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Old 03-05-2014, 09:40 AM
 
2,206 posts, read 3,797,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodi1 View Post
Thanks Big G and EDS for your input and guidance. My kid got accepted to TAMS. He will be going as he is done with Calculus here in 10th grade in PISD. He will have a chance to take more challenging math classes.
Thanks again and will seek your guidance in future too.
Congrats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
What a great problem for her to have! UT is notorious for offering very little scholarship money relative to many other schools.Thinking about this some more, it would be really difficult to pass up the UTD offer. A full tuition scholarship is obviously valuable but leading with that fact on her resume, if she does not have one now she will need one for medical school applications, would be an impressive addition.
UTD is a very good school and getting better. A 4.0 from UTD will be a ticket. And being able to live at home will provide a great level of stability.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
13 posts, read 17,551 times
Reputation: 35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodi1 View Post
Hi,

My son is currently in 8th grade. After a lot of debate and research he has decided to take AP in PISD. He is currently in Geometry and is planning on taking CBE for Algebra 2. Is that a good idea?

Next:
He has scored closed to 1900 in SAT in his DUKE TIP. How can he improve his scores? (IS Karen Dillard good or Princeton Review good or self-study)
His ACT/Explore score was 24 out of a 25. He is very nervous about ACT. How can he improve on that?
He is planning to take
Human Geography
Biology
Humanities/since he is in PACE
Algebra 2 or Pre Cal if he skips Algebra 2
Orchestra (he is in Chamber right now)He is also taking ABRSM music exams from a private instructor
Spanish (started Spanish in 6th grade)
He is planning on going to the medical field and wants to take Clinical Rotations in 11 and 12th. We have heard that it is very difficult to get into Clinicals. Is that true? What is the eligibilty for Clinical Rotations?
He wants to do Medical Terminology this year and do Medical Science class which will be a prerequisite for HOSA next year. Is that a good idea.
He is also planning on taking 2 semesters of PE in summer school and finishing Communications in E school.

Since we have not had our education in this country, everything is so confusing as parents. WE have a conference next week to decide on the courses that he will be taking. I would really appreciate any input on this. I just want to help my son and my daughter achieve their dreams.
Since your son is only in the 8th grade, it seems entirely too soon to take too seriously what he says he wants to do. Clinical rotations? In high school? Oh man, the world is becoming one giant trade school.

I would make sure that he gets a well-rounded and solid education - not just math and science, though those are important. He should learn to write well and at that age be exposed to as much as possible.

Also, if he's dead serious about medical school when it comes time to go to college, I would consider all options. The small liberal arts colleges (at least the competitive ones) send droves of kids to med. school. Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin - those schools produce a lot of docs. In the PNW, Reed and Whitman do too.

My college roommate at the University of Washington became a doc. That's what he wanted to do and he knew it when he got there. So he majored in bio-chem and set the curve in those very competitive classes. Did well on the MCATs and was admitted to Yale, Stanford, UC San Fran and U Washington med schools. Chose Washington because it's top 5/10 and because he was dirt poor and Washington was essentially free for him. But he had his choices. Has a practice in Palo Alto now.

During our time together, he took philosophy classes, english lit and all kids of extra stuff well beyond what he had to take to earn his bio chem degree. In fact, he mentioned to me then that med schools were looking for applicants who both had the science/quantitative competencies but also had OTHER intellectual interests. Apparently, at the time the fad was to major in a liberal arts course of study and just take the pre-med pre-reqs needed to apply (which as I understood it was 95% of the way to a variety of science degrees). I don't know if that's still something people do.

The punch line is that, based on my roommate Thurman's experience anyway, med schools see a lot of people who fit the "I always wanted to be a doctor" profile to a T and they, like most grad schools, like "other" and interesting.

If I were advising you, and I know I am not, I would be careful about planning this kid's future from the 8th grade. What if he wants to be an investment banker? An engineer? An English teacher? An accountant?

You know, you can make a lot of $$ doing other things in this country besides medicine, and I know of A LOT of unhappy docs. It's not the brass ring if that's what you are counting on. You enter into a learned profession like that because you really want to do it.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:26 PM
 
7,295 posts, read 8,140,622 times
Reputation: 5386
Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskyLawyer View Post
Since your son is only in the 8th grade, it seems entirely too soon to take too seriously what he says he wants to do. Clinical rotations? In high school? Oh man, the world is becoming one giant trade school.

