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TruthSpeaker01

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It really bothers me how some med students or residents are when they address aspiring med students in these forums who have below average GPAs because of whatever reason, but are sincere about turning their fortunes around by being more academically inclined , doing post-baccs and SMP's, doing very very well in the MCAT.

There was one thread where a guy was looking for advice on how he could redeem his less than stellar GPA ( 3.2 ) in the eyes of ADCOMS in terms of shadowing, extra curriculars , doing an SMP and nailing it, doing very good on the MCAT, ect..

It saddens me to see that the majority of replies were somewhere along the lines of " you have no chance, do something else, Kanye West has a better chance of becoming the president of the United States than you getting in , ect..." . It is unbelievably condescending and smug. Is that how a future doctor or current healthcare professional handles other people? I thought the very core of medicine was just as much about compassion, empathy, support and unconditional love for those in need as it is about raw intelligence, academic success , high skill levels and such. To be fair, people with 3.1 GPA's have been admitted to Ivy League Med Schools before, so instead of being constructive and showing support to someone who is obviously in need , why would you crush his hopes like that? I know you will raise the argument that you are just being a realist. Actually, you're not. The things you say cannot be done, have been done before, unlikely as it may seem. If only the world , the US in particular, produces more doctor's who are as compassionate as they are smart , the world would be a better place. For now, there is certainly an abundance of smug, entitled , condescending geeks.
 
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It saddens me to see that the majority of replies were somewhere along the lines of " you have no chance, do something else, Kanye West has a better chance of becoming the president of the United States than you getting in , ect..." . It is unbelievably condescending and smug. Is that how a future doctor or current healthcare professional handles other people? I thought the very core of medicine was just as much about compassion, empathy, support and unconditional love for those in need as it is about raw intelligence, academic success , high skill levels and such. To be fair, people with 3.1 GPA's have been admitted to Ivy League Med Schools before, so instead of being constructive and showing support to someone who is obviously in need , why would you crush his hopes like that? I know you will raise the argument that you are just being a realist. Actually, you're not. The things you say cannot be done, have been done before, unlikely as it may seem. If only the world , the US in particular, produces more doctor's who are as compassionate as they are smart , the world would be a better place. For now, there is certainly an abundance of smug, entitled , condescending geeks.
The process to get into med school here is so cumbersome; therefore, only (or mostly) strange characters can make it. Be ready to deal with these weirdos if you plan to go med school.
 
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It really bother's me how some med student's or residents are when they address aspiring med students in these forums who have below average GPA's because of whatever reason, but are sincere about turning their fortunes around by being more academically inclined , doing post-baccs and SMP's, doing very very well in the MCAT.

There was one thread where a guy was looking for advice on how he could redeem his less than stellar GPA ( 3.2 ) in the eyes of ADCOMS in terms of shadowing, extra curriculars , doing an SMP and nailing it, doing very good on the MCAT, ect..

It saddens me to see that the majority of replies were somewhere along the lines of " you have no chance, do something else, Kanye West has a better chance of becoming the president of the United States than you getting in , ect..." . It is unbelievably condescending and smug. Is that how a future doctor or current healthcare professional handles other people? I thought the very core of medicine was just as much about compassion, empathy, support and unconditional love for those in need as it is about raw intelligence, academic success , high skill levels and such. To be fair, people with 3.1 GPA's have been admitted to Ivy League Med Schools before, so instead of being constructive and showing support to someone who is obviously in need , why would you crush his hopes like that? I know you will raise the argument that you are just being a realist. Actually, you're not. The things you say cannot be done, have been done before, unlikely as it may seem. If only the world , the US in particular, produces more doctor's who are as compassionate as they are smart , the world would be a better place. For now, there is certainly an abundance of smug, entitled , condescending geeks.
link?
 
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deleted702880

Well, I'm all for being supportive and if that example you gave really did happen (3.2 is salvageable from what I know) here then that's not cool from a personal stand point. But on the other hand, if nasty, low-effort comments like that are at all able to crush someone's hopes and dreams then it says something about the frailty of their intentions in pursuing medicine to begin with. Keeping the chin up is a very necessary skill as a premed and on the whole you should find that most of the people you meet on pre-med forums like this will offer good advice rather than irrelevant references to President West.
 
