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Who doesn't care about rank?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Cerberus, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    I don't really get the emphasis on USNEWS rank in determining what medical school you are going to attend. I just don't get it, barring cool location, what incentive is there to go to a top named school over your state school? USNEWS largely rates schools based on research money, how many of you really give a damn about doing research (personally I despise doing research and the thought of having professors who will inject their "research" into every lecture). Personally, if I wanted to be a researcher i'd go get a PhD.
    Plus, it seems to me that most the people who get into these "top" schools are total douchebags, why would you want to go to school with these people? In fact, I am specifically avoiding such places (with the exception of UMICH based on location) because I don't want to be around these people.

    So who else out there is giving the finger to USNEWS rankings?
     
  2. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    if i had a "giving the finger" icon to put here, i would.....i agree with you...ranking had nothing to do with where i applied...i mean, if i pick a school based on ranking, and i'm miserable there, am i going to console myself with the thought that it's #whatever ranked?
     
  3. CalBeE

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    Well first of all, the whole "everyone at top schools are douchebags" is like the biggest stereotype you can find. From what I remember, you haven't even applied to schools yet? So don't make that assumption.

    And the whole emphasis on research is partly because future academic physicians are the one that bring the prestige to the med schools. Med schools are gonna be a bit selfish about this.
     
  4. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    It makes a difference to some degree between certain ranges of schools if you are looking to get certain positions. But you can still get a competitive slot from any md school. The difference is an ordinary state school might match 20-25 spots considered really competitive while a school like Northwestern might match 40 spots considered really competitive.
     
  5. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    yeah, i don't agree with the douchebag part....just that rankings are a bit ridiculous.............
    and if usnews really wanted to rank schools, they should do it more like in groups, instead of one, two, three.......like, these are the best schools to go to for research, but no number ranking to separate them....their only agenda is to sell more copies.......and we buy into it.....
     
  6. Spitting Camel

    Spitting Camel Anteater for Life!
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    Me no like the rankings either... The only thing worse than the rankings themselves is determining your self worth by how far up on the list you get accepted. Now THAT is sad. Society has been built on stratification - this is just another example of it.
     
  7. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    The "everyone" was an embellishment, I have two good friends at a top 10 that I certainly don't consider douchebags. However, I think it makes sense that you are going to encounter more douchebags at a top 10 school than a state school.
     
  8. hockebob

    hockebob Member
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    to the op,

    what an asinine post... to say that usnews is worthless for applicants is to deny the palpable differences between lower- and higher-tier schools. few, if any, of us are born with innate knowledge about which medical schools have more resources, better facilities, etc. some kind of barometer is necessary for people to 1) determine where they are competitive applicants and 2) differentiate between the 100+ potential medical schools. plus, is it really any more reasonable to base your choice on location? furthermore, although you self-righteously claim to be considering u mich only for its location... is it just a coincidence that it also happens to be one of usnew's top ten schools? maybe, maybe not... but, where i'm from, few people find ann arbor intrinsically desirable.

    finally, as CalBeE pointed out, you (presumably) haven't even applied yet and, thus, really probably have no basis for understanding the significant differences between medical schools.

    good luck with (or hope you did well on) the mcats... but give the usnews-bashing a break.

    best,
    aaron
     
  9. lizzylu

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    The only thing is that there's a flaw in just looking at this data as is. Is it the medical school (i.e. Northwestern) that's making these applicants more competitive and thus matching to a competitive residency, or is it (which in my opinion is more likely) the fact that there just tend to be more hard-working med students vying for competitive residency spots at (Northwestern) vs. (State School). How much is it the great school vs. the great student?
     
  10. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    One thing about top 10 medical schools- the students there will talk about academic things more often. Research they did or want to do. What's going on with so and so's funding. Even pre-1st years will be discussing whether or not so and so's radiology program didnt fill because the pd wanted to leave open a spot for someone coming out of a TY. Just stuff like that. I'm aware that people at all medical schools spend a lot of time talking about these issues, but it seems like the students I know who are headed off to top 10 schools(and those who are already there) spend an inordinate amount of time.

    When I'm out of school, I want to talk about why corona is the best beer. Or how Joey is the best looking guy on friends. Or should I go see the new colin farell movie. You're more likely to find these people at a state school than a top ten.
     
