Whether applicant pool up or down Med school is ALWAYS competitive!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by njdesi, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. njdesi

    njdesi Senior Member
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    I am simply amazed that all of a sudden people are frantic that med. school competition is going to be more intense just b/c apps are rising again after a 6 year decline! When was med school ever easier to get into????? I feel that the averages have stayed the same....in 1995-1996 when I was a college freshman, you needed a 3.5 and 30 to be considered competitive. The same still holds true 6-7 years later in 2002! If med. schools were all of a sudden taking the majority of applicants with a 2.8 and 25, then I would say, yeah, it is getting easier! Whether the cycle is up or down, getting into medical school will always remain fiercely competitive!!!!!!!
     
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  3. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member
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    Well the people that drop off the bandwagon tend to be the less competitive applicants (note I never said they wouldn't be great doctors) who are probably on the fence anyway and in better economic times go ahead and forget about medical school. The real competition to get in is the top 13K applicants (i think that's how many spots are available at US Allo schools), and there's always been at least 2-3 times that number. So you're right, fewer numbers doesn't mean anything- cos there's lies, damn lies... --Trek
     
  4. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    i'd have to concur with trek. look at the aamc stats they have on their website, while the number of applicants has dropped from = mid 40K to low 30K since 1993, averagre gpas and mcats have risen every year. A 3.5, 30 applicant went from "pretty damn good" to "run of the mill" for matriculants in that time just looking at the statistics. I totally didn't buy the "its the time to apply" bs i heard. :p
     
  5. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member
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    For what it's worth..number of spots is around 16000.

    Alicia
     
  6. If you like numbers, and believe me...nothing gets me hot and bothered like row after row of sexy sexy numbers, then check out the JAMA that dealt with this topic (virtually the whole issue)...it's a few months old. I think that you'll find the trends interesting. In general, even though the numbers are down, the quality is up. I guess the "process" itself is a selective factor. Also, schools themselves might have a weedout built in after decades of hyperapplication (I'm trademarking that word). At Ursinus the 1st class all pre-meds took freshman year was the hardest, by far, and was designed that way to get rid of the "chaff" so to speak. Right or wrong I don't know, but the "drop" might be due to other factors is all I'm asserting.
     
  7. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member
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    Medicnas..good point. Who says that the drop in applications isn't due to the new generation of college students being lazy and simply not putting forth the effort..and those making it to the app process are the cream of the crop? Why does it have to be due to the economy? I'm not saying it isn't..but who knows really.

    Just my two cents..

    Alicia
     
  8. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member
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    I think it is because of the economy because if you overlay a graph of GDP growth and med school applicant pool by year, you generally see a 1.5-2 year lag ultimately resulting in an increase in applicants (as the GDP drops, the med school application pool increased in a lagged fashion).

    I cant really find the chart on it, though I know ive seen it before. If anyone else has seen it and has a link on it that would be great.
     
  9. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    I was talking with a few of my friends who are also applying to medical school, and we were talking about the LACK of competitiveness to get into medical school.

    Several of you cite 3.5 and 30's as being average now, however, if you look at most schools and majors (including engineering) you will find that a 3.5 isn't that great. You're probably in the top 10%, but it isn't phenomenal. You probably couldn't even get into a good graduate program. I've gotten accepted at various medical schools (2 public out of state), but the reality is that I probably couldn't get into a Ph.D. program in my major at my undergrad institution (avg. gpa is >3.9) even if I wanted to. From what I heard about the competitiveness of medical schools, I expected to struggle getting into ANY medical school.


    On the other hand, although a 30 is considerered great and the wall you want to get over, TONS of people get over a 10 in any given section (>30%). I assume medium to strong correlations, so I assume a lot of people get over 30's.

    So think again. If you were going to the doctor for something serious like surgery, would you really want someone who could pride themselves on being in the top 10% of college graduates and top 30% of MCAT takers? Doesn't sound very impressive. Furthermore, I think the overal accepatance rate to medical school is 33%. I know this is both a self-selecting group and a filtered group, however, competitive jobs (look at the job market now or premier jobs in a good economy) have acceptance rates FAR below that. Currently, companies interviewing for engineers are interviewing about 10-20 people for one job. As my interviewer at Pitt told me, when he graduated from medical school in 1952, there were about 8,000 spots..........half the currently available seats. During that time, productivity SHOULD have doubled (although medicine is known for being a bit slow), and I don't think the US population has DOUBLED.

