Your excellent academic performance, skills, and experiences show that you have the potential to be a successful doctor. This makes you feel confident that you can easily get into the medical school of your choice. However, getting into a medical school is not simple and straightforward. Even filling out and submitting a medical school application is not simple. You need to work with medical school consultants for medical school personal statement help, prepare for the interview and so on.
Making a list of schools is an important decision. The program you are choosing is going to play a key role in your career and success as a doctor. So, it is important to choose the right school. Following are the important factors you need to compare potential medical schools:
- Residency match list
- Clinical exposure
You are going to spend years in a medical school. So, you are most likely to have a good idea of the type of settings you want. You can find medical schools in both urban and suburban settings. Medical schools in rural areas are very rare. The location does not only affect your cost of living and personal life. It also affects your learning experience. The prevalence of different diseases is not the same in different areas. Different patient populations are exposed to different diseases. So, if you want to work with a certain group of patients, choose your program and location accordingly. For example, you want to serve an under-served urban poor population.
Residency Match List
This is another important factor to consider at the time of making a choice. For graduates, the next phase of training is crucial. You might be interested in orthopedic surgery or any other particular specialty. So, evaluate the program to make sure that it matches the particular field. You can find some medical schools matching dozens of individuals to specific specialties. Others match a few students only. There can be a number of reasons behind these differences such as students’ preferences, program’s reputation and advising programs. However, you must keep in mind that not all schools are good at preparing you for the given field. You also need to consider that the residency match lists solely do not reflect the program’s academic reputation. Students’ own decision-making also plays a part in shaping them.
A medical school has to complete standardized licensing exams. The content taught to students during the classroom years is quite similar. However, the way in which this content is presented varies widely. So, visit the website of the school to see if they are offering a subject-based curriculum, an integrated curriculum, traditional lectures, or a problem-based curriculum. In the problem-based curriculum, small groups of students with faculty work through clinical scenarios and discuss pertinent topics.
In an integrated curriculum, anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, physiology and other subjects are presented. There are positives and negatives to each scheme. So, it is important for a student to consider the way he learns the best. The overall structure of the curriculum is another aspect you have to keep in mind.
Most of the clinical training occurs during residency. When you are in a medical school, you get clinical exposure that has a significant impact on the way you will practice medicine out there in clinics and hospitals. The hospital you will train in is an important factor to consider. Also, consider the educational philosophy maintained by the school toward rotating students (whether students are active members of the team or passive observers). Make sure that all clinical specialties at the hospital where you will be rotating are well-represented.
Don’t neglect the financial factors as medical education is an expensive endeavor. Many students come with the burden of student loans from undergraduate education. So, you should research about the price tag attached to the medical school before you make the final decision.
Once you have compared all these factors and made a shortlist of medical schools that you will apply for, choose a medical school consultant who will guide and help you through the medical school application process. The consultant will give you the guidance you need to choose a school and fill out a medical school application. He will offer medical school personal statement help and help with mock interviews.