The Hulk

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Hey everyone,

This is my first post and my first time on the board. I'm a post-bac student looking to apply for fall '05 admission to med school. My uncle, who passed away last year, was a very prominent doctor who left a sizable portion of his estate (meaning multiple millions of dollars) to his alma mater - a top ten ranking med school. As a result, my aunt now knows the head of "alumni relations" (i.e. giving) at this school and she said she would be happy to speak to him on my behalf when the time comes. Is this of any real use? - I've heard it doesn't matter who you know, it won't help you get into a top med school. If this relationship is useful, what's the best way to use it? Thanks
 

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Welcome to SDN, Hulk! :) Forgive me, but I have to wonder if you're for real? If you are, I would say use the connection carefully. It may be useful, but you don't want to come off as sounding like you have a right to be there. Many schools' secondaries ask if you have a connection to the school. That would be the place to mention it I would think. And I think it would be OK for your Aunt to mention to her friend that you're applying. Let him take it from there. If your application is strong enough that you would normally have a shot there, then I think the connection may help you. But if not, then I wouldn't think it would.

Best of luck, and keep us posted!!! :)
 

Random Access

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Dude...we're talking at least 7 figures here. It'd help to have a reasonably strong application, but the 7 figures should give you a boost. Don't make too much of a big deal out of it or get too cocky, as SMW said, but it should help. The alumni/donation thing isn't as strong for med schools as it is for undergrad, but it's still a factor.

-RA
 
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Zoobaby

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Hulk - you are very lucky to have that connection. Use it to it's full potential but as another poster commented, don't act like they owe it to you.

Money runs the world, like it or not. That much money buys PLENTY of favors.
 
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The Hulk

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SMW, Thanks for the warm and cordial welcome:)

I am totally serious; its a quandry for me because my GPA is not high enough for me to be a very attractive candidate for the school; I'm in a post-bac program now taking the required classes and studying for the MCAT, but even if I get straight A's my science GPA still won't be as high as the mean accepted GPA. I know I can get into this school on my own if I can just get an interview, so I'm trying to figure out what the best way is to use this contact to try and get an interview
 

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I was talking to my mom about this a couple of weeks ago. She's a "big-wig" for Duke Medcenter's development office, and deals with this sort of thing all the time. She said that the best the school will do is grant you an interview and put you on the waitlist IF the only thing you have going for you is that someone in your family made a hefty donation (this also is true for children of alumni). Bottom line is that you have to meet their criteria for admittance, regardless of your family.

There is hope-- notice I said "if" your only attribute is your uncle's donation. Work hard at your post-bacc program. Do well on the MCAT. Get yourself some good (aka, meaningful to YOU) EC's, and some kick-a$$ LORs. Write a killer personal statement and impress them like crazy at your interview. Your uncle's $ will not grant you an acceptance, but it'll help you get your foot in the door. The rest is up to you... I really do think you can overcome that GPA with lots of work... and remember that it's an AVERAGE GPA. Best of luck, and welcome to SDN!! :)
 

Qafas

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Originally posted by The Hulk
If this relationship is useful, what's the best way to use it? Thanks
Don't you mean the best way to "abuse" it? Personally, I don't think you should be relying on anything other than your own personal merits to gain admission.

with regards
 

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Originally posted by Qafas
Don't you mean the best way to "abuse" it? Personally, I don't think you should be relying on anything other than your own personal merits to gain admission.

with regards
You express an admirable ideal, but the world just isn't set up that way. I guarantee that every person on this board has taken advantage of a lucky break at some point in thier lives, and there is nothing wrong with that. You will always be luckier than someone else. Someone else will always be luckier than you.

Luck is a real factor in this life. To not take advantage of it is foolish.
 

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Don't you mean the best way to "abuse" it? Personally, I don't think you should be relying on anything other than your own personal merits to gain admission.
Using something to your advantage is hardly abusing it. Sure, your own merit counts, but if you've got an advantage, use it.
 

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use your advantage the best way possible...if that means it gets you an interview, then take full advantage of impressing them there. Remember guys and gals, just getting into medical school isnt winning the war, its winning one of many seemingly uphill battles. If you are qualified for the school, they will accept you. You wouldnt want them just to take you for your family endowment, cause if you arent gonna succeed there, then who really cares about saying...."yeah, I went to Harvard, but flunked out!" Good luck regardless.
 

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So you're asking us if it is ok that your aunt wants to use bribery to get you into a top teir medical school?

