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What percentage of pre-med students actually get into medical school?

I Hope UTI Hope UT Posts: 580Registered User Member
edited June 2012 in Pre-Med Topics
Also, what's the latest someone should decide to start pre-med courses before it's too late? I am currently doing EE and just finished my 1st year. Still deciding whether to go the pre-med route...
Post edited by I Hope UT on
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Replies to: What percentage of pre-med students actually get into medical school?

  • EngineerHeadEngineerHead Posts: 928Registered User Member
    ~44.7% of applicants are accepted into at least one medical school (two catches).
    http://aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/table24-mcatgpagridall2007-09.pdf

    There's no time you have to start your pre-med courses by, it's all up to you. Just as long as you take the classes by the time you accept to enter the medical school. However, doing them before your MCAT can give you a solid foundation of what you're going to be tested on, but it really shouldn't make a big difference as long as you study hard for the MCAT. So if you're not too sure yet don't stress it. By being in EE, you should be knocking out the Chem, Physics, and Calc together anyway.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,458Registered User Senior Member
    There is no real answer to your question. On a standard college campus, approximately 20-35% of matriculating Frosh are premed. (The high end number is for colleges like Hopkins which attract premeds...) Obviously, the vast majority of those Frosh earn C's or low Bs in the premed courses and never even apply to med school. Some choose alternative careers due to genuine interest; others, due to a 2.0 average. Of those that apply, approx 50% are accepted. And beyond the students who were premed as a 18-year-old, others become interested later in their college career, or even after they graduate, and enroll in a post-bac program.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Posts: 11,964Registered User Senior Member
    About 25% of students who take the MCAT will ever become medical students.
  • norcalguynorcalguy Posts: 7,541Registered User Senior Member
    This depends on the school. The stronger the school, generally, the lower the attrition rate.

    At my college, we started off with approx. 1000 premeds (estimated using the size of the freshman gen chem course which every premed takes as a freshman). Every year, we have 470 applicants with 1/2 of those being college seniors and 1/2 being college alumni. And then 70% of those get in-->so the end result is approx. 1/3 of all starting premeds eventually getting into med school.
  • I Hope UTI Hope UT Posts: 580Registered User Member
    Once you are in med school, are you basically set?, assuming you can finish med school...i mean you don't have to kill for that perfect GPA still do you?
  • GoldShadowGoldShadow Posts: 6,160Registered User Senior Member
    i mean you don't have to kill for that perfect GPA still do you?
    Depends on which residency/specialty you'd like to get into.

    The med students and docs here will be much more familiar with this, maybe they can give you a more detailed answer.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,458Registered User Senior Member
    norcalguy:

    If 1,000 kids start out, and 235 seniors apply, and of those, 70% get accepted, isn't the relevant number approximately 70% of 235 or ~160, i.e., 16% of the Frosh wannabes, plus whatever proportion that applies later (which has to be less than the primary, senior group)?

    The non-seniors who apply belong to many other classes; a third gaining acceptance to med school just seems to not pass the smell-test.
  • norcalguynorcalguy Posts: 7,541Registered User Senior Member
    norcalguy:

    If 1,000 kids start out, and 235 seniors apply, and of those, 70% get accepted, isn't the relevant number approximately 70% of 235 or ~160, i.e., 16% of the Frosh wannabes, plus whatever proportion that applies later (which has to be less than the primary, senior group)?

    The non-seniors who apply belong to many other classes; a third gaining acceptance to med school just seems to not pass the smell-test.

    1. I don't know the acceptance rate for the non-seniors. It may or may not be higher than for the college applicants as people take time off for a number of reasons. I assumed it to be the same as for the seniors.

    2. Although each year's alumni applicants include applicants from many other classes, the same can be said of alumni applicants from that year's class. So, in other words, alumni applying this year may be from the Class of 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, etc. However, there will be alumni from the Class of 2010 who will apply in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, etc. These two factors will balance themselves if you only look at the # of students coming in each year (3000) and the number of applicants applying out (470). This means for every 3000 students coming into the school each year (1000 being premeds), 470 of them will eventually apply to med school. These numbers 3000, 1000, and 470 are pretty stable from year to year. Even if you assume an acceptance rate of 60% for the alumni applicants, you are still looking at approx. 31% or so of the entering premeds eventually getting into med school.

