I am new to this forum. Currently I am finishing up my pre-reqs and on my last one now. I was wondering if you all could share your thoughts on which schools are a “definite apply to” for 30+ pre-meds
thanks in advance for all the inputs
Pretty much all of them. Look in the class of 2008 thread and see were OPM’ers got in.
The best school is one that accepts you. That being said and if you have a choice, choose the school where you are most comfortable. Any accredited medical school in this country is a good medical school and will prepare you for medical practice.
My fellow residents come from a variety of medical schools(no Ivies) and are all good solid physicians and good colleagues. As you get further along in your career, you realize that the medical school has very little to do with your actual medical education. Your residency will have more to do with your practice style and you have more control over residency selection than over your choice of medical schools.
It was nice to have a choice but when I look back on my education, it is my residency program that has profoundly affected my style of practice. Here at UVa, we are pushed to perform better and better. My faculty attendings are the best and have very little to do with medical student education. Medical student education is largely left up to us, the residents. We really try to keep our teaching levels high.
Also keep in mind that medicine is taught from physician to physician or student physician. You can’t learn to operate or give excellent patient care from a book. When you are out there on interviews, ask plenty of questions of the medical students that you meet. Ask about quality of clinical teaching and about study environment. You spend most of your first and second year studying so you need to have plenty of resources. Having good colleagues is also a plus so ask about whether the school is competitive or cooperative. I personally loved studying and learning in a cooperative environment.
As a 40+ (I was 46 when I started school) medical student, I found that age is meaningless. The information is the same and still has to be mastered. If you are capable of doing this, age is not a factor. Most of your socialization will be with the books.
Things that were factors for me:
1. Financial Aid and Scholarship availability
2. Cooperative versus Competitive environment
3. Multicultural student body and faculty
4. Underserved patient population.
5. Urban Location (Even now as a resident, I am finding life in Charlottesville pretty tedious. I head to DC every chance that I get.)
In the end, my top two choices were Medical College of Virginia and Howard. When Howard offered me a full-ride scholarship, my choice was made. Loved the school and loved my classmates who were quite diverse and very cooperative. Other schools that I applied to and was accepted: GWU, UVa, UMD, Eastern Virginia. Looking back, I made the right decision because Howard prepared me well for residency. I came in having plenty of experiences with procedures (suturing,centeral lines, arterial lines, trauma and ICU management) and able to manage floor patients independently.
I hope that this helps!
As long-time members will know, this is a hot-button question for me. I firmly believe that there are very few “unfriendly” schools at this point, and I strongly advocate against choosing schools based on what you may have heard about their willingness to consider a non-trad applicant. If you do a search for the term “non-trad friendly” you’ll probably unearth some of the previous discussions about this.
The things for a thirtysomething (or fortysomething or more) to look at when considering med school are not much different from the things that are being considered by the twentysomethings. Where do you want to live? (what are your locality constraints due to family, personal preference, etc.) Big city? Small town? Finances - what state do you live in, and how many med schools would give you the advantage of in-state tuition? (look carefully at state schools for which you would NOT be a resident - some are relatively attractive to out-of-staters, others are hopeless) How much debt will you be able to comfortably shoulder? (this could guide you in terms of not just school tuition, but living expenses for the area)
Do you have a dream school? You should go for it! Once you have grades and MCATs in hand you’ll be better able to tailor your application list to your qualifications - pick some “reach” schools, a good handful of “in line” schools, and some “my stats are better than their averages” schools if you can.
Spend lots of time browsing school websites. You can get some sense of the place from that if you’re lucky. (I still wish I could’ve applied to Creighton; they had the friendliest website I’ve ever seen!)
D.O. schools led the way in accepting non-trads back when M.D. schools were still hesitant, so definitely keep them on your list.
But the bottom line is, make your list and then convince the schools why they should consider you - your job is to make the sale. There’s no reason why you can’t present a strong, competitive application that makes your age a non-factor, a point that simply isn’t a concern.