Dude stands outside med school protesting admissions process: Aaaaaand go!

Guero

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I posted this to fb first and got an overwhelming vote that I post it to SDN, too. Enjoy!
 
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Guero

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So what's the story? And what ever happened?
He wasn't as talkative as you'd expect when I asked to take his pic. But according to a friend of mine that knows him, he's "not a very competitive applicant."

As far as Noam Chomsky, he's a linguist and social theorist that advocates open admissions for undergrad (Google for more info); but I don't believe he has a stance on med school admissions.

And what happened? Well, nothing. I hope some of my fb SDNers stop by. They had some hilarious responses.
 

Pacna

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He has a point, though. The process is arbitrary in a lot of regards. There's nothing you can do to "earn" a spot in a class. A lot of it is luck.
 
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Meh I feel sorry for him and hope things work out one way or another. I wonder if he lurks SDN... post your stats protestor guy if you're out there.
 
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IlDestriero

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He has a point, though. The process is arbitrary in a lot of regards. There's nothing you can do to "earn" a spot in a class. A lot of it is luck.
And that is OK.
Lack of transparency and somewhat arbitrary decisions will be a part of life from here on out.
Get used to it.
 

Pacna

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mcloaf

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Open admissions to medical school. Seems like a very legit idea he's thoroughly thought through...then in four years he can put together another sign to picket residency directors when he doesn't match anywhere.
 
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EvenStevens

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eh at least he tried.
I wish they were more transparent as well but that is a utopian view
 
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I wouldn't complain about the lack of transparency if applying to medical school was significantly cheaper. But given the fact that we are paying each school ~$100 to look at our application, I do think a little courtesy in letting us know the status of application or giving honest feedback to rejected applicants isn't asking for too much. This isn't a problem with all schools, but a few do leave their applicants out to dry.
 
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I'm not sure why every time someone questions the way things are run people go ape s**t. Yes, it is the way things are done, but we should be able to critique it and hopefully improve it in the years to come when our generation is in charge of admissions and whatnot. The whole process is shrouded in mystery, and most of the times it is not necessary. UPitt rejects/interviews/accepts people very quickly but you don't see their rep or quality diminished because of it, yet some schools feel the need to string everyone along until May and peace out last minute. I was on wait lists last year and every time I called to ask if wait lists were moving I would be told "I can't tell you that." I don't see how that benefits anyone or why it's necessary to keep me uninformed about a GENERAL question. Furthermore, like some people have stated above, the application process is time consuming and economically challenging for many people. So yes, to have people with abysmal scores getting over people with great scores is very annoying.
 

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I wouldn't complain about the lack of transparency if applying to medical school was significantly cheaper. But given the fact that we are paying each school ~$100 to look at our application, I do think a little courtesy in letting us know the status of application or giving honest feedback to rejected applicants isn't asking for too much. This isn't a problem with all schools, but a few do leave their applicants out to dry.
IIIIFFFFF they look.
 

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Someone should offer this cat some water because he looks thirstyyyyy
 
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SouthernSurgeon

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He has a point, though. The process is arbitrary in a lot of regards. There's nothing you can do to "earn" a spot in a class. A lot of it is luck.
As has been discussed here many times...the process only seems "arbitrary" because you're on the outside of it. Anyone who has sat on an adcom would beg to differ. They aren't in there flipping coins.
 

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As has been discussed here many times...the process only seems "arbitrary" because you're on the outside of it. Anyone who has sat on an adcom would beg to differ. They aren't in there flipping coins.
Any process that selects 100-200 people out of 5-10+ thousand applicants on subjective criteria has to have some arbitrary component to it.
 
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GandalfTheWhite

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Yeah, because measures like 'fit' are objective.
It's not always about you. Med schools want students who THEY like, not the other way around.

If they don't think you will fit in well, they won't accept you. However, it's upto you to express how well you fit there, either truthfully or by embellishing it. If you failed at doing that, then it's on you not them
 

Doudline

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Open admissions to medical school. Seems like a very legit idea he's thoroughly thought through...then in four years he can put together another sign to picket residency directors when he doesn't match anywhere.
Some countries use a (full or partial) lottery for medical school admissions and they're not doing any worse. Studies have shown that students selected for grades do not do better in med school than people selected randomly.
 
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BlueLabel

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Some countries use a (full or partial) lottery for medical school admissions and they're not doing any worse. Studies have shown that students selected for grades do not do better in med school than people selected randomly.
Uh what? How could you even study this? Convince some American schools to change their admissions process "for science"?
 

TheWeeIceMan

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I think that this guy has a point. "Open admissions" might be a bit too much, but there are definitely aspects of the admissions process that should be changed. Transparency is a big, big issue. We are paying soooo much money for app fees and flying to interviews. Honest feedback would be amazing. Also, I think that it's bs that completely subjective factors, like interviews (both traditional and MMI--yes, MMI is subjective too!), are used to select people. These subjective factors rely upon people having the "right" cultural and social capital, which allows people to "fit in" with whomever they are being interviewed by. How do schools expect to increase access to medical school for people from diverse communities when they are reproducing these barriers in the first place?
How do interviews hold back people from "diverse backgrounds?"

