Meliora

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Sep 28, 2016
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So on my last few posts I had asked about whether or not undergraduate prestige mattered for admission into top medical schools and the general answer that I got was " it won't hurt you if you don't go to a fancy-name school as long as you play the admissions game right and now what to do at the right time." SO my question now is.. how exactly does one "play the admissions game" and craft his/her application correctly? What exactly do the adcoms look for ( beside the obvious mcat, GPA , research..)?


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teenyfish

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Jan 5, 2013
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Just my $0.02, but don't try to play any game. Do things you enjoy, while staying aware of what is needed for medical school. Trying to play "the game" and viewing it that way is an easy way to get frustrated and burnt out. Since you asked though, adcoms look for volunteering (clinical/nonclinical), good GPA/MCAT, research, clinical experiences, shadowing, etc. Just go out and get involved in things you like during college - I had no idea what I wanted to do during my college years and bounced back and forth doing a lot of things that I enjoyed and my resume is pretty neat now because of it. And most importantly, I can speak to each of these experiences as something I am/was passionate about or helped my personal growth in some way, not just as a checkbox.
 

Flying Penguin

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If there was an exact way to "play the game" everyone would be in med school. Stop over thinking everything. Med schools just want good people who work hard, do what they enjoy, and love medicine.
 

Princeton Medical Student

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Jul 4, 2016
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Go to the least selective institution possible, with the easiest major you can do, and earn a 4.0
Spend a full summer spending countless hours studying for the MCAT
Volunteer somewhere
Shadow someone
Do some research
Scribe
???
Accepted
 

Lawper

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So on my last few posts I had asked about whether or not undergraduate prestige mattered for admission into top medical schools and the general answer that I got was " it won't hurt you if you don't go to a fancy-name school as long as you play the admissions game right and now what to do at the right time." SO my question now is.. how exactly does one "play the admissions game" and craft his/her application correctly? What exactly do the adcoms look for ( beside the obvious mcat, GPA , research..)?


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if you have to ask, medicine is not for you

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Vitani

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May 18, 2012
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I think med schools look for people not "playing the game". When a persons PS and secondaries have a bunch of buzzwords but no substance, I think adcoms can tell. I think the best way to play the game is be as genuinely honest as you can. If you don't get in then maybe being a doctor isn't actually the best career path for you.

However, admissions is (IMHO) a numbers game. Apply to as many schools as you can, don't apply top heavy, and apply early.
 

WedgeDawg

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First, if your parents aren't millionaires (preferably billionaires), have them disown you and get adopted by people who are (bonus points if they're URM). This should be done ideally before you start 8th grade. In 8th grade, have them pay for you to go to Exeter and start studying for the SAT and ACT in the spring of 9th grade (you need perfect scores on both to set yourself up for success). During your summers, make sure you volunteer abroad doing medical work like assisting in surgeries for children with cleft palates in undeveloped regions. Bonus points if you actually perform the surgery yourself, but even if you don't, just lie in your personal statement and say you did anyway - who's gonna know? No one, that's who. In your classes, make sure you try to be nice to everyone superficially, but when they ask you to help them with their homework (because you're the brightest kid there, obviously, so everyone's gonna ask you first), help them get all the answers wrong instead. Make sure to group study all the time and continue reinforcing false concepts (for example, when studying for AP US History, make sure you tell them how great of a president Alexander Hamilton was). Of course, this means that you'll have to study all the correct information on your own in secret, but it's a small price to pay to be at the top of every class. Remember: success isn't just about making sure you succeed - it's also about making sure everyone else fails. Now, senior year rolls around and your perfect test scores + valedictorian + multiple summers of giving botox injections in cambodia or something + the nice 7 figure donation your "parents" gave to Harvard means you're just applying early to Harvard, and maybe Yale if you need a safety school (you don't). Once you matriculate to Harvard, be sure to wear your Exeter sweatshirt all around campus - that makes people respect you because you're better than them. Continue the same academic practices you perfected in high school, except now make sure you bust people for violating the honor code, even if they actually didn't. Harvard's motto is Veritas which means truth, so you have to tell the truth about how all these kids cheated on their tests even if the truth is the way the world should be (according to you) and not the way it is. You're rich and on your way to being successful, so the dean will for sure believe you and everyone will get honor code violations so you have no competition when applying to medical school because 1) everyone at Harvard except you is blacklisted from med school and 2) people who don't go to Harvard don't matter. For best results, do this in your organic chemistry class. It's okay, they'll all just end up going into finance anyway (where honor code violations are seen as more of a moderately impressive EC), so don't waste any time feeling bad. Double dip your ECs every summer. Get yourself a sweet hookup in a nobel prize lab and take credit for things that other people do (this is called "middle author" in academia). Meanwhile, on your AMCAS app, just keep putting stuff about solving hunger in burkina faso. When they ask for a reference phone number, just put an international number that looks legit - they're not gonna check anyway. Oh and also put a bunch of shadowing hours - make it a combination of urban family medicine to show you're sensitive and compassionate as well as orthopedic surgery so that they know you're gonna be a *~*~*serious*~*~* med student and not some lazy primary care hack. Oh, and finally, the MCAT - yeah the test companies don't really have that tight of security so you can just look up all the answers on google on your ipad pro anyway so just get an easy 527 (get a question wrong so that they know you're not cheating but make sure its in the psych section so it doesn't actually matter). At that point, you're a shoe-in for top 10 interviews galore. But wait, there's more! On your interviews (only attend top 5 interviews, everything else is beneath you), figure out which applicant has the walnut allergy, slip some trail mix into his chips at lunch, then use the epipen that you stole from that really nerdy kid who plays WoW in Calc III to save his life (there wasn't any angioedema anyway). After that, the adcoms will know you're legit and you won't have to interview. Finally, once you get your 5 acceptances, make it clear to every school that you will not go anywhere unless they give you a full ride, which they will because in your emails to their FA officer, just say that the other top 5 schools all gave you full rides but you really want to go to theirs. Finally, come August, don your white coat knowing that you mastered the admission game and have officially become the most successful applicant in the world.

