There are 155 accredited medical schools in the Association of American Medical Colleges. Yet, even that narrower focus from thousands of U.S. educational institutions creates many options for a medical student.
How many pro/con lists have you made in picking medical schools that best fit your needs and goals?
If you’ve found this article, we imagine the lists are endless, as is the number of schools you’re looking into to further your education. 155 U.S. schools each present an opportunity for growth, but there is only one that you’ll call home. We are here to help you make that decision.
Read on for our top considerations to review when choosing the best medical school.
1. Location as Key to Picking Medical Schools
You’ve heard the notion that location is everything when it comes to making long-term decisions, and finding the best medical school is no different! Location means the difference between feeling energized or burnt out on campus simply from the physical environment.
Over one hundred medical schools are across the U.S. alone, and not all are created equal in location.
You have places that bring joy and productivity. Think of the coffee shop you wrote the best essay in or the library you studied at for hours before acing a test. The environmental features that brought out your best self should be highlighted in the medical schools you compare.
Are you a big city lover or find ease in quiet suburbs? Do you want to be ingrained in campus life or create space outside of the school grounds? The schools you look into should take into account your answers to these questions.
2. School Tuition & Financial Aid Opportunities
If location is the key, tuition is the door that swings open or closed in picking medical schools.
On average, medical students have around $215,000 in debt upon graduation. This academic path is not inexpensive, and a school choice should account for your education costs.
See what type of financial aid opportunities exist at different schools. A school that offers innovative payment or aid methods ranks highly on any medical student’s list.
Further, schools often charge more for out-of-state students. Consider the effects of selecting a school’s location via tuition savings. You may be surprised by the great school in your state that is also a cheaper option.
3. Academic Environment When Reviewing Medical School Options
Each school has a unique educational structure in instructing its medical students. Two crucial characteristics in the academic environment to consider are class size and the grading system.
Do you learn best in a small cohort or major lectures? Larger medical schools, of course, come with a bigger class size, and that may hinder some from deep learning. Know what group size and dynamic you will get the most from when choosing a medical school.
Schools also present different opportunities for grading. Select medical schools offer a pass/fail grading system versus a numerical grade. Pass/fail may increase class camaraderie, but numbers may push you to be a better student.
Different schools will also focus on various skills, such as becoming a thorough medical translator. A final check on your consideration list should ensure your professional goals match the school’s curriculum.
You need to know yourself and know how you learn best when making these considerations.
Use These 3 Tips When Picking Medical Schools
Picking medical schools that fit specific needs can overwhelm any applicant. Utilize the points above to build a decision framework, and don’t forget the power of a gut feeling to top it off!
Are you looking to empower yourself to make leaps in other areas of your life? Check out our full blog to find inspiration and create opportunities for success.