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Choosing Schools...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by hopper, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. hopper

    hopper Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 2002
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    How can I determine the reputation of a school aside from US News rankings? Is there any one source that reports the success rate of students on the boards (for each school)? Thanks!
  2. US News is not an extremely reliable source for choosing a med school. I'm in 4th year of med school now and in the process of interviewing for residency and it's getting clearer what you need to increase your chances of a good career after graduation. First of all, it helps to pick a program in a state or region you would like to practice in. Your chances will increase getting a good residency in that during the course of the 4 years of school you'll work with people who have trained or have connections with nearby residency programs. And "connections" are often more important than grades in some fields. Also, if it is a good school that you've heard of (a place with a name like "Duke" or "Michigan") and a descent reputation for medical training/research, chances are you'll be just as well trained and sought after as you would if you trained at Johns Hopkins or Harvard.

    Board scores are important. So I would call programs and ask how there graduates do on average for the USMLE step 1 and 2. But don't forget...going to extremely competetive school will increase your chances of a low class rank and low clinical grades. Going to a Big 10 school for example will definately give you solid training at a nationally respectable program, and your chances of a good class rank and clinical performance will generally be better than at a lot of smaller, private schools.

    Hope that helps...
  3. gower

    gower 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2000
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    MD-student has given you an eminently sensible answer.
    Aside from that, US News Reports are meaningless and no basis for picking a medical school or any graduate school. The graduation rate from all medical schools is high; failure to graduate is usually for reasons other than the quality of the curriculum; the causes are particular to the individual student.
    Even the medical schools know it is a joke, although they always like to see themselves at the top for recruiting purposes.

    The best medical school for you is the one where you think you will thrive best--and thus be at the top of your class-- and the one you can best afford. There are many reasons far better than "rank" for selecting a medical school to attend. If your two preferred medical schools are in a tie, then maybe consider "ranking," although I think you will be just as well off tossing a coin.
  4. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Likes Received:
    US News isnt a good source for choosing a medical school to attend, but it IS a good source in choosing which medical schools to apply to.

    There is an instant adversion on SDN to us news rankings, but the fact is everyone on this board looks at them and whether or not they recognize it, they consider these rankings at some level.

    So consider US News in schools you apply to in terms of average MCATs, GPAs, cost, reputation to see where you stand relative to the accepted. Once accepted and you are going to interviews, the rankings become much less important as your actual perception of the school.
  5. jot


    i'd agree with aegis -- i had one major selection criteria related to md/phd stuff (had to have 3 faculty in my field) - but i also looked at usnews for initial ballparking. after visiting the schools i have a different 'ranking' thats personal to me. for me some important factors are student happiness and compatibility, location, and the nebulous 'gut feeling'. all the places i've visited have had great strengths - and most are indistinguishable in caliber or education one might recieve. i also like schools that are really proud of themselves - and don't have an inferiority complex - this is something that isn't ranking dependent.

    i don't know how much this stuff matters for post-medical school and your professional life - probably not much - but i plan on having some fun while in med school;)

  6. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Here is how to choose the right schools for ya....

    1) Wait PATIENTLY....until you get the financial aids from all the schools back. Choose the school that throws the most money at you!!!!!

    2) Where ever your family, wife/husband, g/b-friends are......

    3) big city, if you like people and, well, people (or rural area, if you like trees and no traffic).....

    4) If it is a top 10 med school, maybe that can sway your decision a little... However, it does not matter if the school is ranked 23 v.s. ranked 48......

    5) If it is between 150 students/class v.s. 100 students/class, choose the one with a bigger class. 150 and 100 are both pretty small numbers. Either way, both environments will be highschoolish with lots of gossip. But with 150 people per class, you will have 50% more chance meeting the "right" type of people whom you will fit in with and be your life-long friends, than if you have 100 people per class.

    5) throw a coin!

    Often times, pre-meds make the decision too hard for themselves. The truth is that you cannot get an accurate sense of what the curriculum is and how nice the people are from ONE SINGLE day of interviewing! Maybe you have a good time visiting a school but once you decide to attend there, you cannot predict 2 years down the road, you will get some jack-a$$ residents on both of your medicine and pediatric rotations and ruin your whole 3-year rotation! Or during 2nd year, your partner for pathohistology will be a supreme gunner and make everyone around him super-stressed out! The fact is that med students are goal oriented, and you will INVARIABLY get stressed out by your classmates at one time or another. Despite what med schools LIKE you to believe, there are gunners everywhere (more so at top 10 med schools than others). Some don't like to use the word, gunner, and prefer to call them, extremely goal-oriented. Whatever.... Just use the above criteria and try not to make the decision too hard. Remember, if you really cannot decide, just take the $$$ and run :clap:
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