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undergraduate student

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kmom, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. kmom

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    My son got accepted at Johns Hopkins and Tufts University for the undergraduate program. We feel JHU has a strong pre-med program, however my son prefers Tufts.
    Tufts U. gave us 3,000 less on financial aid. We will be paying 31,000 per year. We will have to make a lot of loans. We are willing to make these loans if it is for JHU, since is a well known.
    Do you think students at JHU undergraduate level, is easier to get in to the medical School at JHU. What about Tufts?
    Help us to decide!
    And by the way He was also accepted at University of Pittsburgh for the pre-med. However we think JHU is a better school.

    Help
     
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  3. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    I think your son should be the once deciding in the end.

    Undergraduate schools don't really make a difference in medical schools admission. What matters is that he does well and that he does well on the MCAT. Also, clinical and volunteer/extra-curricular experiences are important.

    Also, he might change his mind about medical school during college, so the decision of which college to attend should not be based on the assumption that he is going to apply to medical schools. The large majority of entering pre-meds change their minds in the first year or two.
     
  4. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast

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    be careful with JHU -- they are notorious for having a very competitive premed environment.
     
  5. masterMood

    masterMood Banned
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    choose a school where your son can get high grades when he puts in the hard work.

    Johns Hopkins University is notorious for having extremely competitive students (ive had many friends who've gone there) so thus even if you put a lot of work into the classes its still possible to do bad.
     
  6. meowkat444

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    he should go where he likes. i personally thought jhu seemed miserable when i toured there (waits for gunshots fired from jhu premeds). tufts is a great school and he will be more likely to do better in classes (=better premed record) if he is happy at the school.
     
  7. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member

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    Be wary of pre-meds who might take their anger with their own overbearing moms out on you.

    Tell your son to go wherever he feels most comfortable because it really doesn't matter where you go for undergrad as long as you do well... And doing well usually occurs when you feel comfortable where you are.
     
  8. Soccer885

    Soccer885 Senior Member

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    He should go where he wants to go and do well in the classes at that university. The undergraduate college that you attend won't make a difference when applying to medical school.
     
  9. OncDoc19

    OncDoc19 MS4

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    I would really hesitate to push your child to go to a certain school, they may end up resenting you for it. My parents refused to allow me to even apply to schools other than my state school for undergrad. They thought it was the best education for the money and they were probably right, but I wanted to apply to some private, more highly ranked schools as well, especially liberal arts colleges on the east coast. Yes, I have done well at my school and have (hopefully) positioned myself to do well in the med school applications process. However, my parents and I still argue (I'm a senior) about how they forced me to go to a school I had no interest in. After going through this myself, I would never push my children to go to a school they didn't want to go to. The difference in finances seems negligible and Tufts is certainly a good school as well. I would let him choose, he'll be happy you did.
     
  10. kmom

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    So if it really does not matter where you go to undergraduate how come the medical schools only choose the best.
    And for someone to do best need a good school to prepare you.
    For the matter, I could send him to university of Pittsburgh, where he also got accepted and no have huge loans.
    My understanding is the mos expensive school prepares better for the MCAT
    maybe I am wrong.
     
  11. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast

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    yes you are wrong. It doesn't matter what school you go to -- your son will have to prepare extensively for the mcat on his own. And by prepare extensively, I mean you will probably have to spend many monies to buy him books and/or courses. No university will provide this for him. There isn't really a signficant difference in the material taught at a state level school and at a big research university anyway... we all use similar textbooks, we all have the same opportunity to learn the material.
     
  12. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    I don't even know where to begin, but all of your assumptions are wrong.

    Schools choose the best applicants based on grades, MCAT, LORs, essays, interviews, and extra-curriculars.

    Expensiveness has nothing to do with how well a school prepares you. In fact, the school does not prepare anyone, the student prepares him/herself.

    Let him go where he will be happy. If he is content he is more likely to do well in his classes. Also, please don't push him into this if that is what you are doing (although I greatly suspect troll). Medicine is something HE should choose for himself.
     
  13. Soccer885

    Soccer885 Senior Member

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    You are wrong. There are many factors that go into doing well on the MCAT. Just going to a "better" school does not mean you will be prepared better for the MCAT. The MCAT is a reflection of how well the student prepared and absorbed the information they studied, not necessarily a reflection of their undergraduate institution.
     