Digusting, absolutely disgusting. If you're seeking validation, you will find none from me. Your uncle's gift was just that, an unselfish gift. Do not sully it by making it a bribe.

I'm trying not to flame you. You seem to be a hard working person. In the end, do you want to get into by your uncle's gift or do you want to get in by your own merit?

This country was made great by meritocracy....not nepotism
 

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Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
So you're asking us if it is ok that your aunt wants to use bribery to get you into a top teir medical school?

Digusting, absolutely disgusting. If you're seeking validation, you will find none from me. Your uncle's gift was just that, an unselfish gift. Do not sully it by making it a bribe.

I'm trying not to flame you. You seem to be a hard working person. In the end, do you want to get into by your uncle's gift or do you want to get in by your own merit?

This country was made great by meritocracy....not nepotism
No, it would be bribery if the aunt were like "I'll give you another million if you let my nephew/niece in." Asking for a favor after an unselfish gift is given is not bribery. The adcom does not have to grant the favor, but they may feel it would be a good way to honor the memory of the old doc. It's not nepotism either, that would be if the aunt were on the adcom and gave preference.

It's true that not all of us have such connections, but that doesn't make taking advantage of them wrong or dishonest.
 
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The Hulk

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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
So you're asking us if it is ok that your aunt wants to use bribery to get you into a top teir medical school?

Digusting, absolutely disgusting. If you're seeking validation, you will find none from me. Your uncle's gift was just that, an unselfish gift. Do not sully it by making it a bribe.

I'm trying not to flame you. You seem to be a hard working person. In the end, do you want to get into by your uncle's gift or do you want to get in by your own merit?

This country was made great by meritocracy....not nepotism
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, I had no idea that my message would have such an effect on some people. :( Maybe I should restate my point. As a non-traditional applicant (i.e. older, already having worked several years out of school in a different field entirely) I am already at a disadvantage to many pre-med majors applying straight out of school or after doing a year or two of research. My GPA is not high, but I went to a top liberal arts college, I am currently earning a 4.0 GPA at my post-bac program and like many non-traiditional applicants I have a very interesting and unusual background that would help me to shine in any interview. Even so, my over-all GPA will still be low due to the fact that I will only take 4 or so courses in the post-bac program and I took thrity-something in college. I am not attempting to waltz into med school. Like many of you I have struggled with the idea of what to do with my life and have realized that this is my calling. I will be happy to go to any US allopathic school, but I don't want to be precluded from all of the top-ranked programs simply because I didn't maintain a very high GPA.

Ryo-Ohki, I found your post to go far past the bounds of what I consider to be reasonable dialogue :mad: You clearly do not understand the diefinitions of the words nepotism and bribery. Moreover, everyone should use whatever advantages they have to securing placement in a medical school if they are sure its what they want to do. Isn't residency an advantage over those who do not have it in applying to most state schools? Did you ever have anyone help you get an summer internship or write you a LOR when they really didn't know you as well as they said they did? What about college? Did you take an SAT prep course? What about all the intelligent underpriveleged children who couldn't get as high a score as you just because mommy and daddy couldn't pay a grand? Please get off your high horse. Not using a connection to your advantage because you want to do it completely on your own is admirable, but unless you've really done everything on your own from the day you started thinking about college your drawing an arbitrary line in the sand and being a fool as well. I was seeking neither your validation nor your judgement. I was asking how best to use a connection to one school to my advantage. Your reaction is so out of proportion to my original post that I wonder if there are other things you are dealing with personally that are causing you to lash out at others. Either way, the point is that your post adds nothing to the discussion and only serves to attack me for asking a question. It has no basis on a board such as this.
 

Random Access

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Sing it, Brother Hulk.

Besides...he doesn't even know what nepotism is...just another bitter person who has to lash out at others...
 

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Just ignore the haters Hulk (good screen name btw ;) )

Use every advantage you have to get into med school, I know I will. Anyone who says they wouldn't is almost certainly a liar.
 

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Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
So you're asking us if it is ok that your aunt wants to use bribery to get you into a top teir medical school?

Digusting, absolutely disgusting. If you're seeking validation, you will find none from me. Your uncle's gift was just that, an unselfish gift. Do not sully it by making it a bribe.

I'm trying not to flame you. You seem to be a hard working person. In the end, do you want to get into by your uncle's gift or do you want to get in by your own merit?