  11. Wednesday

    Wednesday Senior Member
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    "to say that usnews is worthless for applicants is to deny the palpable differences between lower- and higher-tier schools. few, if any, of us are born with innate knowledge about which medical schools have more resources, better facilities, etc. some kind of barometer is necessary"

    I wouldn't use USNews rankings to determine which med schools have better facilities. If anything, many of the top ranked schools have the worst facilities. You gotta go on a tour to get that type of info.
     
  12. bullsI

    bullsI Right on target
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    A whole lot of sdn pre-allos seem to base their existence and self-esteem on getting into a top USNews school! Crazy, especially the ones that argue rankings, on which school is better, etc... Besides, residency/fellowship training matters more in my opinion anyways.
     
  13. Sean2tall

    Sean2tall Pathology Resident
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    Thanks for the insight!
     
  14. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    So how do you propose applicants decide where to apply? Yes, the rankngs are flawed but it gives you a sense of where the big time research and therefore faculty are going to be. I used rankings to decide where I want to apply and I'm sure most applicants do too.

    By your rationale, all the top med schools are full of douchebags while the lower ranked schools are full of cool people. I didn't realize more competitive applicants are automatically douchebags. In that situation, SDN is nothing more than a message board for douchebags. Hell. You're probably a douche bag.
    :thumbdown:
     
  15. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    To the OP,

    Of course the rankings aren't perfect - they DO base a large part of the ranks on research dollars. But you can't argue with the fact that a school in the top 10 or 15 spots will have BETTER peer reviews, residency reviews, and match more students into competitive fields and competitive locations than a school that is ranked 30+ or not even ranked. Check out match lists for different schools - there is a HUGE difference.

    Of course, whether these differences are important or not is personal. If you want to go to a competitive location or into a competitive specialty, or better yet, both, then there is NO QUESTION that a higher ranked school is more likely to get you there. If you want to do something that isn't at the top of the medical food-chain, then go to your state school - it won't matter.

    Conclusion: The rankings are a pretty good indicator of which schools will give you a better opportunity for landing in academic medicine and getting competitive specialities at the most desirable locations. If these things aren't important to you, then burn that copy of USNews and never think about it again.
     
  16. hakksar

    hakksar Senior Member
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    The reason there is a large difference between matchlist at 30+ schools and top 15 is mostly not due to reputation. It is due to where the students want to go (if no one in the class applies to MGH or JHU for residency it is hard for a school to match anyone there). The reason a lot of students do not want to match at top programs at 30+ schools is not because of the caliber of student that attends but the types of physicians that the students want to be. At 30+ schools more students want to be primary care or they want to go to a residency based on location over reputation. If there happens to be a high ranked residency in the same city as a 30+ state school a lot of students will end up matching at that one high ranked residency (case in point 3 of 12 matches at Denver Health Emergency Medicine were CU grads ranked at 31 and I am pretty sure that a higher percentage of Iowa grads match at Iowa for Optho). Ultimately, the rankings just show what schools have a lot of research in locations with a lot of top residency programs.
     
  17. MoCookiess

    MoCookiess Hater of Biochemistry
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    I really agree with the OP. People are much too dependant on rankings. To a large extent, the education all med students get is identical. Of course, schools out of the US are not comparable for the most part. The real "douchebags" are the people who refuse to apply to any school not in the top 15 because any others just aren't good enough for them. Yeah, that #16 school really sucks, right. Personally, I'd love to get into any of Texas' schools. Can't beat the price of a state school. I doubt an out of state education or an ivy league education is worth another 100k. Screw the rankings. San Antonio - I love you.
     
  18. musiclink213

    musiclink213 My room is a mess
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    i gotta agree with cerb on htis one. the rankings do tend to only urge that competiveness on. my personal opinion is a medical school is a medical school. To say one is better htan the other is a total crock. The same thing applies to undergrad too. I got into a good well known university, but i hated itl. it was so far away from anything and so dull and boring. so i went to a different school that may not be as well known, but i am still getting the same education that anybody else is. i have a friend who goes to Haa-vahd and we;re taking more or less the same courses, and guess what? he doesn't know any more than i do. And my rationale is the same thing can be applied to medical schools.

    but, i wouldn't base my decision on location alone. if the school fits, then by all means, go for it. if you feel so comfortable that you know you want to go tehre and can imagine spending the next four years there and be happy, and you like the students you've met, then why should it matter what rank it is?
     
  19. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    I don't think so. The reason is because everyone in medical school had to do a significant amount of gunning to get there. So the top-10 people gunned some more... I don't think a .5 GPA difference (not even that much in most cases) or a 4 MCAT score difference is going to affect the douchebag level one bit. Besides, those who do the coolest ECs and show themselves to be creative and interesting pre-meds are the most likely to end up at the top schools, regardless of the numbers.

