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Unqualified medical school students

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Dumpy, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Dumpy

    Dumpy 1,000,000+ Posts
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    Is anyone here at all worried or upset about the quality of people with whom you will be attending school? A lot of the people on these forums are posting complaints about how they have a 3.1 and a 27 MCAT "Can I still get in?!!!!!!!". The sad thing is, one year and one useless post-bacc program later, they ARE in. These people are going to be doctors! These are the people that are going to end up the targets of malpractice suits and drive malpractice insurance up and public opinion down for the rest of us, who actually deserve to be where we are. I say, if you don't have the time or work ethic to do well enough to get into medical school off the bat, don't try to find a back door, just do something else. I acknowledge that this isn't true of everyone who does post-bacc work to get in (non-trads especially). For those of you who attended undergrad starting at age 18, declared yourself a "pre-med" major (or biology major), and then SCREWED UP, have a little respect and class and step aside.

    I await the torrent of hate posts. But beware... this troll has claws! :smuggrin:
     
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  3. idq1i

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    The worst thing to do to a troll is to ignore him. I will begin.....

    :sleep: :sleep: :sleep:
     
  4. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    Honestly, I am more worried about the people who have 3.8's and 35's but were the stereotypical anal pre-meds, doing everything for the wrong reasons, with no social skills, etc. I know people like this from my own school who had no trouble at all getting in, while there are plenty of people who I am confident would make great doctors that did not get in.
     
  5. hope280

    hope280 Member
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    Dumpy, you are stupid and i would hate to have you as a doctor. I dont mean to feed you but i feel the need to tell you that you are stupid. Have a nice day.
     
  6. gioia

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    Dumpy,

    How in the world did you get all those posts listed under your name?
     
  7. DMBFan

    DMBFan Senior Member
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    I dont know if you are generalizing but I don't think that EVERY kid with a 3.8 is just socially challenged and stutters/hides when another individual talks to them. However, your stereotype is correct to a certain extent bec. I do know this girl who is just really socially inept but I think that her lack of social grace is because of her family background and shyness, not bec. she studies all the time.
     
  8. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    Just to clarify, I am not saying everyone with a 3.8 and 35 is a socially inept, bad-doctor-in-the-making gunner. I am just saying I am not looking forward to having classmates who got in because of their high numbers but ALSO have these bad qualities. I do know these people are out there. I can give you names if you want. :p

    I know plenty of people who have high numbers and are well-rounded and will be good doctors, too. These are classmates I will enjoy. :D
     
  9. MEDicated

    MEDicated Senior Member
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    You truly will be a bad physician with that arrogant mentality. by the way, you know who gets sued the most for malpractice? the doctor who doesn't befriend his/her patients. patients don't want to sue people they like, even if they made a mistake...............and i've got a feeling your patients won't like you. good luck
     
  10. Dumpy

    Dumpy 1,000,000+ Posts
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    Well, with some a well thought out and coherent response, I have little hope of defending myself.

    I made this post for a reason. I feel that a lot of people probably share the opinion that I stated, especially those of us that took the time and effort to do well. Does having a 4.0 and a 35 make you a good doctor? Absolutely not. Does having a 3.2 and a 25 make you somehow more worldly and personable? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Between the two classifications, which would you prefer to hav as your doctor? Let me guess, I'll get 25 posts saying "I would MUCH rather having a physician who is compassionate and caring, than some crazy gunner". No, you wouldn't. If you need to go under the knife or be treated for cancer, do you want the guy/girl that smiles the most? No, you want the person who knows their $hit because they spent their time studying and learning and perfecting. You can argue all you want, but I simply refuse to believe that people are willing to entrust their lives, or their loved-ones lives, to the underdog thats "just so NICE".

    This site is just a collection of politically correct posts about "the person over the grades" and "everybody wins". The institution of this karma thing only exarcerbates this. Unfortunately, that's not the way the world works, especially not medicine. So, consider this a rude injection of reality into your Candy World.
     
