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giggle_bot

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Hi,

I just joined SDN and I am a senior in high school in Cincinnati, OH. I recently received all of my decisions from all of the colleges I applied to. I need some help deciding which colleges will prepare me best for my medical career goals. My goal is to get into a top grade medical school and a current occupation I am considering is becoming a surgeon of some sort or pursuing a government job in relation to medicine. Sorry if any of this sounds very cliche, I want you all to know that none of this set in stone - I am still open to options including not pursuing medicine. I felt that currently medicine may be the pathway through which I can achieve my career goals and so I have decided to pursue it.

I began applying to college with the mindset that I HAD to get into either a 7-year or 8-year medical program (also my parents pushed me A LOT to apply and go to the first program I get into) and geared my application towards that. Unfortunately, I did not apply to many colleges with the mindset of going through with the traditional medical school pathway of obtaining a bachelors degree, taking the MCAT, and then going to med school. Because of this, I feel like my options may be limited and so I want to know from those with more experience, like yourselves, what my best options are. Below I am listing all of the colleges I applied to and where I applied to BS/MD programs. I will also indicate where I was accepted, waitlisted, and rejected. The colleges I applied to were:

University of Cincinnati (8-year Program) - Accepted for Undergrad; Denied from BS/MD
The Ohio State University - Accepted for Undergrad
University of Toledo (8-year Program) - Accepted for Undergrad; Accepted for 8-year Program
University of Akron (6-8-year Program) - Accepted for Undergrad; Did not end up applying for BS/MD
University of Pittsburgh (8-year Program) - Accepted for Undergrad; Denied from BS/MD
Rice University (8-year Program) - Waitlisted for Undergrad; Did not hear about BS/MD (probs didn't get it)
Washington University in St. Louis (8-year Program) - Accepted for Undergrad; Denied from BS/MD
Case Western Reserve University (8-year Program) - Waitlisted for Undergrad; Denied from BS/MD
Brown University (8-year Program) - Rejected from Undergrad; Denied from BS/MD
Vanderbilt University - Waitlisted from Undergrad

Currently, the only highly selective school I had gotten into so far was WashU. The only 8-year program I got into was UToledo. So these two are two options I am mainly looking at rn. (Although I am also looking at UC and OSU as well and have not completely ruled those two out yet). Additionally, I am in the running for a full-tuition scholarship at UToledo, where they accept the top 4 individuals and they rated me as the 5th. However, NONE of the other 4 candidates have accepted the scholarship yet, so there is a SLIGHT chance I may get it. But also I am concerned because Toledo is not the greatest college out there and same with their med school. Also, the 8-year program guarantee at Toledo is that I get an interview, it doesn't mean I have a saved spot at their med school.

I have heard a lot of rumors that medical schools don't care about where you go to college and that a 3.9 GPA at a state school will always look better than a 3.3 GPA at a highly selective school. I also heard that the student with the higher GPA is more likely to get in and difficulty of the undergraduate school are not taken into consideration. Although my intention in college is not to get a 3.3, that is something I am concerned about especially if I choose to go to a place like WashU. Additionally, people seem to be saying on websites like CollegeConfidential that it's better to go to a state school or less selective school than to go to a hard private school for undergrad. But, I also believe that places like WashU are as hard as they are because it takes that kind of rigor to get into med school and I feel that I might be more prepared there than I if i went to Toledo, UC or OSU. Thoughts?

*If you guys want more financial statements, let me know
 
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deleted480308

Take the most guaranteed path available. You can always get real arrogant and turn down stuff later if you end up with a ridiculous med school application stat. But for now, take the safe road
 

giggle_bot

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Take the most guaranteed path available. You can always get real arrogant and turn down stuff later if you end up with a ridiculous med school application stat. But for now, take the safe road
So do you mean to say it will probably be better to go to Toledo?
 
D

deleted480308

So do you mean to say it will probably be better to go to Toledo?
If it's a, "get x mcat and x gpa and you're in med school"? Hell yes

If all they guarantee is an interview, it's a fake combo program
 
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WillianIAm

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If it's a, "get x mcat and x gpa and you're in med school"? Hell yes

If all they guarantee is an interview, it's a fake combo program

I just did a quick google search looks like for U Toledo it's the latter. I would go to the school that will save the most money in the long run. If that's a full ride to Toledo, take it. Med school debt is real and if you can escape undergrad debt...it will help you out quite a bit. As far as prestige of undergrad schools, it's not a huge difference among 4 year universities. I would say if you went to an Ivy then maybe you get a little bonus, but not really.
 
