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Why is this so ridiculus?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by PeruvianDoctor, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. PeruvianDoctor

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    I just want to know why applying to medical school is seriously the most tedious, draining, and self destructive activity there can possibly be? It seems to be a fight for survival more than anything else. Is this what Darwin meant when he spoke of natural selection. Would anyone of us kill the other just to get his or her spot? Am I making any sense here..
     
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  3. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    i dunno...doesnt really seem like a blood thirsty competition since you actively see the people that you are "competing" with to get that spot. in the end, it is ultimately up to you.

    can you impress the adcoms enough for them to trust you to do well at their medical school and make them proud?

    it all depends on how many schools you apply to really. if you feel confident and apply to a small number....10-15...it wont feel too stressed at all. of course 30-50 schools can be killer. haha.

    and no i wouldnt kill anyone for a spot in their medical school. if that school didnt want me...then i would want to go to a school that did.

    be confident in the abilities you have and in the reasons you want to pursue medicine...this should give you the drive and motivation to get through a tough grueling process...that if in the end...if you are accepted...is the greatest feeling in the world.
     
  4. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    It's just another test. The MCAT, applying, interviews, boards. It never ends.
     
  5. BaseballFan

    BaseballFan Senior Member
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    To weed out those students who will not put in enough effort to become dedicated doctors in the future

    Sad, but true...
     
  6. bigdan

    bigdan SDN Donor
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    Baseball Fan-
    I tend to agree. Lots of hoops to jump through...can you handle organic chemistry? Okay...now do the MCAT. How well do you interview? And so on...
    And ya know what? Rumor has it that the first two years of medical school are no walk in the park either...one of my buddies from undergrad finished his four years in medical school and took a year off to "learn to be human again". He's spent hours trying to dissuade me from this "mistake", calling medical school a "mind [email protected]*k". Oh well...
    Good luck!

    dc
     
  7. TRUE

    TRUE slacker extraordinaire
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    I gotta agree with this. How will medical schools know if you can handle back to back call nights with tedious procedures all over the place if you just slacked through college majoring in pottery and never took a big test in your life? Medical school and beyond is all about pressure and how you handle it. The process as it is now, is all about trying to measure how well you'd react to that.
     
  8. Goober

    Goober Senior Member
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    Tedious? somewhat but draining a self destructive? Nah. It is much easier to become a doctor in the USA than just about any other industrialized country. So what are you complaining about?
     
  9. TRUE

    TRUE slacker extraordinaire
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    What do you mean by this? In many countries you don't go to college, you just go straight to medical school (hence no MCAT, orgo, interviews, etc). Not to mention the education is fully paid for by the government. (I know many south american countries are like this, anyway).
     
  10. Goober

    Goober Senior Member
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    Well lets see. It is true to that in many countries you can go straight into med school from high school. But in many of these countries in Asia and some in Europe you pretty much have to be in the top 1-2% on a standardized examination or you have no chance of getting in. If you don't cut it that is pretty much then end of your medical career.

    In the USA anybody who graduates from college can get into med school regardless of grades/mcat scores providing you are sufficiently motivated. If you don't get into a MD or DO program you can go to a host of foreign schools many of which will take you without much regard to your gpa or mcat scores. I know people from college with gpas below 2.5 and mcats below 25 that got into multiple carribean schools.

    Coming back to the US is not that hard the way things are currently set up if you are a US citizen IMG. There are far more residency positions than there are american graduates. The USMLEs are not that difficult to pass, especially if you have a lot of time to prepare for it. So yes it is a little longer route to go to med school in the US but there are many options and everybody who is sufficiently motivated will make it.
     
  11. TRUE

    TRUE slacker extraordinaire
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    I'll def. give you the having to be in the top certain % of a standardized test to get into school. Also, the same thing happens for residency in many countries.

    Still though, I think the whole MCAT/Orgo/required classes makes our process pretty tough. Not to say it's harder than being in the top 1% for a standardized test (i'm not sure it's 1%, btw, but ok).

    As for not making it to medical school in other countries: don't you think they have the same opportunities for foreign medical schools that we do here? Or are the carribean schools sure to only take US applicants?
     
  12. Goober

    Goober Senior Member
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    Most countries in Asia for example, will not accept medstudents from foreign medical schools. In fact if you try to get into a residency program even if you went to a prestigious foreign medical school you have zero chance because they rarely take such people unless you have some special connections. So yes you could go to a Carribean school but you won't be able to go back and practice in your home country. There are very few countries which are as open as the US in taking IMGs.

    What exactly is so hard about taking the MCAT/orgo and required classes? If you are a chem or bio major you pretty much have to take all those classes anyways and more. It is much more difficult to complete an engineering major. The MCAT is just a standardized exam.
     
  13. PeruvianDoctor

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    I was just venting. Its good for me sometimes. I do understand the oppurtunities here and the process is probably why we have some of the best doctors in the world, of course, this is taking in consideration research not really clinical. About other countries its probably just as hard, my father had to take a test to get into medical school, which he did at the age of 16! and he said it was pretty tough. But his school was paid for... Anyways best of luck to us all, may God have mercy on our souls!
     
