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What is an ideal accep. rate from undergrad. to med school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Questi4110, Aug 5, 2002.

  1. Questi4110

    Questi4110 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    What are good acceptance rates to medical schools from undergraduate (pre-med) education. I think someone said that the average is 40% so i wanted to know what a good acceptance rate is from a college...which would help me narrow down the colleges i want to apply to. Basically, i am in high-school and i want to narrow down my college list. The best way to do this is to figure out which schools have bad medical school acceptance rates and drop them. But i dont know what a low or bad acceptance rate is...that is why i need your opinion.

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  3. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    it's really hard to know what acceptance rates mean. while i wouldn't pick a school with less than 50% or 60%, i think it's very hard to compare schools with rates higher than that. for example, a school may have an 85% acceptance rate, but it may only be so high because the pre-medical committee strongly discourages applicants from weak students or refuses to write a committee letter for weak students.
    just pick a school you like that has a good reputation! people get in from all kinds of schools, so as long as you put in the work you should be able to do it.
  4. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    whoa whoa whoa whoa!!! Questi, slow down!!! Please, whatever you do, don't decide on colleges based on their med school acceptance rate! You'll hear this from a million people, but a lot will happen in college as gung-ho about medicine as you are now, you may be just as anti-med school (not necessarily medicine) once you get into college. Trust me on this-- I started off pre-med, drifted away and tried other things, and only came back to pre-med my SENIOR year, and I am soooo glad I spent time away from medicine because I was all the more excited about it when I re-discovered it.

    Don't pick your college based on any kind of numbers. If you want a school that will prepare you well for med school, pick a school with a hospital associated with it (and volunteer there), and with strong research programs. Go and visit lots of schools, and go with your gut feeling. Yes, the name of the school matters somewhat, but if you're a good student and distinguish yourself at a no-name school, that will still put you ahead of the other med school applicants. Apply and go where you think you'll be happiest, and worry about med school in 4 more years. ;)
  5. sluox

    sluox Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Despite the fact that the above poster is very hot, I must disagree. I think it's perfectly legit to decide your college based on how well the pre-med students at your college perform. I think if you set your goals early on you would avoid a lot of detours.
  6. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    haha sloux!

    I have to stand by my original post and say don't pick your colleges based on numbers (any numbers) alone. sure, it can factor in, but go visit campuses, talk to other students... and in the end if you absolutely fall in love with a school that has a 99.9% acceptance rate to med schools, then great! If, however, you have to decide between University A which has an acceptance rate of 100% and you can't find a single friendly face on campus, and University B which has an acceptance measely acceptance rate of 60% but you love the campus/school/students/programs... go with your gut feeling.

    If I had gone on numbers (I didn't look at med school acceptance rates, more GPA and class rankings) alone when applying to colleges, I should have gone to Duke. I was accepted, but went to UNC instead because I was just happier on campus at UNC. And it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
  7. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2001
    Acceptance rates are bull****!

    Don't trust them. Some schools boast greater tahn 80% acceptance rates even though they are not as good as schools that have 40% rates. This is b/c the schools with 80% rates DO NOT allow students that they do not feel "could cut it" in med school to even apply. They have premed committees and basically do an initial cut. Meanwhile, very very good schools that DO NOT HAve this committee, let whoever wants to apply - apply...and this then drops the acceptance %.

    So if you base the college you want to go to based on that alone - you are an idiot.
  8. Hallm_7

    Hallm_7 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    I think the key to getting in med school is to do good in your classes and to destinguish yourself in any way you can. You can get into med school from ANY accredited college in the country. However, I believe it is easier to distance yourself from the "crowd" at a small school. It's pretty hard to make an impression on your profs when you are one of 200 students in your class. Which is how it will be at most state university, and even then you will be taught by a TA.

    I chose a school with about 1500 undergrads and 400 graduate students. Gen Bio was my largest class with about 40 people in it. My gen chem class only had 20. And as I get further the class size dwindles even more. I've gotten to know every one of my professors well, and when it comes time for LORs I know I can get awesome ones.

