Out of all of the college programs that are available, medical school is the most selective for prospective students. Only around 23,000 people are accepted into medical schools each year, forming the future physicians of the United States. There are plenty more that hope to get in, and you may be one of them. If you find yourself hoping to get into medical school, there are some things to consider. Here are five things you need to know before choosing a medical school.
5. The School’s Graduation Rate
One of the first things that you want to look at is the graduation for all of the medical schools that you’re considering. In terms of overall graduation rate in the United States, around 83 percent of medical school students go on to graduate their program. If you want something that will allow you to get through school at a standard difficulty, aim for 83 percent or higher. Going lower than 80 percent will really challenge you to the point where you may drop out. With that said, you have to think in terms of how much you want it overall.
4. The Admission Standards
Now that you know how difficult it will be to finish your schooling, we have to consider how hard it’s going to be just to get accepted. Some medical schools have such a low admission rate that it’s not worth going through the expensive and time consuming process just to get a quick rejection. Some of the hardest medical schools in the United States include Virginia Tech, New York University, Texas Christian University, Stanford and Kaiser Permanente. That’s because all of these schools have an acceptance rate of less than two percent. The University of Tennessee is much more favorable at nearly 16 percent.
3. Support From Staff
Not all medical schools are the same and expect you to learn everything on your own time and have staff that are hard to get a hold of if you need support or have questions. That’s why you want to focus on schools with programs that offer generous office hours, career services and more. When you’re a medical student, you’re likely to be focused on studying around the clock so when you run into stressful situations, you want to know that you’ll have the pillars of support that you need.
2. Alumni Base
When you’re looking at any college, you want to look at the alumni base that the school has produced, and that’s true for any program of study. Sure, some schools might produce a lot of alumni, but are they producing notable alumni? Look at schools with a rich history of producing the world’s best physicians. Just a few doctors to think about and the schools they went to include William Abdu (Dartmouth/Tufts), Myles Abbott (Miami) and Fouad Abbas (University of Maryland).
1. The Cost
Of course, you’ll want to know if you can even afford going to medical school. Medical school is often the most expensive program for any college, and unless you are extremely lucky, you’re going to find yourself in a lot of debt. Try to match yourself with a school that’s affordable enough to make payments until you really get your career launched and start earning the big bucks to pay off those loans.