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are america's med schools the best in the world?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by No Egrets, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. No Egrets

    No Egrets Bachelorette of Science
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    So we're all intimately familiar with the rankings of American med schools, but I'm curious; are the US med schools regarded as unequivocally the best in the world? What other schools outside the states would rank among the top 50 US schools in an international ranking? I ask because when I flip through the bulletins of some US med schools, I see faculty with MD's from schools in Europe or Asia and I have no idea how those would compare. I think it would be safe to say that HMS is probably no. 1 worldwide, but where do other countries come in? Any thoughts?
     
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  3. crazy250

    crazy250 Senior Member
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    yes. we are the most powerful country now and unless someone severly weakens us, we will continue to be the best in everything. there are more FMG and IMG coming to US than American doctors going overseas.
     
  4. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    for the most part...any accreditted med school in the us will be better than med schools overseas.
     
  5. CalBeE

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    I'm not sure if the U.S. med schools are the best (nor the health care system for that matter), but certainly the application process is way more selective than many other countries.

    In most other places, people apply and enter med school after HS graduation (Med school's 6 year or so). Different countries do it differently, but for most, a Bachelor's degree's not required. Selection is also based more on academic achievements, so the process is more predictable.
     
  6. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Lets see, the best hospitals in the US are staffed with the best physicians from the best US medical schools. Where to rich foreign people go to get expensive and dangerous procedures done? Yes, the US. So by logical deduction, the US provides the best medical care, which is the result of having the best medical schools.

    lets not make this an arguement about universal healthcare please.
     
  7. Wow, I like the patriotism in this thread! :) :thumbup:
     
  8. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    I remember seeing a thread about this in the international forum. They were asking why US MDs think they're superior.

    I would say many foreign physicians may disagree with the statement that US med schools are the best.
     
  9. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    i dont see people flying to dominica to get open heart surgery.
     
  10. Megalofyia

    Megalofyia 425 lbs and growing
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    According to the international rating by the UNESCO and World Health Organization, the Moscow Medical Academy holds the 2nd place and the 3rd place being held by The Russian State Medical University.
     
  11. there_is_no

    there_is_no Member
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    but there are increasingly many people who fly to all sorts of countries for operations, especially asia, because health care there is more affordable. as people continue to go to these places, the volume at these centers increases and thus so does reliability and outcomes.

    i mean if you're the average consumer who happens not to have a very good health insurance plan, would you rather 1) pay $10,000 for an invasive surgical operation in the US or 2) pay $6000 for the same invasive surgical operation by practiced physicians in some place like thailand, which would also include airfare, a great hotel and a personal massage therapist to help you on your way to recovery?

    well maybe not everyone would choose door number 2, but there are definitely many people who are.

    i think medicine in the US is considered top notch because medicine in the US is so dominated by top research and there is a lot of money that gets spent on various studies in the states and cutting edge procedures. academic medicine is such a huge influence that our medicals schools end up benefiting well from it. unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons why health care in america isn't the most efficient or equitable either.
     
  12. Megalofyia

    Megalofyia 425 lbs and growing
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    Incidently:

    Health care in the United States is second to none. Right? Well, not according to the World Health Organization. A recent WHO survey ranked the United States 37th in overall health system performance -- sandwiched between Costa Rica and Slovenia. This dismal showing occurred despite the fact that the United States spends more on health care -- 13.7% of its gross domestic product -- than any other of the 191 WHO nations.

    WHO named France as the nation that provides the best overall health care to its citizens. The other countries that round out the top five are: Italy and the tiny nations of San Marino (also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino), Andorra (or the Principality of Andorra) and Malta.

    link to article
     
  13. IrishOarsman

    IrishOarsman My Rx: Guiness
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    We got off topic into exactly what was feared: a discussion of health care as opposed to health care training. The two are not necessarily connected, at least insofar as ranking goes.

