• Funniest Story on the Job Contest Starts Now!

    Contest starts now and ends September 27th. Winner will receive a special user banner and $10 Amazon Gift card!

    JOIN NOW
  • Site Updates Coming Next Week

    Site updates are coming next week on Monday and Friday. Click the button below to learn more!

    LEARN MORE

How to narrow down what medical schools to apply to?

medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
I'm a rising Junior, I will possibly be taking an extra semester and taking a gap year before medical school. I have started looking ahead partially because I love to plan for the future and research, but as a big part to keep up my drive and excitement of entering medical school.

Anyway to get to the point I've compiled a huge spreadsheet with details for all medical schools in the US and Canada and have taken some out for one reason or another; at this point though I don't know exactly how or why to rule out a medical school. Any advice?
 

EdgeTrimmer

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 26, 2018
2,851
2,067
126
  1. Non-Student
I'm a rising Junior, I will possibly be taking an extra semester and taking a gap year before medical school. I have started looking ahead partially because I love to plan for the future and research, but as a big part to keep up my drive and excitement of entering medical school.

Anyway to get to the point I've compiled a huge spreadsheet with details for all medical schools in the US and Canada and have taken some out for one reason or another; at this point though I don't know exactly how or why to rule out a medical school. Any advice?
Need GPA and MCAT to start narrowing schools
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

EdgeTrimmer

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 26, 2018
2,851
2,067
126
  1. Non-Student
Too
Both of those I am not going to know until much closer to application time. Even once I have those I can decide on reach schools vs schools that I am more likely to get into but how else can I narrow things down?
Too early to think about school list. When you are ready to apply post MCAT/GPA/ECs/ORM vs URM/state of residence and you get lot of advice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jun 11, 2010
66,967
2
102,971
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Both of those I am not going to know until much closer to application time. Even once I have those I can decide on reach schools vs schools that I am more likely to get into but how else can I narrow things down?
Look at locations, curriculum types, cost of attendance and school mission.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,834
40,422
276
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
Both of those I am not going to know until much closer to application time. Even once I have those I can decide on reach schools vs schools that I am more likely to get into but how else can I narrow things down?
Without MCAT and GPA it is an utter waste of time. You apply to schools you can academically are competitive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
@Goro I've been doing that but A. I've found it difficult for many schools to easily find out about their teaching style, for instance how they approach the classroom size/experience, etc. B. It is quite time intensive to do that for literally like 100 schools C. cost of attendance with the exception of the few that are like way out their on cost if I end up getting into a more expensive one and that's the only one I get an acceptance to I'll go there, and unfortuanetly have to rack up more student loans D. I have found that while many school missions are very similar just slightly differently phrased there were a few that did stand out to me which I have been impressed with and am considering them higher.

In addition if people are suggesting that I don't look into schools yet and first see what my MCAT score is, but when studying for the MCAT you should aim for a target score of your top choice school then how can you have a target score if you don't have the school. It seems to be a bit of a chicken or the egg problem..... Any ideas?

@srk2021 sorry if I am a bit oblivious but what is EC? ORM? URM/state of residence?
 
Jun 11, 2010
66,967
2
102,971
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
This is why this is a fool's errand. You draw your school list and work with a list of median stats for those.

I have to be somewhat harsh, what else are you doing in your time that you don't have the time to be able to go to school websites and look at what they are up to?

You can also use studentdoctor.net school-specific forum and ask students at the school's what their experiences are like with their curriculum.

E C equals extracurriculars.

URM = underrepresented in medicine.

state of residence is the state you live in.
Orm is over-represented in medicine
 

jhmmd

supernatural
Apr 28, 2020
1,927
1,478
76
desert highway
You want to apply to places that will accept you. That means places where you fit in. So look at (like @Goro said above) location--not just state of residence, but neighboring states, mission, values (this is sometimes on the med schools' websites), and above all MCAT/GPA average. Keep in mind that schools receive thousands of apps and to make it to the stage where you receive a secondary you need to meet the minimum for the GPA/MCAT threshold. A much smaller percentage of those who receive secondaries recevie interviews, and if you receive an interview you gotta give it your all--remember, all it takes is one acceptance. Good luck.
 
About the Ads

medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
This is why this is a fool's errand. You draw your school list and work with a list of median stats for those.

I have to be somewhat harsh, what else are you doing in your time that you don't have the time to be able to go to school websites and look at what they are up to?

You can also use studentdoctor.net school-specific forum and ask students at the school's what their experiences are like with their curriculum.

E C equals extracurriculars.

