FoodisGood163

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I've always wondered this. I was just interviewed not too long ago at my top school and just happened to have this thought. I know of some schools that have 20-25 interview dates each with 20-30 students interviewing a day, and they have to end up narrowing all of them down to about 100 or so ( > 150 if it's a big medical school).

My question is mainly directed towards adcoms (and current/prospective students if you have feedback): how in the world do you pick your next medical school class from the many applicants that have acquired interviews? Each person in my shoes during interview day that I spoke with seemed so qualified in regards to professionalism and personality.
 

Mad Jack

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Lots and lots of arbitrary cutoff points. Week 1, interview all the 35+, 3.8+ candidates, week 2, drop it down to 34+, 3.75+, etc. Once you get into large pools of candidates that are similar, split them up based on number of research, volunteer, and EC hours. Interview the ones with the most qualified ECs at that point, then move down. Read all the PS and secondaries of those you are considering for interview, toss the ones that you feel have red flags. If you've got rolling admissions, this process looks different than if you've got non-rolling. Keep in mind every school does things differently, but this is a general idea of how the process unfolds- best candidates first, then move your way down.
 
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FoodisGood163

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Lots and lots of arbitrary cutoff points. Week 1, interview all the 35+, 3.8+ candidates, week 2, drop it down to 34+, 3.75+, etc. Once you get into large pools of candidates that are similar, split them up based on number of research, volunteer, and EC hours. Interview the ones with the most qualified ECs at that point, then move down. Read all the PS and secondaries of those you are considering for interview, toss the ones that you feel have red flags. If you've got rolling admissions, this process looks different than if you've got non-rolling. Keep in mind every school does things differently, but this is a general idea of how the process unfolds- best candidates first, then move your way down.
I see, but how about post-interview? At that point, they've read your PS and secondaries and have perused through all your ECs. Once those things are satisfactory, you receive an interview. Interviews are supposed to gauge your personality and passion in medicine, right? The people that were interviewing with me were each so personable in their own right. How in the world do you choose the students if they're each that passionate? It'd be so difficult O_O
 

Mad Jack

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I see, but how about post-interview? At that point, they've read your PS and secondaries and have perused through all your ECs. Once those things are satisfactory, you receive an interview. Interviews are supposed to gauge your personality and passion in medicine, right? The people that were interviewing with me were each so personable in their own right. How in the world do you choose the students if they're each that passionate? It'd be so difficult O_O
How they select post-interview varies widely by institution. Some have a points system- they score your app, your interview, etc. Some just have a subjective approach, where a group of people decide who gets admitted, and the person who interviewed you is a member of a panel that makes the case for admitting you (or not), while the other people scrutinizes your app and whether you are a good fit for their school. Some schools it's just a make-or-break, the person who interviewed you is either rubber stamping you or kicking you to the curb.

Sometimes everyone that interviews at a given session will get in. Sometimes no one will. Remember, if they're inviting you to interview, they're already okay with you attending (or they are padding their waitlist). The position is yours to lose. Sometimes everyone will not blow it, sometimes everyone will.
 

gyngyn

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I see, but how about post-interview? At that point, they've read your PS and secondaries and have perused through all your ECs. Once those things are satisfactory, you receive an interview. Interviews are supposed to gauge your personality and passion in medicine, right? The people that were interviewing with me were each so personable in their own right. How in the world do you choose the students if they're each that passionate? It'd be so difficult O_O
Interviews serve to further stratify those who appear to be a good fit.
There are clear differences, even among those with excellent stats and experience.
 

musicalfeet

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Interviews serve to further stratify those who appear to be a good fit.
There are clear differences, even among those with excellent stats and experience.
I'm guessing an applicant's perceived fit could be stronger than the pull of numbers? I'm also extremely curious as well....since I don't believe I'm an outstanding applicant by any means and yet miraculously am surprised by the amount of II I have received. I can see the "fit" factor working for two of the schools I was offered invites. The other two seem totally arbitrary and random though...at least from my limited point of view.
 

gyngyn

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I'm guessing an applicant's perceived fit could be stronger than the pull of numbers? I'm also extremely curious as well....since I don't believe I'm an outstanding applicant by any means and yet miraculously am surprised by the amount of II I have received. I can see the "fit" factor working for two of the schools I was offered invites. The other two seem totally arbitrary and random though...at least from my limited point of view.
At some places more than others.
 

Goro

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Go dig up my post on admissions, behind the curtain.



I've always wondered this. I was just interviewed not too long ago at my top school and just happened to have this thought. I know of some schools that have 20-25 interview dates each with 20-30 students interviewing a day, and they have to end up narrowing all of them down to about 100 or so ( > 150 if it's a big medical school).

My question is mainly directed towards adcoms (and current/prospective students if you have feedback): how in the world do you pick your next medical school class from the many applicants that have acquired interviews? Each person in my shoes during interview day that I spoke with seemed so qualified in regards to professionalism and personality.
 
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FoodisGood163

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Go dig up my post on admissions, behind the curtain.
Ohhh, I see. So you're admitted if you make a certain threshold via a predetermined grading scale. So what if the adcoms meet their quota for their entering class and there are still more qualified applicants? Does it kinda work itself out through people not wanting to go to that particular school, etc., etc.? By the way, thank you for directing me to that thread. Very enlightening!
 

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Ohhh, I see. So you're admitted if you make a certain threshold via a predetermined grading scale. So what if the adcoms meet their quota for their entering class and there are still more qualified applicants? Does it kinda work itself out through people not wanting to go to that particular school, etc., etc.? By the way, thank you for directing me to that thread. Very enlightening!
Remember that @Goro's (or any individual adcom's) experience may not be typical for admissions committees at many or perhaps even most medical schools. There's always variability in how applicants are chosen for interviews and acceptances.
 

