What happens to all of the pre-meds that don't make it into med school?

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MCAT - 50% of test takers will get a 25 or below. The average MCAT score for applying med students is 28. From all of the med students who apply, about 45% get accepted. So first, you have the MCAT that weeds you out. Then, some med schools weed you out. What do those pre-meds end up doing it? If you think about it realistically, a ton of our fellow pre meds probably won't get into med scool.
 

chillaxbro

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75% of them will be stuck with a biology degree lol
95% of those 75% was never interested in biology in the first place and only did it for pre-med lol
tl;dr graduate school lol
 

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MCAT - 50% of test takers will get a 25 or below. The average MCAT score for applying med students is 28. From all of the med students who apply, about 45% get accepted. So first, you have the MCAT that weeds you out. Then, some med schools weed you out. What do those pre-meds end up doing it? If you think about it realistically, a ton of our fellow pre meds probably won't get into med scool.
Some people re-take the MCAT and do better. Some people re-apply after they don't get in the first time. Some people go to graduate school. Some people get jobs in the sciences. Some people go into business, go to law school etc. I know people that did all of those things from undergrad (or who eventually went to my/other med schools).

I can tell you this. Of those 20+ people that fall into all of those categories that I know, there is no way I would ever say that the people that ended up in medical school are happier or even better off than the people that didn't. Most of them went on with their lives and didn't look back. That isn't to say that those of us who went to medical school are unhappy, but life certainly does not end if one does not go to medical school.
 
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angldrps

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those who are passionate and can't imagine doing anything else reapply multiple times while making their application stronger after every rejection - retake MCAT, SMP, more EC etc- until they fulfill their dream of gaining an acceptance.
 
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John Kerry '04 staffers?
haha I found this funny. even as a dem...frankly cuz I thought the whole Kerry campaign was a total waste of my time.

Back on subject: agree with everyone who said you either retake/do SMP/whatever you need to do to get accepted OR you realize there's a field just as rewarding as medicine out there for you
 

circulus vitios

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those who are passionate and can't imagine doing anything else reapply multiple times while making their application stronger after every rejection - retake MCAT, SMP, more EC etc- until they fulfill their dream of gaining an acceptance.
Or they run out of money and face the reality of having a worthless degree, little to no earning potential, and thousands of dollars of debt from undergrad.
 
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My friends who didn't get in are doing well. A few got MBAs, PA school, a few went into nursing. A few to grad school. A couple make $120+ with just their biology bachelors working in sales. My undergrad really pushed a graduate education so only a handful work with their bachelors but even the ones without cushy sales jobs make around 50,00, which is very comfortable. There is a life after pre-med.
 

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75% of them will be stuck with a biology degree lol
95% of those 75% was never interested in biology in the first place and only did it for pre-med lol
tl;dr graduate school lol
Grad school isn't much easier to get into than medical school. They still want sky high GRE scores and GPAs, and unlike med schools the only EC they care about is research and they want a lot of it, far more than what the average pre-med has. On top of that, grad schools really want LORs from PIs and science professors (with as many of your letters coming from PIs as possible). They won't even humor a letter coming from a non-science source, including physicians, which means a lot of pre-meds are SOL on that end. So if you were deadset on med school and couldn't get in, chances are you won't get into a terribly great grad program either (assuming you do get in). And while it is true that there are far more grad schools than med schools and fewer applicants, grad schools also have so few open seats that they make med school class sizes look like undergrad.

Of course, this is all ignoring the fact that if you go to grad school without an actual love for science and research you are making an absolutely terrible decision that you will quickly come to regret.
 
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Grad school isn't much easier to get into than medical school. They still want sky high GRE scores and GPAs, and unlike med schools the only EC they care about is research and they want a lot of it, far more than what the average pre-med has. On top of that, grad schools really want LORs from PIs and science professors (with as many of your letters coming from PIs as possible). They won't even humor a letter coming from a non-science source, including physicians, which means a lot of pre-meds are SOL on that end. So if you were deadset on med school and couldn't get in, chances are you won't get into a terribly great grad program either (assuming you do get in). And while it is true that there are far more grad schools than med schools and fewer applicants, grad schools also have so few open seats that they make med school class sizes look like undergrad.

Of course, this is all ignoring the fact that if you go to grad school without an actual love for science and research you are making an absolutely terrible decision that you will quickly come to regret.
I disagree here. The average stats for graduate programs are much more variable than those of medical programs. It is not terribly difficult to get into a science-based grad program at a state school with a <3.5 GPA and a 1000-1100 GRE score. Sure, you wont necessarily walk into an Ivy League campus, but you will not necessarily face the rejection that a pre-med would with such stats.
 