    I believe the previous posters that the US is not the healthiest country per $ per head whatever. I do believe it has the best training: count nobel prizes in bio-med, dollars spent on research, drugs designed, whatever... the money for top academics is here, so they are here. Once you get em all here, the other top docs want to work with them (at least for a while) so you have a great brain-draw.

    Countering this is that medical students are not great academic docs. We are anatomy scrubs. Nonetheless, if you go to a US medical school and are lucky to find a few good mentors, you will have more opportunities to learn and options for future training than had you trained anywhere else.
     
  14. Lochmoor

    Lochmoor Senior Member
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    "Well, not according to the World Health Organization. A recent WHO survey ranked the United States 37th in overall health system performance "

    I think much of this ranking can be attributed to the structure of the US healthcare system. I believe that US hospitals CAN provide the highest level of care, however, much of the problem is just getting into the healthcare system. Several factors contribute to this: insurance; distrust of the medical community; lack of early detection--ie many wait to see a doctor and end up getting worse and going to the ER. Insurance/medical coverage is the biggest factor. But as stated earlier, let's not make this into a discussion about insurance/national healthcare.
     
  15. jedirampage

    jedirampage Senior Member
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    Here are the criteria for those rankings:
    "WHO measured each nation's overall health system performance by its achievement of three goals: the provision of good health, responsiveness to the expectations of the population and the fairness of individuals' financial contribution toward their health care. "
    This is more a ranking of lifestyle and access to healthcare rather than quality. They didn't include mortality rates for different procedures, etc. Seems a little slanted towards countries with socialized medicine to me.
     
  16. Buster Douglas

    Buster Douglas Unregistered User
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    I read somewhere that getting into medical school in Japan is near impossible. Not only do you have to score literally perfect on the entrance exams, you've score at least in the 'high genius' range of an IQ test. Considering how Japan's got their capitalism runnin (way more efficiently than the US), I wouldn't be surprised if they've got us beat in medicine.
     
  17. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    yup, didnt i just warn people not to do this a few posts before?
     
  18. Nuel

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    The United States appears to have the best medical system because of dollars. I mean, there is money for research at presumably monumental scales to the extent that Zerhouni and others at the NIH were involved in an argument on whether research should be done regarding acts of sex--I mean real sex--with inferential motives of reducing STDs. Boloney! Actual diseases abound and money should be poured into disease and basic science research.

    But the US healthcare system is not commensurate with its affluence. Blame the HMOs and the exorbitant fees charged by healthcare professionals. While I don't think the US has the best medical system, it is probably the best place to study.
     
  19. avicoo

    avicoo SDN Donor
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    I don't think that we can claim that US medical schools are the best merely on the evidence provided in this thread so far. Our country does not have a very good education system as compared with those in other industrialized countries. If we do so poorly in general education, how would we be able to provide the best medical education? :confused:
     
  20. No Egrets

    No Egrets Bachelorette of Science
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    Well, you've pointed out one of the conundrums of education policy in the US--the gaping disparity between the generally low level of education in elementary/secondary schools and the excellence of many US universities...

    Going back to my original question, I was just thinking "if there were a ranking, like US News but for all the medical schools in the world, what are some top international med schools that would make the top ~50 or so?" I think it's funny that so many people on this forum can recite the residency director assessment scores of the top 10 US schools by heart, but can't come up with the names of 2 or 3 schools in other countries that are just as good... I don't know if this is a comment more on the single-mindedness of us SDN'ers or the quality of international medical education (or perhaps the US's obsession with being "the best" and thereby having this irrational urge to rank everything). Thoughts?
     
  21. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    i've often heard that mcgill med would be considered among the top US schools, but they're governed by AAMC, so you may not count them as really foreign. other than that, i'm pretty sure oxford's med school is pretty strong, although i've just heard stuff second hand there.
     
  22. avicoo

    avicoo SDN Donor
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    I think everyone has an inate tendancy to want to defend what they are...be it an American, or a doctor....this gets us into trouble when we choose to mindlessly defend others in the same catagory without questioning the validity of criticisms from "outsiders".

    Charles University in Prague is an excellant school, but I don't know how their medical program taught in English measures up with their normal program.
     
