Losing faith in the system....

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Dr. Don, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. Dr. Don

    Dr. Don Senior Member

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    hey peeps, how is it going? I just wanted to know who else feels like all the stuff that we heard from our advisors and med students about how admissions committees look for more than just NUMBERS when reviewing applicants, yet for those of us with excellent ECs, great letters of rec, great personal statement, and pretty much everything else, except the numbers, are awesome, and we still get the boot!!?? I don't know, I've gotten the boot from a few schools who I thought I had a good chance at getting in based on their slightly below average numbers and their recruitment for minorities who want to serve in underserved communities, and here I am thinking...why? what can't they just overlook minor setbacks in our file...in my case, it's my verbal. The more I think about it, the more I'm realizing that med schools look at numbers FIRST, then all those other things come into play when reviewing your application. Now, I know I'm generalizing quite a bit here, and I do realize that there are schools out there who do look at EVERYTHING before screening people out....but there aren't that many of those schools and too many of us applying to get in. Anyways, just wanted to let this thought out and see if there are people out there in my shoes, going through the same sh-t here. I still have about 13 schools left, so hopefully something good will come out of that. take care and best of luck to everyone else!
     
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  3. ramz

    ramz Banned
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    what were ure numbers and where did u apply and which gave u the boot?
     
  4. Dr. Don

    Dr. Don Senior Member

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    V7, P10, B10, WQ

    GPA science 3.1 (with an upward curve of 2.3 freshman year to 3.7 junior year)

    doing post bac and getting A's in courses.

    anything else?
     
  5. ramz

    ramz Banned
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    which schools???

    where did u apply and who answered u
     
  6. Dr. Don

    Dr. Don Senior Member

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    ok the schools that gave me the boot were vermont, UI chicago, Case, UCSD, Rochester. Now, I know that Rochester and Case are high tier schools, but I've heard their admissions directors talk about how they are aiming at recruiting minorities, so I figured I give them a shot and see what happens....
     
  7. ramz

    ramz Banned
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    i had ure mcats b4 i took the aug 2002, fewh i jumped up big time, but b4 they were out, ucla on the phone told me that they were "not as good". it might be the mcat thats ure problem
     
  8. Dr. Don

    Dr. Don Senior Member

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    yeah, I hear you...too bad this system is based on numbers more than desire and qualities to become a good physician.
     
  9. ramz

    ramz Banned
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    those rejections r not a bad sign.....look an UCONN, finch, etc
     
  10. Dr. Don

    Dr. Don Senior Member

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    hey, yeah I applied to Finch, so I'm waiting to hear from them and I didn't apply to UCONN because I believe they only take in-state residents...like I said I still have 13 more schools to go, so hopefully at the end of the game, I'll come out on top, all we need is one right? take care
     
  11. ramz

    ramz Banned
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    univ of connecticut accepts out of state, and even non nationals


    check it out, my friend from canada has an interview
     
  12. kam730

    kam730 Senior Member

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    You definitely still have a chance, don't give up hope!! A friend of mine whose MCAT was 9-11-7 had pretty much given up all hope, and was not much fun to be around for about 6 months....until he got two acceptances out of 3 interviews! The third was even a waitlist. He does have a very good GPA, but his ECs are very ordinary and he is non-URM. Plus, you did the right thing by applying to a lot of schools, you still have 13 more to go. Good luck, and don't give up!
     
  13. UCLAMAN

    UCLAMAN Air Jordan Collector

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    I disagree....What makes you imply that someone doesn't have the "desire" and "qualities" to become a physician simply because they may have a higher gpa/mcat than you? I'd argue that the overwhelming majority of people who apply to medical school have the "desire" and "qualities" to become a physician. With (what are the stats?) 40,000 applicants for 20,000 spots(i forget what the numbers are but the point is that there is something like twice as many applicants for positions) and the overwhelming majority of those applicants having the "desire" and "qualities" to become a physician the "numbers" have to come into play. How else do you suggest that adcoms decide who or who doesn't get into medical school?


