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Whats with the either of your parents a physician question on secondaries?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by physicsMD, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. physicsMD

    physicsMD Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2002
    Hey guys,
    Why do med schools care if either of your parents is a physician? Does it hurt or help you?
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  3. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    I was wondering about that too.
  4. Dr. Dodger Dog

    Dr. Dodger Dog 7+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2002
    Los Angeles
    From what I have heard, it helps you because they see that you know what it takes to be a physician from first hand experience-- the long hours, hard work etc. Again... this is just based on stuff people have told me.
  5. mystic_b

    mystic_b Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2002
    Are these questions, "Is either of your parents a physician?" or are they like, "Did either of your parents earn their medical degree or do their residency at our school?" The first question would make sense if they thought you might have a good understanding of medicine if your family was involved in it, while the second one seems to support the legacy theory - that they will give you brownie points if your parents are alumni, and also that they think that you're more likely to choose their school if that is the case.

    I don't think the parents' occupation factors in much into the admissions process - it could help you because of the above reasons, but it could also hurt you if they thought you were more likely to become a specialist because you were a doctor's child, and they were focusing on primary care. Or if they thought, "This kid just wants to be a doctor because his daddy and granddaddy were doctors," even if you thoroughly explained your true reasons in pursuing medicine.
  6. AznTrojan

    AznTrojan Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2002
    according to people who i know that work on the adcom or have previously worked on an adcom.. the reason for that question is because individuals with parents as physicians are supposed to know the lifestyle and be more educated about becoming a physician..

    in fact.. almost all our students in the bac/md program have a parent or two that are physicians..
    imho.. that's a bunch of bull..
  7. Explosivo

    Explosivo blah! 7+ Year Member

    Double edged sword.

    There's the nepotism component which Dodger Dog touched on.

    However the bad side is that an applicant may only want to become a doctor b/c his or her parents were doctors. Or that the applicant feels parental pressure to become a physician b/c his or her parents were physicians. I don't think it can necessarily hurt you but I think medical schools will place your application under a little more scrutiny if a parent is a physician, at least this is what a pre-med advisor told me. Med schools want to eliminate applicants that have the "my parents were doctors so I should be a doctor too" mentality. Become a physician b/c you want to not because you want to carry on some legacy.
  8. Dr. Dodger Dog

    Dr. Dodger Dog 7+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Haha... SC B/MD is loaded with people with doctors as parents. Most of my friends' parents aren't tho... but I know of a lot... And... yes, I don't really think preference should be given to kids of doctors.
  9. 2badr

    2badr **Switch** 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2001
    Let us hope that the adcoms give equal preference to each applicant,regardless if your parent(s) was (were) a doctor or not. Otherwise,something about this is truly disturbing.
  10. Dodge This

    Dodge This Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2001
    This is an old thread, but I'm going to reply to it because I was an interviewer for a B/MD program. 90+% of the kids I talked to was the son/daughter of a doctor. At 15-16 years old, they were all so certain that they wanted to go into medicine. There's plenty of kids at that age who "know" they want to be dcotors, but it seems the ones who are offspring of physicians have an edge when it comes to being considered for these programs.
  11. phinicky

    phinicky Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 7, 2002
    I'm assuming that admissions committees that children of health professionals have an idea of the sacrifices that must be made for a medical career.

    Having parents that are MD's definitely helps... At least 50% of my med school class has at least one parent who's an MD.
  12. siempre595

    siempre595 7+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2002
    This is a favorite question at interviews too. I think they want to know how much you've been exposed to medicine. My interviewers have gone kind of wild on it from my apps cause my entire family is somehow medical (doctor, np, nurses, etc.) and they always ask about siblings and what they do, etc. It seems to help the conversation in general, so I don't think it's a bad thing. But if your family is not involved in medical professions, they certainly can't discriminate.

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