  23. Megalofyia

    Megalofyia 425 lbs and growing
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    Again... According to the international rating by the UNESCO and World Health Organization, the Moscow Medical Academy holds the 2nd place and the 3rd place being held by The Russian State Medical University.


    The United Stateswould hold some spots for the top schools for not for all 50 spots at it was pointed out in the last few threads.
     
  24. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    Medical education in the United States sets the standard worldwide...American has the very best medical schools in the world. Period. The secondary schools, on the other hand...
     
  25. The reason our emelentary eduction is "bad" is not because it is bad, but because we let any dufus into it that has a pulse. Its like the problem with the whole "No child let behind" policy. When you have one school with a large number of mentaly handicaped kids competing with one without that demographic how han the first school possibly have equal or better test scores?

    Im many other countries, only the best, or at least only the non-stupid, go to highschool. They seperate them out and they go to trade schools and such.

    There is no comparing the average test scores of the USA where EVERYONE must go to school, with the scores in poland where going to school is pridvelege.

    "Alabama went from 50th to 49th in the state rankings of primary schools.....HOW?!!?!.....how do you go from 50th to 49th?!?!.........Ill tell you what I think................i think they shot some dumb kids" -Lewis Black-
     
  26. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I think people are confusing US medical education with the US medical system. The two are related, but they do not necessarily correlate.

    We can have the best doctors in the world but if the system is poorly designed, health care access and distribution can still be a problem, so the quality of health care cannot be answered, even as a tangential discussion in this thread.

    As for having the world's best medical school..........it would depend on what you call 'the best'. I find it funny that how on other threads discussing the 'best' medical schools, people are derided as "elitist" if they say their school is better than another school b/c of competitive admissions numbers and/or reputation/research.

    In fact, many SDNers say that top schools (including top medical schools) are overrated b/c they are ranked on research based reputation, and superficial things such as GPA and scores, and NOT on teaching quality.

    So my question is this, if, when ranking among medical schools WITHIN this country, we deride GPA/MCAT scores and research reputation of medical schools as shallow indicators of medical school quality, how is that in this thread, we have people using the EXACT same qualifier to say we now have the best medical school in the WORLD?? :eek:

    The only reason I can come up with is hubris (or perhaps blind patriotism?). Anyway, I just wanted to point out the double standard.

    If we want to go by pure numbers, i.e how competitive it is.....from what I know of educational systems in other countries, it is about as hard to get into COLLEGE as it is to get into medical schools here. From what I can tell, many asian students in other countries who struggle to get into their country's universities would be considered prime candidates for top schools here.

    Therefore I doubt we can use the excuse that our medical school is the hardest to get into if in other countries, colleges are equally competitive (and grad school even more so).

    As for the quality of education we have, I think it is one of the best. We raised our medical education uniformaly to the doctoral level, something not done in many other countries.

    But I also think, if ranked internationally, once again, there will be many that would be in the top 50 of medical schools. I believe that the US would have a DISPREPORTIONATE number of top medical schools in terms of educational quality, but if it is US vs. World, I think the world will still come out on top.
     
  27. skypilot

    skypilot 2K Member
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    What I have heard is that if you need brain surgery or a transplant the U.S. is the place to be.

    However, most foreign docs are better trained in the basics of primary care than most American docs. The American docs are too reliant on testing and technology.

    So the scientific training in the U.S. might be better but does it always translate into better trained physicians. I would say no.
     
  28. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    Dumb question. There is no doubt I would pay a paltry $4000 more to get the surgery done in the US.
    I was in Brazil when I needed to get a tube put in my ear. Getting surgery, even minor surgery, in a foriegn country scared the bejeebers out of me.
     
  29. LA:)

    LA:) Member
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    word. i once needed work in budapest, and the guy was like, "i love america. i will give you special american price," as he seated me in an ancient clinic surrounded by what looked like soviet weapons of war. i like american hospitals.
     
  30. bewitched1081

    bewitched1081 Senior Member
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    without a doubt, no.
     
