Choosing an Undergraduate Program

If medical school is definitely in your future, attending an undergraduate program with a highly esteemed science or premed curriculum is a smart start, but other questions might have to be addressed first, such as: How much can I afford? What kind of financial aid can I qualify for? Is the school a state-funded or private institution? Some people learn better in smaller class environments - where the student/teacher ratio is 10:1, for example; others fare well at the larger universities with lecture halls that hold upward of 700 people at a time. This can be overwhelming for some, so decide which learning environment is best for you to narrow your school search. The smaller private universities usually cost more, so of course tuition and financial aid need to factor into this equation as well. If a doctor you know and admire attended a specific university and they recommend the program to you, that's one of the most helpful ways to choose a school; but the best way to get a real feel for the school environment is to schedule a campus visit. At this visit you should meet with faculty in the science department and state your desire to go into medicine. You will be allowed to visit actual classrooms and labs where you will spend most of your time. You will also get a good feel for the faculty during this visit - how approachable and accessible they are to students; how supportive they will be if and when you need their assistance or guidance. Everyone will be putting their best foot forward while you're visiting, so talk to students on campus and get their opinions of the school - ask about their likes and dislikes, what they would like to see improved, etc. Meeting with an alumnus of the program is another way to unearth information about a medical program. Ask many questions during a campus visit; it's your time to gather information about the place you're going to spend the next four years of your life.

Last Updated: 05/21/2014

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