Or, you know, don't, and just get good grades, volunteer, take the MCAT seriously, and be generally nice to people.
 

Lawper

cat in a box
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Jun 17, 2014
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First, if your parents aren't millionaires (preferably billionaires), have them disown you and get adopted by people who are (bonus points if they're URM). This should be done ideally before you start 8th grade. In 8th grade, have them pay for you to go to Exeter and start studying for the SAT and ACT in the spring of 9th grade (you need perfect scores on both to set yourself up for success). During your summers, make sure you volunteer abroad doing medical work like assisting in surgeries for children with cleft palates in undeveloped regions. Bonus points if you actually perform the surgery yourself, but even if you don't, just lie in your personal statement and say you did anyway - who's gonna know? No one, that's who. In your classes, make sure you try to be nice to everyone superficially, but when they ask you to help them with their homework (because you're the brightest kid there, obviously, so everyone's gonna ask you first), help them get all the answers wrong instead. Make sure to group study all the time and continue reinforcing false concepts (for example, when studying for AP US History, make sure you tell them how great of a president Alexander Hamilton was). Of course, this means that you'll have to study all the correct information on your own in secret, but it's a small price to pay to be at the top of every class. Remember: success isn't just about making sure you succeed - it's also about making sure everyone else fails. Now, senior year rolls around and your perfect test scores + valedictorian + multiple summers of giving botox injections in cambodia or something + the nice 7 figure donation your "parents" gave to Harvard means you're just applying early to Harvard, and maybe Yale if you need a safety school (you don't). Once you matriculate to Harvard, be sure to wear your Exeter sweatshirt all around campus - that makes people respect you because you're better than them. Continue the same academic practices you perfected in high school, except now make sure you bust people for violating the honor code, even if they actually didn't. Harvard's motto is Veritas which means truth, so you have to tell the truth about how all these kids cheated on their tests even if the truth is the way the world should be (according to you) and not the way it is. You're rich and on your way to being successful, so the dean will for sure believe you and everyone will get honor code violations so you have no competition when applying to medical school because 1) everyone at Harvard except you is blacklisted from med school and 2) people who don't go to Harvard don't matter. For best results, do this in your organic chemistry class. It's okay, they'll all just end up going into finance anyway (where honor code violations are seen as more of a moderately impressive EC), so don't waste any time feeling bad. Double dip your ECs every summer. Get yourself a sweet hookup in a nobel prize lab and take credit for things that other people do (this is called "middle author" in academia). Meanwhile, on your AMCAS app, just keep putting stuff about solving hunger in burkina faso. When they ask for a reference phone number, just put an international number that looks legit - they're not gonna check anyway. Oh and also put a bunch of shadowing hours - make it a combination of urban family medicine to show you're sensitive and compassionate as well as orthopedic surgery so that they know you're gonna be a *~*~*serious*~*~* med student and not some lazy primary care hack. Oh, and finally, the MCAT - yeah the test companies don't really have that tight of security so you can just look up all the answers on google on your ipad pro anyway so just get an easy 527 (get a question wrong so that they know you're not cheating but make sure its in the psych section so it doesn't actually matter). At that point, you're a shoe-in for top 10 interviews galore. But wait, there's more! On your interviews (only attend top 5 interviews, everything else is beneath you), figure out which applicant has the walnut allergy, slip some trail mix into his chips at lunch, then use the epipen that you stole from that really nerdy kid who plays WoW in Calc III to save his life (there wasn't any angioedema anyway). After that, the adcoms will know you're legit and you won't have to interview. Finally, once you get your 5 acceptances, make it clear to every school that you will not go anywhere unless they give you a full ride, which they will because in your emails to their FA officer, just say that the other top 5 schools all gave you full rides but you really want to go to theirs. Finally, come August, don your white coat knowing that you mastered the admission game and have officially become the most successful applicant in the world.

Or, you know, don't, and just get good grades, volunteer, take the MCAT seriously, and be generally nice to people.
Here's the worst possible thing that can happen during your interview.