This country was made great by meritocracy....not nepotism
oh come on...so if you had a connection to a school - through donations, family members who went there or work there, etc -you wouldn't mention it anywhere on your apps?? Please!
 

Ryo-Ohki

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No. I want to be judged on my merits. Do you, bounty?


Hulk, why did you post this thread? To find out how best to exploit a family connection? If you find me unreasonable, I find that you trying to get special treatment because of your uncle shameful.


I can't stop you, of course. If you have any conscious, there should be a debate in your mind whether or not what you're doing is ethical.

It is not ethical.
 

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Originally posted by Bounty
oh come on...so if you had a connection to a school - through donations, family members who went there or work there, etc -you wouldn't mention it anywhere on your apps?? Please!
I'll amen to that.

Hulk--you do what you have to do to get in. Don't worry about others juding you. It's not between you and them, it's between you and God. If it suits your conscience, do it. But know that the family connection will NOT get you into medical school. You will do it for yourself. A family connection will only give you a small, slight boost. Your grades, MCAT, experience is still the main thrust of your application. A lot of life is politics--work, college, getting a good caterer for your wedding even if they are booked that day (I have personal experience for this one).

My advice is to not use it right away. See where your own merits gets you. If you get to an interview stage, mention it in a letter or something afte the interview so they can push you into the accepted batch.

See, if you use it too early in the application cycle, they might just "re-do" the favor for you by giving you a mere interview and not an acceptance. Know what I mean? Use it wisely and at the RIGHT TIME! Perhaps if you were waitlisted, then it would be another place to mention it and have it work. In either case, my advice is to not use it too early.
 

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Ryo-Ohki, I suppose you think that med schools that ask on their secondaries if you have any connection to the school are acting unethically? I don't really see how in good conscience you can associate yourself with this process at all! ;)
 

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It speaks volumes about the medical school admissions process that people do not think it is merit based but rather a "crap shoot"

I find anyone who tries to use any non-merit/achievement criteria to be shameful. How do you expect a poor person who has struggled for everything to react to this? He'll try to find a way to circumvent and cheat the process just like you.

I want distributive justice and a meritocracy. What exactly do you want? An aristocracy?
 

Random Access

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Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
It speaks volumes about the medical school admissions process that people do not think it is merit based but rather a "crap shoot"

I find anyone who tries to use any non-merit/achievement criteria to be shameful. How do you expect a poor person who has struggled for everything to react to this? He'll try to find a way to circumvent and cheat the process just like you.

I want distributive justice and a meritocracy. What exactly do you want? An aristocracy?
Okay...let's get this straight...you don't want a meritocracy. You want it to be based on scores and scores alone, as you equate scores and scores alone as "merit."

That's the executive summary of Ryo-Ohki's posts. Does anyone else laugh at these ridiculous comments about how our country is doomed because of a few people's actions or opinions. Of course, one person's opinion would have to speak "volumes." Yes, Ryo-Ohki, the United States is damned to a worthless existence because of your opinions regarding the med school admissions process.

Now, back to the real discussion...
 

Ryo-Ohki

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MCAT/GPA/Volunteer/Work/Research.
These are merits and achievements.

Your wealth, your race, how interesting a person you are, and how much your uncle donated to the school do not constitute merit based criteria.

Setting forth known, achievable, relevant, and quantifiable criteria for a process. THAT is a meritocracy.
 
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Random Access

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Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
MCAT/GPA/Volunteer/Work/Research.
These are merits and achievements.

Your wealth, your race, how interesting a person you are, and how much your uncle donated to the school do not constitute merit based criteria.

Setting forth known, achievable, relevant, and quantifiable criteria for a process. THAT is a meritocracy.
What's achievable for one is often less achievable for another. Wouldn't it be much more difficult for someone from a rough neighborhood with crappy schools who can't afford Kaplan and struggles to get into a decent college because of the lack of a decent support system? Compare this theoretical person to someone from an affluent background who can afford Kaplan and consulting services and has the wealth of a good support system, both in their neighborhood, their high school, and their college. Med school admissions levels the playing field and allows both of these types of people to be educated in the practice of medicine in the same environment. What you define as relevant is merely your opinion and has no relevancy to actual admissions processes.
 

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Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
No. I want to be judged on my merits. Do you, bounty?/B]


Hahaha. When I read this, I almost heard a booming voice coming from above speaking the words.