  11. Dumpy

    Dumpy 1,000,000+ Posts
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    Explain to me what it is that you find arrogant? I'm not saying I'm great, I'm just saying that I worked to get where I wanted to, and I don't feel that there should be so many shortcuts for those who didn't. I'm sure that you, being a self-actualized and enlightened human being, feel no shred of competitiveness or pride over what you've done. If it were up to you, ANYONE who wants to be a doctor would have the opportunity, because that just feels right, doesn't it?
     
  12. kingcer0x

    kingcer0x Re-Member
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    Admissions is no predictor of success as a doctor. Why don't you wait until you see someone struggling through medical school to label them as an unqualified student? Better yet... why don't you wait until you actually enter medical school or become a doctor to start accusing people of being unqualified. This is assuming that you actually exist and are not a troll.
     
  13. BioMedResearch

    BioMedResearch Senior Member
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    Threads like this just don't ruffle feathers they OFFEND!

    LMAO! :laugh:
     
  14. Persistence101

    Persistence101 Senior Member
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    Having a 4.0 and 35 does not mean you're any smarter than someone with lower scores. Yeah, like patients are even gonna ask their doctors what they scored on their MCAT right before they head into surgery. :rolleyes:
     
  15. it's the member description. if you have under 100 posts, nothing shows up for a post count. but to echo idq's view of the OP . .

    :sleep: :sleep:
     
  16. MEDicated

    MEDicated Senior Member
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    hey there dumpy....well, the fact that you believe people with average stats shouldn't be given the opportunity to be a doctor is arrogant...it's as if the intangible qualities of a student aren't considered and you are better simply because of your higher GPA or MCAT. of course i don't think everyone should be a doc just cause they want to, but there is more to the game that #'s. frankly, someone who messed up in college for a year or two and THEN decided that the passion for medicine was strong enough to climb the hill and overcome their poor beginnings is what medicine should be about. and the last thing........of course im competitive, but i bring different tools to the table than others and will respect someone who doesn't have my #'s because they can provide other things in areas i might be weak in. ultimately, #'s are just the beginning, but i firmly believe the physician is a product of much more than his or her educational background.
     
  17. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    Ok, so the OP is obviously both incredibely frustrated and trying to start some controversey..... and I totally agree that applicants with average stats have just as much of a right to be in medicine than anyone else. However, there are those that get in with insanely low numbers... 21 MCATs, 2.5 GPAs, and so on.... I know there aren't that many of them, but it's still frightening.
     
  18. Dumpy

    Dumpy 1,000,000+ Posts
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    Well, let me offer a different question: What do you all, since you are all so vehemently lined up against me, feel IS the best predictor of success during and after medical school? You all agree that its not grades or scores... so, what, how many useless volunteer experiences you've racked up?

    The bottom line is this: medical school admissions committees use grades and MCAT score to select applicants. At some schools, it goes so far as to actually have a computer eliminate people based on these criteria before a human being ever looks at the file. So, the people who does this for a living agree that these ARE the most important factors in predicting future success. They use EC's and life experiences to compare similar applicants, but in no way can you expect to get into med school with a 3.0, 25 MCAT, and a 28 really relevant EC's.

    So, for all of you out there who hate this thread so much, keep smiling away and patting each other on the back. Be sure to look in the mirror and reaffirm to yourself how righteous and understanding you are. Remember that you will be an EXCELLENT physician because you feigned compassion on an anonymous message board. Most importantly, make sure to try and ignore reality for as long as possible; that's what good people do.
     
  19. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member
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    the OP has some legit points - but it doesn't matter. once you're in, you're in and you gotta do the same work and pass the same exams as everyone else. very few american med students fail out, so obviously they're doing a good enough job with selection and education. if someone "underqualified" somehow got in, and they couldn't cut it, then they'd fail out - end of story.
     
  20. Dumpy

    Dumpy 1,000,000+ Posts
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    Honesty! Thank the lord. And I did leave out one tenet of my argument inadvertently. Unlike most types of graduate school, medical schools do their "weeding out" during admissions. Therefore, it is in the schools' best interest to see to it that, once admitted, their students make it through. Nothing good comes from a med student that fails and drops out. So, those people that do slip through the net are very likely to slide through med school. What does that mean? That means that they have an MD; a license to manage innocent patients' health. Honestly, all of you who hate my post, do you really want to appear so nice as to tell me that this is a good thing?

