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Wow!! The official word on # applicants!!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DrSuga, Nov 3, 2001.

  1. DrSuga

    DrSuga Senior Member
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  3. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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    Am I the only one that finds this quote from Jordan Cohen to be amusing?
     
  4. none

    none 1K Member
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    Yeah, not as good as I had hoped, but good.
     
  5. Epi

    Epi Fuzzy Tiger
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    wow, only 35,000 applicants. Anybody have an idea on how to interpret the decline in numbers? (does it mean that only the more motivated people are applying now, or that only the more qualified people are bothering to apply, or just because AMCAS was having troubles with the application this year)
    any input would be appreciated! :)
     
  6. merlin

    merlin Senior Member
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    My opinion is that people who had been lured to medicine for the money went into the computer industry because it requires less educational committment. Therefore, medical school applications have been declining over the last couple of years. Just a thought.
     
  7. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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    In my opinion the decline is for a number of reasons. The primary one being the web based application. The hassle of dealing with such a system was probably too much for some people. I'm not even going to start on all the problems AMCAS was having with lost transcripts, MCAT release problems, etc, and how that may have affected the total number of applicants. Moreover, the fact that the AMCAS application was entirely on the web probably put those individuals without a reliable Internet connection at a disadvantage. Not every applicant has the convenience of being able to use the Internet whenever they choose. Also, medicine, as a profession, still isn't appealing to a large group of college students. Yeah, the economy sucks right now (3rd Quarter GDP fell .4 %, unemployment is at 5.4%, expected to go to 6.5%), but there is still a large cloud of uncertainty hanging over medicine right now that's probably keeping a lot of potential applicants away. Just my thoughts.
     
  8. none

    none 1K Member
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    I strongly doubt the web application had ANYTHING to do with this. It is not harder to do the web application, it's easier!!! Much, much easier! That's why AMCAS instituted it. The difficulty comes long after submission (and likely payment). Has anyone actually heard of someone withdrawing their application because it wasn't verified in a timely manner? I definitely haven't. It would be crazy to give up all that work on the MCAT and pre-med coursework because it took a couple of extra weeks to get your primary submitted.
     
  9. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    "While the number of underrepresented minority applicants-which the AAMC classifies as black, Native American, Mexican American/Chicano, and Mainland Puerto Rican-also declined from last year by 4.5 percent (4,284 to 4,091), the number of underrepresented minority matriculants increased 2.6 percent, from 1,741 in 2000 to 1,786 in 2001"

    I'm kinda upset about how the dude tried to twist the stats to cover up the decline in minority apps. He is mismatching cycles in his comparism. Last cycle's increase in URM matriculants should ONLY be compared to the change in # of URM applications from 1999-2000. See that bull****. I don't want to be the only black guy in my class. Not that that will be his fault; but I think telling the truth once in a while will not hurt anyone's feelings.
     
  10. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper
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    I, and likely MANY others who applied last year, disagree with you. Perhaps some initiated the web application when the wrinkles weren't ironed out and said to hell with it. It was MUCH harder to complete the web application this year than the application last year. I invested 3X as much time...at least.
     
  11. none

    none 1K Member
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    How was actually filling out the application harder?
     
  12. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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    i really don't think the decline in apps had anything to do with the web app either. i really doubt that the average premed is going to invest their time and effort into four years of weed-out premed classes, and then suffer through the MCAT, only to let a frustrating application stop them from continuing to pursue their goal. too much time, as a whole, goes into applying to med school, and i'd say the majority of premeds are too competitive to let the app stand in their way--it just doesn't fit in with the premed mentality. yes, the web app has been a disaster, but AMCAS has always been extremely inefficient.

    besides, applications to med school have been steadily declining since the mid 1990s, and there was no web app then! this isn't the first year that applications have gone down--it's the continuation of a trend. supposedly the number of med school apps correlates with the strength of the economy--since the economy was pretty solid for most of the 90s, apps started to go down. but when the economy tanks, apps go up, because medicine is seen as a sure thing that will always be financially secure, so when times are economically rough, more people pursue medicine. so the theory goes, anyway. in recent years the whole dot-com boom probably also contributed.
     
  13. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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    Well, I didn't apply last year so I don't have anything to compare the web application to. However, based on everything I have heard, last year's application was much easier. The web based application, for me and many others on here, was a nightmare. The fact that AMCAS only had one server set up initially to handle all the traffic caused a lot of headaches. It wasn't uncommon for us to wait up to 5 minutes for a single page to load. Moreover, many applicants were often logged out of their system at random, not allowing them to save anything. Many applicants reported having trouble inputting coursework. Numerous applicants could not successfully transmit their application, once it was complete. Calling AMCAS was an exercise in futility. I never said anyone withdrew their application because it wasn't verified in a timely manner. I don't know where you got that from. I'm just saying that I can see where an applicant with mediocre grades and MCAT's decides not to deal with all this BS, and just apply next year. Granted, most pre-meds are extremely motivated, and won't let AMCAS stop them from applying, but there are others that were probably deterred from applying as a result of this fiasco. If you want to know what other problems applicants had with the web based application, just do a search for "AMCAS." I'm sure you'll find more than enough.
     
