Choosing a Medical School

The same rules apply for choosing a medical school as they do for choosing an undergraduate program: you have to consider tuition costs, student/teacher ratios, learning environments, etc., but extra consideration needs to be given to these issues when looking at medical school. This is the school that's going to send you out into the world as a physician. You want an accredited, esteemed institution that has a respected track record of producing high quality health care professionals. You need to decide what area of medicine you want to go into: primary care, surgery, clinical research, and choose the school that best fits your career needs. Consider the physical location of the school. Is it located in an inner city or in a more rural area? Where do you want to practice after graduation?

Positioning yourself in the geographical location most desirable to you and your needs during school means you will be making contacts in the local community and better preparing yourself for life and practice post graduation. You also need to consider transportation during school. Do you need to take advantage of public transit, or do you own your own car and are you able to get yourself where you need to be at different times? These lifestyle questions need to be considered when choosing a medical program. Think about extracurricular activities and how you want to spend any downtime you may have. Make sure the medical school you choose is affiliated with a reputable hospital or health care system. Doing so ensures a top-notch learning environment as these hospitals draw the best practitioners in their fields, who in turn train the incoming medical students. You may not want to live and study in an inner city, where crime is high and neighborhoods can be dangerous, but the hospitals in these areas often provide the best learning experiences; the patient population is more diverse, and you're apt to be confronted with a wide variety of medical issues and emergencies. Choosing the medical school you will eventually attend is one of the most important decisions of your life; invest the time and energy it takes to choose the best school for you and your career goals.

Last Updated: 05/21/2014

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