Quantcast

So what exactly is the med school "game"?

Travel to Ghana on the Ultimate Med Immersion
This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

pullupthepeople

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
96
Reaction score
2
i think the point is just to be an interesting person, even if its only because it might get someone to spend an extra couple of minutes looking over your application. maybe putting sparkly unicorn stickers on your AMCAS might have the same effect... who knows. however, medicine is an interesting profession where you have to deal with all sorts of people and all sorts of situations, and perhaps someone who has gone out on a limb and done something strange or different might be able to handle strange or different situations better than someone who has led a very predictable life. or not. who knows.

for what its worth, when i was on the interview trail, every single interviewer wanted to hear about my study abroad trips to north and west africa. i didnt go to preach or teach or suture, i went to learn. i wanted to learn arabic. i wanted to watch "exorcisms" and learn about traditional plant medicine. i like to do crazy things. did those crazy things set me apart from people who had the same numbers as i did but no interesting experiences or talents? i would guess so, but really, who knows.

however i would not recommend doing things that dont interest you. i can speak passionately and enthusiastically about the things i have done, and that is probably what makes me stand out... not necessarily the trips themselves.
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
6,218
Reaction score
2,870
The first rule about med admissions? Don't talk about the game. The second rule of med admissions? DON'T TALK ABOUT THE GAME.

The game, you just lost it.

Okay so ive been reading some threads and this is a recent trend ive noticed. Many people claim that most "pre-meds" think that they should just pick a science major, get a good GPA and MCAT score. Then top it off with EC's, shadowing, and research exp.

What exactly is wrong with doing that? i swear ive seen many posts looking down on this type of person but whats missing from this game plan?

Best posts:

Problems with this plan:

1) The name of the game is numbers. Med schools want them to be amazing and they don't care where you get them. Now the common sense opinion (because this is how anyone with common sense would run this process) is that you should choose a science major, which is usually difficult, and then get a good GPA for that major, which is often around a 3.5. However in reality to maximize your chances you want to choose a major that makes no sense in terms of your future and which has an insanely high average GPA. A 4.0 in Irish Cuisine (Boil it!), even if the average GPA is a 4.0, is better than a 3.5 in bioengineering where the the average GPA is a 2.5. Now Bioengineering might still be a good choice, because at least that gives you a fall back career, but biology? Worst of both worlds. So either choose a major that has a high average out of college income or do something fun that has one of the highest GPAs on campus.

2) Because of the plethora of qualified applicants for an artificially limited number of slots, medical schools increasingly want a candidate that is 'interesting' rather than just a good potential doctor. This means, in addition to all the other pointless crap you have to do, you should find the time to do something that is pointless and also bizzare. Now if you're rich (this application process is designed for the rich) this can be very fun: you can travel across continents, do real surgery on unsuspecting Africans, climb mountains, sail around the world, and write all about it on your application. If you're in a normal income bracket this probably means doing something truely asanine like majoring in sex studies, going to clown college, or joining your school's curling team. Medical school ADCOMs are the kind of people that don't give a crap if you play the guitar but think it's just amazing if you play the ukulele. They don't want well rounded people, they want a sideshow. Of course, if your numbers are above average, you don't need to do that, but if you're in the middle of the pack you're going to want something to grab the ADCOM's eye. Even if you are above average you'll probably get into the better school if you're adorably strange.

I'm not endorsing this as a way to live your life, but if you're planning on living your life to maximize your chances at medical school I am prepared to say a Bio major isn't the way to go.

^ Seriously hilarious and incisive post ^

The problem is that 50,000 other people have the same game plan. Some never apply to medical school but most do... in addition, you have to compete against those who didn't "play the game" but went outside of the cookie cutter activities and did something that was enjoyable, educational and helpful to others (or at least two out of three). This might include an advanced degree, long term community service through Peace Corps or another agency, work experience in a lab or a factory (engineers, mostly) or in the military.
Consider that there are about 47,000 applications for about 19,000 seats and you see the difficulty in being a generic applicant indistinguishable from hundreds of other applicants.

Also true ^



I think part of what helped me out is the fact that I do one of those random things, although I'm not sure if I would call it asinine.
 

skyhyp2009

Full Member
Joined
May 21, 2010
Messages
191
Reaction score
2
Okay so ive been reading some threads and this is a recent trend ive noticed. Many people claim that most "pre-meds" think that they should just pick a science major, get a good GPA and MCAT score. Then top it off with EC's, shadowing, and research exp.

What exactly is wrong with doing that? i swear ive seen many posts looking down on this type of person but whats missing from this game plan?

nothing wrong with that except there are thousands of applicants with a science major, a stellar GPA, and good MCAT score. And everyone knows that you have to do shadowing, community service, and research.

that's the official formula but I think to stand out, you'll need a bit more than that.
 

Forthegood

ProcrastinationAficionado
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Messages
844
Reaction score
7
If you want to get in, your application needs to sparkle. You need a life experience. Something that makes you jump off the page.

Some of the people that got in last year had one leg. Have you thought about cutting off our leg?:laugh:
 

vivalavie

Operating Thetan Level VI
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
194
Reaction score
0
if you want to get in, your application needs to sparkle. You need a life experience. Something that makes you jump off the page.

Some of the people that got in last year had one leg. Have you thought about cutting off our leg?:laugh:

Saw XIV: MEDICAL SCHOOL
 

gettheleadout

MD
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
11,808
Reaction score
2,802
If you want to get in, your application needs to sparkle. You need a life experience. Something that makes you jump off the page.

Some of the people that got in last year had one leg. Have you thought about cutting off our leg?:laugh:

Saw XIV: MEDICAL SCHOOL
Lol'd IRL. :thumbup: :laugh:
 

V5RED

PGY-2 Family Medicine
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
1,171
Reaction score
431
people can tell if you try too hard.
What is that supposed to mean? Are you implying people are born entitled to get a slot in a medical school and those that work hard are somehow less than a lazy entitled person?
 

goldenwest

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
3
What is that supposed to mean? Are you implying people are born entitled to get a slot in a medical school and those that work hard are somehow less than a lazy entitled person?

Yes, I'd say that this is true in some level or sense (except scratching the lazy entitled part). Some people are born hot and some people are born not. Not everyone would make a great doctor and the interviewers are looking to find out if you're one of them or not.
 
This thread is more than 10 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
Top