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Does being attractive increase your chance of getting into med-school?

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listener23

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I by no means want to offend anyone, i have always been interested in the human side of the selection process.Lets say candidate A (the ugly one) has a 3.6c/3.5s 30mcat and candidate B (the extremely attractive one) has a 3.5c/3.4s 28mcat. Also they both have equal level of EC and interview skills. I theorizes that candidate B will get picked over A every time.
 

Ismet

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I by no means want to offend anyone, i have always been interested in the human side of the selection process.Lets say candidate A (the ugly one) has a 3.6c/3.5s 30mcat and candidate B (the extremely attractive one) has a 3.5c/3.4s 28mcat. Also they both have equal level of EC and interview skills. I theorizes that candidate B will get picked over A every time.

No.
 

pkwraith

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Being attractive increases your chance of everything that has a human element.
 

Winged Scapula

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Psychological theory would agree with you that attractive candidates are seen as more confident, successful and therefore, people are drawn to them.

However, attractiveness does not make up for deficiencies in the application. All else being equal the attractive candidate would likely be preferred but in your example, the two candidates are not equal with regards to academics or physical attributes.
 
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pyrrion89

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I by no means want to offend anyone, i have always been interested in the human side of the selection process.Lets say candidate A (the ugly one) has a 3.6c/3.5s 30mcat and candidate B (the extremely attractive one) has a 3.5c/3.4s 28mcat. Also they both have equal level of EC and interview skills. I theorizes that candidate B will get picked over A every time.

I bet it makes some difference. How much:? Who knows. It's going to have a subconscious influence. From the white coat ceremony galleries I've seen for various schools, most of the students looked pretty attractive, IMO. Especially Mayo.
 

Bea5T

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Being attractive increases your chance of everything that has a human element.

pretty much this. With that said, attraction is something you can work on just like any other aspect of your app. Hit the gym, clean up your diet, clear up your skin, and get some sense of style.
 

premed3445

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I bet it makes some difference. How much:? Who knows. It's going to have a subconscious influence. From the white coat ceremony galleries I've seen for various schools, most of the students looked pretty attractive, IMO. Especially Mayo.

Time to make appointments for Botox injections and tanning beds then.
 

Lollygag

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psychological theory would agree with you that attractive candidates are seen as more confident, successful and therefore, people are drawn to them.

However, attractiveness does not make up for deficiencies in the application. All else being equal the attractive candidate would likely be preferred but in your example, the two candidates are not equal with regards to academics or physical attributes.

+1
 

Sephiroth

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I feel like I've read somewhere, though, that for a very attractive female, being interviewed by a female interviewer could actually have a negative effect. I'll see if I can dig that up somewhere.
 

The Bunk

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I'm not sure being attractive helps so much as being profoundly unkempt would hurt. Most people clean up nice. Just don't be the one who came to the interview looking a mess.
 

AdrianVeidt

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I feel like I've read somewhere, though, that for a very attractive female, being interviewed by a female interviewer could actually have a negative effect. I'll see if I can dig that up somewhere.

"You would think by now that women would just rule the world; but they don't. Know why? Because women hate women."
 

Runican

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I feel like I've read somewhere, though, that for a very attractive female, being interviewed by a female interviewer could actually have a negative effect. I'll see if I can dig that up somewhere.

This was my first thought :laugh:.

I'd think that whether attractiveness helps, hurts, or is a non-issue depends as much on the interviewer as on the interviewee.
 

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I feel like I've read somewhere, though, that for a very attractive female, being interviewed by a female interviewer could actually have a negative effect. I'll see if I can dig that up somewhere.

I would have to agree with that.
 

ToldYouSo

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B won't get picked over A because the difference between a 30 vs. 28 is much more significant then say a 34 vs. 32.
 
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Ismet

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B won't get picked over A because the difference between a 30 vs. 28 is much more significant then say a 34 vs. 32.

B won't get picked over A because the attractiveness of the applicant has minimal, if any, bearing on admissions.
 
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Ismet

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Agree to disagree

You do a lot of work with interviewing and admissions? :rolleyes::rolleyes:

While I agree that there can definitely be subconscious bias to some extent, it's not going to make a remarkable difference or make up for any flaws in the application. Doesn't matter if it was 30 and 28 or 34 and 32. The attractiveness of candidate B in OP's scenario doesn't make up for the worse stats, all else being equal (and all else is never equal, so the whole scenario is pointless). Also, I'm assuming this discussion is just for interviews, which is a small portion of the application. Some schools ask applicants for their pictures, but that only feeds into the admission decision if those pictures are available to adcom members and if those members even bother to take the time to look at them.
 