Goro

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Med schools overbook, like the airlines. My school accepts ~ 250 applicants for ~100 seats. The overbooked population choose to go to other schools. How our wily old Admissions dean manages to fill the class and NOT overbook, which means we have to accept those extra for free, no tuition, is something on the order of black magic.

Ohhh, I see. So you're admitted if you make a certain threshold via a predetermined grading scale. So what if the adcoms meet their quota for their entering class and there are still more qualified applicants? Does it kinda work itself out through people not wanting to go to that particular school, etc., etc.? By the way, thank you for directing me to that thread. Very enlightening!
 
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Goro

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Goro

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Some schools, when they do overflow the entering class, will try to cajole acceptees into delaying matriculation a year. Whether they give a discount in tuition, like airline offering a free ticket, to encourage this, is unknown to me. But by own wily old Admissions dean has told the adcom that if we overbook, we end pay paying for it with free tuition (and the dean gets fired too!)

I thought you gave them incentives to wait a year to enroll. Is that what the free tuition is for or am I confused?
 
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Cotterpin

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Some schools, when they do overflow the entering class, will try to cajole acceptees into delaying matriculation a year. Whether they give a discount in tuition, like airline offering a free ticket, to encourage this, is unknown to me. But by own wily old Admissions dean has told the adcom that if we overbook, we end pay paying for it with free tuition (and the dean gets fired too!)
So basically... do not overbook. I'm sure there's some very careful pouring over numbers from previous years that goes on.
 

StudyLater

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When you overbook, the school typically offers incentives for people to take gap years or, apparently, gives people extra money to accommodate the inconvenience.
I always assumed it'd be the other way around if anything. The student's presence is the inconvenience at that point.
 

gyngyn

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I always assumed it'd be the other way around if anything. The student's presence is the inconvenience at that point.
Excess students would be modestly inconvenient for the first two years.
It would dramatically hurt the educational experience in the last two.
 

StudyLater

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Excess students would be modestly inconvenient for the first two years.
It would dramatically hurt the educational experience in the last two.
Ezakly. So that's why I'm not getting why they're being rewarded. Shouldn't everyone get an equal tuition break, since the student's presence will end up affecting everyone else?

But idk apparently @Goro 's admissions dean is a wizard and won't let that happen.
 

gyngyn

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Ezakly. So that's why I'm not getting why they're being rewarded. Shouldn't everyone get an equal tuition break, since the student's presence will end up affecting everyone else?
The incentive will go to those who choose it. The hope is that a sufficient number will chose to delay a year producing no observable effect on the class.
 
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StudyLater

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The incentive will go to those who choose it. The hope is that a sufficient number will chose to delay a year producing no observable effect on the class.
They're going to delay despite being offered free tuition?

And I was referring to what you said yourself. An extra student brings the whole educational experience down. But what if that extra student (ugh...sorry this is the only way I know to say it right now) "takes a spot" from a student that otherwise would have had one, due to better grades etc.? The extra student has free tuition AND is fine for rotations, whereas that other student is now left in the lurch with tuition to pay.
 

StudyLater

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We would only offer incentives to those who choose to delay.
Ah I see.

But I still get this even less now.

What specific reason is there to offer them free tuition?

And if these people do delay, does that at all affect how many spots there are for the following year (since some are now automatically filled?).
 

gyngyn

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Ah I see.

But I still get this even less now.

What specific reason is there to offer them free tuition?

And if these people do delay, does that at all affect how many spots there are for the following year (since some are now automatically filled?).
If the school miscalculated the number needed to fill the class it is our responsibility to accommodate that mistake without producing an ill effect on the learning environment.
The incentive is designed to mitigate the damage by moving a sufficient number into a subsequent class.
A recalculation of the number needed to fill would then be made for the following class.
 
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avgn

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^ Dudr the specific reason to offer them free tuition is to make them defer matriculation by a year. Something needs to be offered to tell a premed to go to school one year later than they planned on doing. That's the incentive to make them delay and not cause all the future problems for the class
 
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StudyLater

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Fair enough I guess. Are they also notified that their immediate attendance could hinder clinical opportunities? Or are they not given the full story as you flash 200k in tuition in their face and assume that their reaction will be in your favor? I say this because for me personally it's very possible I would forego free tuition, depending on what the actual tuition is and the projected total cost of interest (which actually is deductible and therefore kind of moot....though I'm not sure if there's a deduction limit on that). However, if I was made aware that my clinical opportunities would suffer, that would probably tip me in favor of deferring (or just going elsewhere).
 

StudyLater

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And how often does it happen that, even in the case of a good number of extras, people just straight up start losing rotations? And what are the options in that case? I hadn't really planned on this kind of thing personally so it'd be useful to know how one should react.
 

gonnif

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And how often does it happen that, even in the case of a good number of extras, people just straight up start losing rotations? And what are the options in that case? I hadn't really planned on this kind of thing personally so it'd be useful to know how one should react.
Remember, if a class starts with some extra, it will be 1 to 2 years before clinical rotations start, which does give the school time to make arrangements. While they may not be able to create additional hospital floors/space, they can arrange more mentors (ie clinical assistant professors) and such. And we are not talking about dozens but a few. For example, Weill Cornell has a target class of 100. Last year they had 101. This entering class has 107. 1 was a deferral from last year, a few from straight acceptance, but 3 or 4 are additional MD/PhD students who wont impact clinicals for several years. When you are talking about advanced electives and what students may compete for, you are talking single digits, something that can worked to fix. An example may be a professor who teaches an advanced surgical elective for 4 students for 4 weeks. Maybe he will do another 4 week class or have a 6 week elective to help accommodate.
 
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