There seem to be 2 different kinds of medical schools to apply to out there. The first is the school interested in producing the "medical scientist" or the "researcher." As everyone here probably knows, the Top 20 seem to be oriented in this way, with a larger number of admitted applicants claiming to have done research and the schools having a "researchy" reputation. (i.e. Harvard, Johns Hopkins, etc, etc...) The 2nd type is the "community doctor" producing school. These are the schools that seem to be more about community health issues, primary care, actual practice as opposed to clinical trials etc.... (Loyola, for example) There are 2 things that are on my mind. First, how divisive are these stereotypes in reality? Loyola, for example, produces radiation oncology residents-- generally matching in this specialty requires quite a bit of research. It is clear that once into medical school, you can go either way. How much does the culture of the school determine your fate? Also, and more importantly for now... What about getting in? We can only fill out one AMCAS personal statement. Should you always strive for the top 20 by presenting your interest in research? Or should you strive for talking about your passion for treating individuals? (Assuming that both motivate you.) Are the Loyolas of the world interested in a research oriented student? Does Harvard want to hear about how much you love treating the underserved? In other words, by going in one direction, do you shoot yourself in the foot for other schools?