How much do you guys predict things will change by the 2020 cycle?

May 14, 2017
147
148
Status
Pre-Medical
As in applying to matriculate in 2020. How much will things change in terms of competitiveness, requirements etc. based on previous trends?
 

Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
Staff member
Administrator
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
8,236
17,952
City of the Future
Status
Medical Student
nothing really big seems to be in the works. More schools will open. Total number of applicants will likely continue to increase. Maybe more schools become more lenient on course requirements and move towards competency based admissions like a few of the top schools have.

Overall, the formula hasn't really changed: get good grades, get a high mcat, check some boxes
 
About the Ads
Oct 28, 2015
3,167
11,123
Status
Medical Student
Two predictions:

1. The score requirements will increase modestly.
2. In the next few years it will become increasingly difficult to apply immediately out of college and taking a gap year to do something healthcare-related will become more of a de facto requirement.

But overall, everything will remain basically the same.
 

CAFFEINE!

2+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2017
179
659
Status
Pre-Medical
I've always hypothesized that the next major experience applicants must have to be competitive will be "hardcore" clinical experience (for lack of a better term) like scribing, EMT, CNA, etc. rather than getting your clinical experience by shadowing or volunteering in the ER.
 
Last edited:

DameJulie

2+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2016
1,292
439
Status
Pre-Medical
First author in PNAS or PLOS a tacit requirement.
That gave me a laugh. But realistically, I expect more applicants have research experience, not applying until they can get an authorship on a pub. I predict having a first-author pub will be the next step when everyone applying has an authorship.

2. In the next few years it will become increasingly difficult to apply immediately out of college and taking a gap year to do something healthcare-related will become more of a de facto requirement.
Agree. My school's pre-med advisors are literally telling almost everyone to take a gap year unless one already obtain a competitive MCAT by 2nd year summer.

"hardcore" clinical experience (for lack of a better term) like scribing, EMS, CNA, etc
That too. Scribing & EMT is the new shadowing, apparently.
 

DrHart

5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2013
1,064
1,448
Chicago
Status
Pre-Medical
I think LoR requirements will continue to be relaxed. A lot of schools have been moving towards the policy of "at least a couple academic, but give us whatever as long as they are good letters."
Agreed that 1-2 gap years will be more common than they already are now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mistafab and Cigar

Med Ed

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2015
2,863
9,611
Status
Attending Physician
Admittedly, I have very little knowledge of the underpinnings of healthcare at the moment because I'm only an applicant,
There is nothing that prohibits applicants from developing an accurate understanding of the health system, it just takes a little time and effort. I always recommend Understanding Health Policy: A Clinical Approach by Thomas Bodenheimer. You can get a new copy on Amazon for $41.

Reading it will reduce responses like this one:

 

Gilakend

7+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,515
2,636
Status
Medical Student
I think the average GPA will be around 3.8, gap years more common with a stronger focus on real world experiences. MCAT will rise to probably 513 avg for MD. I also think there will be much more applicants with extensive research experience. Some of those kids on SDN are wild. I was on SDN 4 years ago and it's crazy how prepared (neurotic) some sophomores and juniors are in high school. I've seen so many threads of high schoolers talking about what they should do or that they did research over the summer. In HIGH SCHOOL. Overall, it will get more competitive. I also think it will be interesting what schools that emphasize primary care do, because I think less and less people given debt, reimbursements, and midlevels will be interested in pursuing primary care. One of the Deans of Admissions (I think, I can't remember exactly) at the school I go to essentially said "If you want to be a family doctor going to NP school is probably a better option" just more eloquently.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro
About the Ads

Cigar

2+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2017
286
383
An inner city hospital near you
Status
Medical Student
I think the average GPA will be around 3.8, gap years more common with a stronger focus on real world experiences. MCAT will rise to probably 513 avg for MD. I also think there will be much more applicants with extensive research experience. Some of those kids on SDN are wild. I was on SDN 4 years ago and it's crazy how prepared (neurotic) some sophomores and juniors are in high school. I've seen so many threads of high schoolers talking about what they should do or that they did research over the summer. In HIGH SCHOOL. Overall, it will get more competitive. I also think it will be interesting what schools that emphasize primary care do, because I think less and less people given debt, reimbursements, and midlevels will be interested in pursuing primary care. One of the Deans of Admissions (I think, I can't remember exactly) at the school I go to essentially said "If you want to be a family doctor going to NP school is probably a better option" just more eloquently.
I don't know if SDN posters are representative of the general medical student population lol


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

Green_Goose

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
144
39
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm really hoping taking a gap year for clinical experience doesn't become a kind of "soft" requirement.
 

wizzed101

The Little Prince
May 20, 2016
812
344
There is nothing that prohibits applicants from developing an accurate understanding of the health system, it just takes a little time and effort. I always recommend Understanding Health Policy: A Clinical Approach by Thomas Bodenheimer. You can get a new copy on Amazon for $41.

