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

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ToldYouSo

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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.

Exactly, because attractiveness is based on a very primal template that we can't ignore or "unbias" ourselves against completely, despite what the PC answers before say. When we walk down the street and see someone, anyone, within a split second we know whether or not we're attracted to them, whether they are someone we'd like to approach or walk across the street from.

Look at the multitude of threads dedicated to interview clothing, grooming, etc... Looks matter, otherwise there wouldn't be such an emphasis on looking as well dressed and groomed as possible.
 

Ismet

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Considering that entire committees interview people (from what I've been told), I doubt that simple "attractiveness" would have much impact.

Most schools only have one-on-one interviews (one interviewer, one interviewee). Some schools only have 1 interview, some have 2-3. A few schools have two-on-one or panel interviews, but that's rare. The admissions committee doesn't interview you, they review your full application, including interview feedback, in order to make a decision. The interview is just one portion of the whole application, and usually the interviewer has an agenda or certain objective things to look for and ask about. While a more attractive candidate can hypothetically get a slightly more positive reaction from the interviewer, in the grand scheme of things, that doesn't really do much to the interview feedback or the ultimate admissions decision.

Look at the multitude of threads dedicated to interview clothing, grooming, etc... Looks matter, otherwise there wouldn't be such an emphasis on looking as well dressed and groomed as possible.

That's making sure you look professional and put together, not trying to look more attractive. Some people seriously don't realize that you need a suit for a med school interview. I saw a guy interviewing once in khakis and a shirt with no tie or jacket. Saw a girl in a sweater and mini-skirt. Neither of them were physically unattractive, but they were grossly unprofessional.
 

mrh125

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Probably. Success is often times based off of stupid arbitrary things that you can't control, which in this case probably translates to "the hot blonde girl is going to win over the admissions department in interviews".
 

Gauss44

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Most schools only have one-on-one interviews (one interviewer, one interviewee). Some schools only have 1 interview, some have 2-3. A few schools have two-on-one or panel interviews, but that's rare.

If only one person interviews you, then it's unofficially up to that person to decide. Even considering that though, I suspect that attractiveness pales in comparison to rapport.
 

lazyindy

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everybody also post face pics from now when asking for chances :naughty:
 

Akali

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Yes. To a significant extent? Eh, who knows. Being attractive helps you out in most any social situation, I don't see why being interviewed for medical school would be any exception.

Most of my class is pretty attractive. Can't really think of anyone that's unattractive except for one person who is significantly obese. Maybe coincidentally, that person is a gunner - studies alllll the time.
 

milkandcereal

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Guys, my pre-med advisor told me that I was a 6/10 in looks; do I have a shot at MD with these stats or should I apply DO/Carib?
 

Avicenna

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I love this post.

I really think more attractive people do have a higher chance. I also remember reading a study (I only wish I had the link) that concluded people more academically intelligent tended to be more physically attractive.

There are a lot of people that curtly said "no." Seriously? It's not that simple, and I doubt the answer could be known so definitively.
 
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