R

ratman7

1 of my friends (who doesnt have an account) got screwed by the committee and told me to post asking what other people/adcoms recommend he do

I will summarize the long email he sent me:

He is a sociology major and had a 4.0 through the basic prereq MD courses. Got a 37 MCAT with 3.8 cumulative GPA. while deciding his major, he went to our school's premed advisor, who happened to be one of the people on our school's commitee, and asked for his advice on what to major in. He told the advisor that he was interested in sociology classes, but still wanted to do medicine and become a doctor. The advisor constantly told him that a sociology major would be viewed lighthearted as opposed to a hard science major and insisted him to pursue a science major to be better competitive.

A few years later, he went back to to ask for his committee letter and during the interview, one of the interviewers was the same advisor from years ago. Advisor kept bashing him about picking a low-effort major and kept asking why he didnt choose a more traditional science major. he replied he liked sociology and had a passion for it, while maintaining that he had taken the prereqs followed by a couple upper level bio classes.

After the following cycle, he found out he didnt get into any of the 20 schools he applied to. 1 total interview and 5 secondaries. he strongly believes the committee recommendation screwed him over.

What should he do?
 

jurisburger

5+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2014
152
213
Status
Medical Student
Assuming what you say is true, that advisor is an idiot and doesn't know his left from his right.


Also: "1 total interview and 5 secondaries"

Do you mean to say your friend only sent in 5 secondaries out of the 20 schools he applied to? If that's true then obviously that would be a major reason why he didn't get in anywhere...he applied to too few places.

Edit: My mistake. Thought you meant he only submitted 5 secondaries!
 

shaq93

5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2010
172
108
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Dang that sucks, he should ask each medical school for feedback and see If they mention anything about his recommendation from the committee. from what it sounds like he should have definitely received more secondaries and interview invites.
 

NYCdude

5+ Year Member
May 13, 2014
990
1,128
New York
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Wow that's gotta suck...

Isn't there a way to view your committee letter? It would be noted that you have access to it but still it would give you some clarity on whether or not the LOR was at fault.
 

Snoopy2006

10+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2009
359
572
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Not enough info here. I suspect there's more to the story. You're suggesting the advisor wrote him a poor letter because he didn't take his advice? That's a fairly serious accusation. Did the guy apply to the top 20 med schools in the country or a good mix of tier and geographic location? Did he have volunteering and clinical experience with healthcare to show a true exploration of the field? Too many variables in play.
 

Aerus

Elemental Alchemist
7+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2012
3,224
2,372
Status
Medical Student
If what you said was true then that advisor is just plain incompetent.


Sent from The World Tree using SDN Mobile
 
OP
R

ratman7

Unfortunately, this is true.

@Snoopy2006 He asked me because he didn't want any possible deans or admissions to find out his situation through the internet/SDN (when he reapplies). Also, most of the schools he applied to were in his range of median scores and GPA. He said he applied to a couple reaches, a couple backups, but mostly his score range.
i actually saw his resume, and know for a fact that he had very good extracirrs.

@madjack What did you do in regards to your letters then? The schools he called required a committee letter and did not accept individual ones unless the school did not offer a committee.

His guess is that the committee letter red-flagged him somehow. He asked to see the letter after finding out he did not get accepted, but was denied by the committee. He has not yet called his rejected schools yet, but only plans to call those who rejected him post-secondary/post-interview.
 

tymont12

7+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2011
364
512
Status
Medical Student
After the following cycle, he found out he didnt get into any of the 20 schools he applied to. 1 total interview and 5 secondaries. he strongly believes the committee recommendation screwed him over.[/QUOTE]

What do you mean '5 secondaries?' When I see that, I read it as he only received 5 secondary applications. If that's the case, I imagine there was something obviously wrong in his AMCAs application (I.E., easily avoidable) because I don't have stats nearly as good as his and I received secondaries from all 24 schools I applied to. Most schools have very low requirements to receive their secondary (24 MCAT, 2.8 GPA, etc.). However, I didn't apply to any top-tier schools.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Jack
Jul 8, 2014
532
554
Status
Medical Student
What do you mean '5 secondaries?' When I see that, I read it as he only received 5 secondary applications. If that's the case, I imagine there was something obviously wrong in his AMCAs application (I.E., easily avoidable) because I don't have stats nearly as good as his and I received secondaries from all 24 schools I applied to. Most schools have very low requirements to receive their secondary (24 MCAT, 2.8 GPA, etc.). However, I didn't apply to any top-tier schools.[/QUOTE]


Most schools don't pre-screen at all, so all of their applicants get secondaries. This does seem very strange.
 

