View Full Version : UBC sent out wrong statistics in letters for some!
05-16-2002, 10:15 PM
UBC has just sent me a new letter. Although still rejected, my interview percentile went up from 9 to 62. Who knows, tommorrow i may get accepted :)
not rex morgan
05-16-2002, 10:36 PM
Sounds like this year they opted for untrained-monkeys, instead of the gold-standard trained ones. :b
05-16-2002, 11:36 PM
Or maybe they forgot to put the caffeine drops in the water... :)
UBC, Med 3
05-17-2002, 02:06 AM
I still got rejected, but I am now closer to being a more acceptable person :b
05-21-2002, 10:44 AM
Well, I just checked my mail. I was sent the wrong stats too.
My interview percentile went from 6 to 62!
I'm still upset over the rejection (of course)... and maybe a bit more since I didn't do as bad in my interviews as the last letter made me think (b/c if I had gotten a 6 then I definitely should have been rejected :) ).
05-22-2002, 12:52 AM
Is everyone with wrong interview scores gonna get boosted up to a 62? haha... just kidding.... It's just that I have lost all confidence in the admissions process at ubc. I think they just give out made up numbers and once again, they are making up numbers. So even though they are "fixing" your score for your interview, I think they will ensure that it's below what is required to make it in. Is it not possible that those who got accepted also had wrong interview scores? I guess we'll never know... I mean, UBC wouldn't want to take back acceptance letters from those who were ranked in the top 128 but aren't any longer. If there is quite a few people on this forum who had really high marks in all sections and still didn't make it in, there must be some secret "Fudge" factor involved. I felt kinda hopeless with ubc. Appeal as you may, ubc will find some fudge to mess you up. Sorry about my pessimism. I tried to find some sort of explanation for my rejection and all I got was ambigious crap and the "olympic athelete" story. Honestly, I hope someone wins when they fight back against this weird system. All the best and please post the results of your appeal.
05-22-2002, 01:32 AM
It sucks getting a rejection letter, no question about it. I'm sure you're not happy right now; I definitely wasn't after getting a rejection letter from Saskatchewan. However, I also don't understand the source of your pessimism. There's no advantage to UBC just making up numbers that are conveniently just low enough to give you a rejection; what would they gain from that? Spending that time corresponding with you, interviewing you, and then collating your scores uses up their time and money, just as it does yours.
Another way to look at this possibly is that by definition, each of these breakdowns is from someone who has been rejected. If you are accepted, you never get to see your academic and non-academic percentiles; they aren't supplied in an attempt to decrease competition and classmate comparisons within the class.
If you think you've not received good feedback, then I'd perhaps contact them again, and really ask them for honest advice about what you can realistically complete for next year in order to improve your application. Don't settle for the rote answer of "Olympic athlete"; don't be afraid to probe a little deeper. At the end of the day, the more feedback you receive, the more preparation you can do next year when you reapply to UBC and other med schools.
I'd reiterate again that probably 40-50% of my class needed to apply more than once to get an acceptance, and that with 128 seats for 700+ applicants, you're automatically going to reject 82% of applicants (I think there's actually significantly more than 700 applicants this year, so the overall rejection rate this year was probably even higher than 82%).
Chin up, I know this sucks. :(
UBC, Med 3
05-22-2002, 02:31 AM
Thanks for the encouragement. Ya it sucks to be rejected and this pessimism comes and goes. It becomes a little stronger after reading so many frustrated applicants' comments. Ya, that comment about them making up numbers... of course it wouldn't make any sense for them to make up numbers. However, after trying over and over again to understand what goes on at UBC med, it seems like that's what they are doing. Just a point of view from a frustrated applicant. Reading the recent threads on conspiracy theory and all that speculation has let my imagination fly. I find some humor in this all. Helps me laugh it off since, in the end, it's a matter of luck really.
To add to my previous comment about seeking help from Ms. Jeffs... well during the meeting with her, I had to ask over and over again the same questions and she would not give a straight answer. I asked her one thing and she beat around the bush a lot and then told me something else. Perhaps i should have written an appeal letter but at that point, i felt quite discouraged and really confused. My friend, with similar grades and stronger extracurriculars wrote a letter to Dr. Bates, however. First of all, she did not get back to him when she said she would and he had to keep going back to the med office to ask about the status of his appeal. The secretary kept telling him that Dr. Bates would get back to him. Well when she finally did, he got another letter saying that his file was not good enough. That's an ok answer as long as she had some explanations or something. But she didn't; she did not point out any specific details or flaws in his application. In fact, one would think after reading the generic letter she sent, that she didn't even read his appeal letter. So, folks at ubc aren't as open to helping out applicants with their application as one would think. I didn't go as far as my friend with the appeal but i saw him trying and it's wasn't easy to get explanations sometimes. This was just our experience.
Chin is up... I will try again everywhere if needed. I am waiting to hear back from some Ontario schools and if it doesn't work out this year I am applying again to UBC. I will just have to work on the presentation of my application a bit more i guess. After reading so much complaining for so long on this board, I just thought i would add my bit. :)
05-22-2002, 02:33 AM
My re-evaluated percentile for my interview went from 86th percentile to 69th. But this still puts me in the top one third of the applicant pool. My other percentiles were 89th (overall GPA), 83rd (prereqs), 80th (last 60 credits). I also had tonnes of volunteer stuff, both medical and non, I work in the healthcare field, and have two kids (one of which was born during my BSc years) and work part time while going to school full time! I still don't get it. What more do they want? My first born?