Please, get off your high horse. Yes of course I want to be judged on my merits. I don't have any connections, my parents did not go to medical school, etc. But if they did, I would answer that question honestly on secondary applications. Lying would be unethical no? ;)
 

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ha ha, bounty :laugh:
 

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I wish the best Hulk! :clap:

GPA is not everything. I graduated with a 2.9. I took several post-bacc classes raising it to a 3.1. I don't have an acceptance letter in my hand yet, but the application cycle has been treating me kindly.

You can do it. Work hard, use your connections, and become a great doctor!

:clap: :clap:
 

geneman

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Originally posted by Random Access
What's achievable for one is often less achievable for another. Wouldn't it be much more difficult for someone from a rough neighborhood with crappy schools who can't afford Kaplan and struggles to get into a decent college because of the lack of a decent support system? Compare this theoretical person to someone from an affluent background who can afford Kaplan and consulting services and has the wealth of a good support system, both in their neighborhood, their high school, and their college. Med school admissions levels the playing field and allows both of these types of people to be educated in the practice of medicine in the same environment. What you define as relevant is merely your opinion and has no relevancy to actual admissions processes.
I was hesistant to get back into these debates, but some of these posts are making me itch.

For everyone bashing Ryo, please read this editorial (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post). Although it doesn't talk about affirmative action at all, it captures the essence of the "cold but realistic people" (i.e., pro-AA reformers) vs. "naive and idealistic people" (i.e., pro-AAers).

With all due respect (as I feel the unfortunate need to protect myself from ignorant flaming), Random Access and probably the majority of SDN fall into the latter category. These people, arguing from a perceived "moral high ground", seem to believe more in Equality of Outcome than Equality of Opportunity. They find it difficult to accept that "inequalities are the inevitable price of freedom. If people are left free to make their own decisions, some will respond more prudently and imaginatively than others" (Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft).

I want, and deep down so do all of you, to live in a society that encourages, supports, and rewards individuals for reaching their full potential. Anything otherwise (e.g., nepotism, affirmative action) is a tragedy, especially for the beneficiaries of these programs. (See arguments advanced by Ward Connerley, a black civil rights leader who led the successful campaign for Proposition 209.)

Random Access, I question your implied assumption that students with lower scores (e.g., 27 MCAT) brought up in poorer backgrounds would necessarily score higher (e.g., 33 MCAT) if brought up in more affluent backgrounds. Having a better environment, while helpful, is no guarantee of success -- far from it, in fact. And the same goes for the vice versa. As AA is structured today, it makes the same faulty assumption as you did.

Shall I go on?
 

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Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
It speaks volumes about the medical school admissions process that people do not think it is merit based but rather a "crap shoot"
I think it speaks much more to the number of available spots there are compared to the much larger number of meritorious applicants.
 

Random Access

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Originally posted by geneman
I was hesistant to get back into these debates, but some of these posts are making me itch.

For everyone bashing Ryo, please read this editorial (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post). Although it doesn't talk about affirmative action at all, it captures the essence of the "cold but realistic people" (i.e., pro-AA reformers) vs. "naive and idealistic people" (i.e., pro-AAers).

With all due respect (as I feel the unfortunate need to protect myself from ignorant flaming), Random Access and probably the majority of SDN fall into the latter category. These people, arguing from a perceived "moral high ground", seem to believe more in Equality of Outcome than Equality of Opportunity. They find it difficult to accept that "inequalities are the inevitable price of freedom. If people are left free to make their own decisions, some will respond more prudently and imaginatively than others" (Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft).

I want, and deep down so do all of you, to live in a society that encourages, supports, and rewards individuals for reaching their full potential. Anything otherwise (e.g., nepotism, affirmative action) is a tragedy, especially for the beneficiaries of these programs. (See arguments advanced by Ward Connerley, a black civil rights leader who led the successful campaign for Proposition 209.)

Random Access, I question your implied assumption that students with lower scores (e.g., 27 MCAT) brought up in poorer backgrounds would necessarily score higher (e.g., 33 MCAT) if brought up in more affluent backgrounds. Having a better environment, while helpful, is no guarantee of success -- far from it, in fact. And the same goes for the vice versa. As AA is structured today, it makes the same faulty assumption as you did.

Shall I go on?

I suppose you'd have to pick something with ad hominem attacks, rather than a decent argument. I never said anyone was going to score any higher than another person in a better environment. Just that putting someone in a better environment gives them a fair shake, i.e. the equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome. Nothing is a guarantee of success. Furthermore, I don't think scores tell all of the story, as I've said before.