Also, you might as well get used to being evaluated subjectively. It's how the world works. Should you not have to interiview for residency and attending positions because they aren't purely objective?
 
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BlueLabel

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I think that this guy has a point. "Open admissions" might be a bit too much, but there are definitely aspects of the admissions process that should be changed. Transparency is a big, big issue. We are paying soooo much money for app fees and flying to interviews. Honest feedback would be amazing. Also, I think that it's bs that completely subjective factors, like interviews (both traditional and MMI--yes, MMI is subjective too!), are used to select people. These subjective factors rely upon people having the "right" cultural and social capital, which allows people to "fit in" with whomever they are being interviewed by. How do schools expect to increase access to medical school for people from diverse communities when they are reproducing these barriers in the first place?
I hear you, but you have to consider their perspective too. Most schools have thousands of applicants - can you imagine how difficult it would be to provide feedback to each and every one of them?

Interviews may be subjective, but as another poster mentioned, they aren't arbitrary. Furthermore, interviews are a part of life! Your argument makes it seem like it's just so ridiculous and unreasonable that you would have to go through an interview, when that is a mainstay part of the approval process for virtually every professional job in the country. If you want to work in finance, or for a law firm, or for a research lab, or for a bank, or pretty much anywhere, you are going to have to dress up, go in, sit down and take some questions from someone. In fact, medical school interviews are far more conversational and laid back in general than interviews in most other fields. So basically, you think it's BS that schools include as one (relatively small) part of their admissions process a procedure that you would have to go through in literally every other line of work? That's hilarious. Pre-med solipsism at its absolute finest.
 

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I disagree with the premise that interviews are bull****. Medicine is a profession about teamwork, communication and othet softskills like radiating trust and helping others feel
comfortable - interviews are straightforward ways of evaluating an applicant's aptitude in this increasingly important area.

There's a difference between evalutation criteria being "bs" because it's unfair and it being "bs" because you have a deficit in that area.
 
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Protesting is for hippies and losers.
Actually seeing as how it's guaranteed in the first Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America, I'd say it's one of the more American things you can do. With that being said this guy looks a bit toolish.
 

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I think interviews can be ridiculous and unfair, but I recognize that this is how the world works. It does not mean that I can't be critical of this. I get what you're saying and know that this is how applicants are screened. But I'll give a quick example about what I'm talking about. There's a cited phenomenon (google for it) where if there's a person of color versus a white man for the same position and they have equal qualifications, the white man is more likely to be hired by (don't remember what #)%. So I'm basically just saying that this practice is unfair, but I recognize that this extends beyond medical school into our everyday realities. I am just wondering how, if ever, this issue will be able to be solved. If we never address this, if we never question this, if we are never critical of this, then nothing will ever change.
Troll post?

Are you seriously arguing that underrepresentation of blacks and other minorities in medicine has never been addressed or question? What rock have you been living under?? Have you seriously never heard of URM admission practices??

http://www.amsa.org/AMSA/Homepage/About/Priorities/Diversity.aspx
 

TheWeeIceMan

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I think interviews can be ridiculous and unfair, but I recognize that this is how the world works. It does not mean that I can't be critical of this. I get what you're saying and know that this is how applicants are screened. But I'll give a quick example about what I'm talking about. There's a cited phenomenon (google for it) where if there's a person of color versus a white man for the same position and they have equal qualifications, the white man is more likely to be hired by (don't remember what #)%. So I'm basically just saying that this practice is unfair, but I recognize that this extends beyond medical school into our everyday realities. I am just wondering how, if ever, this issue will be able to be solved. If we never address this, if we never question this, if we are never critical of this, then nothing will ever change.
You realize that the exact opposite happens in medical school admissions, right?
 

ZtetNb

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In fact, medical school interviews are far more conversational and laid back in general than interviews in most other fields.
Actually this is one aspect I dislike about how med school interviews are conducted (the laid back part moreso than conversational). Other fields tend to have more rigorous interviewing process where they look for better defined outcomes, e.g. your ability to solve a computing problem when interviewing for a programmer position.

Med schools, though, may say they're looking for things like communication skills, but assessment of things like that really just comes down whether or not your interview clicked, which in turn has a lot do with having similar social and cultural backgrounds. This is not to say I think interviews shouldn't be used, as the skills they assess are important and aren't captured by other criteria, but they're subject to a lot of biases and tend to move back towards propagating "old boys' clubs" where similarity to those already inside rules.
 
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alpinism

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Any process that selects 100-200 people out of 5-10+ thousand applicants on subjective criteria has to have some arbitrary component to it.
You'd be surprised how easy it is to whittle down those 5k+ applications to less than 500 based on some basic objective criteria.