I guess I'm feeling (like everyone else on this posting) a bit rejected.... My only hope now is that UBC decides to add more people to their waitlist. Ian, any idea if UBC notifies applicants that they are waitlisted, or do they offer new positions only as others turn them down? I don't care if I don't find out until August, I just really am commited to medicine and really can't imagine doing anything but. Once I get my rejection bomb, is that it? or is there hope that they may waitlist me?
05-22-2002, 05:21 AM
from the other thread that you shut down (sorry, I hadn't read it before making my previous note), wouldn't an appeals process blacklist you for next year? I had my interviews with Drs. Goodman and Bates, both of which I was thrilled with, btw. If the appeal goes through Dr. Bates, she will obviously be on next years' adcom and say "AHA! There's that same know it all who thought she could sneak in via an appeal process!" As I've said in my previous comment, my grades were more than competative, my EC includes not only hospital volunteer, but many community involvements, etc, etc. Will I ruin my chances of getting in next year by being black listed after appealing?
After reading that BC girl is going through the same thing, I wonder if I should seriously consider following this up with someone in admissions?
05-22-2002, 05:59 AM
Could you contact me directly? Perhaps we can talk. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
05-22-2002, 10:54 AM
Like maniac, I am also wondering if appealing is a good way to get labelled as a "trouble maker" that just can't accept a rejection letter....
I can totally accept it, but I would like some good answers (other than to start training for the Olympics :) ).
05-22-2002, 06:34 PM
My personal opinion is that the admissions committee is not going to be so vindictive as to keep tabs on you and strike your name off the accepted list when you re-apply the following year. However, that's just my read based on my interactions with some of those individuals. Therefore, take that with a grain of salt, because it's just my opinion. However, I do think it's well within the bounds of reason to obtain a satisfactory answer as to how your application was processed, in light of the corrections to your statistics mailout.
There was an interesting event once which I think speaks a bit to the impartiality of Dr. Bates. Her, myself, and a classmate of mine did a presentation for a group of applicants, and our talk kept getting interrupted by a rather insistent and persistent individual, who kept cutting us off by asking very pointed questions in a rather arrogant manner, etc. After this presentation, which we stressed was a chance to ask questions without fear of affecting one's application chances, we were talking about the responsiveness of the applicants, and about this one applicant in particular. Dr. Bates said: "I hope that I forget this person's name when we review applications."
This person got an immediate acceptance based on the strength of their application and interview. No black-listing in this situation, and no negative repercussions for being rather excitable that night.
UBC, Med 3
05-30-2002, 10:51 AM
I emailed you a while ago. Did you get it?
Are you considering appealing?
05-31-2002, 01:17 AM
But no, I'm not going to. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you, I was in Van for a few days. Yes, I got your email, thanks for getting in touch so soon. I talked to the Admissions office. I told them that I didn't necessarily want to appeal, but having come this far, couldn't just let it slide not knowing if the correct scores were reviewed. She assured me that they had, and it was just an error in the transfer of data to our letters. I asked her if there was another route to ensure that the correct data was, indeed, looked at. Apparently, there's not. I asked her if there was a timeframe within which I had to appeal, she said no. When asked what the probability of reversing the adcom's decision via an appeal, she hesitated and said "None". I asked her if anyone had ever gotten in via an appeal. Again, the answer was "None."
So that's kinda where I stand. Without a hope in hell of getting the decision reversed, what's the point? I'd rather just avoid the frustration and aggravation (and paperwork!) involved and get on with my life. I'll try again next year, though. I have an advising appt on the 18th. I'll let you know what she says about being an Olympic athlete! My answer to that would be: "I have absolutely no desire to become an Olympian, I already excel at many other things, thank you very much!"
How about you? What kind of story did you get when you phoned and are you considering appealing?
05-31-2002, 02:02 PM
Like you I was given the story about the "ad com only used your raw score". My only problem with that is that they adjust the interviewers score to a common mean, look on the bottom of your yellow stats sheet. So my question was 'did you use the number that had been adjusted by the data base for the meeting?' The answer was "yes, of course!" Next question is did the data base screw up before or after the meeting? Absolutely after, what else would they say! I know of someone in 2nd year at the moment who was given the overall applicant GPA instead of her own and was rejected after interviews for it. It took her 4 meetings with the faculty to finally got the truth and was finally given a space. I think basically if you reason for appeal is that you feel the ad com made a mistake by not accepting you because you are a wonderful applicant...forget it. If you do however find an error, then appeal. Often after mistakes are discovered the faculty will offer a guarantee of interviews next year but I know that if you make it to that point you should be offered a seat.
06-01-2002, 11:31 AM
Thanks for the info, but what yellow stats sheet? I didn't get one with my rejection letter. Do you get that when you have your advising session? How do I find a mistake if I don't know what my actual percentages were. They only tell me the percentiles.
Have you had your advising appt already?
06-01-2002, 02:38 PM
the yellow sheet helmet was talking about was (or should have been) included with the first rejection letter. It's just a statistical summary sheet that lists academic averages and stuff like that.
I was told that we will be able to get our actual scores for the different parts of our apps when we have our advising sessions.
06-01-2002, 03:46 PM
Thanks, BC Girl.
Must of missed that (how is that possible?). I will look again, but I don't think I actually got one.
Have you talked to admissions lately? Any word on how the appeals are going? When do you have your advising session?