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Psai

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Oh god, so many incorrect apostrophes strewn around willy nilly
 
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Mansamusa

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I've actually found that pre-meds and newly accepted med students are more likely to say something condescending.....

Plus, saying that you will do very very well on the MCAT doesn't mean much no matter how sincere the poster is (do you think the vast majority of MCAT takers don't sincerely want to do very very well?). Wanting to do better in the future doesn't mean anything
 
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Gingerbread_Man

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Many med students on these boards tend to be cynical because pre-meds are mostly dreams and unicorns. I know because I was a pre-med. In the eyes of many pre-meds to be a “good doctor” means being an infallible saint. “Good Doctors” shouldn’t care about money, “Good Doctors” never get frustrated with non-compliant patients, “Good Doctors” should always encourage people to follow their dreams, etc.


The truth, however, is that med students and physicians are people and as such come with all the good and bad that being a human being entails. You have to be a realist. Oh No! I said it. Good attempt to preempt the realism argument but it didn’t work. Using a 3.1 GPA person getting into an Ivy as an example to prove your point is like saying lottery tickets are a good investment because somebody won the lottery. Unfortunately for this 3.2 GPA person though, reality exists whether we acknowledge it or not.


Take a look at this chart:

https://www.aamc.org/download/321508/data/factstablea23.pdf


Let me be clear, those numbers aren’t the end of the story. Other things need to be considered that could dramatically change the story like URM, background, connections, etc. However given the limited information we have about this hypothetical person you can’t really blame people for painting a bleak picture. According to the data only 34.5% of people with 3.2 GPA’s and average MCAT’s got accepted. In that situation the most responsible advice you can give someone is to consider other options. I know that may come off as heartless but what do you think is worse, telling someone to consider other options or endlessly cheerleading someone into wasting their time and money or potentially making a terrible “long shot” decision like a Caribbean med school?
 
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futuremdforme

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Most people have tons of people who will tell them nice things, like "Oh you are smart, you should be a doctor." I have personally found that if I try to sugar coat the truth, the person only takes the sugary part and ignores everything else. So I try to be fairly blunt. Sure they are sincere about being a doctor, just like lots people are sincere about competing in the Olympics. It doesn't mean it will happen. Usually in these cases, the plan is flawed, and the person makes excuses for why their plan is better than the plan of people who've done GPA repair and who've gotten into med school.
 
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Taddy Mason

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It's an anonymous internet forum and prime example of group think. SDN can be a good resource, but should be taken with a LARGE grain of salt and a lot of reading between the lines.
 
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masaraksh

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Even for someone with a GPA of 4.0 and an mcat of 39 I'd say, consider other options
 
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NWwildcat2013

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I try to be really honest with people who are making the decisions whether to continue along the pre-med path. It takes a lot of time, money, and sweat/blood/tears for some people to fix their academic records and get into med school. Lets say they are successful (many are not and its a huge financial black hole in their life) now they are starting med school late in life. We've talked a ton on this forum about what that means. Honestly, med school sucks anyway, and I don't even recommend it to stellar students. I tell them all about the upfront tuition costs, opportunity costs, years of their life it will take etc. I also tell them that they are signing all that away for a career that they can't fully comprehend right now.

I try not to be condescending, but I am brutally honest. I end with "If you somehow know you wouldn't be happy doing anything else then go for it and make it work." The problem is that they all say thats all they've ever wanted, and I know many other people could be just as happy doing another career and forgoing all the aforementioned trouble.
 

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I go to my alma matter to study for step1 now... boy I miss my undergrad years. So many good looking girls wearing yoga pants :p.

3.2 is not horrendous by the way if that person is open to DO... He/she is DOA for MD, however.
 
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Stagg737

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I go to my alma matter to study for step1 now... boy I miss my undergrad years. So many good looking girls wearing yoga pants :p.

3.2 is not horrendous by the way if that person is open to DO... He/she is DOA for MD, however.

It's not horrendous, but it's still pretty bad and well below average, even at DO schools. 3.2 can get into MD schools, but those students usually have some pretty amazing points elsewhere in their apps and a decent reason why their GPA sucked. I know a few people who had GPAs around there and went MD.
 