MU420

7+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2010
73
73
Also, most of the schools he applied to were in his range of median scores and GPA. He said he applied to a couple reaches, a couple backups, but mostly his score range.

37 MCAT
That kind of sounds like he applied to top 20 medical schools in the country?
 

cryhavoc

5+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2014
789
491
Park Row
Status
Medical Student
If the committee was truly responsible, then he should probably reapply next year. And if he doesn't have any research or volunteering, he could use the year to do that. In case that was actually the reason.
 
Last edited:
Jun 29, 2011
1,721
285
Status
Medical Student
People lie to make their stories more appealing. It's easier to hide a red flag that caused you to not gain an acceptance by telling people the fault lies elsewhere. He likely applied way too top-heavy and/or had major flaws in his application.

I mean.. let's take his word for it. First, you're going to tell me that only a single medical school even invited him for an interview? Some schools don't even read LORs (and the committee letter) until post-interview. Others would easily take the opportunity to learn more about an applicant who has stellar stats but a bad committee letter. There's too much intrigue there to tell me that only one school inquired. Second, it's a committee. Other members of the committee won't let one member screw over a candidate for such a stupid reason. They also have no reason to either.. given it does absolutely nothing but make them look bad. What's their gain in this? Making an example out of this student? Right.. Third, I think his stats alone (assuming a strong application otherwise) would probably still get a school to overlook a bad committee letter. It hurts but it's not a deathblow. Top 20s? probably not. But if he applied broadly as everyone should.. I can't believe that a low/mid tier school wouldn't take a shot (again, just by offering an interview).

And how in the world did he apply to 20 schools and only receive 5 secondaries? Odd are he didn't apply to that many schools that pre-screen. .and he'd pass ALL of those pre-screens with his stats alone (again, they don't tend to read LORs pre-screen).

None of this adds up.
 

orangetea

5+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2014
881
998
black hole
Status
Medical Student
So this adviser is clearly giving HORRIBLE advice to students because double majors are ESPECIALLY seen as competitive since they bring different breath and perspective to the medical field. There is no way adcoms would view a humanities major as "light hearted" compared to a science major. I minored in a humanities and let me tell you.. the depth of difficulty is just as comparable to a science major (which I also was as well).

I didn't bother to read the other posts so I can't give you any advice.. I just came here to clear up one of the many misconceptions premeds on this site brew up.

this was ALMOST as good as the DO vs MD one.
almost.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro
Jun 29, 2011
1,721
285
Status
Medical Student
So this adviser is clearly giving HORRIBLE advice to students because double majors are ESPECIALLY seen as competitive since they bring different breath and perspective to the medical field. There is no way adcoms would view a humanities major as "light hearted" compared to a science major. I minored in a humanities and let me tell you.. the depth of difficulty is just as comparable to a science major (which I also was as well).

I didn't bother to read the other posts so I can't give you any advice.. I just came here to clear up one of the many misconceptions premeds on this site brew up.

this was ALMOST as good as the DO vs MD one.
almost.
Who said anything about double majors?

And the whole humanities vs. science thing isn't as simple as you'd think.. schools like humanities majors and science majors for different reasons. It's not something to be concerned about. Major in something you enjoy and will do well in (emphasis on enjoy.. not grades).
 
Apr 8, 2011
285
55
Bay Area
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
1 of my friends (who doesnt have an account) got screwed by the committee and told me to post asking what other people/adcoms recommend he do

I will summarize the long email he sent me:
If he spent the time writing you a long email, he could easily make an account on SDN which would be more useful to him.

A few years later, he went back to to ask for his committee letter and during the interview, one of the interviewers was the same advisor from years ago. Advisor kept bashing him about picking a low-effort major and kept asking why he didnt choose a more traditional science major. he replied he liked sociology and had a passion for it, while maintaining that he had taken the prereqs followed by a couple upper level bio classes.

After the following cycle, he found out he didnt get into any of the 20 schools he applied to. 1 total interview and 5 secondaries. he strongly believes the committee recommendation screwed him over.

What should he do?
If he only got 5 secondaries, the issue isn't that his committee letter sucked, the issue is that he didn't bother to apply to many schools. The only schools that screen before secondaries are a few state schools (for example all the UC schools in CA). Most schools don't screen applicants before secondaries; they just send the applications out indiscriminately. Your friend definitely did not apply broadly because he probably felt extremely confident with his stats.

