Lawper Report: Medical School Rankings by SDN Thread Activity

Lawper

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Some interesting data I found from the previous school-specific discussion threads. Given a typical SDN preallo user's obsession with medical school rankings and Top 20 schools, I wanted to see how popular various medical schools are on these forums. School popularity can be determined by measuring how active the school's application thread is on SDN.

Methodology

Now, there are several ways of measuring thread activity, but the simplest and most reliable metric is recording the total number of page views for that thread. Page views measure how many times a thread has been visited, whether by lurking or posting. However, the exact total number of page views changes regularly due to random visits. For ranking purposes, the variations can be controlled by dividing the total number of page views by 10,000, which makes the resulting numbers manageable.

To rank medical schools for each application cycle, I did the following:
  1. Visited the Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2016) Forums
  2. Sorted by title in ascending order (so this means numbers come before A-Z)
  3. Noted the first application cycle (this was 2008-2009) and recorded the total number of page views for each school thread in an Excel spreadsheet; did this for application cycles up until and including 2015-2016 cycle
  4. Divided the total number of page views by 10,000 (this is called reduced views in the spreadsheet)
  5. Calculated the average and standard deviation for each application cycle
  6. Used the average and standard deviation to standardize activity ratings (basically, how many standard deviations are each school away from the average; this is simply standard activity = (activity - average)/standard deviation)
  7. Sorted by standardized activity in descending order (so from largest to smallest values)
Now, I only did the above for US MD schools (including Puerto Rico schools); I excluded special programs (e.g. UCLA/Drew, UCLA Prime), combined programs, and international programs with US linkages (e.g. Duke/NUS, Sackler).

Medical School Rankings

Here are the rankings I found for each application cycle.


Comparison to US News Top 25 Rankings

The below table shows how the US News Top 25 Medical Schools (by Research Rankings) fare with respect to SDN activity.



Surprisingly, there isn't a 2008-2009 application thread for Mayo!

Activity Trends

The below graph shows trends in average activity ratings over eight application cycles.



Hope you find this useful, and let me know of any errors made in this report. I'll update this thread to include the 2016-2017 application cycle next year once the cycle is done.
 
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GrumpyGus

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It's funny how it seems every applicant has a 3.8/90th+ percentile, but the most active schools are primarily low/mid tier private schools.
Lurkers.
 
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redsox93

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Nevada coming last in education and almost last in thread views! Way to represent
 

Lucca

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Cool. I wonder if there is any correlation between the SDN activity ranking and #of applications received. I.e is the SDN population large enough to predict the relative size of an applicant pool to any extent?

Also, why is Columbia so consistently active out of the T25 which all seem to be pretty inconsistent in their activity rankings? Might have something to do with the fact they actually take people with Mortal scores
 

To be MD

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Cool. I wonder if there is any correlation between the SDN activity ranking and #of applications received. I.e is the SDN population large enough to predict the relative size of an applicant pool to any extent?

Also, why is Columbia so consistently active out of the T25 which all seem to be pretty inconsistent in their activity rankings? Might have something to do with the fact they actually take people with Mortal scores
People, like me, are just dying to go to school where the Olsen twins went.
 

yungspleen

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Interesting. VCU has a lot of applicants and their secondary is a scenario-based question so maybe a lot of people hit that page when they are googling the prompt. It also has somewhat obscure updates on its portal regarding interview status, so I'm sure people are inquiring about that as well. NYMC's activity is probably also due to a high volume of applicants as well as their requirement of the CASPER exam and all of the issues that have come with it.
 

Goro

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So help me, Lawper, I'll bet you can get this published!!!!!

Some interesting data I found from the previous school-specific discussion threads. Given a typical SDN preallo user's obsession with medical school rankings and Top 20 schools, I wanted to see how popular various medical schools are on these forums. School popularity can be determined by measuring how active the school's application thread is on SDN.

Methodology

Now, there are several ways of measuring thread activity, but the simplest and most reliable metric is recording the total number of page views for that thread. Page views measure how many times a thread has been visited, whether by lurking or posting. However, the exact total number of page views changes regularly due to random visits. For ranking purposes, the variations can be controlled by dividing the total number of page views by 10,000, which makes the resulting numbers manageable.

To rank medical schools for each application cycle, I did the following:
  1. Visited the Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2016) Forums
  2. Sorted by title in ascending order (so this means numbers come before A-Z)
  3. Noted the first application cycle (this was 2008-2009) and recorded the total number of page views for each school thread in an Excel spreadsheet; did this for application cycles up until and including 2015-2016 cycle
  4. Divided the total number of page views by 10,000 (this is called reduced views in the spreadsheet)
  5. Calculated the average and standard deviation for each application cycle
  6. Used the average and standard deviation to standardize activity ratings (basically, how many standard deviations are each school away from the average; this is simply standard activity = (activity - average)/standard deviation)
  7. Sorted by standardized activity in descending order (so from largest to smallest values)
Now, I only did the above for US MD schools (including Puerto Rico schools); I excluded special programs (e.g. UCLA/Drew, UCLA Prime), combined programs, and international programs with US linkages (e.g. Duke/NUS, Sackler).

Medical School Rankings

Here are the rankings I found for each application cycle.


Comparison to US News Top 25 Rankings

The below table shows how the US News Top 25 Medical Schools (by Research Rankings) fare with respect to SDN activity.



Surprisingly, there isn't a 2008-2009 application thread for Mayo!



Activity Trends

The below graph shows trends in average activity ratings over eight application cycles.



Hope you find this useful, and let me know of any errors made in this report. I'll update this thread to include the 2016-2017 application cycle next year once the cycle is done.
 
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mcatjelly

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VCU had a ton of issues with their secondaries last year and was very behind on primary reviews (some of us weren't sent secondaries until after Thanksgiving--mine in January). That's what all of the thread activity is from.
 

FindMeOnTheLinks

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VCU had a ton of issues with their secondaries last year and was very behind on primary reviews (some of us weren't sent secondaries until after Thanksgiving--mine in January). That's what all of the thread activity is from.
VCU has issues every year it seems like. They just don't know what they are doing.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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Lawper

Lawper

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Lord Kek

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Simply glancing at this chart, it appears that the majority of schools whose threads have the most views tend to get the most applicants. In short, popularity of school threads most likely has a higher correlation to average number of applicants per school, instead of perceived prestige of said school. Although popularity and brand name recognition influence the amount of thread views, and the population of SDN users is heavily skewed toward the most competitive schools, this data appears to illustrate some application tendencies of the general applicant population (school choice).
 
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