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Pre-Med Attrition

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by IWant2BeADoctor, May 3, 2007.

  1. IWant2BeADoctor

    IWant2BeADoctor License to Matriculate 2+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    What Percentage of Pre-Meds do you think actually make it to Med school?

    Four of my friends are Pre-Meds declared themselves Pre-Med during their Freshman/Sophomore year. Of those 2 decided that Med school wasn't for them because of GPA issues. One hasn't mad up his mind yet about Med school even though he's a Junior with a 4.0 at an Ivy League school and the other is planning to retake his MCAT.

    So based on personal experiences I'd say Pre-Med attrition is around 50%.

    As for me I'm not sure. I still have over a year before I apply.
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  3. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    50%? :laugh: try more like 90%. Half the pre-meds at my school were history after gen chem, another half were gone after organic, those remaining took the MCAT, half of those people apply to med school, and only half of those people get in.
  4. alwaysaangel

    alwaysaangel 5+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Orange, CA
    I think its probably higher than that - of the people who entered chem, o-chem and physics claiming "pre-med" at least 60-75% of them disapear by the time you get to O-chem 2 and Physics 2 (at least at my school).

    Then remember that of those who apply only 50% get accepted (some may reapply).

    So how many freshman "pre-meds" make it to medical school within 5 years (to account for the increasing number of people who voluntarily take a year off), I'd guess its less 15%
  5. armybound

    armybound future urologist. Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    freshman year attrition may be 50%. especially when frat/sorority rush comes around
  6. emaj1n

    emaj1n M1 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    I've read in several places that just under 50% of applicants actually matriculate.

    Of course, this doesn't account for the freshmen who start as pre-meds and then end up never applying.

    Make sure you know medicine is for you before you apply. All the applications, essays, money, and stress that goes into applying isn't for the lighthearted.
  7. schooltill30

    schooltill30 Doctor Acula 2+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    My school recently made gen chem a prereq for bio 1. I have a sneaking suspicion that of people started premed with bio, didn't find it so difficult, and then crashed when gen chem came along. This way, they can get all of the lazy people out of premed before they can even take bio. Maybe to show them that Science is really difficult, and a lot of it is math and critical thinking, not just rote memorization. I know my gen chem class this semester started with around 200 people, and shrunk to less than 100 by finals. How often does that happen in freshman bio 1?
  8. degoo_

    degoo_ 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    I think this is correct
  9. LifetimeDoc

    LifetimeDoc EM Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    90% of pre-meds make it? I think not!
  10. arsenewenger

    arsenewenger 2+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    If this makes u feel good, then your life sucks!

    seriously, who else sits down to think about pre-med attrition rate,why do you want to know?

  11. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    No - he said 90% "attrition" from freshman year to med school. Sounds about right to me. Maybe 1 in 10 people who show up to college on day 1 thinking about med school actually end up there. The science classes take care of a lot of them. Finding other interests takes care of many more -- i.e. what you wanted at 17 might not be what you wanted at 20. And then of those that actually apply, only half get accepted. Lots of big cuts before you can make this team.
  12. schooltill30

    schooltill30 Doctor Acula 2+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    You also have factor in the people who just decoded they just didn't want to do medicine, much like someone who thinks they want to be a writer and ends up doing history. With regard to those people, it isn't a reflection on the difficulty of premed, just a typical undergrad process. I'd say at least 20% of the dropouts are for that reason and not because they're lazy.
  13. Falco2525

    Falco2525 5+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 2006
    At my school 300 begin...20 end up applying...16 get 6-7% or so survive and do not change their minds
  14. paranoid_eyes

    paranoid_eyes 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    the attrition rate is exceptionally high. if you're at ucla, practically the whole incoming class is premed (im talking like 2-3 THOUSAND premeds). After gen chem, half of them are gone. After Ochem and Life science there are may be a thousand left. 600-700 end up applying (half of them know they have no chance) and a couple hundred make it in. It is RIDICULOUS.
  15. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007

    Ain't that a bitch? Seriously us Californians are ridiculous competitive assholes. Its the same here at Cal.
  16. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    Approx. 1000 start-->approx. 400 apply (only half of which are traditional applicants).
  17. SB100