Also, if the committee letter was that bad, he would most likely have NO INTERVIEWS. I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as giving applicants the "benefit of the doubt."

Have a concern? Reject.

And most letter writers just decline your letter request if they can't write anything good about you. Letter writers know that the whole process is extremely expensive, and it is a bit of work for them too. Most normal, non-sadistic human beings would not put themselves and others through the trouble.

Sorry, but I'm pretty convinced that your friend just didn't apply to enough schools.

In the case that the issue really is his committee letter, I think that he might just have to enroll in some community college/state college pre-health post bacc program and get a committee letter through there so he doesn't have to send his current committee letter. I recommend this because I see no other way to get rid of the "bad" committee letter. Many schools require that you send committee letters to them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro

gettheleadout

MS-4
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2010
11,814
2,783
Status
Medical Student
Also, if the committee letter was that bad, he would most likely have NO INTERVIEWS. I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as giving applicants the "benefit of the doubt."

Have a concern? Reject.
Not necessarily, as @Jepstein30 mentioned above, not all schools even read LOR's before sending II's.
 

TheRhymenocerous

2+ Year Member
Oct 4, 2014
512
641
Status
Medical Student
Not having applied yet, I could have this totally backward, but I thought that letters (including the committee letter) didn't go out until ~August, so presumably after you've submitted AMCAS and secondaries. How would a committee letter affect getting secondary applications when they're sent out long before the school even sees your letters?
 

Ace Khalifa

I am the definition of awesomeness
Removed
Jun 18, 2014
2,232
3,197
Status
Medical Student
Not having applied yet, I could have this totally backward, but I thought that letters (including the committee letter) didn't go out until ~August, so presumably after you've submitted AMCAS and secondaries. How would a committee letter affect getting secondary applications when they're sent out long before the school even sees your letters?
Letters go out as soon as your school's premed committee is ready to send them out. My committee letter was finished early and received by all my schools in early July.
 

ridethecliche

Meep Meep Meep
7+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2011
7,911
7,358
Tied to a library chair
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Letters go out as soon as your school's premed committee is ready to send them out. My committee letter was finished early and received by all my schools in early July.
Mine doesn't send them out till mid august. I would have considered not using the service if I had known how far back this would push me :/
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zelda840
Jul 8, 2014
532
554
Status
Medical Student
Mine doesn't send them out till mid august. I would have considered not using the service if I had known how far back this would push me :/
I spent so much time emailing back and forth with the pre-health adviser at my school, repeatedly getting responses that "it's typical that letters are not sent until July or August, and sometimes even into September" and that "it doesn't disadvantage the candidate" which is just so clearly not true, given that most schools have rolling admissions. In the end, it turned out that my committee letter was already written and just sitting in the office. It's sort of absurd how the people who are supposed to be helping you get into med school don't know what they're talking about and can actually hurt your chances.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gtbROX

TheRhymenocerous

2+ Year Member
Oct 4, 2014
512
641
Status
Medical Student
I spent so much time emailing back and forth with the pre-health adviser at my school, repeatedly getting responses that "it's typical that letters are not sent until July or August, and sometimes even into September" and that "it doesn't disadvantage the candidate" which is just so clearly not true, given that most schools have rolling admissions. In the end, it turned out that my committee letter was already written and just sitting in the office. It's sort of absurd how the people who are supposed to be helping you get into med school don't know what they're talking about and can actually hurt your chances.
That sucks. Mine won't send it until August 1, so I had assumed there was for a reason other than them being lazy...we have to have all the stuff in by May so that makes no sense at all.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Zelda840
Apr 8, 2011
285
55
Bay Area
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Not necessarily, as @Jepstein30 mentioned above, not all schools even read LOR's before sending II's.
I have always been under the impression that most schools read LORs to assess whether they want to interview an individual. Whenever I looked at school websites for LOR requirements, they stated that the supplemental/secondary application packet includes the LORs and that they will not mark you complete unless your LORs have been received. Hence why I assumed that most schools read LORs prior to giving interview invites, and this is also why I used the phrase "most likely."
 

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2013
35,552
65,176
4th Dimension
If what you said was true then that advisor is just plain incompetent.