URM = underrepresented in medicine.

state of residence is the state you live in.
Orm is over-represented in medicine


Thanks for the clarification. While I agree that especially now I am not particularly busy, I am finding it quite tedious to look over a bazillion med school websites which are to varying degrees functional, or in some cases somewhat disfunctional.
 

medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
You want to apply to places that will accept you. That means places where you fit in. So look at (like @Goro said above) location--not just state of residence, but neighboring states, mission, values (this is sometimes on the med schools' websites), and above all MCAT/GPA average. Keep in mind that schools receive thousands of apps and to make it to the stage where you receive a secondary you need to meet the minimum for the GPA/MCAT threshold. A much smaller percentage of those who receive secondaries recevie interviews, and if you receive an interview you gotta give it your all--remember, all it takes is one acceptance. Good luck.
Thanks!
 

EdgeTrimmer

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 26, 2018
2,851
2,067
126
  1. Non-Student
Thanks for the clarification. While I agree that especially now I am not particularly busy, I am finding it quite tedious to look over a bazillion med school websites which are to varying degrees functional, or in some cases somewhat disfunctional.
So better focus on GPA and MCAT and required clinical and non clinical experiences rather than 100+ medical school websites. Once you have MCAT score and close understanding of your GPA and then think about schools, otherwise you are wasting your time. It shouldn't take long time to come up with a school list.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 2 users

sunshinefl

All Gold Everything
7+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2014
5,199
9,000
226
The Swamp
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for the clarification. While I agree that especially now I am not particularly busy, I am finding it quite tedious to look over a bazillion med school websites which are to varying degrees functional, or in some cases somewhat disfunctional.
I did that over a period of monthssss maybe over a year. Looked at every single medical school in the country and filled out an excel file with columns of info, to rule in or rule out each program.

I have also been doing something similar for residency programs, although I filtered by geography for that first before the deep dive.

Since you are so far out from applying, you have plenty of time. Look up 1-2 programs per day and it won’t be that tedious, and perhaps even fun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jun 11, 2010
66,967
2
102,971
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
To make life easier on you OP, you can rule out U SD, U ND, both AL and KY schools, MCG, Mercer, the HBCs, U NM, U AR, U WA, U UT, U MD, U AZ, all U TX schools, U NE, both NV schools, U MN, SIU, U FL, FSU, FAU, FIU, U MO, U KS, NEOMED, Wright State, U C MI, U CT, U OK, the SUNYs, the the NJ schools, U HI, UCI, USD, UCR, and U MS.

That's cut some 33% of the schools from your potential list.

Add back whatever schools are your state schools, which should always be at the top of your list.

If your GPAs are < 3.7, probably rule out Stanford/Harvard class schools.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
I did that over a period of monthssss maybe over a year. Looked at every single medical school in the country and filled out an excel file with columns of info, to rule in or rule out each program.

I have also been doing something similar for residency programs, although I filtered by geography for that first before the deep dive.

Since you are so far out from applying, you have plenty of time. Look up 1-2 programs per day and it won’t be that tedious, and perhaps even fun.
Thanks, yeah been doing that for a while now. Slow but steady progress. How do you definitively rule out a school though, because while it may not "speak" to me there isn't any concrete reason to rule it out....?
 

medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
To make life easier on you OP, you can rule out U SD, U ND, both AL and KY schools, MCG, Mercer, the HBCs, U NM, U AR, U WA, U UT, U MD, U AZ, all U TX schools, U NE, both NV schools, U MN, SIU, U FL, FSU, FAU, FIU, U MO, U KS, NEOMED, Wright State, U C MI, U CT, U OK, the SUNYs, the the NJ schools, U HI, UCI, USD, UCR, and U MS.

That's cut some 33% of the schools from your potential list.

Add back whatever schools are your state schools, which should always be at the top of your list.

If your GPAs are < 3.7, probably rule out Stanford/Harvard class schools.
Why rule out so many state schools? To my knowledge they don't exclusively accept students from the state?
 
Jun 11, 2010
66,967
2
102,971
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Why rule out so many state schools? To my knowledge they don't exclusively accept students from the state?
The state schools that I ruled out either specifically do not accept OOS applicants, or are so competitive that they highly favor the home team, or people who lived in/went to school in that state.

Invest in MSAR Online and pay very careful attention to the IS/OOS numbers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
Your goal is to get as close as possible to 528!!!
Haha for sure, but while I'm sure it is possible for me to achieve a 528 I need something that is a little more attainable/ within reach. Otherwise, if you don't reach your goal you don't feel nearly as fulfilled. Let's say someone gets a 520 and they set their goal at 514 they are ecstatic, now let's say that person instead had set a goal for 528 but they got a 520, they'll feel disappointed in themselves and have a what-if hanging over their head.
 
About the Ads
Jun 11, 2010
66,967
2
102,971
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Haha for sure, but while I'm sure it is possible for me to achieve a 528 I need something that is a little more attainable/ within reach. Otherwise, if you don't reach your goal you don't feel nearly as fulfilled. Let's say someone gets a 520 and they set their goal at 514 they are ecstatic, now let's say that person instead had set a goal for 528 but they got a 520, they'll feel disappointed in themselves and have a what-if hanging over their head.
These are the types of perfectionists that we seek to weed out in the admissions process.
 

sunshinefl

All Gold Everything
7+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2014
5,199
9,000
226
The Swamp
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Thanks, yeah been doing that for a while now. Slow but steady progress. How do you definitively rule out a school though, because while it may not "speak" to me there isn't any concrete reason to rule it out....?
Know/think about/list what you want and don’t want from a school. Know/think about/list what you do and don’t have to offer a school.

