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It's not about what you know but WHO you know

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Loyoladentalman15, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Loyoladentalman15

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    I was actually in a somewhat heated discussion with a friend and she said that there are people who have like 3.0s and am 18 DAT or 3.0s and 26 MCAT and got into prestigious schools like UCLA, Harvard, etc just by knowing the right people.

    My argument was that no matter who you know, schools are investing in you and if you cant hack it since you basically "connected" your way into dental/medical school they are taking a huge risk. Now, there are some cases where knowing the right people will help if you have done the right things. Good GPA (or strong upward trend for the low gpa folks), good DAT, volunteering, shadowing, etc. IF you do these things, then good things are bound to happen. Not necessarily a guarantee but it cant hurt you.

    The reason I brought this up is because she claims that her premed friend knows a physician alum that is well known by his top choice school. This person has done the very minimum in everything and is seriously banking on the LOR by the doctor. He claims that "the doctor likes me very much." smh

    We live in a society where it has been proven that knowing the right people can seriously change your life for the better but is that even remotely true for professional school? With so much on the line for the school, is this thing really a myth?
     
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  3. Gogoing

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    I'm sure it is to some degree. I can speculate that if you took a solid prospect vs a under-average prospect that happens to know someone important at the school, the prospect probably has a better chance at getting in.
     
    Loyoladentalman15 likes this.
  4. Faux

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    Its best just to worry about your self and getting in on your own merit. Not worth the headache to even think about.
     
  5. Loyoladentalman15

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    While I do agree with y'alls statements, I believe that it can at least help you land an interview. Let's be realistic for a moment. You can be the hardest worker in the world but theres a chance that you may not even get noticed. With a good recommendation, that can get you one foot in the door that is if you have met all other qualifiications right?
     
  6. postpitadh

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    i think you're stretching it a little bit. you can stand out from other applicants in multiple ways and knowing someone can help you, but there is a long list of things that take priority over who you know
     
  7. ajj70

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    For med school, the first round is computer scored so I'm not sure how knowing someone would get you past that. If your GPA and MCAT isn't high enough, you are out the door. I would ask those that you are arguing with who exactly they know personally that got into med/dental school with those stats. Not that a 3.0 and 26 are not low for med school, it's not an instant no either. Same for dental with the 3.0 and 18. https://www.aamc.org/download/321508/data/factstable24.pdf
     
  8. Scumbag_Steve

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    Take medicine and dentistry vs business for instance. Financial institutions and corporations care much more about connections and nepotism than medicine and dentistry do. Medical and dental adcoms care much more about what kind of a person you are than large companies, because your entire career will depend on you ability to empathize, build trust, and connect with people. This can only be demonstrated in person, and not by who your parents are. Also, that's what standardized tests like the MCAT and DAT are for. They are the great equalizers where applicants, regardless of prestige of the school they attended, are on a level playing field.

    Sure, who you know can help you get an interview, but you have do demonstrate an honest emotional capacity to be healthcare provider during your interview even if you're a Koch or a Rothschild. Also, getting to "know people" can happen without nepotism or brown-nosing. After all, your LORs are (or should be), from people who find you have potential to succeed based on their experience with you, not based on who they perceive you to be.

    Bottom line, you are who you are, and if you show you have the make up to succeed, you'll be accepted at a school where you fit their philosophy or what a dentist should be regardless of your connections.
     
  9. AVB2104

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    I'd say it is pretty true. However, a lot of these kids struggled throughout professional school and some even dropped out
     
  10. willwash

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    I think a lot of them are URMs. They don't publish the numbers so this is just speculation, but if it's true that URMs are given a "boost" compared with where their numbers would normally place them, then it's just simple math.
     
  11. ajj70

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    Maybe not for dental schools but for med school:

    https://www.aamc.org/download/321498/data/factstable19.pdf
     
  12. willwash

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    Sure, you can find racial/ethnic breakdowns of DAT scores, and you can find racial/ethnic breakdowns of admitted students, but what you can't find is the ethnic/racial breakdown of admitted students at a given school matched against their grades and DAT.

    OP was asking who are the people who are getting offered admission with 3.0 / 18 and is speculating that they are well-connected good ole boys. I counter that they are probably predominately URMs. We can't know for sure.
     
  13. DentalLonghorn2014

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    I agree with you and the posts above. We all need LOR'S and those will tell the adcoms who that applicant is from a different perspective. I also agree that sometimes, merit alone is not enough and that a letter from a well knowned alum can give you that little nudge. As long as you are doing EVERYTHING you can, an interview is def. possible.
     
  14. Cello

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    Does it happen? Probably. Often? Probably not.

    I look at grades, LORs, etc. as a form of credit. You are convincing the school that you will make good on your promise to finish their program, no different from the promise you make to your bank when you prove to them that you have a solid financial history. The better your grades, ECs, LORs, etc. the higher your proverbial 'credit' score is going to be for admissions committees.

    When a person is 'connected' to someone with a strong presence at a school, their credit rating with that school can go way up depending upon the clout of their backer. This isn't really all that different from applying for a loan with a co-signer. Basically, this person with a lot of political power at the institution is putting their reputation on the line to back this student, which is something they presumably don't do often. Is that unfair? Maybe. But you have to look at this from a business standpoint. The schools are interested in ensuring that people graduate their programs. If a powerful alumnus backs the wrong kid and the student drops out of the program, how much political clout do you think that alumnus will have in the future with the admissions committee? Schools know that they aren't going to get recommendations from people who don't believe in the person they're backing.

    That said, I am not a big fan of schools who give easy admissions to kids just because their family is wealthy and donated a building to the school. But, thankfully that doesn't happen often.

    Do you believe everything everyone tells you? How do you know that he is being truthful, or that he really has the rapport with this person that he claims? How do you know he even knows this alumnus, or that he has as much clout as she's suggesting? You don't really know any of those things. You have merely heard the words of a braggart and taken them at face value. I can't tell you the number of times I have seem hot shot pre-med and pre-dent students who claimed they had the best grades, the best ECs, the best of everything, but they failed to gain an admission. It leads you to wonder how much of what they said was fact and how much was fiction. I have also seen surgical residents with the best possible LOR from the top surgeon in their field get rejected for fellowships and work despite the strongest possible recommendation from their angel investor. One LOR is not likely to take a candidate from mediocre to outstanding, no matter who it's from.

    It's not a myth, but it's not particularly common either. As societies go, that is pretty much an inescapable reality. I would argue that the United States is actually much better about this kind of thing than are most other countries.
     
    #13 Cello, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015

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