    Last question for now: WHY should people with average stats have the same opportunities to go into medicine? What have they done, other than stay with the pack, to demonstrate their capabilites? I was under the impression that the admissions process was all about finding the stand-outs... guess that doesn't fit in with the philosophy of this board.
     
  21. 34140

    34140 Senior Member
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    To be a good doctor, not only do you have to understand what you are doing, you have to have critical thinking skills, as well have good social skills. Some people can get a B in bio but retain more knowledge than the person who got an A and forgot after the semester. Now which one would make a better doctor? A doctor needs to be WELL ROUNDED, not just in grades but with people too.
     
  22. good_faith

    good_faith Senior Member
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  23. Dumpy

    Dumpy 1,000,000+ Posts
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    Oh God! Please NOOO! Don't lower my precious karma! But people on this board will think I'm bad!
     
  24. gioia

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    But DUMPY,

    What about grade inflation???

    I agree with your concern but what about the people who take the MCAT 3 times and then do well? What pool are they in?

    Or what about the people who went to schools where the students all got 10 points added on to their grade just because they showed up for the last day of class.

    How do those people get factored in or out?
     
  25. WatchingWaiting

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    Well, the reality is they don't have the same chances to get in. If you look at the yearly AAMC publication summarizing med school admissions, you see that by the the time your MCAT is 34, you have an 85% or so chance of getting in, whereas the student with a 26 MCAT who is not a URM has less than a 5% chance of getting in.

    I do agree with one feature of your post-- it is absolutely sickening how people on these boards repeatedly denigrate the high achievers as somehow being socially stunted. In fact, there have been studies that have shown that your verbal MCAT and your third year evaluations on social skills are well correlated. Most people who feel the need to talk about their superior social qualifcations and the "socially incompetent doctor with a 40/3.9" are just looking for a way to excuse their lack of drive, hard work, and/or intelligence in completing the pre-med requirements. It does tend to annoy me.
     
  26. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member
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    i don't think you understood my point as i intended it. there's no such thing as sliding through med school - even the guy who graduates last in their class from State U has a ton of knowledge and is ready to treat "innocent patients" - i'm not sure why you feel the way you do, but ad coms do this every year, so i gotta think they know what they're doing better than any of us.


     
  27. UDbiochem

    UDbiochem Senior Member
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    Dumpy, so.... you say anyone basically who has a 3.1 and a 25 MCAT shouldn't be allowed into med school because they didn't work hard enough? What if both their parents were killed a car crash the day before the MCAT? What if their gpa stinks because they failed a couple courses due to a death in the family? Maybe you shouldn't be so judgmental. Not all gpas are due to just how smart you are. Maybe "average" gpa students are really above average, but circumstances made it different.

    I think med school is looking for standouts, but not necessarily the way you think people stand out.

    I agree with the comment about the "B" student who remembers a lot more than the A student and will be more successful in medical school as a whole. The B student might have learned it so that he/she could use it. The A student might have just learned it to get the A and that's it. In one ear, out the other..... yes feeding the troll....

    This is in no way degrading students with the 4.0! Good job guys! And even greater congrats are due to those who have overcome difficult circumstances with a 4.0!
     
  28. WatchingWaiting

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    Why do people fetishize about the rare exception rather than the norm? How many students have any kind of personal crisis the week before the MCAT? 1%? Maybe? Those that do generally would just put it off until the next administration.

    The average A student has a much better retention than the average B student. You can no doubt find the occasional B student who retains better than the occasional A student, but this is a rare exception and certainly not the norm. Besides, on the occassions when this happens you get the student with a 3.2 gpa and a 35 MCAT and the student with a 3.8 gpa and a 24 MCAT, so the superior long-term retention does ultimately get reflected in the cumulative package. The non-retaining student will then, of course, come back with the also annoying, "I'm just not a good standardized taker," when the reality is, "I am a good volume memorizer and regurgitator, but I have poor big-picture understanding and long-term retention of what is important."
     