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grad students are a great source of cheap labor. it's not actually as hard as you make it out to be.
 

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Many switch to PA school, not a bad alternative if you think about it. Anybody can get into medical school, it just depends on how bad you want it. If your grads suck and MCAT is low, you retake classes and you retake the MCAT until you hit it. Then you get into a good SMP and apply MD and DO until you get in. This process could be very expensive and take a very long time but for some it is worth it.
 

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MCAT - 50% of test takers will get a 25 or below. The average MCAT score for applying med students is 28. From all of the med students who apply, about 45% get accepted. So first, you have the MCAT that weeds you out. Then, some med schools weed you out. What do those pre-meds end up doing it? If you think about it realistically, a ton of our fellow pre meds probably won't get into med scool.

They can go into pharmacy, podiatry, dentistry, physcial therapy, veterinary, Physician assistant.
 

RedSox10

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Don't forget to include the portion that drop out of pre-med or never even bother applying.

At Hopkins, for example, 1/3 of the class begins as pre-med and only 1/10th of the class completes pre-med.

Lots of people get weeded out (or change their mind) before the MCAT/application process even begins!

But, yes, lots will become nurses, PA's or NP's.
 

iqe2010

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There's a host of other health related grad schools. If I don't get in I'll go to P.A. or P.T. school. I need to be in the healthcare industry. Cubicle jobs aren't for me.
 
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1) Grad school isn't much easier to get into than medical school. They still want sky high GRE scores and GPAs, and unlike med schools 2) the only EC they care about is research and they want a lot of it, far more than what the average pre-med has. On top of that, grad schools really want LORs from PIs and science professors (with as many of your letters coming from PIs as possible). 3) They won't even humor a letter coming from a non-science source, including physicians, which means a lot of pre-meds are SOL on that end. So if you were deadset on med school and couldn't get in, 4) chances are you won't get into a terribly great grad program either (assuming you do get in). And while it is true that there are far more grad schools than med schools and fewer applicants, grad schools also have so few open seats that they make med school class sizes look like undergrad.

Of course, this is all ignoring the fact that if you go to grad school without an actual love for science and research you are making an absolutely terrible decision that you will quickly come to regret.
1) Not true in the least bit

2) Not true, at all

3) Not even close

4) Absolutely wrong

Your assertions are way way off base.
 

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I actually love biology so I would definitely try to get a PhD in cell bio and try to teach at a university, if I don't get in.
 

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The people who don't get into medical school have a nearly worthless academic degree and a superficial (though largely incorrect) understanding of the medical school application process. So most of them become pre-med advisors.
 
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The people who don't get into medical school have a nearly worthless academic degree and a superficial (though largely incorrect) understanding of the medical school application process. So most of them become pre-med advisors.
Unbelievable statement. Wow.
 
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I'm pretty sure mt was half joking, using argumentative fallacy to mock premed advising. Suggest you get a sense of humor before you finish school.
Don't make personal suggestions to someone you don't know. SDN isn't exactly the forum to assess my sense of humor, nor is it the place for someone like yourself to "suggest" a personality modification.
 

mimelim

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Don't forget to include the portion that drop out of pre-med or never even bother applying.

At Hopkins, for example, 1/3 of the class begins as pre-med and only 1/10th of the class completes pre-med.

Lots of people get weeded out (or change their mind) before the MCAT/application process even begins!

But, yes, lots will become nurses, PA's or NP's.
When I entered Wash U undergrad in 2004 we had ~750 pre-meds out of class of 1600. The best data set that I could find when I graduated in 2008 was that about 140 went to medical school (More applied, did not get in.) I assume that it is very similar to Hopkins.

That having been said, I don't think that people who don't go to medical school become nurses/PAs. In fact, I don't know a single one. On the other side, I don't know that many nursing/PA students, but none of them wanted to go to medical school. They went to nursing/PA schools as a first choice because thats what they wanted to do based on where they were in undergrad and/or high school.

This is purely based on anecdotal evidence, but I don't think the populations interested in those fields overlap very much.
 

Dbate

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The people who don't get into medical school have a nearly worthless academic degree and a superficial (though largely incorrect) understanding of the medical school application process. So most of them become pre-med advisors.
Everyone says that biology is a worthless degree, but I don't buy it. Healthcare and biotech firms are going to be an integral part of our economy in the future.

If I don't go into medicine, I am going into management consulting (preferable healthcare consulting) and there are a ton of firms that focus on that. The only caveat is that entry into top consulting firms in alot harder than getting into medical school and getting into a average/boutique healthcare firm requires med school stats.
 

