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Refusing to settle!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MDPrincess, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. MDPrincess

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    Is there anyone else out there who is only applying to their top choices? Everyone always says they just want to get into any school that accepts them. All my friends act like I'm crazy for not having "safeties", but personally, I don't think you should settle for a school you don't really want to go to. I know you're supposed to apply broadly, etc., but I feel that if I don't get into my top choices that I can re-apply again. I'm taking a risk, but I just don't see myself spending 4 years miserable.
     
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  3. Charles English

    Charles English faithless, the wonderboy
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    personally , i am one of those 'i'm going where i get accepted" kind of peoples, but you go princess! somebody has to take a stand! how many are your top choice(s)? three? four?
    what are they, if i may intrude?

    Harvard, WashU? or are they your top because of location?

    plus it will save you big $$ come application time and interviews.

    pave the way princess!! :thumbup:
     
  4. seraph524

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    You are hardcore.
     
  5. njbmd

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    You reapply and you still don't get into your "top choice". Even better, you get into your "top choice" and find yourself hating life. The question is, do you want to become a physician or are you just interested in getting into medical school? Medical school is a very small part of becoming a physician and in the long run (say 20 years from now), you won't remember much about your medical school other than that you attended there. Think about how much your primary school (elementary) affects your life now; my guess is, that it's very little. As long as you get into medical school in the U.S., there is very little difference between schools other than location and cost. The "misery" part is largely in your mind.
     
  6. Concubine

    Concubine PDE5 inhibited
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    I applied broadly and I'm sure glad I did. The schools I considered "safety" ended up not being safe at all while the schools I never expected to get into came through. Applying to medical school is a crapshoot and if you are ok with the risks of only applying to your top choices, then do it.
     
  7. xxbruinxx

    xxbruinxx Senior Member
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    It's not about settling for a school. It's about securing an acceptance (if there's even such a thing). Have you already gone through the application process? If you have, then you know how time-demanding, expensive, and nerve-wracking it can be...apps, secondary apps, letters of rec., interviews, etc.

    Reapplying is not something you can "just do"...schools take this into account, and look to see what you've done differently (something significant). It's not as simple a process as you make it sound.

    Also, what, in your mind/opinion, characterizes a school as your top choice? I think you should really look at these reasons (as I'm sure you have) and think about if this is worth not getting in the first time. You'll get a great education and an MD no matter where you go...don't let pride/ego/trivial reasons get in the way of that.

    I know people who won't apply to USC b/c they're "bruins at heart"...that makes no sense to me. Or, for example, won't apply to the mid-west because of weather. These seem trivial to me...but I suppose to each his/her own.

    In any case, best of luck!
     
  8. ejay286

    ejay286 Member
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    This has been a big thing for me, considering most of my "safety" schools are HBCUs, and quite honestly I've never been attracted to HBCUs. Didn't go to one for undergrad and I really would rather attend my state school than go to one but if one of them are the only ones that accept me then I really have no other choice. Beggars can't be choosers, especially in a process like this.

    Disclaimer: This is in no way saying HBCUs won't make me fully prepared for being a physician.
     
  9. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats
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    I think the 45% of applicants last year who didn't get accepted anywhere would argue that getting into medical school period is hardly "settling." It's quite an accomplishment in its own right.
     
  10. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Well, half of all applicants won't get into med school. If you limit your odds to only competitive schools, you increase the chances that you will be one of the unlucky half. We have had some stellar stat type people on SDN who didn't get into med school in their first cycle because they applied foolishly only to a handful of top schools. In the end that's not where they ended up, and it cost them a year and an extra round of application fees to find this out.

    And reapplicants are at a disadvantage in this process. Some schools look at them differently, sort their applications into different piles. Most schools require substantial improvements in their application before they get considered. So it's not like you lose nothing if you don't get in the first time. According to some adcoms, at some schools, you do. This process benefits those folks who apply once, timely and to a well selected grouping. You want to apply widely and broadly.

    And what makes you think you are going to be more miserable at a "safety" school? The folks who end up miserable in med school very possibly would anywhere. med school is hard and grueling and you feel isolated at times. What makes it bearable is not the school name, but the people and the location. And I don't know of any ranking of these factors you can look at.

    Just a bad idea. Rethink this.
     
  11. MDPrincess

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    To answer some questions:

    I'm applying only to CA schools so I don't think it's too much of a reach. I just don't really see myself living anywhere else even if it's only 4 yrs.

    This will be my first time applying.

    I do want to become a physician, it's not just about going to medical school. I feel it's important to be happy at the medical school you end up going to regardless of how it'll affect you down the line. If you're hating every day, then you won't even get that far.
     
  12. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    What makes you think you'll get in when you reapply?
     
  13. bcat85

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    Amen.
     
  14. iampremed

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    I had around 20 top choices that varied greatly in location, reputation and size. Like you, I didn't apply to anywhere I thought I would feel miserable, and I'm happy with my decision. :)
     
  15. Gut Shot

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    Please stop interfering with this karmic experiment. If someone in Beverly Hills named "MDPrincess" doesn't want to apply to some icky not-her-top-choice medical schools, I'd say all is right with the world.
     
