1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Well-Roundedness in Applying

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Catalyst, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    1
    With all this talk about who's getting in where I was just wondering, how far does being "well-rounded" go in being accepted to medical schools? For example, would an applicant who is has been a leader in 2 campus organizations and whom has done much community service go as far as someone who has stellar research and published 3-4 papers? Whenever I asked my pre-med advisor here at UVA about it, the answer was always, "well, just make sure you maximize your GPA and do well on the MCAT." Knock on wood, my GPA and MCAT will be high at the time when I apply to medical school, but how much do extracurriculars also help in the admission process? I personally am interested in attending a top-10 medical school (i.e. Duke) and was particularly curious as to how far extracurriculars go in getting accepted to these schools. Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Sachin
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. ValleyGal

    ValleyGal Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0
    They are not looking for well rounded applicants (personal experience here) they are looking for someone who is special in some area (ie: 4.0, 40 on the MCAT, research pubs). Well rounded means jack squat in applying to med school.
     
  4. locitamd

    locitamd Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2001
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    2
    Valleygal, I think your statement that med schools aren't looking for well-rounded applicants is a bit misguided.
     
  5. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    1
    ValleyGal, can you elaborate on your personal experience that tells you this? This has been the feeling I've been getting too..

    Sachin
     
  6. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I can say that being well-rounded is quite important in the admissions process. You may be particularly strong in one area, but being able to say that you've experienced other things or have other outside interests makes you look like a more balanced person. Students in my class (at UCSF) have done some really amazing things. Some have started community service organizations or projects. Some taught elementary school. Others have published in scientific journals. There is no "formula" for success--each person stands out in their own, unique way. You don't have to do anything superhuman, but your accomplishments should speak to your individuality, personality, personal values, goals, and passions.
     
  7. MorningLight2100

    MorningLight2100 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    ValleyGal, my experience has actually been very different from yours, so I'm going to have to disagree that well-roundedness means "squat." Perhaps it differs from school to school or from interviewer to interviewer. . .

    SachinG, I can tell you that my outside activities, especially my activities and volunteering, have helped me ENORMOUSLY. One interviewer (who happened to be the Dean of Admissions) at a top ten asked me questions that were actually very specific to what I did outside of science and studying. . . he asked me what books I like to read, if I participate in sports, if I play an instrument. He was pointedly determining for himself if I was well-rounded enough to attend his school. :)

    I think ValleyGal does make one important point, though I don't believe she intended it as her main one. . . whatever you choose to do, make sure you do it to the best of your ability. An admissions committee will probably be less impressed with someone who spreads her time across a million and one activities, and does each one to a mediocre capacity. Choose things about which you're passionate enough to delve into deeply and do well.

    Nearly all of my interviewers have asked me what I do for "fun," or what my most rewarding activity has been. In general, the interviews have also gone well because they really do become interested in the activities in which I've participated, and they have a lot of questions.

    I realize that I'm being a bit vague here. . . if you'd like me to offer you some specifics (and I'd be more than happy to, if it will help!) about my own personal experience, please just send me a PM! :)
     
  8. ValleyGal

    ValleyGal Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not talking about all medical schools -- just those top ones that the original poster wants to get into. They are certainly not looking for someone who has just done well in everything. They want the superstars, those who have something exceptional about them. Joe Average who has done great and is really nice isn't what they want. I have done really well at a top-10 undergraduate school (above a 3.7 for both and a 36 on the MCAT) and participated in a lot of meaningful activities, but I have been rejected pre-interview by the boatload from these "top 10" schools, even when my numbers are higher than their averages. This is because I am a well rounded candidate, nothing special, and they must get a billion applications like me. I wish that I had realized before that I didn't stand a chance.
     
  9. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well roundedness without the requisite academic qualifications (GPA, MCAT) means squat. Anyone disagree?
     
  10. DarkChild

    DarkChild Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    2
    honestly - I think valleygirl might have a point.
    Interpret it this way though:
    IMHO med schools are (yes) looking for well-rounded people, but you still have to have something that sets you apart. the way I see it, there are lots of well-rounded kids, decent MCATs, GPAs, relevant ECs. My advice is make sure you knock down the "requisites": MCATs, GPA - have some medical related experience, do some sort of research (or at least a project lab) and then pick one thing that you really like (and it doesnt matter what - flying, pottery, violina) and be very invovled with that.
    The point is to be well rounded enough to qualify - and jump through all their little hoops - but have something extra that they can use as leverage to separate you from everyone else.
    By the way, in retrospect - I dont think I can stress the importance of recommendations - so long as they are extremely positive, and it is clear that the person knows you fairly well.
    Good luck.
    PS: MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER: TURN YOUR APPS IN WAAAAAAYYYYY EARLY. And I mean like turn your AMCAS in on the day it opens.
     
