Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

how do you decide what schools to apply to?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by rnnpmaybe, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. rnnpmaybe

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I mean, is there a place to learn about the school other than what they say on their website? Like, I want a family friendly school, research isn't important, etc. It just seems so overwhelming (keep in mind I'm a non-trad, so I guess I'm pretty much like a freshman pre-med).
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. silverlining1

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,812
    Likes Received:
    2
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Check out the Medical School Admissions Requirements book, or the MSAR. You can get it here http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/msar.htm or at Amazon.com or something like that. If you have access to a university library, they may have it as well.

    This book has stats for accepted applicants, information about what percentage of them did research, requirements, and general information about the school. It may not address everything you want to know (especially the family-friendly thing) - for that, I think the best bet you may have at this point is asking around on SDN. You could also just apply very broadly (if you have the time and funds) and then ask current students when you go to interview. Best of luck!
     
  4. silverhorse84

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    959
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Silverlining has said what I was planning on saying too, but I'll tell you the steps I used to narrow schools down:

    yeah, the MSAR was the best book in the world to figure out where to apply. My first step was to look at my GPA and MCAT and go through the schools in the MSAR and cross out the ones where I didn't feel competitive - the newer MSAR gives the avg GPA and MCAT and the ranges of both (and breaks the MCAT down into sections for the avg and range).

    Then I crossed out schools where it seemed like research had a higher priority because I don't really care much about research schools. Third, I crossed out state schools where I'd be an out-of-state student and they don't take many (or any) OOS applications. I think I calculated that the school had to take at least 25% OOS or something like that. I'm from California, so most of the OOS students at these schools are Californian, so it might be different if you're from somewhere else.

    That really narrowed my schools down a lot! Now, I applied to more schools than most applicants. I am probably about average for the number of schools CA applicants apply to though - we are encouraged to apply broadly because it's really difficult to get into our state schools.


    It's probably hard to tell from a website or MSAR if the school is family-friendly, but you can always figure that out on interview day. There are non-trads at every school, so hopefully you can find someone who can talk about their experience and offer you advice.

    Good luck!! :luck:
     
    #3 silverhorse84, Dec 16, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  5. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    13,817
    Likes Received:
    109
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    You could ask in the non-trad forum for opinions on which schools are family friendly.
     
  6. fizzle

    fizzle New Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,033
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Most people choose their schools with the following four main criteria:

    1. Reputation
    2. Location
    3. Numbers (their own vs. the school's average)
    4. Hearsay (from friends/family)
     
  7. zenlike

    zenlike I'll see you in health.
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I took my uGPA and multiplied by 10 and added my MCAT score to get the number 72. I then did that for the average matriculant numbers of the schools listed in the MSAR (someone made a spreadsheet here that made it easy). Then I made a smaller list of every school that had a 72 or less as their number and looked for those schools with the lowest cost of attendance.

    Oh, and then I looked for schools that accepted a reasonable number of students OOS.
     
  8. goldenwest

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Medical Student
  9. Sangria

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    i used MSAR and then school websites after i narrowed down the list.
    I was looking at the numbers, locations and requirements. If i didn't fulfill requirements I didn't apply. I also didn't apply to any out of state public schools and schools that had things like a required year of research
     
  10. vasca

    vasca En la era postpasambre
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,155
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location was the #1 reason I ended up in the med school that I did. My second option school already had ther entrance exams halfway through my senior HS year when I wasnt even minimally interested in entering med school then (ironic isn't it?); plus I heard the entrance exam was damn tough; doubt I would have passed it.

    There is one more med school in a viable part of the city, but I ended up in the school with the better reputation.. not to mention more expensive as well. :rolleyes:

    The only way you'll get a good vibe of a university is to see it for yourself. Do you plan on living at home and going to the local school? Or will you move out of state and live in the campus? Can you afford it? Are you the type that will drop out in 1 month because you miss mommy and are unable to do your own laundry? These are all very important things to consider when you choose a med school. Med school is insanely stressful and you might want to have some family or old friends nearby to help you in the bad times. :luck:
     
  11. halekulani

    halekulani Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,200
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Medical Student
    1. stats - did i have a chance?
    2. location - would i live there for four years? (turns out i'm pretty flexible as i applied to over 30 schools)
     
  12. silverlining1

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,812
    Likes Received:
    2
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    This is derailing a tad into "what factors did you use to choose med schools" - just a reminder that the OP wants to know what resources he/she can use to learn more about schools (such as good places to have a family).
     
  13. junkct

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    1
    Personally, I just flipped open MSAR to a random page and wrote down the school name. then closed the book and repeated 15 more times. Was this a bad idea? :scared:
     
  14. Nemuri

    Nemuri It's too late
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Apply to all schools within your state

    Apply to four schools that you would be considered an average student based on GPA/Mcat/Curriculars

    Apply to two schools that you would be considered an above average/superb student based on the same criteria

    If you'd like apply to two schools where you'd be considered lower on the totem pole based on your personal interest with the school

    I'm picking schools based on location, quality of life within the city, living expenses, and the number of hot females that attend. The last one being a joke but boy oh boy would I love the numbers to what school has the most attractive female student body ;)
     
  15. PagingDrP

    PagingDrP Kind of a big deal
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Having just applied, I do have one piece of advice: pay attention to how admissions work- i.e. rolling vs. non-rolling. Make sure to have a good mix of both, esp if you are applying to a lot of top schools which are non-rolling, so that you have the chance of being admitted somewhere early on. This will save you from going neurotic like I am waiting until March!
     

Share This Page