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How do I Choose the Best Medical School?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are four items to consider when choosing the best medical school: your priorities, admissions requirements, accreditation, and faculty. Medical school is also known as the Faculty of Medicine and is organized within a larger university. In order to become a doctor, candidates must complete a graduate degree in medicine from an accredited medical school.

Deciding on the best medical school is a difficult process. Published rankings list medical schools according to a specific criteria and each item is weighted according to its relative importance. However, the priorities of the ranking organization may not match your priorities. For example, many ranking organizations place a high value on the physical environment of the school, including the buildings and amount of open space. As a medical student, you may decide that these items have less value for you, but that subsidized family housing near campus is much more important.

In order to qualify for admission to medical school, a combination of high marks in both high school and undergraduate degree courses are required. The undergraduate degree can be in any field, but science courses can be beneficial. They often provide the underlying knowledge necessary to complete the advanced courses in biology, human anatomy and chemistry. Many programs require applicants to complete a standardized test to determine their level of knowledge and suitability for medical school.

If you are looking at the best medical school in the country or state, take note that the admissions standard is higher to reflect the increased demand. As such, only students with the very best combination of marks, personal interview, test scores, and letters of recommendation are offered admissions. If you don't have the very best marks in your class, think about applying to schools that offer programs that you are interested in or will help your career later on.

When looking for medical schools, the first item to check is the accreditation status. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party that has examined its academic and administrative policies. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions and are accepted by certifying and licensing boards. Accredited schools are able to offer students access to government student aid programs.

Most medical schools provide the biographies of their faculty or instructors on their website. The information provided typically includes the academic credentials, research focus, publications, and any awards they have received. Review this information to learn more about the interests and focus of the course instructors.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon165177 — On Apr 04, 2011

Moldova inverted the Financial Aid numbers. After your family contribution, Harvard will not assign you more than $24,500 in loans.

So, if I have an estimated family contribution of $5,000 and I need to meet that with loans, my total loan burden will be $29,500/year, meaning that about $40,000/year will be covered by Harvard grant money. Though Harvard is one of the most generous medical schools in terms of aid, many schools offer surprisingly large amounts of financial aid grants and low-interest loans in place of the standard graduate federal and private loans.

By comfyshoes — On Aug 02, 2010

Mutsy- I just wanted to say that the acceptance

rates for most medical schools vary.

For UCLA medical school the acceptance rate is 1.4% while Stanford University has a 1.3 acceptance rate.

By mutsy — On Aug 02, 2010

Moldova- I wanted to add that a Harvard Medical School and John Hopkins University rank at the very top of medical school rankings.

Medical school requirements are generally a very high GPA of 3.5 or higher, and MCAT scores between 10 to 11.

A score of 12 can help you get into the top-tier medical schools.

Students looking for a medical school acceptance also need to have at least one year of biology, physics, organic chemistry, calculus, chemistry, And English.

These are the medical school requirements and medical school prerequisites that are recommended.

By Moldova — On Aug 02, 2010

Medical school while it is a very worthwhile endeavor it can be very expensive. For example Harvard Medical School is about $70,000 a year.

The tuition is $45,000 a year and an additional school expenses are another $25,000 a year. Harvard does claim that financial aid is offered to over 80% of its students.

Some of these scholarships are Perkins loans while others are Harvard sponsored scholarships. The maximum aid avail to each student is $24,500.

Although this is one of the very top medical schools in the country, it just gives you an idea of what it medical school tuition costs.

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