I don't even agree with AA in its current form, as you seem to imply. I don't agree that it should be race-based, but rather socio-economic-based. AA doesn't help lazy people, as you seem to imply. It helps people who work hard, but have mitigating factors preventing them from presenting even better results than they already are in their respective communities.

Debating an issue doesn't imply that I put myself on a higher moral ground.
 

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Originally posted by Random Access
I don't even agree with AA in its current form, as you seem to imply. I don't agree that it should be race-based, but rather socio-economic-based.
Is it simply race (and ethnicity) based now, or is it a combination of race/ethnicity and disadvantage? AMCAS does ask both (or all three) questions.
 

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Originally posted by Random Access
I suppose you'd have to pick something with ad hominem attacks, rather than a decent argument. I never said anyone was going to score any higher than another person in a better environment. Just that putting someone in a better environment gives them a fair shake, i.e. the equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome. Nothing is a guarantee of success. Furthermore, I don't think scores tell all of the story, as I've said before.

I don't even agree with AA in its current form, as you seem to imply. I don't agree that it should be race-based, but rather socio-economic-based. AA doesn't help lazy people, as you seem to imply. It helps people who work hard, but have mitigating factors preventing them from presenting even better results than they already are in their respective communities.

Debating an issue doesn't imply that I put myself on a higher moral ground.
You sure are... um, Random...

Read your 2nd sentence, 1st paragraph; then read 4th sentence, 2nd paragraph. :rolleyes:

Also, try reconciling your support of "med school admissions levelling the playing field" and your obviously strong belief in equality of opportunity.

SMW, you're right. I won't go on.
 
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Originally posted by geneman
You sure are... um, Random...
:laugh: :laugh:

ohh geneman, the AA debates just fall apart into incoherent drivel when i'm not seriously contributing :)

i'm just waiting for someone to stoop down to the level of "your mom" insults around here, yeesh :rolleyes:
 

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I'm trying to argue against nepotism but AA becomes the focus.

Yeah, RA, some people have it a lot tougher then others. The person who grew up dirt poor and on welfare is a lot worse off then a suburban kid. The suburban kid is a lot worse off then the rich kid. Should we start handicapping?

However disadvantaged you are, you will have a bachelor's degree. That makes you better off then 60% of the US population. Can't score well on the MCAT? Work for a year and study for the bloody test at night. GPA a little low? Take some graduate classes to show that you can handle coursework. It may be harder for you, but how damning is the alternative? Do you like handouts? Nothing worth achieving is easy.

MCAT scores are a measure of how hard a person studies. What exactly is wrong with that? Everyone knows the test format. Even the busiest of people could devote time in studying this thing. To say that this test is irrelevant is nothing more then pissing on people's hard work.

Geneman hits it on the head: Equality of Opportunity rather than Equality of Outcome.
 

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Your mom sucks, DW.......

Launchpad sucks too. Get a cooler sidekick.
 

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Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
Your mom sucks, DW. Launchpad sucks too.
i know he does. thats why he's my lowly sidekick, they're expensive ya know :p
 

Random Access

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Originally posted by geneman
You sure are... um, Random...

Read your 2nd sentence, 1st paragraph; then read 4th sentence, 2nd paragraph. :rolleyes:

Also, try reconciling your support of "med school admissions levelling the playing field" and your obviously strong belief in equality of opportunity.

SMW, you're right. I won't go on.
The point of the 4th sentence in the 2nd paragraph was not to compare two people to each other, but rather to compare one person in two different environments, as careful reading shows.

I'm not really sure what you want me to reconcile. I think they reconcile themselves. Leveling the playing field implies that people who come from various backgrounds have the same opportunity to get into med school, relevant to their background.

-RA
 

Random Access

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Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
I'm trying to argue against nepotism but AA becomes the focus.

Yeah, RA, some people have it a lot tougher then others. The person who grew up dirt poor and on welfare is a lot worse off then a suburban kid. The suburban kid is a lot worse off then the rich kid. Should we start handicapping?

However disadvantaged you are, you will have a bachelor's degree. That makes you better off then 60% of the US population. Can't score well on the MCAT? Work for a year and study for the bloody test at night. GPA a little low? Take some graduate classes to show that you can handle coursework. It may be harder for you, but how damning is the alternative? Do you like handouts? Nothing worth achieving is easy.

