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I was fine with the diversity question, but the first essay is:

1. Describe a personal experience which resulted in a substantial moral or ethical dilemma. What was the outcome? We are reluctant to accept assertions that you have never encountered such a situation. Please do not address cheating in an academic setting. (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

Ok... Substantial? Other than witnessing cheating I really don't remember any substantial moral dilemmas. There is your every day "do I let this jackass in who tries to pass everyone in this lane?"

Yeah... I've got nothing. Maybe I'll sleep on it.
 

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gapotts2003 said:
I was fine with the diversity question, but the first essay is:

1. Describe a personal experience which resulted in a substantial moral or ethical dilemma. What was the outcome? We are reluctant to accept assertions that you have never encountered such a situation. Please do not address cheating in an academic setting. (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

Ok... Substantial? Other than witnessing cheating I really don't remember any substantial moral dilemmas. There is your every day "do I let this jackass in who tries to pass everyone in this lane?"

Yeah... I've got nothing. Maybe I'll sleep on it.
I feel the same way as you. I would love to hear what sorts of things other people came up with, not to rip off ideas but to get inspired (hopefully!).
 

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I was totally stuck on this one last year. Then I had a situation at the women's clinic I volunteered at that was perfect. I had to decide not to give a rapid HIV test to someone who really wanted it, b/c I'm not a counselor, even though the test is as easy to perform as a pregnancy test. I was really upset at the time, but driving home that night, it hit me -- I had my Pitt essay! It's easier if you have a knack for getting yourself into hot water (me). Seek out morally ambiguous situations ... something's bound to happen! Good luck!

EDIT: Don't let the essay keep you from applying -- Pitt is such an awesome school!
 
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prana_md said:
Seek out morally ambiguous situations ... something's bound to happen!!

:laugh: definitely good advice. I try to stick to this theory in my day to day life.
 

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a friend or family member with drug problems may be a good topic. i had one of those recently. do you think it matters, for essay purposes, that you handled the situation poorly (aka ignoring the problem and hoping it would go away on its own) and the final outcome was disastrous... as long as you learned a lesson...?
 

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cobalt31 said:
a friend or family member with drug problems may be a good topic. i had one of those recently. do you think it matters, for essay purposes, that you handled the situation poorly (aka ignoring the problem and hoping it would go away on its own) and the final outcome was disastrous... as long as you learned a lesson...?

I want your pug.


That is all.
 

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dimebag darrell said:
I feel the same way as you. I would love to hear what sorts of things other people came up with, not to rip off ideas but to get inspired (hopefully!).

It is a tough essay for which to think of something really good, because often those events that provoke moral or ethical dilemmas are those that one simply doesn't talk about a whole lot. I still haven't decided if this is what I'm going to write about for mine, because it surely isn't the best example out there, but a little while back, my younger brother came out as gay. Homosexuality had never really been a big issue to me--on a political level, I had always supported equal rights, for instance. However, I had never needed to fully address or confront my personal feelings on the subject, and I was brought up in a very traditional Christian home whose church was entirely unsupportive (although not wholly condemning) of homosexuality. The issue is not that I would ever disown my own brother, but how I would confront the possibility of harboring such skepticism toward a very innate part of him, or how I might move past such idiocy altogether. Eh, it's perhaps doable as an essay, although for me now, I'm almost more ashamed to admit that it posed the slightest problem for me at the time.

The real instance of a moral or ethical dilemma I've faced in my life, I simply cannot use as an essay, but man, it would work like a dream if I didn't have to divulge so much of my personal life. How about the moral and ethical questions that arise in oneself when you're a senior in high school, already hoping to go to medical school on down the road, and you discover that a girl you slept with (just for added spice to the story: the first girl you slept with after the first and only time you slept with her) tells you that she's pregnant, and leads you to believe she is pregnant for 2 and a half months. Ah, but don't worry, she was only "teaching you a lesson," as it turns out; she never was pregnant.
 
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Looque said:
It is a tough essay for which to think of something really good, because often those events that provoke moral or ethical dilemmas are those that one simply doesn't talk about a whole lot. I still haven't decided if this is what I'm going to write about for mine, because it surely isn't the best example out there, but a little while back, my younger brother came out as gay. Homosexuality had never really been a big issue to me--on a political level, I had always supported equal rights, for instance. However, I had never needed to fully address or confront my personal feelings on the subject, and I was brought up in a very traditional Christian home whose church was entirely unsupportive (although not wholly condemning) of homosexuality. The issue is not that I would ever disown my own brother, but how I would confront the possibility of harboring such skepticism toward a very innate part of him, or how I might move past such idiocy altogether. Eh, it's perhaps doable as an essay, although for me now, I'm almost more ashamed to admit that it posed the slightest problem for me at the time.

