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Poll: Secondaires to Everyone or screen people before giving out secondaries?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by medicine2006, Oct 9, 2002.

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Is it better for schools to screen applicants before handing out secondaries?

  1. Yes, only give those who are qualified and have a chance the secondary.

    89 vote(s)
    89.0%
  2. No, just give me the secondary and I'll give you a check and a 2x2 photo of myself.

    11 vote(s)
    11.0%
  1. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    What do guys think about this?
     
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  2. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    People you have to respone sometimes or else this poll will drop off of the first page. Need more votes.
     
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  3. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    It's in good interest for med schools to give secondaries to everyone: They get more money!

    But that's not the only purpose. Secondaries do serve to differentiate people in some way, shape, or form. You never know who's going to come up with something good, so it could be a good policy to give them to everyone. Hell, a good secondary could help you if you have a not as strong MCAT/GPA.
     
  4. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    What you are saying is true. But let me add this element to the discussion. The ADCOM is busy enough reading through letter of rec, transcripts, personal statements, meetings. If they now had to read more secondaries that is less time they spend evaluating each candidate. Clearly someone with GPA and MCATs more than a standard deviation below their average is not competitive so why waste the time of the ADCOM?
     
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  5. Street Philosopher

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    personally i want schools to screen as much as possible and save everyone a lot of time and money. same goes for interviews. if i'm going to fly across the country, i want a decent shot at getting in.
     
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  6. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    Aren't these adcoms pretty big? They can get less experienced adcom members to read through lesser applications, and the big wigs can flip through the ones more in their range. I'd imagine not too many of the lesser applications get bumped up, but some of them would. There's lots of skimming involved, but if they can find a good applicant, they're not wasting their time.
     
  7. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    hmm, interesting RA - I would have done it the other way round if I were running the show - got the less experienced to review the ones that were likely "yes" unless some really obvious red flag came up, and have the more experienced adcoms who knew what the school was looking for review the more borderline ones as these ones need better consideration.... ;)

    Thankfully, thats not my job!
     
  8. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member
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    I agree 100%. I don't want to spend $60 and spend a lot of time carefully answering the secondary questions if I don't have a chance anyway.
     
  9. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    I think my rationale is that it's harder to differentiate between people who are clustered at the top, but easier to tell a standout who has slightly lower stats? It depends on whether they're taking all the people clustered at the top or not.
     
  10. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    bump
     
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  11. Ninjaboy

    Ninjaboy Taneuma
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    Though your essays could distinguish you as a person and help clarify more points in your application, it's not worth your money or the Adcom's time if they will automatically reject you prior to an interview because of a low MCAT or GPA. I'd rather not turn in a secondary when they will reject me regardless of what I put in the secondary.
     
  12. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member
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    Ok this might be a bit self-motivated but here goes. I think that they all should offer secondaries for the following reasons

    1) Asume that as an undergrad you didnt have your prioritries straight (i.e. research before courses (though you learned the material well enough to do B+ ish work and understood it at a level superior to most of those in the class, graduating early to minimize financial burden, etc.)

    2) Now, since school screen ONLY on undergrad GPA, any work done in addition to your undergrad portofolio is lost UNTIL a secondary is submitted (i.e. grad GPA of near 4.0, many publications, an MS or PhD from a top program, additional ECs)

    Anyhow, I know I'll catch flak... but I think that you have to be egalitarian in the admissions process because a 4.0/45 does not make a good doctor-- neither does going to a top, top, program guarantee that honor as well. It comes completely from within, the spirt, the soul, the humanistic nature that drives the compassionate giving of care under adverse situations. Of course the mental facilities MUST be present to absorb, comprehend, and synthesize the vast amounts of information needed to become a physician-- and to this GPA and MCAT does bare a strong correlation-- but it cannot be used in absentcia of mitigating factors that either add or detract from these facilities.