    I'm not trying to rip you down or anything and I wish you luck in the process. My point is that the overwhelming majority of applicants have the "desire" and unique "qualities" that would make them good physicians in some way. So schools must look at "numbers" to select who gets in and who doesn't.
     
  14. SouthernGirl

    SouthernGirl Senior Member

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    While I sympathize with your plight, I find this statement incorrect. First of all, don't you agree that grades and MCAT score are the best way to weed out students who are academically unqualified to be a doctor? I believe that compassion and good communication skills are critical for being a good physician; however, I also realize that there is and should be the necessity to only allow the brightest and hardest working students into medical school. Let's face it, the world's most compassionate person would not make it through one semester of med school if he or she didin't meet some sort of minimum academic criterion. I am not underestimating the importance of the personal skills and desire that you mention, so please, nobody misconstrue my point. I'm just saying that it makes sense for the system to be somewhat based on numbers.

    That being said, I think that your numbers aren't bad (not that my opinion counts for anything). If you don't get in this year, then work on pulling up that verbal score, and you have a great shot, because those 10's in the sciences are really a good sign. Best of luck :)
     
  15. Dr. Don

    Dr. Don Senior Member

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    Holy sh-t dude! you are right!! but their averages are still high MCAT 30.6, GPA 3.53. I don't know if they would even consider me, based on numbers alone. I was also looking into maybe adding Wayne State to my list, but I saw somewhere in this board that they like no lower than 9's in the MCATs, so I'm screwed there. Does anybody know of someone who has been succesful at UConn with similar numbers as mine. I am a minority (not underrepresented minority based on AAMC guidelines..which I think sucks!) and I'm a disadvantaged applicant.

    To respond to UCLAMAN and southerngirl, I understand your arguments regarding selection based on numbers, because I also agree that med schools shouldn't accept people who just won't be able to succeed in medical school, but there are students like me who have shown that we can handle the science curriculum (how do you explain 10s in MCAT and 3.7 SCIENCE GPA after first year?), yet still get the boot. I can TOTALLY understand if an applicant has always been a B, B- average applicant and MCATs are even below the national averages, but that's not the case for all sligthly below average applicants. As a matter of fact I would even argue that those with really weak numbers, don't even apply and do something to improve themselves as candidates. But anyways, no hard feelings, thank you for the good thoughts and best of luck to you all.
     
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  17. Medical123

    Medical123 Senior Member

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    Dr. Don,

    Did you apply to Meharry? Your scores on the sciences are well above those for their matriculated applicants and they really like people who want to work with underserved populations. I think that you would stand a good shot there.
     
  18. mcatkitkat

    mcatkitkat Member

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    I think some adcoms are total slackers and want the easy way out by weeding out candidates based on numbers. Isn't it Stanford that lets a computer do the first round of weeding for them? Honestly you could be a total pointy elbowed jerk lacking any people skills and yet with super high MCATs and GPA you would have a decent shot at getting in. Adcoms that do this are compromising the crux of what makes medicine the rich profession that it is. Bottom line, I disagree that weeding out candidates based on numbers is justified based on the fact that there are "too many qualified" candidates. It's an easy way out of the complex admissions process. For all the money they get from us, they should be able to hire a couple more people and put some grease to their elbows and burn some midnight oil to give every candidate the consideration they derserve.
     
  19. UCLAMAN

    UCLAMAN Air Jordan Collector

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    They don't use a computer to weed everyone out. Only the people with really low stats get weeded out(bottom 1/3). The top 1/3 automatically get secondaries and the middle 1/3 gets reviewed by REAL ACTUAL PEOPLE. Whats with all of you people? You guys are all basing your arguments on the assumption that the majority of people with high gpas/mcat scores are snobby, rich, lazy, boring, people-skill deficient, unimaginative people who don't have the same desire as you to get into medical school and also lack any kind of qualities necessary to become a physician. Apparently there is some sort of law of diminishing returns where people with higher stats have less compassion, feelings, or heart than people with lower stats. The people that I've met that have scored 37+ and have 3.9+ happen to be very compassionate, caring, hard-working and interesting people that I would love to have as my physician.

