Revamp Medical School Admissions to Mimic Residency Application Process

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This is already the case, but pushing even further in that direction will not serve the system. We would only get closer to producing our own brand of gaofen dineng.



Cutoffs affect screening, not the subsequent, more thorough review of applications that survive. Your Princeton boy suffered not because of some cutoff, but because the pool is filled with people who possess similar credentials, and admissions committees need to parse them. Should another Ivy Leaguer with a 3.9+, good research, no red flags, some hardship, some professional experience, and better clinical exposure not be looked at a bit more favorably? The box checking has been fueled not by the institutions but by the applicants, who incrementally one-up each other year after year.



I routinely review LORs from PIs, EC/student organization advisers, physicians shadowed, etc., so I am not sure what the problem is. Yes, it can be challenging to forge relationships with faculty, but that part of "the game" is also an opportunity to display initiative, persistence, and interpersonal skills.



Speaking only from my own experience, some of the most experienced and perceptive members of my committee are PhDs, and a couple of the least trustworthy are MDs. Having gone through medical school does not grant one a magical ability to choose future physicians, so the blanket proposal above is just silly.



This sounds very reasonable until you discover how difficult it is to accurately assess socioeconomic status. Just ask the people in the financial aid office. AMCAS has adopted a SES indicator, but it is based on a formula that examines the educational attainment and professions of the applicant's parents. While better than nothing, I am sure you can see the flaws in this model.

I think that this is the biggest myth propagated on SDN. There ARE NOT thousands and thousands of people from top 5 undergrads, 3.9+/40+ stats, with hardship, and no red flags. That's simply not true, even if there are ~25-50 kids like this on SDN. Furthermore, you can definitely tinker with how much each criterion is weighted. Personally, I'd take a 3.9+ from a top 5 than an Ivy Leaguer with a 3.8+ but with more random volunteering.

Regarding LOR, neither I nor many of my friends had EC letters or letters from physicians. I think that substituting some of these for professor letters could be helpful. Most people get the standard 2 science profs + non science prof + PI. Yes, I would agree that I had to display some initiative to get to know my professor and submit an abstract with him. However, this was very forced and I strongly disliked their research. It was doable, but involved a lot of time and wasn't a perfect fit with my personality and interests. I firmly believe that I could have spent my time better elsewhere.

In what way were the MDs "less trustworthy" (I highly doubt this was because they were physicians). In my personal experience (from talking to many of them), the only reason admissions committees are made up of primary care MDs, PhDs, and random administrators is because the specialists don't have any free time due to clinical and research responsibilities.

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I would just like to chime in here and say that VR was my best section. I don't think it's that flawed. I had no prior knowledge of any of my passages' topics. VR is a necessary component of the MCAT because it strictly relies on your ability to think critically and answer questions with only what you're given. Also, I think it's more productive to quit complaining about a supposedly flawed MCAT subsection "dooming" your med school application and actually work on strengthening the other components of your application.
 
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for sure I agree 100%, but whether it should be like the mcat with it's VR is what I debate. I like the SAT in all honesty. I dont consider it a stupid or easy test. the passages weren't hard in critical reading and you could definitely pick it up as a skill through a lot of practice in the worst case scenario, the math was representative of what you were expected to know for the most part and could be practiced to do well in, and the grammar was annoying, but still totally do-able through pattern recognition and studying. Realistic if you study hard and have the right ability to think via aptitude, pattern recognition, hard work, or learning by association you should be able to do well. that's what I want a standardized test to be like.

Look, I agree that some elements of verbal are definitely not intuitive and that not a single person in the history of time could take 10 MCATs in a row and score a 15 on verbal every single time. However, the main problem you have is that there are way more than enough applicants who score well enough on the verbal portion of the MCAT to potentially gain admission to MD schools. Therefore, the section is definitely doable, even with the very stringent scale.
 
