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Do adcoms know how many schools you apply to?


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Hi there,

 

A good approach to tackling this question, and other outre ones like these, is to answer it and to do so professionally. A reasonable answer might include noting that, given the reality of the competitiveness of medicine, you have applied to a number of schools.

 

Cheers,

Kirsteen

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Hi there,

 

A good approach to tackling this question, and other outre ones like these, is to answer it and to do so professionally. A reasonable answer might include noting that, given the reality of the competitiveness of medicine, you have applied to a number of schools.

 

Cheers,

Kirsteen

 

So can you give us any insight into why they ask this?

 

I know in the US it is asked in order to put your app in the trash in case they realize they are your back-up school (which kind of defeats the purpose of a back-up). Considering that there isn't really such a thing as a back-up school in Canada, I can't think of any reason to ask this of an applicant.

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I fail to see any reason why they need to know this.

 

I'm just guessing here... but I always thought that competitive professional schools ask this question because they want to know if you're serious. I mean, one can never assume these things, but I think med schools take you more seriously if you convey that you REALLY want to do this with your life - and unless you've got like, a 4.0, 45T, and found a cure for cancer, there's no guarantee of getting in anywhere.. So basically, if you have average matriculant stats, applying to one school could either mean that you're cocky or that you're only applying on a whim. The people who really want it will apply to a school that is not in their favourite city and/or they'll scrape together the small fortune that is required to apply all over the place.

 

This is how I think the adcoms think about it and why they ask. I personally think there are a number of strong reasons people apply to one or five or fifty med schools and it shouldn't make any difference. Oh well.

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So basically, if you have average matriculant stats, applying to one school could either mean that you're cocky or that you're only applying on a whim.

 

Yeah, or it could mean that you're an adult with a family that you don't want to uproot, for an example. I've met 2 folks like this at this point - they'd rather keep trying over and over at their local school than have to make their spouse leave their job, their child(ren) leave the school, and everyone to move away from the bigger family. Makes sense, especially because many non-trads already have established careers and won't get caught in the middle of some major life crisis if they don't get in right away.

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It could just be for the sake of statistics that they want to keep.

 

Sure, but I'm sure there's some sort of motivation behind keeping those statistics, too. Otherwise, why aren't they asking for your favorite movie and favorite food for the sake of statistics, as well?

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I don't think adcoms ask because the expect a particular answer from all applicants. I think it depends on each applicant's situation. In one of my interviews they did bring up the other schools that I applied to, and asked me why I applied to the schools I did. They even went so far as to ask if I would really, truly consider their school if I had gotten accepted somewhere else also. So I just had to defend my choices and show my commitment to the choices I had made.

 

The reason they gave for asking these kinds of things is because they noticed that I had said family was very important to me, and that I didn't have any family near their school, so they wanted to see how I felt about that. I thought all of these questions were really fair, and to be honest, preferable to a lot of the other questions I've had in interviews. They were questions that I had been asked many times before in other conversations, so it made the interview more comfortable than antagonistic.

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Yeah, or it could mean that you're an adult with a family that you don't want to uproot, for an example. I've met 2 folks like this at this point - they'd rather keep trying over and over at their local school than have to make their spouse leave their job, their child(ren) leave the school, and everyone to move away from the bigger family. Makes sense, especially because many non-trads already have established careers and won't get caught in the middle of some major life crisis if they don't get in right away.

 

Well, like I said, there could be many good reasons that people only apply to one school. I'm a non-trad myself so I hear you. I just think that that's the way the adcoms think. Most applicants don't have families or established careers that they'd have to uproot.

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Well, like I said, there could be many good reasons that people only apply to one school.

Hi,

 

Certainly, if you have chosen to apply to one school only then it might be positive for you to state your reasons (hopefully convincingly) as to why.

 

Cheers,

Kirsteen

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I don't think adcoms ask because the expect a particular answer from all applicants. I think it depends on each applicant's situation. In one of my interviews they did bring up the other schools that I applied to, and asked me why I applied to the schools I did. They even went so far as to ask if I would really, truly consider their school if I had gotten accepted somewhere else also. So I just had to defend my choices and show my commitment to the choices I had made.

 

The reason they gave for asking these kinds of things is because they noticed that I had said family was very important to me, and that I didn't have any family near their school, so they wanted to see how I felt about that. I thought all of these questions were really fair, and to be honest, preferable to a lot of the other questions I've had in interviews. They were questions that I had been asked many times before in other conversations, so it made the interview more comfortable than antagonistic.

 

I got this question as well. As heathcliff mentioned, it's a very fair question. It's a great chance for an interviewee to describe how he/she is a good 'fit' for a specific school.

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