  29. umass rower

    umass rower Insert clever phrase here
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    Just out of curiosity, what do you consider to be average stats? Before I started this process, I felt like I was somewhat above average for med students, and yet I was only invited for interviews at 5 schools, and with 3 of them they didn't send the invitation until it was too late to get a straight acceptance (I would consider this to be a somewhat below-average response from med schools). In the end, I have only been accepted to one school, and that's my state school. Were 13 out of the 14 schools right, that I'm not really all that qualified to be a doctor? Or did the one school see my true potential, and in a few years I'll be a great doctor? I will say that numbers will reflect academic strength and therefore to a great extent imply future academic performance, but in areas like Family Practice, or general Peds do you think you need the guy who was at the top of his class, getting a 4.0 and a 39 MCAT?

    I think that people who are relatively academically weak but still getting in to med school aren't going to be going for the extremely technical or detail-oriented specialties, in general. The world of medicine needs all kinds of people to fill its needs, and while in some areas that means having an extremely intelligent, precise, and careful doctor, in other areas the doctor will need to spend more time on the patients themselves rather than the disease. I think that admissions committee members look to fill a lot of different gaps in the medical world, and in some cases that requires looking beyond the people with high scores and finding people with humanitarian interests, excellent interpersonal skills, etc.

    EDIT** PS- The USMLE should weed out those who are truly unqualified, and residency admissions will know what kind of students they need in their specialty. So there are several stages of weeding out, and if a low-achiever fakes their way through med school admissions, they will probably get caught further down the line.
     
  30. hakksar

    hakksar Senior Member
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    Not trying to feed the troll here but this is a misguided statement. The problem with comparing GPA's and/or MCAT's is there are too many variables. There are hard and easy majors (at my school I would take a B average Biochem major over a 4.0 Biology major), there are bad test days (I am not talking extremes here, just maybe you were not on the day of the MCAT). It is not like we all have the same background or experiences and comparing straight GPA's or MCAT's without looking at other factors would be a mistake.
    Edit: BTW I have an excellent MCAT score so I am not suffering from an inferiority complex
     
  31. Tofurkey

    Tofurkey Senior Member
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    I completely agree with you, Dumpy. However, let me preface this by saying that by agreeing with you I'd probably eliminate myself from admissions consideration under your idea--(3.5 science, 3.4 overall, haven't taken MCAT yet) but I definitely agree with you, especially about how once you're in, if you're struggling, med schools will do lots of things to help you--which negates the argument that "poor students will fail out." This means that once you're in you can make it through even if you really can't do the work. It might take you five years instead of four (and some med schools even allow this option to students--taking an extra year), but you'll be an MD. How scary is that??

    It really scares me very much that there are a lot of mediocre doctors out there, people who might have the drive and genuinely good intentions of being a good doctor, but because of intellect or brain firepower, just can't cut it. No, I would not want them working on me. I want the doctor who aced her MCATs, was at the top of her class, and did well on her boards. Quite frankly, when I look for a doctor to go to right now, I choose the older ones, the ones who got into med school at a time when numbers, and just numbers, mattered. I would most likely never choose a younger doctor to be my doctor(i.e. 35 or under) not because they're fresh out of residency, but because I believe it would be taking more of a risk than choosing an older person. My aunt, who is an opthamologist, always says that the quality of young doctors these days is appalling, and how they don't know nearly what she and her peers knew back when she graduated from residency. Why might this be? One of the reasons may be because in the olden days, med schools did not rely on all this touchy-feely crap to admit their students. So does that mean my aunt is not a good doctor because all she did was study back in college instead of wasting her time volunteering and showing community involvement? Heck, no. I'd say she's a better doctor for it.

    My position is: if you want to volunteer and do community service, by all means do it, but med schools should be almost purely numbers based, and this volunteering stuff should not be required (as it is now, in an unwritten rule.)

    What med schools need to do is look very closely at an applicant's overall college record. If this person had a bad year or two, and then consistently and dramatically improved--great, let this person in, and I'll trust them with my pancreas. However, if someone has a consistently mediocre record--but did tons of volunteering--for the love of God don't let them in. The medical profession and the patients of this country, are, in my opinion, the worse off for shifting from med schools' shifting from a more numbers-based approach (mid-90's and before) to a more touchy-feely, "whole applicant" approach (mid-90's to present.)

