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Ivy League schools with older students

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Nirvana, May 24, 2000.

  1. Nirvana

    Nirvana Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 23, 2000
    OK, I know it's impossible to get into an Ivy League school, but I have the grades/scores to make an attempt. I'm in my early 30's and would prefer (it's not a "must") if I weren't the only "old" student. My question is:
    Are there any Ivy League schools out there with a relatively high % of non-traditional students?
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  3. Why do you say it's impossible? The Ivys are NOT all created "equal". Look at Brown and Dartmouth. I don't think either one cracks the top 30 of the Gourman ranking.
  4. 1918

    1918 Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000

    What criteria are used by the Gourman ranking?

    How respected is this ranking system?

  5. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 1999
    New York, New York
    Dr. Jack Gourman NEVER published his methodology, and when he died in 1996, so did it.

    So why do people often cite the Gourman Report? Probably most likely due to ignorance, and maybe because the list conforms to whatever preconceived notions one might have with regard to who's best.

    I'm not sure if there's an Ivy school that has an unusually large number of older students, but I do know that they are well-represented at Columbia P&S.

    Tim of New York City.
  6. 1918

    1918 Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    T'Board - Thanks for the reply. That is a little frightening given how often I have seen or heard reference to the Gourman #'s.

    Regarding Ivy League schools and older students, it is NOT an issue. In addition to Columbia, Cornell has a lot of students who have done something inbetween undergrad and med school (they are also more mature vs. Columbia students from my experience). Only Brown is less inclined to have as many older students as a result of their "feeder program."

    But I emphasize, older students can be found at Ivy Leagues -- your best bet is to visit in order to assess your comfort level.

    Good Luck.

    [This message has been edited by 1918 (edited 05-24-2000).]
  7. daphnefish

    daphnefish Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2000
    raleigh, nc US
    Hey, I don't know if you are considering Case Western, but they graduate more students over thirty (and I believe that is over thirty as ENTERING students) than any other school in the country. Not sure where I picked up that fact... check their web site, maybe...
  8. nicolette

    nicolette Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 1999
    Try UCSF. Arguably one of the best medical schools in the country. They like older, non-traditional applicants. I believe each class has many older applicants.
  9. Jacqueline

    Jacqueline Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 24, 2000
    Please don't put down brown university!!!
    My sister is currently at the eight-year PLME program there!
  10. Lt. Ub

    Lt. Ub Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 26, 2000
    Philly, PA
    I'm a first year at Penn - our oldest student is 34, married with 2 children. We're a young class; I think we have only a couple over 30. I'm 22 and I hang out with the "old man" all the time - we have a blast. I think Aliyah (sp?) put it best in a song of hers: "Age aint' nothin' but a number."

    "They do certainly give very strange and newfangled names to diseases."
    - Plato

    [This message has been edited by Lt. Ub (edited 05-27-2000).]
  11. Chicago

    Chicago Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I'm going to Columbia next year - when you interview, they send you contact info for a whole heap of students, MANY of whom are non-traditional, older students (there was one student who was in his 40's!) They seem to look for applicants who have had very interesting experiences, and this often means folks who have taken time off. Also, I believe the average entering age at Yale is like 27 (when I interviewed, I was the ONLY current undergraduate there - and two of the applicants I met were >10 years out of college)
  12. wisdom

    wisdom New Member

    May 27, 2000
    My class has several older students (Yale)...I think you should go for it! The oldest person in my class is in their 40s.
  13. MikeS 78

    MikeS 78 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 29, 2000
    east coast
    As a student who plans on attending Columbia this coming fall, I would like to commend the student from Cornell on the incredible maturity shown in his cheap shot on Columbia students, an obviously thankless recruitment attempt (but to what end is to be seen).
    Regardless, My uncle attended UCLA did his residency at UCSF and is a sucessful orthopedic surgeon and he began school at 35 with 3 kids (one of which started college during his internship). If you're good (and you have something interesting to talk about in your interview) you will always get in somewhere, but dont expect any free lunches, or expect them to go easy on a 24 on the MCAT Simply put, admissions officers will not tolerate as many imperfections in a 35 year old as they will in a 23 year old.
    Finally, while UCSF is an excellent medical school, listing them as an option in this case is sheer lunacy. Chances are good that this person is not a California resident, and unless they are a member of a minority group they have a better chance of making it into the NBA than UCSF (I found that one out first hand)
  14. 1918

    1918 Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    Mike -- For the record, I am not a student at Cornell, nor do I have any interest or desire to "recruit" students to attend Cornell over Columbia, or any other school. In fact, if I were self-serving, I would look to dissuade interested students from considering Cornell as I am a wait-listee. But I appreciate the primarily collegial atmosphere of this site, and look to offer helpful advice/opinions to others while obtaining the same for myself.

