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Getting into med school vs law school

crimsonalchemistcrimsonalchemist Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
edited January 2010 in Pre-Med Topics
Isn't it easier to get into law school then it is to get into medical school?
Post edited by crimsonalchemist on

Replies to: Getting into med school vs law school

  • norcalguynorcalguy Registered User Posts: 7,548 Senior Member
    Slightly. (10 char)
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Why do you ask?
  • stanford_dudestanford_dude Registered User Posts: 238 Junior Member
    No-name law school, easy as cake.

    Top law school (Harvard, Stanford, U-M), equally difficult as getting into med school/top med schools.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Of course, it depends on who you are. Most would probably find the LSAT much easier than the MCAT, as I do. Some would probably find the MCAT harder. Some do better in premed classes than general classes, etc etc.
  • BigredmedBigredmed Registered User Posts: 3,731 Senior Member
    Yes, it is much easier to get into Law School than medical school on the whole...by that I mean if you're willing to drop your standards enough, you can get into a law school SOMEPLACE...even if you have like a 2.7

    That's all just numbers though, there are a million law schools, and only 125 medical schools.

    However, once you are in Medical school it is a lot harder to fail out. The schools have so much invested in you that they do all they can to keep you in and get you through to graduation. First year of Law school they'll spit on you as they kick you to the curb...okay, maybe not that harsh but harsh..
  • ohnoesohnoes . Posts: 1,130 Senior Member
    It's much easier to get into a top 15 or so LS than a top 15 or so med school. You don't need to do all of the med-related ECs, you can take whatever classes you want, and GPA isn't as critical as it is for med school (while it does matter, a 3.4 GPA and high LSAT would fare much better than a 3.4 GPA and high MCAT, with the MCAT being the harder test as well for most people). To put it simply, a 3.4/172 LSAT would probably get you in a school like Georgetown, Duke, Cornell, etc. while a 3.4/40 MCAT, unless he has some very outstanding soft factors, is going to have a much tougher time with even average med school admissions. Of course, just about any med school is good, while a crappy LS isn't a great option.
  • funnymanfunnyman Registered User Posts: 961 Member
    why is becoming a doctor so hard, why do premed students have to go through all of the extra activities?

    I think the opportunity to be a doctor is awesome, but why do medical schools make it so hard? I think it's quite unfair.
  • Son of LibertySon of Liberty Registered User Posts: 703 Member
    funnyman... I don't know for sure... but my guess is that the medical board limits the number of seats to ensure higher salaries for practicing doctors. Just a conjecture.
  • DoresDores Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    It's important to remember that attorneys, or I should say the JD is a more volatile degree than an MD. JDs are used by just about every corporation, by the government, in criminal law. In essence, society needs more attorneys than doctors (Technically). Thus, not only are there more Law Schools but there are more spots for attorneys. I think part of the reason medical school admission is so tough is that applicants have made the process cut-throat. If the average GPA were to fall at a school as well as the average MCAT, then that school would admit a class with lower GPA and MCAT. The problem is that many people who apply to medical school are dedicated to medicine at an early age, are ultra competitive, unlike many Law School students who may be undecided until the later years of college. It's kind of like college admission, over the past few years, statistics of accepted students has risen, only because applicants' statistics have risen.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member

    Medical school admissions is not about premeds. It is not about hopes and dreams. It is not about your future. It is about one thing, and one thing only: patients.

    It is attempting to make sure that sick people have the best physicians available to them, and medical school admissions is selective so that only the few most brilliant people in society can pass that barrier.

    When the level of necessary knowledge, competence, and dedication is as high as it is in medicine, it only makes sense that the process would be selective.
  • BigredmedBigredmed Registered User Posts: 3,731 Senior Member
    There are a lot of reasons why it's more difficult: numbers, the grueling nature of residency, patient care, and just the nature of the profession.

    There is no doubt that both med school and law school (or any other type of professional school for that matter) are difficult. However there is a fundamental difference in the way in which lawyers are trained and doctors are trained.