I would make sure that he gets a well-rounded and solid education - not just math and science, though those are important. He should learn to write well and at that age be exposed to as much as possible.

Also, if he's dead serious about medical school when it comes time to go to college, I would consider all options. The small liberal arts colleges (at least the competitive ones) send droves of kids to med. school. Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin - those schools produce a lot of docs. In the PNW, Reed and Whitman do too.

My college roommate at the University of Washington became a doc. That's what he wanted to do and he knew it when he got there. So he majored in bio-chem and set the curve in those very competitive classes. Did well on the MCATs and was admitted to Yale, Stanford, UC San Fran and U Washington med schools. Chose Washington because it's top 5/10 and because he was dirt poor and Washington was essentially free for him. But he had his choices. Has a practice in Palo Alto now.

During our time together, he took philosophy classes, english lit and all kids of extra stuff well beyond what he had to take to earn his bio chem degree. In fact, he mentioned to me then that med schools were looking for applicants who both had the science/quantitative competencies but also had OTHER intellectual interests. Apparently, at the time the fad was to major in a liberal arts course of study and just take the pre-med pre-reqs needed to apply (which as I understood it was 95% of the way to a variety of science degrees). I don't know if that's still something people do.

The punch line is that, based on my roommate Thurman's experience anyway, med schools see a lot of people who fit the "I always wanted to be a doctor" profile to a T and they, like most grad schools, like "other" and interesting.

If I were advising you, and I know I am not, I would be careful about planning this kid's future from the 8th grade. What if he wants to be an investment banker? An engineer? An English teacher? An accountant?

You know, you can make a lot of $$ doing other things in this country besides medicine, and I know of A LOT of unhappy docs. It's not the brass ring if that's what you are counting on. You enter into a learned profession like that because you really want to do it.

Sorry to butt-in; that's a good post with a lot of solid insight.

UTSW accepted ~230 students last year. Out of about 1,400 full applicants, who all came from a pre-applicant pool of several thousand students who each had to be a top student just to get past the so called, "Texas App" (excepting a few who have a different set of rules). It's also of note that a number of those accepted were older some with Ph.Ds, military officers, master's degree holders etc. So a 22yo kid with a BS had better be great to get in on the first attempt.

Not only that simply getting into the better pre-medish tracks is difficult. All of UT's likely medical tracks are significantly over-subscribed for example.

All of that is to say that a kid who really wants to do the doc thing for sure can't take a chance that he'll be the one student at UTSW selected this year with an English degree. Or one of the few (4?) with humanities degrees. In order to improve his chances he should study a STEM track and be one of the 84% (~185) of admittees who did the math and science thing. You hit on another problem with a non-traditional medical track BS, not enough bio, chem, math, physics etc. Nearly all of these kids have to earn a masters degree or take a year or more of bio etc. The exception being the genius kid who might in four years study English and minor in bio. and somehow score well enough on the MCAT for admission. The point being having the minimum acceptable medical school prerequisites in nearly all cases isn't enough to actually be accepted.

The net of all that is if the kid knows he wants to be a doc and starts preparing early - rotations, volunteering, short-term medical office gigs, community service etc. - he will improve his chances.

The pre-medical track BS program people tell all of the kids the admissions hierarchy goes like this:
1 SAT/ACT scores
2 Grades (2nd mainly because of widely varying academic rigor across all high schools)
3 community service, rotations etc. - 200+ total verified hours

and then a very long drop off to....

4 varsity or competitive sports/foreign language fluency etc.

I agree about the blood, sweat and tears aspect of becoming and being a doc. It's a long hard slog that most people wouldn't even consider let alone try. There are all kinds of ways these same people could make more money doing something with fewer barriers to entry and far less grief.

That said do you know more unhappy docs or more unhappy lawyers?
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:32 PM
 
146 posts, read 242,190 times
Reputation: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdoc20 View Post
Thanks EDS, your advice is so much appreciated ,I will forward this info to my daughter . I also apologize for hijacking the thread and veering off topic. She will be attending undergrad in Texas but cannot not make up her mind as UTD is offering full tuition and there is not much in way of scholarship from UT. I am hoping the Health Science Honors program at UT although fairly new should facilitate towards UTSW.