    You may want to reconsider your definition of "cheap-shot". I have had ample experience with both current and recent graduates of both medical schools. This, combined with my older than average age (for med students), leaves me confident in drawing the conclusion I posted earlier.

    I would suggest you learn how to accept dissenting opinions without reflexively labeling them "cheap-shots" -- if not for your own sake, then for the sake of your future patients.

    You should be quite comfortable at Columbia.
  15. MikeS 78

    MikeS 78 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 29, 2000
    east coast
    Ok I retract the statement regarding recruitment, however the cheap shot comment is obvious and here is why.
    Unless you applied to Cornell and only Cornell, (Or that was the only interview you got) you most likely noticed the same trend that I did: That the same kids were applying to, and getting interviews at, all of the top schools. I met a girl from Stanford in the waiting room at Columbia, caught the same plane as she to Baltimore to interview at Hopkins, and went out to eat with her following our Duke Interviews. This was far from an isolated incident, It seemed like at every interview I had (my first interview excluded) there was atleast one person I had met at a prior one. Because most applicants who aspire to go to the top apply to 10 or more schools, and for the most part, "Prestigious" schools are looking for more or less the same things, the interview pools at most schools are nearly identical.
    Having gone through this process, you also know the random nature of the selection process. Getting an interview typically means you had good MCAT's, Grades, research etc. But getting in usually means you randomly drew the right interviewer on the right day and just happened to discuss the right things with them. If it were anything but a random process then how do people get
    accepted to Hopkins and turned down at their state school. A case could be made that each school is looking for a "Particular type of student" (In Columbia's case it is the "Immature" student that is in high demand if your opinion is to be believed), but let's return to the realm of real discourse and analyze the system at large. Typically a school will have between 50-200 faculty members interviewing candidates. Read the CV's of Faculty at pretigious medical schools and one thing is clear: they all came from the same schools more or less, but typically few of them came from the medical school that they work at. To think that one can get 200 bright people from outside the school, to come to a concensus on something as minor as the "overall class personality" is lunacy, they are more worried about things like: "Will this person get through school, and will they be able to handle this emotionally" than engineering a class of a certain essential personality that is intentionally different from Hopkins or Cornell.
    In addition because nearly every school in the top ten must eventually accept a number 160-200% the size of the entering class in order to fill it, one can conclude that students choose a school somewhat randomly as well. It is doubtful that every student has throughly investigated every school they apply to in depth: worked at the hopsitals, lived with the students,and met several of the faculty. Thus final decisions are usually made based on gut feelings from a few hours on the campus. Even if a student has intimate knowledge of a school, (ie completed a masters there) it is doubtful that they have similiar knowledge of other school, and thus are biased. In short, the end result is a medical school class that in many respects randomly selected from the common applicant pool of the other schools.
    Now that is not to say a class cannot have a particular character, for most have one, the point is that to think that Columbia students have a particular unchanging character, that is different from the essentialist notions of "Cornell-ity" if you will, is more of a personal biased opinion, based on a few bad encounters with Columbia students, than a statement of fact as you seem to present it.
    You make the statement that this message board is relatively academic, and use this as justification of voicing your opinion. Certainly you are entitled to voice it on a web board, but to call what is obviously a personal bias "Academic" is nothing short of laughable. If hypothetically 70% of Columbia Students fail Step 1, or if they had the NAACP down their throats for racial prejudice or if Columbia presbyterian hospital was notorious for overworking its residents and students, or if a certain prestigous residency program had black listed graduates from the school for its surgery programs because it felt there were ill prepared (U of Michigan actually did this to an Ivy league school which shall remain nameless, but which is not Cornell or Columbia): If you posted a comment telling prospective students something of this nature, it would not have been a cheap shot. But because the statement that you did make, lacks any sort of objective backing, generally contradicts the most likely outcome of the system of medical admissions, and is followed with a personal attack on myself: I feel that my hand is forced in this matter: I can term it nothing more than a Cheap Shot. Please reserve petty mud slinging for the Rugby field next fall, and atleast don't claim to be an "Academic" or an "Intellectual" when you post it.

