Question from a premed

Monarch Kong

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    Often in the pre-allo thread, I hear people saying that what premeds consider to be important criteria for med schools are different from what med students consider to be important for med schools. So I just wanted to ask you guys out there, what do you consider to be important in selecting a medical school?

    (More personal frame of reference: currently deciding between Baylor COM and UT Southwestern, interested in research/academic medicine, lots of friends and SO at UTSW, Baylor ranked slightly higher and more cushy)
     

    MrBurns10

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      Curriculum was the most important factor for me. The amazing ability to attend classes when you want, stream lectures from home, or just study however you want cannot be overstated. PBL sounds great when you're pre-med but when you're a student you realize it's a waste of your time and yet, unfortunately, mandatory (this isn't everyone's opinions of PBL/small-group learning but it happens more than you'd think). Second most important thing is P/F classes or H/P/F classes that aren't curved. However, this is secondary since basic science grades don't matter much.
       
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      Mobius1985

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        what do you consider to be important in selecting a medical school?

        (More personal frame of reference: currently deciding between Baylor COM and UT Southwestern, interested in research/academic medicine, lots of friends and SO at UTSW, Baylor ranked slightly higher and more cushy)

        IMO:
        Most important=lowest tuition, fees, living expenses
        Then, proximity to home, SO, friends, and safety of environment
        Then curriculum style, facilities
        If all of the above are equal, or not important to you, consider perceived prestige factors
         

        Flaxmoore

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          Take the things that look coolest, and think about what it would be like for those to be mandatory. I like med school, but of the things that looked coolest as a pre-med, PBL and early clinical experience/standardized patients stand out.

          PBL is generally a waste of time. It looks cool as can be- working on real patient scenarios with other students, trying to reach a diagnosis. Sure, some things are learned, but often as not, mass amounts of time are wasted. Using this last session as an example, we were essentially finished with the case at 9am. That leaves an hour then and an hour next week of nothing to do. We were bouncing weird scenarios and other ideas around, things that were only tangentially related, just to kill time.

          Standardized patients in the first year also are a waste. Granted, it looks cool. Break out the white coat, look official, all that good stuff. Yet, when all you're asking is basic history that takes ten minutes of study to master, it's another waste of time. Later, when they filter in disorders, it might be worthwhile. Now, though? Shadow for a week and you pick up as much if not more.
           
          Often in the pre-allo thread, I hear people saying that what premeds consider to be important criteria for med schools are different from what med students consider to be important for med schools. So I just wanted to ask you guys out there, what do you consider to be important in selecting a medical school?

          What's important to YOU?

          Curriculum?
          Location? City/state? Urban vs. suburban vs. rural?
          Class size?
          Tuition?
          Private vs. state?
          Research opportunities?

          Etc.
           

          ubcredfox

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            I echo the statement about PBL. Stay away from it as if it were the plague, or go to a school where it is kept to an absolute minimum. It really is a colossal waste of time. Being able to watch lectures at home would be an awesome plus.

            I'd also recommend a school with decent + free work out facilities, a school that offers all students good/decent/safe places to sleep during clerkship, and one that won't ship you around to a half dozen different hospitals during your clerkship.

            Smaller the class size the better. Oh ya, and of course, the cheaper the better.
             
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