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Look, I agree that some elements of verbal are definitely not intuitive and that not a single person in the history of time could take 10 MCATs in a row and score a 15 on verbal every single time. However, the main problem you have is that there are way more than enough applicants who score well enough on the verbal portion of the MCAT to potentially gain admission to MD schools. Therefore, the section is definitely doable, even with the very stringent scale.

The way more than enough is where I beg to differ. Med school admissions is a minority game, meaning all it takes is a minority of actual test takers to set the bar way too high for others or applicants to so in another way (look at the large number of ECs applicants have to complete instead of being able to focus on school, the mcat, one-2 strong ECs, and maybe even some free time). You can fill up a decent number of schools with 36+ mcats that doesn't mean everyone should be expected to score a 36. realistically the average on the mcat is like 25 and the situation looks a lot less fair when you look at it from the perspective of the "average" mcat taker. Just because some people can jump through a certain hoop doesn't make it fair or something that shouldn't be revised. If you made translating the dead sea scrolls a premed requirement it wouldn't surprise me that someone would do it and that'd be the new standard. Doesn't make it a fair requirement.

I went from an 11 in verbal (83.5-92.5) to a 7 and did literally nothing different between the Vrs. Literally NOTHING. That's a top 10% score down to some really low percentile. Where's the objectiveness/standardization of that? I don't even..... A lot of people who took the test at the same time I did on sdn also were stuck with 7s and 8s on their real deal VR regardless of how higher score avgs on practice FLs.
 
The way more than enough is where I beg to differ. Med school admissions is a minority game, meaning all it takes is a minority of actual test takers to set the bar way too high for others or applicants to so in another way (look at the large number of ECs applicants have to complete instead of being able to focus on school, the mcat, one-2 strong ECs, and maybe even some free time). You can fill up a decent number of schools with 36+ mcats that doesn't mean everyone should be expected to score a 36. realistically the average on the mcat is like 25 and the situation looks a lot less fair when you look at it from the perspective of the "average" mcat taker. Just because some people can jump through a certain hoop doesn't make it fair or something that shouldn't be revised.

I went from an 11 in verbal (83.5-92.5) to a 7 and did literally nothing different between the Vrs. Literally NOTHING. That's a top 10% score down to some really low percentile. I don't even..... A lot of people who took the test at the same time I did on sdn also were stuck with 7s and 8s on their real deal VR regardless of how higher score avgs on practice FLs.
Spend the rest of July (and August for that matter) not thinking (or talking about the MCAT) and you'll have a much better summer;) Try it!
 
I agree that VR might help determine the ability to critically think, but it is one thing to read a passage and answer some questions... it is another thing to be working for example as an ER doc and have a full arrest roll through the door, not intubated, and everyone is looking towards YOU to tell them what to do next. Critical thinking on a VR exam and critical thinking in medical practice are two TOTALLY different things.
/end rant.
 
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Spend the rest of July (and August for that matter) not thinking (or talking about the MCAT) and you'll have a much better summer;) Try it!

you're right and your post above about sub 30s is right too. there are options. it's just frustrating :(. I feel like I got hit with a bad RNG on that test. cant change that though.
 
you're right and your post above about sub 30s is right too. there are options. it's just frustrating :(. I feel like I got hit with a bad RNG on that test. cant change that though.
So leave it alone. It's done. Don't think about it. Don't talk about it. And don't post about it. Enjoy your summer!
 
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The way more than enough is where I beg to differ. Med school admissions is a minority game, meaning all it takes is a minority of actual test takers to set the bar way too high for others or applicants to so in another way (look at the large number of ECs applicants have to complete instead of being able to focus on school, the mcat, one-2 strong ECs, and maybe even some free time). You can fill up a decent number of schools with 36+ mcats that doesn't mean everyone should be expected to score a 36. realistically the average on the mcat is like 25 and the situation looks a lot less fair when you look at it from the perspective of the "average" mcat taker. Just because some people can jump through a certain hoop doesn't make it fair or something that shouldn't be revised. If you made translating the dead sea scrolls a premed requirement it wouldn't surprise me that someone would do it and that'd be the new standard. Doesn't make it a fair requirement.