    Still, I encourage everyone who has a state school option to attend it over the institution I attend UNLESS they have some specific reason to want to come here. Everyone knows that the reputation difference of your medical school is not a major factor for the rest of your career. Why blow a heck of alot more money just to attend a higher ranked school? I don't get it myself.
     
  20. CalBeE

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    Another group of people that brand-name schools attract are students with unusual/special life experience and faculty with great knowledge to share with others. Now this may or may not affect your academic experience, but it's something to think about.

    And to the person who gave me bad karma saying "All doctors are created equal"...sorry but you missed the whole point of this thread...that's not even what we're discussing here. What we're talking about here is how the school you attended will affect your future career.
     
  21. drlexygoat

    drlexygoat Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
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    Cerb, I agree with you as well.

    I am not basing 1 iota of my decision on what some yearly magazine says. Simply put, USNews and I value different things. I could care LESS about who comes in where. I know that if I work my tail off and get a good class rank along with board scores, I can go anywhere I want to for residency. Period.
     
  22. CalBeE

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    Even U.S. News made the disclaimer on the web site that no one should choose a school based solely on ranking. There are gonna be schools you like more b/c of curriculum/location/tuition.

    As for grouping schools into tiers...another problem arises: A school that's borderline say tier 1, and a school that's at the top of tier 2 will be seem like they're of very different caliber. The defining of the cut off of tiers will become an arbitrary measure.

    To be honest, I don't see the problem with U.S. News giving an absolute ranking to each school...however the thing you have to do is group the schools into your own tiers based on that. For example, I consider Pritzker, Northwestern, Emory, UCLA and U Washington to be on one tier...instead of the arbitry top 1-10, top 11-20, 21-30.
     
  23. CANES2006

    CANES2006 Miami chica
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    I didn't base my choice on which medical school to attend based on ranking. I went where I felt the best in. I'm glad with the choice that I made.
     
  24. jedirampage

    jedirampage Senior Member
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    It may give you an idea of the overall "big time" research at a particular school, but that doesn't mean anything if they don't have the funds in your area of interest. If you have a particular research interest in a particular field, it is best to do your own research on the people and funds at that institution for those programs. There are some schools that are much higher in quality in some areas than it might appear by the general rankings of overall NIH funding. Just my perspective as someone who's particularly interested in research. I did a lot of research into who was doing what at the schools I applied to before choosing compounded with other factors as well).
     
  25. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    I would reccomend maybe the MSAR or the schools website. Much more information is available from those sources than from some stupid ratings system.
     
  26. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    Actually school websites are utterly useless for most things. Have you even looked at them? They are full of biased propaganda and anecdotes from the most virulent school-supporters. I think school sites are the absolute WORST place to look for accurate information about the school. While they do have good info about financial aid and curriculum, US News consolidates the former into a more easily accessible list allowing for comparison.

    The MSAR is alright if youre looking for a description of curricula, but its not useful for much else. US News has a MUCH better breakdown of what % of students get in by state residency, gender, race, and that get interviewed.

    I actually think US News online is the ONE thing someone should buy (especially compared to MSAR or those stupid "Getting into Med school" books) because it has a ton of info. The print copy is sorta crappy, but the online site has all kinds of info you cant get anywhere else.

    As for the rankings being overused in decisions, well yeah, but that is not US News' fault. People can use the rankings however they see fit. I would be lying if I said I didnt care about med school rank, but I think the other info on the website they have is probably the best you'll find anywhere.

    Seriously though Cerb, if you're so bothered by it, why did you post on this topic? Im curious as to what kinds of responses you expected on this thread.
     
  27. hockebob

    hockebob Member
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    this is also a great resource:

    http://www.amsa.org/premed/medsurvey/

    the point here, really, is that people need to have some way to decide where they are going to apply because medical school admissions are, to a certain extent, a crapshoot. if you apply to only one or two schools, your chances of not getting in are high... even if you are a competitive applicant. this forces people to apply to more schools and, specifically, those at which they have a very good chance of getting in (ie- safety schools). but how do you know whether you're competitive or not? you can get admissions information from the aamc, the schools themselves or ranking lists such as usnews. in the end, they will all give you the same basic information. people are right to be critical of those who use ranking lists exclusively in determining where to apply but just because some people misuse the usnews rankings doesn't mean that they are inherently bad.

    finally, i would like to point out that karma is stupid. thanks to whoever gave me bad karma earlier for my "rude post."

    to quote cerberus:

    "Plus, it seems to me that most the people who get into these "top" schools are total douchebags, why would you want to go to school with these people? In fact, I am specifically avoiding such places (with the exception of UMICH based on location) because I don't want to be around these people.

