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How true would you say this article is?


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47 minutes ago, DoctorFootLizard said:

https://bemoacademicconsulting.com/blog/top-5-reasons-to-avoid-online-premed-forums

Says people are purposely trying to mislead/make you feel like you don't have a chance at med school in hopes that you won't apply, so they have a better chance. 

ha - I mean to start with consider the source - an organization whose entire business model is threatened by easy access to information thinks access to a form like this is a bad thing. 

It would be insanely unproductive to use this forum to prevent people from applying by spreading false information. For one thing most errors would be collectively caught rather quickly, and almost every premed is paranoid enough to verify things independently etc. There are a ton of people that already got into medical school more than happy to tell you what you actually need so lying and saying you need to be a super star would have limited utility. Push it too far and be outright  destructive and you would be banned. Imagine how much time you could waste doing that - and for what - congrats there are thousands of applicants and instead of building up your ECs or improving your GPA you just wasted all this time trying to stop a handful from applying. 

Good luck tracing anything back to an applicant - that is extremely hard to do. We are also pretty good at destroying fake accounts designed to advertise other premed companies - if anything we are biased quite a bit against such companies. One of the reasons I stayed with the forum was to push back - to make it so you DIDN'T need to spend all this money to another company just to get the right information - money which many people don't have to spend. 

They talk about knowledge vs wisdom on that site - well some of us have been on the site a very long time - very likely much much longer than anyone trying to help you at that company. That experience has helped quite a few people. There are a ton of points of view on this site - I honestly find most companies that service premed far more "hive mind" like than we are. Is the forum enough to solve all your information needs - no, you need to do your own homework as well, but it still is I think a robust knowledge source. 

"Most alarming is that even some (but not all) of the moderators use unprofessional and hostile language towards others, and get into frequent bickering matches in an attempt to prove their 'expertise' and superiority, which brings their qualifications as mentors and role models of professionalism into question and the forum moderators are anonymous and even the site owner and administrator claims he doesn't know who they are so it is quite possible that the 'expert' moderators might not even be medical students or residents. "

really? we do? I am the closest thing the site has to an active administrator and we vet all the moderators quite closely actually. Of course Dr. Wong doesn't know every moderators personally (he is a busy staff radiologist), but that is like saying a CEO of a company doesn't know all managers either like it is a bad thing. The moderators are much closer to the ground ha. Hopefully if people think the moderators are well as abusive as that quote states someone would bring it up and we would face it. 

Edited by rmorelan
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Many of these consulting agencies are so predatory. I’d say BeMo is one of the most guilty of using predatory tactics and plays on the insecurities of premed students to gain business. 

It is not surprising they would say something like this. As @rmorelan said, PM101 is a tremendous resource with such valuable information that has helped many gain admission, including myself. Having almost all of the most important information available for free hurts their “pay for this same information” model. Articles like this are just more of the same predatory behaviour they use to lure students.  
 

Personal anecdote: In the 2017-2018 cycle, I registered at BeMo for one of their free resources they provide, stipulation is that you go on their mailing list (I know I could have removed myself, but I didn’t). I was Waitlisted at a school, and 1 week following this news, BeMo sent out an email with a title along the lines of “MD Admission Update” with the message under “Congratulations” only to say something like “this could be YOU!”. Who does that? Obviously a company looking to make a pretty penny off of your emotions. 

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1 hour ago, Monocyte said:

Personal anecdote: In the 2017-2018 cycle, I registered at BeMo for one of their free resources they provide, stipulation is that you go on their mailing list (I know I could have removed myself, but I didn’t). I was Waitlisted at a school, and 1 week following this news, BeMo sent out an email with a title along the lines of “MD Admission Update” with the message under “Congratulations” only to say something like “this could be YOU!”. Who does that? Obviously a company looking to make a pretty penny off of your emotions. 

Unbelievable...

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20 minutes ago, Med0123 said:

Unbelievable...

oh I can believe it ha :) 

That part of the business model pisses me off. Preying on people's fears. 

There is a right way to charge people to help them in this area - career planning is always something people have charged for. But this is putting the business above the clients

Edited by rmorelan
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I'd say these forums are a huge part of the  reason I got in. The rest of these services or premed help websites are so out dated in terms of their information or admission criteria. Some Haven't even changed their MCAT score requirements to the 2015 MCAT scoring system. They'll charge you money to look over essays and to offer advice. Both of which I was given by this website by great individuals for free. They can screw right off.

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Whenever there is an online forum with freedom of speech, it is inevitable you will get all sorts of people. The original article has a tint of truth to it but it's blowing it way out of proportion. The first rule of the Internet is to take everything people say with a grain huge chunk of salt. Again, I don't think I need to elaborate on how this website was not written by a neutral third party but rather someone who wants you to pay them for services rather than get the same information off the Internet. 

I wasn't a big user of this forum but Re/dd/it (thanks censoring system) was extremely helpful in my case, both r/MCAT and r/premedcanada provided tons of good resources, advice, and helpful med students willing to provide guidance in general. People were generally supportive - and yes once in a while you see a jerk who laughs at people but they get downvoted fast and in extreme cases, dealt with by the mods quickly. 

Did I mention you need to take everything with a huge chunk of salt on the Internet, including this one? Ok cool.

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