For example:

General:
-uGPA and sGPA >3.3 or higher
-MCAT >27 or higher
-shadowing in multiple specialties
-clinical experience
-significant leadership experience
-long term community service

School specific:
-research resulting in a poster presentation or publication
-demonstrated interest in primary care/rural medicine
-excels in some area outside of school (sports, business, theater, music, etc…)
-has a convincing and well thought out answer for the question why X school of medicine?
-is a state resident or alumni of state school

Point values can also be assigned to each category based on the strength of stats and ECs.

Afterwards, more subjective things like past experiences and personal interests come into play which helps to build a more diverse class.
 
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You'd be surprised how easy it is to whittle down those 5k+ applications to less than 500 based on some basic objective criteria.

For example:

General:
-uGPA and sGPA >3.3 or higher
-MCAT >27 or higher
-shadowing in multiple specialties
-clinical experience
-significant leadership experience
-long term community service

School specific:
-research resulting in a poster presentation or publication
-demonstrated interest in primary care/rural medicine
-excels in some area outside of school (sports, business, theater, music, etc…)
-has a convincing and well thought out answer for the question why X school of medicine?
-is a state resident or alumni of state school

Point values can also be assigned to each category based on the strength of stats and ECs.

Afterwards, more subjective things like past experiences and personal interests come into play which helps to build a more diverse class.
Yeah then why not reject those 4500 applicants early on? I don't think anyone's trying to argue here that there's NO sense of structure to admissions, but that the secretive nature is unnecessary (kind of like a pointless tradition that some just can't let go of). And to all the attendings and whatnots; being pre-med now is different from when you were a pre-med and standards are different, so while you might've had a good time applying (or bad), it doesn't mean everyone else is just whiny. I just graduated undergrad and I already know for a fact I wouldn't have had such an easy time getting into schools had I applied to undergrad now
 

TheWeeIceMan

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Yeah then why not reject those 4500 applicants early on? I don't think anyone's trying to argue here that there's NO sense of structure to admissions, but that the secretive nature is unnecessary (kind of like a tradition that some just can't let go of). And to all the attendings and whatnots; being pre-med now is different from when you were a pre-med and standards are different, so while you might've had a good time applying (or bad), it doesn't mean everyone else is just whiny. I just graduated undergrad and I already know for a fact I wouldn't have had such an easy time getting into schools had I applied to undergrad now
What do you propose schools do instead?
 
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What do you propose schools do instead?
It's no secret what all of us who are "complaining" are asking for, and that is a little transparency in this process. Is it really too much to ask for to let people on the wait list know of tiers? To know if it's moving? To reject them in Dec vs May when clearly they had no intentions of interviewing those people? The list goes on. No, I'm not claiming that I would do any better if I was an ad com, but looking from the outside, there are things that could be improved. If we always turn a blind eye to things that need to be fixed, we will never advance as a society. I'm not about to support something that can be improved just because it's med school - it's human run, and like all things human, there is ample room for improvement.
 

TheWeeIceMan

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It's no secret what all of us who are "complaining" are asking for, and that is a little transparency in this process. Is it really too much to ask for to let people on the wait list know of tiers? To know if it's moving? To reject them in Dec vs May when clearly they had no intentions of interviewing those people? The list goes on. No, I'm not claiming that I would do any better if I was an ad com, but looking from the outside, there are things that could be improved. If we always turn a blind eye to things that need to be fixed, we will never advance as a society. I'm not about to support something that can be improved just because it's med school - it's human run, and like all things human, there is ample room for improvement.
A lot of the med schools (of those that I applied to, at least) let applicants know what tier of the waitlist they were on and told them when the waitlist was moving. This is the first that I've heard of schools not giving that info out at the proper time. As to rejecting students in December instead of May, schools need to evaluate what kind of applicant/accepted pool they have continuously throughout the cycle, so it doesn't always make sense for them to reject you as early as you'd like. It's much safer for schools just to hold off until late in the cycle.

I mean, I get the argument that the admissions process is a pain, but some of the things that people want to change just don't make sense.
 

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TheWeeIceMan

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What is the point of those spambots? They have been showing up a lot more lately.
 
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A lot of the med schools (of those that I applied to, at least) let applicants know what tier of the waitlist they were on and told them when the waitlist was moving. This is the first that I've heard of schools not giving that info out at the proper time. As to rejecting students in December instead of May, schools need to evaluate what kind of applicant/accepted pool they have continuously throughout the cycle, so it doesn't always make sense for them to reject you as early as you'd like. It's much safer for schools just to hold off until late in the cycle.

I mean, I get the argument that the admissions process is a pain, but some of the things that people want to change just don't make sense.
Oh yeah, there are definitely schools that I think are doing things right in terms of actually caring about applicants (like I said, Upitt). Last year I was rejected from UCI's unranked and completely mysterious wait list in August (a few weeks after school started). I wasn't even rejected from Colorado's also mysterious and unranked wait list. UCLA doesn't even bother to wait list people; they just don't say anything. And of course, some of the more extreme ideas are not realistic haha. I agree