  16. Law2Doc

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    CA has some of the most competitive state schools to get into, so you'd need some pretty stellar stats for you to feel comfortable.
     
  17. engineeredout

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    MDPrincess in beverly hills doesn't want to slum it out in lesser med schools. Let her do what she wants.
     
  18. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I guess you're right. There's a certain amount of Darwinistic selection of who actually becomes a physician. If someone wants to opt out of the "gene pool" it's really not something we should stress about.:)
     
  19. ButImLETired

    ButImLETired Prodigal member
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    You know, I think you're being a little close-minded. California is a great place and all, but there's really no reason to close the door to the 49 other states. Part of being a physician is being open to different cultures and people from backgrounds that you may not understand. If your entire reasoning for why you'd be "miserable" at other schools is that you don't want to leave sunny California, I frankly question your ability to deal with people who truly are from all walks of life. I'm a bit of an oddball in that I like to move around as much as humanly possible, and I've grown up in a bunch of countries, but still, I have realized HOW MUCH moving around really has helped me grow up. Not to mention the fact that moving to different places teaches you to become a flexible, adaptable human being...again, a skill that will not only be useful to you as a physician, but also as a person.
    I have no doubt that if you're making this rather major decision you've thought through the ramifications, at least in terms of med school admissions. However, I really think you should think about what it'll do to you as a person. Being totally unwilling to leave your friends and home state is, in my opinion, bordering on foolish. Also, I'd try to make up a better story for the med schools if they ask about where else you've applied. Saying you don't want to leave California just cause you like it here will make you sound either close-minded or bratty.
     
  20. MDPrincess

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    Wow, making stereotypical judgements about me because of where I live?
     
  21. Strength&Speed

    Strength&Speed Need more speed......
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    Bingo
     
  22. Tyc00nman

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    LOL @ all the faceless haters on SDN.

    MDPrincess, FACT IS, where you go to medschool WILL effect your career as a physician. To argue otherwise is naive.

    People are ALWAYS going to judge.

    In my opinion, you should aim for all the top schools in california. You can do it.
     
  23. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    While the fact that your location says "Beverly Hills" adds humor to the situation, I assure you that the judgments were based more on your plan of action than your current location.
     
  24. MDPrincess

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    Thanks!

    Applying to just CA schools doesn't make me snotty or bratty. I am applying there because I know how it feels to be where you don't want to be. I started out in an undergrad school which I was pressured to go to and ended up miserable and doing badly so I transferred and am much happier. I don't want the same thing to happen to me in med school because there is no out once you've committed somewhere.
     
  25. MDPrincess

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    Well, it's where I live. Maybe I should just leave it at CA to avoid negative comments.
     
  26. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agreed. My posts apply equally if you are based on Compton.
     
  27. ButImLETired

    ButImLETired Prodigal member
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    Interesting. I actually am pretty sure I know who you are (if you're who I think you are, you went to my undergrad and then left). Totally random and off-topic, clearly, but...huh.
     
  28. MDPrincess

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    I was referring to those making fun of me for being from Beverly Hills.
     
  29. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    But probably not your last if you don't reconsider your plan.
    Here's a little secret: folks who hate med school at a particular school would hate med school at any school. If you have a passion for medical school, you'll roll with the punches. If your heart isn't in it, daily massages and open book exams won't make you happy.

    Only 17% of California applicants matriculate in state. 59% don't matriculate at all. A California-only app is not a smart plan.
     
  30. TamarMD

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    I don't think not going to your top choice is considered settling. If you feel that you're such a strong applicant that you don't need to apply broadly then that's wonderful. I see medical school as a means of transportation to my destination. I want to be a doctor. I'm not going to be picky about what train I get on as long as I reach the same spot. None of these "trains" will get me to my destination in a shorter amount of time. it's all four years.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  31. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    In fairness:

    1. You self-identify as living in Beverly Hills, one of the most expensive places in the country.
    2. You self-chose a screen name with "Princess" in the title.
    3. You are suggesting an application strategy that gives off a little scent of entitlement.

    Medical school is not going to be any different once you leave California's borders. It's the same human body wherever you go. Decide if med school's right for you. If it is, apply intelligently, or else be prepared to wait it out until a year has passed, when competition will have only gotten worse. Caveat emptor....
     
  32. MDPrincess

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    What about residencies, though? Doesn't school matter especially if you are planning on going into a competitive field?
     
  33. GZA

    GZA Marcel who?
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    I mean, is it not obvious this is a troll thread?
     
  34. engineeredout

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    Ace step I, which is the same no matter what med school you go to, for competitive residencies.
     
  35. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Give or take a bit more silicone.
     
  36. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    Interestingly enough, I am not at a school that I would have identified as my "top choice" prior to applying. I only really submitted the primary b/c they accept a high number of OOS students and let those OOS students have IS status (and tuition) after the first year. Then at my interview, I fell in love with the school. Now, after my first year, I couldn't be happier here. It's a great supportive environment and it has everything I was looking for in a school.

    Did I settle? No, I was thrilled to get into this school.

