Hey, I know you’ve probably been asked 8,657,239 times, but do you have any rules that would be helpful when trying to pick certain schools? I’m SO lost right now. *brain cramp* I don’t know how to pick schools. The only reason I’m in the university I’m in right now is that they offered me a lot of money and how could I turn that down? I still have a little while before I’m in dire straights, I just want to know if you have some advice.-bitemebloody
I felt like I had answered this before (not 8,657,239 times though), but I couldn’t find anything in my archives except this, so here goes, in no particular order and with random gifs that don’t fit any other posts:
Know your learning style: Is the school majority PBL, lecture, or an even mix of both? Do you want to be fed the material, or are you interested in more self-directed learning?
Scholarship opportunities: They’re few and far between in the med school world, but if they offer you one, jump at it.
Residency opportunities: What residency programs are available at the hospital affiliated with the school? Is this a place you may potentially like to stay in? Do they have fellowships in fields you’re interested in?
Location, Location, Location: You will need a support network in medical school. Consider a school’s proximity to family/friends/significant others. Also think about availability of jobs for spouses in your location, size of the town, availability of activities you enjoy, etc. Where will you be doing clinical rotations? Is the hospital a place where you can get a good experience?
Research availability: Maybe you’re an uber nerd who loves research. Is that school doing interesting things? Are you interested in an MD-PhD? Is their program any good?
Cost: If you’re looking at equally awesome schools, pick the cheap one, duh.
Size Matters: I did better at a smaller undergrad, and the same was true for med school. I wanted small groups, a low student:professor ratio, and a smaller city. Maybe you prefer big cities and classes and schools. Who knows.
Reputation: Not all med schools are created equal. If it’s brand new, the reputation isn’t going to be established (doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad though). The reputation and the “brand” associated with the school can potentially be helpful in your residency match process.
Stats: Do their graduates match to residency programs? What is their board score pass rate (first try)? What is their teacher:student ratio? Are your grades at least the average for that school? Do they have a good match rate for the specialty you’re considering?
Bonus Points: What do they have that the other schools don’t?
So yeah, make a chart of all your schools, their info, and pros and cons, and ask yourself these questions. Hopefully it will point you toward a favorite.