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This might be a controversial thread and I know I'm going to get a lot of "Med schools are hard and rigorous no matter where you go" lectures, but I'm asking because I know some people have probably thought about this once or twice. Are there any med schools in the United States that you guys have heard are "easier" or less rigorous than most others schools? There could be many factors that contribute to this outside of academics, like: faculty support, culture of school (whether the environment is "dog eat dog" super competitive or focuses more on supporting and boosting struggling students), also general undergrad stats of the M1 class (were their stats on average higher or lower than most M1 enrollees?) word of mouth, teaching styles, etc.

Please no judgmental comments, I just want honest answers.

Thank you :)
 
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777137

The "easiest" schools are probably the ones that record lectures so you can play them back on your time.
 
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This is just speculation but probably a school that has close housing and development. This will take away from long distance travel to the institute.
-recorded lectures are certainly very important to have. If you have a school that has mandatory classes, it can be very frustrating if you suddenly get sick or you feel it isn't worth the energy to waste in case you got a test coming up the next day that you'd rather want to study for. In undergraduate, we had a lot of mandatory classes throughout the day and I am 1000% sure that if I had the option to skip, I would have done so much better.
 

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The goal in med school is to learn and to prepare yourself for the tools you need in residency. It's not the end of the climb but the base camp. You want to select the best education option you can. Having a relaxing easy four years maybe sounds nice now but really wouldn't serve you well in the long run. Residencies will be extremely intense and unforgiving of your weak medical education, and so the goal should really be to keep your eyes on what's to come and have the shortest learning curve when you get there, not the steepest. I don't know if there are any "least rigorous" med schools out there but I would strongly steer you away from making that short sighted of a decision that will make things harder for you down the line.
 
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The goal in med school is to learn and to prepare yourself for the tools you need in residency. It's not the end of the climb but the base camp. You want to select the best education option you can. Having a relaxing easy four years maybe sounds nice now but really wouldn't serve you well in the long run. Residencies will be extremely intense and unforgiving of your weak medical education, and so the goal should really be to keep your eyes on what's to come and have the shortest learning curve when you get there, not the steepest. I don't know if there are any "least rigorous" med schools out there but I would strongly steer you away from making that short sighted of a decision that will make things harder for you down the line.
This definitely helps. not all of my classes in undergrad were mandatory which helped a lot when I had 3 exams in 2 days that I needed time to study for.
 

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The goal in med school is to learn and to prepare yourself for the tools you need in residency. It's not the end of the climb but the base camp. You want to select the best education option you can. Having a relaxing easy four years maybe sounds nice now but really wouldn't serve you well in the long run. Residencies will be extremely intense and unforgiving of your weak medical education, and so the goal should really be to keep your eyes on what's to come and have the shortest learning curve when you get there, not the steepest. I don't know if there are any "least rigorous" med schools out there but I would strongly steer you away from making that short sighted of a decision that will make things harder for you down the line.
I beg to differ.

Indeed, medical schools are meant to give a basic medical education. We all learn differently and have different motivators. I would have been happy to have been at a school that does not require attendance for the first two years and did not grade. Third year, any more, is a glorified paid shadowing experience. Thus, medical schools have positioned themselves as degree grantors and the gate keepers to the USMLE.

Would everyone succeed in a system without continuous assignments or testing? Likely not. For many of us, however, the least requirements allows the greatest freedom to pursue an education at our own pace, and likely, a better education at that.
 
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The goal in med school is to learn and to prepare yourself for the tools you need in residency. It's not the end of the climb but the base camp. You want to select the best education option you can. Having a relaxing easy four years maybe sounds nice now but really wouldn't serve you well in the long run. Residencies will be extremely intense and unforgiving of your weak medical education, and so the goal should really be to keep your eyes on what's to come and have the shortest learning curve when you get there, not the steepest. I don't know if there are any "least rigorous" med schools out there but I would strongly steer you away from making that short sighted of a decision that will make things harder for you down the line.
Thank you! My thing is, since residency programs are solely about hands-on training , would it really matter so much if my textbooks M1 and M2 classes such as Biochem and Anatomy were less rigorous? I always felt that since my end goal is to match into a great residency program to catapult my career as a physician, it would make more sense to choose a school that has more of a philosophy centered around building and not weeding out.
 