So you get to your interview. Big school. Fancy. Smart students. Lots of research dollars. You already got into your other top choice (Stanford) and you're just interviewing here for kicks and maybe to get some merit money thrown your way. Weather's great, upper 60s and sunny - a rarity in Boston in late October. You're a stud. You've been turning down top 10 interviews left and right, but you decided to give HMS a shot because why the hell not? Oh, and they paid for your travel and living expenses while on the interview too. Your uncle donated about 3 million big ones to the school a few years back since he's now got an 8 figure cash-only orthopedic spine practice out in LA, so you're on the VIP list, not even to mention your 526 MCAT and 4.0 GPA in astrophysical chemistry from Princeton, where you were the first freshman to publish 3 first author papers in Nature, Science, and NEJM - all in the same month (it was September). Everyone loves you - hell, Jeff Flier wrote your committee letter himself. You see a cute dental student as you're walking into the interview building. You give her a wink and she blushes uncontrollably and scurries away. You generally have this effect on women (and men, come to think of it), so you think nothing of it and keep moving. You enter the room with the other interviewees - you're the last one since you're always fashionably late - and not a single person's jaw doesn't drop. Is it your beautifully sculpted and chiseled face? Or can they see your Rhodes Scholar background in your rippling biceps as you move to take off your imported Armani suit jacket. Yeah, it's probably that, you decide. The attractive young secretary comes to sign you in and give you your interview packet, but she stops for a second as she looks up and sees you. You know instantly she's picturing you naked. After a moment she recovers and hands you the packet. You look inside. A note says you're interviewing with a Dr. Portman. Huh, okay. And it starts in 5 minutes. So you make your way to the interview room. As you do, an attendant offers you a glass of champagne. You down it before the door is fully open, but it doesn't dull your 165 IQ encased within 230 pounds of solid muscle on your 6'3 frame one bit. You see the interviewer. It's Natalie Portman. Hot damn. They must really want you here. You know this, of course. You've always known it. Who wouldn't? You sit your powerful body lightly down on the plush seat with a gentleness borne of years of Olympic gymnastics training. Natalie says she's impressed with your application. It's not every day they get applications from Colonels in the Air Force, let alone ones that were selected for astronaut training. You smile and make to respond, but suddenly, you notice something's wrong. A second year medical student bursts in, his scrubs covered in something that looks like dried blood. "He'-" and the student collapses in a heap, shaking and vomiting so violently he can't get another word out. Instantaneously, you pull out your concealed Desert Eagle. You're a Republican (but socially liberal) and a true American who staunchly supports the constitutional right to bear arms, so you never go anywhere without it. Looks like your freedom is about to pay off. A figure emerges from a doorway and sprints towards you, leaving behind a trail of blood as he does so. Calmly, methodically, you aim and put two shots right into his oral cavity, taking out his medulla and instantly dropping him to the floor - you weren't the best sniper in Delta Force for nothing. You look back to make sure Natalie is okay and are horrified to find the med student biting her arm and clawing viciously at her face. You quickly place a bullet in his abdominal aorta and rush to Natalie - but you're too late - she's been bitten. "I'm sorry" you say as you level your handgun at her and pull the trigger. You were the gatekeeper - you had to stop the spread if humanity to survive. Suddenly, another thought creeps into your mind. You slowly make your way back to the waiting room where the other interviewees were. They're all gone. Nothing remains except for tattered clothes and deep red stains that nearly completely obscure the crimson H embroidered into the velvety carpet. All is quiet. You release the breath you were holding, but the next second you wish you didn't, because what you didn't let go, the blow from the back forced out. You faceplant into the ground and your weapon flies from your grasp. A sharp pain erupts from your right shoulder. You use your unreasonably powerful leg muscles to kick whatever is sitting on your back off and quickly flip around to see what the hell is happening. It's the dean of admissions - but he's not looking so hot. He has several deep gashes down his neck and part of his left ear is missing. Blood is pouring from his nose and mouth, staining his salt and pepper beard. You put a hand to your shoulder and find blood - you've been bitten. You only have a few minutes before you turn, so you scramble for your gun and check your ammunition. One bullet left. Good, that's all you'll need. You turn to face the snarling dean of admissions just as he charges again. But this time you're ready for him and roll with his tackle onto the ground. But he recovers and pounces upon you, pinning you to the ground. You trap him in a bear hug, but your weakened muscles can't push him off. "We haven't finished your interview" he growls as he looks at your face, his mouth frothing and bloody. "Why medicine?". Knowing you only have one choice left, you twist the gun in your hand so that it points straight into the back of his brain. You look him right in the eyes and say "why not". You pull the trigger, and everything goes white.
you should be a writer man
 