Don’t want to sit in lecture? Rule out any with mandatory attendance. Don’t want to do research? Rule out mandatory research projects and research years. Want to do cadaver dissection? Rule out any that only have prosection or virtual. Do you want a 1.5 year preclinical? Rule out 2 year preclinical.

Does the school want rural students and you’re from a big city? Don’t apply. Does the school want in state and you’re OOS? Don’t apply.

Etc. These are just examples. What’s important to each person is different.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,496
2
7,295
126
  1. Pre-Medical
Why rule out so many state schools? To my knowledge they don't exclusively accept students from the state?
You are 1,000% correct. You have plenty of time, and a universe of around 150 schools, not 10,000. You have plenty of time to do the research, check out each school, and not eliminate any school that doesn't "speak to you."

Other than being overanxious and having time on your hands, however, there is absolutely no reason to do any of this without a GPA and MCAT score. Once you have those, a lot of schools will be eliminated for you, either because your stats or too high or too low, and then you can listen carefully to see which schools speak to you.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
Know/think about/list what you want and don’t want from a school. Know/think about/list what you do and don’t have to offer a school.

Don’t want to sit in lecture? Rule out any with mandatory attendance. Don’t want to do research? Rule out mandatory research projects and research years. Want to do cadaver dissection? Rule out any that only have prosection or virtual. Do you want a 1.5 year preclinical? Rule out 2 year preclinical.

Does the school want rural students and you’re from a big city? Don’t apply. Does the school want in state and you’re OOS? Don’t apply.

Etc. These are just examples. What’s important to each person is different.
Thank you, I found that very helpful
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,496
2
7,295
126
  1. Pre-Medical
Let me ask this what is wrong with applying to a school that your stats are higher than the avg?
In the abstract, nothing. But, unlike undergrad, schools personally interview every candidate that makes it past an initial screen. They each get literally thousands of applications for typically 100-150+/- spots. While you will naturally want some "safe" schools (although there really is no such thing in this universe!), schools don't want to waste precious interview spots on candidates who are unlikely to attend if offered admission. One way to screen out (or yield-protect) is to go by stats and make a determination based on where a candidate falls on their curve, plus other factors in the application, that a candidate will probably have "better" options.

As a result, that candidate will be yield-protected out, thereby increasing the school's yield of accepted candidates who ultimately enroll, and will never even receive an interview, because he is deemed to be overqualified. It might sound crazy, but it's honestly a thing. You really should stop what you are doing right now and buy the MSAR just to see what the numbers look like at a bunch of schools you are thinking about. Although it really should be free, it is still by far the best money you are going to spend in the whole process.

P.S. This doesn't apply to IS public schools, because the tuition differential is so large that they do not question your motives in applying, no matter how good your stats might be.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
In the abstract, nothing. But, unlike undergrad, schools personally interview every candidate that makes it past an initial screen. They each get literally thousands of applications for typically 100-150+/- spots. While you will naturally want some "safe" schools (although there really is no such thing in this universe!), schools don't want to waste precious interview spots on candidates who are unlikely to attend if offered admission. One way to screen out (or yield-protect) is to go by stats and make a determination based on where a candidate falls on their curve, plus other factors in the application, that a candidate will probably have "better" options.

As a result, that candidate will be yield-protected out, thereby increasing the school's yield of accepted candidates who ultimately enroll, and will never even receive an interview, because he is deemed to be overqualified. It might sound crazy, but it's honestly a thing. You really should stop what you are doing right now and buy the MSAR just to see what the numbers look like at a bunch of schools you are thinking about. Although it really should be free, it is still by far the best money you are going to spend in the whole process.

P.S. This doesn't apply to IS public schools, because the tuition differential is so large that they do not question your motives in applying, no matter how good your stats might be.
Thank you! I just purchased the 2 year access and yes it seems to be so much better and more helpful than going to each one of the sites and trying to navigate them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,496
2
7,295
126
  1. Pre-Medical
Thank you! I just purchased the 2 year access and yes it seems to be so much better and more helpful than going to each one of the sites and trying to navigate them.
When you are ready, if you are like most of us you will find that there really are only between 20-40 schools where you have both a strong interest and a reasonable shot, taking into account stats, location, mission, cost, etc. You'll end up applying to as many of them as you can afford and have the time and patience to complete the secondaries for, and then hope for the best. It's more work than applying for UG, but it's a much smaller universe, and it's not nearly as overwhelming as it seems at first.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.