    I'd argue what makes medicine rich is that they NOT ONLY take people with high gpas/mcats, BUT they also MAKE SURE(or at least try to[since people can BS just as much on their essays as much as they can in person]) that those people have qualities that make a physician good. THATS WHAT INTERVIEWS ARE FOR!

    So you mean to tell me that if you were an adcom member and you had two students who BOTH had amazing ECs that demonstrated a lot of heart and compassion and desire to become a physician that you would interview the one with the lower mcat/gpa? Wouldn't that be "compromising what makes medicine so rich?" I mean gees...they are both interesting and unique and awesome people but you can't interview both of them.

    Just my $0.02. Not trying to ruffle any feathers here. :) Before anyone thinks I'm some 4.0/40 guy, I'm not. I'm actually a 3.7 30 guy. Hardly a "super high MCAT score" and certainly not a 4.0.

    I wish everyone the best in this arduous and patience-testing process. Trust me...I know how frustrating it can be to not get in. Just don't assume the people that are getting into medical school are jacko's because they have a higher mcat/gpa than you.
     
  20. mcatkitkat

    mcatkitkat Member

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    Oh we can go on and on about this. Your response is well taken but I have to tell you there are schools out there that are number driven in their selection process; Interviews are a formality. Your comment about "the law of diminishing returns" is an exageration and generalizes the exception. There indeed are top candidates with the grades and the personalities that deserve to be selected. However, when it comes down to the comparison you made about the two students, yes it is unfortunate that the snob with higher scores gets selected over an average candidate with greater non-tangible qualities and a true passion to serve. This may pi$$ you off because you have a fair arguement but [email protected] it so do I (case in point, ME)! AND I AM VENTING; What better place to vent than SDN! I'm this close to starting my own medical school where every applicant gets an interview: On the phone, online and in person!! :laugh:
     
  21. Perseverant 1

    Perseverant 1 Senior Member

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    mcatkitkat is right! I have been working in this field for over five years and i can tell you alot about those who are accepted to med school. i am not trying to stereotype because i hope that one day i will get my chance, but let me tell you this application process selects for people with mangeled personalities. Lets face it, who gets in: those who have high numbers. And who has high numbers: for the most part, it is those individuals who put alot of effort into their education and less effort into social skills. So, that is why it seems like it is so difficult to communicate with physicians.....they never learned how to communicate before they become an MD. I am sure those of you who have some work experience will agree somewhat with this assessment. I am NOT trying to offend anyone, just my 2 cents.
     
  22. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

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    Funny thing is all the snobs/gunners I know have medium/avg MCAT/GPA, while most of the good guy/gal premeds I know have high stats.

    I think that just goes to show (combined with several peoples contrarian encounters) that you really can't tell someones personality based on stats.

    Most interviewers do attend to weed our the jerks. Some schools go as far as to test the applicant by giving him some interviewer that is purposely abrasive, in the hopes that they will bust out their true jerk persona. But ultimately, you can only know a person so well after an hour.

    I dont blame med schools for picking on stats predominantly, because interviews are too subjective. The interviewer themself might be very busy on one day and not give the applicant a fair chance.

    So ultimately, if you had to make me decide between admissions being dominated by either objective MCAT/GPA or subjective interview, 10 times out of 10 I would choose MCAT/GPA. For the same reasons you dont want a "snob with high scores" to get in, I dont want a "suck up, teachers pet, flirt" to get in just because they have no self-respect.

    Just my .02
     
  23. SouthernGirl

    SouthernGirl Senior Member

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    Why do y'all assume that it is impossible to have both social skills and high numbers??!? Get the chip off of your shoulder! And who cares if you have "demonstrated desire and compassion" if you can't cut it academically? :mad:
    Sorry to sound harsher than I usually do; I'm just sick and tired of this debate and of everyone who won't stop whining about the 3.9/36 jerks taking the spots from the lower-number saints. We all could have studied a little bit harder and worked a little bit more. But we didn't. So get to work improving what you can.
     