The real instance of a moral or ethical dilemma I've faced in my life, I simply cannot use as an essay, but man, it would work like a dream if I didn't have to divulge so much of my personal life. How about the moral and ethical questions that arise in oneself when you're a senior in high school, already hoping to go to medical school on down the road, and you discover that a girl you slept with (just for added spice to the story: the first girl you slept with after the first and only time you slept with her) tells you that she's pregnant, and leads you to believe she is pregnant for 2 and a half months. Ah, but don't worry, she was only "teaching you a lesson," as it turns out; she never was pregnant.

I'd go with door number one... Get beyond your apprehension and write about it. Shows that you can change and be more open and compassionate.
 

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Oh, yeah, I never intended to use the latter story for a medical school essay. I'm not quite so bold as to do that.
 

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i wrote about deciding whether or not to have a second baby after my firstborn was diagnosed with two genetic disorders. i thought it was good but people are getting interview invites and I'm not one of them. Hmm, maybe they're into eugenics? Guess I should have gone with infanticide...
 

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MiesVanDerMom said:
i wrote about deciding whether or not to have a second baby after my firstborn was diagnosed with two genetic disorders. i thought it was good but people are getting interview invites and I'm not one of them. Hmm, maybe they're into eugenics? Guess I should have gone with infanticide...
Irrespective of how the outcome has been thus far, that sounds like a pretty darn good essay for Pitt's prompt--what you wrote, not infanticide.
 
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a friend or family member with drug problems may be a good topic. i had one of those recently. do you think it matters, for essay purposes, that you handled the situation poorly (aka ignoring the problem and hoping it would go away on its own) and the final outcome was disastrous... as long as you learned a lesson...?
I was wondering the same thing....
 

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MiesVanDerMom said:
i wrote about deciding whether or not to have a second baby after my firstborn was diagnosed with two genetic disorders. i thought it was good but people are getting interview invites and I'm not one of them. Hmm, maybe they're into eugenics? Guess I should have gone with infanticide...

MiesVanDerMom said:
32 hour labor, no epi
This should get you interview invites... period.
 
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MiesVanDerMom said:
i wrote about deciding whether or not to have a second baby after my firstborn was diagnosed with two genetic disorders. i thought it was good but people are getting interview invites and I'm not one of them. Hmm, maybe they're into eugenics? Guess I should have gone with infanticide...

Relax. Stressing over Pitt in mid-freaking-July is an absolute waste. Pitt takes their time, people, they really do... :) :luck:
 

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Relax. Stressing over Pitt in mid-freaking-July is an absolute waste. Pitt takes their time, people, they really do...
Actually people are already getting interviews at Pitt
 

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narc said:
Actually people are already getting interviews at Pitt

That's no reason to obsess if you havent gotten one yet. It is very early in the process. I know its tough to keep a level head in this process - last year, I was the one stressing (unnecesarily) over who was getting interviews, and when. In the long run, you know what it got me? Nothing. I got the interviews that I got, and the acceptances that I got, and worrying excessively over particular schools did nothing to further that process.

Seriously, it's July. If you dont keep a lid on the stress hormones now, you'll never make it to next June :)
 

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About this essay:
My essay is in no way related to medicine or anything deep.
People are writing essays about should I tell my girlfriend i have the HIV, i ran over my friend’s dog, etc.
Anyone else lacking a somewhat meaningful dilemma?
 

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ChymeChancellor said:
Just make something up you guys! They'll never be the wiser! :D

Okay DO NOT TAKE Chyme's advise. I have stories about people making stuff up and plus you don't want to get into medical school based on a lie. Now you talk about ethical.. lol. But anyway this was a difficult question that took alot of thought if you don't think you have an etical or moral situtaion especially if you are trying to think of an medically related example. Not all essays will deal with medicine and I think that's okay because I am sure you talked about medicine 100+ times thoughout your application. But some suggestions I wrote about a family encounter regarding abortion. but some other suggestions I know you guys have ethical/moral convo's with your friends or maybe that just me. You knwo when you probe your friend about ethical/moral things going on it the world and it kinda starts a debate/arguement. Like my friends and i would debate about the Shivo case and gov't role in medicine. I think you can go at this question at alot of different angles. It's up to you. But Goodluck guys and get those applications out early but don't rush just to say you sent them off on such and such a date.
 
