you long before they read your class rank. Even then, all they will think is "wow, must be a strong class."
 

username456789

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You said "I absolutely do not understand how somebody who mathematically has scored in the top 25% of their class during the preclinical years is somehow not in the top 25% of the class rank." He didn't.
That's fine, but if his grades that contribute to ranking (i.e. third year) put him in the top 25% (which we would have to take at face value from him), then it stands to reason that he is in the top quartile.

Going back and reading the OP, I had to laugh at the "only top 25% get honors" thing. A quarter of the class getting honors is very high/borderline silly.

Technically speaking, though, it would be highly unlikely for him to not be in the top quartile. If everyone else above him had all honors in third year, he would still be at the lower end of the top quartile unless he totally tanked psych and other people also got all-but-one honors in M3 while getting a higher grade than his psych grade in their one "non-honors" rotation. But the more hypothetical people we put in that second group, the more unlikely it becomes that everyone above him got 100% honors in M3 in the first place.
 
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username456789

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I think your school has made the right call. People who are academically strong AND heavily involved with productive research, leadership, etc. are far more impressive and I applaud the school for taking a more holistic approach to class rank than purely grades and boards. I know that hoses people who focus solely on grades/boards, but c'est la vie.

I also think you're underestimating just how strong your classmates are. You are probably right on/near the cutoff, but many of the others are just as strong/stronger AND they've done that while devoting extra time to ECs and research. It really goes beyond arse-kissing; it's the mark of truly intelligent and accomplished people that they can make the grades while doing so much else.

That said, you will do fine in the match. You have the grades/boards to get in the door and coming from a top school you should have good letters from well known people. If you interview well, you should do very well. My guess is that any PD reviewing your application will decide whether they want to interview you long before they read your class rank. Even then, all they will think is "wow, must be a strong class."
Class rank and AOA are two different things. Class rank itself is not very meaningful, except when it comes to being named Magna or Summa cum laude (if your school bestows this designation), and for purposes of AOA eligibility.

I don't disagree that students who "have it all" should be rewarded. But that's what AOA is for. Class rank should be an objective, numerical ranking system (even if M3 grades are often subjective).
 

DermViser

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That's fine, but if his grades that contribute to ranking (i.e. third year) put him in the top 25% (which we would have to take at face value from him), then it stands to reason that he is in the top quartile.
Except he didn't. He got a "P" in Psych - a relatively easy rotation in which most people probably got "H" and "HP".
 

DermViser

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A 240 with high passes and strong leadership ECs IS more worthy of a position than a 265 with less ECs/research. You spent more time studying. They spent more time making a difference in the world. What do you think AOA is? And what do you think residencies want?
Well there is a reason the motto of AOA is:
 

username456789

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Except he didn't. He got a "P" in Psych - a relatively easy rotation in which most people probably got "H" and "HP".
I missed that part but I imagine he wrote it somewhere in his first couple posts.

Regardless, I'm not contending the fact that he may have actually ended up not in the top 25% based on grades. In fact, it should be clear from my posts that if he truly did end up in the second quartile because - based solely on his course grades - he did not place in the top 25% of students, then that is precisely where he belongs.

We have little way of knowing for sure whether his allegations of additional "factors" used to compute class rank are true. But, if they are, it's a ridiculous way to calculate it. It is no longer "class rank."
 
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Don't know what's funny about that.
Probably the insanely naive idea that med school extracurriculars 'make a difference in the world'. Maybe 5-10% of these activities help anybody besides the med students involved in them. They make a difference in resumes, that's about it.

That said, play the game. Come on, people, everybody knows on day 1 of med school how this system works.
 
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Probably the insanely naive idea that med school extracurriculars 'make a difference in the world'. Maybe 5-10% of these activities help anybody besides the med students involved in them. They make a difference in resumes, that's about it.

That said, play the game. Come on, people, everybody knows on day 1 on med school how this system works.
My experience must be different than yours then. Myself and a few of my classmates started a free clinic in our community. Open twice a week from 8-noon. 3-4 MS4s, 3-4 MS3s, 2 MS1s, 2 MS2s, 3 Attendings (EM, IM, FM or gen surg), and 1+ residents. Average of 20 patients seen each time. Pretty significant impact for those individuals who otherwise would spend hours sitting around in the ED.