You decided you want to go to a medical school, you studied hard and now it’s time for you to choose the right medical school for you. Take your time and do some research because you are about to spend four years of your life studying there. Furthermore, your future career as a doctor depends on your choice. If you want to be well prepared and become a successful doctor, make sure you choose the right medical school. Now, the question is how to do this.
First, make a list of medical schools you are interested in and compare what they offer. Start by listing your preferred schools, then some good medical schools that would be your second choice, and in the end consider a couple of optional schools just in case you are not accepted in the others.
Apply for a number of different medical schools, just in case you don’t get accepted in the one you liked most. Remember that the more highly a school is ranked, and the more prestigious it is, the more difficult it will be to get accepted. You will need the highest grades and best MCAT scores if you want to study there. Luckily, it’s not the prestige of the medical school that matters, but rather its performance. Almost any medical school, provided you do well, can prepare you for your future line of work.
One of your priorities will be to decide where you want your school to be and how much everything would cost including tuition, fees, books, supplies, and living expenses. If there are good medical schools where you live, or if you have some relatives near the school you want to attend, you should take it under serious consideration as it could save you a lot of money.
Tuition differs from school to school, so make sure you make a comparison and see which ones you can afford. Private institutions are more expensive than public or state programs.
Consider applying for a student loan in case you have good incoming GPA and MCAT scores. A full-ride tuition scholarship is the best choice if you are ready to work hard and be among the best students with a high GPA.
Next, choose a medical school based on the area of medicine you would like to practice. Find out as much as you can about medical schools within your area of interest, talk to a student adviser, and visit some websites.
See if a school has a teaching hospital nearby, which will also save you both time and money in commuting expenses. Make a tour around schools and feel the atmosphere as it’s very important that you feel comfortable. See what the student body is like, ask about age and ethnicity, as well as whether they are cooperative or competitive.
Consult with those who have already attended a particular school and ask them what their experiences are like; find out why they chose these particular schools and what was good or bad about their choices.
Learn as much as you can about campus life, academic and non-academic activities, classrooms, research laboratories, libraries, career services, counseling, patient population etc.
If you choose a medical school wisely, you will find yourself attending a medical school with an excellent faculty, cooperative student body that will give you a solid medical practice. Hopefully, you will learn how to take very good care of your patients and how to get things done once you start working.