Would it be okay to ask medical schools the statistics of incoming students and which undergrad they represent or should we ask the undergrad itself as to how many of their students go to UTSW
Message me if you want to talk more about UTD. I graduated from there and got into all the Texas med schools except el paso.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
13 posts, read 17,551 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
Congratulations on your daughter's success so far. From a game theory perspective it is critical that your daughter maintains her/your Texas residency wherever she attends college. I can't recall specifically but either 80 or 90% of UTSW admits must have Texas residency. So being a Texas resident is a huge advantage.

I don't know enough about UTD's biological sciences to comment. Baylor, Rice and UT each graduate a good number of very strong medical school types every year. UT's bio programs geared towards medical school prospects are excellent. Unless she got into her dream undergraduate school I'd advise her to attend UT. A number of my son's friends at UTSW are UT grads - he says the UT grads are very well prepared in general.
For the record my son went to Baylor. These kids slug it out with grads from Harvard, MIT etc.
So, from the thread in which we were introduced, you seem to place A LOT of stock on SAT scores. Baylor, the 75th ranked school in the national university category in US NEWS, has the following SAT score data for the 25th and 75th percentiles of admitted students:

Baylor Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading: 550 / 660
SAT Math: 570 / 670
SAT Writing: 530 / 650

You'll have to excuse me, and by this I mean no disrespect to Baylor, you or your son, or to anyone who attended there, but those are relatively blue collar SAT stats, and they are nowhere near Ivy League or MIT standards ... I'll say it again - not even close. So, based on your previous comments about the SAT, and the doomed fate of your "friend's" daughter who did poorly by average 520 on each section, how exactly should we expect Baylor kids to do when competing with Harvard and MIT kids? Because you need to be at or over 2200 to have any real shot at getting in those schools.


I have to admit that I am surprised by your position in the other thread (which was locked before I could reply to your dodging response) vis a vis the fact that your son attended Baylor. Sure, it's an ok school, but the truth is, attending Baylor probably isn't any different than attending Texas A&M or Arizona State: it isn't going to make any difference in one's life opportunities and will depend entirely on how one does at each school.

I would have guessed with your post content that your son was a Rice graduate or something in that echelon of academia. Rice is the truly elite school in Texas, and it's by a long shot. It is the ONLY Ivy League equivalent school in that state. Your kid competed at a school with A LOT of kids whose SAT scores were not far off from that which your "friend's" daughter achieved. I ask again: why do you tell people that low SAT scores means dreams are permanently crushed, careers are permanently limited and that it shows a proxy for native intelligence?

Lady, send your daughter to school maximizing these three variables as best you can: national reputation and resources, cost and her own happiness and where you and she believe, based on your best judgment, she will be happy and successful. Don't try and find the best biology department someone on the internet says you need to find, and go with the best school factoring in the other two things. Why? She may be a doc. She may not. Plenty of kids start college saying med school, then don't do it for a variety of good reasons not relating to "I couldn't hack it." She may want to do something else. UT Austin is a great school. I can't see how you go wrong there.

Last edited by HuskyLawyer; 03-05-2014 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:25 PM
 
7,295 posts, read 8,140,622 times
Reputation: 5386
Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskyLawyer View Post
So, from the thread in which we were introduced, you seem to place A LOT of stock on SAT scores. Baylor, the 75th ranked school in the national university category in US NEWS, has the following SAT score data for the 25th and 75th percentiles of admitted students:

Baylor Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading: 550 / 660
SAT Math: 570 / 670
SAT Writing: 530 / 650

You'll have to excuse me, and by this I mean no disrespect to Baylor, you or your son, or to anyone who attended there, but those are relatively blue collar SAT stats, and they are nowhere near Ivy League or MIT standards ... I'll say it again - not even close. So, based on your previous comments about the SAT, and the doomed fate of your "friend's" daughter who did poorly by average 520 on each section, how exactly should we expect Baylor kids to do when competing with Harvard and MIT kids? Because you need to be at or over 2200 to have any real shot at getting in those schools.


I have to admit that I am surprised by your position in the other thread (which was locked before I could reply to your dodging response) vis a vis the fact that your son attended Baylor. Sure, it's an ok school, but the truth is, attending Baylor probably isn't any different than attending Texas A&M or Arizona State: it isn't going to make any difference in one's life opportunities and will depend entirely on how one does at each school.

I would have guessed with your post content that your son was a Rice graduate or something in that echelon of academia. Rice is the truly elite school in Texas, and it's by a long shot. It is the ONLY Ivy League equivalent school in that state. Your kid competed at a school with A LOT of kids whose SAT scores were not far off from that which your "friend's" daughter achieved. I ask again: why do you tell people that low SAT scores means dreams are permanently crushed, careers are permanently limited and that it shows a proxy for native intelligence?