Cyberdyne 101

It's a dry heat
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Sep 16, 2013
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First, if your parents aren't millionaires (preferably billionaires), have them disown you and get adopted by people who are (bonus points if they're URM). This should be done ideally before you start 8th grade. In 8th grade, have them pay for you to go to Exeter and start studying for the SAT and ACT in the spring of 9th grade (you need perfect scores on both to set yourself up for success). During your summers, make sure you volunteer abroad doing medical work like assisting in surgeries for children with cleft palates in undeveloped regions. Bonus points if you actually perform the surgery yourself, but even if you don't, just lie in your personal statement and say you did anyway - who's gonna know? No one, that's who. In your classes, make sure you try to be nice to everyone superficially, but when they ask you to help them with their homework (because you're the brightest kid there, obviously, so everyone's gonna ask you first), help them get all the answers wrong instead. Make sure to group study all the time and continue reinforcing false concepts (for example, when studying for AP US History, make sure you tell them how great of a president Alexander Hamilton was). Of course, this means that you'll have to study all the correct information on your own in secret, but it's a small price to pay to be at the top of every class. Remember: success isn't just about making sure you succeed - it's also about making sure everyone else fails. Now, senior year rolls around and your perfect test scores + valedictorian + multiple summers of giving botox injections in cambodia or something + the nice 7 figure donation your "parents" gave to Harvard means you're just applying early to Harvard, and maybe Yale if you need a safety school (you don't). Once you matriculate to Harvard, be sure to wear your Exeter sweatshirt all around campus - that makes people respect you because you're better than them. Continue the same academic practices you perfected in high school, except now make sure you bust people for violating the honor code, even if they actually didn't. Harvard's motto is Veritas which means truth, so you have to tell the truth about how all these kids cheated on their tests even if the truth is the way the world should be (according to you) and not the way it is. You're rich and on your way to being successful, so the dean will for sure believe you and everyone will get honor code violations so you have no competition when applying to medical school because 1) everyone at Harvard except you is blacklisted from med school and 2) people who don't go to Harvard don't matter. For best results, do this in your organic chemistry class. It's okay, they'll all just end up going into finance anyway (where honor code violations are seen as more of a moderately impressive EC), so don't waste any time feeling bad. Double dip your ECs every summer. Get yourself a sweet hookup in a nobel prize lab and take credit for things that other people do (this is called "middle author" in academia). Meanwhile, on your AMCAS app, just keep putting stuff about solving hunger in burkina faso. When they ask for a reference phone number, just put an international number that looks legit - they're not gonna check anyway. Oh and also put a bunch of shadowing hours - make it a combination of urban family medicine to show you're sensitive and compassionate as well as orthopedic surgery so that they know you're gonna be a *~*~*serious*~*~* med student and not some lazy primary care hack. Oh, and finally, the MCAT - yeah the test companies don't really have that tight of security so you can just look up all the answers on google on your ipad pro anyway so just get an easy 527 (get a question wrong so that they know you're not cheating but make sure its in the psych section so it doesn't actually matter). At that point, you're a shoe-in for top 10 interviews galore. But wait, there's more! On your interviews (only attend top 5 interviews, everything else is beneath you), figure out which applicant has the walnut allergy, slip some trail mix into his chips at lunch, then use the epipen that you stole from that really nerdy kid who plays WoW in Calc III to save his life (there wasn't any angioedema anyway). After that, the adcoms will know you're legit and you won't have to interview. Finally, once you get your 5 acceptances, make it clear to every school that you will not go anywhere unless they give you a full ride, which they will because in your emails to their FA officer, just say that the other top 5 schools all gave you full rides but you really want to go to theirs. Finally, come August, don your white coat knowing that you mastered the admission game and have officially become the most successful applicant in the world.

Or, you know, don't, and just get good grades, volunteer, take the MCAT seriously, and be generally nice to people.
Is your enter key broken?
 

Turkishking

2+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2015
2,445
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First, if your parents aren't millionaires (preferably billionaires), have them disown you and get adopted by people who are (bonus points if they're URM). This should be done ideally before you start 8th grade. In 8th grade, have them pay for you to go to Exeter and start studying for the SAT and ACT in the spring of 9th grade (you need perfect scores on both to set yourself up for success). During your summers, make sure you volunteer abroad doing medical work like assisting in surgeries for children with cleft palates in undeveloped regions. Bonus points if you actually perform the surgery yourself, but even if you don't, just lie in your personal statement and say you did anyway - who's gonna know? No one, that's who. In your classes, make sure you try to be nice to everyone superficially, but when they ask you to help them with their homework (because you're the brightest kid there, obviously, so everyone's gonna ask you first), help them get all the answers wrong instead. Make sure to group study all the time and continue reinforcing false concepts (for example, when studying for AP US History, make sure you tell them how great of a president Alexander Hamilton was). Of course, this means that you'll have to study all the correct information on your own in secret, but it's a small price to pay to be at the top of every class. Remember: success isn't just about making sure you succeed - it's also about making sure everyone else fails. Now, senior year rolls around and your perfect test scores + valedictorian + multiple summers of giving botox injections in cambodia or something + the nice 7 figure donation your "parents" gave to Harvard means you're just applying early to Harvard, and maybe Yale if you need a safety school (you don't). Once you matriculate to Harvard, be sure to wear your Exeter sweatshirt all around campus - that makes people respect you because you're better than them. Continue the same academic practices you perfected in high school, except now make sure you bust people for violating the honor code, even if they actually didn't. Harvard's motto is Veritas which means truth, so you have to tell the truth about how all these kids cheated on their tests even if the truth is the way the world should be (according to you) and not the way it is. You're rich and on your way to being successful, so the dean will for sure believe you and everyone will get honor code violations so you have no competition when applying to medical school because 1) everyone at Harvard except you is blacklisted from med school and 2) people who don't go to Harvard don't matter. For best results, do this in your organic chemistry class. It's okay, they'll all just end up going into finance anyway (where honor code violations are seen as more of a moderately impressive EC), so don't waste any time feeling bad. Double dip your ECs every summer. Get yourself a sweet hookup in a nobel prize lab and take credit for things that other people do (this is called "middle author" in academia). Meanwhile, on your AMCAS app, just keep putting stuff about solving hunger in burkina faso. When they ask for a reference phone number, just put an international number that looks legit - they're not gonna check anyway. Oh and also put a bunch of shadowing hours - make it a combination of urban family medicine to show you're sensitive and compassionate as well as orthopedic surgery so that they know you're gonna be a *~*~*serious*~*~* med student and not some lazy primary care hack. Oh, and finally, the MCAT - yeah the test companies don't really have that tight of security so you can just look up all the answers on google on your ipad pro anyway so just get an easy 527 (get a question wrong so that they know you're not cheating but make sure its in the psych section so it doesn't actually matter). At that point, you're a shoe-in for top 10 interviews galore. But wait, there's more! On your interviews (only attend top 5 interviews, everything else is beneath you), figure out which applicant has the walnut allergy, slip some trail mix into his chips at lunch, then use the epipen that you stole from that really nerdy kid who plays WoW in Calc III to save his life (there wasn't any angioedema anyway). After that, the adcoms will know you're legit and you won't have to interview. Finally, once you get your 5 acceptances, make it clear to every school that you will not go anywhere unless they give you a full ride, which they will because in your emails to their FA officer, just say that the other top 5 schools all gave you full rides but you really want to go to theirs. Finally, come August, don your white coat knowing that you mastered the admission game and have officially become the most successful applicant in the world.