  11. ValleyGal

    ValleyGal Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you Dark, you made the point magnificently -- you have to have a part of you application that makes the admissions committee say that they want you and that they are going to pick you over everyone else. these days, the fact that you have done well in school and seem really nice are just not going to cut it, because that is merely the baseline for the top-10 schools.
     
  12. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2002
    Messages:
    2,829
    Likes Received:
    5
    Papa S.

    I agree that this is true in the majority of cases. There are always exceptions.

    Given that most schools receive many thousands of applications -- usually 50+ for every available position -- the easiest "first cut" is the numerical values. It is fast and easy.
     
  13. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    1
    That makes sense, I figured that to be admitted to a top-10 school one had to have some distinguishing quality along with the requisite GPA/MCAT. Thanks for the help everyone..

    The reason I asked the question in the first place was that I was finding myself being a little overwhelmed with leadership in student organizations on top of doing community service and research and getting good grades. I think now I'm going to try to lighten the load a bit and just do well at a few of my extracurriculars instead of trying to do everything.

    On a side note, I think I may have mentioned this in another thread, but I'm going to Ecuador this summer for 2 months to study the role of music in the healing process of indigenous peoples. It's a long story, but by studying the music I hope to aid the Ecuadorian medical students who do their 5th year rotations in these rural areas. Anyone here been to Ecuador and can tell me how the weather, people, etc. are?
     
  14. Jameson

    Jameson Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2001
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quick question about the "set you apart" ec's. I am involved with a brand new program out of my county health dept that involves teaching sexual health, amongst other things, in rural and city high schools and my university as well as seeing patients (one on one) who have specific questions regarding their sexual health and those who would like testing. Since it's so new it's involved a lot of ground work and connection making. We've worked with kids in juvenile(?) centers, native american org's pretty much everyone. Is this a "set you apart" ec or pretty average? This would really help me gauge where I am in this big process so all comments are more than welcome. Thanks everyone.
     
  15. DarkChild

    DarkChild Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    2
    jameson - I definately think that is a big step in the right direction.
    For your next step - starting figuring out who would be able to write you a good recomendation based on your participation in that program.
     
  16. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hehe, guess I should probably ask the same question, is my study in Ecuador "distinguishing EC" material? :)

    Sachin
     
  17. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    1
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Jameson:
    <strong>Quick question about the "set you apart" ec's. I am involved with a brand new program out of my county health dept that involves teaching sexual health, amongst other things, in rural and city high schools and my university as well as seeing patients (one on one) who have specific questions regarding their sexual health and those who would like testing. Since it's so new it's involved a lot of ground work and connection making. We've worked with kids in juvenile(?) centers, native american org's pretty much everyone. Is this a "set you apart" ec or pretty average? This would really help me gauge where I am in this big process so all comments are more than welcome. Thanks everyone.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">It's basically planned parenthood. It's a definitely a good EC. If you really want to be set apart, go international. The people I know who have done Peace Corps or Semester abroad are all in top schools (even with subpar grades/mcats).
     
  18. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    1
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by ValleyGal:
    <strong>I'm not talking about all medical schools -- just those top ones that the original poster wants to get into. They are certainly not looking for someone who has just done well in everything. They want the superstars, those who have something exceptional about them. Joe Average who has done great and is really nice isn't what they want. I have done really well at a top-10 undergraduate school (above a 3.7 for both and a 36 on the MCAT) and participated in a lot of meaningful activities, but I have been rejected pre-interview by the boatload from these "top 10" schools, even when my numbers are higher than their averages. This is because I am a well rounded candidate, nothing special, and they must get a billion applications like me. I wish that I had realized before that I didn't stand a chance.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Your reasoning is extremely humorous. You are 3.7/36 AND you are well rounded b/c you have done a good amount of activities...OK....BUT YOU THINK THAT THIS GOT YOU REJECTED?!?! That's total BS ValleyGirl. You know what? You got something else in there that is getting you rejected. Your scores are great and your activities (according to you) are decent.

    If you want the real reason, I would assume it's could be your letters of rec, but more probable is maybe your essays and secondary answers. Even with good scores like yours, they are going to give your essays a good look.
     