    So who else out there is giving the finger to USNEWS rankings?"

    and, in spite of this, to quote me:

    "good luck with (or hope you did well on) the mcats... but give the usnews-bashing a break.

    best,
    aaron"

    i still maintain the original post was asinine, and i believe what i wrote was an intelligent (or at least thoughtful) response. if that's rude, then so be it. bring on the bad karma i guess.

    best,
    aaron
     
  28. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    I am not saying USNews isnt a valuable resource (personally I dont have much experience with it), what I am saying is that FAR FAR FAR too much emphasis is put on the rank USNews assigns a school (i.e. choose one school over another due to rank position). I find this stupid and unnecesarry since most of us are going to medical school to be physicians, not researchers.
     
  29. JohnnyOU

    JohnnyOU Slow like Honey
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    I'd love to go to a top ten school but I doubt they'll accept me. There are many students who have worked harder than me or are just more gifted... they deserve a top ten if that's where they want to study.

    I don't believe people who get accepted to top ten schools are "douchebags" as some claim... it sounds like some are just jealous. :D

    Just my opinion

    Johnny
     
  30. hockebob

    hockebob Member
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    cerberus,

    don't know if this matters at all to you... but usnews also has separate primary care and several specialty (eg- pediatrics, aids, etc) rankings.

    best,
    aaron
     
  31. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    Thanks, I wasnt really trying to come across as nasty in my initial post. It's just I hear these kids at school talking and all they talk about is ranking this and ranking that and basically going about dissing anything that isnt top ten and it frustrates me. There is much more to a school than its rank and I think people should realize that. I will probably purchase USNews but I will purchase it for the information, not for the rankings.
     
  32. IcedCube

    IcedCube Senior Member
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    i think i'm staying away from the top 10s (not that they'd want me). i think i'd be as happy at wayne state @50k than at MSSM for 120K debt.
     
  33. WyldeWolf1

    WyldeWolf1 Get your own!
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    Every physician, advisor, and faculty member I have ever consulted all said the same thing:

    If you are interested in research, academic medicine, etc...

    Get the best pedigree you can. Academia loves it, and going to a "Top Ten" school means more research dollars are probably at your fingertips.

    If your career goals do NOT include much research...

    Apply where you think you'll fit in and go with your gut feeling. If you get into Duke, but don't feel comfortable with their system, but love Backwater State's facilities, go there instead.

    In other words, if your goal is just to become an excellent practitioner, any US school will give you what you put into it.

    For residency, on the other hand, it's more important to be at a larger referral center to gain experience in your specialty.
     
  34. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    I couldnt disagree with the assertion "people at top schools are douchebags" more strongly. While I turned down two schools ostensibly ranked higher than the one I currently attend according to USNEWS and
    i personally don't care we're 12th or whatever we're at these days, to say that the higher you go up in med school rankings the lamer your classmates will be isn't necessarily true in my opinion. While top schools will have their gunners surely as every school does, along with academic credentials the LIFE EXPERIENCES of studentsat top schools are simply amazing. While we have our straight out of undergrad students here, we have two ivy league educated lawyers who worked for non profits, a student with a PhD in theorhetical geophysics (had no idea that was even a subject before) who was on the faculty at harvard, a former professional tennis player, a former editor for men's health magazine and standup comedian, a nuclear submarine engineer who managed a hedge fund, multiple peace corps volunteers, D-I athletes, teachers, EMTs, dentists, military personnel, and musicians, and thats just stratching the surface in a class of only ~100 people. I'd venture to say that at some of the top MD programs in the US your class could actually be more interesting due to some of the amazing qualifications and life experiences that get them admitted in the first place.

    I'll make another unqualified statement here, but in my experience I've found people "gun" to compensate for the fact they just aren't that intelligent to begin with. The MudPhuds are generally the most relaxed and fun kids in our class, cause they're so freaking smart and have their stuff together so school doesnt really phase them. You'd be suprised by how some of the most academically successful people can also be some of the more interesting people just due to the fact of how damn smart they are.

    just my two cents :)
     
  35. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    I actually couldnt agree more with that statement. Not only have I found that gunners tend to be the ones that are compensating for a lack of achievement/intelligence, but that generally the most arrogant people in a given class are the ones that are underachieving (relative to their own lofty standards).