OCDOCDOCD

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I disagree here. The average stats for graduate programs are much more variable than those of medical programs. It is not terribly difficult to get into a science-based grad program at a state school with a <3.5 GPA and a 1000-1100 GRE score. Sure, you wont necessarily walk into an Ivy League campus, but you will not necessarily face the rejection that a pre-med would with such stats.
It is true that there's a lot of variability in grad schools, but it's like undergrad in that regard. Yeah, sure, you can get into a program with mediocre stats, but that's not the same as getting into a good program. It's also not like med school where even if you go to a bottom tier school you'll still become a doctor assuming you don't screw up. Where you go to grad school/who you study under has a big impact on how your career will turn out. To see what I mean take a look at any science department's faculty. You should notice a pattern about the type of schools they got their degrees from.

grad students are a great source of cheap labor. it's not actually as hard as you make it out to be.
The PI has to pay the grad student's stipend and tuition. That's not cheap. PIs also have a vested interest in trying to get the best grad students they can since an incompetent grad student is liable to slow down the lab's progress, force replications of repeatedly failed experiments, and in a worst case scenario cost the lab grants. Meanwhile a talented grad student can do the opposite.

1) Not true in the least bit

2) Not true, at all

3) Not even close

4) Absolutely wrong

Your assertions are way way off base.
Most grad school applications don't even have a spot to list ECs on. They simply do not care. Applying to grad school is more like applying to a job, no one cares that you volunteered for four years at a homeless shelter or built schools in Africa because it has zero relevance to how good you'll be in the lab. For the same reason, no one cares about what someone unrelated to your chosen field has to say about you, and what a professor has to say about your performance in a class isn't nearly as valuable as what a PI has to say about your performance in a lab. Again, most of your time spent in grad school is under one PI. While med school adcoms may be notoriously unconcerned with the admissions process, grad school adcoms tend to be a bit more interested seeing as how they may very well be stuck with one of the people they admit for the next 5-7 years.
 
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Everyone says that biology is a worthless degree, but I don't buy it. Healthcare and biotech firms are going to be an integral part of our economy in the future.

If I don't go into medicine, I am going into management consulting (preferable healthcare consulting) and there are a ton of firms that focus on that. The only caveat is that entry into top consulting firms in alot harder than getting into medical school and getting into a average/boutique healthcare firm requires med school stats.
Hint: no one pays a bio undergrad to do healthcare consulting.
 

SpecterGT260

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It is true that there's a lot of variability in grad schools, but it's like undergrad in that regard. Yeah, sure, you can get into a program with mediocre stats, but that's not the same as getting into a good program. It's also not like med school where even if you go to a bottom tier school you'll still become a doctor assuming you don't screw up. Where you go to grad school/who you study under has a big impact on how your career will turn out. To see what I mean take a look at any science department's faculty. You should notice a pattern about the type of schools they got their degrees from.



The PI has to pay the grad student's stipend and tuition. That's not cheap. PIs also have a vested interest in trying to get the best grad students they can since an incompetent grad student is liable to slow down the lab's progress, force replications of repeatedly failed experiments, and in a worst case scenario cost the lab grants. Meanwhile a talented grad student can do the opposite.



Most grad school applications don't even have a spot to list ECs on. They simply do not care. Applying to grad school is more like applying to a job, no one cares that you volunteered for four years at a homeless shelter or built schools in Africa because it has zero relevance to how good you'll be in the lab. For the same reason, no one cares about what someone unrelated to your chosen field has to say about you, and what a professor has to say about your performance in a class isn't nearly as valuable as what a PI has to say about your performance in a lab. Again, most of your time spent in grad school is under one PI. While med school adcoms may be notoriously unconcerned with the admissions process, grad school adcoms tend to be a bit more interested seeing as how they may very well be stuck with one of the people they admit for the next 5-7 years.
Yes but most major state universities are more than fine. Most major state university grad programs are not as selective as Med programs.....
 

TheMightySmiter

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Everyone says that biology is a worthless degree, but I don't buy it. Healthcare and biotech firms are going to be an integral part of our economy in the future.

If I don't go into medicine, I am going into management consulting (preferable healthcare consulting) and there are a ton of firms that focus on that. The only caveat is that entry into top consulting firms in alot harder than getting into medical school and getting into a average/boutique healthcare firm requires med school stats.
I have a friend who just left a job as a biotech consultant after a year and a half of awful pay. She was a chemical engineering major with many years of research experience in the biotech field. Don't get your hopes up.
 
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But the sad truth in my experience... And if you look at past threads on the subject, the experience of countless others. Very few advisors are qualified.
I agree that some advisers aren't the best, yet that is the case with any profession. You do, however, come across a few that sacrifice and make students' dreams come true. My adviser was a practicing M.D., chose to leave her profession to devote herself to students like myself. I owe her a lot for helping me reach my dream.
 