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Law2Doc

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I beg to differ.

Indeed, medical schools are meant to give a basic medical education. We all learn differently and have different motivators. I would have been happy to have been at a school that does not require attendance for the first two years and did not grade. Third year, any more, is a glorified paid shadowing experience. Thus, medical schools have positioned themselves as degree grantors and the gate keepers to the USMLE.

Would everyone succeed in a system without continuous assignments or testing? Likely not. For many of us, however, the least requirements allows the greatest freedom to pursue an education at our own pace, and likely, a better education at that.
Meh, I've seen too many residents suffer because they managed to avoid getting enough of a solid foundation for residency in med school. It doesn't have to be "continuous assignments and testing" but it needs to be rigorous enough that you don't come out of school clueless and floundering more than most. So the goal can't be "where can I get by doing the least".
 
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Thank you! My thing is, since residency programs are solely about hands-on training , would it really matter so much if my textbooks M1 and M2 classes such as Biochem and Anatomy were less rigorous? I always felt that since my end goal is to match into a great residency program to catapult my career as a physician, it would make more sense to choose a school that has more of a philosophy centered around building and not weeding out.
First, the first year of med school barely even matters for residency so I wouldn't point to anatomy or biochem for purposes of this discussion. The rigors happen in 2nd and third year and that's where the gloves need to come off. Residency won't baby you so it won't be smart to seek out med schools that foster that notion.
 
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Thank you! My thing is, since residency programs are solely about hands-on training , would it really matter so much if my textbooks M1 and M2 classes such as Biochem and Anatomy were less rigorous? I always felt that since my end goal is to match into a great residency program to catapult my career as a physician, it would make more sense to choose a school that has more of a philosophy centered around building and not weeding out.
I am not sure what you are asking. Medical schools throughout utilize similar or same resources for USMLE preparation since that is the goal for them and something that they need to uphold for reputation purposes. No medical school I know of 'weeds out' people; the fact is that you have done a bunch to get to medical school so it makes no absolute sense if a school accepts you only with the mindset that you might not become a physician. I think you can certainly rub people off in the wrong way if you aren't serious about your pursuit and thus position yourself with residency options you might not be happy with. But that is true no matter where you go for training. Regardless, there is no 'easy' path towards medical school. I have had a taste of a little bit of the medical school pace and I can say that while conceptually it is all straight-forward, the pace is absolutely atrocious and can become wild beyond your control. That is why you should focus on resources the medical school offers to make the journey most convenient. Someone who travels 30 min-1 hr one way for mandatory medical school classes is going to feel the worst at the end of the day (unless all his/her classmates do it). But the fact is the USMLE or COMPLEX are standardized exams. So you're not really competing with just your classmates but also people all around the nation. You don't want to underestimate the amount of time you will have to prepare and adjust to the climate.
 
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First, the first year of med school barely even matters for residency so I wouldn't point to anatomy or biochem for purposes of this discussion. The rigors happen in 2nd and third year and that's where the gloves need to come off. Residency won't baby you so it won't be smart to seek out med schools that foster that notion.
I may have to disagree on the 'babying' notion a tad bit. I feel the most important thing someone should seek in a medical school is a place where you can foster confidence. An apathetic medical school administration and professors will likely make a candidate insecure of their abilities and more rough edged than someone who comes from a program that values its students. While residency is a rough stage of a physician's training, I am one to believe that no one is truly prepared for it. It's like having a morning person suddenly alternate between morning and night shifts. Clearly, there will be hiccups no matter how rough the program before them taught. The morning person will always dislike working at nights. Yes, there are some schools that have a reputation for preparing excellent medical students; at the end of the day they are simply medical students and are yet to be residents.
 

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No US medical school is weeding out students. The proportion of students who graduate is exceptionally high.
 

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Besides all my smarty-pants classmates that like to inflate our class averages, my school has a bunch of stuff that raises our QoL and minimizes unnecessary stress. That's really the best you can hope for in finding a "less rigorous school."

The other option is to go to a non Top 50 school which may have easier exams and lower class averages.
 
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Besides all my smarty-pants classmates that like to inflate our class averages, my school has a bunch of stuff that raises our QoL and minimizes unnecessary stress. That's really the best you can hope for in finding a "less rigorous school."