    Some people on here are the exact oppoisite when it comes to small school/ large school. The important thing is to remember that you can get in anywhere you go. So go where you think you'll get the best overall education and where you'll enjoy college the most.
  9. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    back off sluox, i saw her first....

    anyways, i'll have to agree with sweet tea here. Go to the school you'll be happy at. Although going to a name school might help you a little, not all the kids on this site who got in to med school are Hopkins grads. There is no exact recipe for getting into med school, but if you do well in your classes, do some cool ECs and get a solid mcat score, med school in a few years will take care of itself (of course, i'me oversimplifying here).

    lola made a good point. yeah, a school could have some 80 percent acceptance rate, but if they only recommended 1 out of 4 premeds or something that applied for committee letters, well you do the math.

    dont let some of the gunnerish diatribes around here freak you out TOO much. By all means schools have rankings for reasons, but make sure you actually enjoy your time in school as well. if you want a really small, intense private school cause you like that setting, do it. if you want a big state school with D I sports, do it. If you want a school in an urban setting, do it.
  10. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Do NOT trust acceptance rates! They are meaningless. Those are the absolute most messed with statistics in existence. You have absolutely no idea what the schools did to get the numbers as they are.
  11. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo 7+ Year Member

    May 5, 2002
    Almost as bad as the "average debt" figure that some ranking-lists have.
  12. jot


    just for emphasis- i want to agree with what most people have been saying. accept % is perhaps the most useless # a college can advertise. it all depends on you and what you take from the school. i went to a 3700 person undergrad, and i have made a run for my money, and gotten a he!! of a lot out of the school - hopefully they got something as well. the other thing is that location matters more than you may think now - the things that contribute to your everyday happiness are more important - happy worker is a .... goodluck though.
  13. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    I agree that acceptance rate #s are complete BS. Whatever you do, DO NOT choose a college based on advertised "acceptance rates." In fact, I'd hesitate to attend a school that adveritised a HIGH acceptance rate, because it probably just means they're manipulating and cooking tha process A LOT. Just go to a school you like.
  14. JmE

    JmE Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    This is just a foggy memory by now, but I seem to remember...

    Someone (an official at the school) telling me while I was looking at my undergrad college that they had a 100% medical school acceptance rate. That didn't matter to me, so the comment just drifted away. However, about two years later, I found out that only one person (I think) had even applied to med school from there. It was a very small school and when I found out, I laughed my butt off! So, if memory serves me correctly, at that time, n=1 :rolleyes: !!

    Anyway, I personally would not pick and undergrad school based on an acceptance rate.

  15. Questi4110

    Questi4110 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    I see what you guys are saying but i still want some idea on how good the school is for preparing it's students for medical school...what should i use for this?

  16. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    if it's well regarded school, it will be fine at preparing you. if it's a lesser known school, maybe you could somehow get in touch with current pre-med students to see what they think of the education? most universities will be fine i think. usually when there is some sort of problem, universities change their curriculum to meet student needs. that's what happened where i went anyway.
  17. Bomb#20

    Bomb#20 Bork Bork Bork 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2002
    Richmond, VA
    Hey lola, what's your signature from? It sounds really familiar and has been bugging me that I can't remember!
  18. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Lactate > 15
    You really shoulnd't worry about how well a school prepares you for medical school. Why? Because with a few exceptions, most of the things you learn in college you won't use in medical school. Maybe a little biochem, microbiology. Buy Orgo? Physics? what a joke. In terms of making yourself a good applicant, get good grades and do well on the MCAT.

    Here's a prescription for getting into medical school. Pick the school that you like. The one that you feel fits you. If you pick a school simply because you think it will give you a 16.3% higher chance of getting into med school, but you hate that school, your grades will suffer.

    Now for some practical advice: Find rewarding extracurricular activities. Get involved, be a leader. Plan your schedule carefully so you don't take all of your hard classes at the same time. Research is also good if you kind find something you like to do that won't eat up your time.

    Finally, I would ignore the advice of some earlier posters. Having goals is good, but don't let them blind you to other passions and possibilities. Keep an open mind and slow down. Take a year off after college or do a semester abroad. The journey is what life is about, not the destination. I've said this before on SDN: You will never have another time in your life like your time in college -- Relish it. Take it from someone who was so goal oriented it took him more than ten years to find the way back to the right path!

  19. I agree with most of the advice provided here.. I don't think you can look at acceptance rates directly and make a judgement, but you might try to get info from different pre-med advisors at the schools you are interested in on WHERE people got in so you can get an idea as to whether or not the undergrad school is recognized by the med schools you are interested in. This information can be deceiving too, however, as I was accepted at 2 private schools that are not known for accepting a lot of UMCP grads, and waitlisted by schools that typically accept a lot of candidates from U Maryland.