MCAT scores are a measure of how hard a person studies. What exactly is wrong with that? Everyone knows the test format. Even the busiest of people could devote time in studying this thing. To say that this test is irrelevant is nothing more then pissing on people's hard work.

Geneman hits it on the head: Equality of Opportunity rather than Equality of Outcome.
You're mixing up nepotism with legacy status (with donation in this case). Nepotism would be if the uncle himself let Hulk into the med school.

Who's giving out handouts? People admitted under affirmative action are still working hard, contrary to your belief. You seem to imply that these people are lazy bums and they just cakewalk their way into med school

No one said the test is irrelevant, just that there are other factors that matter. Furthermore, the MCAT is not a solely a measure of how hard someone studies; critical reading and test taking skills are also necessary to do well.
 

Tweetie_bird

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Guys,

In the 38 posts that we have posted, perhaps 1/3 of them actually relate to the original poster's questions. We are not doing a service to our fellow SDNers if we let our ego get in the way and keep trying to prove ourselves right, while our peer is still waiting to hear about more input. Know what I mean?

So I am urging those of you that have a beef with each other to please take it on PMs. You are all intelligent, hard working, and well deserving people. I am sure you can come up with an adequate solution, just don't do it in a way that distracts from the OP's intentions. It's just much more civil that way and also helps the OP figure out the solution to his questions.

Thanks much. :)
 

Random Access

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Originally posted by Tweetie_bird
So I am urging those of you that have a beef with each other

mmmm...beef... :cool:

To give Hulk my opinion on the situation... Use the edge, but don't depend on it.

-RA
 
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The Hulk

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Quote by Ryu-Okhi
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------No. I want to be judged on my merits. Do you, bounty?


Hulk, why did you post this thread? To find out how best to exploit a family connection? If you find me unreasonable, I find that you trying to get special treatment because of your uncle shameful.


I can't stop you, of course. If you have any conscious, there should be a debate in your mind whether or not what you're doing is ethical.

It is not ethical.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Did you read my last post? You never even addressed my point - that unless you have never had any help in any aspect of your academic or extracurricular life your "merits" as you call them are never truly yours alone, and you are therefore a hippocrit. There was someone along the way who helped you out; from studying to your SATs to getting a prime summer research internship. Either way, you seem to see medical admissions as this quasi-religous ceremony where the lord of admissions comes down from Mt. Sinai and judges your bad and good deeds and then decides wether you are truly worthy of gaining admission to the pearly gates of his or her medical school. Unfortunately that's not how it works. Do you really think an admissions board of a top-tier medical school, getting literally upwards of ten thousand apps per year, has time to look at the true merits of each student. You won't be truly judged on your merits until you make it to an interview, which is what I'm hoping to get out of this connection.

As I said before I can see your argument, Ryu, I just think its hyppocritical. Just because I don't fit into your warped sense of morality I'm unethical? Please. Obviously you are looking for medical school admission as some kind of validation of yourself as better than others who didn't get in, because, as you said, "you will be judged by your own merits and your own merits only". Your full of it and I think YOUR reasoning is ethically dubious as a result. I want to go to medical school for one reason and one reason only: To learn a foundation of skills that I can apply in a good residency program to help people.
 

Sweet Tea

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Read my first post (all the way back on page 1).

No one gets into medical school without some assistance. Letters of recommendation comes first to mind because these people DON'T have to write anything, and they DON'T have to write favorable things. They are a FAVOR, and at the very least we owe them a handwritten thank-you card, but I digress:p. Beyond LORs, there are research projects that someone ALLOWED you to work on, providing you with lab space and equipment, extra time profs/TAs spent in office hours with you so that you could ace that orgo class (remember, they don't owe you anything outside of class time), and numerous volunteer or work opportunities that someone else told you about or helped you get.

My point is that we all had some help even getting this far in the application process. Yes, some worked harder than others, and some had golden opportunities fall into their lap, but that's the way life is. Get used to it b/c it's going to keep happening for the rest of your medical career. The Hulk's uncle's donation WILL NOT buy him an admittance to that medical school. It might help him gain an interview but he still has to get in on his own merits. I've seen it happen. There's a reason why many secondaries ask if the applicant has any family members who are alumni, or if they have any special connection to the school-- THEY WILL TRY TO HELP THOSE WHO HELPED THEM, but if they don't meet the requirements they won't get in.

