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Do you think anyone can do it?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by JustintheDoctor, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. JustintheDoctor

    JustintheDoctor High functioning FeelsOpath
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    "Anything is possible" that's a phrase I'm sure we have all heard but is it actually true?
    I feel like there is a limit to who can actually enter medical school, the person imo needs to have some sort of "natural" intelligence.
    Do you think it's possible for anyone to get into medical school just by "studying hard"?
    (I'm just bringing this up because my friend and I were talking and he was going on about how "stupid"people from our old school would never be able to do it etc)
     
    #1 JustintheDoctor, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
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  3. heebeejeebies

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    Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.
     
  4. NotASerialKiller

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    Anyone? Of course not. But certainly there are a lot of people who aren't brilliant or even considered particularly intelligent by most people who can put in a ton of work and make it happen. You don't have to be intellectually gifted, just not a complete and utter moron.
     
  5. mrspecialist

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    If you work just hard enough, you can hide your mistakes ;)
     
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  6. TooMuchPressure

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    It's mostly discipline.
     
  7. cardzkp

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    It's an interesting thought, and the answer probably lends itself to personal beliefs. I am a big believer in genetics, so no, I do not think anyone can do it. Natural intelligence is extremely important, but also equally important is your beliefs on personal growth and development. Those who believe that intelligence is static/fixed like your height ultimately succumb to discipline issues because what's the point of studying? I'm only XXX smart. The luckiest are those with a growth mindset and natural intelligence.

    Here's an interesting and related read written by the guy who started Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/about/blog/post/95208400815/the-learning-myth-why-ill-never-tell-my-son-hes
     
  8. getdown

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    Working hard will more than make up for the fact that you're not naturally as gifted as others but a certain level of baseline intelligence is needed otherwise working hard is useless. Most people in medical school are smart people who work hard and often do better than innately intelligent people.
     
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  9. Lawper

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    In theory yes, because the range of academic requirements is very broad: the lower-tier DO schools accept around a 3.3 and 24, while the top tier MD schools accept around a 3.9 and 37. Additionally, many medical schools look very favorably on upward trends. So, as long as an applicant is serious about medical school and gather some clinical experience, they will get accepted.
     
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  10. NotASerialKiller

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    When I had the flu and needed a note to get out of a chem lab, I went to a clinic where the GP glanced at me and said "Yeah this is the flu" and then gave me a prescription for antibiotics. Needless to say I did not get it filled. I don't know how smart that man can be...
     
  11. Glazedonutlove

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    Yes if you have the will power needed to commit to this field.
    I can't think of any premed requirement that hard would couldn't accomplish. You don't need to be a genius to pass orgo or do well on the mcat
     
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  12. getdown

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    I'm not sure what you're trying to say. He shouldn't have made it through med school? That if he can do med school anyone can?
     
  13. NotASerialKiller

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    No point, just jokingly saying that some dumb ones can get through. It wasn't supposed to counter anything you wrote
     
  14. Ad2b

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    I think CARS now weeds out those who could not get into medical school. The rote memorization is gone for those who could easily do that; now one must think AND have the content down. Had my physics professor this past summer tell me how absolutely frustrated he was with the younger people who do not, will not, try to, think.

    I'm not sure what he was inferring to or how to strengthen or weaken that with an analogy or detail statement.
     
  15. Dr.Sticks

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    Dr.Carson was known as the dumb kid in class.. His mom forced some discipline into, he graduated at the top, went to Yale, and then University of Michigan for his M.D from there he did a residency at Hopkins and became a world famous neurosurgeon at the top of his field..
    Guess where he started? The stupid kid, who by the way almost killed his friend.

    The smartest person in the world(the one with the highest IQ) isn't even an academic or anything great...

    The point here is it's not about how naturally intelligent you are, it is about how much work, and dedication you put into what you want. Anything is possible is a very true statement.
     
  16. Glazedonutlove

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    There's much more thinking involved in bio, phys, and psych than cars in the new mcat.
     
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  17. Glazedonutlove

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    I believe @getdown said baseline intelligence, not natural intelligence.
     
  18. Ad2b

    Ad2b SDN Gold Donor
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    Lawl - the whole exam is a BIG CARS exam with a little science thrown in. Almost every question revolves around thinking, not just barfing out facts and factoids.
     
  19. Dr.Sticks

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    I wasn't making any reply to @getdown's post

    It was relevant to the anyone can do it part.. I'm a big believer in that..

    I believe that some folks may have more advantages than others, but at the end of the day you get what you put in.
    I can't remember who said this quote.. I think it was Bill Gates? but it goes something like this
    "if you're born poor it's not your fault, if you die poor it's your fault"
    A lot of the economically disadvantaged people I see made bad decisions during their youth so I agree with the quote. (dropped out of H.S, had unprotected coitus, etc..)
     
  20. Glazedonutlove

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    No, I was agreeing with you on the thinking part lol. But personally, never thought cars required much thinking. The research based passages in the other sections require a lot more analysis/problem solving.
     
