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I found this URM forum after the non-trad forum

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TeacherNoMore

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Hello to all,

I'm a 27 year old teacher planning up for my pre-reqs and the responses from family and friends have been "yeah-right."

I suppose my real question for this forum is:

How critical is the URM element to your application?

While I am a year or so away from even applying to medical school, I'd like to weigh all of the factors now, before I'm knee deep.

I live in California and plan on applying in California so it may not mean much here but is it true that schools, other than Howard or Fisk, see URM and try to "court" you?

If I'm way off base slap some sense into me and tell me what the truth is.
Thanks in advance
 

DoctaJay

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Hi teachernomore. Your question has the potential to open up a can of worms, but I'l try to answer it.

Medical schools realize for a variety of reasons that diversity in the physician pool is important. So all else being equal, and unfortunately, sometimes unqual, your race makes your application more desireable.

But please don't rely on this. The UNFORTUNATE downside to this is that you are essentially competeting for less spots when applying. You'll notice that your medical school class will rarely have more than 10 URMs in every class. And many more URMs apply than are actually accepted; so its much better to do your absolute best, and let the medical schools decide on how to categorize your application.

I'm sure you have received great advice in the nontrad forum, but to reiterate, you will be very competetive at ANY school with a 3.8+ GPA and a 30+ MCAT. Shoot for this and the application process will be more of a choosing game than anything else.
----------------------------------------

And just as a general warning, the UIH forum is not the place for discussions on affirmative action. Any threads headed that way will be closed.
 

TeacherNoMore

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Here are my stats
1. I am 27, birthday was last week.

2. I completed undergrad in 2002. I have a B.S., in Secondary English Education with a minor in History.

3. Undergrad G.P.A. 3.4


4. Master's in the Art of Teaching M.A.T., 2005

5. Graduate G.P.A. 3.4

I plan on taking my pre-reqs at a community college.


I've been encouraged by the people in the non-trad forum to NOT take my pre-reqs at a CC.

So I'll take them at UCSD
 

doc4kidsva

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First of all I want to say good luck to you!! Usually, I refrain from posting but your situation is very similar to my situation so, I have to respond.

I was a teacher as well, and I decided that I needed to stop running from my dream and go to medical school. I joined the military to help pay for school and my prerequisites. Being that I had to work full time, my only option to take classes was to attend the community college. The universities in the area didn't offer classes inthe evening. I was also told that it looked bad that I took my prerequisites at a community college but I made it into medical school.

My whole point of saying this is that it can be done!!! Don't let people tell you that it can't.
 

flaahless

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Here are my stats
1. I am 27, birthday was last week.

2. I completed undergrad in 2002. I have a B.S., in Secondary English Education with a minor in History.

3. Undergrad G.P.A. 3.4


4. Master's in the Art of Teaching M.A.T., 2005

5. Graduate G.P.A. 3.4

I plan on taking my pre-reqs at a community college.


I've been encouraged by the people in the non-trad forum to NOT take my pre-reqs at a CC.

So I'll take them at UCSD
I would suggest SDSU, it's a pretty reputable school in CA and cal state tuition is a lot cheaper than UC tuition.
 

TheRealMD

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The benefit exists, but never depend on it.
 

TeacherNoMore

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But I feel really ignorant about this entire process right now because I'm on the outside looking in. (I just finished a sentence with a preposition, yuck!)

The motivating factors that led me to ask this question HERE is due to all of the responses urging me to mention in it the non-trad forum. They're like...oh, you're a black person with a respectable g.p.a. (maybe not the medical world I suspect)...they really said that I'd be foolish to leave that off an application, but when you're black, why would you?
LOL!

Hell, I'm from Detroit so I just assumed that omitting it would be horrible given that you have to interview and when I showed up for the interview
they'd know.

Some of them made me feel like I better invoke the spirit of friggin' Rastus when I interview.


I'm not trying to open a can of worms... but, man, in that other forum I did get just a small sample of what perceptions I'd be facing...not that I care, I'd just care when those perceptions are interviewing me for a spot in their school.
 

aaj117

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But I feel really ignorant about this entire process right now because I'm on the outside looking in. (I just finished a sentence with a preposition, yuck!)

The motivating factors that led me to ask this question HERE is due to all of the responses urging me to mention in it the non-trad forum. They're like...oh, you're a black person with a respectable g.p.a. (maybe not the medical world I suspect)...they really said that I'd be foolish to leave that off an application, but when you're black, why would you?
LOL!

Hell, I'm from Detroit so I just assumed that omitting it would be horrible given that you have to interview and when I showed up for the interview
they'd know.

Some of them made me feel like I better invoke the spirit of friggin' Rastus when I interview.


I'm not trying to open a can of worms... but, man, in that other forum I did get just a small sample of what perceptions I'd be facing...not that I care, I'd just care when those perceptions are interviewing me for a spot in their school.