    Feel free to shoot me down. I have never nor will I ever advocate, however, that getting into medical school is a right that everyone should have the ability to attain.

    Sincerely,

    Sunny Singh
     
  10. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member
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    No is advocating that everyone has a right to goto medical school, because that is complete unfeasible (same for any profession you may name).

    According to the logic on this site there are about 20 applicants per seat for medical school also: http://www.bol.ucla.edu/~ericwang/Application/app_sum.html#stats

    Also you seem to be comparing apples and oranges with the description of the national medical school data and your own schools top ranked engineering programs. A better comparision would be to compare the selectivity of a top 10 school in medicine and a top 10 engineering grad school and see how those values compare. Right now you are comparing the average US medical school's data with a top 10 engineering school's.

    I think a fair comparison is that getting iinto a top medical school is as hard as getting a position in a top company during a recession. When the economy is good, its much harder to get into a top medical school than a good company that is hiring. But none of us have it as bad as pre-laws, and pre-MBA, because the bad economy coupled to the lack of prereqs has REALLY flooded those schools.
     
  11. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    I by far agree that pre-law and pre-MBA is the worst right now.

    You might be right in my comparing apples and oranges, but people always seem to percieve/promote that medicine is BY FAR the hardest thing to get into. Before applying, I was under the impression that getting into an average medical school was just as hard as getting into a great grad program (I don't know stats of other schools, so I apologize Aegis for having biased stats). I'm pretty sure that in certain subjects (biology and chemistry specifically) that there are TONS of grad school spots since every school has those departments, so specifying a good program is necessary (I've met some subpar grad students in biology at Georgia Tech......not the best bio program).

    What I was trying to put an end to is the "oh its so hard. If I don't get in it is because getting into medical school is harder to get into than anything else" type mentality that seemed to dominate this thread (and SDN for that matter). Furthermore, people throw around the word "competitive" and I wanted to indicate that needing a 3.5 and a 30 does not make it sound competitive at all. I guess it depends on your definition of competitive too I guess. I concur with Aegis's comparisons to other careers.

    Take care,
     
  12. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    it is far harder to get into any u.s. med school than any u.s. law school. of course it's really difficult to get into a top law school, but it is very easy to get into a not so hot law school. i'm sure you knew this, but i just wanted to point this out b/c it seems from your post that you may not think this. it's difficult to pass the bar, but there are loads of law schools that are quite easy to get into.
     
  13. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member
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    I concur. Getting into medical school is not the most difficult academic accomplishments. I used to date a guy who was a veterinarian...now talk about competitive. There are so few spots..it's is VERY difficult to get into vet school. I think the average GPA is around 3.6 or 7. From what I understand, pharmacy can be cut throat as well.

    Alicia
     
  14. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member
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    Essentially, within every field there is something that is extremely competitive you can do that would roughly equate elsewhere.

    Every group of students likes to think that "our specialty is the best" because it does two things, it enhances your accomplishments relative to others and buffers against failure since your failure is better than the most success another field could have. Its a fallacy that all groups fall into. I know as many arrogant premeds as I do arrogant engineers as I do arrogant business folk. People are going to be people regardless of what occupation they choose, and I think it is human nature to want to think of oneself as the better of your peers (unfortunately).
     
  15. Kovox

    Kovox Going Places
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    Okie, I have major disagreements with some of the things posted.
    First off, define competitiveness, is it number based? experienced based?

    "2.8 GPA 25 MCAT" getting into medical school doesn't make that person non competitive. There may be other aspects to the application such as experience in medical field, setting up some program in africa etc, that makes that person more competitive than a 30+ mcat 4.0 student.

    Medical school is not the hardest program to get into. There is no hardest program to get into because all of them are hard. To get into a MBA program you need 3-4 years of full time work experience along with good grades, good GRE scores. For pre- anything its competitive.