Lady, send your daughter to school maximizing these three variables as best you can: national reputation and resources, cost and her own happiness and where you and she believe, based on your best judgment, she will be happy and successful. Don't try and find the best biology department someone on the internet says you need to find, and go with the best school factoring in the other two things. Why? She may be a doc. She may not. Plenty of kids start college saying med school, then don't do it for a variety of good reasons not relating to "I couldn't hack it." She may want to do something else. UT Austin is a great school. I can't see how you go wrong there.
Are you trying to get all of these threads locked?

So far as potential medical school admissions are concerned the overall ranking of the school and aggregate SAT scores across the school are at best secondary. It's all about particular programs, sets of professors and long term track records that carry the day. Like it or not Baylor graduates an outsized number of kids who go on to attend top medical schools.

You are right about one thing somewhere close to 90% of kids who go to medical school intending to become docs either change their minds or have their minds changed for them.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
13 posts, read 17,551 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
Sorry to butt-in; that's a good post with a lot of solid insight.

UTSW accepted ~230 students last year. Out of about 1,400 full applicants, who all came from a pre-applicant pool of several thousand students who each had to be a top student just to get past the so called, "Texas App" (excepting a few who have a different set of rules). It's also of note that a number of those accepted were older some with Ph.Ds, military officers, master's degree holders etc. So a 22yo kid with a BS had better be great to get in on the first attempt.

Not only that simply getting into the better pre-medish tracks is difficult. All of UT's likely medical tracks are significantly over-subscribed for example.

All of that is to say that a kid who really wants to do the doc thing for sure can't take a chance that he'll be the one student at UTSW selected this year with an English degree. Or one of the few (4?) with humanities degrees. In order to improve his chances he should study a STEM track and be one of the 84% (~185) of admittees who did the math and science thing. You hit on another problem with a non-traditional medical track BS, not enough bio, chem, math, physics etc. Nearly all of these kids have to earn a masters degree or take a year or more of bio etc. The exception being the genius kid who might in four years study English and minor in bio. and somehow score well enough on the MCAT for admission. The point being having the minimum acceptable medical school prerequisites in nearly all cases isn't enough to actually be accepted.

The net of all that is if the kid knows he wants to be a doc and starts preparing early - rotations, volunteering, short-term medical office gigs, community service etc. - he will improve his chances.

The pre-medical track BS program people tell all of the kids the admissions hierarchy goes like this:
1 SAT/ACT scores
2 Grades (2nd mainly because of widely varying academic rigor across all high schools)
3 community service, rotations etc. - 200+ total verified hours

and then a very long drop off to....

4 varsity or competitive sports/foreign language fluency etc.

I agree about the blood, sweat and tears aspect of becoming and being a doc. It's a long hard slog that most people wouldn't even consider let alone try. There are all kinds of ways these same people could make more money doing something with fewer barriers to entry and far less grief.

That said do you know more unhappy docs or more unhappy lawyers?

As I said, that was what my roommate said was a mini-trend of sorts, and that was a LONG time ago. I do not profess to be even well informed about med school admissions, much less am I any kind of subject matter expert. Let me be clear: I do not know, and have no problem saying so. You seem to have a grasp of the stats as they apply to one state med school. If that is the case, and if some 18 year old kid (or some 8th grade kid, which seems preposterous to me) KNOWS they want to be a doc, and that they want to go to THAT med school, then you're probably right for those people.

But ask yourself. How many kids say they want to do it, and then don't? Frankly, the responsible thing would be to tell at least the guy whose kid is in the 8th grade to calm down and make sure junior gets a good and solid education and has a chance to be a kid and experience things and worry about all this specific med school crap when he's in college if he's even still pursuing it. One thing you will never convince me of, and that is that some kid needs to have subject-specific volunteer hours or clinical training going all the way back to high school to get a leg up in med school admissions. I am quite certain that none of that will factor into the med school decision. Besides, it's a recipe for burnout.

My niece is a biology major at perhaps the toughest place to do that coursework in the country: UC Berkeley. Insanely competitive place in the sciences (and most other things). The kids there are brilliant as measured both by GPA and SAT and just in terms of admission stats. She did a lot of things in high school, and had an idea she wanted to go to med school. She's a sophomore, so we'll see. But one thing she and my sister and I are happy about is that, should she decide otherwise, she's getting a degree from a reputable school and she'll be able to go in other directions with relative ease. I don't think she started a pre-med checklist in the 8th grade, and I don't think that it matters.