  14. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member

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    Just thought I'd also add that you are wrong.
     
  15. NCF145

    NCF145 Not Politically Correct

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    The medical schools choose the best APPLICANTS not the undergraduate institution. The intelligence and diligence of a student is what best prepares him/her for the MCAT, classes and medical school. Also, higher tuition rates in no way translates to a better education. Using that formula to decide on which school to attend is only asking for trouble.
     
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  17. SpartanBlueJay2

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    :thumbup: . Definitely agree w/ Green Pirate on this one. I'm just finished a grad degree @ JHU (not @ the Homewood campus, but I have tutored and mentored undergrads there). I was unpleasantly surprised by the stories I've heard from the students I've worked with there... I mean, they sabotage each other to get ahead :eek:... seriously not cool. Their semesters are also significantly shorter than at other universities, so they cover more material in less time, which equaled to me having to tutor some really stressed out kids. The general consensus I've gathered is that it's tougher to get into med school if you went to JHU because it's tougher to get a good GPA. And as I've learned here on SDN, a great MCAT may not remediate a mediocre/lousy GPA. So if your kid really liked JHU and felt he could compete in the uber-competitive environment, then by all means let him go. Tufts and Pitt are also great schools and both probably have excellent opportunities for your kid to get his feet wet in clinical and research experiences. Frankly, I think your kid should go wherever he thinks he'd be happy spending 4 years.
     
  18. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Well, it's not like Tufts is a no-name school out in the boondocks somewhere. I can guarantee you that very few people in med school admissions offices will say "Tufts? But...where is that? I don't believe I've heard of it.... Is that in the US?"

    I went to Pitt for undergrad. I got into med school. On the first try.

    First of all, there is no "pre-med" major at Pitt. Which, I really think, is a very good thing.

    I really liked Pitt, a lot. As a college student, it had a lot to offer me. I found an undergrad research spot with very little trouble. They encourage their undergrads to do meaningful research. There were a lot of classmates/co-workers who published in respected science journals before they graduated.

    There were also lots of clinical/community service opportunities open to undergraduate college students.

    The advanced science courses are taught by professors, not just TAs/grad students. These people are fantastic and well-known researchers, but also very talented teachers and mentors.

    Finally, Pitt really delivered on the "intangibles" that so many med schools seem to want nowadays. There were innumerable opportunities to travel abroad, meet people from different cultures, see things from different perspectives. Pitt offers amazing international service opportunities, and so many students take advantage of this.

    If your son prefers Tufts...don't you think you should honor that? Or at least hear him out on why he'd rather go there?
     
  19. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate

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    :lol:
    [​IMG]

    Sorry, but a kid at 18 doesn't know what he wants to do, so don't push him one way or other assuming he'll want medicine, likely in the end he wont. And I second what a previous poster said, medical schools want the best applicants, many of whom come from places other than Ivy/Big name schools.
     
  20. Muscles00GT

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    Let your son go to school where he wants. Pushing him to go elsewhere will only frsutrate him and could quite possibly increase the likelihood of him doing poorly. The undergrad school really has no bearing what so ever on medical school admissions. As long as he works hard and puts in the time, he should be fine. Also, what exactly does he want to go for? I would advise not going to school as a "pre-med" major.
     
  21. spicedmanna

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Your assumptions and logic, while good natured, are probably false and flawed. The name recognition of the school does have some value (prestige), but it is much less important than how well your son does in school (his undergraduate GPA and trends) and on his MCAT score, as well as how active he is in terms of his extracurricular activities. My thought is that he is more likely to be motivated and to take responsibility for his education/learning if he enjoys the school in which he is attending. Most universities provide competent preparation in terms of the MCAT and the basic sciences; it's really up to the student and how well he takes responsibility for his learning and uses the available resources around him. While it's true that some reknowned institutions have unique resources, if your son isn't going to be happy where he is attending, then it doesn't matter much. Bottomline: most schools provide adequate preparation, it is up to the individual student, and it is better to send him where he can be happy.
     