  14. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper
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    Well, multiple attempts to enter the info had to be made for about 60% of the required fields (an estimate). Each time the system failed to accept the info, I had to wait about 3-5 minutes for the screen to upload again...usually only to have it fail.

    I remember taking a "vacation" home. I was going to work on my app at night, when my parents were sleeping. I ended up spending the ENTIRE weekend merely trying to enter my coursework...and I've only attended one university and have worked toward one degree.

    The application was hell! :mad:
     
  15. jargon124

    jargon124 Senior Member
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    I don't think the decline in applications has anything to do with AMCAS or the web application. The chief reason for the decline is the economy. For the last few years, with the internet mania and the stock market bubble, lots of people have been lured into infotech and business tracks. This will now reverse itself now that the stock market had crashed and the internet frenzy has worn off. But remember that there will be a lag time - that's why there was still a decline in apps this year. I can all but guarantee that the number of apps will go up next year - probably to at least 38K.
     
  16. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Imagine that a certain percentage of individuals apply to med school because it's something they want to do, but aren't as driven as the people that post on SDN. In the past, these people could type out or fill out the AMCAS-E at their leisure. The only wait time you had was turning on your typewriter or your computer. Now, take this proportion of people and put them on the web-only application. Taking ten minutes in between page loading could deter those without a hard-core dedication. Even so, those with even more drive may just figure they have another year to apply and may lose patience, take a year to boost their application to increase their chances. I'll bet that you see a huge increase in apps next year if AMCAS works out their issues.

    Now, is it harder than in the past? Probably not. Is it more of a pain in the ass than in the past? You betcha. So, some indivduals may say it's not worth it. For this Cohen character to naively say, "I don't understand" is ridiculous.

    Andrew
     
  17. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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    Exactly, so how does this support your point? Since the economy sucks right now, med school apps should be increasing, not decreasing. We're in the midst of a recession. Technically, you need two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth to define a recession. We already had one, and we're in the middle of another one right now. The economy didn't just start tanking. The Nasdaq collapsed a long time ago causing a lot of dot coms out of business. Companies with simply a vision could no longer offer an IPO and be rewarded with a multi-billion dollar valuation. Just like the days of easy money in medicine were over long ago, the allure of easy money in computers is no longer there for college students. Careers that offer job security such as medicine should be attracting more attention, yet med school apps are still declining? Why?
     
  18. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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  19. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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    it's not an immediate effect--as someone else noted, there's a certain amount of lag time. the current recession is a pretty new thing and an adequate amount of time has yet to pass for a noticeable effect on applications to manifest itself. it makes sense, though, that the effect of the economy on application number isn't immediate. it's not like the entire population has their premed courses and MCAT scores already under their belt, ready to apply the instant the economy tanks. i'm just speculating here, but i would think that as a recession really starts to take hold, it attracts more people to medicine, people that might not have previously considered it, so more people seriously pursue the coursework, etc. and since it takes some time for one to complete the preliminary work to apply to med school, there is a certain amount of lag time that passes before an increase in med school apps is apparent. that's my guess. so yes, the economy sucks right now, but this is too recent for a large body of people to get their lives in order to apply to med school--the increase in apps will not be seen now, but rather in the next few years.
     
  20. SeeGulz

    SeeGulz Senior Member
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    I don't think you would see an applicant increase right away. Those college students who are frightened by the present economy would have to get their premed requirements out of the way and prepare for the MCAT. And those who are seniors might feel too invested in there present career choice. I would think that there will be a slight applicant increase next year, and then a much larger one the year after.
     
  21. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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    I totally agree on the fact that there is probably a lag effect. Granted, no one knows exactly what's causing the decline, but for Jordan Cohen to act as if this year's AMCAS fiasco didn't at least contribute to the decline is laughable in my opinion.
     
  22. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper
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    Was anyone else NOT thinking about the economy when they chose medicine?!? :confused:
     
  23. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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  24. efjayen

    efjayen Member
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    Isn't the press release only referring to the decline of last year's number of applicants for this current 2001-2002 school year? They didn't use an all web-based app that year so I don't think it could have been a factor. :confused:
     
  25. none

    none 1K Member
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    Agreed, efjayen. :) We're all a bit too eager for data on this year.
     
  26. DrSuga

    DrSuga Senior Member
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    Isn't the press release only referring to the decline of last year's number of applicants for this current 2001-2002 school year? They didn't use an all web-based app that year so I don't think it could have been a factor.

    I noticed that too, before I posted it. Interesting how we have almost two pages of posts debating the web-based app. as the cause of the downward trend... Is it lack of attention to detail, or are we all just delerious and dizzy after this whole fiasco??
     
  27. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member
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    Whomever didn't think filling out the web app was harder must have filled out a different application!!