    It just seems as though some of the posts put medicine on a pedastal while pushing the other pre-professions down the ladder...that just isn't right.
     
  16. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    Few things:

    1) Aegis, I really like your views.

    2) I'm aware that law schools are easy to get into. In fact, I can drive around Atlanta and find what appears to be a person buying a building and turning it into a law school. I guess the big thing is that unlike medicine, the law or business school makes a HUGE difference in your future. While top 25 is good for medical schools, you may hit a glass cieling in some corporations without a top 10 mba. I don't know the acceptance rates at law schools, although I do understand it is quite difficult at top schools because the discussions we have on here about "is it worth going to my state school or a top ten" are non-existant when considering law school (except for public law). Most of us on here would be happy to get in, when this isn't the case for law schools and business schools. Consequently, when I compare MD/JD/MBA I only consider the top tier of schools because it would be unfair to let the AVERAGE law or business school bring the rest down.

    3) Kovx, I define a field as competitive when only a small portion of the people who apply to enter a field are able to enter it. I have implied throughout that 27% isn't that small of a percentage. You refer to individiual applicant's credentials, which are insignificant when evaluating aggregate statistics. It can be considered an outlier at worst.

    4) lola, as for any med school being harder to get into than any law school, I beg to differ. Take my state school (medical college of georgia) which recieves ~800 instate applications (it accepts 100% instate, I don't know why out of state people send their amcas) for 180 spots. At WORST the acceptance rate is 25%, and I'm willing to bet money that harvard's law school's acceptance rate is less than 25% (if it is, let me know, I know some aspiring lawyers).

    Have a nice night!
     
  17. Summary:
    Law school top 50 acceptance rate average: 27.65%
    Med school top 50 acceptance rate average: 9.27%
    MBA school top 50 acceptance rate average: 27.53%
    Engineering top 50 acceptance rate average: 27.75%


    Now, those numbers don't necessarily mean that anybody is smarter than anybody else, or anything is hard than any other thing...by themselves those numbers can't say much. They do, however, warrant a look. Medicine is damned competitive. And you stand a lower chance of getting into medicine than into any other professional graduate program (PhD data not here).

    Food for your mind.

    Acceptance rates for law school are a lot higher (even in the top 10) [USNEWS.COM]:

    1 Yale University (CT) 7.60%
    2 Stanford University (CA) 10.70%
    3 Harvard University (MA) 14.10%
    4 Columbia University (NY) 17.60%
    5 New York University 20.90%
    6 University of Chicago 19.40%
    7 University of California?Berkeley 15.50%
    University of Michigan?Ann Arbor 29.10%
    University of Pennsylvania 23.00%
    University of Virginia 27.40%
    11 Northwestern University (IL) 19.50%
    12 Duke University (NC) 26.10%
    13 Cornell University (NY) 21.60%
    14 Georgetown University (DC) 22.20%
    15 University of Texas?Austin 23.60%
    16 University of California?Los Angeles 19.00%
    17 Vanderbilt University (TN) 32.30%
    18 University of Iowa 35.70%
    University of Minnesota?Twin Cities 34.40%
    University of Southern California 24.40%
    Washington and Lee University (VA) 30.90%
    22 Boston College 23.70%
    Emory University (GA) 34.80%
    24 University of Notre Dame (IN) 31.80%
    25 Boston University 25.30%
    George Washington University (DC) 24.70%
    University of Illinois?Urbana-Champaign 33.00%
    University of Washington 24.00%
    University of Wisconsin?Madison 35.60%
    Washington University in St. Louis 35.60%
    31 University of North Carolina?Chapel Hill 24.20%
    32 College of William and Mary (VA) 27.20%
    Fordham University (NY) 27.70%
    University of California?Davis 31.10%
    University of Georgia 26.30%
    36 Wake Forest University (NC) 36.30%
    37 Brigham Young University (J. Reuben Clark) (UT) 35.50%
    Ohio State University (Moritz) 32.30%
    39 Indiana University?Bloomington 38.60%
    40 University of Arizona 23.00%
    University of California (Hastings) 31.20%
    University of Colorado?Boulder 26.80%
    43 Tulane University (LA) 39.40%
    University of Connecticut 30.90%
    45 University of Florida (Levin) 27.00%
    University of Utah (S.J. Quinney) 37.90%
    47 George Mason University (VA) 19.90%
    University of Alabama 36.90%
    49 American University (Washington College of Law) (DC) 34.10%
    Southern Methodist University (TX) 37.60%
    University of Kentucky 42.70%