Or, you know, don't, and just get good grades, volunteer, take the MCAT seriously, and be generally nice to people.
I had interviews with exeter, and a few other boarding schools during 8th grade. I decided not to attend. I also had to take an exam before my interviews.

I also remember having one with deerfield academy.
 

Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
Staff member
Administrator
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Oct 22, 2013
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First, if your parents aren't millionaires (preferably billionaires), have them disown you and get adopted by people who are (bonus points if they're URM). This should be done ideally before you start 8th grade. In 8th grade, have them pay for you to go to Exeter and start studying for the SAT and ACT in the spring of 9th grade (you need perfect scores on both to set yourself up for success). During your summers, make sure you volunteer abroad doing medical work like assisting in surgeries for children with cleft palates in undeveloped regions. Bonus points if you actually perform the surgery yourself, but even if you don't, just lie in your personal statement and say you did anyway - who's gonna know? No one, that's who. In your classes, make sure you try to be nice to everyone superficially, but when they ask you to help them with their homework (because you're the brightest kid there, obviously, so everyone's gonna ask you first), help them get all the answers wrong instead. Make sure to group study all the time and continue reinforcing false concepts (for example, when studying for AP US History, make sure you tell them how great of a president Alexander Hamilton was). Of course, this means that you'll have to study all the correct information on your own in secret, but it's a small price to pay to be at the top of every class. Remember: success isn't just about making sure you succeed - it's also about making sure everyone else fails. Now, senior year rolls around and your perfect test scores + valedictorian + multiple summers of giving botox injections in cambodia or something + the nice 7 figure donation your "parents" gave to Harvard means you're just applying early to Harvard, and maybe Yale if you need a safety school (you don't). Once you matriculate to Harvard, be sure to wear your Exeter sweatshirt all around campus - that makes people respect you because you're better than them. Continue the same academic practices you perfected in high school, except now make sure you bust people for violating the honor code, even if they actually didn't. Harvard's motto is Veritas which means truth, so you have to tell the truth about how all these kids cheated on their tests even if the truth is the way the world should be (according to you) and not the way it is. You're rich and on your way to being successful, so the dean will for sure believe you and everyone will get honor code violations so you have no competition when applying to medical school because 1) everyone at Harvard except you is blacklisted from med school and 2) people who don't go to Harvard don't matter. For best results, do this in your organic chemistry class. It's okay, they'll all just end up going into finance anyway (where honor code violations are seen as more of a moderately impressive EC), so don't waste any time feeling bad. Double dip your ECs every summer. Get yourself a sweet hookup in a nobel prize lab and take credit for things that other people do (this is called "middle author" in academia). Meanwhile, on your AMCAS app, just keep putting stuff about solving hunger in burkina faso. When they ask for a reference phone number, just put an international number that looks legit - they're not gonna check anyway. Oh and also put a bunch of shadowing hours - make it a combination of urban family medicine to show you're sensitive and compassionate as well as orthopedic surgery so that they know you're gonna be a *~*~*serious*~*~* med student and not some lazy primary care hack. Oh, and finally, the MCAT - yeah the test companies don't really have that tight of security so you can just look up all the answers on google on your ipad pro anyway so just get an easy 527 (get a question wrong so that they know you're not cheating but make sure its in the psych section so it doesn't actually matter). At that point, you're a shoe-in for top 10 interviews galore. But wait, there's more! On your interviews (only attend top 5 interviews, everything else is beneath you), figure out which applicant has the walnut allergy, slip some trail mix into his chips at lunch, then use the epipen that you stole from that really nerdy kid who plays WoW in Calc III to save his life (there wasn't any angioedema anyway). After that, the adcoms will know you're legit and you won't have to interview. Finally, once you get your 5 acceptances, make it clear to every school that you will not go anywhere unless they give you a full ride, which they will because in your emails to their FA officer, just say that the other top 5 schools all gave you full rides but you really want to go to theirs. Finally, come August, don your white coat knowing that you mastered the admission game and have officially become the most successful applicant in the world.