A lot of people who say things like that and bring up your race before your GPA, MCAT, or ECs, are the same people who spend their time bashign others instead of improving their own application. Quite a few of them are applying right now and aren't getting the responses they expected or hoped for from schools. Rather than taking into account things like research, ECs, maturity level, interview skills, etc, they look purely at someone's numbers and say "but your GPA is .04 lower than mine, how could you POSSIBLY get in over me?! Oh, it's because you're black/hispanic/whatever URM". I'm not saying that an advantage doesn't exist, because it does...many schools use affirmative action policies. However, It is a slight advantage and med schools do not accept anyone they don't believe to be fully qualified. Med school applicants who run around claiming "an underqualified black person stole my spot" is really in no position to tell anyone what their chances are or how elements of the application are weighted.

That said, the amount that your ethnicity will help you entirely depends on the school you apply to, who else is applying, and what the rest of your application looks like. If someone is a lousy candidate, they will remain a lousy candidate as a URM. If you apply to school X that doesn't use any affirmative action, it really won't make a difference, while applying to school Y that has fewer minority applicants and is looking diversify it may help a lot. I look at is as a little extra, like a good score in an MCAT section or an EC; some schools may look at a certain EC and think it will really help make you the doctor they are trying to turn out, while others may think it's worthless and has nothing to do with medicine.
 

QofQuimica

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But please don't rely on this. The UNFORTUNATE downside to this is that you are essentially competeting for less spots when applying. You'll notice that your medical school class will rarely have more than 10 URMs in every class. And many more URMs apply than are actually accepted; so its much better to do your absolute best, and let the medical schools decide on how to categorize your application.
Just to clarify, no medical school admits a set number of URM students each year. Every medical school will want to admit as many qualified students of all races as possible in order to assemble a diverse class. However, there is no quota for URMs. You are competing against the entire applicant pool, not just other URMs. The reason why a given med school has 10 URMs per class is *not* because there are ten seats set aside for URM students. How many URMs show up in a given class has everything to do with how many qualified URMs apply, how many the school accepts, and how many decide to matriculate once accepted. URMs who get accepted to top schools will almost always have very high stats just like nearly every non-URM who attends those schools does. No medical school will accept anyone, regardless of race, if the adcom feels that the person is not qualified to make it through the program and pass the boards.

OP, the general advice you received is excellent. Put your race out of your mind, and focus on doing well in your pre-reqs and acing the MCAT. When it comes time to apply, you will be asked to check a box on AMCAS (or more than one if applicable) describing your ethnic and racial background. Check the appropriate box(es), and keep moving forward. Premeds are well-meaning, but they almost always overestimate the advantage that your race will give you compared to some of the other attributes you have shown that suggest you would be an excellent physician. Personally, I am infinitely more impressed by your background as a teacher (which is a service career) than I am by your being black. I would suggest emphasizing your teaching career and how it will improve your abilities as a physician in your app. :luck: to you. :)
 

SigurRos

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I would recommend checking www.mdapplicants.com for URM profiles to get a look at the numbers you will need to be competitive for CA schools. That being said, it is not only about numbers. Usually students lacking high numbers make up for it with amazing extracurriculars and life experiences. Everyone above me has already beaten it to death, but I would also like to point out that while the URM advantage is very real, you cannot solely rely on it.

As far as your pre-reqs go, you would do well to avoid taking them at a community college, but it probably won't really matter what 4-year institution you take it at as long as you get good grades and do well on your MCAT. At this point in your life (with your career, possible family, etc.) you might just want to them wherever it is most convenient.

Best of luck and welcome to the club :)
 

TeacherNoMore

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I would recommend checking www.mdapplicants.com for URM profiles to get a look at the numbers you will need to be competitive for CA schools. That being said, it is not only about numbers. Usually students lacking high numbers make up for it with amazing extracurriculars and life experiences. Everyone above me has already beaten it to death, but I would also like to point out that while the URM advantage is very real, you cannot solely rely on it.

As far as your pre-reqs go, you would do well to avoid taking them at a community college, but it probably won't really matter what 4-year institution you take it at as long as you get good grades and do well on your MCAT. At this point in your life (with your career, possible family, etc.) you might just want to them wherever it is most convenient.

Best of luck and welcome to the club :)

This website is great. To see that someone was accepted to Stanford with a 25 MCAT and a 3.4 was awesome. Man, I feel better about my situation than ever before.

I'm just trying to decide where I want to apply. Money is a BIG factor.
 

TeacherNoMore

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This website is great. To see that someone was accepted to Stanford with a 25 MCAT and a 3.4 was awesome. Man, I feel better about my situation than ever before.

I'm just trying to decide where I want to apply. Money is a BIG factor.

Let me retract that, I think it will come off as I'm banking on doing poorly.
I want to say that the website provides a better diversified picture of who(statistically speaking) is accepted into medical school.
 

LovelyMD

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Let me retract that, I think it will come off as I'm banking on doing poorly.
I want to say that the website provides a better diversified picture of who(statistically speaking) is accepted into medical school.

Just be careful because the data on that website is self-reported, so some of the profiles are fake. Some of the fake ones are easy to pick out because they'll have something written on there that is obviously a joke, but some are not easy to tell.
 
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