  19. Jameson

    Jameson Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2001
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Dark, many thank you's for the reply. I have actually gotten to know one of the doctors I work with in the clinic super well. She is an ND (naturallopathic) and has been one of the best teachers, clinically and in life, I have know and she said she would be glad to write me a letter. I am also thinking about really going all out an turning this in to my honors thesis, something along the lines of the health of adolescent males in rural communities. Any other replys?
     
  20. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Messages:
    2,416
    Likes Received:
    5
    I think you're sure to get into any school at any level if you're above average when it comes to well-roundedness (i.e. top 10% in research, Community service, EC, recommendations) or if your're so lop-sided that u're the cream of the cream in a specific area (Top 1% in either research, comm service, OR Extrac curriculars; and maybe top 20% in the other areas).
     
  21. trout

    trout Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah although the thrashing of valleygirl (sorry!!) is a bit harsh it is true! I also think one thing is showing initative versus padding your resume...it is easy to join 20 clubs it is much more difficult to take a club to a new level...apps need to be in early and aug mcat can potentially really hurt you.
     
  22. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think getting into the top schools is basically a crapshoot unless one is really spectacular in some way. Even if they're looking for well-rounded, there are just too many stellar well-rounded candidates -- they can't take them all, there just isn't room. I also got "rejected by the boatload" at top schools (didn't really surprise me, I was considering them "reach" schools), but I also got into one (surprised the hell out of me) with average stats (MCAT of 30M -- 12V, 8PS, 10 BS/ 3.5 GPA). Am I well-rounded? I used to think so, but after reading this thread, I think that I'm lopsidedly well-rounded. Most of my EC's are music related, moderate amount of volunteer and clinical activities, and zero research. I think my essays were successful in incorporating what I'd gotten out of my volunteer and clinical stuff in addition to shedding light on my family background, personality, and motivation for medicine. I know my LOR's were extremely enthusiastic. My feeling at my one and only top 10 interview was that they were very interested in my well roundedness.

    Valley Girl, with your stats, and assuming the rest of your application was stellar and timely i.e. early, I am astounded that you didn't get into at at least one of the top 10 schools you applied to. It could very well be that you were just unlucky, or it could be that there is something in your app that needs improvement as Scooby and locitamd have speculated.

    Oh, and just to underscore the randomness of the process, I did not get into my state school.
     
  23. ValleyGal

    ValleyGal Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would like to thank you all for your responses, although you have missed my point completely and belittled me in the process. My point is this which I said before and said again: To get into the top-10 schools you must be outstanding in some manner, and you must show the adcoms that you are at the top of the application pool. This is something that I know that I did not do, as my application was just fine, nothing fabulous in comparison with many of the applicants. My weak spot, not as you all have lambasted my for quite blindly, was not essay or recs, but rather the fact that I did not do research, in my opinion (but given all of your opinionated selves, I am sure that you will have a differing view.) Getting into a top school is tough, and requires that extra effort. That is all that I was saying, and by giving my stats as an example, I was highlighting the need for something extra in your application and not just the numbers, like many people assume. But thanks to you all for ripping on my application and on me.

    Good luck to you SachinG in preparing for the med school applications. It is a tough process, but I am sure that you will do just fabulously.
     
  24. squeek

    squeek Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    1
    Valleygal, I agree with you. Research is definitely a big "must-do" for (some of)the top 10 medical schools. I'm sorry that you had such a disappointing experience, when it is evident that you are a very qualified candidate.

    Another VERY big factor, however, is choosing the schools you apply to because of YOUR fit for the school's educational philosophy. Many of the top 10 are heavy on applicants doing research because that is what they value in a physician--"physician scientists."

    I did two years of research in undergrad, but none of it was "stellar." Let me just say I learned how UNFIT I am for a career in research science, and my research recommendation letter was not exactly brimming with exuberance. However, I did quite a lot of work in the humanities--specifically, writing and studio art--and I incorporated these into working with the elderly (because I really enjoyed it, not because it would look good on an application).

    I applied to 4 top 10 schools. What I discovered during applications was that:
    1) Schools heavy in didactic teaching and research rejected me flat out. Part of this was, I think, due to coming from a non-ivy undergrad (if I remember correctly, doesn't Yale's secondary ask if you have any family members that ever went there? ridiculous!). But it was also due, I think, to my lack of publication after two years of research.
    2) Schools with a heavy emphasis on self-directed learning and the integration of arts and sciences were enthusiastic about my art and writing. I got one top ten acceptance within a week of interviewing, and another waitlist soon thereafter. As I was a non-Ivy undergrad, I was actually really surprised at the acceptaces.
    3) The schools _I_ really liked were the ones that accepted me. And the one I finally chose to attend (because the learning environment suited me) has been a good fit.