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  21. Ad2b

    Ad2b SDN Gold Donor
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    CARS to me is the easiest section and once I started applying the principles of doing that section well to the other sections, my scores rose. Weird how that worked (and I'm STILL not cracking 505! :shrug: )

    @Glazedonutlove - sorry, I misread what you wrote (need to work some more on my detail understanding :D )
     
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  22. NotASerialKiller

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    Well that quote is going to get some blowback...
     
  23. Dr.Sticks

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    I could write a book on the number of people who were "stupid" but did great things and are well accomplished.
    Military men who are at the height of their career, doctors, ex-cons, HS drop outs even, and so forth

    At one time in history men believed that women couldn't even become doctors, that they were not capable!!! Some of the best docs I know are women...

    At one time in America, it was thought that black men were not capable of Academic achievement and this whole bell curve nonsense was written
    Guess what? Proven wrong again
     
  24. Holmwood

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    We can't choose our genetic determinants and we can't choose our environmental influences.

    Willpower is the product of those two, at least in theory.

    If we're in agreement that willpower trumps natural talent.... then for the sake of being difficult and annoying, I'm going to say no. Not anyone can do it.

    I don't mean simply getting into medical school, but also getting through medical training and excelling in the profession.
     
  25. Glazedonutlove

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    Getting into med school was OP's question. I don't think anyone will deny that excelling in the profession requires more.
     
  26. NotASerialKiller

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    Okay... but concluding based on that that literally anyone can do literally anything is pretty silly.
     
  27. Holmwood

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    Yeah. I just wanted to be more annoying.

    But for the sake of argument, genetics and environmental influences can also affect your ability to interview. So maaaaybeee...
     
  28. Dr.Sticks

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    The fact is ones sex, race, or economic status historically has never limited anyone from great achievement.
    SO there truly, anyone can do it..
    Minus someone with a mental disability which prevents them from functioning as an Adult..
     
  29. Glazedonutlove

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    Hopefully most of us are capable of carrying a 30min conversation lol. I do see what you mean.
     
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  30. Dr.Sticks

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    How?
     
  31. Glazedonutlove

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    don't start with him...you'll be going in endless circles
     
  32. NotASerialKiller

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    But I want to get into an argument with a motivational speech! Next up, Shia LaBeouf
     
  33. Dr.Sticks

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    Hey wasn't one of the most famous music composers in history deaf?
    Y'all know who I'm talking about, well hopefully

    If you put your mind to it, nothing can limit you.

    Isn't one of the GREATEST physicist in history permanently disabled, confined to a wheelchair, and has to use a keyboard thing to talk?
    hmm..
     
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  34. JustintheDoctor

    JustintheDoctor High functioning FeelsOpath
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    Really good insight everyone!
     
  35. Lawper

    Lawper In 3D
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    It's impossible to do well on all subsections in the MCAT strictly through rote memorization. This has always been the case and has nothing to do with CARS/verbal, since the critical thinking skills needed to do well in CARS/verbal are different from those needed in the sciences.
     
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  36. Holmwood

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    They're all playful assumptions for now.

    Your ability to pick up on social cues, cope with anxiety, maneuver in a novel environment, improvise, and have a desirable personality likely is a culmination of a complex interaction between genetic, early involuntary environmental influences (parents, schooling, community), and later "voluntary" environmental influences (your adult interactions, work experience, college mentors, etc). Although I'm iffy about genetic influences given how there's no specific gene (or a collection of genes) to any of the aforementioned qualities. Although having a great face does influence our impression on interviewers . . .

    But if the aforementioned qualities are predominantly determined by genetic and early childhood influences (both of which we have no control over), then some of us were doomed from the start. Of course upon close inspection, I don't think that's true at all. Later "voluntary" environmental influences are equally important.


    Whether this translates to MCAT success, I'm not sure. I've always been curious as to how foreign students are capable of acing college standardized assessment tests for reading comprehension. Is it crazy Asian-style prep-school hell, innate intelligence, or both?

    ---Edit:
    Reading this thread over, I'm still not convinced that it is mostly due to innate intelligence.
     
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  37. MSclerosis

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    By "natural" intelligence, do you mean privilege?

    You can't make up for privilege by working hard. If you are born into being poor, overcoming that adversity will require more than "natural" intelligence. Statistically, you are also going to need luck to climb out of the low-income pit and find a way to graduate from the school of hard knocks while working 40h/week to support your family in a bad neighborhood where you have more annual deaths from gun crimes than practicing doctors... you get the idea...

    You could be street-smart but that won't get you into medical school. It will only get you into trouble.

    ... and who will co-sign for your 250k in loans if you have a criminal past and poor credit history?