Or, you know, don't, and just get good grades, volunteer, take the MCAT seriously, and be generally nice to people.
No Rhodes? Won't even be able to break the top 20.
 
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mwsapphire

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First, if your parents aren't millionaires (preferably billionaires), have them disown you and get adopted by people who are (bonus points if they're URM). This should be done ideally before you start 8th grade. In 8th grade, have them pay for you to go to Exeter and start studying for the SAT and ACT in the spring of 9th grade (you need perfect scores on both to set yourself up for success). During your summers, make sure you volunteer abroad doing medical work like assisting in surgeries for children with cleft palates in undeveloped regions. Bonus points if you actually perform the surgery yourself, but even if you don't, just lie in your personal statement and say you did anyway - who's gonna know? No one, that's who. In your classes, make sure you try to be nice to everyone superficially, but when they ask you to help them with their homework (because you're the brightest kid there, obviously, so everyone's gonna ask you first), help them get all the answers wrong instead. Make sure to group study all the time and continue reinforcing false concepts (for example, when studying for AP US History, make sure you tell them how great of a president Alexander Hamilton was). Of course, this means that you'll have to study all the correct information on your own in secret, but it's a small price to pay to be at the top of every class. Remember: success isn't just about making sure you succeed - it's also about making sure everyone else fails. Now, senior year rolls around and your perfect test scores + valedictorian + multiple summers of giving botox injections in cambodia or something + the nice 7 figure donation your "parents" gave to Harvard means you're just applying early to Harvard, and maybe Yale if you need a safety school (you don't). Once you matriculate to Harvard, be sure to wear your Exeter sweatshirt all around campus - that makes people respect you because you're better than them. Continue the same academic practices you perfected in high school, except now make sure you bust people for violating the honor code, even if they actually didn't. Harvard's motto is Veritas which means truth, so you have to tell the truth about how all these kids cheated on their tests even if the truth is the way the world should be (according to you) and not the way it is. You're rich and on your way to being successful, so the dean will for sure believe you and everyone will get honor code violations so you have no competition when applying to medical school because 1) everyone at Harvard except you is blacklisted from med school and 2) people who don't go to Harvard don't matter. For best results, do this in your organic chemistry class. It's okay, they'll all just end up going into finance anyway (where honor code violations are seen as more of a moderately impressive EC), so don't waste any time feeling bad. Double dip your ECs every summer. Get yourself a sweet hookup in a nobel prize lab and take credit for things that other people do (this is called "middle author" in academia). Meanwhile, on your AMCAS app, just keep putting stuff about solving hunger in burkina faso. When they ask for a reference phone number, just put an international number that looks legit - they're not gonna check anyway. Oh and also put a bunch of shadowing hours - make it a combination of urban family medicine to show you're sensitive and compassionate as well as orthopedic surgery so that they know you're gonna be a *~*~*serious*~*~* med student and not some lazy primary care hack. Oh, and finally, the MCAT - yeah the test companies don't really have that tight of security so you can just look up all the answers on google on your ipad pro anyway so just get an easy 527 (get a question wrong so that they know you're not cheating but make sure its in the psych section so it doesn't actually matter). At that point, you're a shoe-in for top 10 interviews galore. But wait, there's more! On your interviews (only attend top 5 interviews, everything else is beneath you), figure out which applicant has the walnut allergy, slip some trail mix into his chips at lunch, then use the epipen that you stole from that really nerdy kid who plays WoW in Calc III to save his life (there wasn't any angioedema anyway). After that, the adcoms will know you're legit and you won't have to interview. Finally, once you get your 5 acceptances, make it clear to every school that you will not go anywhere unless they give you a full ride, which they will because in your emails to their FA officer, just say that the other top 5 schools all gave you full rides but you really want to go to theirs. Finally, come August, don your white coat knowing that you mastered the admission game and have officially become the most successful applicant in the world.

Or, you know, don't, and just get good grades, volunteer, take the MCAT seriously, and be generally nice to people.
upload_2017-4-26_21-35-14.png I'm not sure which part was the most dramatic. That was some quality internet, except for the...you know......wall of text.
Also step #123 Sit down in your office after you become the head of Trauma surgery at Hopkins medical center, realize you have no personal relationships and you use this success to fill the void in your soul. Cry.
 
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aldol16

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When you're talking about the top schools, it's not about checking boxes and doing everything right. It's about your story, your narrative, your life saga. Everybody who I interviewed with at those schools and everybody I know who got in had extremely compelling life narratives. That doesn't mean you don't also need good scores - you do. But what distinguishes those who get in to those places and those who do not is the strength of their story. Why is med school the next logical path for your story? And how does this specific med school fit into your narrative? The people who get in have answered those questions with flying colors.
 

libertyyne

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When you're talking about the top schools, it's not about checking boxes and doing everything right. It's about your story, your narrative, your life saga. Everybody who I interviewed with at those schools and everybody I know who got in had extremely compelling life narratives. That doesn't mean you don't also need good scores - you do. But what distinguishes those who get in to those places and those who do not is the strength of their story. Why is med school the next logical path for your story? And how does this specific med school fit into your narrative? The people who get in have answered those questions with flying colors.
still need a 35+ on the mcat and 3.8+ with clinical exposure, volunteering and some research tho.
 
