Selecting a medical school is an essential step to begin your journey for a successful doctor; one should never forget that while treating a patient, it’s not necessary from which college you have been studied, your learning and experience will revive the patient from a health problem, so it depends on you, whether you want to make your recognition in skilled or unskilled doctor.
We have drafted the answer to your query “How to choose a medical school, “in such a way that it can help three types of medical school applicants,
One who got 2 to 3 acceptance letters and prepared to take admission in medical college.
One who is making the list of medical schools to apply for admission.
One is curious to know regarding the criteria of medical school selection.
There are 133 accredited MD and 37 accredited DO medical schools are there in the US. You can’t pick the right medical school based on common factors, including reputation, MCAT, GPA, and ranking gave by websites.
For your convenience, we have listed below all the essential factors you can consider while applying to medical school. We have prepared one special spreadsheet for medical school applicants to compare medical schools with the below-listed factors.
It’s our recommendation, you should not rely on the results of medical school acceptance predictor tools and websites.
List of factors to decide which medical schools to apply to
1. MCAT and GPA Score
It is one of the most important factors to consider for taking admission in medical school, as it showcases whether a candidate is eligible to apply for the college or not.
With the help of MCAT and GPA Score, we will get the sorted list of eligible colleges and we can easily consider the below factors for making comparisons and select the best college for admission.
Most Medical School Applicants Ask the Question
How many medical schools should one apply to?
You should apply to at least 17 medical schools, but not more than 25 (including both target and reach school); the reason behind this number is that applying to medical school will cost you money in terms of application fees (fees is relatively high) and secondly you will have to prepare separate essays for each application, it is better that you should strengthen a particular set of application rather than applying for more.
AMCAS doesn’t tell the colleges how much medical school you have applied for.
Before you pick a medical school on your list, you should check whether the US-approved authorities accredit a concerned institution or not. Besides this, UCMLE only allowed graduates from accredited institutions to sit in the exam, as accredited schools are more structured in their curriculum than other institutions.
Below is the list of approved authorities providing accreditation to the MD and DO schools in the United States: –
- MD schools – LCME (Liaison Committee on Medical Education)
- DO school – COCA (Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation)
Every medical student dreams of pursuing a career in a particular specialization, such as cancer specialist or orthopaedics. We have listed some of the relevant points you can ask from the medical school admission department, alumni and faculty of the college related to that specialization;
1. Whether the college you are applying have a particular specialization or not?
2. Does the college have specialized faculty for teaching the specialization subjects?
3. Does the college have research labs related to the specialization?
4. Do college help in getting an internship in the specialization?
5. Know about the employment rate in a particular specialization?
After discussing with various medical students, we conclude that location plays a vital role in students academics, financial savings and future career prospects.
It is being found that students who live in the home town with their family have performed well in their academics and are morally strong compared to the other student. You should consider this point if you feel comfortable studying at home.
The location also affects your finances; if you opt for the expensive location, it will incur more in living, food, and transportation; if you have taken a loan for studies, it will enhance the budget. It is our recommendation, try to minimize your debt amount as much as possible.
Many students prefer state residency. We all know good experience in the residency program can get in the metro area compared to rural areas. But it depends on the specialization you prefer and the audience you want to serve.
The location also plays the significant role in the acceptance rate; it is being found that medical school out of state acceptance rate is relatively low compared to the inhouse state residents. For more confirmation, you can see the acceptance rate of California Medical Schools.
We have elaborated on this point to understand how location plays a vital role in choosing the best medical schools.
Medical Education is typical to study. To grasp the knowledge quickly, you need an excellent faculty who can acknowledge you with quality education and mentor for the successful career.
You might be thinking, how you can know regarding faculty of the college, for this you need to ask queries from admission department and the best review you can get from alumni & students studying in college.
For more information, visit the college website and check the list of faculties degrees and their achievements; more often, check the ratio of regular and guest faculties in medical school.
Under this, you don’t have to do the depth research; we have listed some of the key points which helps you to differentiate among the better curriculum –
a. You need to check whether the style of teaching is problem-based or theoretical.
b. Clinical Clerkships – Duration, Specialization included, Mentorship Review.
c. Whether college changing its curriculum, research labs as per new trend and method of teaching.
7. Associated Hospitals
While discussing with students, some of them has said that they have joined the college due to its associated teaching hospitals; it is a mandatory factor to choose the right medical school because an affiliated hospital is the place where you will get real-world experience and plays the vital role to narrow gap between your theoretical and practical knowledge.
Check Points for Affiliated Teaching Hospitals: –
- Capacity for Admission of Patients
- Involvement new interns in different case studies
- Good Mentorship to new interns
- Patients Diversity
8. Graduation Rate and Licensure Holders Graduates
College Recognition is made with students’ performance in their academics, check the past five years reports of the graduation rate of students and also check how tough the admission criteria of college,
If you are studying medical education only as a degree, then this factor is not for you. To practice as a physician, you need to pass the USMLE ( United States Medical Licensing Examination) divided into two steps. Most medical schools help their student to prepare for the USMLE exam, and you should prefer a college whose maximum students pass the USMLE exam
9. Financial Aid
It is always the point of debate whether an individual goes up with college which provides financial aid or others, as per experts perspective you should simulate the college on above-listed factors and take the decision,
It has been found, many colleges have taken initiatives to reimburse students’ tuition fees based on your MCAT and GPA score.
For more information related to financial aid, you should contact the finance department of the medical school.
Considering the above factors, you might prepare one list of colleges, and highlighted some of the target schools, before taking admission, once attend the campus visit session organized by college. It will help you to know hidden facts of the college, which you might not get in internet as well.
Always remember, you are investing time and money in your career, so invest it wisely. During the visit, consider below checklist