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My Pre-Med Advisor told me not to bother applying and I was accepted to my top choice school!

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ballet01

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Since the 21-22 application cycle is opening up, I thought I'd share my experience from the last cycle. Last app cycle I met with my pre-med advisor to ask what I could do in lieu of clinical experience (COVID made it very difficult for a non-trad).

Anyway, I was told I had too few hours of relevant clinical experience, therefore my personal statement would be lacking because there would be nothing to talk about; told that I was applying too late; told that my GPA was too low; told that there would be more qualified applicants, and was denied a committee letter due to aforementioned reasons.

Well...I was accepted to my top choice school!

As you are applying this cycle do not let anyone stand in your way! Best of luck to you all and if you've ever been told something similar, you're probably more than qualified to be applying!
 
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proudofmykids

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Congratulations. I have found most premed advisors at school are too conservative.
My guess is that you had still solid numbers and one or more other hooks in your app.
 
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Ms Procrastinator

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Since the 21-22 application cycle is opening up, I thought I'd share my experience from the last cycle. Last app cycle I met with my pre-med advisor to ask what I could do in lieu of clinical experience (COVID made it very difficult for a non-trad).

Anyway, I was told I had too few hours of relevant clinical experience, therefore my personal statement would be lacking because there would be nothing to talk about; told that I was applying too late; told that my GPA was too low; told that there would be more qualified applicants, and was denied a committee letter due to aforementioned reasons.

Well...I was accepted to my top choice school!

As you are applying this cycle do not let anyone stand in your way! Best of luck to you all and if you've ever been told something similar, you're probably more than qualified to be applying!
What did you use in lieu of a committee letter? Did schools bring it up?
 

theendisnigh

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Similar story, pretty much avoided my pre-med advisor by my junior year because she made me feel ashamed of my grades. Accepted to a T30 this year. Agree with the above that pre-med advisors can be too conservative.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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My kid’s premed advisor gave excellent advice and predicted that he will get into T5 school my kid PTEd but one adcom here said he was aiming too high since he had only 100+ clinical hours. As I said before he got more interviews and acceptances from T10s. So every one has their own biases. Use MSAR to come up with school list and run it by FAHA and you should be fine.
 
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LunaOri

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I had a similar experience (many years ago). Was denied a committee letter because I had graduated a few years before and wasn’t officially premed as an undergrad. I was also told by one of my interviewers at my top choice school that he would recommend that I not be accepted because my career goals didn’t match the school’s mission. Long story short, I was accepted there and at several other schools.
 
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ballet01

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OP, you are data point # 4,994,762,629,282,664 that most pre-med advisors are absolute idiots.
I know! I was just hoping to give some encouragement :) I was pretty upset after my meeting with him (he also used the phrase "you're SOL and wasting your time and money"), but trudged my way through. Another student may be told this, take it at face value, and not apply. I was hoping this post would help boost some morale since its the start of the cycle. :)
 
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RJ McReady

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My advisor at WashU was worthless. As was the entire pre-med advising process there. And yeah, I’m calling you out , WashU!
 
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RJ McReady

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3.6 GPA; 505 MCAT; 50 clinical hours; 1000+ hours of undergraduate research with several publications
Are you going to a DO or MD school? Only asking bc that MCAT is low for MD school and if that is the case your advisor may not have been terribly wrong in discouraging you from applying to MD schools.
 
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KnightDoc

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Are you going to a DO or MD school? Only asking bc that MCAT is low for MD school and if that is the case your advisor may not have been terribly wrong in discouraging you from applying to MD schools.
Nice call! Check the post history. Maybe a touch misleading in a pre-med MD forum?

IMHO, the biggest disconnect is the belief that the advisors work for us rather than for the school. Understanding that reality will lead to an awareness that they are really gatekeepers more than advocates, and their function is to help the school keep its stats up by discouraging anyone who isn't a strong candidate from taking a shot, in addition to helping us navigate the process.

It sucks, and requires you to take matters into your own hands and be your own advocate, but, it's also hard to blame them for not encouraging everyone to take their shot when UG admissions are so competitive and the school wants/needs to sell itself to prospective students.

Encouraging people with a 10% shot to take it will screw up their stats when other schools screen those people out. Knowing what your odds are and beating them is totally awesome, but it's hard to blame a limited resources advising office for not encouraging it.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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My advisor at WashU was worthless. As was the entire pre-med advising process there. And yeah, I’m calling you out , WashU!
Surprised that school like WashU had such a bad premed advising. My kid's school is similarly ranked but has great premed office.
 

theendisnigh

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Nice call! Check the post history. Maybe a touch misleading in a pre-med MD forum?

IMHO, the biggest disconnect is the belief that the advisors work for us rather than for the school. Understanding that reality will lead to an awareness that they are really gatekeepers more than advocates, and their function is to help the school keep its stats up by discouraging anyone who isn't a strong candidate from taking a shot, in addition to helping us navigate the process.

It sucks, and requires you to take matters into your own hands and be your own advocate, but, it's also hard to blame them for not encouraging everyone to take their shot when UG admissions are so competitive and the school wants/needs to sell itself to prospective students.

Encouraging people with a 10% shot to take it will screw up their stats when other schools screen those people out. Knowing what your odds are and beating them is totally awesome, but it's hard to blame a limited resources advising office for not encouraging it.
Had a similar MCAT and was also accepted to an MD institution.