  14. Zweihander

    Zweihander Billygoat Gruff
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    Honestly, I can say from (some) experience that it's not all that bad. However, a couple of things:

    Having good classmates is key. If you hate everyone you go to school with, you're likely going to be very unhappy.

    Don't have any regrets. Many people find that it is very hard to have an active life while in med school. Do what you want to do *before* you show up; take time off after college if you need to. Once you're here, be ready to work, and be comfortable in the knowledge that you didn't miss out on anything you really wanted to do before you got here. It helps you focus, and I've found that it makes one much less bitter about their lack of a life outside of school.


    peace
     
  15. 1996

    1996 Member
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    First and foremost, I want to apologize for hijacking the thread. That being said, I do not fully agree with what Goober posted. In short, I'm not sure if getting into med school is a lot harder in the US, but I do not think that it is a lot harder to get into med school in other countries. Similar to American students, students in other countries can still become a doctor if they're dedicated enough, since many of the foreign med schools available to American students are also available to them. They might have a hard time going back to practice in their own country, but they will become a doctor nonetheless. It would be a decision they will have to make, and that will depend on how dedicated they are. Also, quite a few of my friends end up going to med schools at these other countries (Asia and Europe) after not being able to get into a US med school. Finally, the "test" that students at these foreign countries need to take is actually a public exam everyone needs to take to graduate from high school and get into college, regardless of their major. What department (i.e. Arts & Sciences, Medicine, Law, etc.) and what school they get into will depend on how well they do on this "test" as well as what they choose to do. The whole system is actually quite similar to our residency match system, except that the only selection criteria they have is your grade from that test. Many quote that you usually need to be at the top 1-2% to go into medicine. That is not necessarily true, because not everyone in the top 1-2% wants to do medicine. From what I heard about some Asian countries, the cutoff is more in the 5-10% range (depending on the country), which means you still need to do well. This might still sound insanely competitive, but if you think about it, this percentage range (5-10%, or 1-2%) is based on EVERYONE in the country graduating from HIGH SCHOOL that year. In contrast, in the US, when we take the MCAT, we are competing against college students choosing to go to med school (a much smaller group, who usually have already done well in COLLEGE). People who score in the 50th percentile range on the MCAT very likely would have been in the top 5-15% if they were being compared to everyone graduating from high school in the US (remember that MANY high school graduates don't go to college.) Basically, what I'm saying is, the statistics might sound scary in the foreign countries when compared to the US, but in reality, it is not if you look at the whole picture, since high school graduation, college admission, and good-ol' pre-med weed-out courses have already excluded a very large number of less-qualified students from taking the MCAT and applying.

    The most difficult part about the US med school admission system is that you have to excel in multiple areas, while students at these foreign countries just need to focus 100% of their attention and energy into doing well on a set of public exam. "Well-roundedness" is often what's missing from many med students at the foreign countries (from personal observation.) Maybe that's one reason why the US produces more researchers and leaders in medical fields than other countries.
     
  16. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    exactly...its what i have been telling my relatives in korea this entire time...
    well-roundedness is missing in those applicants. when all you have to do is study day and night i really do hope you can score high on a test...since thats been your life since the first day you enter the asian high school. not only that, after school virtually everyone goes to an academy to prep for that single college entrance exam...year after year...

    and its a college entrance exam...meaning high level high school material...which we are all quite familar with...ive asked plenty of people who attend some of the top universities in Korea about the material they learned in high school to see if it is any different from a student here in the US in the AP, IB programs...and its not...their environment is just a lot more stressed.

    anyways...the way medical students are chosen in the area at least in Korea has gone under some criticism to the point that some would like to see some volunteering experience as well. but regardless...the main way they decide who gets to be a doctor or not will still be focused on a test score...which i think is a poor way to produce socially competent physicians.
     
  17. Goober

    Goober Senior Member
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    Actually what you are saying is not true. In many countries in Asia and in Europe for that matter not 100% take the college entrance exams. In fact many academically unqualified students are tracked out into vocational schools early on and never take the exam. In the poorer countries there are large numbers of students who never take college entrance exams. Scoring in the top1-2% on these exams would be like getting 1450-1500 on the SAT. You also have to realize that in the USA you can apply mulitple times and age is not a factor. Most other countries have age limits and you don't get unlimited chances to apply. If you screw up when you are 17 or 18 that is pretty much it.

    Foreign schools are really not an option for most people in Asia because while yes you can become a doctor you won't be able to practice. Why would you go to to a foreign medical school if you can't practice in your home country? In fact your best bet would be to go to USA and try to get a residency position. The second part is that very few of them can afford to go to these schools. If you look at the rosters of Carribean schools all the asians there are from the US or Western countries. There are almost NO asians from Asia there.
     
  18. 10minutes

    10minutes M.D.Candidate
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    These days in korea, the competition is so stiff that you need to be at least in top 2-3% in nation. Anyone who has studied in korea will know how hard it is to be in these range. For just pure academic perspective, it is definitely harder to get into med school in korea than here. However, here you need to do other things than just studying. You don't have to study as hard as people in korea do, but you need to be able to show your strength through other things besides your gpa and mcat. And that's what makes US program great. In fact, in korea, colleges are starting to adopt US system step by step.
     

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