    Medical school:

    1 Harvard University (MA) 4.50%
    2 Johns Hopkins University (MD) 5.60%
    3 Washington University in St. Louis 10.90%
    4 University of Pennsylvania 5.80%
    5 Duke University (NC) 4.60%
    6 University of California?San Francisco 5.40%
    7 Columbia U. College of Physicians and Surgeons (NY) 12.00%
    8 University of Michigan?Ann Arbor 8.10%
    9 Yale University (CT) 6.00%
    10 University of Washington 7.70%
    11 Cornell University (Weill) (NY) 3.70%
    Stanford University (CA) 3.20%
    13 Baylor College of Medicine (TX) 16.80%
    University of California?Los Angeles 4.50%
    15 Mayo Medical School (MN) 2.30%
    16 Vanderbilt University (TN) 8.80%
    17 University of Pittsburgh 9.00%
    U. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center?Dallas 14.50%
    19 University of Chicago 4.20%
    20 Emory University (GA) 7.40%
    University of California?San Diego 7.30%
    22 Case Western Reserve University (OH) 7.00%
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine (NY) 6.10%
    Northwestern University (IL) 9.70%
    University of North Carolina?Chapel Hill 6.90%
    26 New York University 13.70%
    27 University of Virginia 8.30%
    28 University of Alabama?Birmingham 15.20%
    University of Rochester (NY) 8.90%
    30 University of Iowa 11.50%
    31 University of Colorado Health Sciences Center 9.10%
    University of Wisconsin?Madison 10.90%
    Yeshiva University (Albert Einstein) (NY) 8.80%
    34 Dartmouth Medical School (NH) 5.80%
    35 Oregon Health & Science University 7.20%
    36 University of Minnesota?Twin Cities 16.50%
    University of Southern California 6.30%
    38 University of Utah 10.80%
    39 Boston University 3.60%
    Brown University (RI) 6.00%
    University of Maryland?Baltimore 9.40%
    Wake Forest University (NC) 5.30%
    43 Tufts University (MA) 9.50%
    44 Ohio State University 13.70%
    University of Cincinnati 16.10%
    University of Florida 6.90%
    47 Indiana University?Indianapolis 20.90%
    48 Jefferson Medical College (PA) 6.10%
    University of Massachusetts?Worcester 25.10%
    50 University of Miami (FL) 25.80%


    MBA data:
    1 Stanford University (CA) 8.80%
    2 Harvard University (MA) 11.60%
    3 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 15.50%
    4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) 18.10%
    5 Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL) 16.60%
    6 Duke University (Fuqua) (NC) 20.10%
    University of Chicago 28.40%
    8 Columbia University (NY) 13.50%
    9 Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH) 18.80%
    10 University of California?Berkeley (Haas) 14.50%
    University of Michigan?Ann Arbor 19.60%
    University of Virginia (Darden) 16.60%
    13 New York University (Stern) 22.30%
    Yale University (CT) 20.00%
    15 University of California?Los Angeles (Anderson) 17.40%
    16 Cornell University (Johnson) (NY) 25.80%
    17 University of North Carolina?Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler) 23.80%
    18 Carnegie Mellon University (PA) 28.20%
    University of Texas?Austin (McCombs) 30.00%
    20 University of Southern California (Marshall) 29.00%
    21 Indiana University?Bloomington (Kelley) 24.70%
    22 Emory University (Goizueta) (GA) 31.50%
    23 University of Rochester (Simon) (NY) 32.70%
    24 Georgetown University (McDonough) (DC) 20.80%
    Michigan State University (Broad) 22.30%
    Ohio State University (Fisher) 29.00%
    University of Minnesota?Twin Cities (Carlson) 34.40%
    28 Purdue University?West Lafayette (Krannert) (IN) 28.00%
    29 Brigham Young University (Marriott) (UT) 37.00%
    Vanderbilt University (Owen) (TN) 44.50%
    31 Arizona State University?Main Campus 36.00%
    Rice University (Jones) (TX) 38.70%
    Washington University in St. Louis (Olin) 32.00%
    34 Southern Methodist University (Cox) (TX) 32.30%
    University of Arizona (Eller) 50.70%
    University of Georgia (Terry) 27.50%
    University of Iowa (Tippie) 38.00%
    University of Notre Dame (IN) 28.20%
    39 Boston College (Carroll) 21.00%
    Georgia Institute of Technology (DuPree) 38.50%
    Tulane University (Freeman) (LA) 41.90%
    University of California?Davis 29.30%
    43 Penn State University?University Park (Smeal) 24.60%
    University of Florida (Warrington) 20.70%
    University of Maryland?College Park (Smith) 24.40%
    46 University of Illinois?Urbana-Champaign 38.40%
    University of Wisconsin?Madison 30.80%
    Wake Forest University (Babcock) (NC) 49.10%
    49 Texas A&M University?College Station (Mays) 33.00%
    University of Washington 37.80%

