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I need a straight forward answer.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by psychmed2005, Dec 12, 2000.

  1. psychmed2005

    psychmed2005 New Member

    Nov 15, 2000
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    I was given the luxury today of understanding the different types of medical schools. Do people from research based schools usually get into research based medical schools b/c they have the experience and the background. Because my school is a four year university does this mean that I am at a disadvantage if I were to apply to UC San Diego medical school or UCSF medical scholl, both heavy in research. This is going to sound terrible, but I want to stay in California. I don't want to end up like a friend of mine in a medical school in Washington D.C. Why does it have to be that my home state has one of the most competative medical schools in the nation. I was trying to avoid trasnfering from state to a JC then to a university just to get the research background, but it seem to me like that's the way it is. Everyone who I talk to tells me no, it's what you make out of your education that makes you a good applicant, not the school. Well, then why the heck would my own school pre-med adviser tell me that most our students get accepted into medical schools outside of California, not within. B/c our CSU offers four year degrees not doctoral programs, does that mean I'm in the wrong institute for what I want. I know I'm sounding like a real jerk here. Most people are happy just to get accepted. I just want a straight answer to my question, from someone who really knows please.
  2. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Hmmm... I'll try to take a stab at this. I don't think that there is an automatic correlation b/w undergrad research experience and being able to get into a "research-heavy" med school. I have several friends who got into both UCSF and Stanford without any substantial research experience. However, they all seemed to have something special or unique about their applications, which I think gave them an extra boost (varsity athletics, time between undergrad and med school teaching, Peace Corps, relief programs in Bosnia, etc.) However, these are also some of the most difficult schools to get into, which accounts for some of these *superhuman* applicants. If you are really worried about research experience, you probably don't need to transfer schools -- try doing something over the summer at a "research-heavy" school. The only other difficulty I could foresee, is that there *might* be some bias from AdComs against the difficulty of the science programs at CSU-Fresno -- you need to make your grades a priority, but you also will need to make your MCAT a priority -- I would suggest aiming for at least double digits on every section (ie, 30 total) to be a competitive applicant (however, standards may change by the time you are applying). Also, really try to get involved in community service work, particularly if it can give you more clinical experience. This should be a priority. Grades, MCAT, service. If you can take care of all that, then maybe turn your attention to research. If you can manage to be competitive in the other three areas, I don't think a lack of research experience will hurt you. Hope some of this helps.

    [This message has been edited by lilycat (edited 12-13-2000).]
  3. I'm not sure the advantage of schools like the UCs have in med school admissions is due to research but rather the perception that they are more difficult to do well in, and the fact that admission standards to UCs are more rigorous. In addition, the students have access to letters of recommendation (as well as research opportunties) from professors, physicians who may be well known in the medical community or to Ad Coms.

    California is an extremely difficult state to get into medical school in - there are lots of applicants from in-state, drawn by the cheap tuition and excellent teaching. However, I'll be willing to be that most UC students also don't get accepted to medical school in California either. Its a fact of life that there are 60+ applicants per spot in California on the average for the allopathic schools.

    Research is not necessary to gain admission to medical school but it does look nice on a resume. There are places in town which do research; I spent several years working at the VA in Fresno doing research, many of the physicians there have active labs. There are also private research corporations doing independent or drug studies which might be able to use you as a technician. You are not limited to working on a project with a professor at CSUF. The best project will be headed by an MD who can then write you a letter of recommendation when you are ready to apply.

    I realize that out of state is not desirable and you should not be discouraged from applying to all the California schools, including the DO schools, but you should also prepare for the possibility of going out of state. EVMS takes several Californians every year, as do the private schools of medical education.

  4. gower

    gower 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2000
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    There is a simple reason why California exports students to medical schools across the country. There are too many well qualified applicants to fit into the number of seats available in California medical schools.

    In fact, applicants in other states ought to complain about the number of seats occupied by Californians.

    Medical schools cannot just take in more students because there may be a plethora of qualified applicants. In the accrediting process an upper limit is set for class size. That limit is set by the resources available in a medical school to provide an adquate medical education. If a medical school exceeds that limit there is a possibilty of losing its accreditation. Class size varies across the spectrum of medical schools.

    With a fixed ceiling on the number of places, the difficuly or level of competitiveness varies over time as applicant pools increase or decrease. Right now there is a declining pool but still one with many highly qualified applicants.

    The grade and MCAT score level necessary to do well in medical school is somewhat to well below the level necessary to be admitted. There have been periods in the past when it would appear from the present perspective that too many "unqualified" students were being admitted. Yet the quality of physicians produced was neither higher nor lower than that of today.

    Many applicants who are not admitted to medical school complain that they will be better physicians than the ones who do, and many may well be right, but it is beside the point. The competition must be met.

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