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interesting take on non-trad. admissions to MD over DO

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Ivory, May 20, 2014.

  1. Ivory


    Jan 30, 2014
    I am a very nontraditional student. I started living in a van to save money, and have more time for study (no rent to pay)
    I am told more non-traditional students go to DO schools. I plan to explain how I lived in my vehicle in the interview because I think it will speak to the board. Do you think explaining my situation is favored more by MD or DO institutions? Why?
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  3. tantacles

    tantacles Moderator Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Non-traditional generally refers to the number of years taken off after undergraduate studies but before medical school. While your story definitely qualifies as nontraditional, that's typically not what we mean.

    That being said, your story certainly is compelling. If you framed it right, I'd want to hear more. My institution, which grants MD's, is extremely interested in recruiting individuals who have financial difficulty due to the insight it gives people into the lack of accessibility of resources many of our patients face; the institution has many rotations in low income areas, and an understanding of the hardships of those kinds of hardships can often help a student serve patients better.

    The way that you're framing your story, though, it sounds as if this might just be a gimmick to grab attention, even if it's true. If you've gained some insight into the human condition or medicine by living with less (which I imagine you have), it's certainly a worthwhile topic, but otherwise, your living situation probably shouldn't play a large part in your story.
  4. DifferentialDiagnosis


    May 4, 2014
    My opinion is that it shows dedication. When I read that I went "wow" in a good way. As long as your GPA, MCAT and EC's are feasible for an MD/DO it would be an interesting side note that would give you a lot to talk about at interviews.

    Hope you get an apartment soon though! Toilets are all the rage nowadays.
  5. SN12357

    SN12357 2+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    Non-traditional student generally means older, and often means someone who has to redeem past academic mistakes. For those students DO is more forgiving because of the grade replacement policy for GPA calculations. Thus, DO schools are more welcome to many nontrads. If you have good grades from the start there's no real reason to think DO would favor you over MD.

    Your living situation is interesting and your frugality potentially laudable but remember that interviews and applications are about showing your suitability for medicine and your responses should be framed in that context. Don't expect living in a van to speak for itself.
  6. Ivory


    Jan 30, 2014
    Thanks, Agreed.
  7. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado On Sabbatical Physician 7+ Year Member

    Dec 1, 2008
    Did you have to live in a van because of some extenuating circumstance or was it a choice/gimmick? Sounds a bit like the latter.
  8. Ivory


    Jan 30, 2014
    No, I am here for well thought out reasons like saving 15000 a yr. I didn't think it would hurt to mention it if given a hanse too, but I wouldn't talk about it for more than a minute or two.

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