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DocWinter

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The food chain of medicine peaks at Attending/Dean and goes further and further down to bottom out at Pre-med. Medical students, or even accepted medical students are one rung (albeit the most important one) above the pre-med, and all the angst of the process and their experience (party of one) can now flow downhill.

BTW there is nothing so "horrible" about a 3.2 GPA. The truly horrible thing is choosing to belittle or unjustly rag on someone else trying to improve their application rather than offer useful advice.

Also, if your parent or uncle is in the right spot you can find that your low GPA, bad MCAT or lack of whatever can be on so not a big deal. It's all about who you know.
 
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Mad Jack

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It really bothers me how some med students or residents are when they address aspiring med students in these forums who have below average GPAs because of whatever reason, but are sincere about turning their fortunes around by being more academically inclined , doing post-baccs and SMP's, doing very very well in the MCAT.

There was one thread where a guy was looking for advice on how he could redeem his less than stellar GPA ( 3.2 ) in the eyes of ADCOMS in terms of shadowing, extra curriculars , doing an SMP and nailing it, doing very good on the MCAT, ect..

It saddens me to see that the majority of replies were somewhere along the lines of " you have no chance, do something else, Kanye West has a better chance of becoming the president of the United States than you getting in , ect..." . It is unbelievably condescending and smug. Is that how a future doctor or current healthcare professional handles other people? I thought the very core of medicine was just as much about compassion, empathy, support and unconditional love for those in need as it is about raw intelligence, academic success , high skill levels and such. To be fair, people with 3.1 GPA's have been admitted to Ivy League Med Schools before, so instead of being constructive and showing support to someone who is obviously in need , why would you crush his hopes like that? I know you will raise the argument that you are just being a realist. Actually, you're not. The things you say cannot be done, have been done before, unlikely as it may seem. If only the world , the US in particular, produces more doctor's who are as compassionate as they are smart , the world would be a better place. For now, there is certainly an abundance of smug, entitled , condescending geeks.
[citation needed]

Sounds like some pretty serious exaggeration on your part. Generally a 3.2 is not considered unredeemable with successful SMP performance.

As to "3.1s being admitted to Ivy League Med Schools (a term which has no meaning to anyone in medicine)," those people would be more than two standard deviations below the accepted average for most Top 20s, and thus would either likely be URMs or have some sort of incredible life story (ex-military, Peace Corps, athlete, etc) as well as some sort of personal connection at the school (as most schools utilize filters that prevent them from seeing students below a certain statistical profile- to be seen, they would have to have someone perform an override, which would mean they likely know someone who knows someone, though many adcoms filter military and URMs into separate pools and thus an override would not be needed in those cases).

Also bonus points for writing a poorly edited smug and condescending post about smug and condescending posts.
 
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Mad Jack

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Many med students on these boards tend to be cynical because pre-meds are mostly dreams and unicorns. I know because I was a pre-med. In the eyes of many pre-meds to be a “good doctor” means being an infallible saint. “Good Doctors” shouldn’t care about money, “Good Doctors” never get frustrated with non-compliant patients, “Good Doctors” should always encourage people to follow their dreams, etc.


The truth, however, is that med students and physicians are people and as such come with all the good and bad that being a human being entails. You have to be a realist. Oh No! I said it. Good attempt to preempt the realism argument but it didn’t work. Using a 3.1 GPA person getting into an Ivy as an example to prove your point is like saying lottery tickets are a good investment because somebody won the lottery. Unfortunately for this 3.2 GPA person though, reality exists whether we acknowledge it or not.


Take a look at this chart:

https://www.aamc.org/download/321508/data/factstablea23.pdf


Let me be clear, those numbers aren’t the end of the story. Other things need to be considered that could dramatically change the story like URM, background, connections, etc. However given the limited information we have about this hypothetical person you can’t really blame people for painting a bleak picture. According to the data only 34.5% of people with 3.2 GPA’s and average MCAT’s got accepted. In that situation the most responsible advice you can give someone is to consider other options. I know that may come off as heartless but what do you think is worse, telling someone to consider other options or endlessly cheerleading someone into wasting their time and money or potentially making a terrible “long shot” decision like a Caribbean med school?
You should look at the tables by race. 3.2 and average MCAT as an Asian and you're boned 7 times out of 8, statistically.
 