I know lots and lots of unhappy lawyers. That's an easy one. My comment was directed at the OP, who based on his post is international. And in the vein of commentary that assumes stereotypes are based at least on a kernel of truth, many immigrant families push there kids relentlessly toward certain career paths, and medicine is one of them. The point of my comment was that it is not a proxy for happiness and success. You have to want to do it, not just want to please your parents or make $$. I think we have yet to see what our society will look like when it is truly being run by all these kids with tiger moms and over-the-top helicopter parents. I hope when we are all old we don't hate it.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
13 posts, read 17,551 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
Are you trying to get all of these threads locked?

So far as potential medical school admissions are concerned the overall ranking of the school and aggregate SAT scores across the school are at best secondary. It's all about particular programs, sets of professors and long term track records that carry the day. Like it or not Baylor graduates an outsized number of kids who go on to attend top medical schools.

You are right about one thing somewhere close to 90% of kids who go to medical school intending to become docs either change their minds or have their minds changed for them.
No, I'm not trying to get the threads locked. I just found your attitude in the other thread to be, shall we say, inapposite to your actual situation. The various comments you made, which I shall not rehash here, are more typical of what you hear from people who hail from super elite academic backgrounds.

As it relates to Baylor's stats, you and I both know that there are many reasons that influence those numbers. State programs, affiliations with med schools, multi-state arrangements, etc. Doesn't change the fact that junior did what he did in a talent pool that is not as deep as, say, that which exists at Rice.

I'll tell you what. I think we have stumbled onto at least one interesting item of discussion, and that is this question of program specificity and long-term track record of interest vs. (for lack of a better phrase) the well educated, all around smarty who has satisfied the premed requirements hailing from a good school. I'm guessing in this day and age of pragmatism and budgets you may be right and that the Texas medical school application system favors what you advise.

That said, we still have to wonder about what the kids (and there are legions of them) who hail from Swarthmore, Wellesley, Bowdoin, Whitman, Pomona, Bates, Carleton, Macalester, Reed, Mount Holyoke, Amherst, Williams, Middlebury, etc. etc. etc. look like in the admissions process?

How do those kids look and compare in the med school admissions process across the board? I know two things about them: (1) they attended schools that are both very difficult to get into and which de-emphasize "track programs" or anything that looks like or smacks of the vocational or practical; and (2) they matriculate to med school in droves and the %s are startling. That tells me, very generally at least, that med schools want generally smart kids with a good, sound and broad education (albeit with the technical pre-med science qualifications) of the type one acquires at a solid liberal arts college.

Before anyone says it, no, I didn't attend such a place. I was a big state school kid. But I married one. They are different, as was their education. You can't hide from rigorous writing in those places. You have to be broadly educated whether you want to or not, even if you just want to study chem or biology. You can't major in business, accounting, physical therapy, restaurant management, pharmacy and that sort of thing at those places.

So I wonder - if your kid REALLY wants to max their med school chances, are you better off obtaining what at least appears to be a broad education (albeit one that focuses on a science curriculum)?

I'll ask the people I know. My mom is friends with one of the Deans at the University of Washington school of medicine, which as I mentioned is a perennial top 10, sometimes top 5, school. I would take his view as representative.

I know this. If I were on the review committee, I'd pick as between two kids who are equally qualified the kid with the more diverse educational and life background. I think of a kid like the OPs, who starts all this clinical rotation crap in 9th frickin' grade, and I just think it would be hard for me to not roll my eyes. Just being honest there.

Last edited by HuskyLawyer; 03-05-2014 at 04:00 PM..
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,828 posts, read 3,391,863 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskyLawyer View Post
I know this. If I were on the review committee, I'd pick as between two kids who are equally qualified the kid with the more diverse educational and life background. I think of a kid like the OPs, who starts all this clinical rotation crap in 9th frickin' grade, and I just think it would be hard for me to not roll my eyes. Just being honest there.
Thank goodness you're not on a review committee then.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
13 posts, read 17,551 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bencronin04 View Post
Thank goodness you're not on a review committee then.
you're probably right.

and thank goodness there are still parents who aren't trying to get their kids into a clinical rotation so they can get a leg up in med school admissions 8 to 10 years down the line.

i'm shocked more people aren't shocked by that. oh well, the only certainty in life is change.
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