    I think for people who are privileged, working hard can open more doors than if you are born into the ghetto and into a broken family that speaks Spanish. There are people who were born and raised in Chinatowns across this nation who do not speak a word of English after 25 years. How will these people score in VR? They haven't made it beyond high school English. This doesn't mean they are dumb. Last week at the hospital, I met a 95 year old man with a grade 6 education. The guy was more learned IN SCIENCE than 99% of people I have ever met. Born in a vilage. WWII survivor. Guy shoveled snow and coal for a living. Somehow got halfway across the globe, traveled the world, learned 12 languages... we were talking about quantum mechanics at his bedside... the guy is bringing up famous scientists he has heard of... photographic memory at age 95! He learned all of this without wikipedia or google, and he regrets not being able to use a computer. In his youth days, he would assist a vet in the village, and wanted to pursue medicine or science, but he was poor and had to work. Then the war broke out and he went off to fight. He never had the chance!!!

    In my opinion, natural "intelligence", or whatever innate thing it is supposed to measure (I am not sure), is not well correlated with medical school. Instead, I believe that hard work (not being lazy) and having discipline are better correlated with medical school admissions. Essentially, you are hopping through a series of hoops and need to meet a certain level of competence in each one to become successful. You also need a bit of privilege. Small insignificant looking things like living in a border town might make you IP or OOS, and speaking of looks, I won't get into race/affirmative action/type of name you carry/etc.

    Even if you had the privileged IQ of a genius/outlier and an interest in the medical profession, you would be required to navigate through all of the requirements by taking a 4 year degree with all prereqs, doing clinical volunteering somewhere with patients, reading the MCAT wiki article before scoring a 45 in record time, navigating the SDN* forums for ideas, getting LoRs from people who love and hate you, etc. This requires some effort.

    Yet, you could be a privileged genius at medicine admissions, and still become a poor doctor, but that's a different matter.
     
    #36 MSclerosis, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  38. efle

    efle not an elf
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    no

    many people are too stupid to hit a decent MCAT through any amount of effort
     
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  39. Lawper

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    You really think stupid people can't break a 23 with hard work and dedicated practice?
     
  40. Glazedonutlove

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    People could achieve at least high 20s with tons of practice I think
     
  41. MSclerosis

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    You don't think I could take a random 16 year old under my wing and coach them to a 35? Guidance and having the right mentor can do wonders.
     
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  42. ZedsDed

    ZedsDed You know what really grinds my gears?
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds you like you don't believe in intelligence or biological determinism at all. Do you understand this is demonstrably incorrect?
     
  43. ZedsDed

    ZedsDed You know what really grinds my gears?
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    Sure, depending on the 16-year old.
     
  44. efle

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    An average person can hit high 20's, that's reasonable. You guys have been very sheltered from the left tail of society if you haven't met some well-below-average brains out there that honestly can't handle when letters start to be used in math.

    And I am very skeptical that an average person can be coached/guided to a top 4% MCAT, correct. It's easy to forget just how selected-for the group of people sitting for that test can be. These are people aiming at a career in medicine, that have survived the weedout prereqs at universities...being top 1/25th is going to take more than good guidance in high school and college.
     
  45. Hospitalized

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    Are we talking traditionally or nontraditionally?

    Traditionally, not many can do it. Heck, I can't.

    Nontraditionally, quite a few are capable.
     
  46. Lawper

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    I am familiar with plenty, but all of those cases are entirely due to inadequate coaching and education. No one is innately ignorant unless they have a debilitating neurological disorder. I probably won't conduct an experiment, but it's very well possible to train, educate and prepare any "well-below-average brains" to do well on the MCAT (and definitely breaking the 23 barrier used by DO schools). Preparation wouldn't be easy, but it's very much possible for anyone.
     
  47. Glazedonutlove

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    I agree with you on mentoring alone getting someone to a 35, but I still think hard work for a long time could get any undergrad to the mid-high 20s and make them competitive for do schools
     
  48. efle

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    As I said, people who simply will not in this life master algebra with any amount of practice and tutoring abound. But I am familiar with your views on this, you think hard work will get an average person to a 42-43 MCAT. We will have to agree to disagree.

    "someone in college" is very different from "anyone"
    If we're only talking about college students then yes high 20's should be very accessible
     
  49. Glazedonutlove

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    Lol we were discussing MCAT, which is normally taken during college/after
     
  50. efle

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    My post was in response to OP's which asks about anyone
    I was pointing out that the MCAT is insurmountable to many of that any
     
  51. Lawper

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    Mastering anything is by no means necessary for "well-below-average brains" to score subpar on the MCAT. And it's only psychological barriers that are preventing them from unlocking their true potential and exceeding. Unless they are neurologically impaired in some way, they can break a 23 with plenty of practice, great coaching and a good mindset.

    And it's not just hard work that'll help an average joe score a 42+ on the MCAT, but also good test taking skills and good mindset (and good luck :luck:). Basically, the concept of innate intelligence is vastly exaggerated. This may sound overly optimistic lol, but it just seems unnecessarily exclusive to categorize score ranges based on innate intelligence.

    But yeah yeah, tons of studying is necessary but not sufficient to score high on the MCAT. I got it the first time. ;)
     
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