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giggle_bot

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If it's a, "get x mcat and x gpa and you're in med school"? Hell yes

If all they guarantee is an interview, it's a fake combo program
ya all they gauruntee is an inteview lol probs should have mentioned that
 

medguy24

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While cheapness is important, GPA is also VERY important. Go to the easiest school you can go to and get a high GPA. Med schools don't care about the prestige of the school. As long as it's a 4 year school in the US there all the same. The Toledo program is useless as it's not guaranteed. I'd go to the easiest and cheapest school.


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Lifeblood_20

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I wouldn't let pre-med be the only thing you consider when you make the decision. Go to a school where you think you'll be happy.
 

WedgeDawg

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The advice that prestige doesn't matter at all is repeated a lot on here but it is patently false. Private schools rank it as an important factor based on a survey by the aamc (the link is in one of the pre-allo stickies). I'm not saying it should be the sole or even most important factor in choosing a school, but ignoring it outright or refusing to believe it plays a role is unwise.
 
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RunawayGrape

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I have heard a lot of rumors that medical schools don't care about where you go to college and that a 3.9 GPA at a state school will always look better than a 3.3 GPA at a highly selective school. I also heard that the student with the higher GPA is more likely to get in and difficulty of the undergraduate school are not taken into consideration.

OP, you're right that in a sense. School prestige doesn't matter... it doesn't matter if you go to WUSTL and graduate with a 3.3. If your GPA is bad, no amount of undergraduate prestige will save you. However, a high GPA from a prestigious undergraduate is certainly going to carry more weight than the same GPA from a random college, especially if your end-goal is to go to a top MD school.

If you take a look at which undergraduate colleges are represented at med schools like HMS, UCSF, JHU, etc, you'll see a diverse list for sure, but you'll also see a disproportionate amount of students from top-20 schools. This is of course partly due to the fact that those same students would have excelled no matter which college they went to, but as WedgeDawg pointed out, top med schools simply like students from top undergrads. Going to a state school certainly doesn't bar you from the best med schools, but you'll just start off with a slight disadvantage compared to your peers in the Ivy League. Undergraduate prestige matters little for admissions at state med schools though.

Another thing to consider is that you'll be better off having gone to a prestigious undergrad if you ultimately change your mind about medicine.

My advice to you would be to go to WUSTL if cost is not a factor. Otherwise, go to your state school. Either way, prepare to work your butt off, being getting into a top MD school will be difficult no matter where you go to school.
 
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_ Aquarius _

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WashU is a great school, but expensive. If you can afford it then I would say go with that, i'm sure you wouldn't regret attending. :)
 

mwsapphire

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The advice that prestige doesn't matter at all is repeated a lot on here but it is patently false. Private schools rank it as an important factor based on a survey by the aamc (the link is in one of the pre-allo stickies). I'm not saying it should be the sole or even most important factor in choosing a school, but ignoring it outright or refusing to believe it plays a role is unwise.
True, but there's this poster hanging in the Bio department's office at UMASS talking about all the different med/dental schools our students got into ( what year they graduated, a little bio, their pic, etc.) and a couple of the kids got Harvard/ Pitt/Penn. It can be done from a less prestigious school, but you're better off at a more prestigious school ( unless it's severely grade deflating.)
Saw it today, it made me feel gud :3
 

WedgeDawg

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True, but there's this poster hanging in the Bio department's office at UMASS talking about all the different med/dental schools our students got into ( what year they graduated, a little bio, their pic, etc.) and a couple of the kids got Harvard/ Pitt/Penn. It can be done from a less prestigious school, but you're better off at a more prestigious school ( unless it's severely grade deflating.)
Saw it today, it made me feel gud :3

Nothing you have said here contradicts what I said. You can get into any med school from any undergrad. But saying that undergrad reputation plays no role is incorrect.
 
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Lifeblood_20

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I think it's important to stand out in whatever school you go to -- the more prestigious the school, the more difficult to do so.
 
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mwsapphire

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Nothing you have said here contradicts what I said. You can get into any med school from any undergrad. But saying that undergrad reputation plays no role is incorrect.
Oh I wasn't trying to contradict you , I was just bringing up something I saw and just quotes your post to say that both extremes can be true ( prestigious UGrad/less prestigious med school, and a lower- tier undergrad and a top tier med school)
I only read , like, 1/2 the posts in this thread :p
 
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efle

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If Toledo only guarantees an interview, not an admit, ignore it altogether.

WashU is a fantastic place to build a medical application, though the academics are difficult. I would think hard about matriculating if your test scores would be on the lower end or your high school was not too challenging. If, on the other hand, you are the studious type and have top percentile test scores and a bunch of AP science classes already, go to WashU 100%

I'm speaking from experience about WashU btw, so feel free to private message me (click my name and then Start Convo) if you have any specific questions
 
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