I went from an 11 in verbal (83.5-92.5) to a 7 and did literally nothing different between the Vrs. Literally NOTHING. That's a top 10% score down to some really low percentile. Where's the objectiveness/standardization of that? I don't even..... A lot of people who took the test at the same time I did on sdn also were stuck with 7s and 8s on their real deal VR regardless of how higher score avgs on practice FLs.

There's a huge difference between necessary/somewhat annoying and wildly unreasonable. The MCAT is a necessary component of an application for reasons that I gave in my previous post. This may sound harsh, but nobody cares about how hard things are for the "average" applicant. Like you said, medical school admissions is a minority game, and as such schools can (and in my view have the responsibility to) recruit the smartest/most talented group of people they can. If schools can fill up with 36+ scorers and an applicant is unable to present competitive scores, then they're out of luck. This is how life works, not just med school admissions. Goldman Sachs IB/McKinsey can fill up with 3.8+ HYP kids and can thus expect any serious candidates to meet those requirements. NYU dermatology can probably fill up with 260+ Step I/AOA/8+ pubs and if you want a spot you better perform.

The point of this thread and my original post is to discuss ways of altering the admissions process so as to eliminate annoying policies/requirements/procedures that have nothing to do with talent or intelligence but only seek to restrict the time and opportunities available to pre-meds (busy work). In my view, having extremely high standards for GPA and MCAT scores is not something that needs to be altered.
 
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I think that this is the biggest myth propagated on SDN. There ARE NOT thousands and thousands of people from top 5 undergrads, 3.9+/40+ stats, with hardship, and no red flags. That's simply not true, even if there are ~25-50 kids like this on SDN. Furthermore, you can definitely tinker with how much each criterion is weighted. Personally, I'd take a 3.9+ from a top 5 than an Ivy Leaguer with a 3.8+ but with more random volunteering.

I don't think anyone here has claimed there are thousands and thousands of such people, but the top 5 schools can afford to be pretty picky. Since your significant other serves on one of their admissions committees I am sure he/she can vouch for this. Furthermore, unless you join an admissions committee there are likely few people who care how you would tinker with criteria.

Greenberg702 said:
Regarding LOR, neither I nor many of my friends had EC letters or letters from physicians. I think that substituting some of these for professor letters could be helpful. Most people get the standard 2 science profs + non science prof + PI. Yes, I would agree that I had to display some initiative to get to know my professor and submit an abstract with him. However, this was very forced and I strongly disliked their research. It was doable, but involved a lot of time and wasn't a perfect fit with my personality and interests. I firmly believe that I could have spent my time better elsewhere.

Essentially you want to every school to change their LOR policies because you had to do something you did not want to do. An interesting attitude.

Greenberg said:
In what way were the MDs "less trustworthy" (I highly doubt this was because they were physicians). In my personal experience (from talking to many of them), the only reason admissions committees are made up of primary care MDs, PhDs, and random administrators is because the specialists don't have any free time due to clinical and research responsibilities.

Those particular MDs were consistent outliers in their assessment of candidates. And you will have to forgive me if I find your experience in this arena to be a little thin.
 
There's a huge difference between necessary/somewhat annoying and wildly unreasonable. The MCAT is a necessary component of an application for reasons that I gave in my previous post. This may sound harsh, but nobody cares about how hard things are for the "average" applicant. Like you said, medical school admissions is a minority game, and as such schools can (and in my view have the responsibility to) recruit the smartest/most talented group of people they can. If schools can fill up with 36+ scorers and an applicant is unable to present competitive scores, then they're out of luck. This is how life works, not just med school admissions. Goldman Sachs IB/McKinsey can fill up with 3.8+ HYP kids and can thus expect any serious candidates to meet those requirements. NYU dermatology can probably fill up with 260+ Step I/AOA/8+ pubs and if you want a spot you better perform.

