Oh my - I’ve had this in my drafts and forgot to post it! Sorry bout that!
Of course it’s true that some people never make it out of the bottom. Someone has to be the bottom. Everyone can’t be on top. Being on the bottom of the top 2% of people in academia is still pretty great. Think about that. You beat out tons of people to get into medical school. Even at the bottom, you’re still at the top overall.
I never paid much attention to class rankings in med school. We were told that only the top 10% got reported (at least at my school) anyway. I’m sure I was somewhere around the middle to lower end, but it didn’t really matter cuz I got in to my #1 residency program.
Every school has a bottom. Even Hopkins has a bottom. People on the bottom still match and still get jobs and still enjoy their residency programs. But you have SOOOO much more time left, friend, so don’t worry about your rank yet! You haven’t taken any Steps and you haven’t done clinical rotations yet!
Well, let me ask you this: do YOU care where your doctor went to medical school? Do you look up your doctors to see where they went, what their grades were, and where they went to residency? My guess is probably not.
There are always going to be a few snobs who care whether their doctor went to Hopkins or some junk, but most people really don’t care. There are bad apples from great schools, and great doctors from mediocre schools. It’s the same as undergrad.
What matters is whether you pass your boards, and how well you do on them. Some schools may prepare you better than others for the boards, but you just have to research schools around you and learn about their reputations. Your board scores determine where you go for residency, and residency is really where you learn how to be a doctor. And just because a residency program doesn’t have a big name doesn’t mean it’s not excellent.
So when you’re applying to medical school, apply to schools that are reasonable for your grades/MCAT/etc. Don’t worry so much about the name. I thought about applying to a very prestigious medical school near me, but when I visited there, I hated it. My school is not as well known or as prestigious, but I know that I learned better there than I would have at the big name school.
We can’t all go to Harvard, but there are plenty of non-Ivy Leaguers out there who are amazing doctors.