  31. finnpipette

    finnpipette Fallen from Grace
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    Dude! Are you f-ing kidding me? Russian med is pretty poor. My best friend shadowed Russian physicians while studying abroad. They operated under completely unsanitary conditions, and smoked while performing an appendectomy. I $hit you not. Plus, the docs there get paid so little that they fill boxes at supermarkets to make ends meet. Maybe these were just crappy Russian clinics, but even if there is amazing medicine available at Russia, there must be a huge discrepancy in the quality of treatment versus the range in the US.
     
  32. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    American medical schools overall are probably the best in the world from a research standpoint at least. And the best American medical schools (and hospitals) are the best in the world as well.

    But lots of countries have been playing catchup, and doing it well. Britain, France, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Russia, India, Japan, Korea are some countries that come to mind with some very outstanding hospitals.

    True, their distribution of care isn't very good in some cases, but nor is the distribution very good in the US either.

    I mean, Harvard gets $1 billion yearly for its hospitals in NIH funding alone (not including other funding sources). That probably stacks up pretty well with some COUNTRIES in terms of research funding for biomedical science.
     
  33. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    got us beat in medicine? :laugh: now thats funny.

    of course its harder in asian countries because you go in right after high school. these students dont necessarily volunteer much or do anything like we do to try and gain an acceptance into med school.

    if their college entrance examination score is high then they are qualified to enter the a university's medical program. does that mean they are smarter than us or better medical students than us? no. have they been through as much clinical experience and research experience before they apply? no.

    im asian and i talk to students that go to asian universities all the time and yes its tough to get into the top schools for sure and even tougher to gain admission into the school's top programs since your score basically determines what you are allowed and not allowed to study. which i feel is pretty stupid.

    i believe the average medical student in the us is far more balanced in terms of the total medical experience compared to a medical student in asia. why do you think students with high gpas and high mcats but with nothing else commonly do not get accepted into a us med school? they may be smart but can they handle the things outside of the academic aspect of medicine? im taking a chance and saying the odds are not favorable.
     
  34. Wardens

    Wardens Long arm of the law
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    Just to add some to the debate. Here are recent world rankings out of Shanghai on world universities. The US has close to 80 of the top 100 universities.

    http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/ranking.htm

    I do not think it is much of an extrapolation to suggest a similar trend in medical education.

    On a side note, it'd be a lot more efficient to create another thread about health care rankings. It seems liminally connected.
     
  35. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    interesting methodology...

    but regardless....gotta show some of my school pride...

    go Berkeley!! #4 in the world! :D
     
  36. Megalofyia

    Megalofyia 425 lbs and growing
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    Do you have the ranknig for MEDICAL schools and not undergrad universities?
     
  37. Wardens

    Wardens Long arm of the law
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    no, I looked for the rankings you mentioned, but to no avail. Where is your information that those two russian schools are top 5 in the world coming from?
     
  38. kito

    kito Big Evil
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    Either that or the WHO is full of shizzle.
     
  39. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I'm not sure how having a pool of applicants who volunteered and played the violin made the US the "best" in terms of medical education. It might make the average US medical student more well rounded, but most college students' experience in health care consists of candy stripping, and perhaps work in the lab. Things that in the long run, I am not sure gives the US medical students a statistical advantage over their foreign counterpart in their medical abilities. ....I guess I don't see how requiring students to be more well rounded (a subjective term at that)makes the US medical education system "the best".

    I'm kind of doubting this....it could just be my school........but I have never seen a person with high GPA and excellent MCAT score from my school NOT get accepted into medical school, and with multiple offers. By good, I mean above a 3.7 in a science/engineering major and corresponding MCAT scores (about 33+). So at least in my school, the book nerds DO have an advantage over us mere mortals. ;)
     
  40. ad_sharp

    ad_sharp Senior Member
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    Agreed.
     