    Law schools teach you the concepts of the law and it is applied, but they don't teach you to be a lawyer. They don't teach you the skill set that will allow you to become a great trial lawyer or a sports agent or anything that you might use a law degree for (they actually have a lot of seminars in law school about what you can do with a JD, b/c most people won't actually go into a law firm). The teaching of how to be a lawyer comes when you are in practice. That's what you spend your years as an associate doing is how to actually be a lawyer. Further, once you become a lawyer, you become very specialized in only knowing that area of the law, and how the laws are set up in your state. If I ask my mom who is a corporate lawyer for an engineering firm about my lease, she usually tells me that she's not the one to talk to about it "because that's not the type of law I do, and I don't know Nebraska statutes".

    However, when you get that MD behind your name, you have attained a knowledge base AND a skill set that allows you to prescribe medication and do the things that being a doctor requires. Yes, you'll go onto a residency, in which you will learn a lot (particularly if you go into surgery or some procedure heavy field) but, a lot of residency is focused on autonomy, gaining experience, adding to you knowledge base and adding specific knowledge of how to deal with complications and diseases that don't present like they will in a textbook. Even when you specialize though, you have to know about all the other systems of the body. If you're a cardiologist, you have to know how one treatment will affect the lungs, the kidneys, the liver and the nervous system. That's why so many prescription drugs have a laundry list of side effects. So you're specialized but not to the point where you can ignore other parts of the body.

    So with that difference and the length of training required, medical schools are looking for those people who will succeed and complete the training. If you go to a state school, there is a lot of money invested in you (just look at the difference in tuitions from in-state and out of state) that makes it worth their while to be very picky. Even private schools, want you to succeed, b/c you'll be making fat bank, and will be albe to donate back to your roots, so it's smart for them to make sure you graduate. Law schools though, they'll kick you out in the first year and not even wish you good luck.
  • sakkysakky - Posts: 14,759 Senior Member
    It is attempting to make sure that sick people have the best physicians available to them, and medical school admissions is selective so that only the few most brilliant people in society can pass that barrier.

    I wish that were true. But here's what Michael Crichton has to say about the premed process, recounting his own days as a premed at Harvard. Granted, it should be said that he did quite well (going to Harvard Medical).

    In general, I found Harvard an exciting place, where people were genuinely focused on study and learning, and with no special emphasis on grades. But to take a premed course was to step into a different world -- nasty and competitive. The most critical course was organic chemistry, Chem 20, and it was widely known as a "screw your buddy" course. In lectures, if you didn't hear what the instructor had said and asked the person next to you, he'd give you the wrong information; thus you were better off leaning over to look at his notes, but in that case he was likely to cover his notes so you couldn't see. In the labs, if you asked the person at the next bench a question, he'd tell you the wrong answer in the hope that you would make a mistake or, even better, start a fire. We were marked down for starting fires. In my year, I had the dubious distinction of starting more lab fires than anyone else, including a spectacular ether fire that set the ceiling aflame and left large scorch marks, a stigmata of ineptitude hanging over my head for the rest of the year. I was uncomfortable with the hostile and paranoid attitude this course demanded for success. I thought that a humane profession like medicine ought to encourage other values in its candidates. But nobody was asking my opinion. I got through it as best I could.


    Law schools though, they'll kick you out in the first year and not even wish you good luck.

    This is true of only certain, low-end law schools. At most of the top law schools, it is practically impossible to flunk out. It isn't easy to get top grades that will get you into the top law firms or clerkships, but if all you care about is simply graduating, then it is trivial.

    Look at the top places like Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, Penn, Berkeley, Michigan, UCLA, Duke, Virginia, etc. and you will say that basically nobody is flunking out of them. If they do leave, it's for non-academic reasons (i.e. they ran out of money)

  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Hi sakky,

    Yes, I suppose I should clarify.

    Medical school admissions ought to be selective enough that only the most brilliant few can pass through. Suggestions by which the process ought to become easier are not thinking of the correct endpoint: taking care of sick people.

    Now, if you want to argue that it should be more accurate (not so much harder as more accurate), I'm all in favor, too.
  • werd814werd814 Registered User Posts: 1,090 Senior Member
    40 MCAT with 3.4 GPA will get most students into any med school. Won't it?
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Absolutely not.
This discussion has been closed.