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Will Working in Another State Boost My Chances of Getting into Medical School There

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by jxpd, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. jxpd


    Dec 3, 2013
    Hey guys,
    I'm reapplying. I guess I wasn't good enough last time, but I"m looking for everything I can do to increase my chances of getting in. Do you think I'll have a better shot at more medical schools if I move to their state and work there for a year?
    For example, I'm from Oregon. One MD school here. I could cross the border and work in WA, but there is also only one medical school there. Would my chances of acceptance into ANY school increase if I went to states with lots of medical schools like Ohio, Florida, California?
    I'm really discouraged at this point, but I don't want to give up.
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  3. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    If you have already done everything you can do about your GPA, MCAT, letters, essays and activities, and you have an employable skill, then changing states may be an option. But it's a really low-yield option, because there are no states with loose admissions. Meanwhile, if you are a newcomer to a state, that is noticed. Your parents paid no money into the state's coffers, unlike your competition's parents who paid state taxes for 20+ years, and you are much less likely to stay and practice. You want to go to med school, but what does the state get from you that it can't get from its own?

    If you want to move, what matters is your legal state of residency, which is defined differently for every state. Moving and getting a job will do nothing for you if your target state has legal domicile rules you don't follow. The point of moving would be to get legal in-state status for admissions and tuition, which are two different standards, and which again are defined differently for every state. You have to do the homework to find out what a state's requirements are, and you can usually get a good start from a med school's admissions website.

    Oregon has one school for one state with a weak-ish in-state preference around 66%. Washington has one school for five states with a strong-ish WWAMI preference around 90%. I wouldn't move to WA to increase in-state odds, but moving to Alaska, Idaho, Montana or Wyoming would be a slight odds improvement. SLIGHT.

    California is by far the most difficult state for med school admissions. It doesn't matter if there are lots of schools if there are way more premeds. Florida and New York are similarly clogged.

    States that are not major job-migration destinations such as Michigan, Louisiana and Ohio have slightly lower admissions numbers, and have slightly easier domicile laws.

    tl;dr: probably not worth moving vs. doing other stuff to improve your app.

    Best of luck to you.
  4. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    BTW, odds for a state should be viewed by figuring out how many in-staters are going for how many in-state seats. The AAMC FACTS tables have that info for MD schools.

    Such as: which shows you Oregon odds are better than Washington, across the board.
  5. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    My rule of thumb is that if you have stats that are better than avg for your state school, it might be worth applying to the neighboring state's pubblic school as well. However, this is highly dependent upon schools. U WA is a highly competitive school, and one that only accepts about 15% OOS. Of those, some seats are commited to ID and AK residents.

    The UC schools are the most competitive of all of the state schools, so OR residency won't help.

    Now, if you lived in rural western VA, the W VA schools would likely give you a shot.

    Keep in mind that the taxpayers supplement your tuition in the form of lower tuition, they have a vested interest in knowing that you're going to stay and practice in their state.

    Invest in MSAR and apply to schools whose median scores are close to your own.
  6. cabinbuilder

    cabinbuilder Urgent Care Physician Physician 10+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2005

    Just to clarify that UofW is part of the WAMI program where they have a certain number of seats designated for Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming students. Approx 15-20 seats for each states. The competition is very high, generally need a 4.0 out of Univ with a 35+ MCAT. I did a presentation in residency about the WAMI program and how it doesn't exist for pre-med DO students. There is not a similar program in place at the DO school in Yakima where they take 3/4 of their students from the Western states.

    OSHU in Portland is extremely difficult to get into. I will tell you as an attending who has had to deal with them on the patient side of things I don't EVER refer to their hospital unless I have no choice. Their quality of care sucks and I have not ever had a patient come back happy with how they were treated. Too big a place, they have lost their humanity IMO.

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