  22. shaggybill

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    Hehe, if that was the case, half the people on SDN would be in trouble. Me included.

    Kmom, let your son decide where he wants to go. Even if he picked a state school, he'll have about a good a chance of getting into med school as he would if he attended an Ivy League, so long as his grades, EC's, etc. are good.
     
  23. scrubsaresexy

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    He'll probably spend most of his first year drinking anyway. Let him go where he wants, and where the pressure isn't going to burn him out early on...just my $0.02.
     
  24. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate

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    Going to an expensive big name undergraduate school soley because you think it will increase your chances of getting into a medical school when you are too young to be certain if you want to go into medical school in the first place:
    [​IMG]
     
  25. postbacker

    postbacker Banned
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    Folks...this HAS to be a troll...loved the part about how the most expensive schools give the best prep for the MCAT, and then the part about how med schools only want kids from the "best" schools...

    Lots of gullibility on SDN...
     
  26. Mixtli

    Mixtli Trying to smile real hard

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    I agree it really doesn't matter where you go for Ugrad, but you just can't single-handedly brush it off either. For example, Duke, Harvard, Hopkins, Stanford...etc all boast of 90% acceptance rate. Other schools, the rate is much lower. Hopkins was a really stresser, but it prepared me very well. I'm in the top quarter of my med class.
     
  27. kmom

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    I just want to thank you for all your insights and useful information. You all have made us think a lot.
    My son is determine to be a medical doctor. He already volunteers at the near hospital and is involved with red cross. His dream and not ours have been to be a doctor.
    We are trying to help him succeed. We are a hard working family. Maybe after all your responses University of Pittsburgh seems a good choice. He doesnot mind going there after all.

    Thank you a lot.
     
  28. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    Hey, I called it first! :laugh: :

    I don't know. For all we know this could be an actual mom. I need excuses to procrastinate anyhow, so I'll answer the questions. Even trollish ones.
     
  29. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    I'm not sure that I'm willing to make myself miserable for 4 years just for the sake of being at the top of my medical class. For me my mental health is more important than that.
     
  30. postbacker

    postbacker Banned
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    Yes, looking back now I see where you did call it first (I missed it before).

    Total troll...it is that time of year, you know...
     
  31. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Beware the schoosl with high acceptance rates (and I sincerely doubt 90% rates). The easiest way to increase the acceptance rate is to weed with impunity.
     
  32. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast

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    if this is indeed a troll, it would have to be a crafty troll. I would suspect a troll would me more flagrant in his attempt to annoy the masses by selecting schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. for us to choose from. I guess that's troll evolution though -- after all the weaker trolls have been weeded out, there is a need for adaptation.
     
  33. dabiophyz

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    Hopkins chews you up and spits you out a superior student. Grades will be lower (1 person in my major has a gpa higher than 3.5), but you learn a lot more. Go with Hopkins!
     
  34. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate

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    :lol:
    [​IMG]
     
  35. silverlining1

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    I am a premed at Stanford and love it here, but I've got to be honest and point out that this is wrong. Stanford's acceptance rate is about 75%, which is still significantly higher than the national acceptance rate (about 47%). Stanford also does not screen premeds; I have heard of schools that achieve very high acceptance rates (>90%) by discouraging some students from applying or other similar means.

    Some things that I think are important to think about:
    --Prestige can help a little bit, but I think that the greatest benefits of going to a big-name school are 1) tough classes will overprepare students [yes, I think this is a good thing] and 2) there are many resources for advising and extracurricular opportunities. Despite the prestige, many med schools will probably take a 4.0 student from a state U over a 3.5 student from Cornell. I'm just making the numbers up, but my point is that "prestige" can only help so much.
    --The vast majority of high school seniors do not know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Even though some seniors may be very mature, I came to college and realized that there was so much more to study and think about than I had ever considered when I was younger. For example, I love studying the neurosciences now, which I had never learned about or thought about when I was in high school. Coming to college has given me opportunities to explore and take many different classes from world-class professors.
     