Sent from The World Tree using SDN Mobile
There are a lot of incompetent advisors out there. In this day and age, with the resources most students have available, committees are a waste of time and one more possible wrench in your application.
 

VanEman

5+ Year Member
2+ Year Member
May 25, 2014
183
99
Status
Pre-Medical
This is one of the reasons I'm really glad my school doesn't do committee letters. One jerk can get power-hungry and judgmental and mess up everything. The great thing about having individual letters is you can get a couple of extra and then vary the ones you send to different schools, so if there's one bad one, it won't kill you everywhere. There's a presentation by Loyola where a temporary pre-med committee head of Loyola University Chicago totally trashed a student instead of coaching him, and overrode everything the other recommenders had to say:
https://csh.depaul.edu/.../LoyolaStritchSchoolOfMedicinePresentatio.pdf
 

gettheleadout

MS-4
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2010
11,814
2,783
Status
Medical Student
I have always been under the impression that most schools read LORs to assess whether they want to interview an individual. Whenever I looked at school websites for LOR requirements, they stated that the supplemental/secondary application packet includes the LORs and that they will not mark you complete unless your LORs have been received. Hence why I assumed that most schools read LORs prior to giving interview invites, and this is also why I used the phrase "most likely."
I still don't think we can distinguish qualitatively between the odds of someone getting very few vs zero interviews given that very few schools send II's without looking at LOR's. To me the safer bet is to say, given a broad smattering of 20 schools, an applicant with a deathnote LOR could very well receive only one interview, and might be equally likely to get zero or very few (e.g. 1) depending on what schools were included in the list.

This is not a big deal at all, I just wanted to explain my reasoning and note that I did see your wording.

Sent from my neural implant using SDN Mobile
 

moisne

5+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2014
1,486
897
This is a troll right?

Your "friend" clearly has a huge red flag to only get 5 secondaries with 20 application...

Your "friend" is lying to us (and yourself).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kochanie
Dec 16, 2013
1,085
483
Status
Pre-Medical
You can't have a cGPA of 4.0 and have a sGPA any less. You have the opposite. Do you not understand this?
.......He said 3.8 cGPA and 4.0 sGPA meaning he got all As in science classes and less than ALL As in non-science classes. Do you not understand this? You CAN have a cGPA of 3.8 and a perfect sGPA..

You're the one that made up the 4.0 cGPA, like where'd you pull that out from?
 
OP
B

Bookworm36

I'm sorry about your friend. I hope by now he figured out what to do. When I applied to PA school a few years ago (trying to convince myself I'm too old of medicine, haha that didn't work), I had to try to get recommendations from my UG, two years after graduating. I needed a science prof recommendation. Besides not having enough direct patient contact clinical hours, the advisor/admissions committee member from the PA school (yes, only one) I applied said he had never seen a recommendation letter like the one my OC prof gave me. She said it was very verbose and almost ranting and raving (unprofessionally) about how I got an A+ in the class and how much I loved his class. I was embarrassed. After asking several other of my UG profs for recommendations, I was a nontrad, still am :), and I actually got turned down by pretty much everyone i thought liked me enough to recommend me. I had one prof I did research with even tell me that I'm a good writer but she doesn't see me in medicine.

I admit I was working full-time UG and didn't have time to really 'get to know' my profs, but those I liked and volunteered a few hours for research and/or office hours were zero help. It left me with a sad sad feeling inside. [I 'should have' gone to a different UG school]<-- this type of thinking won't help your 'friend'. Moving on and saying 'F' them, I'm better than that! I will do it and get on with my life cuz I know they suck and all of them want something that I know I have...that will help alot better. Just tell your 'friend' to move on with his or her life. No use dwelling. he has great stats. go shadow a doctor or get a pt job as an emt. That will be awesome for LORs.

When one door closes, another opens.
 

UNMedGa

Newbie!
2+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2015
2,875
3,598
Capital of Passive-Aggression
Status
Medical Student
I spent so much time emailing back and forth with the pre-health adviser at my school, repeatedly getting responses that "it's typical that letters are not sent until July or August, and sometimes even into September" and that "it doesn't disadvantage the candidate" which is just so clearly not true, given that most schools have rolling admissions. In the end, it turned out that my committee letter was already written and just sitting in the office. It's sort of absurd how the people who are supposed to be helping you get into med school don't know what they're talking about and can actually hurt your chances.
This is why I'm really, really glad my school doesn't have a committee. It sounds like they are actually harder to deal with than getting separate LORs.