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HelpPleaseMD

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White, no profound life story, no connections, no SMP, MCAT was 87%-tile for the year I took it.

you are the exception. there is something you have that most applicants dont. research/ec/something that the admins liked. most students with 3.2 won't get interviews to a MD program
 
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tymont12

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You are talking about the Premed forum (AKA the Wildcard forum), which was a greater source of anxiety and heartache than anything else in the process of applying to med schools.

I'm one of those people whose GPA dipped quite low and I really had to fight to get it back for MD. I am sympathetic of similar students but it took a lot of heartache and 2 years of extra work to crack that nut. Only 1/10 premeds make it to med school and there's good reason. A lot of the time, people just don't understand what it takes. To want this, you have to be stubborn. That's why people tend to be 'realistic' or somewhat pessimistic with these sorts of people because they usually fall under this camp. Similarly, a lot of med students have always been stellar students so they don't understand people who struggle / think they are idiots (this is mostly premed and accepted students).

But seriously, life is full of haters and people need to learn how to advocate for themselves. SDN isn't a welcoming committee, it's an online forum filled with differing opinions.
 
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Mad Jack

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Are you an URM? Did you do a SMP? What's your MCAT score?
you are the exception. there is something you have that most applicants dont. research/ec/something that the admins liked. most students with 3.2 won't get interviews to a MD program
It also depends on what sort of school they went to- some schools are known for grade deflation and tend to get a pass in that regard (such as Princeton and MIT). Regardless, 3.2 certainly isn't a death sentence for MD admissions with a strong MCAT (which he had) and a broad application, especially if they have good state schools.
 
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Taddy Mason

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you are the exception. there is something you have that most applicants dont. research/ec/something that the admins liked. most students with 3.2 won't get interviews to a MD program
Research experience was in the social sciences with no pubs. The most "outstanding" EC on my app was having 5 years of direct pt. experience that allowed for some easier access to shadowing as well. Ironically, the first time I applied I was waitlisted where I ultimately matriculated the second time around. When I met with the dean of admissions after being waitlisted the first time the majority of the comments from the admissions committee related to me not have enough "medical experience" - only 2 comments were about my GPA and there was no change in my "medical experience(s)" the second time around.
 
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Taddy Mason

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It also depends on what sort of school they went to- some schools are known for grade deflation and tend to get a pass in that regard (such as Princeton and MIT). Regardless, 3.2 certainly isn't a death sentence for MD admissions with a strong MCAT (which he had) and a broad application, especially if they have good state schools.
I went to a no name state school and had one state med school which is VERY IS friendly (where I ultimately matriculated). None the less I managed 4 OOS MD interviews (2 of which I cancelled) and 2 OOS acceptances. I honestly think the nature of the schools to which you apply, being well rounded, and having a solid PS are grossly underestimated on here.
 
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Mad Jack

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I went to a no name state school and had one state med school which is VERY IS friendly (where I ultimately matriculated). None the less I managed 4 OOS MD interviews (2 of which I cancelled) and 2 OOS acceptances. I honestly think the nature of the schools to which you apply, being well rounded, and having a solid PS are grossly underestimated on here.
Like I said, broad application (or just hit up low-mid tier exclusively). With your MCAT, a big enough net would get most people in somewhere if the rest of their app is in order.
 
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Taddy Mason

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Like I said, broad application (or just hit up low-mid tier exclusively). With your MCAT, a big enough net would get most people in somewhere if the rest of their app is in order.
I totally agree. When I was applying the input I got from SDN was DO or bust - reality proved otherwise, hence why I can see where OP is coming from.
 
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TBV

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If you want someone too coddle you go ask your momma if you have a shot. Don't blame other posters for not thinking the guy with a B average has a shot. Not that it hasn't happened before but I'm not putting my money on that horse.
 
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masaraksh

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If tell a smart undergrad to get away from academia, non-profits, service industry like medicine, and any patient care ASAP and find work with a group focused on making money and in an arena with minimal regulations and zero interaction with community college educated support staff.
 
