How does my state of residency impact where I should apply?
How do I make sense of residency requirements?
Are there new medical schools I should consider applying to?
Are there special interstate agreements?
Should I consider applying to public medical schools that are out-of-state for me?
How should my GPA and MCAT score affect where I apply?
How important should rankings be as I decide where to apply?
Aren’t all mission statements the same?
What should I look for as I examine a school’s curriculum?
Should cost be a factor in my decision of where to apply?
What other factors should I consider?
I want to apply to MD/PhD programs. How do I decide where to apply?
I want to apply to osteopathic medical schools. How do I decide where to apply?
1. How many schools should I apply to?
25+ schools generally indicates a lack of strategy and that the schools have not been well researched
2. How does my state of residency impact where I should apply?
Applying as an in-state candidate usually puts you at an advantage
Many state schools have <15% of their class from outside their state
Tuition tends to be lower
3. How do I make sense of residency requirements?
In the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR), each school’s listing includes the numbers of ‘resident’ and ‘non-resident’ applicants, interviewees, and matriculants.
The Princeton Health Professions Advising website is a great resource.
Residency rules vary from state to state, and HOW residents and non-residents are defined by an Admissions committee varies from school to school.
4. Are there new medical schools I should consider applying to?
The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) website is a great resource. (www.aamc.org)
List of recently accredited and new schools are overviewed in Snapshot of the New and Developing Medical Schools in the U.S. and Canada.
There are also many new osteopathic schools listed there.
5. Are there special interstate agreements?
Yes - some states that either don’t have medical schools or who have very few have created special interstate agreements so that their residents will have in-state privileges
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education operates an exchange program for students from 13 western states that gives them preference in admission & reduced tuition in selected out of state medical & other professional schools
The University of Washington School of Medicine serves as the public school for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.
Finance Authority of Maine’s Access to Medical Education Program, which gives Maine residents preferred access to Dartmouth, Vermont, and UNECOM.
Delaware Institute of Medical Education & Research, which has Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia serve as Delaware’s medical school.
6. Should I consider applying to public medical schools that are out-of-state for me?
It depends on which school…
Consult the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) and the chart entitled ‘Acceptance & Matriculation Data’
When a public school has over 25% of its class from out-of-state, there’s a reasonable chance of qualified out-of-staters being considered.
The percentage of in-state versus out-of-state residents is also available on this AAMC Site: http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/start.htm
7. How should my GPA and MCAT score affect where I apply?
Consult the MSAR (again!)
MSAR Online contains admissions statistics including the school’s mean MCAT and the ranges of overall and science GPAs they accept.
Use this data to assess whether or not you will be a competitive candidate at a specific school.
Make sure you select a mix of schools where you are at or close to the average GPA and some schools where you may be above the average.
Take a similar approach with the MCAT.
8. How important should rankings be as I decide where to apply?
Be careful not to put too much emphasis on rankings. Apply to a diverse group of schools.
The U.S. News and World Report ranking uses a methodology that may change year to year and may emphasize qualities that are not as important to you.
Think about which schools will be the best fit for you; where you can thrive.
9. Aren’t all mission statements the same?
Not necessarily. Some vary pretty dramatically.
You want to identify schools whose mission parallels your professional goals and personal values.
You can read each school’s mission statement in the MSAR.
It’s also important to explore the websites of your schools of interest.
They often feature more in-depth information about the school’s philosophy.
10. What should I look for as I examine a school’s curriculum?
Consider your learning style.
The AAMC website has Curriculum Inventory and Reports (CIR) page which provides information about the structure, delivery, and assessment of medical school curricula.
Look at the grading policy of the school.
Pass/No Pass vs. Letter Grading System
Residency program information. (American Medical Association) www.ama-assn.org
11. Should cost be a factor in my decision of where to apply?