06-02-2002, 11:18 AM
from reading helmet33's friend's story, it is pretty obvious that the only objective aspect of the application is the GPA and MCAT. When you argue for the correct GPA to be placed on your sheet, even ad com cannot do anything about it! However, asking about EC's and interview scores will get you nowhere. They can just give you a generic answer and just say, sorry buddy, other people we admit have better life experiences. Try next year.
I personally feel that this is what happens when you place too much on subjective certeria. How is one going to say that even though applicant A has 5 years of working experience and applicant B is straight out of undergrad, applicant B does interview a little bit better than applicant A and therefore deserves to get in? Where do you draw the line in this sea of subjectivity?
Another thing is that UBC med does not have that many older students. It could be due to the smaller number of older applicants. But med schools in general do not seem to like admitting older applicants.
06-02-2002, 11:40 AM
I did not even realize that the other thread has shut down until today! I will come back and read other posts near the end of thread later.
From Ian's page bellow,
I do think that UBC med admissions has changed over the years.
For overall-premed average of entering class, the number in the 90%+ category seem to have dropped from 1996 to 2001 (7 accepted in 1996 to 1 and 3 accepted in 2000, 2001). Also, only 3 and 4 applicants with 90%+ average were rejected in 1996 and 1997 respectively (acceptance rates of 70% and 50% respectively), but 13 were rejected in 2001 (with paultry acceptance rate of around 25%). And more dramatically, MCAT of entering class drops from 9.75 to 9.36 while the rejected applicants' MCAT actually RISES from 8.73 to 9.22
So it seems that UBC med has recently taken out MCAT as a factor in its admissions consideration. Furthermore, that high GPA seems to be negatively correlated with admissions success (when in 1996 that did not seem to be the case). Does it anything to do with Dr. Bates taking the helm? Maybe, maybe not.
I think that the main issue is that UBC med has monopoly. The number of people who want to stay in BC at all cost definitely leads to this phenomenon. UBC med's yield always seems to float around 85-95%. Hey, if everybody wants to come here, then why should we change anything? We can admit who we want and tell then whatever we want to tell them (be an Olympic athelete) and what can they do to us? They are even afraid to appeal because, guess what, they will have to apply to UBC again next year if they ever want to stay in BC for med school.
In the states, top schools are always competing for top students. Even yields at Columbia, Duke, Stanford and Hopkins don't go above 60%. Hey, if Duke does not want you, Columbia or Hopkins will happily take you in. Even in Ontario, there are more choices.
06-02-2002, 12:57 PM
Medical school admissions is subjective. No question about it. By its very definition, it has to be. A 3.8 GPA in Engineering does not equal a 3.8 GPA in Basket-Weaving. A 35 R MCAT by someone who had both the free time and financial resources to take a review course and sign-up for 1-on-1 tutoring is not the same 35 R MCAT from someone who is working a full-time job, or taking summer school, or taking care of kids. Yet numerically, those two people appear identical on paper. Thank goodness we have non-academic methods to fall back on to evaluate these two individuals more fully.
Even the traditional "objective" measurements of GPA and MCAT scores are subjective. People can, and do take bird courses to boost GPA scores, people can, and do take "easier" degree programs perhaps at "easier" universities to get higher GPA scores, people can, and do take summer courses to get ahead of the game, people can, and do cheat, use old exams, copy lab reports off people who took those courses last year, etc. MCAT scores, in my opinion, are almost completely dictated by how much time and resources you have to prepare for them; that makes them very NOT objective.
As far as interviews and reference letters, and all the subjective parts of medical school applications, since virtually all schools in North America use them, it seems that your arguments can't be leveled squarely at UBC. Whichever medical school you are currently attending, you must have had to obtain reference letters and perform interviews, and in getting accepted, those subjective evaluations you received allowed you to bump someone into getting a rejection letter. Med school applications are subjective.
As far as the academic profile of UBC med goes, you're drawing some pretty vast conclusions from not an awful lot of data. That makes things suspect. From the point of UBC med, the only important criteria are the academic characteristics of the people who are accepted. No offense to those who get rejected, but if UBC is going to analyze its medical school classes, it will look at the academic profiles of its accepted classes.
So let's do that over the years 1996-2001 for both MCAT and GPA scores, just like you suggested:
Average MCAT scores of UBC Accepted students:
Average Overall GPA scores of UBC Accepted students:
So, in the last six years, the largest difference between MCAT scores was a minor 0.41, and the largest difference in GPA scores a measly 0.37%.
I don't think you'll find any statistically significant differences in the academic scores of the UBC med classes over the last six years. Do you think that someone who receives a 80.37% on a test is any smarter than someone who receives a 80.00%. Not really. I guess we are maintaining our academic standards after all.
As far as a monopoly situation goes, that's reality. If there was money to open up another independant medical school, we would be doing so. But then again, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, the Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut all have to subsist with one or no med schools as well. If you have an idea to solve this problem, I'm sure the BC government would love to hear from you.
Interestingly enough, this argument also means that the BC government has a vested interest in keeping and retaining UBC med graduates. Given that we are still graduating only 120 medical students a year, while BC loses 300 physicians annually, UBC med grads are a pretty valuable commodity.