The problem really isn't that they degrade us for our stats, but that pre-med advisors don't consider holistic factors that some med schools do care about when they accept people like OP or myself. I don't care if my stats are subpar, if the rest of my file looks gorgeous, I've been a strong student of theirs, and I spend four years in their pre-med program, then by gosh they should be an advocate for me in the areas that look strong. They're not adcoms, they're current professors/advisors who can attest to our strengths.
 
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Ms Procrastinator

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Are you going to a DO or MD school? Only asking bc that MCAT is low for MD school and if that is the case your advisor may not have been terribly wrong in discouraging you from applying to MD schools.
OP says they were accepted into their top choice so I take it they didn't settle. They knew what they were doing when they applied. Perhaps OP had no intention of going MD. There is a good chance OP told their advisor their plan was to apply DO and they were still discouraged. I follow someone on social media who was told she was wasting her time applying to med school and she got into Harvard. I think the point OP is trying to make is that a lot premed advisors try to discourage applicants with less than stellar stats when the applicants genuinely have a shot.
 
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KnightDoc

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Had a similar MCAT and was also accepted to an MD institution.

The problem really isn't that they degrade us for our stats, but that pre-med advisors don't consider holistic factors that some med schools do care about when they accept people like OP or myself. I don't care if my stats are subpar, if the rest of my file looks gorgeous, I've been a strong student of theirs, and I spend four years in their pre-med program, then by gosh they should be an advocate for me in the areas that look strong. They're not adcoms, they're current professors/advisors who can attest to our strengths.
AGREED!!!!! But, it's not going to happen. You have to advocate for yourself. Their mandate is to protect the institution. If the national acceptance rate is 42%, they are just not going to encourage people with a statistical 32% chance of success to become part of their reported pool.

It is what it is. Complaining about it isn't going to change it, particularly when they can't stop you from applying anyway.
 
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mmchick

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I swear pre-med advisors are explicitly trained to tell people not to apply to medical schools to avoid risking low numbers of matriculants from their programs. They're probably also told that people who will pursue it enough to be successful will ignore their advice anyway so what's the harm in discouraging people who are more pliable with it.
 
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ballet01

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Nice call! Check the post history. Maybe a touch misleading in a pre-med MD forum?

IMHO, the biggest disconnect is the belief that the advisors work for us rather than for the school. Understanding that reality will lead to an awareness that they are really gatekeepers more than advocates, and their function is to help the school keep its stats up by discouraging anyone who isn't a strong candidate from taking a shot, in addition to helping us navigate the process.

It sucks, and requires you to take matters into your own hands and be your own advocate, but, it's also hard to blame them for not encouraging everyone to take their shot when UG admissions are so competitive and the school wants/needs to sell itself to prospective students.

Encouraging people with a 10% shot to take it will screw up their stats when other schools screen those people out. Knowing what your odds are and beating them is totally awesome, but it's hard to blame a limited resources advising office for not encouraging it.
Yes, I agree. I applied to a DO school, and originally posted this in the DO forum. I was alerted a few hours later that it got moved here. (I'm relatively new to the forum, so if there is an option to move it back I am not sure how)

On another note, he knew my intentions of which programs I was applying to from the very beginning. With that, I feel that the same information could probably be applied to an MD scenario.
 
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chemdoctor

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Similar story, pretty much avoided my pre-med advisor by my junior year because she made me feel ashamed of my grades. Accepted to a T30 this year. Agree with the above that pre-med advisors can be too conservative.

Congrats OP! And Congrats to you too! I stopped going to premed advisor meetings many years ago lol. My school did have one awesome premed advisor who I talked to. He was very kind
 
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deleted1066189

my pre-med advisor told me I was dead in the water for MD, but fine for DO (and the caribbean...)
 

mmchick

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my pre-med advisor told me I was dead in the water for MD, but fine for DO (and the caribbean...)

Likewise. Told first semester into sophomore year there was no way I'd ever build a competitive enough academic record considering my first couple intro science courses freshman year didn't go better than Bs (so what made me think I could perform any better?) lol.
 
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deleted1066189

Did you apply to any MD?
yeah. Used Faha's school list which was foolishly optimistic, applied to 18 MDs. Got rejected by every MD school except a post interview waitlist from a newer in-state school.

SDN has a reputation of being pessimistic, but that was a moment of optimism that hurt my wallet, time and energy.
 
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PapaGuava

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Since the 21-22 application cycle is opening up, I thought I'd share my experience from the last cycle. Last app cycle I met with my pre-med advisor to ask what I could do in lieu of clinical experience (COVID made it very difficult for a non-trad).

Anyway, I was told I had too few hours of relevant clinical experience, therefore my personal statement would be lacking because there would be nothing to talk about; told that I was applying too late; told that my GPA was too low; told that there would be more qualified applicants, and was denied a committee letter due to aforementioned reasons.

Well...I was accepted to my top choice school!

As you are applying this cycle do not let anyone stand in your way! Best of luck to you all and if you've ever been told something similar, you're probably more than qualified to be applying!
Congratulations my friend!
 

DrAmazingishere

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OP, you are data point # 4,994,762,629,282,664 that most pre-med advisors are absolute idiots.

this is so true, many years ago my premed committee at my college refused to back me, said I didnt have enough classes/experience and that I wouldnt survive medical school.

apparently they were wrong. completely wrong. most of them are out of touch with things. medical school is all about work ethic, if you have that you can do well period.
 
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Doc_Ock

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99% of these advisors are idiots and have no idea what they're talking about.
 
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