To The Hulk-- please go back and read my first post. I understand your dilemma-- one of the many reasons why I'm not applying to Duke (besides my general loathing of the school ;)) is b/c I know that I don't meet the requirements to get in, and I'd only be granted an interview b/c of who my mom is and would then be permanently assigned to the waitlist. She can't get me in. I would be granted an interview, but I'm not going to get in b/c I don't meet their requirements. I'm not saying you don't have a chance-- keep up your post-bacc grades and you may have a better chance then you think. I wish you the best of luck, and please keep us posted. :D
 

mvervaine

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Originally posted by Ryo-Ohki
MCAT scores are a measure of how hard a person studies. What exactly is wrong with that?
that's not really true...as i've mentioned in another post, the first time i took the test (4/00) i fell asleep during the test (too nervous the night before and couldn't sleep). then that same august i took it again (w/o taking another prepclass) and went from 31 to 39. i dEFINitely worked harder for the april test and i don't think i "suddenly got smarter" or "miraculously gained merit" in those four months. sometimes circumstances out of your control can affect the outcome of your mcat scores, is all i am saying.
 

DW

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sweet tea.....you're awesome (as usual). well said. :D
 
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The Hulk

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I second DW's motion, here-here...

Thanks alot Sweet Tea, your advice was great and I really appreciate it!
:D

And that goes for everyone else, too, thanks for your help... I feel I have alot better understanding of how much importance a connection like that has and how it fits into the over-all med school applications process.


:)
 

carddr

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USE the connection...Your Aunt offered without any arm-twisting I assume. By all means grab the opportunity!! Also non-traditional and used every person I knew to futher my career...had some great rotations thanks to those connections. Which turned into great LORs. Good luck! (some people sound jealous on this thread!) Don't take it personally.
 

scootad.

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Yes, use the connection! You don't want to look back and think "what if?" when you realize you didnt take advantage of a golden opportunity. There's nothing wrong with using connections provided the person using them knows what they are getting into and is aware of the responsibilities of the field they are entering. You sound very mature, so go for it!
 

geneman

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Originally posted by Random Access
The point of the 4th sentence in the 2nd paragraph was not to compare two people to each other, but rather to compare one person in two different environments, as careful reading shows.

I'm not really sure what you want me to reconcile. I think they reconcile themselves. Leveling the playing field implies that people who come from various backgrounds have the same opportunity to get into med school, relevant to their background.

-RA
Random, you really shouldn't ask for careful reading if you aren't careful in your own writing... I am curious to see how you are going to "politic-ese" your way out of your two statements below.

"I never said anyone was going to score any higher than another person in a better environment."

...~5 sentences later...

"[AA beneficiaries] have mitigating factors preventing them from presenting even better results."

Also, "leveling the playing field", as AA does, is not equality of opportunity. That is equality of outcome. Please don't try to "lawyer-speak" this point.


My original take-home message was that the 5-second sound bite that people instinctively nod their heads to is often wrong. Killing 100s of innocent Afghans via collateral damage seems wrong, until you look at the 1,000,000s of lives you have saved/improved. Shooting down a terrorist-hijacked plane and killing 300 people is wrong, until you realize you've saved 3000 lives in the building the plane was aimed at. Decreasing aid to poverty-striken third-world countries seems unimaginable, until you recognize that aid often does more harm than good (e.g., breeding a culture of dependency, stifling home-grown innovation, keeping in power corrupt leaders, e.g., Having oil is more of a curse to countries than having little resources).

A deeper understanding of AA, social and racial politics aside, always points towards getting rid (gasp!) of AA altogether and finding alternate solutions. Even socioeconomic-based AA, while a major improvement from race-based, contains the same inherent flaws.

I officially retire from AA-threads. RIP, Geneman, Defender of Justice.
 

Random Access

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Originally posted by geneman
Random, you really shouldn't ask for careful reading if you aren't careful in your own writing... I am curious to see how you are going to "politic-ese" your way out of your two statements below.

"I never said anyone was going to score any higher than another person in a better environment."

...~5 sentences later...

"[AA beneficiaries] have mitigating factors preventing them from presenting even better results."

Also, "leveling the playing field", as AA does, is not equality of opportunity. That is equality of outcome. Please don't try to "lawyer-speak" this point.
Saying that someone will score higher than another person isn't the same as saying that someone will score higher than they would otherwise. That's what I mean by careful reading.

I guess we differ on what opportunity means...
 
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