    The goal is to educate and mould the best doctors possible-- not the smartest-- not the best test-takers-- not the grade grubbers-- not the cheaters (of which I have caught several as a TA)-- the best possible doctors who will give completely of themselves to make it possible for people to go on through their most dire and desperate moments.

    Anyhow. I shall go now...

    C
     
  13. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member
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    mould = mold

    oops :)
     
  14. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member
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    I just wanted to point out that the primary application (AMCAS) does provide more information that just GPA and MCAT score. It also has your statement and your post-secondary experiences. So, medical schools can use this to screen the applications before they send out secondaries. Some schools' secondaries consist of little more than a request for LORs and a check. So screening does not have to equal MCAT/GPA only, although I realize that a lot of screening is just these two factors because it takes less time.
     
  15. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member
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    I understand that... but the sad fact remains that the "screening " process of most schools that do screen is a uGPA/MCAT formula.

    IF you assume that schools "screen" by reading the entire AMCAS then decide what to do; it is equally efficient then to allow a potentially foolhearty applicant to send in the secondary and LORs and then the school can review a complete picture... Yet if the school only uses a numbers based screen then that definately eliminates many potentially brilliant med students because of an arbitrary stystem.

    Medicine is a science and an art. The science aspect says you take numbers and analyze them and that will give you a clean cut answer. The art part has to deal with the fact that you cannot solely quantitatively judge the attributes of great doctors with a number. I agree that numbers are important, but I feel that there is room to change and to make the system better.

    How about this for a solution... screening but AMCAS requires LORs AND that the school use the entire application in its evaluation.

    I have gotten several secondaries from schools who "screen" and a few rejections... So I'm not writing from a bitter stand point. And arguing for change right now does nothing to benefit my application-- I am just waxing philisophical...

    C
     
  16. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    well said, uclachris. :)

    coming from a girl who has (so far) been rejected by 1/3 of the schools she applied to, i appreciate any screening effort by the adcoms that will save me some money. i'd rather be rejected pre-secondary than after i've already spent $75 and 3 days working on an essay. :rolleyes:
     
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  17. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member
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    I think having AMCAS do LORs would be a good idea. The only problem I see with it that AMCAS doesn't have the best reputation right now, but if they improve it would be nice to be able to use AMCAS to distribute LORs.

    I understand the school's position that if they are going to screen they will just do it on GPA/MCAT because they want to get your money if they are going to spend more time on it. I would like them to screen the entire application before I send them a check and spend more time on essays, but I understand that is not realistic.
     
  18. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler
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    My thoughts exactly. Besides, if I don't have a chance, I want to find out right away--not after hard work trying to find a typewriter to fit the secondary essay in and $50-$100.
     
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  19. ColumbiaMPH

    ColumbiaMPH Member
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    I think this argument seems a bit silly. Every applicant would like to know that, when s/he pays to have an admissions committee look at their application, s/he will have a fighting chance of getting in. However, from a solely economic standpoint, it's not feasible to screen every application before sending a secondary. Some schools get twice as many AMCAS applications as secondary applications. Screening would mean that they would have to pay someone (thus costing them time and money) to review a few thousand applications for people who won't fill out the secondary anyway. The same goes with interviews: many accepted applicants will reject offers, and schools need to account for that.

    The fact of the matter is that reviewing these applications requires an investment of money to pay the admissions committee. The money has to come from somewhere, and what are the alternatives? Considering the cost of medical education these days, med students aren't going to be happy to know that they are subsidizing the review of applications for people who aren't qualified or won't even send back the secondaries. If you want the chance to get it, you should be the one to incur the expenses.

    I'm not saying that I wouldn't like to know that I would at least get an interview for every check that I write out for a secondary and at least get on the waiting list for every time that I bought a plane ticket to fly across the country. Nor am I saying that I agree that it costs a school $100 for a school to review my application. I just don't think that it's practical to assume that schools should have to pay for us to apply for admission.
     

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