  24. mcatkitkat

    mcatkitkat Member

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    No soup for you in my medical school!
     
  25. UCLAMAN

    UCLAMAN Air Jordan Collector

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    Word. Instead of ripping on those with higher stats, focus your energy on how to improve your situation.
     
  26. UCLAMAN

    UCLAMAN Air Jordan Collector

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    lol...you're tight! :laugh:
     
  27. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

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    I would rather not attend your medical school if it involves me competing with other applicants on how good we are at sucking up to adcoms.

    Medicine is about rewarding those with the intelligence and desire to enter the field. If you want a field where all you have to do is suck up and make connections to get promoted, consider business.

    I too am growing weary of people assuming stats and personality are mutually exclusive. And I find it particularly funny when people say "oh they spend more time studying so they dont interact with people as much." Its called making sacrifices. If you arent willing to pass up getting wasted a couple weekends each semester to study, then do you really have what it takes to be committed to patient care?

    I have a feeling many of the people posting this anti-high stats BS has low-stats of their own, and those that are defending these high-stats people probably have decent stats themselves.

    But if people with poor stats need to tell themselves that personality and stats are mutually exclusive, I dont want to be the one to break the fragile bubble that is holding their psyche together.
     
  28. mcatkitkat

    mcatkitkat Member

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    I had diarrhea on the MCAT day :eek: (it had nothing to do with the soup) and still pulled a 26/ 3.8 GPA. Weed me out, won't you?!
     
  29. aquaboy

    aquaboy Surfer, sailor, swimmer!

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    Well if you could pull a 26 with that happening to you I'm pretty sure you can ace it if you are healthy. If you don't get in this year 1 year won't kill you. It might be in your best interest to take the MCAT again and then you can have a better shot. That's what I did and I have 4 interviews this year (Aug. MCATer) compared to my 1 all of last year. I know it sucks that schools weed applicants out based on MCAT but that's the way it is. My theory is, if we can't chaneg the system then if we are committed to medicine and being a physician is our goal then we need to conform and give the schools what they are asking for; improved MCAT, GPA, EC's, whatever.:(
     
  30. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

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    I dont want to weed you out.

    I just want people to stop assuming that just because people score well doesnt mean they have no personality.

    I bet if you went to talk to med school prospectives for a full day, and then at the end of the day had to guess their MCATs to within +/- 1, you would get no more than 20% right. Personality has nothing to do with stats. Some people with great stats are jerks. Some are the nicest people you meet. Some people with horrible stats are the nicest people you will meet, and others are jerks. You might as well use their height as a measure of their personality, because it might turn out to be more accurate than the MCAT/GPA is.
     
  31. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member

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    Stop whining. Everyone knows how this process is from the very beginning. It's no surprise what they pick applicants on, so get over it and work with the system.

    Gleevec is right. MCAT/GPA and one's social abilities are as correlated as height is to the above. I'm one of those "evil" 36/3.9 people (3.98 to be exact) but I never was a grade grubber and can't stand people who are. I'd rather earn my grades thank you. And I'm in a sorority and on the exec board. I party hardy on the weekends and suck it up and study my butt off during the week. I live with 80 women so please don't tell me I have no social skills. So stop complaining and do what needs to be done to improve yourself! No one is keeping you down but you.
     
  32. mcatkitkat

    mcatkitkat Member

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  33. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, med schools do heavily rely on numbers, and people often do not find out until it is too late. It is always good to keep your hope up but just have to realize that all the "well-roundedness" crap is part of med school propaganda and for every 3.3/27 person who gets in, there are 10 with 3.8/38 who also get in.

    Many people with 3.8/36+ are gunners and they do not let up their intensity even when they enter med schools. Some of them really do not have any hobby outside of studying. They also get very stressed out before exams. Be aware... you will see lots of them in med schools. That's the reality of things.
     
  34. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member

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    We've already discussed the application fee thing in another thread. They don't make that much money off of them, and they probably actually lose money in the process. It takes a lot more resources than you're giving them credit for to go through applications.