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AGAPE487 said:
Okay DO NOT TAKE Chyme's advise. I have stories about people making stuff up and plus you don't want to get into medical school based on a lie. Now you talk about ethical.. lol. But anyway this was a difficult question that took alot of thought if you don't think you have an etical or moral situtaion especially if you are trying to think of an medically related example. Not all essays will deal with medicine and I think that's okay because I am sure you talked about medicine 100+ times thoughout your application. But some suggestions I wrote about a family encounter regarding abortion. but some other suggestions I know you guys have ethical/moral convo's with your friends or maybe that just me. You knwo when you probe your friend about ethical/moral things going on it the world and it kinda starts a debate/arguement. Like my friends and i would debate about the Shivo case and gov't role in medicine. I think you can go at this question at alot of different angles. It's up to you. But Goodluck guys and get those applications out early but don't rush just to say you sent them off on such and such a date.
None of that is relevant. It's not a personal situation.
 

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cobalt31 said:
a friend or family member with drug problems may be a good topic. i had one of those recently. do you think it matters, for essay purposes, that you handled the situation poorly (aka ignoring the problem and hoping it would go away on its own) and the final outcome was disastrous... as long as you learned a lesson...?

That's what my essay was about- something that happened in high school in which I lied to my mother, and after the fact felt really guilty and ended up telling the truth a few weeks later. Basically the point of the essay was that I realized I made the wrong decision, and I learned from it.
 

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Mine was about some surgery my cat had which at the time was a no-brainer, but which years down the line seemed ethically questionable (allocating significant resources to keep a cat alive when so many humans suffer for lack of affordable healthcare). I had a really hard time coming up with a topic too... but was pretty happy with this one once I had it. I think "substantial" is a relative term... just write about something you experienced that had some element of gray area to it.

I'm happy to PM mine to anyone who wants to see an example, by the way.

:luck: G'luck and happy writing!
 

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gapotts2003 said:
None of that is relevant. It's not a personal situation.

Don't really get what you mean by it's not personal. When you take a stance in a situation it is personal... or at least that's what I thought since your stance is a result of your personal experiences and beliefs but that's just my take on it... And depending on how you read the question my suggestions are personal.. I think sometimes we get to bogged down with the literal meaning of questions. But I was just giving suggestions as someone asked earlier. Goodluck with the idea search :thumbup: and keep an open mind I am sure you will come up with something. :)

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ChymeChancellor said:
Just make something up you guys! They'll never be the wiser! :D
Write about the dilemma to make something up in your application!!! They'll eat that up! :D
 

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Damn I am gonna end up wrting about something really personal and emotional. I feel sick to my stomach writing about this topic :(
 

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Risa said:
Mine was about some surgery my cat had which at the time was a no-brainer, but which years down the line seemed ethically questionable (allocating significant resources to keep a cat alive when so many humans suffer for lack of affordable healthcare). I had a really hard time coming up with a topic too... but was pretty happy with this one once I had it. I think "substantial" is a relative term... just write about something you experienced that had some element of gray area to it.

I'm happy to PM mine to anyone who wants to see an example, by the way.

:luck: G'luck and happy writing!
That's interesting because for my Ohio State altruism essay I wrote about my fight to keep my two pet bunnies alive. Personally, I don't see why we shouldn't devote resources to pets. They have souls too. Should we kill all the pets of the world and take the money we were spending on litter and food and give it to homeless people or something? Your ethical or moral dilema intrigues me and I can see why Pitt would want to interview you...
 

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MiesVanDerMom said:
That's interesting because for my Ohio State altruism essay I wrote about my fight to keep my two pet bunnies alive. Personally, I don't see why we shouldn't devote resources to pets. They have souls too. Should we kill all the pets of the world and take the money we were spending on litter and food and give it to homeless people or something? Your ethical or moral dilema intrigues me and I can see why Pitt would want to interview you...
I totally agree with you... I think it's an interesting topic whichever angle you take. I'm by no means married to the position I supported in my essay... which is why I think this topic works so well as a gray area!

By the way, I love the genetics dilemma you mentioned earlier--it seems perfect for the prompt. (And double by the way, your avatar--so cute!!!)
 

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In regards to the ethical/moral dilemma, do you think its going to talk about a situation where you made the ethically wrong choice. For me in particular, I learned a lot from screwing up but I'm worried how bad its going to make me look.
 

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I wrote about how I was a victim of hazing, and decided to do something about it and report my organization, even though i still wanted to join it. How's that?
 