The point of this thread and my original post is to discuss ways of altering the admissions process so as to eliminate annoying policies/requirements/procedures that have nothing to do with talent or intelligence but only seek to restrict the time and opportunities available to pre-meds (busy work). In my view, having extremely high standards for GPA and MCAT scores is not something that needs to be altered.

By making it about stats a lot of really good applicants slip through the cracks and cheap aspects of just stats that mess with people. In my mind opinion admissions should be equalized so applicants have multiple ways on demonstrating they're on par with the 3.8+ HYP kids or 260+ step 1 and can be great doctors. Whether it's through interviews (nobody has the resources to interview 10k people), ECs in a way that can't be box checked (basically impossible), or something else that's what I want.
 
I don't think anyone here has claimed there are thousands and thousands of such people, but the top 5 schools can afford to be pretty picky. Since your significant other serves on one of their admissions committees I am sure he/she can vouch for this. Furthermore, unless you join an admissions committee there are likely few people who care how you would tinker with criteria.

I agree. I didn't post this because I'm going to change everyone's admissions policies tomorrow. I created a thread so people can bounce ideas back and forth. If the main criterion for posting on SDN is whether or not med school administrators "care" this forum would be dead. Other point is well taken.


Essentially you want to every school to change their LOR policies because you had to do something you did not want to do. An interesting attitude.

Um. You obviously did not read this thread. Literally every person who responded (regardless of whether or not they agreed with my other points) made quite clear that LOR policies should become more flexible. I'm certainly not the only one who isn't fully satisfied with the current requirements.

Those particular MDs were consistent outliers in their assessment of candidates. And you will have to forgive me if I find your experience in this arena to be a little thin.

Point taken. I'm no adcom. However, I still believe that I can offer some ideas.
 
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By making it about stats a lot of really good applicants slip through the cracks and cheap aspects of just stats that mess with people. In my mind opinion admissions should be equalized so applicants have multiple ways on demonstrating they're on par with the 3.8+ HYP kids or 260+ step 1 and can be great doctors. Whether it's through interviews (nobody has the resources to interview 10k people), ECs in a way that can't be box checked (basically impossible), or something else that's what I want.

There are more qualified applicants than there are spots, "good" applicants will always slip through the cracks. You want a different system because you don't feel that the current one benefits you. If you'd had a lot of trouble finding good LORs I imagine we'd be reading a bunch of threads about how unfair and broken the LOR process is in med school admissions.

I don't see how taking the single most objective data point in med school admissions, flawed as it may be, and replacing it with some vague system involving fool-proof ECs and really intense interviews would make the process more "fair".

Additionally, your arguments keep coming back to the theme of stats vs the rest of the application, which is a false dichotomy. In reality good applicants have both.
 
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There are more qualified applicants than there are spots, "good" applicants will always slip through the cracks. You want a different system because you don't feel that the current one benefits you. If you'd had a lot of trouble finding good LORs I imagine we'd be reading a bunch of threads about how unfair and broken the LOR process is in med school admissions.

I don't see how taking the single most objective data point in med school admissions, flawed as it may be, and replacing it with some vague system involving fool-proof ECs and really intense interviews would make the process more "fair".

Additionally, your arguments keep coming back to the theme of stats vs the rest of the application, which is a false dichotomy. In reality good applicants have both.

LORs aren't hard to find though, getting a good one and investing time and effort shows determination and a LOR can actually qualify who you are as a human being which is more important than a standardized test taking machine. there's no false dichotomy. im suggesting to expand the process. people have different talents and strengths that are useful in medicine, some are good at taking standardized tests, some aren't. a process should have alternative ways of proving one's self that are just as valid as gpa and mcat. the objective data (particularly the mcat) doesn't provide you much insight into who the actual person is either, thats why i'm more so siding with subjective criteria.

the gpa is a crucial part, the mcat could be reworked a bit, but there should be a multitude of ways to demonstrate you can become a great doctor. it's like saying there's only way one way to complete a job or solve a problem, when there are always a few different ways that are actually valid.

there's a reason why google employs people with much less regard to gpa and test scores and looks at other qualities it's because there is more than one way to prove yourself and the objective data may not be as meaningful as one assumes, regardless of how much standardized test scores are hyped up to be.
 
