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  • You've decided that you're  applying medical school - congrats!  

  • But deciding which medical school to  attend isn't as straightforward as  

  • some might suggest. These are the considerations  to determine which med school is best for you.

  • Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com.

  • Before you can determine which  medical school you want to attend,  

  • you need to determine which  medical schools to apply to.

  • The average student applies to 15-20 schoolsbut I generally advise students to apply to  

  • too many schools rather than too few. Think of  it from a risk assessment perspective. If you  

  • don't apply to enough schools, there's a higher  risk you don't get any acceptances, requiring  

  • you to reapply in a future cycle or reconsider  another career path. That's a huge downside.

  • If you apply to too many schools, on the other  hand, the main downsides are cost and the time it  

  • takes to write additional secondaries. Cost can be  mitigated through the fee assistance program, and  

  • writing secondaries gets easier the more you doas you're able to recycle similar essays between  

  • programs with only slight modifications. There's  an asymmetric upside to applying to more schools.

  • I personally applied to 40 schools, which in  hindsight was more than I needed to. But I  

  • received over 20 interview invitations, attended  more than 10, and had several acceptances.  

  • It was far better to be in a position  to decline an interview invitation  

  • rather than wishing for more. And with multiple  acceptances, you're in a stronger position to  

  • secure stronger financial aid packages  and decrease your student loan burden.

  • When determining which schools to apply toyour stats should obviously guide you to a  

  • certain degree. But you should also consider  how strong their in-state preferences are.  

  • Some public schools take a tiny  percentage of out-of-state applicants,  

  • and if you're out-of-state, that may change  whether you think it's worth it to apply there.

  • After applying broadly, hopefully you have  one or more acceptances to choose from.  

  • This is an excellent position to be inHere are the most important considerations:

  • First, prioritize the location. You'll be  in medical school for at least 4 years,  

  • and your location can play a huge  part in your overall experience.

  • Location can mean being close to friends  and family, who will be your sources of  

  • support in medical school in addition  to your newfound friends and colleagues.

  • Location can mean being in an environment  you're familiar and comfortable with.  

  • Or it can mean exploring a new city  or region that fancies your interest.

  • I chose UC San Diego for medical school in  part because of the location. I love it there,  

  • and I figured it's great to be in a low stress  environment like San Diego, with beautiful  

  • beaches, amazing weather, and reasonable trafficwhile in a higher stress period of my training.

  • The location of your medical school  also plays a large role in your fit.

  • Fit is somewhat of a nebulous term, referring  to how you relate to the medical school culture.  

  • Some suggest you look at the school's mission  statement to get an idea of their interests,  

  • values, and goals. In my experience, mission  statements are too broad and generic. Rather,  

  • consider your experiences interacting  with the school and its people.

  • You'll get a feel for it on interview dayand certainly if you attend a second look  

  • weekend. Even if you're doing a virtual  interview rather than attending in person,  

  • you can still get an idea of the  school's persona and priorities.

  • Do you vibe with the other students thereDo they feel like your people? What about  

  • the faculty and staff you come across? Do they  care about similar things that you care about?  

  • Maybe that's underserved medicine or primary  care. How does the environment feel and the  

  • immediate surroundings - this, after all, is  where you'll be spending a great deal of time.

  • This is the time to consider what  type of doctor you want to be,  

  • and whether this environment will  help you work towards that goal.

  • While cost is important, I don't think this  should be your primary consideration. The White  

  • Coat Investor certainly feels different, arguing  that medical schools provide comparable education,  

  • and choosing the cheapest school  is almost always the best decision.  

  • If all medical schools were created equalthis would be a strong argument. After all,  

  • the compounding effect that works for you with  investments also works against you with debt.

  • Cost includes more than just your tuition as  well. Attending medical school in San Francisco  

  • or New York City will have higher associated  costs of living compared to Omaha or Ann Arbor.

  • We know that location and fit are obviously  highly variable based on the institution,  

  • but aren't medical schools  otherwise more or less the same?  

  • Not quite, bringing us to our final pointprestige and your intended specialty.

  • The reality is that prestige can certainly  play a role in your future residency  

  • matching opportunities. Particularly if you're  trying to train in a competitive specialty,  

  • the reality is that your pedigree can  certainly be an asset in helping you have a  

  • leg up. This prestige effect continues  on through fellowship applications,  

  • getting additional degrees like an MPH or MBAand even with your future doctor job applications.  

  • There will certainly be some butthurt comments  below, as this can damage sensitive egos,  

  • but that's just the reality of it, and I don't  water things down. This is Med School Insiders.

  • More prestigious programs are also more likely  to be affiliated with larger medical centers that  

  • have a wide breadth of specialty exposure. If  you're set on matching into ENT or neurosurgery  

  • but don't have those departments at your medical  school, you're at a substantial disadvantage.  

  • First, you won't get proper exposure until  your fourth year of medical school when you  

  • do away rotations. It will also be more  difficult to find a long term mentor who  

  • can guide you or go to bat for you  during your residency application.

  • You can look up the various departments at  a medical school or affiliated hospital,  

  • or you can ask during your interview  day. Ideally, you want medical school  

  • faculty in your specialty of interest, as these  individuals are involved with research, teaching,  

  • and mentoring of medical students. Community  physicians that have a looser association with  

  • the hospital can sometimes become great  mentors if they take a liking to you,  

  • but that's the exception, not the rule, as there  isn't the same obligation to your education.

  • The stability of the department  is also highly relevant here.  

  • If the neurosurgery program at a medical school  was put on probation or has been subject to  

  • controversy or scandals resulting in high turnover  of leadership, you'll want to tread carefully.

  • When deciding on a medical school to attend,  I want you to be able to have your pick.  

  • Why can't you attend the medical school that's  in a city you love, that fits you like a glove,  

  • that's highly ranked and that doesn't put you  in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt?  

  • I feel so fortunate that I was able to find that  for myself with UC San Diego. And a big part of  

  • that was becoming the most competitive applicantcould be. By having multiple schools vying for me,  

  • I was in a position to secure the merit-based  scholarship awarded to only one student each  

  • year that covered my entire tuition and most  of my living expenses. If you want to learn  

  • from my failures and triumphs, I've developed the  Premed Roadmap to Medical School Acceptance course  

  • to guide you. Use coupon code CHOOSE20 for 20%  off your purchase through the end of the month.

  • When deciding on a medical  school, MD vs DO vs Caribbean  

  • is massively important. Check out my video  explaining the pros and cons of each,  

  • or how to choose a specialty. Much  love, and I'll see you guys there.

You've decided that you're  applying medical school - congrats!  

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How to Choose a Medical School

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    Summer posted on 2020/11/07
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