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I was going to write about how a female friend of mine was sexually assaulted and didn't want to report it while I thought she should, but I don't think I can write it in 250 words w/o it seeming exploitative or taking attention away from the real victim to me, which seemed kinda pathetic.

Maybe I'll just write about how I returned a lost pet I found and really liked. What do you guys think?
 

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I should prolly contribute instead of just asking for help...
@agr285 it definitely depends on how bad whatever you did is. but for the most part I think if you stress how much you learned from it and that next time you'll make the right choice it's fine.

@ABSOLUTsher07 unless they beat the [email protected]#$ out of you, reporting them sounds like you're a tattle tale or somethign, no offense
 

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I wrote about informing the parents of a friend of mine that their daughter had an eating disorder. I basically described how I gave her an ultimatum to either seek treatment on her own within a certain time period or have me involve her family. In the end, she wasn't willing to help her herself and I wasn't going to sit around and watch her die.

Better to have 'em alive and possibly hating me than dead, as I always say.
 

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kangho said:
I should prolly contribute instead of just asking for help...
@agr285 it definitely depends on how bad whatever you did is. but for the most part I think if you stress how much you learned from it and that next time you'll make the right choice it's fine.

@ABSOLUTsher07 unless they beat the [email protected]#$ out of you, reporting them sounds like you're a tattle tale or somethign, no offense
It wasn't anything illegal. I was an RA and let my residents off the hook when I caught them drinking in the dorm early in the year. I knew it was wrong but it seemed harmless at the time. Long story short, it came back to bite me in the %$#%@ when I had to be more strict.
 
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Personally, I think my story is kind of lame but I can't think of anything else and I don't feel right making up some bs about a friend who had some disorder (Not to say that other peoples stories aren't true BUT it wouldn't be true for me). Considering that Pitt seems to be giving automatic interviews on a GPA/MCAT basis, I gotta wonder how much they really care about the essays if you've got good numbers.
 
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agr285 said:
Personally, I think my story is kind of lame but I can't think of anything else and I don't feel right making up some bs about a friend who had some disorder (Not to say that other peoples stories aren't true BUT it wouldn't be true for me). Considering that Pitt seems to be giving automatic interviews on a GPA/MCAT basis, I gotta wonder how much they really care about the essays if you've got good numbers.
An interview is not the same thing as an acceptance...
 

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gapotts2003 said:
An interview is not the same thing as an acceptance...
That's true. For all we know tons of school might not really look at secondaries that thoroughly before they send out invites. My point is that if the that essay was really that important to them and they only give out a select number of interview invites, it would be in their best interest to read the answer to the question before wasting an invite on somebody who put down a horrible answer. Just my opinion.
 

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agr285 said:
That's true. For all we know tons of school might not really look at secondaries that thoroughly before they send out invites. My point is that if the that essay was really that important to them and they only give out a select number of interview invites, it would be in their best interest to read the answer to the question before wasting an invite on somebody who put down a horrible answer. Just my opinion.
I've always been told that, once granted an interview, 90% of your chance for acceptance from then on is based on the interview.
 

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This was my fav essay out of all of them last year. I wrote about stealing a video game and selling it when I was in 7th grade. It went kind of like a Panda story, but it was funny. Lots of dialogue. I guess they liked it.
 

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Looque said:
I've always been told that, once granted an interview, 90% of your chance for acceptance from then on is based on the interview.
At some schools, maybe it will count for that, but that would be an extreme case. The bottom line is, out of all the people who get interviewed at a particular school, the ones with the better applications will be significantly more likely to make it.

The interview makes a difference, and at some schools it is very important, but others are just checking to make your you're a reasonable person. The latter is often the case when the interview is short and features only a few basic questions (i.e. Hi. why do you want to be a doctor? tell me about activity X. why do you want to come here? do you have any questions? etc.)

So basically interviews are only rarely that important.
 

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Ok, I gotta ask. What do you guys think about a story from when I was teaching. An 11 year old student was an illegal immigrant (at the age of six or seven) who was left with his father's girlfriend (when he was 10) when his father returned to his home country (to be with the student's mother). The girlfriend was furious, had other kids, and neglected him. He was fed and clothed, but not looked after. He often came to school late, didn't do homework, got in trouble, etc. and she wouldn't even come talk to us because she wasn't "his parent".

