New Med School Not Best Way to Supply New Docs

January 31st, 2015

It’s conventional wisdom these days both that the U.S. needs more primary-care doctors, especially in rural areas, and that building new medical schools is the way to produce them. But Congressman Jim McDermott of Seattle begs to differ, at least on the second point. Rather than erect an expensive new med school in Spokane, as Washington State University wants to do (with funding from the state’s legislature), Representative McDermott suggests (in the Seattle Times, Jan. 30, 2015) that resources would be better focused on an already functioning and effective program for educating physicians to serve the rural poor: the WWAMI …

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QS MBA World Tour San Diego: Factoids

January 27th, 2015

In no particular order, here are the more interesting comments made by admissions officers at the QS MBA world tour in San Diego this evening:
• the representative for Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool in “beautiful” coastal Suzhou (“the Venice of the East”) said that Liverpool University offers a “guaranteed internship” in London for every student as part of the joint MBA with Xi’an Jiaotong.
• the University of San Francisco School of Management’s EMBA is “taught only by PhDs—no TAs.”
• 61% of Hult International Business School MBAs get jobs outside of their home countries. Hult also said that it only considers applicants’ GMAT …

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2 of “10 Questions”

January 26th, 2015

MedPageToday has a wonderful feature called “10 Questions,” in which MDs answer tough questions like “What’s the biggest barrier to practicing medicine today?” Two of the questions are especially relevant to anyone considering medical school. To encourage you to check out the indispensable MedPageToday (which among things summarizes the latest in medical research in nontechnical terms), I quote the recent responses of two physicians to these key career questions:
What is the most important piece of advice for med students or doctors just starting out today?
“Medicine is not about survival of the smartest; it is about survival of the strongest. …

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Amanda Bradford, Stanford MBA: In Her Own League

January 25th, 2015

The New York Times and have been giving good press to recent Stanford GSB MBA Amanda Bradford, whose dating app, The League, is offering a new, more selective model for online dating. At the moment The League is strictly a Bay Area phenomenon, but New York City and London are in its sights. Amanda’s story is an inspirational one for aspiring MBAs in that it illustrates how valuable an elite MBA can be, not only for the learning and peer network (one assumes that Stanford GSB is well represented among The League’s members) but for direct startup funding. …

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HBS Dean Nohria’s Worries and Surprises

January 23rd, 2015

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal recently, the Dean shared what keeps him up at night:
Japanese students. “One of the anxieties we have is we used to see 30 to 40 Japanese students out of 900 M.B.A. students every year, now it is down to four of five. Japan is only part of Asia that’s in retreat. They were so engaged in the global economy in the 1980s, now they have become more insular. Japan is the third largest economy in the world, it’s important for us to find a way to reach out.”
Energy industry applicants. “This year I …

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Tufts Hacks Medical Education

January 21st, 2015

On January 30, Tufts University’s School of Medicine will partner with MedStart—a joint venture of the Tufts MD/MBA department—in hosting a 36-hour “hackathon” (a/k/a Innovation Challenge) in which Tufts Med faculty and students will collaborate with designers, developers, and manufacturers from around the world to find new ways to use technology to improve the way physicians are trained for the cross-disciplinary, digital future. Two hundred participants from not only Tufts but MIT and Stanford will form into teams that will compete to earn points by pitching innovations that exploit new technologies such as Oculus Rift, Myo armbands, Leap Motion, electronic …

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GMAC Projects Strong MBA Job Market for 2015

January 20th, 2015

Late last year, the Graduate Management Admission Council canvassed 169 employers in 33 countries on their coming-year hiring plans for MBA graduates as well as newly minted master of management, accounting, finance, and specialized business master’s grads.
The poll’s findings are universally positive:
• 90% of employers who hire business school graduates expect to maintain or increase the number of job openings in 2015.
• 96% of these employers believe that graduate business school hires “create value for their companies.”
• Although the MBA is the degree these employers most often hire, year-over-year hiring growth is highest for Master’s in Management graduates.
• More …

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Virginia Tries Again to Push Doctors to Rural Areas