    These numbers shouldn't shock you. Even better schools, like Harvard or Yale, manage to get 300+ med school applicants each year from 1000 total entering students (and obviously far fewer premeds). With 90%+ acceptance rates, many of their premeds will eventually get into med school. This is why BDM always advises against going into inferior BA/MD programs. If you are good enough to get into Harvard, you are probably good enough to get into med school.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,458Registered User Senior Member
    These numbers shouldn't shock you.

    Yeah, but they do.
    Even better schools, like Harvard or Yale, manage to get 300+ med school applicants each year from 1000 total entering students (and obviously far fewer premeds).

    Two schools that, by definition, matriculate Frosh who WILL score highly on the MCAT (and LSAT). And, two schools that generally don't award C's.

    It indeed maybe that your college and the ~top xx do in fact place 1/3rd. But, there are what, 3,000 four year colleges? Clearly, Podunk U cannot place that many since there ain't that many slots in med school. For example, I happened to access the numbers for a school ranked ~40, and it had a <10% rate of admissions from Frosh year (as estimated by me using similar methodology as you have). Of course, the college claims a 66% admission rate (including seniors and grads) bcos this college has a 'Committee' to weed applicants out.

    Thus, my earlier point: the OP's question is unaswerable.
  • mmmcdowemmmcdowe Posts: 2,348Registered User Senior Member
    It is indeed unanswerable. Avoid pre-med admissions rates like the plague. Even places like Harvard game their numbers (they put enormous pressure on many people to take time off in order to get in/get in at higher ranked programs). Swarthmore was infamous for having 100% senior admission rate by forcing anyone who wanted to apply to wait until later unless the advising office was 100% sure that they would be accepted somewhere.
  • norcalguynorcalguy Posts: 7,541Registered User Senior Member
    It indeed maybe that your college and the ~top xx do in fact place 1/3rd. But, there are what, 3,000 four year colleges? Clearly, Podunk U cannot place that many since there ain't that many slots in med school.

    Of course. In fact, I began my first post with "The stronger the school, the lower the attrition rate." Attrition rates increase dramatically as you go down the rankings.

    But, my point was that, for top 20 colleges, a good percentage of those who enter as premed will eventually get to med school. There is somewhat of a myth that top colleges use aggressive weeding out in order to inflate their med school acceptance rates. Outside of JHU, most top colleges don't do this. They already have the best students. They don't need to weed out aggressively. It's the state schools that need to do the weeding.

    One thing top colleges do do is advise you to take time off if you have a subpar application. I don't necessarily think we have to be so cynical as to think they're only doing it to protect their stats. It worries me when I only see 6 Swarthmore seniors apply in comparison to 40 alumni but having 40-60% of your applicants be alumni is perfectly normal in any college and should not be construed as a deliberate attempt by the college to protect its stats.
  • megiddomegiddo Posts: 38Registered User New Member
    What percent of premeds are weeded out at everyone else's college.
  • mmmcdowemmmcdowe Posts: 2,348Registered User Senior Member
    Hard to say, most kids who either switched out of pre-med or got flunked out do so quietly. It would be very hard to get a poll, let alone an honest one.
  • mcat2mcat2 Posts: 3,857Registered User Senior Member
    Premed advisers at DS's school gave a power point presentation some time ago. They did not say how many students start out as premeds. But they said:
    1. 80+ students apply to medical schools in junior year.
    2. 80+ alumni apply to medical schools as first-time applicants.
    3. Surprisingly, 19 students are MD-PhD applicants (18 got in.)
    4. 30 students apply to medical schools as "internationals" (i.e., as non-citizens), even though their chances of getting accepted are roughly 10 percents lower (maybe 75% instead of 85%, but I can not remember it exactly.)
    5. The class size is about 1300.
    6. It is rumored that students who came from those high-power private high schools are more likely to pursue other career paths.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Posts: 11,964Registered User Senior Member
    I think the rest of the analysis in the article below is incorrect, but this statistic is valuable:
    Singer's records indicate that 280 members of the Class of 2005 identified themselves as pre-med in the Freshman Picture Book. The actual number may have been even higher.
    Singer said she has monitored alumni from the Class of 2000 to examine this trend. In the Freshman Picture Book, 317 matriculating freshmen from the class labeled themselves as pre-med. Only 121 applied to medical school as seniors, but 231 students from the class of 2000 had applied by 2005.
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