The other option is to go to a non Top 50 school which may have easier exams and lower class averages.
I don't think we should assess medical schools like we do with undergraduate education. Due to standardization through national exams throughout the medical school education, I doubt that any schools regardless of ranking really give their students any slack. Rather education is delibrately made more difficult with the ambitious nature of your entering class. Clearly if you are at a top 10 medical school, the pressure to do more like research, volunteer, and lead will be a requirement of sorts to feel staying afloat. Whereas, at a new developing school, research may be less stressed and students have more freedom to feel like they can focus on a specific set of essentials needed to graduate. Either option is commendable.
 
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This might be a controversial thread and I know I'm going to get a lot of "Med schools are hard and rigorous no matter where you go" lectures, but I'm asking because I know some people have probably thought about this once or twice. Are there any med schools in the United States that you guys have heard are "easier" or less rigorous than most others schools? There could be many factors that contribute to this outside of academics, like: faculty support, culture of school (whether the environment is "dog eat dog" super competitive or focuses more on supporting and boosting struggling students), also general undergrad stats of the M1 class (were their stats on average higher or lower than most M1 enrollees?) word of mouth, teaching styles, etc.

Please no judgmental comments, I just want honest answers.

Thank you :)
Yale has no grading, no ranking, no shelf exams. But you have to do a required thesis to graduate
 

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since residency programs are solely about hands-on training
Where on earth did you get this notion? If you think that surgical residents don't know their anatomy cold then I don't know what to tell you. Residents in any field do a hell of a lot of thinking and learning that isn't "hands on." Not to mention all the exams you still have to take...
 
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Are you asking for med schools that are more laid back, or easy as in the academics are easy like a third tier non-name state compared to a prestigious UG college like Rice, MIT, Stanford or U VA?


If the former, my school. My kids stop being gunners on Orientation Day.

if the latter:




This might be a controversial thread and I know I'm going to get a lot of "Med schools are hard and rigorous no matter where you go" lectures, but I'm asking because I know some people have probably thought about this once or twice. Are there any med schools in the United States that you guys have heard are "easier" or less rigorous than most others schools? There could be many factors that contribute to this outside of academics, like: faculty support, culture of school (whether the environment is "dog eat dog" super competitive or focuses more on supporting and boosting struggling students), also general undergrad stats of the M1 class (were their stats on average higher or lower than most M1 enrollees?) word of mouth, teaching styles, etc.

Please no judgmental comments, I just want honest answers.

Thank you :)
 

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Standardized tests are here for a reason. I'm not going to debate costs, effectiveness, etc. But, the USMLE will show where the student and the school has failed in education. If a school becomes "less rigorous" on its students, it will show on the board scores. From there, students will not be able to match at more recognized institutions because of it.
 

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Standardized tests are here for a reason. I'm not going to debate costs, effectiveness, etc. But, the USMLE will show where the student and the school has failed in education. If a school becomes "less rigorous" on its students, it will show on the board scores. From there, students will not be able to match at more recognized institutions because of it.
Where does Step 3 factor into this? Or is it only Steps 1 and 2CK?
 
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777137

Are you asking for med schools that are more laid back, or easy as in the academics are easy like a third tier non-name state compared to a prestigious UG college like Rice, MIT, Stanford or U VA?


If the former, my school. My kids stop being gunners on Orientation Day.

if the latter:
So how do you beat the gunner out of them? ;)
 

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Excellent question! I think that they are altruistic people who self-select for our school


So how do you beat the gunner out of them? ;)
 
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Where on earth did you get this notion? If you think that surgical residents don't know their anatomy cold then I don't know what to tell you. Residents in any field do a hell of a lot of thinking and learning that isn't "hands on." Not to mention all the exams you still have to take...
I'm talking about the actual work you do as a doctor as opposed to classroom work during your M1 and M2 years. I thought this was understood. Nowhere did I say you're not going to use knowledge of anatomy.

I think we can agree that a lot of textbook work that you do during the first two years of med school do not apply as heavily in residency. You won't be using Biochemistry the same way you learned it in M1, it'll be moreso applied knowledge.
 