    Engineering:
    1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 29.40%
    2 Stanford University (CA) 35.50%
    University of California?Berkeley 24.30%
    4 Georgia Institute of Technology 40.90%
    5 University of Illinois?Urbana-Champaign 16.70%
    6 University of Michigan?Ann Arbor 33.60%
    7 California Institute of Technology 14.80%
    8 Cornell University (NY) 27.00%
    University of Southern California 40.00%
    10 Carnegie Mellon University (PA) 21.10%
    University of Texas?Austin 26.60%
    12 Purdue University?West Lafayette (IN) 33.20%
    Texas A&M University?College Station 35.50%
    14 University of California?San Diego 22.10%
    15 Penn State University?University Park 41.20%
    University of Wisconsin?Madison 31.10%
    17 Harvard University (MA) 14.30%
    18 Princeton University (NJ) 17.50%
    19 University of Maryland?College Park 23.40%
    20 Northwestern University (IL) 28.90%
    21 University of California?Los Angeles 36.80%
    University of Minnesota?Twin Cities 39.10%
    23 Virginia Tech 35.80%
    24 Johns Hopkins University (MD) 17.90%
    University of California?Santa Barbara 15.80%
    26 Columbia University (Fu Foundation) (NY) 31.00%
    Ohio State University 16.90%
    28 University of Pennsylvania 32.30%
    29 North Carolina State University 31.30%
    University of Florida 13.30%
    31 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) 33.30%
    32 Rice University (TX) 15.80%
    University of Washington 36.00%
    34 Duke University (NC) 19.80%
    35 University of Colorado?Boulder 35.10%
    University of Virginia 24.20%
    Washington University in St. Louis 31.20%
    38 Iowa State University 19.70%
    39 University of California?Davis 39.60%
    Yale University (CT) 13.40%
    41 Michigan State University 23.60%
    Rutgers State University?New Brunswick (NJ) 23.30%
    University of Delaware 26.90%
    44 Case Western Reserve University (OH) 26.20%
    University of Arizona 50.50%
    46 Dartmouth College (Thayer) (NH) 20.70%
    University of Massachusetts?Amherst 16.70%
    University of New Mexico 39.90%
    Vanderbilt University (TN) 36.90%
    50 Lehigh University (PA) 27.50%
     
  18. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member
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    Thanks,
    It is really hard to compare med and law schools on face because there are a ton more law schools than medical schools, probably because starting a med school is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. We can really only compare the top 10% of med schools and the top 10% of law schools (or some other percentile subset) in determining difficulty of admissions. [note medicinas posted this list AS i was writing this lol]
    I also agree with Sunny that relative stats are the ONLY way you can compare huge numbers of people at the same time-- thats why med schools do this for the primary application.
    Ultimately, since this is a pre-med board, I think its natural for us to think that our trials and tribulations are harder than others. We just have to remember that a ton of people are working as hard and at as high a level as we are. I think it is the loss of this perspective that makes the WORST doctors, the ones who dont listen to their patients because they think of them as below them.
     