UBC, Med 3
06-02-2002, 10:52 PM
It is a matter of what criteria are more objective and which are more subjective. Everything lies on an objective to subjective spectrume. And if you want to argue for subjectivity in GPA/MCAT, that's a piece of cake. But one has to remember that subjectivity is found in everything. After all, even scientific inquiry can be fairly subjective (clouded by the investigator's bias, the way he or she frames the question, etc.). But at the end of the day, which one is more objective (i.e. less subjective)? Scientific experiment or witchcraft? Same thing with GPA/MCAT v.s. interivew/list of EC's. At the end of the day, which is more objective?
And by throwing away the more objective criteria and relying on the subjective ones, UBC med is prone to the controversy that is being explored here on this forum. Because the sentiment is that in the end, UBC just admits people at whim and pulls numbers out of a hat.
As for the numbers, it is also important to see that the rejected applicants' MCAT also rose while acceptee's MCAT scores fell (i.e. there is virtually no gap now!). And my point again is focused on the 90%+ group and shows how it not only does not pay to have high GPA but it actually hurts you bad. Yet that was not the case in 1996 and 1997 when it actually was good to be in the 90%+ group! And this could apply to BCgirl's case.
The 90%+ group is very small. So of course, the mean GPA of acceptees won't change that much when UBC med takes that group out of it acceptance pool.
You might have seen the link already. Below is an interesting link to Stanford School of Medicine's internal report. It is interesting in that it shows
1) the competition there is for top students among US med schools
2) how GPA and MCAT are factored in prominently in its admissions process
06-02-2002, 11:14 PM
What I see is that a lot of people at UBC med probably grew up in BC, stay in BC for undergrad, get accepted to UBC med, and plan to practice in BC afterwards. There is nothing wrong with it. But if that is the case, of course none of these people would want to change the status quo. They reap the benefit of the system. They are not the ones who wroked so hard to get 90%+ and yet are told that they are not good enough and should try to be olympic atheletes instead.
And for many many applicants who were rejected in the past, most of them probably applied only to UBC med. So when they received the rejection letter, they just knew that UBC med thought that they were not good enough. And they had NO way to form any comparison because they did not apply to other med schools. Therefore, end of story for them. They would simply try again next year.
However, I had the opportunity to see how many of my friends fared. They also happened to be ambitious people, not willing to put their eggs in one basket (i.e. UBC med) and did not want to take a year off if they had not gotten into UBC med. So they applied all over Canada and the US. And when they got rejected by UBC but yet were accepted elsewhere, that's when I get a little suspicious about the validity of all these academic and non-academic percentiles. However, if they were like many other BC applicants on this forum where they applied only to UBC med, then I would have had no way of forming the opinion I currently hold.
The other thread of applying to UBC v.s. applying to different schools is not thriving. It is probably because Ontario and other schools are just starting to accept people. I will get a new thread up sometime.
06-03-2002, 12:22 AM
Thewonderer,<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote>Quote:<hr> And by throwing away the more objective criteria and relying on the subjective ones, UBC med is prone to the controversy that is being explored here on this forum. <hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->What throwing away? If they were throwing away GPA and MCAT scores, then you'd expect our GPA and MCAT scores to be different than other medical schools. They aren't. You're making an irrational statement. If you believe that we are throwing away our numbers, then why don't you apply with really crummy marks and see how far you get. Answer: Not far.<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote>Quote:<hr> Because the sentiment is that in the end, UBC just admits people at whim and pulls numbers out of a hat.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->Ah. This is good. Keep working at your conspiract theory that makes no sense. I'm glad that you think getting into UBC is like playing BINGO; I'm sure that UBC, the ACMC accreditation committee who accredit all Canadian med schools, and the BC government see it the same way <heavy sarcasm>.<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote>Quote:<hr> ...it is also important to see that the rejected applicants' MCAT also rose while acceptee's MCAT scores fell.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->The acceptee's MCAT scores have NOT fallen. Quit making stuff up to fit your delusion. It's nice to see that the rejected applicant's scores have moved up a fraction of a point this last year (tells you that numerically people are scoring higher). The bottom line is that from the med school's perspective, we are still placing the same demands upon our accepted students to maintain a high MCAT standard. The fact that the total applicant pool is getting more competitive is irrelevant, particularly when the MCAT is used as a flag.<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote>Quote:<hr> And my point again is focused on the 90%+ group and shows how it not only does not pay to have high GPA but it actually hurts you bad. <hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->Your logic is incredibly bad. Really bad. You cannot look at a single aspect of a small group of individuals and extrapolate everything else from that. As we've previously discussed in exhaustive detail, if non-academics are valued highly, and academics count only up to a threshold level (which appears to be a GPA of 80% from the stats), then those 7 90+% applicants who got rejected were also competing with the 45 85-90% applicants and the 141 80-85% applicants who were also simultaneously rejected.
Now, don't you think that based on sheer numbers, that there were MANY people in the 186 people with GPA's between 80-90% who had stronger non-academic profiles than the measly 7 people with 90+% GPA's. I think so, and that's why getting a high average has NEVER been a guarantee of med school acceptance. You need to be well-rounded. This is not some secret.<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote>Quote:<hr> And for many many applicants who were rejected in the past, most of them probably applied only to UBC med. <hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->Do you have any numbers to back this up? Or even better question: do you have ANY NUMBERS to back up ANYTHING you say on these boards? You've been consistently wrong about such a huge number of assertions regarding UBC med school that it's pretty staggering.
1) All UBC grads run to the US to strike it rich. Fact: Only one student in this graduating class is doing a US residency. Usually less than 5 students a year head south for residency.
