# Interesting statistics

Alright, so I’m taking stats now so I’m learning how to gather data and make sense out of it, and I was having an argument with a friend about whether straight A grades are really that important to get into medical school. He doesn’t think they are while I do. So are A’s necessary? Yes and no.

What I did was pick 20 profiles at random from mdapplicants.com (who received acceptances, including DO schools since doctor is a doctor is a doctor) and then compiled BCPM GPA, Overall GPA, and MCAT scores into histograms.

Interestingly enough, your overall GPA is /not/ that important for getting an acceptance. The median GPA was 3.72, mean was 3.61, the minimum GPA was 3.10 and the maximum GPA was 3.97. I can’t really show a picture of the histogram on my calculator but there was almost as many people being accepted with 3.3 GPAs as there were people being accepted with 3.9 GPAs. So my friend was right in that respect.

The BCPM GPA was a different story altogether. The median GPA was 3.76, mean was 3.68, the minimum GPA was 3.27 and the maximum GPA was 3.98. The histogram skewed to the left quite sharply. To be “competitive”, it looked like a 3.8 GPA would be a good goal and then an even more significant increase in numbers of accepted students was noted at the 3.9 GPA mark. So I was right in that respect.

The MCAT…eh, well, I don’t know what to think of that one. Histogram was all over the place mind you. The median score was 31, mean was the same, minimum was 24 and maximum was 39. It looked as if as long as you got around the median, you’d be fine.

So anyway, just figured I’d share with everyone since it’s kinda nice learning math that’s actually useful, since my last class was worthless and of no practical value for medicine coughpre-calccough. Plus I was kind of surprised about the overall GPA myself. So hey, if you didn’t graduate with the greatest GPA, don’t worry about it! Apparently it may not be as big of a deal if your BCPM GPA’s up there.

Tim, I think your work demonstrates with statistics what those of us who’ve been immersed in this for years have said all along - that med school admissions is a highly individualized process. While there may be some cutoffs applied, they’re probably relatively generous (e.g. a 3.0 or a 25 MCAT) in many cases, and so all the other stuff in your application then gets looked at.

Honestly, the only thing any one candidate can do is his or her very best. And you can’t do anything about bad old grades. All you can do is your very best from here on out and hope that it is part of a competitive package.

Mary

hidden agenda: posting so that I can read again how many days til my vacation!

Also the only stats I would take at face value are those posted by the AAMC. Although medapplicants is great we do not know how much truth there is to some of those stats posted. ALL the information you need is posted at aamc.org under facts/figures or something of that sort.

• efex101 Said:
Also the only stats I would take at face value are those posted by the AAMC. Although medapplicants is great we do not know how much truth there is to some of those stats posted. ALL the information you need is posted at aamc.org under facts/figures or something of that sort.

The data are at:

http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2006/2006m catgpa.ht...

(The URL seems to be cut off. It's mcatgpa.htm )

Note that the matriculating averages are moving upward over the past few years. The mean cumul. gpa is 3.64 for matriculating students for entering 2006. Sci gpa mean was 3.57.

Also notice what is happening to the number of applicants. For entering class 2002 there were 33,600 and for entering class 2006 there were 39,100. This is more than a 16% increase in 4 years. During this time there was an increase of only ~6% in spaces in first year classes. (Remember that these data do not include DO schools.)

Cheers,

Judy