    Really, there are no significant differences in quality of education between any of the top 15-20 schools. There are, however, large differences in educational philosophy, and this can have a tremendous impact on your acceptance to a school.
     
  25. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    1
    Squeek, if you don't mind, could you possibly be more specific about which schools were really interested in your passion for the humanities? I am a music major and love to mix my passion for music with helping others (I volunteer at a nursing home and play piano there). I'd be curious to hear what schools are interested in this more interdisciplinary learning philosophy, as they would probably be a better fit for me..

    Sachin
     
  26. spicoli

    spicoli Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2001
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    I disagree with the notion that well-roundedness doesn't mean anything. My MCATs and GPA were nothing great, but I managed to get into both my No. 1 and No. 2 schools. Besides, who wants a robot for of physician, not me. The more you have developed in other areas, the more likely you will be able to relate with peers, patients, the community, etc. Dude, medicine doesn't need more squares. It needs cultured, fun, intelligent, wonderful people.
     
  27. squeek

    squeek Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    1
    Out of the schools I applied to, Cornell, Duke, and Northwestern were the most responsive and by far the best interviews. I spent one interview at Cornell with a biochemistry faculty member who happened to love painting on glass! We spent 30 seconds on phosphoglycerate kinase and 20 minutes on art. I know Duke may seem like an outlier if you are thinking about artistic versus didactic, but I had a regional interview in Seattle with a neurosurgeon who absolutely loved art and the humanities--kind of a renaissance man. Duke waitlisted me, Northwestern and Cornell accepted me, and I'm now at Cornell (technically a 'top eleven'). In addition, faculty members are always encouraging me to continue writing and painting--I'm currently taking 2 art classes a week in the midst of 2nd year, and I'm working with a faculty member on a writing project--because the curriculum gives me enough time to do so.

    As for music, there are quite a few musicians in my class and the class above me...many of whom were music majors and did post-bacc or extra pre-med work. If music is your passion, I say stick with it--you'll get plenty of science in medical school, and you'll be glad you spent time cultivating your creative side.

    Good luck!
     
  28. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    SachinG, Columbia loves musicians!

    ValleyGal, I did not mean to rip on your application or belittle you. I apologize if it came across that way.
     
  29. Pawnym

    Pawnym Five Twos?
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    2
    Wow thats really cool squeek.(changes his major from biochem to music)(I have to play an instrument for a music major? damn...)(changes major to humanities <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> )

    I wonder if any of ya'll could rate one of my bestest EC's(tho I'm only a freshman, not worrying or anything)

    I'm a founding member in the youth committee for the American Red Cross in my county. We're setting everything up from the ground up so as to support youth and involve them like most chapters of the Red Cross across the country. It's lots of fun and I'm meeting many people in different positions(connections $bling$ $bling$ :rolleyes: ), etc. Perhaps it ain't the greatest and I may end up with somethin cooler, but it's definitely an enriching experience to me. :)
     
  30. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,722
    Likes Received:
    1
    OK...i had intended to take a one week sabbatical from SDN over break (i'm close to getting a place for next year :) !!), but i'll break it. I just wanted to say:

    WHAT THE HELL!?!? "is this a good EC?" What kind of a question is that. Pawn- if i said no, would you stop doing it and start something else? If you did, i'd say that reflects very poorly on you. If you didn't, i'd say you enjoyed the work. When you get talking in interviews, they'll ask you about this. If you come off sounding excited and energetic about an activity, they'll see that and take heed: this guy can get into something and make things happen. Conversely, the interviewers are all good and could tell if you did it "just to do it". This has been the bane of many a great student who overextended his/herself. Frankly, it doesn't matter what you do. But do some things in depth. Be that flower arranging, cycling (gotta get that in :) ) or writing. They just want to see dedication. And don't ask if it's good or not- if you dont like it- quit (after fulfilling obligations, of course). That's my two quid. --Trek
     
  31. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,722
    Likes Received:
    1
    And pawn, sorry if you thought i was making a personal attack on you- i wasn't (although it really seems that way :(). I get asked this question 30 times a day at my job and i kinda get tired of it. If you like it, go with it. "They" won't care what IT actually is. --Trek
     
  32. Pawnym

    Pawnym Five Twos?
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    2
    Absolutely no offense taken :p I don't let muhself get riled up over internet things.