    You are right on target, OP, and I thank you for having the courage to post on what you correctly call a "politically correct" board. I get SO tired of all that PC sometimes.

    Thanks!
     
  32. Dumpy

    Dumpy 1,000,000+ Posts
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    WatchingWaiting isn't the troll, I AM!
     
  33. WatchingWaiting

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    Well, evaluating validity of gpa across majors and schools is a complex determination. I would say that, regardless of your beliefs, the most positive adjustment med school admissions committees will give for hard major/hard school is in the .5 neighborhood. So, a B+ average in biochem at a rigorous institution might be viewed similarly to an A- average in biology at a weaker school. A straight "B" applicant even with Ivy credentials and a difficult major will pretty much not be able to get into med school without a strong post-bac. OTOH, frankly, I don't think biochem is all that hard a major. Chemical Engineering is a hard major; biochem is a bit harder than straight bio, but not all that much harder. Assuming equal universities, it would probably get a .1 or .2 adjustment at most med schools.
     
  34. Dumpy

    Dumpy 1,000,000+ Posts
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    Refer to this post as the nice and unoffensive re-statement of my views.

    I never claimed to have all of the answers to the admissions problem. I'm just sick of the nauseating garbage about life experience and compassion. Medicine is an intellectual endeavour before all else. Stop painting it like its touchy-feely hug fest.

     
  35. Lochmoor

    Lochmoor Senior Member
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    Medicine is not just about developing the most intelligent/patient friendly physician. It's just one of the goals. I think med schools (and pretty much any educational institution) also want to develop individuals that will tend to the various needs in society.

    Ex. URM's--minority populations are severly underrepresented in medicine today. Many minority areas do not recieve adaquate medical care. By admitting more urm's hopefully those gaps will be filled.

    All in all, you have to remember, healthcare like society is not perfect.

    To the OP, who really cares if other physicians are or are not qualified? Well, patients will care and hopefully nothing bad will happen. But really doesnt affect you directly. Though I do understand the indirect consequences, but these are completely outside of your control. So, just mind your own business, study hard, and take care of your own [email protected]# and everything will be fine and dandy.

    Best of luck,
    Lochmoor
     
  36. hakksar

    hakksar Senior Member
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    OK, I agree that at some schools Chem E's are a harder major but not at mine (Chem E's have a lot of grade inflation vs Biochem with a standard normal curve). I guess you a proving my point that it is impossible to fairly compare GPA's. You state that there is a difference in Universities and use Ivy's as the top institution. It has been clearly shown that Harvard has extreme grade inflation. Compare that to a service academy such as the Naval Academy, West Point, or the Air Force Academy (arguably equally hard to get into) with a standard bell curve. Will the 4.0 from west point or harvard mean more? I do not know. It is not as simple as you make it sound.
     
  37. WatchingWaiting

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    What I would like to see is a study of how strong the correlation is between volunteer work activity and interpersonal skills as a physician. Regardless, it is worth remembering that 80% of people who start out as pre-meds get weeded out by the chemistry and biology pre-reqs, 25% of people who are still around at the MCAT phase get weeded out due to gross underperformance, and 50% or so of people who apply to med school get in nowhere. I doubt that there has been any substantial reduction in applicant academic quality over the last decades. If most applicants look at how much time was actually spent on volunteering and community service activities, it is rarely more than ten hours a week, which really is a small fraction relative to how much time is spent studying and attending class. Clinical exposure and research do, in fact, contribute to good physicians, and so this is not time that under any reasonable argument detracts from creating good physicians.
     
  38. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member
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    the part about younger doctors being weaker is a load of garbage. i'd like something a little more concrete than "my aunt says so."

    doctors today have so much more to learn than did doctors even 30 years ago. science is simply more advanced, and there is more to know. for example, my immunology professor (undergrad) told us that a good chunk of what he taught us wasn't known when he went to school 30 years ago. the same applies in medicine, in drugs, techniques, genetic knowledge, not to mention a much more complicated healthcare system.

    i'm not trying to insult you or your aunt, but to say that younger doctors are a weaker strain just seems unfounded to me.