Reading it will reduce responses like this one:

Thanks for the suggestion. I've just read a couple of chapters. But then
With employment-based health insurance, employers usually pay most of the premium that purchases health insurance for their employees (Figure 2–3). However, this flow of money is not as simple as it looks. The federal government views employer premium payments as a tax-deductible business expense. The government does not treat the health insurance fringe benefit as taxable income to the employee, even though the payment of premiums could be interpreted as a form of employee income. Because each premium dollar of employersponsored health insurance results in a reduction in taxes collected, the government is in essence subsidizing employer-sponsored health insurance. This subsidy is enormous, estimated at $200 billion in 2006 (Selden and Gray, 2006).
Is there any similar book without political leaning? I mean it has very useful information but I don't want to keep running into similar passages. It makes an annoying reading experience.
 

Lawper

Cat-box cycle
Gold Donor
5+ Year Member
SDN Ambassador
Jun 17, 2014
38,981
113,087
space chat
forums.studentdoctor.net
As in applying to matriculate in 2020. How much will things change in terms of competitiveness, requirements etc. based on previous trends?
Two predictions:

1. The score requirements will increase modestly.
2. In the next few years it will become increasingly difficult to apply immediately out of college and taking a gap year to do something healthcare-related will become more of a de facto requirement.

But overall, everything will remain basically the same.
Same as above, I think the "traditional" route will become a small minority (they already make up less than 40% of admits and are trending downwards), and I think score creep will continue.


I'd try to follow along this curve but extrapolation has its limits.
 

GoroTard

Nastywoman
Removed
Account on Hold
Aug 26, 2017
10
4
Status
Medical Student
Two predictions:

1. The score requirements will increase modestly.
2. In the next few years it will become increasingly difficult to apply immediately out of college and taking a gap year to do something healthcare-related will become more of a de facto requirement.

But overall, everything will remain basically the same.
Scores have been trending up for quite a while, nothing new. Certain races have a lower threshold. Same old, same old.
 

Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
Staff member
Administrator
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
8,236
17,952
City of the Future
Status
Medical Student
I think the average GPA will be around 3.8, gap years more common with a stronger focus on real world experiences. MCAT will rise to probably 513 avg for MD. I also think there will be much more applicants with extensive research experience. Some of those kids on SDN are wild. I was on SDN 4 years ago and it's crazy how prepared (neurotic) some sophomores and juniors are in high school. I've seen so many threads of high schoolers talking about what they should do or that they did research over the summer. In HIGH SCHOOL. Overall, it will get more competitive. I also think it will be interesting what schools that emphasize primary care do, because I think less and less people given debt, reimbursements, and midlevels will be interested in pursuing primary care. One of the Deans of Admissions (I think, I can't remember exactly) at the school I go to essentially said "If you want to be a family doctor going to NP school is probably a better option" just more eloquently.
You might be jumping the gun a bit. Gap years have become steadily more common but the MCAT average jump from around 509 to 513 in two years??? Very, very skeptical of that happening. Those averages budge by hundredths, at most tenths of a decimal place from year to year. Something incredibly dramatic would have to happen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ad2b

wizzed101

The Little Prince
May 20, 2016
812
344
I am not sure what you find objectionable in the above passage.
It is completely unnecessary and adds nothing to what is being discussed. Plus, it insinuates that if anything not taxed is subsidized by the government, which is asinine notion.
 

Med Ed

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2015
2,863
9,611
Status
Attending Physician
It is completely unnecessary and adds nothing to what is being discussed. Plus, it insinuates that if anything not taxed is subsidized by the government, which is asinine notion.
Do you know how the US came to have an employer-based system of health insurance?
 

wizzed101

The Little Prince
May 20, 2016
812
344
Do you know how the US came to have an employer-based system of health insurance?
The only way this question is relevant to what I wrote is that I would say "no" and you would reply that it was because of the tax incentive, which would imply that it made financial sense for a corporation to pay, say, 5 million dollars for employee health insurance in order to not pay tax on that 5 million, instead of paying say 30% of that 5 million and keep the rest.

In short, no. Educate me then.
 

Med Ed

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2015
2,863
9,611
Status
Attending Physician
The only way this question is relevant to what I wrote is that I would say "no" and you would reply that it was because of the tax incentive, which would imply that it made financial sense for a corporation to pay, say, 5 million dollars for employee health insurance in order to not pay tax on that 5 million, instead of paying say 30% of that 5 million and keep the rest.