January 18th, 2015

The senate of the State of Virginia will probably vote this week on a bill to expand the state’s scholarship program for Virginia medical school graduates who commit to serve in the state’s rural areas. Currently, only students at Virginia’s three allopathic schools—Virginia Commonwealth, University of Virginia, and Eastern Virginia Medical School—are eligible, and even at that the existing law’s funding was redirected in 2007 to a student loan program because its default rate was so high: 40%. That fact notwithstanding, Virginia state senator Bill Stanley, who introduced the bill to be voted on this week, wants to resume funding …

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What Did Admissions *Really* Think? Read Your File

January 17th, 2015

Today’s New York Times is reporting that Stanford University has been providing Stanford undergraduate students with full copies of their admissions files, if they request them. That’s full copies as in everything, except recommendation letters that applicants waived their access to. The Times writes: “Under a federal law that has been on the books for years, some Stanford students have asked the university for copies of their admission records, and the university says it has no choice but to comply, within 45 days. That means the written assessments that admissions officers gave of applicants, the numerical scores those officers assigned …

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New Amazon Reviews of ‘Great Applications for Business School’

January 16th, 2015

My book, Great Applications for Business School, recently reprinted with dozens of changes across the book, continues to enjoy strong reader response at In fact, no other similar book has more reviews or—more importantly–five-star reviews in any of the three Amazon subject categories in which it’s ranked:
• Books > Education & Teaching > Higher & Continuing Education > Test Preparation > Graduate School > Graduate Preparation
• Books > Business & Money > Job Hunting & Careers > Business School Guides
• Books > Education & Teaching > Higher & Continuing Education > Graduate School Guides
Of its 64 Amazon …

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New Jersey Gets a New Medical School

January 15th, 2015

By some estimates, the state of New Jersey is predicted to suffer a shortage of 2,400 to 2,500 physicians by 2020. The announcement yesterday of the first private medical school in the state in 50 years is intended to remedy that. Scheduled to open in 2017, the medical school will be a joint effort of Seton Hall University, the private Catholic university founded in 1856, and Hackensack University Health Network, the medical group and hospital owner, whose hospitals will provide the new school’s clinical teaching facilities. The four-year school, which will join Seton Hall’s existing School of Health and Medical …

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Wait, No Shortage of Doctors?

January 13th, 2015

Dr. Eric Topol is a doctor who has little patience for doctors, at least those who stand in the way of the patient-driven, patient-centered healthcare that Topol says digital medicine is quickly ushering in. The chief academic officer for the Scripps Health Network, Topol has written two books, The Creative Destruction of Medicine and the just-published The Patient Will See You Now, that have been praised by healthcare influencers as varied as Al Gore, Sanjay Gupta, Deepak Chopra, and Mitt Romney.
Because he advocates the transformation of medicine away from the existing doctor-controlled system, many physicians see him as something …

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Reco Letter Nuances: Haas Application

January 12th, 2015

As we worked on a Berkeley Haas application for Round 2, a client asked me “What’s the difference between the second question about the performance of the candidate among peers and the third one about the strengths?” He was referring to the following two questions in Haas’s recommendation letter:
2. How does the applicant’s performance compare with that of his or her peers?
3. What are the applicant’s two greatest strengths? What are the applicant’s two greatest areas (in need) of improvement? Please cite specific examples.
My answer may help other applicants dealing with the same application: “The performance comparison question …

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Case Study: Rajiv, the ‘Cookie-Cutter’ Techie Indian Male

January 11th, 2015

It’s not at all unusual to encounter applicants who have, shall we say, an unrealistic idea of their admissions chances at top schools. “Rajiv” was not such a client. A 28-year-old male Indian QA technologist for a global energy services firm, he had been a top 15 student but at a non-IIT Indian university, had a 720 GMAT but with a Quant subscore just under the 80th percentile, bore a ‘techie’ non-managerial job title, had no leadership in his extracurriculars, lacked international experiences beyond India and the US, and had nothing in the way of a powerful or unusual personal …

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Annoying Business School Essay Prompts

January 8th, 2015

Poets & Quants recently asked me to weigh in on the MBA application essay question prompts that are “annoying and unfair, and incomprehensible and pointless.” P&Q quoted some of my comments, but here is my complete piece:
Fortunately, few of this year’s batch are truly annoying, although the following Darden prompt has an annoying feature that all too many essay topics share:
Knowledge & Skills: The Darden classroom is a high-engagement environment where students learn from classmates as well as faculty. Our case method teaching style is highly experiential and obligates students to share their perspectives. What knowledge and skills …

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