Influencing thought

My major underlying motivation for writing analytical blog and forum posts is simply to influence thought. I’m a dork destined to be an academic. I like to track the number of clicks on links, even those on facebook, just to get a sense of how many people are within this sphere of influence. I get gratification when people on SDN cite one of my posts, as if my amateur spreadsheet jockeying could confer some semblance of credibility to their arguments. Occasionally I come across an oddly familiar idea that I convince myself originated from me, and that idea has diffused so widely that it has become apocryphal and no longer deigns to be cited. Just wanted to share an example I read today:

Baylor is on probation with the LCME. On their webpage defending themselves (i.e. explaining to prospective students that they are still fully accredited and a good school), one key point is

Our curriculum enables students to exceed predicted outcomes. For example, MCAT scores are a strong predictor of student performance on the USMLE Step 1 exam, and Baylor students score  8-9 points higher than predicted by their MCAT total score at admission.

I wonder where that 8-9 figure comes from. Hmm. (Look at the first graph.) It’s a figure so specific to that year’s data and the specific schools used to generate the regression that it’s unlikely some other independent analysis produced it.

Alright, that’s enough self-indulgent thoughts for the day.


One thought on “Influencing thought

  1. Like St. George’s, Ross and American University have leveraged residencies by paying hospitals to accept their students for clinical clerkships in their third and fourth years of medical school. Those students get to know the residency directors, who may then favor them for residency positions.

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