    One last note, you make the claim that you are a humanitarian when you encourage
    students to apply to Cornell, for you are on the waiting list. However, unless Cornell's waiting list is your last hope for admission, (ie you havent gotten in anywhere else) the students you are advising to apply will never compete with your for a spot because they will be applying for next fall.
  16. 1918

    1918 Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    Your last post either deliberately misquoted and misrepresented my comments or is proof of your poor cognitive and analytical skills.

    As I stated in my previous post, I offered an OPINION based on my experiences. You said that I made statements that "lack any objective backing" and that I "claim to be an academic or an intellectual". Please have someone who can read go over my previous postings and explain that I never claimed to be an "intellectual" or an "academnic". These are your fabrications.

    Furthermore, I made it clear that my opinion is based on ample experience with both current students and recent grads -- yet still only an opinion.

    In addition, you falsely state that I claim to be a "humanitarian". Again, YOUR word, not mine.

    Now that I have corrected your misrepresentations/misquotes, I will respond to your general argument:

    Yes, I have seen the same student at more than one interview. I agree that there are similar qualities that the top schools look for in candidiates. These are initially at least, primarily "paper" qualities/numbers that will result in similar interview pools. And yes, there is a luck factor involved when dealing with personalities during an interview.

    However, you are sadly mistaken if you think that schools, particularly Cornell and Columbia, do not strive for a class reflecting a certain "personality". Andrew Frantz, the head of admissions at Columbia, is well-known to put his personal stamp on each entering class. He has very certain ideas about the type of students he wants to see at Columbia and the overall class personality. Obviously he does not interview every student, but he does have veto power, and exercises it at will, to shape the entering class. You are dead wrong when you intimate that at these top schools, the interview is used to determine "will this student get through school". This is especially true at Columbia as is evidenced by the type of questions students are asked.

    Now, I never suggested, as you indicated, that Columbia looks for immature students. However, it is certainly possible that in their quest to admit students with certain traits/backgrounds (e.g. rugby players) that they deem positive, that they overlook or fail to emphasize others (e.g. maturity, commitment to serve the underpriveleged, etc.) This has been my experience -- again, with current and recent grads.

    ONE example: A current student (MS2) at Columbia who used to work at Harlem Hospital and see many Columbia students come through "wanting to learn, but not touch the indigent". I am not going to enumerate every one, but this example was very telling.

    Also, your statement that students choose med schools "somewhat randomly" is laughable. While students select med schools for varying reasons, location, curriculum, cost, etc., and you may not agree with their methodology, pre-med students are an overwhelmingly anal lot. This is more likely amongst the students selecting from the "top schools".

    Finally, your last paragraph in which you falsely state that I claim to be a "humanitarian", misses the point. There are still students deciding whether or not to accept an offer of admission from Cornell (perhaps deciding between Columbia and Cornell) and other hopefuls on the wait-list. While Cornell is still my first choice, I am not going to disparage Cornell in the hopes dissuading others, in order to improve my chance of admission.

    The original intent of my post was to offer an opinion based on observations, conversations with students/grads and faculty at both schools, and a solid knowledge of the admissions process at both schools. Furthermore, as an older app with life experience in the real world, I wanted to assist the original poster since he/she is of a similar background.

    Again, learn how to accept dissenting opinions without refelxively labeling them "cheap-shots" -- if not for your own sake, then for your future patients.

    Based on your numerous misquotes of my posts and your posing as a physician in another thread (Did you know chiropractors do cancer screenings?), I would ask that you try to maintain some modicum of responsibility in the future.
  17. MikeS 78

    MikeS 78 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 29, 2000
    east coast
    I originally typed a long response to your passage, that addressed your points, then deleted it because this conversation is moronic at best, petty mudslinging at worst, and is nothing but personal opinions being passed off as facts (on both sides) I thus determined my point could be said much more simply with a line that sounds like it should come from some blurb of pop culture "You are a bitter, bitter (did I mention arrogant) man" I doubt that intelligence can be quanitified, and am sure that if it can, a brief passage written on a web board in 15-20 minutes is good enough to deem my cognitive and analytical skills "Poor." I hope for your sake that you do not speak like this (ie self congratulatory, personal attacks) to fellow classmates and others you regularly encounter, partly because it won't make you the most popular man in the class and partly because it is bad for your blood pressure. I wish you the best of luck: Gross arrogance and dogmatism are vices.
    As for the chiropracter comment, I'll state that I commented on that in the discussion, and that the part that you commented on was an inadvertant mistake.


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