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not actually a dog
Staff member
7+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2012
Hello WAMC posters,

Welcome to the WAMC forum. We hope that this will be a valuable resource for optimizing your school list and assessing the competitiveness of your application. However, I would also like to caution you that in the age of the internet, privacy can be difficult to maintain.

While the more information that you can provide means that you can be given more accurate and personalized advice, recognize that any information you post on the internet will be there forever. There are dozens of third party archive sites that snapshot and store information even if that information is deleted on SDN.

Members have the option of editing information out of their own posts after their questions have been answered. However, this does not change the ability of third party sites to store information, regardless of how long it has been posted for. Thus, any information you post here may be stored by third party sites that SDN has no control over. Therefore, if you are concerned about privacy, it may be better to include less information rather than more, or withhold potentially unique identifiable information.

Here are a few tips to help maximize anonymity while still providing enough information to have your questions answered:
  • While it is highly unlikely that someone can identify you from your MCAT and GPA alone, you can provide slightly altered stats that still convey the same level of competitiveness. For example, a 3.81 and 3.82 are nearly identical in terms of competitiveness
  • While your undergraduate school is a helpful factors in helping create a school list, they can be disguised slightly while still giving enough information to work with. For example, instead of saying University of Wisconsin, you could say "Flagship state school with its own medical school"
  • State of residence is an important consideration when making a school list. You will almost always be advised to apply to your own state schools, as they give you some of the best chances of getting into medical school. In many cases, in your school list, you can just list "all state schools" instead of individually naming them. However, there are a few circumstances where specific states change how you approach this process. Residents of CA and NY have a relatively harder time getting into their own state schools while residents of TX have a relatively easier time. Thus, CA/NY applicants on the whole may have to apply to more schools, while TX applicants will need to apply to fewer. If you are not from these states, it may be sufficient to list "not CA/NY/TX" on your state of residence. If you are from one of these states, it is probably important to list that; however, these three states have some of the largest pre-med populations, and thus this bit of information is likely not going to compromise your identity.
  • If you have won a very specific award that is easily searchable (Rhodes, etc), it may be prudent to be vague about the award rather than name it explicitly, as this can be a very identifiable fact
  • Feel free to ask people not to quote your original post if you intend to edit out sensitive information later; members are encouraged to respect this request, but the moderator team is not obligated to enforce it

Please feel free to direct any questions to the Pre-MD moderation team.
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