Undergrad was not challenging, should I mention this?

Jan 19, 2013
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This is one of my first posts on here and I couldn't find this topic on previous threads, so sorry if I'm being repetitive!
I was very unhappy at my undergrad, which was a small, private, liberal arts college. I felt that it was not challenging academically and it wasn't an intellectually stimulating environment. Unfortunately I couldn't transfer because of financial reasons, so I tried to make the most of it by spending lots of my free time working and doing research, and also by studying abroad at an institution with a great academic reputation.
Should I mention this on my application? Because I know that adcoms look at how challenging the undergrad was when they decide if a candidate can handle the rigors of med school. Does it help me to acknowledge it up front and say how I tried to deal with it, or should I just not bring it up unless someone else does? I don't want to be too negative, but I was really unhappy there and that's leading me to do lots more research about where to apply for med school.
Sorry this was so long!
 

MedPR

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Only if you got a 4.0 and triple majored while working full time and building free clinics in Africa

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jd989898

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Oct 21, 2012
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This is one of my first posts on here and I couldn't find this topic on previous threads, so sorry if I'm being repetitive!
I was very unhappy at my undergrad, which was a small, private, liberal arts college. I felt that it was not challenging academically and it wasn't an intellectually stimulating environment. Unfortunately I couldn't transfer because of financial reasons, so I tried to make the most of it by spending lots of my free time working and doing research, and also by studying abroad at an institution with a great academic reputation.
Should I mention this on my application? Because I know that adcoms look at how challenging the undergrad was when they decide if a candidate can handle the rigors of med school. Does it help me to acknowledge it up front and say how I tried to deal with it, or should I just not bring it up unless someone else does? I don't want to be too negative, but I was really unhappy there and that's leading me to do lots more research about where to apply for med school.
Sorry this was so long!
That's what the MCAT is for.
 

CrimsonKing

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Be aware that saying this could easily put way more scrutiny on your EC's. If you had so much time on your hands because school required no effort, you better have WAY more and WAY better EC's than anyone else.

Also, I hope you have one stellar MCAT to show the adcoms that it took little effort because you are so intelligent, and not simply because your classes were too easy.

Somehow I doubt that's the case, and it's best for you to not come off cocky to the adcoms. Just because your undergrad didn't challenge you doesn't mean that medical school won't. For all they know, your teachers are just substandard and material was taught to too basic a level.
 

PreMedOrDead

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Why would you ever say this? They don't care.

A high GPA and a high MCAT while having significant extracurriculars will show that undergrad was easy for you, regardless of where you went. Saying something like this is quite the opposite of tactful.
 
OP
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Jan 19, 2013
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Haha I'm pretty sure that my teachers were substandard and the material was taught at too basic a level.

Thanks everyone for responding! I'll try to avoid bringing it up. I know that it makes me sound like a total jerk, but it did define a lot of what I did during my undergrad years.
 

IncognitoGuy

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Institution isn't as important as you think it will be in terms of your application. Do well and the institution won't really matter.

I don't even see why this should be mentioned - it comes across as a bit pompous and arrogant, not to mention you have absolutely no idea how adcoms will react to it.
 

PreMedOrDead

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Haha I'm pretty sure that my teachers were substandard and the material was taught at too basic a level.

Thanks everyone for responding! I'll try to avoid bringing it up. I know that it makes me sound like a total jerk, but it did define a lot of what I did during my undergrad years.
The nice thing is, if you kept up some significant ECs, it'll look really good. Many small, LACs don't have a history with anyone but local schools, so it's difficult for medical programs to determine the difficulty of your coursework. Hence, a lot of it will be based on your MCAT. So make sure you do well on that.
 

NuttyEngDude

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Institution isn't as important as you think it will be in terms of your application. Do well and the institution won't really matter.

I don't even see why this should be mentioned - it comes across as a bit pompous and arrogant, not to mention you have absolutely no idea how adcoms will react to it.
This. To say something like that is high risk, very low if any at all reward.
 

487806

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Why would you ever say this? They don't care.

A high GPA and a high MCAT while having significant extracurriculars will show that undergrad was easy for you, regardless of where you went. Saying something like this is quite the opposite of tactful.
Concur from a fellow PMOD.

OP, show off your skills through EC's and MCAT.
 

heyitsben

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It would definitely raise all sorts of questions during your interview. What did you do with all that spare time? How will you be able to handle challenges and possible failure in medical school if you didn't have to deal with it in undergrad? Just not really worth it, just wow 'em with the hopefully awesome GPA and MCAT.
 
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This is one of my first posts on here and I couldn't find this topic on previous threads, so sorry if I'm being repetitive!
I was very unhappy at my undergrad, which was a small, private, liberal arts college. I felt that it was not challenging academically and it wasn't an intellectually stimulating environment. Unfortunately I couldn't transfer because of financial reasons, so I tried to make the most of it by spending lots of my free time working and doing research, and also by studying abroad at an institution with a great academic reputation.
Should I mention this on my application? Because I know that adcoms look at how challenging the undergrad was when they decide if a candidate can handle the rigors of med school. Does it help me to acknowledge it up front and say how I tried to deal with it, or should I just not bring it up unless someone else does? I don't want to be too negative, but I was really unhappy there and that's leading me to do lots more research about where to apply for med school.
Sorry this was so long!
Try not to say anything negative about any organization, person, or experience in an interview.
 

KnuxNole

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Try not to say anything negative about any organization, person, or experience in an interview.
This. It baffles me that this isn't an unspoken rule. Countless times during med school and residency interviews did I hear people bash their own school and programs they interview at.