May 15, 2013

How to decide which medical schools to apply to

Need help with deciding on which medical schools to apply to? I was once in your place. I did not know a lot about Philippine medical schools so I depended on the people closest to me to influence my decision. Now that I am done with my application, and am actually starting medical school this June, I think I’ve slightly gained credibility to give tips for this crucial decision-making.

It’s not possible to apply to every medical school you can think of, so I’m here to help you narrow down your choices. Note that I am not going to recommend specific medical schools for you. If you are expecting that, then I’m sorry to fail you, but I can’t fulfill that. What I can only offer you are steps you can take to help you reach the decision you need to make.

So, here they are:

1. Listen

Listen to your peers. What do your MD co-aspirants say? Which medical schools are they applying to? They might have chosen those schools for a reason, right?

Listen to medical students.
They were in your position once, they must have something to say about that matter.

Listen to medical doctors. They have the most experience and exposure in the medical field, so I think their insights on this matter is valuable.

Listen to your parents. If your parents prefer a certain medical school, you should consider it also. Honor your parents by listening to their suggestions, especially if they are the ones who will be paying for your medical education.

Remember, you only have to listen. Don’t feel pressured to follow all their suggestions. It’s your future after all, and the final decision is up to you.

2. Research

Google for medical school ranking. If ranking matters to you, it would be good to take time to look for medical school rankings based on yearly physician licensure exams. Accumulated rankings are also searchable on the internet. Try to see for yourself which medical school does better than others in terms of this parameter.

Research about the school’s tuition fee.
Knowing about the school’s tuition fee is important because it’s one of the greatest limiting factors faced by aspiring MDs. Medical schools are expensive, so it’s important to see which schools you can afford and which schools offer scholarships.

Research about the application process and the requirements.
Do you lack any units that they require? Are you willing to take up those extra classes? Do they require you to submit a recommendation letter? How much is the application fee? Is the application process too tedious for you? You must know the answers to these questions.

3. Visit

Visit medical schools that you are quite interested in.
There’s something about a university’s atmosphere that would let you know whether it can offer you the right atmosphere. You’ll be spending 4-5 years of your life in that environment, so choose wisely.

I did these things, and after a long period of deliberation, I decided to apply to 3 medical schools – UERM, UP, and Ateneo. I chose UERM because most of my closest college buds are there, Ateneo because of their double degree program (MD +MBA) and UP because it’s my dream school. Thank God I was accepted in all of them! Among the three, I had to choose only one and I decided to go to UP.

It’s okay if you still do not have a plan right now, but after doing the things I suggested here, I hope you’ll be able to make one. Base your decision on what you’ve heard, read, saw, and thought about and you’ll be on the right track.

If you’re not contented with what you found here, then maybe other medical school bloggers might help. Aside from Medical School Road Trip, there are other medical school blogs on the web today! During my gap year, I stumbled upon their blogs and their blogs inspired me to make a medical school blog myself. So, why don’t you go and check them out? You’ll not only be helped with your medical school application concerns, you’ll also get a glimpse of what medical school life is like. Here are some of them:

I hope this post helped you with your dilemma. Be wise in making your decision and I hope you’ll end up getting into the medical school that you like best. God bless!


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