    I can't tell you how many times I wanted to throw my laptop across the room in complete frustration with errors/deletions and just plain waiting for the damn thing to refresh SO MANY TIMES! The assertion that this app was somehow easier is entirely absurd. Having spent less than 6 hours filling out AMCAS-E should be contrasted with the more than 120 hours the online application required.
     
  28. none

    none 1K Member
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    No, actually I was just filling out the app later, August/September. I guess that's why it was smooth pretty much all the way for me.
     
  29. audeo

    audeo Senior Member
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    I am speculating the current decline in # of applicants reflect the IT boom a few years ago when the applicants now were fledging freshmen and sophomores deciding whether to work like a dog as a premed or go into venture business and cry yahoo ;)
     
  30. jargon124

    jargon124 Senior Member
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    I'm deleterious and dizzy - but then I'm not sure its because of AMCAS ;)
     
  31. Triangulation

    Triangulation 1K Member
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    If the web based app had anything to do with the decline in #s of applicants, it played a fairly minute role. None of us knew the web based app was gonna be so damn hellish until we had already completed the major components of our application. This was way too late in the game to be a major deterrant. Most of the painful commitment had already been exacted by this point. The web app was just a frustrating annoyance.

    Certainly in my mind, the major deterrant from applying has been people already in the field. I'm in a lab in San Francisco, w/ a fair # of MDs in most of the labs, almost everyone has expressed significant dissatisfaction. They honestly feel they work ridiculously hard, w/long hours, for little respect and and not enough pay. Many seem to be saying "for how hard I work, for how much crap I take, I should be better rewarded in all facets, like my engineer friends or software friends" Granted, I think some of them chose the profession for the wrong reasons, but still listening to them speak would certainly make a potential app thing twice. I think this is a phenomenon that was egged on by the powerful economy before the current administration and recent events. It should reverse itself at least partially in the next few yrs.
     
  32. nochaser

    nochaser Senior Member
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  33. Hamster

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    Just speaking to my friends about the medschool route, I highly doubt most the decline in applications is due to the AMCAS but something inherently lacking in the medical field-- time and money. Most of my friends (who I feel are way smarter than me), were also 'smart' enough to choose something that was more financially rewarding in a smaller amount of time ( ie law, computers, buisness). Invested time ( At least 7 years from the point of acceptance before you make 'any mone') was big no-no among my female friends. Also most see physicians as people who may make money, but never have time to spend it (which we all know is not neccesarily true). Others think that the title is not worth all of the *&%! you must put up with to achieve it. I think all of the arguments pretty true. Why did I choose medicine then? Because it is something I love. Just that simple. That just my two cents though. :)
     
  34. none

    none 1K Member
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    It may be harder and take longer to make a lot of money in medicine, but it sure is stable and stable's what I want in a job right about now. I mean only high school teachers really have a stabler job and quite honestly, they have to put up with more. :)
     
  35. nochaser

    nochaser Senior Member
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    Others think that the title is not worth all of the *&%! you must put up with to achieve it. I think all of the arguments pretty true. Why did I choose medicine then? Because it is something I love. Just that simple. That just my two cents though.

    I'll take those 2 cents :D
     
  36. Homer J. Simpson

    Homer J. Simpson 1st and goal from the 1 yard line.
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    Triangulation,

    I've been looking to land a job in SF in a lab, without much (any) luck. How did you get your job and how long have you been there?
     
  37. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Exactly.
     
  38. EMDrMoe

    EMDrMoe Senior Member
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    To Quote: Was anyone else NOT thinking about the economy when they chose medicine?!?

    Yep, me. However, I understand stability - and that high school teachers DO put up with more. I only teach one class & think teachers are saints!

    As far as the web based app goes, I think the thing that will cause a decrease is the lack applicant knowledge. If I hadn't been reading SDN, I would not have known what to do. For instance, I emailed one school to see how they were notifying applicants of completed apps. I got an angry reply that said "we'll send you a postcard." Well, gee, thanks. I don't have the postcard, and now I have to call you instead of you just sending an email that told me what I'm missing!

    With AMCAS transmission of data, remember, some numbers are getting screwed up, so people that really would have made the first cut-off are rejected. I'd call that a web-based app problem. Not causing a significant decrease, I HOPE, but still a factor.

    Also, the Anthrax scare in the mail, will cause some people to miss the deadline with transcripts this year. What a crappy way to have your pre-requisites, MCAT, and AMCAS time flushed down the toilet.

    As for last year, I agree with the economical standpoint, coupled with the crap docs deal with. For this year, though, I think it'll be the economy, crap, AMCAS and Anthrax.

    Another 2 cents (Although the first 2 cents was much more inspiring! I agree - I love medicine, too.)
    :D
     
  39. riotgurl

    riotgurl Junior Member
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    So do you guys think the number of applicants will keep declining, or will it bounce back up?
     
  40. none

    none 1K Member
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    Bounce and with a vengence, but it'll take a couple of years, I'm guessing at least two until we see pre-dot com levels.
     

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