As a teacher, I am required to report child abuse, and neglect is a form of abuse. The student wasn't being physically abused (which did happen A LOT) and did get food, etc. If we reported him, he would almost definitely be deported. In his home country he wasn't being educated (which is why he was brought here in the first place) and didn't always have enough to eat. In addition, he would be put into the fostercare system and, in our area, a lot of abuse has been reported in that system. Being sent to his home country was always a threat, so my student viewed returning as the extreme form of punishment.

In the end we (the other teachers and I) did not report it. One teacher picked him up on the way to school every morning and we made him sit before school to do homework. Discipline problems were always handled internally.

My question: we have to take an oath for medicine. Will this situation (I was REQUIRED to report abuse and didn't because it seemed like more abuse to report it than to not) make it look like I don't follow the rules? I still think we made the right decision...and he is in 9th grade now :0).
 
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MaiPenRai said:
Ok, I gotta ask. What do you guys think about a story from when I was teaching. An 11 year old student was an illegal immigrant (at the age of six or seven) who was left with his father's girlfriend (when he was 10) when his father returned to his home country (to be with the student's mother). The girlfriend was furious, had other kids, and neglected him. He was fed and clothed, but not looked after. He often came to school late, didn't do homework, got in trouble, etc. and she wouldn't even come talk to us because she wasn't "his parent".

As a teacher, I am required to report child abuse, and neglect is a form of abuse. The student wasn't being physically abused (which did happen A LOT) and did get food, etc. If we reported him, he would almost definitely be deported. In his home country he wasn't being educated (which is why he was brought here in the first place) and didn't always have enough to eat. In addition, he would be put into the fostercare system and, in our area, a lot of abuse has been reported in that system. Being sent to his home country was always a threat, so my student viewed returning as the extreme form of punishment.

In the end we (the other teachers and I) did not report it. One teacher picked him up on the way to school every morning and we made him sit before school to do homework. Discipline problems were always handled internally.

My question: we have to take an oath for medicine. Will this situation (I was REQUIRED to report abuse and didn't because it seemed like more abuse to report it than to not) make it look like I don't follow the rules? I still think we made the right decision...and he is in 9th grade now :0).
I think you are a physician and patient-advocate first... And citizen second.
 

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gapotts2003 said:
I think you are a physician and patient-advocate first... And citizen second.
Ditto...I think it will make for an excellent essay. It really shows the adcom what your values are...and those values are consistent with being a physician.
 

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this was a pretty hard essay, the only thing that i could come up with is the fact that everyday at work i have the chance to falsify/tweak scientific data so that i get desired results which could potentially affect everything from my pay, new legal patents, to even my company's stock price. the only reason i don't do it is because 1 it is ethically wrong and 2 it is simply just junk science.
 

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gapotts2003 said:
I was fine with the diversity question, but the first essay is:

1. Describe a personal experience which resulted in a substantial moral or ethical dilemma. What was the outcome? We are reluctant to accept assertions that you have never encountered such a situation. Please do not address cheating in an academic setting. (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

Ok... Substantial? Other than witnessing cheating I really don't remember any substantial moral dilemmas. There is your every day "do I let this jackass in who tries to pass everyone in this lane?"

Yeah... I've got nothing. Maybe I'll sleep on it.
Ironically, I don't think this is the morally accepted way to do this essay....but, if you really don't have a situation, go read Aesop's fables and make something up.
-Dr. P.
 

Looque

Bob Loblaw
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DarkFark said:
At some schools, maybe it will count for that, but that would be an extreme case. The bottom line is, out of all the people who get interviewed at a particular school, the ones with the better applications will be significantly more likely to make it.

The interview makes a difference, and at some schools it is very important, but others are just checking to make your you're a reasonable person. The latter is often the case when the interview is short and features only a few basic questions (i.e. Hi. why do you want to be a doctor? tell me about activity X. why do you want to come here? do you have any questions? etc.)

So basically interviews are only rarely that important.
If you look at a school's statistics on mdapplicants.com, comparing interviewed/accepted with interviewed/rejected students' numbers, most schools have only a very small numerical difference between those two student populations (and at some schools, such as UPenn, the numbers are actually higher for those students that were ultimately rejected after interviewing). Of course, there is more of a numerical difference between interviewed/accepted and interviewed/rejected at some schools than others, and that could be an indication of numbers driving the process more than the interview at that particular school, but the major cut-off in terms of numbers is between those interviewed and those not granted an interview.

Granted, mdapplicants.com information is limited to who enters their stats, but for making this comparison, it's a decent tool.
 

airflare

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Write about how you couldn't decide whether to make up a moral dilemma for your essay.
 
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