It's not as random as people would like it to be. The med schools know exactly what they are doing and what they are looking for. Since there is some subjectivity involve (as there is with anything involving humans) there appears to be some randomness to the situation. Of couse some of it is luck and depending on how someone is feeling when they see your application or if you have a connection or did something that really connects to the person reviewing your stuff to make them want to look further into you.
generally predictable. is that straddling the fence? i think that applicant demographics play a part in admissions, even with private schools. if former students from a particular undergrad have typically done well, then i'm sure that bodes well for anyone from that school.
also, i think a school would want to admit an applicant that they feel will more likely matriculate. thats why a school like BU would probably interview a 3.5 31 rutgers over a 3.9 38 Harvard. its also why u have a better shot at NYU iif ur from tristate/ New england vs. ohio.
Freudian types might say that growing up isn't random. I wouldn't venture into speculating if life was random.
Med school application...not random. If it were random there would be as many people w/ mcat scores of 25 getting in as those with mcat scores of 35...same w/ 3.00s and 4.00s. This is assuming the averages are 30 and 3.5 and that the proposed randomness involves a large enough sample size to create a bell curve.
It may seem random to the SDN communit because SDN appears to be made up of the 99th percentile slice of the med school applicant community.
I don't think that by "random" these people are trying to say that monkeys will sometimes get into Stanford by drawing names out of a hat. It's just that no matter how qualified you are, you can't know what stupid little thing made your final decision.