    As for the numbers thing, Stanford is 1/3,1/3,1/3, so you're not totally accurate. But besides that MCAT/GPA is a good predictor. I don't know why you're assuming that people with high scores are necessarily jerks.
     
  35. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member

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    ha! you probably are a high-stats guy who's trying to hide his true jack-ass personality. no use hiding, youre just like the rest of 'em. :laugh:
     
  36. galen

    galen Senior Member

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    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
    Oh yeah--that really sounds likely. Ask thousands of premeds to send you $75 + secondary. See if they are over 34 MCAT or urm and if not --chuck it and cash the check. How could any college not make money on this????:confused: :confused:
    BTW--just cause u discussed this in a past thread does not necess mean u are right...::rolleyes:
     
  37. galen

    galen Senior Member

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    Also--If the colleges were truly fair about this they would not send out secondaries to people whom they have absolutely no intention of interviwing based on their AMSCAM numbers. Or they would return the secondary with the money and say "sorry, you do not meet our minimum requirements." True they may spend some time discriminating amongst the very high scorers--but why should the regular applicants finance this?
    :rolleyes:
     
  38. AlternateSome1

    AlternateSome1 Burnt Out
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    If the student researched the statistics of the college and took the time to find out if the school screened for secondaies, they might not have bothered to "finance" the process, right?

    On another note...if you want to judge people soley based upon their interview performance, you might want to consider that one of the clinical features of antisocial personality disorder is an ability to use charm and glibness to exploit people. Just a point to ponder before you associate social skills with good intentions.

    ~AS1~
     
  39. batman123

    batman123 Senior Member

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    I would think that doing well in school/ on the MCAT would reflect a great desire to become a physician: it shows that you have worked as hard as you have because you truly desire to become a good physician.
     
  40. bafanculo

    bafanculo Member

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    I called Tulane being rejected and the director of admissions was very straightforward and told me, "I know you have excellent EC's and good LOR's, but so do 3,000 other applicants with better numbers than you.".....I think he made a lot of sense. If you have students all with good EC's and LOR's than the only thing left to distinguish who gets interviewed are their numbers...particularly the MCAT because that is the only marker that can directly see where an applicant stands in regard to their peers.
     
  41. galen

    galen Senior Member

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    No, because the schools do not publish any minimum qualifications--nor should they because this would poss discourage the urms&disadvantaged from applying.
    I think it is a scam when a secondary is sent out by a school, a premed fills it out and mails it in with$75+and a rejection comes back two days later --before anyone even read the secondary. The college should in all honesty return the money and the secondary--IMO anything else is wrong, bordering on a scam.
    BTW-- The second part of your statement I do agree with.;)
     
  42. AT747

    AT747 Junior Member

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    Although interpersonal skills, the desire to help others, and true motivation for medicine are extremely important, having a decent MCAT/ GPA is equally important, too. I can understand if an applicant has a low GPA or MCAT. But I don't see any reasons for having BOTH a low GPA and a low MCAT. I can understand if the applicant's GPA is not as good as other applicants' due to factors that is beyond his control (ex. working 40hrs while attending school as full-time student inorder to support his family, the death of a family member, divorce, etc. ). I can also understand if ONLY his MCAT scores are not as good as others but has a good GPA. May be he had a bad day or may be he wasn't really prepared for it. But It's hard for me to accept the fact that a person with low GPA and low MCAT scores can survive the rigorous work of med school. What if you made it to med school but couldn't survive the academic load? Do you want to waste $60,000 and at the end of the 2nd year find out that the academic committee is not gonna give you another chance of taking the same class again? I'm not trying to discourage you. May be life has something even better for you that you not aware of it.

    PS. If I sounded rude plz accept my apology in advance and forgive me.
     
  43. Yo Dr. Don,

    I feel your pain brother. Never give up, my man! Just remember this summer and don't forget you have wings. Keep flying high and know that you have a fellow eagle to surport you.

    summer eagle.
    aka: double c:)
     

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