Six Factors to Consider When Applying to Medical School

February 10, 2015


Each medical school is as different from the other as an individual is from the next. That’s why it’s imperative that you find out all you can about the institutions to which you’ll apply. St. Augustine, FL-based WOLFPACC highly recommends that during your med school interviews, you ask questions and glean all the information you can about these factors before committing to a particular school:

  1. Curriculum: Ask about special programs for which a particular medical school is noted, modalities used for student lectures and policies concerning taking time off for research opportunities. Find out how students can get assistance if an academic need arises and whether the school offers flexibility in the timing of course work should you need to accelerate your studies or take a little extra time to better understand a particular subject. