Choosing a New vs. Established Medical School

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Choosing a New vs. Established Medical School

Postby goliszek » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:14 am

Because of the need for more doctors, several new medical schools have opened, with more scheduled to be opened within the next few years. The question many potential applicants ask is, “Should I consider one of these newer schools or only apply to the more established programs?” The answer depends on your qualifications and your future goals. Here are some things for you to consider in making that decision:

New medical schools typically have smaller class sizes. Until a medical program becomes more established, it usually has smaller class sizes. This is a concern for some students who may feel that there would not be a large enough network of other students for study and collaboration. On the other hand, if small is better for you, and you think that you would like the more intimate environment associated with smaller classes and fewer faculty, then a new medical school may work for you.

Applicants to newer schools typically have lower grades and MCAT scores. If you don’t have strong enough qualifications or your grades and MCAT scores are not as competitive as many other applicants, then a newer medical school might take a chance on you. Since they don’t get as many applications, and the ones they do get are usually not as strong, your chances for admission are probably better than they otherwise would be.

Graduates from new medical schools may not get as many residency spots. Older, more established medical programs are more prestigious than ones at younger schools, so naturally they would place more of their graduates in residencies. And because the number of medical students over the next decade is going to outpace the growth of residency slots, students graduating from newer medical schools will face more competition.

New medical schools may not have a strong relationship with local hospitals. One of the important questions to ask is whether a medical school has a good relationship with the hospitals at which students will do their rotations. In most cases, they do, but applicants need to make sure that physicians at local hospitals will regularly work with students. Clinical rotations are important to a student’s medical education, and the weeks spent learning about a specialty is critical. So before applying to a newer school, insist on knowing how involved the local hospitals are with medical students.

New medical schools may not have as many specialty resources. If you know what specialties interest you, then you need to ask if the medical school has the resources or the department for you to rotate through. For example, if your interest is plastic surgery but the new medical school does not have the resources in that specialty, then the school is probably not a good fit for you.

New medical schools might focus more on primary care. The trend over the next decade is primary care. Some established medical schools are already trying to attract students who are interested in that field, but many of the newer schools are especially interested in applicants who can convince them that primary care is what they want to do. If that’s your interest, then a new medical school may very well fit the bill. This is especially true if your qualifications are not especially strong but your extracurricular activities indicate that you are a good candidate for primary care.

Reprinted from The New Medical School Preparation & Admissions Guide, www.medicalschool-admissions.com
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Re: Choosing a New vs. Established Medical School

Postby annawarren » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:54 am

Great article :)
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