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How does one go about finding a medical school?

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my 17ds has 27 college credits and a gpa of about 3.80. He is working on his A.S. in PreMed.


The classes I have signed him up for have all been General Ed. required classes.


He wants to go to medical school to be an MD. I do not know how competitive he will be with (only) a 3.80 gpa. He can get plenty of reference letters from MDs for admission purposes.


How do I go about finding medical schools? This is all new territory for us. I am hoping some of you will be ahead of me on this and be able to give advice.



Edited by 5KidzRUs
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He will have to start reading Med School guides -- think about (I did not say decide, I said think about:001_smile:) allopathic vs osteopathic.


I advised my dd29 to major in something that would provide her with an option as a career in case she did not get in to med school (she did :001_smile:). She majored in neuroscience, she spent undergrad summers working in the lab of a mega pharmaceutical firm who would still hire her in an instant if she asked them).


It is helpful to be involved (with one's whole heart) service projects -- doctors help people (in a perfect world) -- service projects show that one is genuine about that.


Volunteer at a local hospital - take whatever volunteer position there is - express his desire to attend medical school. The field is crying for people -- he will not be turned away -- he will get to know people at every level, they will get to know him, and he will get the information he needs to make an informed decision.


PM me if you would like to ask me anything! I know WAY too much about this.:001_smile:

Edited by MariannNOVA
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I would first look at any med schools in your state. In TX, they are required to admit 90% of their students from TX. Atleast that is the way it was when my ds applied several years ago. Texas does have arrangements with a few other states that do not have med schools and they are admitted under that 90%. We were also told that one of the things they look highly on is volunteer work in the field of medicine. In TX you apply online and can have your application sent to all 3 schools. My son did summer research after his sophmore year of college. It was hard to get into, but I really think it helped. Check out admission requirements for your med schools. One of ours required college Spanish. My ds ended up at UTSA Health Science Center in San Antonio.

God bless,


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My husband is currently interviewing with medical schools. He is actually a business major who just took all the medical prerequisites. From what I've heard, medical schools like students who have a well-rounded degree, something besides science, maybe humanities or something.


There are a few things I'd recommend. One is to get your hand on the MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements). It's a book you can buy on amazon. Basically it lists every medical school in the United States, what their averages are and a bit about the school. Another thing I'd recommend is to get some experience in a medical setting. My husband volunteered at an E.R. for over a year. The longer the better. A third thing I'd highly recommend is for him to get some research experience. Medical schools look highly on this and it will make him way more competitive.


As far as choosing a medical school, your best bet will be a state school. Not only will it be significantly cheaper, but he will have much better odds at getting in. After a state school, your next best bet would be private schools, because they don't care where he's from, although they are significantly more expensive. You have little to no chance at most state schools outside of the state you live in.


You will probably want to start saving up now for applications and interviews. So far, we've spent over $3500 just on them alone.


Good luck. It's a long, stressful road, and it's good to start thinking about it now.

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Your child will need, at a minimum:


1 year of General Chem with labs

1 year of Organic Chem with labs

1 year of Physics with labs

1 year of Biology with labs

1 semester of pre-calc or Calc


These are BARE minimums. Competitive students have more like 2.5 years of biology and an addition chem course (biochemistry, usually).


Your child will also need to complete a BS or BA degrees (especially since he is so young).


They like well-rounded people, so psych and lit and writing courses are excellent to take.


GPA-wise, a 3.5 in BIO, CHEM, MATH, and PHYSIC only. Do not include psych and other general ed courses in that GPA.


MCAT is generally taken the spring/summer before application. Applications are expensive and you will need to plan on travel expenses for interviews.


Apply to the state your child feels most is home. Military brats do get a break when it comes to applying to the 'home' state since most of them do not really have a home state.


PM me for more info/questions. I advise budding pre-meds and teach college chemistry classes for a living.

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How do I go about finding medical schools? This is all new territory for us. I am hoping some of you will be ahead of me on this and be able to give advice.




Go to a big bookstore and look at the guides (I think there are two). It should show things like the "average" MCAT score of those who got in, and you can google around to find out which undergrad schools the med students came from. If he goes to school X, and the med school hasn't taken anyone from that state in the last 5 years, take that as a hint. Private schools can do what they like.


Visit some. You can walk around campus and poke your head in the library. I ruled out one school because everywhere I went the studiers scowled at me tiptoeing by. The guide kept going on about how great the scores were on the Boards. The school I picked had three standout points: people smiled, the guide told jokes, it was the best school that accepted me. The experience was so miserable (med school, not that school), if I had to do it again, I'd do the state school with less tuition. The debt at the private school was shocking (to me) and tuition is over 40,000 a year, now. :blink:


AFAIR, we were advised to apply to a couple school "above us", a couple "safety schools" and the rest the ones you want to go to. Everyone applied to 20 (I was in a competitive group at a post-bac pre-med program at Columbia). I "had" to apply to Ivy schools or my advisor, who wanted feathers in his nest, wouldn't send out my letter. I applied and immediately yanked (and canceled my 200 dollar checks) my Ivy applications because after Columbia, they were nuts if they thought I was going to an Ivy school.


My ex had a 4.0 as a chem major, a private, fancy undergrad and strong MCATs. But he was 19. Only one school, at the end of summer, took him (a good school, but he was last on the list). I had no fancy anything and not a 4.0, strong MCATs but I was nearly 30. Some schools won't take older students. Some want them at least 22. Look at the demographics and tailor the applications from there. NYU, e.g., back then, took NO older students. My school (Einstein) took ONE that was under 22, but 9 my age or older the year I went. Mt Sinai, where my ex went, was not so fond of older students. These are examples. The particulars may have changed in the 18 years since I graduated.


Given the price of med school, unless you are from a very "disadvantaged" background (think scholarship), or are rolling in it, I would really encourage in-state tuition. Back then few state schools took out of state students. Kansas was one. About half were out of state, and you could get state tuition after only a year of living there.


The reqs vary slightly. 1/3 of the schools required calculus, 2/3 didn't. One required just a semester. The guides should list these.


Personally, I'd get the guides to the schools and then let your son read them and glean info. If he is not motivated enough to do that, he'll have a hard time getting in. You need a heck of a lot of self-discipline, and you have to "know yourself" as far as how much time you need to conquer what, and how you learn best. Having mom sign you up for whats good for you should come to a halt (I don't mean to sound harsh here).


Letters from MD's are not so important as letters from teachers and people whose labs he worked in. I had very little "volunteer time" (I did it in geri-psych) but got in. I banked on my good MCATs and a really well written application letter jammed full of all the diverse things I'd done. Those got my foot in the door, the rest was interview. I was accepted in several places.


If your son wants something like ophtho or ortho, he'd better look for summer work (possibly unpaid) in a lab at a university. People who get into the "desirable" tracks start stuffing their envelopes YOUNG (I personally thank my stars that I wanted to be a grunt...I didn't have to butter anyone up to get my residency or my jobs, as so few people want to do what I do :)).


Your son is young. Taking a year to work as an escort in a hospital or an aid in a nursing home will not ruin his life, but will make his application look like it is based on love of the field, not $$$ or ego.


Your son is free to email me if he likes. I'm sorry this is such a ramble, but I don't have time to edit!

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princeton review (on-line) has information on med schools. That might be an easy way to gather information and narrow down your choices.


I would think about where he wants to practice once he gets out of school. You are more likely establish a practice or join one in the state that you go to med school or your home state.

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