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Mad Jack

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I totally agree. When I was applying the input I got from SDN was DO or bust - reality proved otherwise, hence why I can see where OP is coming from.
Wow, surprising. I should visit the WAMC more- I feel like a lot of us stop going there after we get accepted, leaving it as a bunch of premeds advising premeds. There's a couple adcoms here and there, but it's largely far more pessimistic than it should be due to the premed mentality.
 
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They only deserve to have smug and condescending comments IF they are thinking about going to the Caribbean and do not want to apply to DO programs because of their desire for immediate gratification. All they need to do is simply retake classes and maybe work on their MCAT and ECs for a little more than a year and apply early and they can get in... but nope. They want everything fast and now and they feel entitled to it. This generation sucks.

MD school with a 3.2....? Idk. Really hard to damn near impossible unless it is an exceptional case. I believe in miracles fam... but sometimes... you gotta be realistic as well.

This makes me wanna head to the WAMC thread now and give back to good ol' SDN. Off we go!
 
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DrMaccoman

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Take advice from this site with caution. I was advised that I will be expelled from my medical school and arrested for doing something inappropriate. Some even suggest to withdraw from the school. Nothing terribly bad happened to me.

Whenever I read the advice from this site, I always now read it with some measure of skepticism.
 

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It also depends on what sort of school they went to- some schools are known for grade deflation and tend to get a pass in that regard (such as Princeton and MIT). Regardless, 3.2 certainly isn't a death sentence for MD admissions with a strong MCAT (which he had) and a broad application, especially if they have good state schools.
3.2 is not a death sentence for MD, but it will be a big mountain to climb however. I suspect that most people who got into MD with that GPA had to do some kind of postbacc... Based on my experience with the whole med school shenannigans, I have found that DO schools are more MCAT-***** than MD in the sense that they put more emphasis on MCAT score than MD (Of course I am not making a direct number comparison here)... my point is that a DO applicant with 3.0 c/sGPA 28 MCAT has a better chance to get an acceptance than a MD applicant with 3.2 c/sGPA and 35.
 
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Taddy Mason

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Wow, surprising. I should visit the WAMC more- I feel like a lot of us stop going there after we get accepted, leaving it as a bunch of premeds advising premeds. There's a couple adcoms here and there, but it's largely far more pessimistic than it should be due to the premed mentality.
@gyngyn gives solid advice in WAMC and honestly gave me the most realistic advice way back when. I stick my head in from time to time, but limit my comments to schools I actually know specific details about. The pre-med telephone game/regurgitation over there can be damning to those in unique situations...but such is teh interwebz...
 
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username456789

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It really bothers me how some med students or residents are when they address aspiring med students in these forums who have below average GPAs because of whatever reason, but are sincere about turning their fortunes around by being more academically inclined , doing post-baccs and SMP's, doing very very well in the MCAT.

There was one thread where a guy was looking for advice on how he could redeem his less than stellar GPA ( 3.2 ) in the eyes of ADCOMS in terms of shadowing, extra curriculars , doing an SMP and nailing it, doing very good on the MCAT, ect..

It saddens me to see that the majority of replies were somewhere along the lines of " you have no chance, do something else, Kanye West has a better chance of becoming the president of the United States than you getting in , ect..." . It is unbelievably condescending and smug. Is that how a future doctor or current healthcare professional handles other people? I thought the very core of medicine was just as much about compassion, empathy, support and unconditional love for those in need as it is about raw intelligence, academic success , high skill levels and such. To be fair, people with 3.1 GPA's have been admitted to Ivy League Med Schools before, so instead of being constructive and showing support to someone who is obviously in need , why would you crush his hopes like that? I know you will raise the argument that you are just being a realist. Actually, you're not. The things you say cannot be done, have been done before, unlikely as it may seem. If only the world , the US in particular, produces more doctor's who are as compassionate as they are smart , the world would be a better place. For now, there is certainly an abundance of smug, entitled , condescending geeks.


With writing skills like this, you will never get into medical school and become a physician.
 