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By making it about stats a lot of really good applicants slip through the cracks and cheap aspects of just stats that mess with people. In my mind opinion admissions should be equalized so applicants have multiple ways on demonstrating they're on par with the 3.8+ HYP kids or 260+ step 1 and can be great doctors. Whether it's through interviews (nobody has the resources to interview 10k people), ECs in a way that can't be box checked (basically impossible), or something else
that's what I want.
I don't think it's appropriate to place a 3.8+ gpa and a 260+ step 1 in the same sentence. The former seems to be way more common than the latter. (I'm not gonna speak more on USMLE's because I can barely skim the surface). But a diligent pre-med can achieve a 3.7-3.8 gpa with the right habits and with room for error. In fact, tons do it. And that just proves that it's very doable, and not esoteric. It's the nature of the beast and you have to accept it. I hate the fact that I'm afraid of getting a B+ in a science class. But this is a challenge that I chose to accept. So I deal with it. As do many others who have the other qualities necessary for med school.
 
I don't think it's appropriate to place a 3.8+ gpa and a 260+ step 1 in the same sentence. The former seems to be way more common than the latter. (I'm not gonna speak more on USMLE's because I can barely skim the surface). But a diligent pre-med can achieve a 3.7-3.8 gpa with the right habits and with room for error. In fact, tons do it. And that just proves that it's very doable, and not esoteric. It's the nature of the beast and you have to accept it. I hate the fact that I'm afraid of getting a B+ in a science class. But this is a challenge that I chose to accept. So I deal with it. As do many others who have the other qualities necessary for med school.

the GPA isn't something Im really focusing on complaining about, though I can see how it may seem unfair for people at grade deflating schools. gpa takes work and there are a multitude of diff ways to achieve that goal. I like that. there are always options, diff professors, etc. gpa requirements are reasonable and getting a 3.5 or above isn't a big deal.
 
the GPA isn't something Im really focusing on complaining about, though I can see how it may seem unfair for people at grade deflating schools. gpa takes work and there are a multitude of diff ways to achieve that goal. I like that. there are always options, diff professors, etc. gpa requirements are reasonable and getting a 3.5 or above isn't a big deal.
Just don't focus on the M-word-lol.
In terms of grade deflating schools, I'm sure med schools are aware that a 3.65 gpa at Chicago is stellar. I really don't see the stats for med school as such a big deal. Maybe if you're aiming for UChicago or Wash U, but in so many other cases, the standards are reasonable. Otherwise, the average stats for matriculants would be lower.
 
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LORs aren't hard to find though, getting a good one and investing time and effort shows determination and a LOR can actually qualify who you are as a human being which is more important than a standardized test taking machine. there's no false dichotomy. im suggesting to expand the process. people have different talents and strengths that are useful in medicine, some are good at taking standardized tests, some aren't. a process should have alternative ways of proving one's self that are just as valid as gpa and mcat. the objective data (particularly the mcat) doesn't provide you much insight into who the actual person is either, thats why i'm more so siding with subjective criteria.

the gpa is a crucial part, the mcat could be reworked a bit, but there should be a multitude of ways to demonstrate you can become a great doctor. it's like saying there's only way one way to complete a job or solve a problem, when there are always a few different ways that are actually valid.

there's a reason why google employs people with much less regard to gpa and test scores and looks at other qualities it's because there is more than one way to prove yourself and the objective data may not be as meaningful as one assumes, regardless of how much standardized test scores are hyped up to be.
http://www.philosophy-index.com/logic/fallacies/false-dilemma.php
^^Since you seem to not know what he meant by false dichotomy.

The false dichotomy, which you repeated here, is that of high stat people versus high EC/LOR/other helpful app stuff. There are more than enough people who have a high GPA/MCAT and great other stuff to fill all medical school seats.
 