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I by no means want to offend anyone, i have always been interested in the human side of the selection process.Lets say candidate A (the ugly one) has a 3.6c/3.5s 30mcat and candidate B (the extremely attractive one) has a 3.5c/3.4s 28mcat. Also they both have equal level of EC and interview skills. I theorizes that candidate B will get picked over A every time.

lol, no
 

Medstart108

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    I by no means want to offend anyone, i have always been interested in the human side of the selection process.Lets say candidate A (the ugly one) has a 3.6c/3.5s 30mcat and candidate B (the extremely attractive one) has a 3.5c/3.4s 28mcat. Also they both have equal level of EC and interview skills. I theorizes that candidate B will get picked over A every time.

    I would clench my teeth and vote for A. If the ECs were different but similar I would probably figure out a reason to vote for B.
     

    Groovin

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    I by no means want to offend anyone, i have always been interested in the human side of the selection process.Lets say candidate A (the ugly one) has a 3.6c/3.5s 30mcat and candidate B (the extremely attractive one) has a 3.5c/3.4s 28mcat. Also they both have equal level of EC and interview skills. I theorizes that candidate B will get picked over A every time.

    I feel it would be pretty difficult to justify this decision to an entire admissions committee.
     
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    cookiemonsters

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    The whole argument in favor of URM is that patients feel more comfortable around people who look like them. Essentially, URM's are getting accepted with lower stats for aesthetic reasons. Patients prefer a good-looking doctor as well... why not accept attractive people with lower stats if it also helps patients feel more comfortable?
     
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    SunsFun

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    The whole argument in favor of URM is that patients feel more comfortable around people who look like them. Essentially, URM's are getting accepted with lower stats for aesthetic reasons. Patients prefer a good-looking doctor as well... why not accept attractive people with lower stats if it also helps patients feel more comfortable?

    I will add my anecdotal experience that looks/attractiveness definitely matters when the human element is involved. I used to be pretty fat and strangers never gave me the time of day. Now that I'm fit and in shape, people's faces light up when they see me. It is truly striking to see how much improving my appearance has improved my interpersonal interactions in just about every way even though my communication skills are entirely the same.

    I was just brainstorming ways to turn this thread into another AA flame war. You beat me to it.
     
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    1cor1311

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    The whole argument in favor of URM is that patients feel more comfortable around people who look like them. Essentially, URM's are getting accepted with lower stats for aesthetic reasons. Patients prefer a good-looking doctor as well... why not accept attractive people with lower stats if it also helps patients feel more comfortable?


    Who look like them? Aesthetic? Lol you clearly don't understand why there is a push for more minority physicians. Lets start off with patients wanting doctors who speak their language because they can't speak English, as it is in many cases. Plus the various other reasons.
     

    KnuxNole

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    The whole argument in favor of URM is that patients feel more comfortable around people who look like them. Essentially, URM's are getting accepted with lower stats for aesthetic reasons. Patients prefer a good-looking doctor as well... why not accept attractive people with lower stats if it also helps patients feel more comfortable?

    If patients feel comfortable with people who look like them, a fit attractive person might distance the general population...after all fit people are the minority. However, an overweight/obese physician might be a different story and by that logic, patients are happy seeing people who look like them :p
     

    Guyton Killah

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    !!! Both interviewees are extreme. The best candidate will be average looking with good scores. Most patients are neither ugly nor super-attractive :thumbdown:
     

    Flashfan

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    I did just read about a study that showed overweight grad school applicants to psychology programs were less likely to earn spots in grad school. In places that no interview was required (or phone interviews were allowed) there was no difference. The researcher noted that the overweight candidates had better LORs.
     

    Music MD

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    Yes, of course attractiveness helps. Attractive people make more money, get more promotions, etc. Medicine is no different.
     

    Womb Raider

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    Who look like them? Aesthetic? Lol you clearly don't understand why there is a push for more minority physicians. Lets start off with patients wanting doctors who speak their language because they can't speak English, as it is in many cases. Plus the various other reasons.

    Lol speak their language? Are you kidding me?

    Please enlighten me with the "various other reasons."
     

