Medical school acceptance rates are meaningless. That’s right I said it! After being asked to supply these lists many times, I decided to put an end to it and let you know that it is impossible.
Pre-Med Committee Methods
All medical schools boast these acceptance rates as a way to sell you on the school, but the truth of the matter is that they are meaningless. Each school uses its own methods to calculate these rates, so the results that you see are misleading.
Let’s take a look at an example of how the rates can be misleading. Some school have a sanctioned Pre-Med Committee, and that is how they determine their acceptance rates.
So if there are 200 students that say they are going to apply for medical school, 100 of those drop out after not doing well on prerequisites. Of the 100 that are left, 40 of them had a high enough GPA to get a committee letter and of those 40 students, 36 of them are accepted.
36 out of 40 equals 90%. So the school can say that they have a 90% acceptance rate. But what about the 100 that dropped out? You could just as easily say that the school has an 18% acceptance rate. Confusing right?
Well it can be even more confusing. Let’s add an additional 60 students that applied without getting a committee letter. Of those 60 students, 20 get accepted. So based on the amount of actual applicants, which is 100, 56 got in. So based on the data you could spin it so that either 18%, 56% or 90% is correct.
Who do You Report To?
There is a large amount of under reporting that goes into these. This can be anything from a student not telling the school if they were accepted or not or students not reporting if they even applied to a school. The main reason for this is because you (the medical student) don’t know who you should be reporting your information to.
A lot of schools have multiple alumni advisors. You have already handled all the classwork and prerequisite stuff, why would you dig deeper and put more effort into finding out who is the right person to report to? Long answer short is, you won’t.
Much like you don’t want to put in the effort to find out who to report to, the advisor doesn’t want to put in the effort to track you down and see how you did. Their plates are full enough as it is and if you don’t have a phone number or email listed, they won’t want to put in the extra hours of work to get one person’s information. All of this leads to data that is difficult to nail down, which makes the acceptance rates meaningless.
What is Important?
The most important thing that you can do while in school is to do well as an undergrad. The grades that you get in college will be more important than where you went to college.
Typically the screening process will start with a GPA check. This is done with a computer. A computer isn’t smart enough yet to weigh a 3.5 from Harvard to a 3.9 from Fresno State. Thus the acceptance rates don’t mean anything.
Once you make it past the screening, human interaction becomes involved and all bets are off.
As you can see, there is a lot of different things that factor into acceptance rates. So your best bet is to ignore those rates and do well wherever you go.