Dbate

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Hint: no one pays a bio undergrad to do healthcare consulting.
There are actually dozens (if not hundreds) of firms that do. Healthcare consulting firms all require either a quant, econ, or life sciences undergrad degree.
 

Dbate

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I have a friend who just left a job as a biotech consultant after a year and a half of awful pay. She was a chemical engineering major with many years of research experience in the biotech field. Don't get your hopes up.
I wonder where she was working. Boutique firms start undergrads off at 55K and and top firms start off at 70K+.

And judging by all the firms coming to recruit on campus constantly, I'm fairly confident I can secure a job.

EDIT: As a caveat, you can only really count on getting one of these jobs from HYP. If not, then you might be SOL with a bio degree.
 

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Wow, tensions are running a little high in the summer heat, and it ain't even summer yet. In all seriousness, biology peeps in Montana that do not enter allied healthcare fields seem to wind up working for Fish Wildlife & Parks, a cushy stste job that also requires a masters in bio.
 

TheWeeIceMan

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Everyone says that biology is a worthless degree, but I don't buy it. Healthcare and biotech firms are going to be an integral part of our economy in the future.

If I don't go into medicine, I am going into management consulting (preferable healthcare consulting) and there are a ton of firms that focus on that. The only caveat is that entry into top consulting firms in alot harder than getting into medical school and getting into a average/boutique healthcare firm requires med school stats.
Don't these types of jobs require a phd and/or significant work experience? I'm skeptical that a biotech firm is going to be falling over themselves giving management consulting jobs to a 22 year old with a biology degree.
 

circulus vitios

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Everyone says that biology is a worthless degree, but I don't buy it. Healthcare and biotech firms are going to be an integral part of our economy in the future.

If I don't go into medicine, I am going into management consulting (preferable healthcare consulting) and there are a ton of firms that focus on that. The only caveat is that entry into top consulting firms in alot harder than getting into medical school and getting into a average/boutique healthcare firm requires med school stats.
Biotechnology is very location dependent. Biotech hubs like Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, the Virginia research triangle, etc. have high living costs. Any biotech work that pays >$50k/year will require masters or a doctorate, probably with significant post-degree experience.

If you're fresh out of college with a science bachelors, you have neither management nor consulting experience. Why would you be qualified for management consulting?
 

Dbate

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Don't these types of jobs require a phd and/or significant work experience? I'm skeptical that a biotech firm is going to be falling over themselves giving management consulting jobs to a 22 year old with a biology degree.
No. Consulting firms hire people straight out of undergrad for the analyst position.
 

Dbate

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Biotechnology is very location dependent. Biotech hubs like Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, the Virginia research triangle, etc. have high living costs. Any biotech work that pays >$50k/year will require masters or a doctorate, probably with significant post-degree experience.

If you're fresh out of college with a science bachelors, you have neither management nor consulting experience. Why would you be qualified for management consulting?
That is not true.

Do these firms not come to you all's schools? Management consulting is a pretty standard route to go right out of college at my school

Edit: Nvm, for most undergrads healthcare consulting is not a viable option. But students graduating from top schools definitely have other options with a bio degree. Different people have different options, so people shouldn't generalize that a bio degree is worthless.
 

TheWeeIceMan

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That is not true.

Do these firms not come to you all's schools? Management consulting is a pretty standard route to go right out of college at my school

Edit: Nvm, for most undergrads healthcare consulting is not a viable option. But students graduating from top schools definitely have other options with a bio degree. Different people have different options, so people shouldn't generalize that a bio degree is worthless.
Ah, I had a feeling that is what you were subtly trying to get across. Maybe it is an option for you, but for the vast majority of bio degree holders, this is not the case. You're experience is far from the norm.
 

circulus vitios

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That is not true.

Do these firms not come to you all's schools? Management consulting is a pretty standard route to go right out of college at my school

Edit: Nvm, for most undergrads healthcare consulting is not a viable option. But students graduating from top schools definitely have other options with a bio degree. Different people have different options, so people shouldn't generalize that a bio degree is worthless.
Most schools are, by definition, not top schools. So it would be a fair generalization.
 

Dbate

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Ah, I had a feeling that is what you were subtly trying to get across. Maybe it is an option for you, but for the vast majority of bio degree holders, this is not the case. You're experience is far from the norm.
Even if people do not have this option right out of undergrad, if they get advanced degrees (MBA) from certain places, then they could reasonably pursue consulting.
Consulting ultimately ends up paying a lot more than medicine too.
 
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