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Lawper

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still need a 35+ on the mcat and 3.8+ with clinical exposure, volunteering and some research tho.
That doesn't mean you don't also need good scores - you do. But what distinguishes those who get in to those places and those who do not is the strength of their story.
yep
 

efle

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aldol16

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I just gotta say I def didn't have the same experience as aldol above. The people mostly just played the game really well was my impression, especially at second look where it was very informal (and slightly inebriated).
I got that sense only at WashU - if that's what you're talking about. It seems like they really like numbers and people who "play the game" well. At the other places - especially UCSF where they have blind interviews - if you didn't have a good story, you're as good as dead in the water.
 

libertyyne

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I just gotta say I def didn't have the same experience as aldol above. The people mostly just played the game really well was my impression, especially at second look where it was very informal (and slightly inebriated).
I didn't rub shoulders with you big wigs. But the people at lower tier schools seemed completely clueless to the game . It was also their only interview or one of two. You have to play the game while acting like you aren't. And you have to sell a life story or theme while doing it all.

Life is not some beautiful marching linear narrative.its messy and you have to craft a coherent story.
 
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aldol16

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Life is not some beautiful marching linear narrative.its messy and you have to craft a coherent story.
I was seriously impressed by many of the interviewees I met because they all seemed to have their lives completely together and they were able to take all their experiences and make it into not only a coherent story but one that can be sold at a premium.
 

Long Way to Go

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I got that sense only at WashU - if that's what you're talking about. It seems like they really like numbers and people who "play the game" well. At the other places - especially UCSF where they have blind interviews - if you didn't have a good story, you're as good as dead in the water.
Still not sure what the game is.
 
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aldol16

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Still not sure what the game is.
To me, playing the game means checking boxes. Volunteer experience? Check. Research? Check. Good grades? Check. Teaching experience? Check. And for higher quality schools, it's not just any volunteer experience but it is super meaningful and a large commitment. It might mean something different to other people but that's what it means to me.
 

libertyyne

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I was seriously impressed by many of the interviewees I met because they all seemed to have their lives completely together and they were able to take all their experiences and make it into not only a coherent story but one that can be sold at a premium.
I feel like that is part of the game.
 
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efle

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I got that sense only at WashU - if that's what you're talking about. It seems like they really like numbers and people who "play the game" well. At the other places - especially UCSF where they have blind interviews - if you didn't have a good story, you're as good as dead in the water.
I was seriously impressed by many of the interviewees I met because they all seemed to have their lives completely together and they were able to take all their experiences and make it into not only a coherent story but one that can be sold at a premium.
Nah I meant Hopkins, and most of the people there had gotten love from other top schools besides WashU (Duke and Harvard seemed particularly well represented). I agree people were extremely impressive, but not in the same way you seem to have felt. To me it was people that had pedigreed backgrounds, were clearly brilliant, had spent tons of time in college involved in research and/or service and were otherwise just normal twentysomethings. I certainly don't see myself like you're describing as some amazing narrative and didn't feel lacking in people like me.
 

efle

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To me, playing the game means checking boxes. Volunteer experience? Check. Research? Check. Good grades? Check. Teaching experience? Check. And for higher quality schools, it's not just any volunteer experience but it is super meaningful and a large commitment. It might mean something different to other people but that's what it means to me.
Same definition here
 

aldol16

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Nah I meant Hopkins, and most of the people there had gotten love from other top schools besides WashU (Duke and Harvard seemed particularly well represented). I agree people were extremely impressive, but not in the same way you seem to have felt. To me it was people that had pedigreed backgrounds, were clearly brilliant, had spent tons of time in college involved in research and/or service and were otherwise just normal twentysomethings. I certainly don't see myself like you're describing as some amazing narrative and didn't feel lacking in people like me.
Interesting. Pedigreed backgrounds was a common feature but beyond that, these people were just interesting. I saw it during interview day and much more so on second look weekends.
 

efle

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Interesting. Pedigreed backgrounds was a common feature but beyond that, these people were just interesting. I saw it during interview day and much more so on second look weekends.
Everybody was cool to chat with for sure, but I didn't feel there was any magic there that was absent at other places or even that was different than the tryhard premed crowd at undergrad. As best I can tell (from these boards and IRL) it's just scoring a little higher, getting a little better grades, spending a little more time in some slightly more unique ECs, getting your research work published etc that moves you up the ladder. Not so much incredible life stories/amazing narratives.

Although, you're a nontrad and I didn't get to visit UCSF which I always hear great things about their people. We might have just identified with different kinds of people during this process.
 