2) PBL is a cost-saving alternative to lectures. Fact: A PBL curriculum is much more faculty and labour intensive, and costs vastly more to administer. Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, UBC needs to hire 40 tutors to lead PBL groups in 40 separate rooms while it only takes 1 person to lecture in front of an auditorium.
3) UBC only accepts French-speaking Asians. Fact: Of the 31 Asians or part Asians here in my class, only 2 of them speak French fluently. French is also a nearly completely useless language here in Vancouver; try finding people here who speak French but not English, there aren't any.
4) UBC doesn't accept Asians. Fact: Then I've got 31 Asians here, just over 25% of the class to show you.
5) Higher MCAT scores translates into higher board scores and higher match results. Fact: Our board exams are taken AFTER the CaRMS match and therefore don't affect our match results. I guess this shows your complete lack of knowledge of the Canadian med school system. Further along this is that at UBC, MCAT results in my experience have NOT correlated with clinical performance.
6) Dr. Bates is singlehandedly skewing the results of UBC admissions. Fact: Then she'd have to convince both the Admissions Selection Committee as well as the Admissions Policy Committee, both of which consist of both UBC faculty and UBC medical student representatives. The admissions committee functions as a COMMITTEE; one person cannot accomplish what you are suggesting.
7) In order to discriminate against people with high marks, UBC interviews them and gives them just low enough of an interview mark to reject them. Fact: Then why bother interviewing them at all? Just reject all individuals who have a 90% average, or better yet, don't even give them an interview so that you can interview other people with lower marks. Each person who gets an interview bumps off another applicant who would have otherwise received an interview. Isn't it telling that ALL of your friends received an interview? UBC wouldn't have interviewed them if it wasn't interested in accepting them.
8) Interviews and non-academic criteria at UBC are too subjective, and therefore not reliable. Fact: Virtually EVERY medical school in North American uses both interviews and non-academic criteria such as autobiographical essays and reference letters, which means that they are IMPORTANT in the admissions process.
UBC, Med 3
06-03-2002, 12:26 AM
theWonderer and Ian,
Those Stanford Med stats are very interesting in that it clearly demonstrates how the elite schools in the US are fighting for the "cream of the crop" in terms of applicants. There is a constant struggle between the top schools in order to recruit the best applicants and by looking at this report, it shows that the Stanford admissions committee is certainly accountable to a higher body (senate), thus they can't really do things "behind closed doors". In addition, the best applicants usually get multiple acceptances to choose from, with various schools wooing them with full scholarships. Very similar to what goes on in US college sports, the best schools need to attract the best recruits in order to build a successful program and they are ultimately accountable to the school, the alumni and fans.
UBC on the other hand differs from this philosophy in some aspects. Firstly, their applicant pool consists mainly of BC residents who apply to UBC and only UBC. In some ways UBC does have a monopoly in that they are not too worried about competing with other schools to recruit the 90%+ student with multiple acceptances. Secondly, what if UBC admissions was accountable to a higher body? (i.e. the provincial gov't that provides most of their funding)
I have nothing personal against UBC admissions because I have never applied but like theWonderer, I have friends who have 90%+ (and multiple acceptances) and have showed me the stats sheet that came with their UBC rejection letter (which by the way is a sad display of a school trying to put some objectivity into the process). That sheet tells the rejected applicant their percentiles but does not present how those numbers factor into the final decision to accept/reject. And to show how insignificant numbers are in the process, UBC even states that although their database gave out wrong percentile scores, those wrong numbers were not used in the final decisions. No kidding...no numbers were used in the final decision!;)
06-03-2002, 12:44 AM
Aren't we beating a dead horse here? All these things aside, we will never be able to change the decisions made by the ad com. Can we please get on with other more important things?
Sorry, just had to add my $0.02.
06-03-2002, 12:47 AM
BrainDrain,<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote>Quote:<hr> Firstly, their applicant pool consists mainly of BC residents who apply to UBC and only UBC.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->Where did you get this from? I've never heard of this until Thewonderer proposed it. I think the truth is the opposite; most people who apply to medical school are NOT naive enough to apply to only one school. Putting all your eggs in one basket, especially when the statistics over the last several years have shown an 80% overall rejection rate for all applicants, makes applying to one school not a smart decision at all.<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote>Quote:<hr> In some ways UBC does have a monopoly in that they are not too worried about competing with other schools to recruit the 90%+ student with multiple acceptances.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->You just contradicted yourself right here. If those 90+% students have multiple acceptance letters, then UBC *is* competing for their acceptance letter. Just look at all of Thewonderer's friends who have apparently ended up at other medical schools. UBC was competing for those students to (we interviewed them, after all), but ultimately these people went elsewhere. That's our loss, and their loss too.<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote>Quote:<hr> Secondly, what if UBC admissions was accountable to a higher body?<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->??? We are. Do you think the funding from the medical school, and the need to be re-accredited on a regular basis by the ACMC just goes right through without analysis? Even the funding of the Northern Medical Program expansion hinged on the government's approval. I'm frankly a little stunned that you think the UBC medical school isn't an entity that is subject to regular scrutiny, particularly in light of the current BC physician crisis and the fact that UBC med school is a prime source of BC physicians and sole provider of BC medical graduates. Each medical student costs the BC government over $50,000 per year to educate. They're looking to recoup that investment.