     
  39. WatchingWaiting

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    I didn't argue that is was simple, simply that med school evaluation committees do recognize difficulties in major and school and do make some adjustment for them. Actually, it is also simpler for med schools than for us to do this analysis in that med schools do have aggregate data for average gpa in a particular major at a particular school over the last few years of applicants and can compare this to average MCAT score for similar groups and, as a result, do an analysis of the relative value of different gpas at different schools in different majors. We, on the other hand, are limited to our gut intuitions and limited sample space of what majors feel harder or easier.
     
  40. TRUE

    TRUE slacker extraordinaire
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    So basically numbers are it? How do you compare people in different majors at different schools? Is a 4.0 from Harvard equal to a 4.0 from Southwest mississippi state?

    Overall, though, you're idea isn't very solid. You say that you fear having students who are mediocre grades-wise, but you're just going to admit people who are mediocre personality-wise. These are the doctors who you meet and can't explain what is wrong with you in non-medical jargon. They have no social skills are absolutely inept in dealing with other people. Which is better? Great doctors are a blend of smarts and personality.

    I think another interesting point is the declining interest in medicine by prospective medical students. What do I mean by that? Simply that more people are interested in medicine sans the lifestyle requirements. Why is dermatology so difficult to match into? Is it because looking at skin all day is soooo interesting? I think not. You make pretty good money and you work about the same as an office secretary. Doctors from previous generations are much more concerned about their patients and medicine in general than doctors from our generation (as a whole, exceptions exist of course). There are too many people, even on this board, who give off this cavalier attitude that they're bigger and more important than medicine. They don't want to "sacrifice" their lifestyle for medicine. I think this whole volunteering and "helping people" requirement is largely a result of this new trend.
     
  41. hakksar

    hakksar Senior Member
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    I know you didn't make it sound simple but you stated above that the higher GPA and MCAT shows an increased ability to memorize/understand that you argue is key for success in medical school and in being a good doctor. However, I disagree that GPA's and MCAT's can accurately demonstrate this. As I said above Biochem is much harder at my undergrad institution than biology (not because of subject matter but because of grading schemes). However, I feel I understand more science with a 3.4 in Biochem than a 4.0 in Biology. By using GPA's and MCAT's alone you eliminate a lot of 3.2 Air Force Cadets that would of had a 3.8+ if they had chosen an Ivy. I think the medical schools do a decent job of picking the most well prepared students. There are some who get in that shouldn't (either because of social skills or academic prowess) and there are some that should that don't (for whatever reason). However, there has been nothing said in this thread that provides any way to improve the process.
     
  42. OmahaMX80

    OmahaMX80 Senior Member
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    This is obviously a very touchy subject... it's kind of funny that we all sit here putting in our two cents (or 10 cents in some cases) about what makes a good doctor. We of all people, premedical students with no experience and no real perspective on "the other side" of the admissions process. I agree with what has been said, some people get in that should not, and some don't get in who probably should have. But at its very basis, the admissions process is still controlled by people and will always be. No doubt, some on admissions committees think like dumpy, that grades and MCAT scores should determine whether or not a person is accepted. And then of course there are others who put more emphasis on life experiences. The fact of the matter is, it would be ideal if admissions committees could get to know every applicant and make a well-informed insightful decision about whether or not he or she is well suited to the medical profession. But that kind of insight doesn't come from a list of EC's or a well-written, clever personal statement. By the numbers it's just not practical (or even possible) to explore each applicant to the extent that is probably deserved in most cases. And that's just something we each have to deal with.

    Besides... my limitied knowledge of the admissions process suggests that it is much more political than anyone here has been willing to acknowledge. I know two individuals who have been accepted at medical schools which I will not name with MCAT scores less than 27, GPA's around 3.0, and unimpressive EC's. However, what these individuals do possess is an ethnic background. Additionally, I know of many cases in which children of well-connected doctor parents have been accepted to medical school with less than ideal credentials.

