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Good School?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by OmoOduduwa, Mar 27, 2001.

  1. OmoOduduwa

    OmoOduduwa New Member

    3
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    Mar 26, 2001
    Ames, IA, USA
    Hi. First timer here.

    I just got accepted to a medical school. I like the place, the facilities were nice (if small), but that's more my speed. My question for you nice folks is: those US News rankings, how relevant are they? I mean, just because a school doesn't get a crapload of NIH dollars or doesn't have a high MCAT average, does that mean its a bad school?
    I'm lucky to get in. My GPA was low, and my MCAT was mediocre (30-- or is that good? I honestly don't know). I was a longshot, but I got in somewhere (two places, actually). Now I am haunted as to whether I'm going to a mediocre school. Am I chopped liver because I'm not going to Harvard or Stanford or some other high-follutin school? Will I not get a good medical education because I'm not going to an Johns Hopkins?

    I know I should be happy, and I am. But I want a chance to be successful, and I don't want people to look down on me because I didn't go to a top-25 school (I don't even know their ranking, they don't report).

    Yes, its in the US. Yes, its accredited. It is a HBCU if that helps anyone.
     
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  3. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    204
    11
    Apr 30, 2000
    Any accredited medical school will give you a good education and if you put in the work, you will get into a residency and become a good doctor. Period. School reputation comes into play if you're applying to the top programs in the country for your particular field or if you're entering a competitive field to being with. Don't worry about the image/prestige factor too much. By simple math, 80% (100/125) of medical school graduates do NOT come from top 25 schools [​IMG]
     
  4. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer 10+ Year Member

    893
    1
    Mar 23, 2001
    Indiana
    It will not make a diff. Grades, recommendations and USMLE scores will get you your residency of choice. But, certain residencies are very tough to get into no matter where you come from.

    ------------------
    Rob
    4th year med student at MCV/VCU in Virginia. Matched to Pathology at MCV.
     
  5. Becket

    Becket Senior Member 15+ Year Member

    159
    3
    Sep 15, 2000
    I think the "inferiority complex" that you're describing is not so uncommon, given the attention that some pay to rankings and prestige. All I can say is that the vast majority of physicians in this country did not graduate from a Harvard or a Hopkins. Do you think people look down on them because of that? Do you think the average person even knows/cares where their doctor went to medical school? My feeling is that they don't. It only becomes an issue if you make it an issue. Wherever you go to school, you'll get a quality medical education, and if you work hard, you'll be a fine physician one day.

    Best of luck
     
  6. OmoOduduwa

    OmoOduduwa New Member

    3
    0
    Mar 26, 2001
    Ames, IA, USA
    Thanks for replying so quickly.

    I don't plan on slacking off. I did enough of that as an undergrad, and I paid my dues in grad school. I'm fully intend on making the most of my opportunity no matter where I go. I even deep down don't care about this stuff. But, I've also heard horror stories concerning foreign-school MD's and DO's (how they get no respect, yadda yadda yadda).

    thinking about being a med school student in the fall puts a smile on my face (which will probably fade just before the first exam block).

    Thanks once again for your prompt and encouraging replies. I'll try not to be so status orientated in the future and just be happy I'm finally a med student.
     
  7. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    2,088
    69
    Feb 27, 2001
    Lactate > 15
    First of all, the US News rankings don't mean very much. I know that undergraduate universities hire consultants just so they can bump up there rankings in inexpensive ways -- it affects who matriculates (believe it or not). I don't know if they still use this criteria or not, but a few years back in the law school section they had one category labeled "school resources". It was simply the number of books in the library divided by the number of students. Well, until 1988, Harvard Law School received every legal publication in the WORLD, yet its resources were deemed inferior to smaller libraries because it had more students. Now class size is very important, but that was covered in its own way in other areas.

    Also, don't think that you will get a better education at a higher ranked school. Prestige does not equal quality. I went to a top notch law school (can you guess which one based on my comments???) but I have no doubt that my friends who to good quality state schools (like UVA and Iowa) got a better education than I did.

    What you want to look at is how the schools are evaluated by residency directors. What institution you attend may have an impact on your residency applications for highly competitive specialties like ortho and derm. ALL THINGS being equal, if you went to Hopkins you're going to be seen in a more favorable light than if you went to West Boise Medical School & Tavern. Now if you want to do academic medicine, you will definitely be sized up by where you went to school.

    That being said, if you get good grades and do well on the boards, you'll be competitive everywhere.

    Good Luck,

    Ed
     
  8. David511

    David511 Ponch's Illegitimate Son 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 26, 2000
    Houston
    IMO the rankings published by US News are valid to a certain point.

    However, you must realize there is a crapload of POLITICS that also play into how a school ranks. Not long ago, I had the benefit of sitting next to a doc working for Harvard Med on a flight back from LA...One of his primary responsibilities was to launch in-depth investigations into areas in the rankings where Harvard Med had ranked 'sub-par'...he then described how Harvard would literally "throw money" at whatever issue was raised in order to ensure it would rank better the next year. He basically stated that the school wasn't primarily interested in making the program better for the students, rather they wanted to make it better so that Harvard could maintain it's image.

    Now, my intentions with this story are not to trash Harvard. Heck, I'll be the first to tell you that it's an absolutely fantastic school. Rather, my point is to show that the 'top' medical schools in the country spend a crapload of money each year to ensure they maintain their reputation of being 'the best'...its a cycle that propagates. The better you are, the more money you'll get (in grants, donations, etc). The more money you get, the more you can improve. It's a theme that's recycled throughout our society.

    So, when you look at the rankings, don't despair because your school isn't at the top...perhaps the institution simply chose to spend the majority of its money actually improving the quality of the education it provides instead of improving it's image.

    Good luck to you.

    -d
     
  9. Doggy

    Doggy Member 10+ Year Member

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    0
    Mar 18, 2001
    OmoOduduwa,

    Just curious, what school(s) did you get into?

    To answer your question, this is what I always hear: Med school is NOT like any other grad schools. There are only 125 med schools. If you look in USNWR, for example, Law schools are so plentiful that their rankings are divided into 1st tier, 2nd tier, 3rd tier, etc. Med school is not like that. All US medical schools offer quality education. Getting into any one of the med schools is an achievement. Choose the school where you will be most happy...
     

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