Top 5 Factors to Consider When Picking a Medical School
Are you stressing about which medical program to choose?
Picking a medical school can be difficult, especially in today’s competitive job market. If you choose correctly, you’ll be able to fast-track your career. However, the wrong school choice can set you back for years. Not to mention the financial expense!
To make the most informed decision about which medical college is right for you, there are 5 factors you need to consider. What are they? Read on to find out!
- Location and Online Opportunities
First, when you’re picking a medical school, think about the location of the school. Is it located near your home? How far away does it need to be before you start losing sleep at night worrying about that dreaded biology test tomorrow? An hour-long commute might not seem like a big deal at first.
However, over time the long drive can become stressful, and upsetting. You’ll notice how much time you’re wasting on the road. Considering the rise of gas prices, you’ll also spend a ton driving 2 hours round-trip.
Another issue with long commutes is the potential for delays. The longer your journey, the more likely it is construction or accidents will slow you down.
- Ideal Distance
When you find a school that’s only 20-30 minutes away, the drive becomes much more doable. If possible, choose a medical school that is close enough for you to travel to on weekends or during breaks. That way your friends and family can come to visit you at your school.
- Online Opportunities
Also, consider online courses and programs. Several schools offer the option to take certain classes online or through hybrid models. This can be beneficial if there isn’t an in-person course being offered that fits your schedule, or if you want a unique learning experience outside of the classroom.
Not to mention the benefits online courses provide with fluctuating COVID requirements. Online medical programs are a great option for those students who want to stay at home. They’ll be able to continue to earn their degrees without interrupting the lives of others.
- Type of School
Let’s say you find an institution with the perfect location. What’s next? Now, you’ll need to do a little deep diving into what the school’s all about.
When it comes to medical school, each institution will have something different to offer. While some schools offer similar courses, others specialize in a few select areas.
Here’s a list of the different types of medical schools:
- Research schools
- Community-based hospitals
- Community colleges
- Graduate schools
Research schools are institutions that focus all of their efforts on a research-based curriculum. They might offer some clinical rotations and opportunities for students to interact with patients. However, the bulk of these programs focus on educating future doctors about how to conduct medical research.
Community vs University
Students who attend community colleges or universities will be in traditional settings. These schools have larger class sizes, and they often boast a wide variety of programs available. These institutions can be great choices for students who want to earn their MD – all the while earning another degree at the same time (such as an MBA).
Graduate schools are primarily recognized in medical education circles as professional healthcare programs. However, some programs receive approval from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
- Types of Medical Courses
Moving on, what types of medical courses will be offered? You’ll want to know the course types, and how they’re currently being taught. For instance, you may find a school that offers traditional lectures. Or perhaps students learn exclusively through computer programs. The structure of medicine is constantly evolving.
It’s important to know what technical skills will be best suited for your vocation. We suggest exploring the requirements for each different medical career you’re considering.
Coursework Deep Dive
To get into the finer details of an institution’s coursework opportunities, there are a few resources you can use. For starters, visit ultimatemedical.edu. Do a deep dive and read the class descriptions for each institution. Jot down any details that stand out to you.
Next, call the school and request to speak to someone about the coursework details. Have the school employee thoroughly review the technology and class format. It’s important to find the best coursework option for you. There isn’t a 1 size fits all solution.
- Curriculum Format
While coursework is an important factor, it isn’t everything. To further your research, look into the curriculum being offered by each school. This includes curricular requirements, projects and electives offered.
Reviewing the curriculum helps you gain valuable knowledge in a specific area of your choosing. To do this research, contact the registrar and ask for a detailed information packet. The packet will contain the necessary details regarding the curriculum requirements along with registration forms.
- Faculty Standing
Last but not least, you’ll want to learn more about the faculty. Specifically their research interests, and accomplishments. This is important because you’ll be working closely with these people throughout your entire career. It’s best to know what they’re all about before committing for four years.
To do this, visit each school’s website and call the institution directly if needed. Then, use the information you learned from the school to research each professor’s credentials and passions. Read articles they’ve written, and look into their past research studies. This will give you a better idea of your professor’s teaching styles, their academic approach, and what type of environment they’ll likely create within the class.
If possible, try auditing n a class to get an idea of how the professor teaches. If that’s not possible, speak with past students and learn more about the professors from a first-hand perspective.
Picking a Medical School You Trust
Congratulations! You now know 5 of the most important factors to consider when picking a medical school! Since the selection process can be lengthy, you shouldn’t delay getting started.
Go ahead and write down all of the decision-making criteria you learned here today. Remember, location doesn’t have to be a major deciding factor if you’re taking a lot of online courses. Finally, narrow down your list to 3 schools and call them. For more ways to advance yourself, explore the rest of this site.