    It pays to keep an open mind. Limiting your options early not only cuts your chances of acceptance but limits your choices before you've really had a chance to get a feel for the schools.
     
  37. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Not as much as you might think. Step 1 scores, clinical year evals, AOA, research are all probably more important. You can end up a resident in CA coming from out of state and you can end up not getting a CA residency coming from in-state. Probably more of the latter.
     
  38. engineeredout

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    In all seriousness princess, aren't you better off applying to a broad range of schools, and then if you find out you REALLY HATE the schools you just choose then to reject? Odds are you're able to afford it...
     
  39. Lacheln

    Lacheln Cavorting in the Hills
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    From what I've heard where you goes to school does matter somewhat in terms of easier access to quality residencies (after all, like it or not, networks help), However, AFIK, your board scores are the most important thing for getting into a residency, along with your clinical reccs. For what it's worth, while your name annoys the living crap out of me, I think it's ok to say you wouldn't be happy at any school that takes you. Some people would be, some people wouldn't be. It's not inherently elitist. I agree with the others though that what you're talking about is v. risky.
     
  40. MDPrincess

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    Thanks, you guys have given me a lot to consider. I haven't submitted my AMCAS yet so I could add a few more schools, it couldn't hurt. The thing is I don't have much time to really research any of the schools so I'd just being going by my stats. Is this how pretty much you guys decided where to apply? If the schools have stats below/similiar to yours?
     
  41. seraph524

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    Sounds about right.
     
  42. LucidSplash

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    Apply the LizzyM score. I don't have it memorized off hand so do a search. If you're not doing research this is probably the next best way to choose schools without regard to other than stats.
     
  43. ButImLETired

    ButImLETired Prodigal member
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    It does, for sure, and in fact I hear California is notoriously hard to break into if you're not from around here. However, you clearly are from here, and probably have good contacts that can help you get a residency around here.
    Look, clearly people are making pre-conceptions about you...including myself, not gonna lie. You should do what makes you happy, ultimately, but I think you're overestimating how much your location will really affect your happiness. If you are who I think you are, you kind of had a baptism of fire with the East Coast...and not all schools are that way. In general, there is a HUGE array of med schools all over the country, a HUGE array of people, and just cause you had a bad experience in one place it doesn't mean you'll be unhappy everywhere else. I really do think though that you should come up with a good reason for staying in CA for the med schools. The fact that you are having such negative responses on this site is a clear indication that your commitment can be misconstrued, and you don't want admissions people to think this stuff as well.
     
  44. ZagDoc

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    See if your school's library has the MSAR (Medical School Admission Requirements). It's compiled every year by the AAMC and lists all the applicant and matriculant stats of every allopathic school in the nation. It will let you see if you are as competitive at CA schools as you think, and find other schools which fit into your stats range.
     
  45. seraph524

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    Isn't it something like GPAx10 + MCAT?

    Compare your score to the school's which is: (Median cumulative GPA)x10 + median MCAT -1 (don't know why there is a -1)

    So, if you have a GPA of 3.6 and a MCAT of 33, your score would be 36+33=69

    Supposedly, if your LIzzyM score is higher than a school's you have a good shot, and if its lower, its a reach.

    Good luck!
     
  46. Depakote

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  47. BoredMD

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    :laugh: Past the age of 12, it's just not cool.

    In all seriousness, though, being a CA resident is brutal. Play it safe, it'll save you a lot of heartache! Think of how miserable you'll be if you don't get in.

    Good luck!
     
  48. Jolie South

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    i think it's kind of ridiculous to say that you would only be happy at a med school in California.

    have you visited all the schools in Cali and compared them to other schools in the country? chances are that you won't know how much you like a school until you interview there. i was dead set against Texas schools, but after interviewing elsewhere, TX schools quickly became my first choices.

    why are you so against other areas? moving anywhere new is an adjustment. be it a new city or a new state. however, i think it's an important experience to have and considering the difficulty of getting a CA acceptance i'd say it's something that you really need to consider if med school is important to you.
     
  49. coldweatherblue

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    Do you want to be a doctor? or a med student in california?
     
  50. Calf

    Calf Eat more chicken!
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    While I think applying to only CA schools may be kind of unwise, I'm somewhat in the same boat as you. I'm not applying to ANY schools I couldn't see myself being happy at nor ANY cities that I wouldn't want to live in. Granted, I'm doing MSTP, so 7-8 years is a lot more than 4, but still...

    Fortunately, that criteria narrowed me down to 14 schools, 1 of which is definitely a safety, and about half of the rest within comfortable reach. If I don't get in anywhere (hopefully won't happen!) then I have a secure job in research, which is what I love anyway, so no biggie honestly.

    I just don't see the point in applying to places you really don't want to go.
     
  51. Flamen04

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    I agree with your point of view when it comes to undergrad. However, after undergrad, things are SO competitive that you just to have to grab on to the opportunities you get and run away with it.. even if you don't necessarily like it. Real life (aka. life after undergrad) is not fair at all so you can't be picky... If you don't put up with the annoying opportunities with the mindset of attaining your goals, the open door you once had might close for a long time... and you might find yourself unhappier than you thought you would be...
     

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