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First, the first year of med school barely even matters for residency so I wouldn't point to anatomy or biochem for purposes of this discussion. The rigors happen in 2nd and third year and that's where the gloves need to come off. Residency won't baby you so it won't be smart to seek out med schools that foster that notion.
Thanks. I guess I should clarify that I was thinking moreso the classroom work you have to do when writing this, but I guess my post can apply to later years in med school if the culture is extremely competitive vs. some schools where they have more of a different focus for the culture.
 
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I may have to disagree on the 'babying' notion a tad bit. I feel the most important thing someone should seek in a medical school is a place where you can foster confidence. An apathetic medical school administration and professors will likely make a candidate insecure of their abilities and more rough edged than someone who comes from a program that values its students. While residency is a rough stage of a physician's training, I am one to believe that no one is truly prepared for it. It's like having a morning person suddenly alternate between morning and night shifts. Clearly, there will be hiccups no matter how rough the program before them taught. The morning person will always dislike working at nights. Yes, there are some schools that have a reputation for preparing excellent medical students; at the end of the day they are simply medical students and are yet to be residents.
I think this was a better way to put it than my use of the phrase "less rigorous". I've looked into several schools (such as University of Missippi SOM) that have a specific mission to foster confidence in students who may not have been stellar during their undergrad years and make them into great doctors.
 

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My school has only about 8 hours of mandatory stuff per week. The rest is video recorded so you can choose to go to class or not. We also have a true pass fail system. No ranking, no honors/high pass/low pass stuff. Everyone helps eachother out.

I think I go to a pretty great school XD
 

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All the residents that I knew that went to Yale seem to give the impression that it is a pretty 'loose' school, with no grades, and more lax with their requirements with tests. Seemed like a really chill med school.

Generally speaking, maybe counterintuitively, I've found that the more top-tier med schools tend to be more relaxed about their curriculum. There is usually less emphasis on rankings and grades.
 

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Generally speaking, maybe counterintuitively, I've found that the more top-tier med schools tend to be more relaxed about their curriculum. There is usually less emphasis on rankings and grades.
Part of that is the schools don't force students into the pretense that the preclinical grades matter (as much as your Step 1 score and evaluations) -- they don't, that's just a "dirty little secret" in med school to make sure people don't coast and get blindsided by the steps. Part of it is that when you recruit people who are type A intense studiers from college you'll still get pretty good work ethic out of them even when you go to pass fail. There aren't many "C=MD", "I just want to be a doctor, don't care what kind", "looking for the least rigorous school" types at the bottom of these schools so they can afford to do away with some of the numerical grades without ruining the end product. If you have a student body who isn't looking at getting med school as the end of the race, rather than the beginning, you have more leeway to tinker.

As a premed your goal is to take the path that sets you up best for residency. If you've always been an intense student you probably still will be in a pass fail environment. If you've always been the type to "just do enough" and the type who seeks out "less rigorous" options, then maybe you are better served finding a place that holds your nose to the grindstone. No US school is going to throw you out, but you can certainly emerge more or less prepared for residency based on how rigorous you keep things during the prior four years.
 

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Besides all my smarty-pants classmates that like to inflate our class averages, my school has a bunch of stuff that raises our QoL and minimizes unnecessary stress. That's really the best you can hope for in finding a "less rigorous school."

The other option is to go to a non Top 50 school which may have easier exams and lower class averages.
We really just going to let this go by with no further comment?
 
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So how do you beat the gunner out of them? ;)
The real question is: how do you non-gun the non-gunners?! Someone has to be the best at not being the best!!! ;)
 

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Thanks. I guess I should clarify that I was thinking moreso the classroom work you have to do when writing this, but I guess my post can apply to later years in med school if the culture is extremely competitive vs. some schools where they have more of a different focus for the culture.
I think it's also important to note that, regardless of where you go -- MD, or DO, or Top 5, or Bottom 5 -- you're still going to get your ass kicked with the sheer volume of material that is expected to be covered in two, short pre-clinical years (owing to the standardization of medical education in the US). Whether or not the school has mandatory attendance and holds exams every Monday, or maintains a "hey, it's your funeral -- do what you want" mentality, you're still going to feel overwhelmed if you're doing it right.

So, perhaps you should reframe your question: rather than asking, "Which schools are more laid back?" you should probably consider, "Which schools cater best to my method of digesting huge amounts of technical material?". To some students the "laid back" atmosphere ISN'T less rigorous and they require interaction and accountability to excel; to still others, they do well with limited supervision. So the rigor of the programs is more relative than what you're proposing, I think.
 