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Psai

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Guys let's be real, op is obviously a male
 
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jl lin

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you are the exception. there is something you have that most applicants dont. research/ec/something that the admins liked. most students with 3.2 won't get interviews to a MD program

Yes, honestly, I am wondering about this too.
 

jl lin

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Research experience was in the social sciences with no pubs. The most "outstanding" EC on my app was having 5 years of direct pt. experience that allowed for some easier access to shadowing as well. Ironically, the first time I applied I was waitlisted where I ultimately matriculated the second time around. When I met with the dean of admissions after being waitlisted the first time the majority of the comments from the admissions committee related to me not have enough "medical experience" - only 2 comments were about my GPA and there was no change in my "medical experience(s)" the second time around.


Strange. 5 years of direct pt care, and that was considered "not enough?"
1. Shows how capricious people can be.
2. Shows that interfacing with the "right" people may help.
 

jl lin

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I went to a no name state school and had one state med school which is VERY IS friendly (where I ultimately matriculated). None the less I managed 4 OOS MD interviews (2 of which I cancelled) and 2 OOS acceptances. I honestly think the nature of the schools to which you apply, being well rounded, and having a solid PS are grossly underestimated on here.

I am wondering if that mattered more back when you matriculated compared with today, where there is more of a number's game?
 

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Yes, honestly, I am wondering about this too.
IS friendly + 3X mcat + something compelling about you seems to work. Maybe your 3.1/2/3/4 had an upward trend and you sold them on your newfound passion for pre-med.
 

WedgeDawg

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Wow, surprising. I should visit the WAMC more- I feel like a lot of us stop going there after we get accepted, leaving it as a bunch of premeds advising premeds. There's a couple adcoms here and there, but it's largely far more pessimistic than it should be due to the premed mentality.

I'm quite active in WAMC and I feel like I tend to give fairly decent advice. Additionally, at least recently, most of the highly active WAMC posters are reputable posters with solid recommendations (i.e. gyngyn and company). Yeah, you will definitely see people giving way out there advice, but they are often quickly corrected by people who have more experience and perhaps a better understanding of what goes into the process.

I agree tha vitriol is generally not an acceptable way to convey your thoughts about someone's chances. Telling someone they are statistically very unlikely to be accepted to medical school is fine (especially if you combine that with why this is true and what their next steps should be). Telling them they should start looking for a job at Burger King is not.

Also, I am going to move this to pre-allo because it's not on topic for Allo (it's also pretty borderline for pre-allo...)
 
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LizzyM

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If this is about my comment about my likelihood of being America's Next Top Model, that OP had a 2.99 with a downward trend and was not open to DO schools. That OP also had an expectation of pulling a 4.0 in a SMP and a 520 MCAT despite having a barely B average in undergrad. I don't mind slapping some reality into those who are delusional.

As for table 23. I do agree that it is more accurate to use the tables that are stratified by race but even looking at the combined, consider that the average (median) MCAT for applicants with GPA 3.2 is 27-29 and the admission rate in that cell of the table (3.2-3.39 and MCAT 27-29) is 23.3. If we go down to the average MCAT for 3.00-3.19 (given that the 23.3% admission might be inflated by the higher GPAs in that cell) we have an admission proportion of 19.2%. So we have someone who has a less than 1 in 4 and maybe as little as 1 in 5 chances of getting into any medical school. Is it wrong to note that it is a long shot and that a Plan B should be in the back of the applicant's mind?
 
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Taddy Mason

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Strange. 5 years of direct pt care, and that was considered "not enough?"
1. Shows how capricious people can be.
2. Shows that interfacing with the "right" people may help.

Having matriculated at the school that gave that feedback and now having friends on the admissions committee I've realized its more of a psychological mind game to see how "committed" you are.

I am wondering if that mattered more back when you matriculated compared with today, where there is more of a number's game?

I'm only a 3rd year - numbers were big well before I matriculated. As I mentioned in a previous post, don't underestimate ECs, your PS, interview, etc
 
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Goro

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You're an outlier. I'll stick to advising off of medians. My advice isn't the Word of God.

'twas, and where I ended up; but I still managed 4 OOS MD interviews and 3 OOS MD acceptances with nothing particularly outstanding objectively (see other posts in this thread).
 
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