  19. DALABROKA

    DALABROKA Raider Hater
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    I think that the difference between pre-med and other pre-professional programs is in the need to excel in several difficult fields at the same time. One thing that I have noticed is that the successful med school applicant must be equally adept at chemistry, biology, physics, math, and every other non-science class that they take.

    There are people that kill in chemistry, but can't make better then a C in biology, biology majors that couldn't solve a rotational kinematics problem if their life depended on it, and physics majors that can't remember their own phone number let alone memorize all of the intermediates of the TCA cycle. Not that there are not people that major in each of these different fields that don't do well in all the others, but there are decidedly few.

    I think that it is this factor that makes pre-med a more difficult route to take over some other pre-prof. programs. I don't know what the requirements for most law schools are in particular, but I know at my school that political science classes are predominantly the classes suggested for pre-law students. While political science classes are by no means easy, I don't see the same kind of diversity amongst pre-law requirements as are pre-med. There are always exceptions to the rule in that a pre-law student can come over and kill in biology, chemistry, and physics, but this doesn't happen very often and those types of people are successful in what ever field that they may chose to pursue. It should be noted that most pre-med students that make it to the point of applying could fit this mold and could have been just as successful in another field that they may have chosen as well.

    A thought...
    The attrition rate for my freshman chemistry course was ~ 70%.
    The attrition rate for my organic chemistry course was ~ 30%
    '' " freshman biology course was ~ 60%
    " " college physics course was ~ 40%
    " " government of the US was ~ 5%

    If these figures don't suggest that maintaining a 3.5+ GPA in a pre-med course of study isn't difficult, then I don't know what will.

    Cheers,
    DALA
     
  20. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member
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    They don't have to be adept at the sciences? Perhaps not pre-law. Have you ever taken a look at the requirements for a veterinary school? They are just as difficult and demanding as the requirements for medicine. I have taken my medical school prereqs right along with prevet, preoptometry, predental and pre pharmacy. ALL pre-health professions take the same courses, although I think some schools require less, but generally they require the same four years...in some cases more. (Some vet schools require biochemistry and zoology.) Pre-meds aren't the only ones that have to take and excel in these courses.

    I am really sick of the premeds take the most difficult route mindset. We are all in college..trying to graduate. Why must we always have pissing contests to see who has it the toughest? I've known some pretty smart (smarter than me) and tough students in my time that weren't premed!

    Alicia
     
  21. IMO vet is THE hardest professional program to get into in the US. I don't think that there's much argument possible about it. There are the most applicants for the fewest spots, and their pre-entrance requirements are one step beyond pre-med. Not to mention that most will never make what their skill is worth.

    Beyond that...somethings to consider:

    -Mostly everybody that goes to med school becomes licensed. They may not be boarded, but they can practice.
    -The AIA exam for architects has the lowest pass rate of any professional exam. They CANNOT practice without AIA certification (they can be draftspeople at the most...whoopie).
    -The CPA exam first time pass rate is nearly as low as it is for architecture. That's a PITA exam based on what I've heard from my friends in accounting.

    So, even if getting into med school is very difficult (and it is difficult, I'm not saying it's the most difficult or anything) once you're in, you're basically set (low attrition rates and low licensing failure rate). As pre-meds we should count our blessing that is the case. Also, what's the last time you saw an unemployed doctor? It doesn't happen very often. Unlike CPAs, MBAs, JDs and architects, MDs are always in need and won't starve. Of course there are exceptions, but this holds generally true.

    Anyways, I guess my point is that even though it sucks to get into med school, it could always be worse :)
     
  22. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    i guess i was unclear with what i said. i meant any old med school vs. any old law school. e.g. university of hickville med school vs. hickville law school that offers night classes so you can work while you go to school.

    i agree that vet schools are the most competitive professional schools to get into.
     
  23. exigente chica

    7+ Year Member

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    Actually, is it not that hard to get into a top grad school program . THe applications are ten times shorter, they pay for interviewing costs and the demands for Ph.D's is increasing. I don't know where u got ur numbers from but that is incorrect. Need evidence pm me.

    My $.02:p
     

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