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We really just going to let this go by with no further comment?
I know, I am honestly convinced you could switch Harvard's class with Drexel's and it would have a minimal effect on the outcomes.
 
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No US medical school is weeding out students. The proportion of students who graduate is exceptionally high.
The graduation rate for medical students is about 94% in 5 years and rising to 97% in 8 years. So while only 40% of all medical school applicants ultimately matriculate, of those 97% ultimately earn an MD degree. Some of the 3% attrition is likely to do non-academic resignation (family, health reasons) so the actual rate of failing out is even smaller

https://www.aamc.org/download/379220/data/may2014aib-graduationratesandattritionfactorsforusmedschools.pdf
 
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777137

The graduation rate for medical students is about 94% in 5 years and rising to 97% in 8 years. So while only 40% of all medical school applicants ultimately matriculate, of those 97% ultimately earn an MD degree. Some of the 3% attrition is likely to do non-academic resignation (family, health reasons) so the actual rate of failing out is even smaller

https://www.aamc.org/download/379220/data/may2014aib-graduationratesandattritionfactorsforusmedschools.pdf
I am not sure how true that is. If you look at the GPA and MCAT chart, there are some students that have an obscenely low GPA, MCAT, or both. I have a hard time believing that these students all of the sudden figured out how to succeed in school when the volume jumps up significantly. I think it's more like 50-50 or academic failure and personal reasons, I actually met a guy who dropped out of DO school for personal reasons and is looking to go back.
 

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The graduation rate for medical students is about 94% in 5 years and rising to 97% in 8 years. So while only 40% of all medical school applicants ultimately matriculate, of those 97% ultimately earn an MD degree. Some of the 3% attrition is likely to do non-academic resignation (family, health reasons) so the actual rate of failing out is even smaller

https://www.aamc.org/download/379220/data/may2014aib-graduationratesandattritionfactorsforusmedschools.pdf
I am not sure how true that is. If you look at the GPA and MCAT chart, there are some students that have an obscenely low GPA, MCAT, or both. I have a hard time believing that these students all of the sudden figured out how to succeed in school when the volume jumps up significantly. I think it's more like 50-50 or academic failure and personal reasons, I actually met a guy who dropped out of DO school for personal reasons and is looking to go back.
You need to be clear about what you are talking about as I am not sure what you think is not true
1) The overall graduation rate for those students in MD programs is 97% after 8 years (see link above)
2) that means the overall attrition rate is 3%
3) that would mean that some part of the 3% is to have likely left for reasons other than academic performance
4) thus concluded that some fraction less than 3% have actually not completed medical school due to academic performance.

As for the DO schools, they have not historically tracked graduates in the same way, relying on direct attrition numbers per year.
in 2011-12, the last year I have data for, overall attrition was 3.3% over 4 years. (see page 10 of link)
http://www.aacom.org/docs/default-source/data-and-trends/2013-com-attrition.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Lastly, it is worth noting that US seniors, whether MD or DO, have an about a 99.5% rate of getting a residency placement via NMRP/AOA match (now combined), post match process (SOAP/Final Match) or Military Match.

In short, if you matriculate to a medical school in the US, you will almost certainly earn a degree and enter residency.
 
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777137

You need to be clear about what you are talking about as I am not sure what you think is not true
1) The overall graduation rate for those students in MD programs is 97% after 8 years (see link above)
2) that means the overall attrition rate is 3%
3) that would mean that some part of the 3% is to have likely left for reasons other than academic performance
4) thus concluded that some fraction less than 3% have actually not completed medical school due to academic performance.


As for the DO schools, they have not historically tracked graduates in the same way, relying on direct attrition numbers per year.
in 2011-12, the last year I have data for, overall attrition was 3.3% over 4 years. (see page 10 of link)
http://www.aacom.org/docs/default-source/data-and-trends/2013-com-attrition.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Lastly, it is worth noting that US seniors, whether MD or DO, have an about a 99.5% rate of getting a residency placement via NMRP/AOA match (now combined), post match process (SOAP/Final Match) or Military Match.

In short, if you matriculate to a medical school in the US, you will almost certainly earn a degree and enter residency.
I must have misunderstood you, my bad!