On the entirely different subject of US med admissions, there are so many more applicants per school that using numbers is the only practical way to weed people out. It's not surprising therefore that the most competitive medical schools would boast applicants with higher GPA and MCAT scores. They've got a much larger pool to draw from, and all the incentives in the world to get applicants with high numbers so they can show off those statistics at the next university fair in order to attract the next generation of applicants with high numbers and fat wallets. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think a medical school which isn't coerced by this mentality has the potential to look deeper than the numbers to assess the other aspects of each person's application.
UBC, Med 3
06-03-2002, 02:35 AM
Ian, you wrote that "UBC was competing for those students too............but ultimately these people went elsewhere". From reading the posts here I was under the impression that those 90+ GPA applicants went elsewhere b/c UBC did not accept them, not b/c they wanted to go elsewhere. If that is the case, then where and when is UBC competing for these 90+ applicants? Just giving them interviews with no acceptance hardly qualifies for competing with other schools for them. Why interview them at all? b/c these 90+ people qualify with the set criteria for receiving an interview i.e. enough EC etc etc.
Just looking at the stats for UBC, the chances for admissions for applicants with 90+ is almost nil. My thoughts: this is just a fact of life with the current UBC med admissions and/or deanery and since they are given this job, it is their prerogative to reject 90+s if they so wish. Just accept it b/c the stats for the GPAs given for the past 5 years or so tells you that things will remain status quo.
06-03-2002, 02:12 PM
BTW, I'm new to this forum entirely, so hello everyone!
I actually received a rejection letter from UBC whilst I was abroad (and my bf opened it up for me and told me the sad news..). I was very much frustrated and didn't even bother to ask my bf if there was any statistics sheets included or my personal performance ratings for that matter. He just assumed I didn't want to listen to the rest of the rejection letter after the phrase "we regret to inform you..." and kinda chucked the letter away. So I gathered actually made an overseas call to UBC from Asia to ask the admissions personnel myself. To my surprise, they informed me that I've been accepted and was wondering why I haven't signed and returned the acceptance agreement form.
Of course, you can realize how surprised I must've been by this news! I ask them when they sent out the acceptance letter, and it was something like 3 weeks ago, and my bf, who was sort of taking care of my mail, swears that nothing came in the mail from UBC. They agreed to send me another duplicate copy of everything, and shortly it did come in the mail. I was so exasperated by this whole experience, not to mention my rather *troubling* interview with one of the doctors (after which, I submitted an official letter of complaint.)
I've also been accepted by McGill shortly after, and finally made up my to attend McGill instead, but just to wanted to share with you guys something as disastrous as my experience did happen!!
06-03-2002, 05:13 PM
Ian has brought up some issues that were (I agree) beaten to dead horse (or pulp) in the other thread. I pretty much gave my answers to those questions in the other thread already. I will spare you guys from reading them again.
However, my whole point of the past couple posts is to point out how the admissions might have been different back then in 1996 or 1997 compared to 2000 and 2001. Ian thinks they have not changed much over the years, while I think it certainly has. The numbers are there. You all can take whatever interpretation you want from them.
My other point is to bring out the Stanford internal report which I find is quite interesting!
Now, just pretend that Ian and I have never posted and carry on with your conversation ;)
06-03-2002, 11:33 PM
One thing that I would like to add, as an accepted applicant, is that one thing UBC could improve upon is their "attitude" toward applicants.
It would be nice if everyone knew, not just select vancouverites, friends of previous applicants or adcoms, or 2nd time applicants, that interviewers would purposely be a$$holes to see what you're made of.
The worst part though, is the rejection letter. It f@#king hurts. Unlike other Universities, which write their letters as thank you's for applying, UBC chooses to bluntly state: your file has been reviewed...we are unable to offer you a place. It is almost confrontational. Well, that's how my friend felt towards it... and I agreed with her.
I was accepted by UBC, and I'm happy to be going there. I personally like how non-academic criteria matters. I don't like the UBC attitude however. I have some optimistic confidence that the students aren't that bad, that's why I'm going there - but I can totally understand why some people are sour.
UBC doesn't just compare numbers from your grades...they size up your whole life. Jet fighter pilots are better than plain nerds. Olympic athletes are obviously better people than those who participate in intramural sports. People invest a lot emotionally into these applications. It's hard to dissociate yourself from it when they didn't just size up your academic grades on a page.
I don't know what most people give as their reasons for choosing other schools over UBC, but from the people I know it has to do with their elitist attitude. A friend of mine told UBC she chose Calgary instead because they offered her a scholarship. UBC told her getting accepted to UBC is like getting a scholarship elsewhere. It's sad.
06-04-2002, 01:10 AM
Its probably a good school, as in my opinion a good school is defined by a great group of fellow students.
But as far as the faculty and the school itself, I would have to agree with you. I know of 3 people who will turn down UBC to go to other schools because they experienced the same vibe as you encountered. I myself Kind of felt as though I was being made to feel not worthy of the school. I remember chatting with an a faculty member the day before my interview and he was cutting up my research and the fact that I did a Phd from Toronto. In the interview I got a lot of slack for not trying to make the Olympic team. Its fine to apply pressure and see how one reacts but to spend 18 minutes (I looked down on my watch I couldn't believe it) on the Olympic hockey thing was frankly unprofessional. Fine if you must badger people about nonsense spend 8 minutes and use the extra 10 minutes to find out about some of the activities that I have done which ARE RELEVANT TO MY POTENTIAL SUCCESS AS A DOCTOR.
