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What does the selectivity stat really mean?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Peregrin, Jun 22, 2001.

  1. Peregrin

    Peregrin Senior Member

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    I was about to go off topic in the "Should I give up?" thread, but since it bothers me so much when others do that, I thought I would make a new thread.

    What does that actually mean? It is a statistic that I have seen folks state before in the DO v MD posts, and mind you, I have NO interest in going down that path. It seems to me that it is simply an observation of number of applicants v number of available seats. What I don't see is how this relates to some qualitative measure of "selectivity" or "quality" or "exclusivity." What is the rationale for it posed by osteopaths? What does it really mean, or at least, what is it supposed to mean when posed in a argument as quoted above?

    Thanks in advance.

    NOTE: This is not a poke-the-DO-with-a-stick sort of post. It is a sincere question.
     
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  3. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I think one reason that the DO rate is 1:3 is due to having fewer applicants. Many just don't apply to DO.
     
  4. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    First the statistic as originally quoted is wrong: The APPLICANT to SEAT ratio hovers around 3:1 for MD schools and 5:1 for DO schools. What it means is that there are proportionately more applicants per seat at DO schools compared to MD schools. The admissions staffs at DO schools have to wade through more applicatons than most MD school admission staffs. Hence, admission staffs at DO schools have to separate more "chaff" to find the "wheat."

    One can't say anything about the credentials or motives of students competing for those seats at DO schools though. You shouldn't over interpret the statistic. It simply means what it means.

    Personally, I think that there are more applicants per seat offered at DO schools compared to MD schools because there are proportionately more private DO schools that compete for students from a wider geographic catchment area compared to MD schools which tend to be restrictive to applicants from their home state.

    With this in mind, if you're a moderately competitive CA-resident who wants to stay in CA but realizes the high competition at UC medical schools, it behooves you to apply to a few DO "safety schools" in other states even though your first choice is to stay in CA.

    One could argue that out of those five students competing for the 1 seat a DO school only three are serious contenders while the other two are applying to DO schools exclusively as backups and will take a seat at any MD school over going DO---these students constitute the "MD-wannabe" group. Conversely, one could argue that out of the three applicants applying for the 1 seat a MD school all three are serious contenders for that seat. In order to test this hypothesis one would have to look at wait-list movement at selected MD and DO schools to see how many students accept seats offered to them, i.e. the matriculation rate.
     
  5. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    Apparently drusso has much more information about this than I do. I was mistaken, but I think his/her comments make good sense. :)
     

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