  41. canada

    canada Member
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    in response to what someone posted earlier, i would think that cambridge med is better than oxford med school.
    also, i believe that canadian med schools are just as good as american ones, ok not including the H twins but our schooling is very good. i've heard from ppl who have seen both sides that they actually find canadians in general to be better trained.
     
  42. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I can believe the US ranks below many other countries in terms of health care. I think people are confusing the quality of care with access to care.

    When discussing which country has the best health care, access has to be a major issue. Just b/c we have people flying in from other country to have surgery done doesn't mean we have the best health care SYSTEM, it just means we provide the best quality of care....for a price.

    When judging the quality of a country's health care system, it makes sense to look at how many people actually receive the excellent care available in the country. And for that, other countries do provide it better. In terms of basic care and preventive medicine, I do see many european countries who, at least statistically, if not in practice, do provide for a more equitable distribution of health care than the US.

    But really, this has absolutely no relevance to the OP's question of whether US medical schools are the best in the world or not. :)
     
  43. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life
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    Excuse me while I insanely laugh my ass off at these rankings... :laugh: :laugh:

    +pissed+
     
  44. CalBeE

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    I'm not sure if the ranking methodology for this study's that great.

    20%-# of Nobel Prize Winners
    20%-# of highly cited researchers
    20%-Articles published in Nature and Science
    20%-Academic Performance of Faculty

    What the heck does the last item mean? Also, Nature and Science are not the ONLY prestiguous journals out there.
     
  45. spumoni620

    spumoni620 .:good girl down:.
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    actually, not necessarily true. many of the "best hospitals", teaching or otherwise, are staffed with physicians from non-U.S. schools. our city's "best doctors" list included a prominent neurosurgeon whose training was completed in canada, an endocrinologist who trained in england, and a surgeon trained in the middle east. the medical advisory board of the company that currently manages Best Doctors, Inc. (in charge of naming the 4% of doctors constituting the top in the U.S.) has three doctors who trained in india, england, and lebanon. so while these doctors practice in the u.s., they received their quality training elsewhere and did just as well (if not better) than most docs. edit...i found the link: Best Doctors Advisory Board, check out profiles of dr. suki, raghavan, chaterjee...

    and on point #2...it's actually more common than you might think. a recent wall st journal article talked about the outsourcing trend in business applied to medicine as well...for many simple procedures, the docs are doing the same exact procedure (albeit less technology) at a much lower cost to the patient. more patients are actually choosing this route than you would think. i know of people who've gone abroad to get work done (cataract surgery, ob/gyn procedures) rather than do it in the u.s. - and not just for the $$ reason. they trusted the doc that could speak their own language, understand their culture and treat them well w/o the insurance complications.

    but i wouldn't argue with anyone that the quality of training in the u.s. ranks among the best in the world. however, i think other countries exist that have sufficient training to produce equally competent and specialized doctors on par w/u.s. docs
     
  46. gsx56

    gsx56 Member
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    UC Berkeley #4 in the world. What a joke.
     
  47. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    In terms of sciences it probably is.
     
  48. CalBeE

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    I would like to add that this ranking will favor schools with strong science departments. Northwestern, for example, is strong in Law and Business and related areas, but is not ranked as high...
     
  49. CalBeE

    7+ Year Member

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    Yea I heard the same too. The report I read quoted from doctors at Massachusetts General and other famous hospitals.

    I think in terms of Medical Technology, U.S. is probably undeniably the best in the world. However, in terms of medical training, I'll be more hesistant to say that it's the best in the world.
     
  50. gildas

    gildas Senior Member
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    no, but most beneficial
     
  51. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    I think the reason people come to the US for surgeries and such is that the technology in the US is better, not the doctors. The doctors from US med schools are trained to work in the US while doctors from others countries are trained to work in their countries. Its not like doctors in the US are geniuses and the rest of the world is ******ed, all doctors around the world learn the same basic sciences but they are trained to work in their countries and their health care systems.

    Also in the US it isn't that extremeley difficult to get into a med school compared to other countries. I think that close to 60% of people applying to US med schools are accepted every year, thats pretty good odds.
     

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