Episode 55: Learn the most common age range and mentorship exposure duration that increased medical school admission rates by 93%.
Download transcript: Study finds 93 percent increase in medical school admissions 55 Matriculation
The End is in Sight
Today’s episode is about the research study that showed an increase in matriculation that is acceptance into medical school. I’m about to give some facts that need a little bit of a warning. You may notice a little bit more of an edgy flare to the podcast. That’s because I’m nearing the end of all of my training and a senior resident which I’ll be in a few months is going to be a person to give it to you straight.
The pressure is lessening and almost over. The end is in sight. That very long path to becoming an independent license practitioner, that physician that you’ve always dream of being is getting brighter and brighter with every day and the frustrations and headaches along the way come out. There’s sort of an edginess to the senior resident and that’s kind of right where I am. It’s a unique time for the Medical Mastermind Community and it’s a time we’re capitalizing on.
Getting in to Medical School
Let’s talk about the matriculation of medical students. Two out of the three last podcasts have highlighted a couple of other studies that I’ve done with the Medical Mastermind Community and one of them had a population that was sort of not seeking help. It was that University of Houston’s American Medical Student Association Premed Chapter that I dealt with. That was the very first contact with Mastermind Research. I did not know it was really going to turn into the Mastermind Community at that point.
They weren’t having trouble. They weren’t having struggles. They had a premed club of pretty successful folks that had people from their premed club get accepted into medical school every year. I’m sure many of them are in now are finishing. The other study was looking at intentional selection of folks in medically underserved areas, kind of opposite ends of the spectrum. Those without a lot of resources or access to larger university campuses or premed advisors that could give them appropriate guidance. The literature supports what you already know that there are bad premed advisors out there in the world and I am talking about faculty. I’m probably talking about your faculty.
Who really gets accepted?
The point is that this study needs a little bit of warning that I’m going to go ahead and read the raw data to you, but then we’re going to go back and interpret it and do a little subset analysis to get sort of a proper perspective. Just like the last one that showed that the Mastermind Community access increased GPA and MCAT scores within one year which is quite an accomplishment in itself. There was a separate Mastermind cohort recruited in a similar way. It’s the underserved population as I defined it previously in that podcast.
The outcome measure in this study is matriculation into medical school. It sounds great to raise an MCAT score. It sounds pretty good to raise the GPA especially if you’ve had Cs or Ds in the past, but what do you really care about as a premed at least in terms of your career. The only thing you care about is getting into medical school, so that’s what this study was focusing on is matriculation. Did you get into medical school? Yes or no and so we recruited some folks. Let me just jump straight to the results, similar study one year access, fill out the survey for the Mastermind Community and we have followed them and have done serial survey analysis on these folks prospectively into the future that is.
The Data on Medical Student Research
The results of this study is that we had 168 survey respondents, so our in was 168, 74, that is 44 percent were female and 56 percent were male, again this actually is a little bit worse of a sample demographic compared to the general population because about 53 percent of matriculating medical students in the United States are female, so we’re under sampling of females here. I don’t know why, probably because I’m a male podcaster if I had to guess, right? If a woman ran the Medical Mastermind Community and did all of this podcasting it could be she would attract a lot more female listeners. I don’t really know.
I mean we do know from some peripheral unrelated data to this study that in a lot of ways women in the adolescent phase kind of speed past the men in maturity and development and men catch up a couple of years later, but we know that from adolescent psychology and I hate to tell you but adolescence keeps getting extended later and later years. In child and adolescent psychiatry right now we call adolescents at 21 years of age, okay, but as we study the maturing brain it’s pushed back into the late 20s for females and early 30s for males before we really call the brain fully mature. Don’t mean to insult you, but I can personally attest to not being very mature until recently. I hope you find that entertaining. I’m a nerd.
How old is too old, anyway?
Anyway so that’s important because if this sample is not representative of you or the general matriculating population then this study that I’m presenting loses its generalized ability. The ability to apply these findings to any other population. Let me move on. The age range was from 18 years old to 57. I had a 57-year-old person filling out a premed survey for matriculation into medical school. I’ve not heard of anybody getting into medical school that old. I’m not saying it’s not impossible, but the latest I have heard of is 40s, maybe some early … maybe in the early 50s.
I don’t remember personally going that old, no offense taken, but if you think about the education pathway of medical school and residency, you know even if you have your college degree already you’re looking at least 7 years so he’d be like 63, right, by the time he’s even ready to practice medicine, I mean he’s qualifying for like Medicare and stuff just about, so medical school is going to look at advanced age as a limitation in their value particularly state run institutions because of their commitment to society and the tax dollar and the taxpayer rather. The median age was 28.4 in this study.
Overall, there was a 36 percent chance of getting into medical school for those that participated in the Medical Mastermind Community. Now how does that compare to the general population of applicants? It’s hard to get all of the numbers from the Association of American Medical Colleges. They release snippets and pieces. You can go to their website and look at matriculation data. I really invite you to go peruse their website, just look up AAMC matriculation data in Google and go looking around there. It will get you kind of excited, but what I want to caution you against is looking at statistics and if you don’t fit in with the ideal statistic getting discouraged. Do not get discouraged.
If you are at risk of getting discouraged by looking at website data like that, then you need to stop this podcast right now and listen to Napoleon Hill Science of Personal Achievement. You need to get that creative vision for your future career, the imagination encouraged to believe it, and begin to train your mind to think only of the positive things that you want and not of the negative things in life that you don’t want. If you attract yourself to the negative, you’re going in turn attract those negative things to yourself and you alone control your thoughts. All right that’s the little spiel.