    SB100 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    I agree w/ the 90%. My school starts with two classes of gen chem w/ about 200 students total. By senior year only 25-30 actually apply.
  18. spospo

    spospo Going to extremes 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    The 'kane
    my freshmen year, there were about 40 pre-meds. I can't tell you numbers along the way, but only 3 of us ended up applying. All of us got in (yay!). My school has only about 1400 undergrad though. Many of those who decided to not continue along the medical line are either going to grad school or dental school.
  19. MattD

    MattD Curmudgeon 7+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    I've always held that gen chem should be a pre-req for bio I anyway. Do you know what they first week of Bio 1 was for me? Highly educational topics like 'The molecular structure of water' and hydrogen bonding. Oh yeah, and a review of the periodic table! Seriously, just make chem a pre-req.
  20. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student 7+ Year Member

    On a PBS special on med school training, they said 90% of freshmen who declare they have intentions of doing medical school will NOT make it to medical school. This includes those that change their mind, don't get in etc.

    At my undergrad, I think half, about 600 enter declaring premed, then less than half drop by end of freshmen year. There will be a smaller drop after sophomore year after organic. Then the MCAT may weed out a few more. At the end, we have about about 250 who get in. I think our school sees a high success rate into med school, but they really try hard to weed you out so the pool becomes very self-selecting near the end.

    Nationwide, I think this is pretty standard (although percentages may vary). Many, many people come in declaring premed, and most will find other, more interesting things to do. But that goes for many areas of study, not just medicine. 18 year olds are finicky like that.
  21. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student 7+ Year Member

    Really??? We had stuff on Na/K pumps the first week in our freshmen bio. Are you sure it wasn't baby bio that you took?
  22. postbacker

    postbacker Banned Banned

    Mar 27, 2007
    I had never given much thought to how many successful applicants any one college might have to med school, but you are saying that your college has 250 students "get in" to med school in a typical year? Seems like a very high number to me for any one college, but again, I haven't really thought it there a source for this kind of info?
  23. Not a centralized one. Schools with a pre-health committee (most everywhere, these days) generally publish their results at the end of the year. I know in about August my schools sends out a thing saying "X number of kinds applied to Med School, Y got it. A number of kids applied to dental school, B got in..."
    Then again, of the years I've known people, we generally get maybe 25 MD applicants a year, 5-10 Bioish PhD applicants (not counting the Chem and Physics PhDs), 3-5 Dental applicants, and 5-7 NP or PA applicants, all from an undergrad class of ~450 and maybe 100 Bio/Chem/Physics majors. Of these people, generally every non MD applicant gets in and maybe one MD applicant won't get in.

    But yes, the "pre-med" census drops a lot over four years, which makes sense.
  24. MattD

    MattD Curmudgeon 7+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    Yup. All that junk was just leading in to membrane behavior and whatnot. I'm not saying we spent a full hour discussing the intricacies of 2 Hs binding to an O :) The periodic table review was a little much though.
  25. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    attrition = not making it
  26. LifetimeDoc

    LifetimeDoc EM Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    Yes...I'm an idiot...that was clarified by someone earlier.:laugh: :p :lol:
  27. postbac25

    postbac25 2+ Year Member

    May 4, 2007
    Princeton, NJ
    I was totally one of those freshman pre-med wannabes who sold out for a history major in the middle of orgo sophmore year. But if i could do it all over, I would not have changed a thing. I just finished my post-bac and I will apply to schools this year.

    So I guess it doesn't matter what path you take as long as you get there with a smile on your face!
  28. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
    Totally dpends on what you mean by pre-med. It would be less than 10% if you consider freshman pre-meds at the state universities I've attended.

    Keep in mind, though, that there are a lot of engineers and science people who switch to the medical track after they've aced organic and physics.

    If you don't call someone a pre-med until they're applying, then about half make it if you include osteo given my experience.
  29. ssquared

    ssquared Member 2+ Year Member

    At my school, I'd say about 800 incoming freshmen claim to be the time application season comes around, I'd say maybe about 50 have survived. Of the 50, we usually have around 40 get in. If that. So that's what, 95% attrition? Dang. At my school, it's the intro bio sequence that does them in, along with the requirement that we take organic chemistry freshman year (yeah, always a good idea to stick freshman into bio, orgo, and calc at the same time....)

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