Like I've heard others say, it ain't never gonna be Harvard so why bother with the elitism. I really felt as though they were trying to find anything to mark me down for rather than trying to learn about me and get a sense of the positive aspects I could bring to medicine. It was totally different from my experience at all of the other schools I interviewed with.
06-05-2002, 04:18 PM
I was wondering if you could give a bit more info. about your interview experience. I too had a very *interesting* interview with a doctor and was contemplating on complaining then...but I didn't b/c I thought it might be one of those "stress" types of interviews. After receiving a rejection letter stating that my percentile was 97 for the interviews and then having it changed to a much much lower score (try a drop of 60 percentile points), I would really appreciate your thoughts on the interview and what happened after you complained before I go to see the admissions personnel.
07-05-2002, 10:28 AM
I know I took an incredible amount of time to reply a post, but I've been travelling, relocating, moving for the past month or so and I haven't had the chance to get online.
Although this is all in the past, I'd still like to share my own experience with the interview process at UBC and inform some of you of how ludicrous it really was. To tell you a bit about my interview experience, it was with an "Asian doctor" of the same ethnicity as I am, and who happened to have the exactly same last name (which is really a common name, btw) on top of that. The first thing he said to me when I entered the room was, "Do I know you?" I guess he asked the question because of the impartiality issue, so I firmly answered "No" because he indeed was a complete stranger to me. Then he kept nagging on me on this issue for like 10 minutes saying stuff like, "Do I know your parents? I think I've seen you somewhere at church..." blah blah blah. This got to the point that it was getting really unprofesisonal, and I told him that I would really appreciate if he'd just carry on with the interview.
Most of the interview relied heavily on my ethnic background, and he was asking questions like, "Do you speak ***** (the language of my ethnicity)?" I answered "yes." He goes, "Well, I don't." Did I care that he didn't speak it? Ummmm NO?!?!?! Then he goes, "Do you go back to visit *** (country of my origin)?" I answered yes, since my parents have moved back there for good and I do go back every summer to spend time with them. Then he proceeds to ask me this really inappropriate question, "Well, if you do speak the language and your folks acutally live there, I don't see why you don't go back there to study medicine? I think that'll suit you much better." I was so shocked by what he said and so very offended that I didn't know what to say for a moment. He basically made comments regarding how he has seen so many Asian kids trying to get into med school without really knowing what it's all about for the money, prestige and most of all, the pressure set upon them by their parents. This verbal attack went on for quite some time, and I just about had it, which is why I went straight to the payphone to make a phone call to the admissions office to make an official complaint.
I'm sure some of you had some really unique and interesting interviews at UBC, and my expeirience by no means is representative of the quality of interview process as a whole at UBC. But I was simply abhorred by this one doctor in particular, who displayed so much hatred against the people of his own ethnic background.
07-05-2002, 02:06 PM
First of all: that smacks of racism. If you go to Brock Hall to the second floor, you will find the Equity office. Please, for all our sakes, lodge a complaint with the University itself. You deserve better!
07-09-2002, 11:37 AM
Umm, I already did.. but thanks for your passionate input anyways.
What was their problem with you doing your PhD at U of T? As far as research reputation and funding, U of T beats UBC hands down.
And what did they say about the Olympics? I thought it was just an example of something that would be a bonus if you had it. For them to actually make a big deal out of you NOT being in the Olympics is nothing short of a disgrace. Did any of them participate in the Olympics? You're applying to medical school for goodness sake, not for a position on a professional sports team.
As you said, the elitist attitude is pretty stupid on their part since anyone into that sort of thing would never pick UBC anyway.
07-09-2002, 12:48 PM
My understanding is that U of T and UBC actually run pretty close in terms of the esteem with which academics hold their undergrad and grad programs, and their med school's 4.85 score on the Gourman report is pretty close to U of T's 4.90 (as long as you don't think the gourman is full of bs). In fact, for a number of programs of study (particularly molecular biology - there's a lot of progressive research and commercial contacts with west coast biotech companies,) I've heard a number of reliable sources argue that UBC beats U of T.
Of course the last time I checked this stuff out for myself was 1997, when I was applying to undergrad schools.
07-09-2002, 12:59 PM
The Gourman Report is full of BS. He wasn't clear with the criteria used, and many people feel it's even MORE flawed than the US News rankings.
Besides, how accurate can it be if UWO meds isn't at the top?
07-10-2002, 02:26 AM
Nice one JSS02. :)
I hope Ian doesn't go and blacklist all us UWO students from the board. . .
BTW - you going to sign up to be a moderator or what?
07-10-2002, 03:06 AM
Well I guess its all water under the bridge......but it wasn't the best experience I've had. I actually felt embarrassed for them and their lack of professionalism. I see by some other posts that they even managed to stoop lower and generate some good ol' fashioned racism during their interviews. I guess I got off easy, only having to field questions about why I sucked so badly in hockey that the Canadian Olympic team wouldn't even want me.
As far as UofT as a research institution, hands down it is reputed to be the best. If you are considering medical research or graduate study, go for UofT. Internationally it holds up to the top schools of the world. There is more grant funding and top notch cutting edge research going on that rivals all of the other Canadian schools put together. UofT has had more discoveries and more drug developments than all of the other Canadian schools combined. It has garnished the respect of the international medical community and thus receives tons of great funding both private and public. Anyways there's my UofT pitch :)
If you go to the US, UofT will get you recognition instantly, If you say UBC they will ask you ......UBC? Is that near Alaska.
