Why a Perfect GPA and MCAT Score Won’t Get You Into Medical School!
So you’ve busted your butt through undergrad to get all A’s and the highest MCAT score ever! Done deal right? You’re good to go! Every medical school in the country will want you! WRONG! On the contrary, you very well might have set yourself up to be scrutinized as if you are applying to join the CIA.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, the author makes an astute observation. For many things in life, it is not necessary to be the best at that specific task, but rather you only need to be good enough. To be a successful physician, you need an IQ of at least 115. If you have that IQ, your potential to perform well as a doctor is just as good as the person with a 140. So what does this mean for the medical school application? A 4.0 student is not necessarily going to get in before the applicant with a 3.8.
Many admissions committee members default to one of two views when they see the 4.0/528 applicant. View one, this student is phenomenal and there is nothing else to be said. View 2, this student must have no life. There are countless of students from across the nation who could get all A’s if they did nothing but study all day. There is a direct correlation! Study more, get better grades. Now, I do not want you to misunderstand what I am saying, good grades are great. However, just as much as the student with a low gpa needs to demonstrate that they excel in other areas, the 4.0 student must do the same.
Holistic! This may be the hottest word in today’s premedical community. You must find a way to be a well-rounded student. So if that means that you get a 3.8 but have the opportunity to work as a scribe, considering doing so rather than getting a 4.0 with no meaningful extracurricular activities. So, to answer the proposed question: Why won’t a 4.0 and 528 get you into medical school? It’s quite simple; that student has not demonstrated that he or she is more than numbers. Get a 4.0, get a 528, but be sure to show them that you are more than numbers!