    I guess my point is that this is still a human process which means no matter what you think as far as how admission should be determined, the age old mechanisms of matriculation (bias, racial quotas, nepotism) are alive and well. No matter what, people will get in who shouldn't, in someone's opinion. And no one's really right anyway. So sit back and relax. If it's meant to be you will get in. If not, then there are a number of other ways to express all of those great qualities that you think will make you a better doctor... and by that I mean other health careers such as nursing, pharmacy, public health, etc.

    Thanks and good luck everyone.
     
  43. hypersting

    hypersting Senior Member
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    Dumpy,

    On the surface your argument is correct, that people tend to take the stereotypes too far, but in the course of your explanation you tend to do the same thing. There is a baseline level of qualification that makes you academically qualified to handle a medical education. As such, if that baseline is lets say for arguments sake an MCAT of 28 or so, while the 39 MCAT has certainly proved a mastery of the material, the 28 is not less qualified to be a competent, if not outstanding physician. The person may end up an outstanding physician, just as the 39 may become a poor one; however based on the indicators available both would be qualified, assuming that is the baseline. After passing this academic hurdle and the question of a keen interest in medicine only do admissions committees consider the intangibles in selecting who they feel will be a good fit for their school. You can argue that many schools split hairs with individuals and subtle differences can grant or deny admission.

    You have to remember Dumpy, you are judging people based on PRE-Med GPA and MCAT. In other words, some of the education can even be left over from High School, like Gen Chem, Physics, etc. Would you really think someone with a 3.3 (which is a B+ average) who can't handle physics will consequently make a poor physician? The subject matter is much different in medical school and as such, adcoms use those courses and its standardized test to guage an approximate barometer for admittance. Remember, most of the theory for medicine in learned in medical school, and the practical aspect in residency. If someone has a 3.0 cause they drank too much freshman year, but rocks the Georgetown Master's, I think they are qualified to be a physician, as they have proven themselves in actual medical school classes rather then a Intro Chemistry class.

    I think your baseline assertion is correct, that MCAT and GPA are correlated to medical school success. However, as I hope I have reasonably explained, the argument is more nuanced than that. AAMC has a vested interest in this debate, thus the journal Academic Medicine does continuous studies on these factors. Which factors predict success in med school? Do URMs (and IMGs) serve physician shortage communities? etc etc. I can grab some links for you if I get a minute, or you can check out PubMed or academicmedicine.org yourself.

    For the person who said doctors are worse now academically. That is cleary false. The average GPA and MCAT of accepted and matriculants has gone up steadily over time. A 3.3 may have cut it before, but now its somewhere past 3.5 as the average (in terms of GPA). Check out AAMC.org for the complete table.

    Also, a word to everyone, don't judge if he is arrogant or cocky or won't make a good physician from a single post. The internet has the ability for you to become anything you want. You don't know him in real life or what he is about. If he clearly won't be a good physician, it will be apparent along the lines, med school, residency practice, etc. Besides, confidence (but not recklessness) is important for some specialities such as surgery, where the risk is great and only someone confident enough will perform procedures where there is significant chance for patient loss.
     
  44. premedi-kid

    premedi-kid Senior Member
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  45. Dumpy

    Dumpy 1,000,000+ Posts
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    I completely agree with that. As I said, I don't have the answers to all of the questions (obviously). Everyone is an individual. My post was a reaction to all of the ass-kissing that goes on here and, much to my delight, I succeeded in getting ants in everyone's pants :smuggrin:

    To be concise: I'm just sick of the patronizing "everybody wins" attitude that seems to be the only accepted modus operandi on this site. Half of the people on this site are here to confirm that they aren't the only ones going crazy. The other half are here to brag, but to do it indirectly and feign humility and compassion. My posts are aimed at the latter.
     
  46. kels

    kels Member
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    This is my first post on sdn, and it's to thank Dumpy, WatchingWaiting, and others. If I hear another person say, "Well, that 4.0/40 has no social skills and will make a bad doctor," I'm gonna throw-up.
     
