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Q: attending a"lowest-tier" school

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Zummy, May 5, 2001.

  1. Zummy

    Zummy Easily intrigued. Fickle. 7+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2001
    I have been accepted at a couple schools, and the one I want to go to is Howard U. I've heard it does not have the reputation of being a "good" school, but I really liked it and the tuition is cheap. (The other school I got into is also a "lower-tier" school). I am not an URM either and I don't know how I will fit in. Anyway, my question is, what do I need to do during med school (besides work my butt off to get honors and high board scores) to stand out for when I apply for a non-primary care residency? HU's pass rates is in the 80% range (LOW!). Any suggestions on what I should plan on doing in med school to ensure I give myself the best chance at getting a good residency would be appreciated!
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  3. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer 10+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2001
    Of course good grades and USMLE scores. Research if so inclined. Good recommendations. Spend time during MS3 or 4 at the schools you are interested in. Esp. in the dept. you are interested in.
  4. docuw

    docuw Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2001
    What is the other school, if I may ask?
  5. ana


    I don't really put that much stock in school rankings, but I do believe in a school's academic record. The low pass rates for Howard U is not a new thing, it has been discussed since I was applying to med school (and I just graduated).

    I won't try to dissuade you since Howard clearly has a mission to help the undersserved community, and I believe it is an important one. But since you are worried about matching into a potentially competitive residency, my recommendation is this: you should ask to look at their match list for the last few years or so. You should do the same for the other school.

    If Howard graduates are placed in residencies and programs that you yourself would be happy with, then it should be fine. I am a big advocate for going where you will be happy and do well. Since you have some questions about whether or not you will fit in anyway, would it be possible for you to visit the school and spend a day with some of their students (a kind of "second look" for you)?

    Congratulations on having 2 acceptances. It's a great achievement.
  6. WestGirl

    WestGirl Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2001
    I was having the same question. My only acceptance thus far is Howard and did like it there too, but I am concerned about pass rates and residency matches. When I asked to provide me with their match list, they said they don't do that, although they will answer address specific questions I may have. Isn't that strange? Scary, really....
  7. ana


    Sorry to hear Howard does not allow you to see match lists as it is a very valuable piece of information. If you are allowed to ask specific information, then I would suggest you do so since this is the only way you will find out. I would want to know:

    1. What percentage of students matched in their 1st choice? 2nd choice? 3rd choice?

    2. How many people participated in the match? How many had to scramble?

    3. What % matched in primary care?

    4. How many people matched in radiology? Otolaryngology? Dermatology? Radiation Oncology? Optho? Orthopaedics? (These are all very competitive specialties).

    I hope this helps.
  8. WestGirl

    WestGirl Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2001
    Thanks for your posts, Ana. They were really helpful and I'm going to take your advice.

    Zummy, will you be going to HU? Have you found out any information?
  9. Colorado_2

    Colorado_2 Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2001
    Always be wary about the "top three choices" data. As a student tour guide at one school I visited said, a residency program that is originally quite low on a students list may move to the "top three" based on the interviews he/she receives and their perception on how competitive they are. It's not like everybody lists Mass Gen., Mayo, and the Clevland Clinic as their top three.

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust! 10+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2000
    Baltimore, MD
    Westgirl, I applied to HU and still have not heard anything from them. How did they inform you about the interview (call, email, or letter)? I know that Howard is known to be really slow in getting back to applicants but now im starting to get worried. I sent them an updated transcript and copies of research abstracts and then called them to see if they had received it and see if they could give me a heads up on my status. Unfortunately, the secretary couldnt do either, she basically told me to just wait...and if i wait any longer i think i will pull out every last hair left on my head... :mad:

  11. ringo643

    ringo643 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Even barring what the above poster said, 'top three' stats can be misleading. For example, at my school, UTMB, we have a good % of top three matches. However, alot of people choose to go into primary care, or to stay at less well-known, in-state residencies. Which means that, even if 85% of the class matched their first choice, it doesn't necessarily mean that the school is good at placing students in competitive specialties or top programs. I'd ask instead: how many people applied for derm, ortho, ent, neuro, etc; and what % of those people matched into one of those programs?
  12. Malftap

    Malftap Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 14, 2001
    DOCTORSAIB....Howard is notoriously slow on admissions stuff. I remember the first time I applied there I got an interview in the middle of June (no lie)!! As this was after I didn't even send in a secondary application to them. So don't give up because there is plenty of time left to get something going with HU.
  13. WestGirl

    WestGirl Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2001

    I was informed by letter. I waited for 6 weeks then emailed the professor that interviewed me to check on my status (he told me if I had any questions or hadn't heard from them I could call him). He said he'd check on it, however, I got the letter 6 weeks 3 days post interview (I'm in CA). By the time he wrote to me to tell me it was in the mail, I'd already received it.
    But don't give up hope, I'm sure you'll be hearing soon. Good luck! :)
  14. WestGirl

    WestGirl Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2001
    Oh my gosh, I just realized you were talking about the actual interview!! Sorry. I received a letter inviting me for an interview.
  15. Zummy

    Zummy Easily intrigued. Fickle. 7+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2001
    Should I go to Finch or Howard? I don't think they are much different in their reputation, or are they? Howard's tuition is half of Finch's. Is one much better than the other?
  16. getphedup

    getphedup Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 13, 2001
    greenville nc
    lowest tier? It doesnt matter-what you do at the school is what is important. You will meet horrible applicant who go to the "best schools." Focus on what you do while you are there and make your school better-don't ride on the coattails of a school's reputation.
  17. doctor7

    doctor7 Member 10+ Year Member

    May 24, 2001
    Finch all the way...then you can say you went to "The Chicago Medical School" and everyone will think you're a friggin genius. Go to Howard Med and everyone will say..."Harvard Med?" which point you have to explain. Just some superficial insight...all this crap is real, I'm not saying it's right, but it's real. If you're a big person, then you should follow your heart. Ever considered DO school?
  18. muonwhiz

    muonwhiz Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2001
    Just how late is Howard? I heard that if you have not heard anything from that school by 5/31 that your app is going to file 13. True?
  19. Doctor Wyldstyle

    Doctor Wyldstyle Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    What is file 13?

  20. Hamster

    Hamster Member 10+ Year Member

    May 11, 2001
    File 13 is most commonly known as the garbage can. The spot where most of my secondaries seemed to end up ;)
  21. WestGirl

    WestGirl Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2001
    Which school did you choose? I am still waiting for a response from Finch and I'm on alternates at a couple other schools. I also turned down UIC for Howard. I just can't fathom over 90K in additional debt at UIC I'm not a state resident) vs. Howard. Plus, I LOVE DC! I think Finch Howard are comparable in their reputation? I am not sure. Let me know if you will be going to Howard :)

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