Is there any advantage to going to a high end medical school relative to an average one?

mrh125

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Like as an undergrad people often want to get into the Harvards, MiTs, Stanford and etc just due to name and the opportunities they provide (in terms of employment, prestige, research etc). Does going to a top medical school provide you similar advantages and where do such advantages come into play? Like lets say I get into an average medical school and someone else gets into harvard medical school and we both do well, would the person who went to harvard have more opportunities and a better chance to get into residency programs as well as the speciality of their choice (particularly surgery)?

I suppose the main reason why i'm asking is because I'm interested in surgery and anesthesiology disciplines (that may change) and want the opportunity to be able to have a chance at getting into whatever speciality I can where i go. Also, depending on what the answer to this question is will influence whether or not I retake the mcat after the first time I take it (when I take it january I can get anywhere from a 29-32, but if I got it up to a 35 on a retake that'd make my application look a lot better for higher-end med schools). On the otherhand I kind of loathe how meaningful prestige was as an undergrad, when imo individual skill/achievement/merit are far more meaningful (my perspective is a bit unrealistic though), so if it's irrelevant except for research that'd be great too.
 

shan564

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Do you really think you can go from 29 to 35 in a few months? I got a 29 on my first practice test in my freshman year, and I got a 35 on the real thing in my senior year (and in between, there was a 34 in my sophomore-junior summer on the real thing).

But yeah, the bottom line is - do your best, and see where it takes you. Yes, it's better to go to a more "prestigious place." But if you can't get into a prestigious place, that's not really a problem.
 
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SunsFun

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I highly recommend looking for "ask (some specialist) anything" threads and look at the responses those people give about the effect of their medical school prestige on matching into competitive specialty. This question gets asked a lot.
 

ERPCT

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If you want to be a chairman at an academic medical center, than yes going to a "top" medical school might make a difference. If not, then no it doesn't matter at all, particularly if your goal is to get into general surgery or anesthesia, neither of which are particularly competitive specialties these days.
 

Dbate

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Do you really think you can go from 29 to 35 in a few months? I got a 29 on my first practice test in my freshman year, and I got a 35 on the real thing in my senior year (and in between, there was a 34 in my sophomore-junior summer on the real thing).

But yeah, the bottom line is - do your best, and see where it takes you. Yes, it's better to go to a more "prestigious place." But if you can't get into a prestigious place, that's not really a problem.
It's very possible. I went from a 30 on September 11, 2012 to a 35 on January 26, 2013.
And I didn't start studying for my retake until mid-October when I got my first score back.

OP just needs to study.
 

Gauss44

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Answer to question in title: IMO, yes.

1. Networking.

2. Positive assumptions about students in top schools. Students of top schools are often talked to as though they are the leaders of tomorrow. Students of lower tier schools might have to fight negative assumptions (subtle or not) that they are dumb, second class doctors, could never lead, etc. IMO, psychologically, students of top schools have an advantage - the message that they CAN DO IT!

3. The very best instructors (sought after by most institutions), like the students with top marks, get to choose where they teach. You can bet a greater abundance choose top schools.
 
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