Interesting Comparison...

I had an interesting experience last week. I am just starting on my pre-reqs, and so I emailed the two medical schools I would most like to attend to ask about the courses I’m considering and see if they fill the pre-req requirements. One of these schools is the University of Colorado. The other is Rocky Vista University, which I think is the only for-profit DO program in the continental U.S. UC emailed back and said, “We do not counsel prospective students.” That was it. Rocky Vista sent me several paragraphs of material and invited me to call and discuss things further. What has YOUR experience been talking about potential medical schools?

What has YOUR experience been talking to potential medical schools?

In a word: discouraging. Maybe it’s the competitive northeast, but most allo schools I’ve spoken to have essentially told me to bug off. Only a handful of schools ever spoke with me, let alone gave me detailed answered my questions (thank you, UVM!). It’s frustrating for a non-trad who doesn’t have a pre-med committee to consult, and really does need specific information from the schools.

It took me a few years to become assertive (aggressive?) enough to keep calling them, trying to get to the deans directly. Some schools will talk to you, some won’t. Try a few times, and if they don’t care enough about you as an applicant, then I’m not really inclined to put them high on my list either.

My experience has been the converse.

The med schools I’ve talked to, even schools where I have no doubt I will get denied (ala Kentucky), were helpful and informative.

It’s too bad you received such a response from UC. It’s a great school… I’ve heard the Dean of Admissions speak on a couple of occasions and he seems like he’s very open to non-traditional applicants. The campus is incredible and the medical students that I know who are attending it can’t praise it enough.

Rocky Vista sounds very good too. I haven’t toured the campus yet but I’ve heard good things. They’re still in the process of receiving their accreditation but it sounds like a done deal.

Where are you thinking of taking your classes?

just a few comment

  1. try emailing deans/admissions/recruite rs, etc, with a brief bio, specific questions, etc. That may work better than phone calls. usually you can get the email addresses from the schools web sites.

  2. The NAAHP website, which is for advisers, does have some adviser resource links that are open to all and you may find useful

  3. The NAAHP also has a link to find an adviser if your school does not have one

  4. OPM does have some contacts, particularly with the DO schools, please contact me on an individual basis for this. I dont post these as I simply do want want to overwhelm our connections nor abuse the relationships .

    5 Remember Rule 1: take a breath

I’ve emailed UC Davis, UC San Fran and Stanford and all three quickly replied to my questions. UCSF even contacted my postbac program to make sure the OChem was acceptable.

My guess is that it depends on the person at the keyboard in admissions, so be persistent.

I agree with the last post. Keep trying until you connect with someone at the school who is helpful.

My only experience has been with the two schools in the Kansas City area: KU (MD) and KCUMB (DO). They literally could not be more helpful. Between the tours, pre-med conferences, and even taking the time to sit down with me and review my pre-med plan…they have been lovely.

If they’re not helpful in your area, you can always move to Kansas

Thanks for the comments, guys. As far as where I want to take classes, anywhere that accepts me. I am desperately hoping to get into a school here in Colorado as I have kids, and I really don’t want to move them at this stage of their lives, but if I have to go elsewhere…

I’m planning to pursue rural medicine; I’m hoping that helps my chances when I apply. Any of you have info on scholarships or other info for those pursuing rural medicine?



When I was considering rural medicine as a pre-med I contacted both University of Minnesota-Duluth and University of Illinois-Rockford and both were very helpful and willing to discuss things with me. That was a few years ago, but I don’t imagine much has changed.

We had a professor from a Nebraska medical school a few years ago who was investigating who went into rural medicine. he is now the dean of admissions at a school in Arizona and I have been in touch with him. Send me an email and I will put you in contact.

Another school to consider. . . (if you’re not afraid of the high tuition) is West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. It is constantly ranked in the top 10 medical schools (both osteopathic and allopathic) for rural medicine and primary care.

It is also where I graduated from, so maybe I’m a little biased

  • jlr18 Said:
It took me a few years to become assertive (aggressive?) enough to keep calling them, trying to get to the deans directly. Some schools will talk to you, some won't. Try a few times, and if they don't care enough about you as an applicant, then I'm not really inclined to put them high on my list either.

Beautifully stated! If a program does things that make you feel unwanted or that you may not fit - take the hint & look elsewhere. If they are making you feel unhappy now, just imagine the misery potential if you are immersed in their world...a world that is not comfortable for you.

I have had no problems contacting prospective med schools. In fact, Midwestern in Glendale, AZ has graciously invited me down to take a tour of the campus and answer any questions. ASU West has been very helpful in answering my questions about their Pre-Med classes. UA/ASU Med School responded positaivly to my email and I waiting to hear back from A.T. Still in Mesa.

I’m sorry to hear that the schools you have contacted have not been as receptive. Keep trying to contact them and get the answers that you are lookign for.

That was predominantly my experience back in 98. Several schools talked to me soon after I was rejeced, a couple preferred to wait until the app cycle was complete and a few said no. The most impressive one was the Univ of Ark. They scheduled a telephone meetings (would have been in person had I not lived in Dallas) with the Dir of Admissions about a week aftr my request. They said he would go through the app with a fine toothed comb & provide feedback. He did precisely that and I planned to definitely employ his critique had I needed to repeat as an applicant. I got in, so the point became moot, but their dedication to helping me, esp when they did not hav to do so, was impressive.

I’ve also had mostly positive experiences with contacting schools. Some have stood out as particularly nice (including where I ended up ), but almost all were open to my questions and happy to provide feedback when asked nicely.

As Joy says, though, if you get a bad vibe from them, they may not be the kind of folks you want to hang around with anyway. But it may pay to give them a second chance to help you.