In short, no. Educate me then.
After WWII the government implemented salary freezes around the country to stave off massive post-war inflation. Businesses complained that they needed a mechanism to attract and retain talented employees, so the concept of the employer providing health insurance as a fringe benefit was born. In the modern era something of this nature would likely be considered a form of compensation and therefore subject to taxation, but at the time it was a solution to an immediate problem that carried huge unforeseen consequences. With this historical context one can understand why premiums are now counted as business expenses. In short, the passage is simply explaining how things are, and I do not sense the author making a value judgement on what is objective reality.

In my opinion, it would take an extraordinary level of sensitivity for someone to find this irritating. #snowflaketriggers
 

wizzed101

The Little Prince
May 20, 2016
812
344
That passage adds nothing to what was being discussed. The important historical facts have already been stated. There is no need for interpretation.
 

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,779
32,154
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student


I'd try to follow along this curve but extrapolation has its limits.
The factors that most influence these results are out of the applicants hands
1) demographics (college age population)
2) course of study/projected career path
3) seats available for 1st year medical students
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,779
32,154
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
You might be jumping the gun a bit. Gap years have become steadily more common but the MCAT average jump from around 509 to 513 in two years??? Very, very skeptical of that happening. Those averages budge by hundredths, at most tenths of a decimal place from year to year. Something incredibly dramatic would have to happen.
The scoring of the new MCAT is still "stabilizing" so to speak as well as the lag in old vs. new still has data with a large fraction of old MCAT. There was a 10 year chart ending in about 2012-2013 showing that average overall MCAT went from about 29.5 to 31.2 and GPAs, both overall and science, increased by o.05 during the same span.
 

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,779
32,154
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
After WWII the government implemented salary freezes around the country to stave off massive post-war inflation. Businesses complained that they needed a mechanism to attract and retain talented employees, so the concept of the employer providing health insurance as a fringe benefit was born. In the modern era something of this nature would likely be considered a form of compensation and therefore subject to taxation, but at the time it was a solution to an immediate problem that carried huge unforeseen consequences. With this historical context one can understand why premiums are now counted as business expenses. In short, the passage is simply explaining how things are, and I do not sense the author making a value judgement on what is objective reality.

In my opinion, it would take an extraordinary level of sensitivity for someone to find this irritating. #snowflaketriggers
Actually it was during WWII as part of the war-time price/wage controls (to keep defense plants from stealing each other's workers as "man power" was limited). Since they couldnt increase wages, and workers were threatening strikes, the government exempted employer-paid health benefits from wage controls and income tax. Kaiser Construction started this somewhat earlier during some of the large dam projects during the depression, but it was their shipyards during the building boom in WWII that started the modern system we see today Kaiser Permanente - Wikipedia.

It should be noted that FDR tried to have national health insurance included with the social security of 1935, but was unable to due to the resistance of the AMA and JAMA The AMA treated their report as a radical document advocating socialized medicine, and the acerbic and conservative editor of JAMA called it “an incitement to revolution.” (A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US | Physicians for a National Health Program
 

Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
Staff member
Administrator
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
8,236
17,952
City of the Future
Status
Medical Student
The scoring of the new MCAT is still "stabilizing" so to speak as well as the lag in old vs. new still has data with a large fraction of old MCAT. There was a 10 year chart ending in about 2012-2013 showing that average overall MCAT went from about 29.5 to 31.2 and GPAs, both overall and science, increased by o.05 during the same span.
A jump from 508.7 (30 on the old scale) to a 513 (32.5 old) would be a jump from 80th to 90th percentile for the average accepted applicant. That can't and won't happen in 2 years unless something absolutely radical happens in admissions.

@efle has taken a look at the historical data and something radical DID, in fact, happen between 2000-2010, with many schools substantially increasing their MCAT averages by leaps and bounds (averages of 32-33 >> 38-39, a jump of about 10%age points in a few years) WITHOUT a proportionate dramatic increase in application numbers. In 2013, the number of applicants surpassed the previous record set in 1996 for the first time, but since 2002 there have been 21% more medical school seats available because the AAMC told schools to increase class sizes and many new schools have opened up. We should not expect inflationary conditions the likes of which you suggest in this short time frame from competition alone, hence something dramatic would have to occur.

Those schools now have mcat averages in the 97-100th percentile - in other words, they can't get much higher. For a 10% increase in the average mcat to occur, mid and bottom tier schools would have to suddenly increase their accepted mcat numbers as well. It is not that they have not done so in the past, but never enough to increase the average accepted mcat past the 83rd or so percentile. I don't think average numbers will change much, although they will likely continue to creep up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cactusman
About the Ads