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Just don't focus on the M-word-lol.
In terms of grade deflating schools, I'm sure med schools are aware that a 3.65 gpa at Chicago is stellar. I really don't see the stats for med school as such a big deal. Maybe if you're aiming for UChicago or Wash U, but in so many other cases, the standards are reasonable. Otherwise, the average stats for matriculants would be lower.
^Exactly. Med schools know which schools inflate or deflate grades and will take that into account. For example, I went to Wash U for undergrad and it's tough to get a good GPA. But I'm confident that most of the med schools I applied to (mostly mid-tier and lower-tier) will see my 3.73 from Wash U as something slightly better.
 
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^Exactly. Med schools know which schools inflate or deflate grades and will take that into account. For example, I went to Wash U for undergrad and it's tough to get a good GPA. But I'm confident that most of the med schools I applied to (mostly mid-tier and lower-tier) will see my 3.73 from Wash U as something slightly better.
Not to be intrusive, but I hope you applied to some top-tier schools.
 
I don't think it's appropriate to place a 3.8+ gpa and a 260+ step 1 in the same sentence. The former seems to be way more common than the latter. (I'm not gonna speak more on USMLE's because I can barely skim the surface). But a diligent pre-med can achieve a 3.7-3.8 gpa with the right habits and with room for error. In fact, tons do it. And that just proves that it's very doable, and not esoteric. It's the nature of the beast and you have to accept it. I hate the fact that I'm afraid of getting a B+ in a science class. But this is a challenge that I chose to accept. So I deal with it. As do many others who have the other qualities necessary for med school.

I was using a 3.8+ in the context of investment banking recruitment, not med school. Sorry.
 
Putting aside complaints about the MCAT being unfair to people who don't ace it, I don't think it makes much sense to revamp medical school admissions. The success rate of medical students is extremely high. Almost all people who enter medical school graduate and find a residency. Why fix what isn't broken?
 
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Not to be intrusive, but I hope you applied to some top-tier schools.
Just a few. I don't have any research experience, and my true passion is community service, so I applied to a lot of places that emphasized that. Top-tier schools I applied to were Wash U, Baylor, Emory, UVA, and UNC (in-state for me). And it's okay, you weren't being intrusive, and I am always honest with my answers.
 
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There are more qualified applicants than there are spots, "good" applicants will always slip through the cracks. You want a different system because you don't feel that the current one benefits you. If you'd had a lot of trouble finding good LORs I imagine we'd be reading a bunch of threads about how unfair and broken the LOR process is in med school admissions.

I don't see how taking the single most objective data point in med school admissions, flawed as it may be, and replacing it with some vague system involving fool-proof ECs and really intense interviews would make the process more "fair".

Additionally, your arguments keep coming back to the theme of stats vs the rest of the application, which is a false dichotomy. In reality good applicants have both.
If they think that med school admissions is unfair wait till they see residency applications. There is a way to skip the med school admissions game altogether with combined programs.
 
If they think that med school admissions is unfair wait till they see residency applications. There is a way to skip the med school admissions game altogether with combined programs.

how exactly do combined programs skip the med school admissions game?
 
Oh those things, I'd do that if I had a time machine. I was thinking you meant like MD/MPH and MD/PhD type programs.
As far as how good those combined programs are, I think it depends on the med school you're locked into.

I think an MD/MPH program is good when it comes to residencies, bc if I remember correctly they teach you the basics of research esp. clinical research, which is always attractive.
 
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I agree. I didn't post this because I'm going to change everyone's admissions policies tomorrow. I created a thread so people can bounce ideas back and forth. If the main criterion for posting on SDN is whether or not med school administrators "care" this forum would be dead.

Nah, people would still come here to post the same twelve questions ad infinitum.

Greenberg702 said:
Um. You obviously did not read this thread. Literally every person who responded (regardless of whether or not they agreed with my other points) made quite clear that LOR policies should become more flexible. I'm certainly not the only one who isn't fully satisfied with the current requirements.