    Koalafied

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    I by no means want to offend anyone, i have always been interested in the human side of the selection process.Lets say candidate A (the ugly one) has a 3.6c/3.5s 30mcat and candidate B (the extremely attractive one) has a 3.5c/3.4s 28mcat. Also they both have equal level of EC and interview skills. I theorizes that candidate B will get picked over A every time.
    Perhaps you can tell us, OP?
     

    Ismet

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    Lol speak their language? Are you kidding me?

    Please enlighten me with the "various other reasons."

    I think they're referring to Hispanic patients as well as others who might not speak English. There are many places with minimal or no interpreting services and some only use a language line, so that really impedes medical care to patients who don't speak English, especially those who speak a less common language. It's a valid point.
     

    Body Habitus

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    I did a senior thesis project on plastic surgery and a big part of that involved "beauty bias." I strongly believe interviews (even for medical school) benefit the good looking. The literature supports that people associate basically every positive quality with good looking people, even if they don't know anything about them. You also have to consider that the bias isn't just present at interviews, but stretches back for the entire 20-30 years before the applicant ever shakes hand with the interviewer. That selection filter has been going on for way longer, and has allowed cumulative benefit to some people in getting elected to chair position, getting job offers, getting into lab, and yes - even getting better grades from professors. The issue is more nuanced than the A/B scenario OP put forward.

    As far as people above mentioning that being very good looking might hurt - what you're referring to is the "bimbo effect" and the strongest study supporting it looked at how quickly recent law graduates advanced in their firms. They found there was a slight bias against very good looking women, but the article pointed out those people were more likely to get hired at firms in the first place.
     

    Goro

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    It may be so in the business world, but at our school, we'll go with A.

    I by no means want to offend anyone, i have always been interested in the human side of the selection process.Lets say candidate A (the ugly one) has a 3.6c/3.5s 30mcat and candidate B (the extremely attractive one) has a 3.5c/3.4s 28mcat. Also they both have equal level of EC and interview skills. I theorizes that candidate B will get picked over A every time.
     

    Gauss44

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    I by no means want to offend anyone, i have always been interested in the human side of the selection process.Lets say candidate A (the ugly one) has a 3.6c/3.5s 30mcat and candidate B (the extremely attractive one) has a 3.5c/3.4s 28mcat. Also they both have equal level of EC and interview skills. I theorizes that candidate B will get picked over A every time.

    Considering that entire committees interview people (from what I've been told), I doubt that simple "attractiveness" would have much impact. On the other hand, if someone has bad hygiene that's a different story.

    Examples of bad hygiene, IMO:

    Not brushing/flossing teeth
    Messy hair/lack of a hair cut/hair in eyes
    Smelling (ex.'s: too much perfume, cigarette odor, strong food odors, body odor, etc. No smell is preferable.)
    Not shaving, plucking, etc.
    Dirty nails and hands
    Clothes that don't fit*, inappropriate shoes/jewelry/outfits, wrinkled clothes.
    Bad breath sometimes (I understand that dental health conditions can cause that.)
    Some would say being fat (I would disagree because that could be a medical problem, not laziness)

    *I suspect that people from certain backgrounds, like extreme poverty, might be forgiven for some of this. For example, if adcom suspects the interviewee can't afford tailored clothes that fit.

    #####

    Also consider that some Adcom members don't consider themselves to be the essence of beauty. If your personality shines through, I think that's what they are looking for.
     

    Gauss44

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    The whole argument in favor of URM is that patients feel more comfortable around people who look like them. Essentially, URM's are getting accepted with lower stats for aesthetic reasons. Patients prefer a good-looking doctor as well... why not accept attractive people with lower stats if it also helps patients feel more comfortable?

    I think the argument is also:

    1. That the medical profession wants to be (or "should be") inclusive to all races and not responsible for the exclusion of any race.

    2. From the minority's perspective:

    -By choosing a doctor of the same race, the chance of experiencing racial prejudice is significantly reduced. (Yes, some people are prejudice against their own group!) Wouldn't it be terrible to have to go in for emergency surgery and find out at the last minute that your doctor dis-values your race... (Being part of a racial minority group can be like having unearned enemies. The medical profession is a terrible place for those "enemies" to be.)

    - Having your race included in the medical profession is a sign of tolerance in and of itself, and helps to set a tone of inclusion.

    3. Affirmative action.....
     
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