Which Ethnic Groups Have it the Hardest?
Now let’s get to the data. Looking at minority data of disadvantaged medical students and medical applicants only 24.4 percent of folks get in so it takes your statistics if you weren’t from a medically underserved area or if you are a minority or a social economic challenged individual your chance of getting into medical school raw might be 24.4 like Hispanics are for example. The Mastermind Community can increase your chances up to 33 percent so if you’ll look at that in one respect that’s about a 50% increase in your chance. Okay, I’m playing with the numbers a little bit and if you haven’t taken a statistics course you need to even if it’s not required so you can see how statistics can be manipulated to say whatever the speaker or author wants it to say.
Looking at this data, 33 percent from 24 percent doesn’t sound all that great. It’s only about a 9 percent increased chance and that’s not all that great for having to spend you know whatever it is, 20 dollars or whatever to join the Mastermind Community. Of course, you know you’ll make a lot more money as a doctor. That’s really chump change, but nonetheless when you’re broke and you’re a student that’s not the time in your life that you have the disposable income, believe me I know. What I had to do with this particular study and I had a biostatistician look at this at Texas A&M and we went back and we did a subset analysis.
Traditional vs. Nontraditional PreMeds – which are you?
That is I don’t think that this sample was that representative of what you might call more serious or conventional or mainstream premedical students. I think there are some people that had the idea. I don’t want to speak ill of anybody, but there are people that don’t necessarily take action and sometimes years and years go by or they did other things in life and they think about the idea of getting into medical school at some point, but haven’t really acted on it or really come into it much later in life that don’t necessarily represent the majority of my podcast listeners or the premed community at large.
What I did was I went to the Association of American Medical Colleges website myself. I went through the data. I recommend you do that and I recognized that over 90 percent of all of the people getting into medical school every year were between the ages of 22 and 27, over 90 percent and I look at my data, and I’ve got 18 year olds probably still in college or in high school or barely getting out right, so my sample is underrepresented. What difference does it make if I’m looking at students and asking them in this study did you get into medical school and they’re only 18 years old. It’s not even physically possible unless there’s some kind of Doogie Howser, Dougie Howser, whatever.
The most exciting subset analysis – ever!
The idea is I need to do a subset analysis to kind of tease out my more serious or even eligible premedical students that could have even matriculated during the course of this paper and I went back and looked at only folks that filled out this survey that were between the ages of 22 and 27. There were 57 respondents that met this criteria, 27 of them which is 47 percent matriculated into medical school. It brought them up to 47 percent from 24, so if you look at the increase that’s almost double of the 24. It’s 93 percent increased chance of getting into medical school if you’re between the ages of 22 and 27 and you join the OMSAS Medical Mastermind Community.
MMC is statistically significant
This data is currently being submitted in a fuller study report to a journal right now for peer review. The P-value on that was 0.00014 and that’s compared to some of the Latino populations that we have the most data on for matriculations and I’ll just throw in a little note there. If you happen to be African American, you are in the most underrepresented group in the medical school compared to the general population and if my memory serves me correctly African Americans are only about 4 or 5 percent of medical students overall. The applications are dropping despite being about 14 percent of the population or so.
A relatively tough population to help
That’s … They’re only at 1/3rd represented and less African Americans are applying to medical school every year. This is a trend that is continuing and best I can tell no one is really doing anything about it. We need to mentor each other. We need to join mastermind groups. You need to have a multi-prong approach to trying to get into medical school. You can’t just listen to this podcast. If you learned anything from the Mastermind Community membership, you learned don’t just rely on that one source either. You need to build and create in your life a sustaining group of networking individuals that will help you to give you the pieces that you don’t have the inspiration, the knowledge, the money, when it comes time to borrow money for school and such so that’s kind of some encouraging statistics.
It doesn’t matter how long you join the MMC
One thing I saw in this study too that I didn’t mention is that the duration of the membership participation didn’t really matter. Some people were in it for 3 months, some a year, some 2 years over the course when I looked back on some of these individual’s memberships and I looked them up in my database. It didn’t really matter how long they were in the Mastermind Community and I would not have guessed that. I don’t have an answer for why that is.
I can only speculate that when people get the necessary energy and excitement to overcome their inertia threshold to join something like the Medical Mastermind Community, you know they basically are in a heightened state of action and it could be that they are ready and poised to do their application. Like most folks wait until about 2 months before their applications are due to even start their essays. It could be looking at that group that comes ready, comes prepared, just wants the Mastermind piece and they knock all their work out right at once. I will say that this is a hard road. It’s a lot of work and even this many years later down the road you say, “How many?” I don’t even want to tell you. It seems like more than half of my adult life I’ve been in pursuit of this goal and I’m sure for you that’s probably true, I’m just older.
You still have to do the hard work
Anyway the point is that it’s a lot of work. I continue to be impressed no matter how long this seems to take for me that the amount of work and the thoroughness with which medical education just increases your knowledge. It bathes you in self assessment. You will grow as an individual and as a person. It’s amazing to see the transformation if you’re open to it. The process can be beneficial and that’s good for you. I hope that you will look at medical education as being more than just how do I get into medical school but you’ll walk away from it realizing you know this made me a better person. I’m a professional now and I’ve put patients interests above other competing interests such as time constraints and monetary pressures and your own personal interests.
I hope I can encourage you to do that in some way. You’ve been listening to the premed podcast. I’m your host Dr. Dan.