The problem is that what applicants want is not necessarily what is good for the system. Could you give an example of a LOR requirement that is particularly rigid and/or onerous?
 
Nah, people would still come here to post the same twelve questions ad infinitum.



The problem is that what applicants want is not necessarily what is good for the system. Could you give an example of a LOR requirement that is particularly rigid and/or onerous?

2 letters from science professors who have taught you (PI letters do not fulfill this requirement) + 1 nonscience letter from a professor who has taught you. I believe that the individuals who know me best and can vouch for my work ethic, intelligence, and character are those with whom I interact outside of the classroom and not those who have taught me (these may be the same people for some applicants, but are often not). The grade that I receive in a given course speaks for the effort and determination that I displayed in that class. I believe that requirements consisting of 1 letter from ANY professor in college, 1 letter from an EC preceptor, and 1 research PI/employer letter, + perhaps some optional letters would better reflect the diversity of adults who most closely work with pre-meds on a day-to-day basis.
 
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2 letters from science professors who have taught you (PI letters do not fulfill this requirement) + 1 nonscience letter from a professor who has taught you. I believe that the individuals who know me best and can vouch for my work ethic, intelligence, and character are those with whom I interact outside of the classroom and not those who have taught me (these may be the same people for some applicants, but are often not). The grade that I receive in a given course speaks for the effort and determination that I displayed in that class. I believe that requirements consisting of 1 letter from ANY professor in college, 1 letter from an EC preceptor, and 1 research PI/employer letter, + perhaps some optional letters would better reflect the diversity of adults who most closely work with pre-meds on a day-to-day basis.

Yeah, like this is a big deal.. The LOR rules are actually pretty lax. I had letters from 2 science profs (including 1 I did work for), 2 PIs from research since I had 2 gap years, and a doc I shadowed a lot.

All I hear in this thread is whining. MCAT is unfair. Boo hoo.

I think you have trouble understanding that there are more qualified applicants than there are slots.
 
Yeah, like this is a big deal.. The LOR rules are actually pretty lax. I had letters from 2 science profs (including 1 I did work for), 2 PIs from research since I had 2 gap years, and a doc I shadowed a lot.

All I hear in this thread is whining. MCAT is unfair. Boo hoo.

I think you have trouble understanding that there are more qualified applicants than there are slots.
I disagree. This has been a pretty substantive discussion and it has included several topics outside of the MCAT. And what's wrong with some quality assessment from a successful med school applicant?!

Also, isn't it the case that some schools require committee letters? (please correct me if I'm wrong). But such letters are more difficult for some to obtain (particularly non-trads).
 
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^ Schools require a committee letter OR 2-4 individual letters
 
Yeah, like this is a big deal.. The LOR rules are actually pretty lax. I had letters from 2 science profs (including 1 I did work for), 2 PIs from research since I had 2 gap years, and a doc I shadowed a lot.

All I hear in this thread is whining. MCAT is unfair. Boo hoo.

I think you have trouble understanding that there are more qualified applicants than there are slots.

I'm not the one whining about the MCAT bud. 40+ here. I'm pretty sure people have talked extensively about each of the six things that I brought up. My advisory board (committee) letter required 2 science, 1 non-science, and capped the number at 5. They also told me to include both of my PI letters since schools like HMS require every research letter, leaving no room for anything else that could have been more substantive. I'm not saying this is the biggest deal in med school admissions but it was something I noticed.
 
I'm not the one whining about the MCAT bud. 40+ here. I'm pretty sure people have talked extensively about each of the six things that I brought up. My advisory board (committee) letter required 2 science, 1 non-science, and capped the number at 5. They also told me to include both of my PI letters since schools like HMS require every research letter, leaving no room for anything else that could have been more substantive. I'm not saying this is the biggest deal in med school
admissions but it was something I noticed.
:thumbup: Nice job with the MCAT!
I'm just curious about the LOR's. So your advisory board required 2 science and 1 non-science for a committee letter?!
At my old school (where I got my BA), the committee required that you take at least 37 credits of math and science at the school (in addition to other stuff). I think now it's at 40 credits. This is why I feel there should be some flexibility. At my current school (I'm an unofficial post-bacc) it's more reasonable though.
 