    It is an awesome EC to be a part of tho. I'm very lucky I had the right timing coming into the Red Cross when I did.

    But besides that I'm doin plenty of other stuffz. And ya know, I enjoy it all. I'm looking for more things to do, be it work or volunteer or just something fun. I was a total unmotivated couch potato loser in my high school years. When I started to volunteer, return to school, and become active though, I fell in love with "my life." I'm just extremely positive about everything ever since and feel things will always go my way.

    I love criticism be it constructive anywayz. Always something to be learned- be it how to better myself by listening to the advice, or how to better myself by removing that so called advisor from my life. :)
     
  33. Pawnym

    Pawnym Five Twos?
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    2
    And I luv SDN and I luv you too Trek! <img border="0" alt="[Lovey]" title="" src="graemlins/lovey.gif" /> hehe <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
     
  34. UCLA2000

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    2,314
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Extras are very important in applying to med school however they will not generally make up for a poor mcat score and poor gpa. I can see why valley girl would say that a 4.0 40 mcat was what med schools look for however it's a bit misguided.

    Why take a 4.0 40 when you can have a 3.7 33mcat with tons of extras....and a personality?
    Don't let your gpa and mcat suffer to get some extras under your belt...

    however by the same token don't let yourself turn into a recluse because that's not what med schools want either.
     
  35. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,722
    Likes Received:
    1
    You sound like a cool cat, pawn, i mean that. Just when/if you take a Kaplan MCAT course...don't ask the teacher (everyday) if X is good for med school, and Y is good for med school and Z is good for med school.....you get the drift, and i hope my students do too! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> --Trek
     
  36. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    6
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by ValleyGal:
    <strong>I'm not talking about all medical schools -- just those top ones that the original poster wants to get into. They are certainly not looking for someone who has just done well in everything. They want the superstars, those who have something exceptional about them. Joe Average who has done great and is really nice isn't what they want. I have done really well at a top-10 undergraduate school (above a 3.7 for both and a 36 on the MCAT) and participated in a lot of meaningful activities, but I have been rejected pre-interview by the boatload from these "top 10" schools, even when my numbers are higher than their averages. This is because I am a well rounded candidate, nothing special, and they must get a billion applications like me. I wish that I had realized before that I didn't stand a chance.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Your reasoning is extremely humorous. You are 3.7/36 AND you are well rounded b/c you have done a good amount of activities...OK....BUT YOU THINK THAT THIS GOT YOU REJECTED?!?! That's total BS ValleyGirl. You know what? You got something else in there that is getting you rejected. Your scores are great and your activities (according to you) are decent.

    Quote by Scooby::::
    If you want the real reason, I would assume it's could be your letters of rec, but more probable is maybe your essays and secondary answers. Even with good scores like yours, they are going to give your essays a good look.</strong>[/QUOTE]

    I'd have to agree with Scooby. There are plenty of people who are above their average for numbers. Frankly, too many for them to accept. So, adcoms look at personal statements and letters with a very serious eye in order to choose applicants for interviews who have left solid impressions with their professors/bosses/etc and have written a personal statement that has provided them with a glimpse into your life. It takes more than numbers IMHO.

    I know that my letters and my personal statement have worked toward my advantage. My GPA is similar to yours, but my MCAT is lower. When I interviewed at UCSF (pretty damn high avg numbers there) it was pretty obvious that they give a lot of weight to the letters and personal statement. I don't mean to sound harsh or to accuse you of writing a lousy essay, etc..but you can't expect to get in just with numbers. They are looking for more than that. As far as ECs are concerned. Everyone is doing some research project, most people volunteer at some clinical facility, and most people do some other work as well. Those things don't make you stand out (except if you are published or something)..What really makes you stand out (aside from stellar marks) is your ability to write a great essay and having the support of your professors who have written letters that tell the adcom more than what grade you received in their classes or how many hours of research you did in their labs.

    anyway, just my two cents.
     
  37. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    6
    valleygirl

    didn't realize you already replied to this post. sorry for posting a reply on old news.
     