  36. Bacchus

    Administrator Moderator Physician

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    As an undergrad here is my advice to you... Most definitely allow him to pick his school. I'm at a university that is a private institution and about twice the amount of money of my state school, Penn State. Am I better for it? No. I'll just have a lot more UG loans when I get out of here. On top of that, I came to this university not thinking about being pre-med. That notion, if it still existed, would be great because I could get into a lot of graduate schools, but now I'm scraping the barrel and working my butt off to maintain a ~3.5 which has eliminated many schools from my application pool for medicine. I'm happy here, atleast, but I can honestly say that I may have made a mistake of going here instead of going to an "easier" institution where I could have gotten possibly better grades. Atleast, from what I hear that this experience will prepare me for the rigors of medical school, or so I've heard from medical students that I know. Don't start the argument with your son, it creates resentment. I fought with my parents for about a month on going where I wanted to so that I could get the most out of my experience. They've finally become accustomed although they don't like me living in the deadliest city in America :scared: . Let your son make the decision, he'll do better for it.
     
  37. chickenlittle84

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    let him go where he will be happy. i went to a competitive undergrad, had a hard time, and am pretty confident that my gpa would have been significantly higher had i gone somewhere that had more grade inflation. that doesn't necessarily have to do with the rank of the school, though. my partner, who is also applying to medical school, went to an equally prestigious undergrad that had a lot more grade inflation (science classes curved at a B or B+ as opposed to B- or C+). He played a lot of frisbee, learned, and did well without all that much effort. I would REALLY have liked to play some more frisbee....
     
  38. searun

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    It always stikes me as odd when I see an applicant from Stanford or Yale with a good gpa and a crappy MCAT. It happens more often than you would expect.
     
  39. orrghead16

    orrghead16 decimals and dollars

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    Perhaps the screening process took place in the original undergraduate for Stanford. At undergrads that have competative admissions, the best applicants get in. At big State U there are lots of below average kids that still dream of being a doctor but can easily get into State U. It is more than likely that plenty of those kids with below a 2.0 at State U probably would not have gotten in @ top undergrads.

    Along the same lines, I think prestige is not the reason for above average med acceptance rates from uppertier undergrads. Med admissions are looking for quality applicants, regaurdless of where they attended and more of those applicants happen to attend top undergrads. Correlation does not prove causation. Stanford didn't, IMO prepare you better for med admissions. They just got the cream of the crop to make it look like they did.

    Prestige is something very, very small to worry about IMO and is often given as a large factor because some want to believe it is.
     
  40. silverlining1

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    I certainly agree that the competitive admissions process here makes for an outstanding student body and that this would logically lead to higher med school acceptance rates. Of course, I have no way to quantify how much prestige makes a difference, if any. I made the statements that I did because 1) I have taken courses at a lower-ranked university and found the coursework to be much easier and less in-depth and 2) I have heard of people at less prestigious schools who had trouble finding clinical opportunities and things of that nature.
     
  41. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance

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    I haven't even paid half of that for my ENTIRE undergraduate, and I'm finishing my fourth year.

    That is a BOAT LOAD of money, I didn't know they made undergraduate packages that consist of 31,000 dollars or more for a year of schooling.

    My school is top 10 in the nation for Chemistry, and top 10 for Biochemistry too... Would JHops really make any difference? I doubt it. Loaning out $124,000 for undergrad seems extremely espensive, anyone else agree?
     
  42. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this

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    Tufts is a good school and if he wants to go to Tufts let him go to Tufts...

    I'm still a little sore my parents refused to let me even apply to USC...that Cali life would have been nice ;)
     
  43. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this

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    Err...really? I graduated a couple years ago and by the time I graduated my package was starting to near that price due to tuition inflation...pretty sure many people pay about 40K a year since not everyone even got merit aid like I did lol.
     
  44. orrghead16

    orrghead16 decimals and dollars

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    Agree. I think at some low-tier colleges the course material will not ever rival top undergrads. However, I think the distinction between course work in the top privates and better publics is slim. Some profs may be better, some will be worse. That happens wherever you go.
     
  45. GeniusofLove

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    I went to JHU for undergrad. The school prepared me extremely well for medical school admissions, but it is not a lock. Your son has to have the drive and resourcefulness and personal attributes and confidence to take advantage of what JHU has to offer pre-meds. Many graduate from JHU worse for wear because it can grind you down.

