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Does it even matter where you go to medical school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by SoccerMD12, May 15, 2007.

  1. SoccerMD12

    SoccerMD12 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    So, I've heard a couple opinions both ways on this, that it does and it does not matter where one goes to medical school.

    What are your guys thoughts on this?

    A big reason for this is because I'm considering Early Admit at my state school vs. applying abroad and I'm just curious how much a difference it makes (aside from the boatloads of money I'd save not having to apply / interview at a lot of places).
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  3. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Inside the tesseract
    No, it doesn't matter where you go to medical school. All US allopathic medical schools require you to pass the same tests to graduate. How well you do depends on how much work you put into your education. Your preference of school will be based on its location, cost, type of curriculum, and whether you have a chance of getting in. Possibly you will be influenced by a more nebulous factor of whether you perceive the school to be more prestigious (more selective, more alums give them money, more research dollars received, the opinions of your friends, your belief that more opportunities will be available to you in future residency/employment based on a name, etc.).

    Whether to apply to one school ED is another question that is hard to answer without having more specific information about your application. Unless your stats are higher than the averages of the school by a good margin and you have no interest in getting grants and scholarships, going early decision is not a good idea. If they don't accept you, you then become a late applicant to your backup schools during that application cycle.

    The Pre-Allo FAQ series: What's most important in where to apply thread is at:
  4. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    When you say "applying abroad", are you talking about non-US schools? If so, where? Pls clarify. :)
  5. UMP

    UMP Recovered Under-Achiever 7+ Year Member

    Aug 27, 2004
    I'd say if you don't want an academic/research focused career it does not really matter, but if you do, then a big name from the Top 10 will definitely help
  6. alesdu1

    alesdu1 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2006
    do a search for this in the allopathic (current med student) forum. lots of discussion already on it.

    bottom line:

    Just like you can go from Joe Bloe State-- prestigious ivy med school with an amazing mcat score and good everything else


    you can do the same in med school in terms of landing a great residency with great step 1 scores.

    So for the most
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I'm not sure the prior posters sticky referenced answers the question -- I think the OP asked about med school not undergrad pedigree. However if you did a search you would find dozens of threads like yours.

    You should also note that folks in pre-allo are probably the least qualified to answer this question, since they are furthest removed from the residency process. So you will get opinions that it matters from folks who got into top schools and that it doesn't matter from folks who got into the others. Not particularly scientific or useful.

    On the allo board, you will at least start hearing the sentiment that there is a hierarchy of things that matter for residency, and that school prestige/name isn't even in the top 5. Most there would agree that any allo school is a decent launch pad, but the actual launch is largely an individual effort. Great Step 1 scores, good clinical year evaluations, connections, AOA and things like strong research with publications can get you where you want to go from any of them. Is school name in the equation? Sure, but probably not very high up in the list of criteria that matter.
  8. YourGoldTeeth

    YourGoldTeeth 5+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    If you want to be a practicing physician, you can go to any medical school. Do well, rock your Step I exam, and you can get into any field, from primary care to neurosurgery. It sounds like you are a good student, so you should have no problem if you work hard.

    If you want to do research, some of the 'elite' schools may give you an upper hand. However, I feel that if you REALLY want to do research, consider MD/PhD since you will accrue no debt.

    That being said, there may be advantages to an 'elite' med school. Some feel that there is less pressure/competitiveness, as a lower class rank may still get you into the residency you want. Also, you may find it easier to get into your school's residency program (which are often good programs). This is largely speculation.

    So, to sum up, NO, there is not a difference for practicing physicians, so long as you do well and get into a residency you are happy with.

    Be careful with Early Admit. Make ABSOLUTELY sure that you would be happy at your state school. Visit the campus, check out the town/city it's in. If you would be happier somewhere else, it is probably worth applying there.
  9. UVABranch

    UVABranch one of 6000 7+ Year Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    Washington, DC mean people in MD/PhD progs don't have to pay??
  10. UMP

    UMP Recovered Under-Achiever 7+ Year Member

    Aug 27, 2004
    yes... pretty much all PhD programs are like that
  11. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 7, 2005
    Mmmm. I don't know. I think it might to a certain extent - mostly due to the "curve" factor.

    Residency directors take into account that the students at the tippytop schools are of the caliber that it makes it incredibly competitive to get into AOA and things like that. In that case, being in the middle or even the bottom of your class at one of these schools is probably not viewed the same way as being in the middle or bottom of your class at mid-tier schools. That isn't to say if you kick ass at everything in a state school you won't match up to a mid-class person at a top-5 or whatever, because you'll, of course, surpass them - it's just to say that the bottom of the barrel at at top 5 school is still a graduate of that top 5 school and RDs can't ignore that.

    However, if it's a question of, say, two mid-tier schools it probably doesn't matter at all.

    Also, the "getting into residency at the same place" factor does have a pretty big chunk of viability to it. I think 20 of our graduating class are sticking around here for residency and there is absolutely something to be said for networking within your particular desired specialty; especially if it's one of the major ones like orthopaedics. Faculty and associated physicians (at least here) have an unspoken obligation to help their institution's medical students out as much as possible.
  12. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor 2+ Year Member

    Feb 16, 2007
    Most, but not all. Don't ask me how I know... :(
  13. crimsonkid85

    crimsonkid85 7+ Year Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    of course it matters where you go to; but not for the reasons that you might think. in this business, it's all about who you know. frankly, if you're at the top institutions, the name of your recommenders (not the name of the institution itself) to residency programs will travel that much further. trust me, a conversation starter of, "'re from texas?" is quite different from, "Hey! I just saw Prof _____ at the NIH section meeting last week. Tell him I said hi when you go back!"

    ps. HI auraraptor! :) i'll see you this fall, right? :p

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