The MCAT is more important IMO because a) it is the only standardized thing all premeds must do and b) if you bomb it you can always take it again.

This amuses me because you only get one shot to do well on USMLEs. If you fail, yes, you can retake, but then you have the black mark of a failure on your record.

Also, isn't it the case that some schools require committee letters? (please correct me if I'm wrong). But such letters are more difficult for some to obtain (particularly non-trads).

If your undergrad does committee letters, medical schools require it. If they are familiar with your undergrad and you don't provide a committee letter, it raises a red flag.

OP, just curious... are you proposing a rank system for med school admissions too?
 
This amuses me because you only get one shot to do well on USMLEs. If you fail, yes, you can retake, but then you have the black mark of a failure on your record.



If your undergrad does committee letters, medical schools require it. If they are familiar with your undergrad and you don't provide a committee letter, it raises a red flag.

OP, just curious... are you proposing a rank system for med school admissions too?

I'm not sure. That's a really interesting question. I like the idea of a rank system because it would eliminate onerous waitlists that everyone complains about. On the other hand, it would basically eliminate all merit aid and scholarships because schools would not be able to compete with one another for the best candidates.
 
:thumbup: Nice job with the MCAT!
I'm just curious about the LOR's. So your advisory board required 2 science and 1 non-science for a committee letter?!
At my old school (where I got my BA), the committee required that you take at least 37 credits of math and science at the school (in addition to other stuff). I think now it's at 40 credits. This is why I feel there should be some flexibility. At my current school (I'm an unofficial post-bacc) it's more reasonable though.

Thanks man. Yeah. Those letters + a ton of other requirements. But that's pretty standard because most med schools require that: "two letters of recommendation are required from science faculty members in science departments who have taught the applicant and one non-science faculty member who has also taught the applicant" at http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/admissions/md/application_process/prerequisites_requirements.html
 
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I'm not sure. That's a really interesting question. I like the idea of a rank system because it would eliminate onerous waitlists that everyone complains about. On the other hand, it would basically eliminate all merit aid and scholarships because schools would not be able to compete with one another for the best candidates.

I would think the rank system would make med school admissions just painful. Residencies, by and large, have salaries and benefits that are in the same ballpark. Yes, there are variations from program to program, mostly to account for living expenses, but you're not talking about a difference of $25K+ per year. Plus, salaries are on the low end for how you rank programs--most people will rank based on location and type of program (community vs academic). Med schools charge vastly different tuitions, and many students make decisions based on financial aid. And since financial aid offers generally don't come out until April in most cases, you can't really do a series of ranks either, at least not anything that's going to be much different from the current system of waitlists.
 
I would think the rank system would make med school admissions just painful. Residencies, by and large, have salaries and benefits that are in the same ballpark. Yes, there are variations from program to program, mostly to account for living expenses, but you're not talking about a difference of $25K+ per year. Plus, salaries are on the low end for how you rank programs--most people will rank based on location and type of program (community vs academic). Med schools charge vastly different tuitions, and many students make decisions based on financial aid. And since financial aid offers generally don't come out until April in most cases, you can't really do a series of ranks either, at least not anything that's going to be much different from the current system of waitlists.

Great points. I agree. A match system for med school admissions would not work very well.
 
I'm not the one whining about the MCAT bud. 40+ here. I'm pretty sure people have talked extensively about each of the six things that I brought up. My advisory board (committee) letter required 2 science, 1 non-science, and capped the number at 5. They also told me to include both of my PI letters since schools like HMS require every research letter, leaving no room for anything else that could have been more substantive. I'm not saying this is the biggest deal in med school admissions but it was something I noticed.

If your praises are not being sung in the first five letters, I can guarantee that a sixth will not help.
 
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