    You and your son should pick a school based on MUCH MORE than pre-med preparation, however. Happiness and quality of life, which are not JHU strong points, should be high priorities. I say this from experience. Tufts may have more to offer than JHU. For instance, if your son is into music it has a good radio station while JHU does not. The living and dining options are also much nicer there.

    Also, JHU medical school is not god's gift to medical students. Keep this in mind when sacrificing 4 years of potential unhappiness to get in there. 8 years at JHU is not for everyone.
     
  46. riceman04

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    yeah...that is such a biased statement...and this is why mothers become overbearing...even though they have the best intentions
     
  47. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster

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    I hope this $120,000 experiment works out for you. But hey, if you've got the money, why not spend it.
     
  48. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days...

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    I went to JHU for undergrad. I did some graduate work at JHSPH, and now I work at JHMI.

    Firstly, JHU is not known for taking it's own students into medical school. They take a small percentage every year, but it is MUCH smaller than you would expect. Their rationale is that they want their own JHU undergrads to go elsewhere and become "more diverse" in terms of what type of environment, people, and academics they are exposed to. And of course, the Hopkins medical school likes to accept students from all around the country to increase their med school class diversity.

    So for the average premed coming out of Hopkins undergrad, even with a decent application, there is no set preference for Hopkins undergrads for Hopkins medical school, in fact, it is more of the opposite - they want them to go elsewhere.

    Now the undergrad itself is pretty competitive. Not just the premeds. I had a pretty rough time being an engineering major at JHU and a premed. My GPA suffered a bit, and although, yes, alot of that is on me, some of it has to do with the environment.

    On the flip side, it will make your son into a very toughened student for medical school. It will give him the stamina and study habits that you would otherwise not find at any institution where they do not have the same crazy students who are willing to gut you to get to the top or the hard classes that are piled on you from the day you start.

    We don't really have a "premed program", however, our Preprofessional Advising Office is regarded very highly by other advising programs across the country. The resources it offers as well as the premed advisors it has are top of the line, very excellent, and they take a good chunk of the credit for helping me and countless others into medical school. That being said, it also depends on how well your son takes the initiative and works to improve himself, because they don't spoon feed us. If we don't put in the work, they can't do much for us - the premed office at JHU is there as a guide.

    All in all, JHU is a rough place to try and be a premed, and it costs a crapload of money. But I learned alot of stuff about myself that I feel like I needed before entering medical school, stuff that I probably wouldn't have learned at an undergrad institution that is "easier." As much as I b*tch about my piss poor grades and rising debts, I wouldn't trade my undergrad education for any other college or program in the US.
     
  49. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    Sometimes I love my mom so much for not interfering with things like this. I'm kind of happy to have been allowed to be independent early on, even if sometimes my parents didn't always want to let me go. :)
     
  50. Stolenspatulas

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    i wouldnt say that is true. if you look at the hopkins ugrads that get into hopkins med (just do an mdapp search to verify), it is not as if they are all getting into all the top med schools. some may get into a few top schools, but its not like they are getting into multiple top tens. that said, this suggests that many hopkins ugrads that get into hopkins med have a slight leg-up compared to other applicants coming from different schools.

    i would say the same thing about myself regarding duke. the only top 10 i got into was duke. i have to believe that if i didnt go to duke ugrad i probably wouldnt have had the leg-up to get into duke med.
     
  51. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days...

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    Trust me, they don't. This is what has been told to me by our preprof office, and they get their info from the source. And all the people I know who went to JHMI from JHU got into multiple top 10 schools.

    Also, when I do the search for anyone who applied MD and got accepted to JHMI, it brings up 6 results, 5 of which got into another top 10. Not that you can extrapolate any thing meaningful from mdapps anyway, but still.
     
  52. crimsonkid85

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    I believe Harvard's acceptance rate to medical schools is >95%. However, take this statistic with caution: the official premed advice is to apply widely and broadly. The average premed student (according to my pre-med advisor) applies to twenty-two medical schools (I submitted 17 primaries). I personally know many who applied to >30 schools. Thus, the acceptance rate is the rate at which a student is accepted to a medical school; not, for example, the rate at which a student is accepted to the top 3 schools of his or her choice.
     

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