Goro

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So on my last few posts I had asked about whether or not undergraduate prestige mattered for admission into top medical schools and the general answer that I got was " it won't hurt you if you don't go to a fancy-name school as long as you play the admissions game right and now what to do at the right time." SO my question now is.. how exactly does one "play the admissions game" and craft his/her application correctly? What exactly do the adcoms look for ( beside the obvious mcat, GPA , research..)?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

lightblueelephant

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First, if your parents aren't millionaires (preferably billionaires), have them disown you and get adopted by people who are (bonus points if they're URM). This should be done ideally before you start 8th grade. In 8th grade, have them pay for you to go to Exeter and start studying for the SAT and ACT in the spring of 9th grade (you need perfect scores on both to set yourself up for success). During your summers, make sure you volunteer abroad doing medical work like assisting in surgeries for children with cleft palates in undeveloped regions. Bonus points if you actually perform the surgery yourself, but even if you don't, just lie in your personal statement and say you did anyway - who's gonna know? No one, that's who. In your classes, make sure you try to be nice to everyone superficially, but when they ask you to help them with their homework (because you're the brightest kid there, obviously, so everyone's gonna ask you first), help them get all the answers wrong instead. Make sure to group study all the time and continue reinforcing false concepts (for example, when studying for AP US History, make sure you tell them how great of a president Alexander Hamilton was). Of course, this means that you'll have to study all the correct information on your own in secret, but it's a small price to pay to be at the top of every class. Remember: success isn't just about making sure you succeed - it's also about making sure everyone else fails. Now, senior year rolls around and your perfect test scores + valedictorian + multiple summers of giving botox injections in cambodia or something + the nice 7 figure donation your "parents" gave to Harvard means you're just applying early to Harvard, and maybe Yale if you need a safety school (you don't). Once you matriculate to Harvard, be sure to wear your Exeter sweatshirt all around campus - that makes people respect you because you're better than them. Continue the same academic practices you perfected in high school, except now make sure you bust people for violating the honor code, even if they actually didn't. Harvard's motto is Veritas which means truth, so you have to tell the truth about how all these kids cheated on their tests even if the truth is the way the world should be (according to you) and not the way it is. You're rich and on your way to being successful, so the dean will for sure believe you and everyone will get honor code violations so you have no competition when applying to medical school because 1) everyone at Harvard except you is blacklisted from med school and 2) people who don't go to Harvard don't matter. For best results, do this in your organic chemistry class. It's okay, they'll all just end up going into finance anyway (where honor code violations are seen as more of a moderately impressive EC), so don't waste any time feeling bad. Double dip your ECs every summer. Get yourself a sweet hookup in a nobel prize lab and take credit for things that other people do (this is called "middle author" in academia). Meanwhile, on your AMCAS app, just keep putting stuff about solving hunger in burkina faso. When they ask for a reference phone number, just put an international number that looks legit - they're not gonna check anyway. Oh and also put a bunch of shadowing hours - make it a combination of urban family medicine to show you're sensitive and compassionate as well as orthopedic surgery so that they know you're gonna be a *~*~*serious*~*~* med student and not some lazy primary care hack. Oh, and finally, the MCAT - yeah the test companies don't really have that tight of security so you can just look up all the answers on google on your ipad pro anyway so just get an easy 527 (get a question wrong so that they know you're not cheating but make sure its in the psych section so it doesn't actually matter). At that point, you're a shoe-in for top 10 interviews galore. But wait, there's more! On your interviews (only attend top 5 interviews, everything else is beneath you), figure out which applicant has the walnut allergy, slip some trail mix into his chips at lunch, then use the epipen that you stole from that really nerdy kid who plays WoW in Calc III to save his life (there wasn't any angioedema anyway). After that, the adcoms will know you're legit and you won't have to interview. Finally, once you get your 5 acceptances, make it clear to every school that you will not go anywhere unless they give you a full ride, which they will because in your emails to their FA officer, just say that the other top 5 schools all gave you full rides but you really want to go to theirs. Finally, come August, don your white coat knowing that you mastered the admission game and have officially become the most successful applicant in the world.

Or, you know, don't, and just get good grades, volunteer, take the MCAT seriously, and be generally nice to people.

:laugh::clap: OMG this so great:corny:
 
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That was the surface-level impression I got at first, too, but as I talked to a few people in greater depth, I realized their stories/journeys were much more impressive than they let on at first. I'd bet a lot of the people we met at SLWs have some amazing experiences that they don't share right off the bat. I'm sure there are also a good number of just well-rounded, generally high achieving students who successfully checked all the boxes. I think it's a good mix, makes for an interesting class.

Everybody was cool to chat with for sure, but I didn't feel there was any magic there that was absent at other places or even that was different than the tryhard premed crowd at undergrad. As best I can tell (from these boards and IRL) it's just scoring a little higher, getting a little better grades, spending a little more time in some slightly more unique ECs, getting your research work published etc that moves you up the ladder. Not so much incredible life stories/amazing narratives.

Although, you're a nontrad and I didn't get to visit UCSF which I always hear great things about their people. We might have just identified with different kinds of people during this process.
 
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MareNostrummm

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Go to the least selective institution possible, with the easiest major you can do, and earn a 4.0
Spend a full summer spending countless hours studying for the MCAT
Volunteer somewhere
Shadow someone
Do some research
Scribe
???
Accepted
Lmao