    IMO, the best thing you can do for undergrad (unless you are offered admission at Princeton vs. a state school that is not very well known (e.g. Towson State in MD)) is to strongly consider attending the best school possible in your state. I think Sweet Tea did the right thing by going to UNC-Chapel Hill; not only did she save a lot of money, but UNC has an outstanding national reputation for both undergrad and med school. Many public schools such as most of the UC's (Berkeley or LA esp.), UVA, Michigan, UNC-CH, Georgia Tech, and UT-Austin are very well-respected and will provide you with an excellent education in both the sciences and humanities (and med schools typically love these schools). Schools like Maryland-College Park, Penn State, U of Arizona, Minnesota, and Iowa are also nationally known and well-regarded by medical schools. Another benefit to attending state schools that are associated with state medical schools is that you are somewhat more likely to get into your state school this way. University of Minnesota, for example, sends more students to U Minn-Twin Cities for medical school than any other school in the state, and the University of Maryland-College Park sends more students to UMAB med school each year than any other undergraduate institution (even though UMCP is not directly associated with UMAB) in the country. I currently attend a very expensive private med school, and am incredibly glad that I am not entering med school with a huge undergraduate debt like many of my classmates who went to private school for undergrad. just something to think about. Good luck!
  20. Questi4110

    Questi4110 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    ok thanks
  21. exigente chica

    exigente chica 7+ Year Member

    May 28, 2002
    I agree with halm! you should go where you happy and have a genuine intrest in the school. Not becasue this many people got into med school. Those are some bogus stats, let me just tell you. If you do the work and get the grades, you should be a competive applicant at any med school.

    Many people have questioned the strenght of certain school pre-med programs, and have transfered to schools that guaruntee that 80% get in. To make a long story short, the girl from the small school A got in and the boy from the big name school B was wait listed. They had around the same stats and ec's...I am not sure about the lor's and stuff. But you get my point. Not to say that other things didn't factor in, not the fire..ohh no.

    I turned down an ivy leauge to go the school I'm at! I don't regret one day of it. I am doing much more than my frineds at big name schools, I eat dinner at my prof's house, got to do research after freshman year, small class size (20), and I can ask all the questions I want!! And there are some amazing programs here. Ohh yeah, and Miami.:clap:

    Go where you feel you will do best, If you are happy then you will perform better!

    Good luck!:clap::
  22. nylee

    nylee Corean Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2002
    I agree with Ed and Katie. You should take statistics with a grain of salt. However, from what I've learned about my undergrad school, our acceptance rate is pretty high (~89%)...but it's not necessarily because the pre-med office forbids people to apply to med school if their numbers aren't high enough. They just discourage students to apply that particular cycle and tell them to try to improve their file in the following year. I was told by my advisor to consider applying a year later--and at the time, I was pretty bummed out--but I decided to apply anyways and I got into my top choice school. They can't prevent you from applying...but they just want to see you get into the best school you can get into.

    In my case, I ended up paying much less going to a private undergrad institution than my public, state school. Most private schools are well-funded and can give more grants and financial aid than public schools.

    Plus, there's a difference between a college that prepares you well for med school and a college that prepares you to get into med school. In my case, my undergrad school required biology and other science classes that went way above and beyond the scope of the MCAT. Basically, those science classes didn't do jack for my MCAT score. However, there are other schools that focus solely on MCAT material so their students can excel on the standardized test. While this is a great strategy, it can also be considered lacking, as well. Their students may get into great med schools, but graduates from my school end up doing better once in med school. Almost everyone I know that graduated from my alma mater actually are breezing through med school because all of the classes feel like review for them. So...basically, there is a disparity in teaching material across pre-med curricula.

    But there are many other things you should consider when choosing your school. Many people change their minds about medicine after taking science classes or volunteering at a hospital. Some schools practice "selective excellence"--they're only strong in one, particular department...such as science. What a disaster if you end up changing your mind and that awesome PRE-MED school has nothing else to offer? I would choose a school that is known to be very well-rounded.

    Many of these characteristics and others are best obtained by going and visiting the school. You should go and ask the students first-hand what the aura is competitive the atmosphere is...etc. etc. See if you can thrive in such and environment. College is the last time you can live on your own with minimal responsibilities--be very wise in making your decision! Good luck!
  23. Bonds756

    Bonds756 6 time MVP 7+ Year Member

    May 16, 2002
    The first thing that Sweet Tea wrote is a good idea. If you think you are sure that you want to go to medical school, consider going to an undergrad school that has a hospital or one that spends a lot of money on biomedical research. That will mean a lot more than a school's reported artificial acceptance percentages.

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