  38. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    1
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by ValleyGal:
    <strong>I would like to thank you all for your responses, although you have missed my point completely and belittled me in the process. My point is this which I said before and said again: To get into the top-10 schools you must be outstanding in some manner, and you must show the adcoms that you are at the top of the application pool. This is something that I know that I did not do, as my application was just fine, nothing fabulous in comparison with many of the applicants. My weak spot, not as you all have lambasted my for quite blindly, was not essay or recs, but rather the fact that I did not do research, in my opinion (but given all of your opinionated selves, I am sure that you will have a differing view.) Getting into a top school is tough, and requires that extra effort. That is all that I was saying, and by giving my stats as an example, I was highlighting the need for something extra in your application and not just the numbers, like many people assume. But thanks to you all for ripping on my application and on me. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I still beg to differ. But anything I say will just be miscontrued and you will use your big words to make me use my dictionary again <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />
     
  39. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    I did not do (any) research.
     
  40. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    1
    SMW, didn't you say that you did a lot of musically-related ECs? Were you a music major? Do you play an instrument? I'd be interested to hear about your experience in music, since honestly I don't know many other premeds who are seriously into music besides maybe a handful of us at my school..
     
  41. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,823
    Likes Received:
    3
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by SachinG:
    <strong>SMW, didn't you say that you did a lot of musically-related ECs? Were you a music major? Do you play an instrument? I'd be interested to hear about your experience in music, since honestly I don't know many other premeds who are seriously into music besides maybe a handful of us at my school..</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'm not a musician but I always make a point of annoying the hell out of anyone within a 20 mile radius with my "oh so beautiful" voice.

    Hey SachinG,
    It's weird at least over 50% of people at all my interviews played musical instruments. I don't play any instruments. Your's truely spent his childhood picking his nose and breaking stuff around the house. He11 Yeah! and I can sing too. :p
     
  42. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    SachinG, I was not a music major. I thought about minoring, but couldn't even manage that with all the other stuff I wanted to do (like study abroad, do an interdisciplinary major, volunteer, etc.). I was very serious about music as a high school student (competed in and won statewide solo competitions, played flute in a jr. sysmphony and chamber music groups, played piano, and keyboards in a rock 'n roll band). In college I tried to keep up private music lessons, but didn't really have the time to continue after my sophomore year, so ended up playing in pit orchestras for college musicals. Also was the musical director for a college dramatic production and sang in a choir. Since graduating I've been playing in a rock 'n roll band. My interviewer at Columbia was very interested in all of this. So what do you play?
     
  43. Vdawg

    Vdawg Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow... seems like its kinda heated here. I think everyone has their own opinions on what makes the best applicant. The top 10 schools definitely are interested in having excellent numbers. and from the pool, they get to pick and choose from those applicants. each school is little different. but overall... most of the top schools (according to US News) are research based. It also really depends on who screens your application for an interview. there are so many inconsistent variables that determine things. Just imagine if the people that posted in this topic were admissions officers. each one of us believes there are different experiences that would better prepare someone for the field of medicine. so I really feel its not just one thing like research. if the person that is reviewing your app values research, then you will probably get an interview and someone with the same stats without it won't. valley was just venting a little-
     
  44. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,823
    Likes Received:
    3
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Vdawg:
    <strong> Just imagine if the people that posted in this topic were admissions officers. each one of us believes there are different experiences that would better prepare someone for the field of medicine. -</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">hee hee.
    AdCom: "did you pick ur nose and break stuff around the house as a kid?"

    Applicant: "no sir, I played the violin"

    Adcom: "ha ha hhaaa! Forget it already. You know you're not getting in here right?"

    <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
     
  45. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    1
    Original, glad to hear about your unique musical experience! <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> 50% of people at your interviews played instruments? That's pretty coool, nice to hear that many of the future doctors will be musicians :D .

    SMW, I've been playing piano (classical) since I was 6 and like you, was seriously involved with music in high school (chamber chorus, played piano in many competitions, etc.) and have been a little less involved in college. I'm a music major, but I haven't been taking private lessons because I of other interests that I've also wanted to pursue. Since I came to college, I've actually found myself increasingly interested in the academic issues surrounding music, specifically the many roles it plays in international societies. I still play piano whenever I get a chance and am currently the musical director of a start-up a cappella group.

    What influences does your rock band have? Do you have any recorded music that I could listen to? I wanna hear! :)
     
  46. Pawnym

    Pawnym Five Twos?
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trek, thanks man. And I'm not the type to ask annoying questions in RL. That's what SDN is for! :)

    The only real weakness I can forsee in my app will be research. I have zero opportunity to do research these first two years...

    so while I may be able to do some my junior year and during the summer between junior and senior.. that'll be it.

    And in my opinion, once you have an interview your application doesn't quite matter so much. It's then time for you, the applicant, to work your magic and show your passion for what you want to do.

    my 2 centz :rolleyes:
     

Share This Page