  47. PMED99

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    Dumpy, I think there are two reasons why we search and use this site. One is to find information and ask questions. Two is to find a sense of community support and a feeling of not being alone in the process. Since a lot of people who use the site find themselves on waitlists or not getting in, then there will be a lot of uplifting comments.

    So, just dont read these posts or shake them off. Its not as if these posts of encouragement will actually allow them to get in.

    Also, dont worry so much about who else is getting in. Sure it may down the road affect your insurance but in the longrun it is yourself as a doctor and the medical staff you surround yourself with rather than who goes to a medical school across the nation.

    Think about this, a doctor is only as good as the people who he surrounds him/herself with. From the nurse to the patient transporter everyone counts.

    Just some stuff to think on.
     
  48. Odaroloc

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    I would agree that to let someone open up a loved one, I would want the best of the best...not the best of the average or the "just good enough"...and that is why we have the USMLE. You can slide through med school perhaps, but it would be nearly impossible to slide through the exam and get a competitive residency.
     
  49. chopper

    chopper Senior Member
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    Wow - I have to congratualte Dumpy on his abilty to elicit such an emotionally charged response from so many people. I love a good dust up.

    What I saw as the major flaw in his arguement (unless you are just trying to dust it up) is where is the correlation between a 'below' average undergraduate showing and poor practice in the future? Is there some study about rogue 27 average MCAT doctors kiling people out there I dont' know about?

    My answer to the question "Who would you like to have standing over you while you are under the knife" is "The individual with the combination of mental smarts and grace under pressure who has my best interests in mind who will be bring me out of this alive"

    With 5 years experience in the navy nuclear power program, I saw perfect "paper credentials" types lock up when the s*&t hit the fan. I've also seen mediocre "clasroom" types save the day and left everyone saying "I want that guy on my team on on super bowl sunday". True, ON AVERAGE, the individuals who did better in the classroom did better when they had to perform in the real world. But I never judged any one of the people I qualified based on how they did in school - hell I didn't even care what they did. If they had whatever it took to get in the program, I let them prove themselves. Some people DO bloom late. I think that's what medical school, USMLE's, interviews for residency matching, and direct supervision of young docs as they learn their trade is all about.

    Get over this undergraduate number BS and how it going to affect you in the future. Once you are in medical school, the playing field is leveled and you start the 'ranking' process once again. Ditto for when you leave medical school and start your residencies.

    Good luck to you all - this 'underaverage' post bac is looking forward to working with you in med school and beyond.

    -chop
     
  50. CuteNurse

    CuteNurse Junior Member
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    Wow !!

    Some of you guys are a piece of work !! I thought that some of my pals were joking about how elitist US MD candidates can be but I stand corrected. I don't care what anyone says, Academics are only one part of medicine believe it or not. I have been a nurse for 10 years and have worked critical care with some of the "smartest" docs in the country. They seem to have a common mindset. "damn I'm smart" this often prevents them from listening to the bus driver patient with an accent beacuse they feel that they are the superior intellectual being and therefore this person could not possibly tell them something that they don't already know. This often causes them to miss important aspects of the patients condition. I will be starting med school next fall and I will take these lessons with me and not get so caught up in my own greatness. I think that a dose of humility is important to being a competent physician. All of this I am better than he is a load of crap. BTW, who is more important to medicine in your opinion, a group of high scoring plastic surgeons giving lipo and fake boobs to size 2 Pam-a-Likes or one of your unworthy "rejects" making far less taking care of those who can't afford your "He aced everything from day one" doc. Your answer says alot about who you really are.
     
  51. If you'd like a little perspective, I'm finishing my M3 year and my housemate probably fits into the category you are talking about...3.3 undergrad, 28 on the MCAT I believe, and started undergrad at age 18 as a pre-med. He only had an interview at one med school, and he told me he was lucky to be accepted here to an allopathic American school...

    The other part of the story you should know? He scored 260+ on Step 1 last year and has I'm guessing a 3.8 GPA (our school is letter graded), been involved in student government, etc. and will be applying for ortho residency this year. Shouldn't have a problem walking into any top program in the country...that is unless any program director asks him about his undergraduate GPA...think he's pretty safe on that one though. :laugh:

    Think he'll be an OK doc?





     

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