    The way I see it,

    Arrogance and Gunnerish Behavior = Expected Achievement - Actual Achievement
     
  36. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Only on SDN can we get a formula that explains gunner behavior. :thumbup:
     
  37. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    If you need me to show my work, I can post the various surface integrals for stealing someone else's notebook, the differentials involved in sabotaging someone else's cadaver, and the multiple integral describing how one must insert their MCAT score into a conversation about sports.
     
  38. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I'll just take your word for it--your formula just intuitively seems to be correct. I think if you're willing/able to throw in your MCAT score into a conversation about sports, you should get an automatic slap in the face. It'd go something like this.

    Me: "Hey X, what'd you think about the Laker game last night?"

    Gunner: "Oh, it was alright. I noticed Kobe had 36 points; coincidentally, that's what I got on the MCAT in case you forgot."

    I slap gunner in the face, he goes off crying. :thumbup:

    (It's assumed that the gunner is male--if the gunner is a female, a negative comment about her appearance will be just as effective.)
     
  39. sacrament

    sacrament somewhere east
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    I didn't apply to the so-called "top schools" even though I had a fair-to-good chance of getting into some of them, because I enjoy a laid-back attitude and didn't feel like putting myself into an environment that would make me miserable. The rankings are a by-product of the distinctly American need to rank anything and everything.
     
  40. Fumoffu

    Fumoffu Senior Member
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    I don't care.

    I choose my state school Stony Brook over some of the higher rank privates I got in (ok 2). LOL.
     
  41. menemotxi

    menemotxi Stalker
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    Hey Cerb,

    Douchebag = Math Major J/K :D

    What kinda people do you hang out with anyway? There aren't many people on our campus who are snotty about top ten med schools. In fact the majority of pre-meds I've ever come across are happy to just get in to Memphis. Maybe I'm just around underacheivers or something. In any case, don't fret. You still gotta actually apply first before you are allowed to freak out.

    Take it easy,

    M
     
  42. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    ehh, mostly MCAT people from Saturday :mad: I am just in a bad mood this week and venting about everything :eek:
     
  43. trauma_junky

    trauma_junky 12 step pre-med rehab
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    Hey USNEWS [​IMG]
     
  44. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    nice :thumbup:
     
  45. 10minutes

    10minutes M.D.Candidate
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    I'm no douchebag!! :mad: :D
     
  46. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    Dude. I usually like your posts, but your comments here are straight up wrong. Each school has its share of cool and uncool people. Those you find uncool, I can guarantee someone else finds very cool ... its all relative. That being said, there are some gunners at top institutions, but you get highly competitive people when you get to that level. Not all are gunners, some are, some aren't ... some at top institutions are extremely laid back, some at state schools are gunners (example, Yale and HMS do not have grades or P/F ... so what would they be "gunning" for?)

    Anyways. Don't avoid the schools, you are doing sweet on your practice MCATs, why not apply, interview and see how you feel ... you never know man.

    Coops
     
  47. freaker

    freaker Senior Member
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    At UT? Really? I never attended any science classes there, but this seems out of character with the school in general. Oh well...

    As for rank, I really don't care that much. Having attended law school for a little while where the school that you attend can make a huge difference in your future outcome (starting salary at top 10 school= 125k. starting salary at top 50 school= 55k), ranking just seems trivial and insignificant in med school. Give me a cheap school as my first priority. Feel of the school is second priority. Location is third priority. I'm just not that convinced that there is going to be a huge difference between schools for someone with my priorities. I have no interest in research, so going to a top ranked school might actually be a detriment in my case.

    Rankings make sense for undergrad to a degree. They are extremely important for other professional schools. But medicine? They just don't seem THAT important unless you have very specific interests.
     
  48. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    I am probably over reacting. I am just having a particularly bad week (i.e. I have been sitting in front of this computer for the last 500 billion hours writing papers and I really just want to go to sleep). I also have to admit, I was somewhat bored when I posted this (you try writing 3 papers in one day) and having just read the "Anyone not want to be a great doctor" thread felt like inciting a little more preallo argument.

    1 more day and 80% of my semester will be over, w000t. Then I will quit posting bitchy whiney threads and being a douche.

    --math major douche
     
  49. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    That's what you get for procrastinating! :smuggrin:
     
  50. sacrament

    sacrament somewhere east
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    Cerb may have crumbled and is backing away from his original comments, but I still stand firmly behind them. :D
     

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