neilious9

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It seems like a big determining factor for selecting a med school is their match list. But what makes for a great match list? Do you already have enough of background to know which hospitals are reputable in a certain speciality?
 

medstylee

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you make really good points. pre-meds here tend to assume that med schools rated highest by usnews must have the best residency programs as well. while, for schools like harvard, ucsf, etc, it probably is likely that many of their residency programs are top programs, not all of them are the best of the best. i work in the pathology dept at a medical center that is home to one of the more prestigious medical schools in the us. and, while many people here would automically assume the residency program in this dept is a top program, according to the residents i work with, it's generally not considered a top residency program. so, for this reason, i'm not going to rely on residency placement when making my school choice (if i end up having one! :laugh: ). besides, every school i've been to has boasted about their great residency placement - the subjectivity of it just makes it seem too impossible for me to judge. just my opinion though.
 

gujuDoc

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medstylee said:
you make really good points. pre-meds here tend to assume that med schools rated highest by usnews must have the best residency programs as well. while, for schools like harvard, ucsf, etc, it probably is likely that many of their residency programs are top programs, not all of them are the best of the best. i work in the pathology dept at a medical center that is home to one of the more prestigious medical schools in the us. and, while many people here would automically assume the residency program in this dept is a top program, according to the residents i work with, it's generally not considered a top residency program. so, for this reason, i'm not going to rely on residency placement when making my school choice (if i end up having one! :laugh: ). besides, every school i've been to has boasted about their great residency placement - the subjectivity of it just makes it seem too impossible for me to judge. just my opinion though.

I think they have hospital rankings for different programs as well as on USNEWs.

But I don't think people tend to judge good match lists sooooooooo much on where they got into their residencies sooooooooo much as what specialties people matched into.

For instance, if someone is really interested in surgery and students are only matching into primary care, but at school b you have like 17 people match into surgery, then that makes school b look a little better to you.

That's how people look at match lists.

But again, like the above poster said, take it with a grain of salt. The best way to determine which school to go to is to look at the whole package:

Their mission statement (i.e. whether or not they are more oriented towards producing academic physicians, rural physicians, clinicians, etc.----which of these categories is your goal?)
Their curricula----a lot of premeds don't look closely at curricula, but you'll find that curricula is different everywhere. Some schools will start teaching you histories and what not early on. Others will not.

Some will have an 8 week anatomy block while others will spread it apart over 19 weeks.

Some will ease you into medical school starting easy and then moving on up to the hard stuff, while others throw you into the deep end right away.

Some will be located in the middle of nowhere, while others are located in very diverse big city type of populations, etc. etc.

I think you get the idea.

Hope this helps a little bit.
 

45408

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neilious9 said:
Do you already have enough of background to know which hospitals are reputable in a certain speciality?
No, I don't. :p You can get an idea though - if a school places half of their class in primary care (like UWisc), and you're not interested in primary care, then that might not be the school for you.
 

masterMood

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also realize that if you're at a more competitive school (i.e. johns hopkins instead of local state mississippi med. school) that you will be definitely be challenged not only through your work ethic but your intellect (you're competing with the best and the brightest afterall).

nevertheless most of the students at these top schools get to pick where they want to go. In fact, i believe at Duke Med, it's such a prestigious med. school that you can still become an M.D. without taking your USMLE* (though everyone does)

In fact, I think if i went to Cornell or Emory University instead of my state school (which is competitive also but not as much), I think i would have either burnt out not so much from the workload but from everyone else being equally equally motivated/equally dedicated yet incredibly smarter.

*Princeton Review Med. School Book.
 

yellowcat322

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Nevertheless most of the students at these top schools get to pick where they want to go. In fact, i believe at Duke Med, it's such a prestigious med. school that you can still become an M.D. without taking your USMLE* (though everyone does)



*Princeton Review Med. School Book.[/QUOTE]

I'm not too sure what you mean by this. USMLE are licencing exams. All med students have to take and pass their Step 1 to do rotations - no exceptions. Once you're done with med school you automatically get an MD. If you want your license you have to take the rest of USMLEs. Prestige of the school has nothing to do with it.

Another note on "prestigeous" schools. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with the statments that just because you go to a better med school you end up being surrounded by much smarter people. This may have been true of undergrad but in med school you'll find most people around you are pretty damn intelligent (or at least are good at studying). A thing to keep in mind, however, is that schools, irrespective of their ranking, tend to differ in their levels of difficulty. I happen to go to a school that is relatively highly ranked but is much much easier (in terms of workload and exam detail) than some of the lower ranked schools attended by my friends. Harvard med, for example, is notorious for having a relaxed style med school. So, going to a higher tier school does not automoatically equal burnout.
 

Pewl

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SearsTower said:
what the hell is a match list?
A residency match list is a list of the residencies that that previous graduating class got into.
 

Pewl

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I was just at the University of Kentucky for an interview and the dean of admissions said that they accept virtually no Johns Hopkins people for residency because they don't do class rank at JHU. He also said that it's often hard to determine who is better, between someone in the middle of their class at a top tier school or someone near the top of their class at a middle tier school. Ultimately, he believed that it's sometimes better to be a "big fish in a small pond" than a mediocre fish at an amazing pond.

Ultimately, I think individual performance is the determining factor, and not which school you're in.
 

exmike

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Hermit MMood said:
In fact, i believe at Duke Med, it's such a prestigious med. school that you can still become an M.D. without taking your USMLE* (though everyone does)
There are several schools where you dont have to pass Step 1 to graduate. You may get your M.D., but you certainly aren't a doctor. You MUST pass Step 1-3 to become a licensed independent practicing physician (unless you are foreign, then its different). It has nothing to do with prestige, its the school's policy.
 

DrBowtie

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I would also say try to look for match lists over a period of time b/c to some extent it varies with student interest.

I.E. They might not match a lot into Ortho if there isn't a strong interest in Ortho that year not that students couldn't match into it.
 

Doko

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This is a really interesting thread. I've been thinking about this lately, and personally, no matter what the curricula, location, and/or cost, I will attend the BEST medical school I get accepted to.

That being said, the "BEST" medical school (excluding personal factors) is one that's going to enhance your chances of getting into a residency program of your choosing. So, in the end, you NEED to look at research programs, competitive factor, association with a great hospital, NIH funding, MCAT scores/GPA, etc... and I think the US News really DOES do a good job of doing this.

I mean, I don't think there's much a difference if you're looking at Rank #3 versus #4, but you really can't go wrong by going to a top 10 or top 30 medical school.