07-10-2002, 07:36 AM
Hey Beaver. . . haven't seen you post in a while. What have you been up to? What made you choose this moment to make your grand return? You used to post here a lot but I haven't seen you post at all since you got into U of T. I also noticed this was one of the first posts you didn't address me as 'Mr. Rader.'
I wouldn't be so confident most American schools have heard of U of T. In Switzerland at the least, they've heard of McGill and l'Université de Montréal (because of the French link), but I'm sorry to burst your bubble but noone here has heard of U of T. I've heard the same thing for the US - more clinicians have heard of McGill than any other school.
Not like it really matters. At least here in Switzerland, doctors realize that the reason they haven't heard of U of T or Western or Queen's is because THEY DON'T LIVE IN CANADA. Much the same as I have no sense of the quality of the various Swiss medical schools. As for the US, I'd never heard of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis until they sent me some recruitment material, but does that mean it's a bad school? I realized it must be a pretty good school as it's usually top 10 on any ranking scale I've seen, and has among the highest MCAT and GPA acceptance averages for American Schools.
At least here in Switzerland, they seem to be more interested in what COUNTRY you did your medical training in as opposed to what school. There's too many freakin schools out there to tell the difference between them. So yeah, they might have heard of McGill but when I say I'm at a Canadian school, they're pretty much generally just impressed with that. If anyones uncertain, I just go into a couple of details about the program, or try to refer to the Gourman ranking (which noone has heard of, BTW.)
I would hope the same goes for American residency program directors and Hospital administrators, though admittedly with the wide disparity in quality of education in the US I'm admittedly not as confident. Certainly though, Canadian doctors have NO problem as a whole finding jobs in the US. . . much to the dismay of their overworked colleagues and the Canadian public. Anyways, if a residency program director is someone obsessed with your school ranking and schools he's "heard of," there's a good chance he knows little about the Canadian schools as a whole and would choose some from the University of Texas (which I think is an upper-middle tier school, but I'm Canadian so don't really care) instead of even the U of T grad.
07-10-2002, 07:49 AM
Hey guys, just to pop in on the discussion, I've been working with MD's in various medical schools here in Boston for the past two years, as far as clinicians go, the only school that they have heard of from Canada is McGill. Everytime I tell someone that I'm going to medical school in Canada, their reply is "Oh you're going to McGill". Not to say that this is true of everyone but this has been my personal experience. On the flip side, those that I know on the academic side of medicine (PhD, MD/PhD's) have knowledge of other schools other than McGill, such as UBC, U of A, U of T which publish a lot of academic science.
I think that what UWOMED2005 said is true, the only reason they haven't heard of other schools is because they don't live in Canada. Just like we don't live in the US, I personally hadn't heard of the Univeristy of Washington in St. Louis (which is ranked first in primary care over Harvard, Stanford etc.) until I moved here. I think it pretty much depends on the "community" in which you're involved.
07-10-2002, 08:26 AM
Hey Mr. Rader (making up for Beaver's forgetting to call you that :) ), I agreed to become a UWO moderator. I should be getting access to the mysterious "Moderator's Corner" sometime this week, and find out what you guys are saying about the rest of us. :)
BTW, I've also heard a few times that McGill is the only Canadian school where you have a similar chance to get a good American residency as if you had gone to a U.S. school. Is it because McGill is the only school here that's as good as an American school? Of course not. One reason for this is because McGill takes a (relatively) large number of Americans every year. Clinicians don't know much about the other schools here. Those involved in medical research probably do know about U of T, and maybe UBC/UA too.
WashU in St. Louis is supposed to be a big name for research. But I guess most clinicians and the general public both in Canada and the States don't know much about it. They'd be surprised that it's ranked in the top 5 med schools. Of course, some of these people would also think that Princeton has one of the top 3 medical schools in the country. ;)
And Beaver, sorry to hear about UBC. What did they expect you to do, apologize for not being Mario Lemieux or Paul Kariya? Sheesh.
07-10-2002, 10:35 AM
Sorry Mr. Rader,
I was posting in response to D :) whom I just address as D :)
I hope all is well in your world!!!! As I see by the board, you've been up to some pretty excellent things!
Mr. Rader, I'm in total agreement with your post, and UBC is a very excellent school both research and otherwise as are all the Canadian schools. I just felt like a little sweet revenge on a UBC faculty member who made my Phd from Toronto seem equivelent to a degree I ordered through the mail or the internet for $500.
Anyways, about where I've been, I was headed to Ottawa for some camping etc, but ended up going to (ironically) BC to Lions Bay for some equally excellent sailing/fishing/camping. With the super saver seat sales these days, it was only a few bucks more than Ottawa!
Take care Mr. Rader, I'll be back posting now that I'm out of the wildnerness. It was great to hear about all of the facinating details (on another post) regarding your trials and tribulations in Europe :)
07-10-2002, 10:41 AM
No worries. . . just almost didn't sound like you. You should really think about registering the name "Beaver." Hope you enjoyed Ottawa!
07-10-2002, 11:19 AM
i did my undergrad in the states and all my friends from across the US never heard of UT. the only school they kenw of was McGill. The reasons why they have heard about McGill is that, in addition to the American medical students, a large population of Americans go there for their undergraduate education... without being rude, most of them go because they could not get into better schools in the US. So you have quite a large population of McGillers in the states regardless... particularly in new england and the rest of north eastern us...
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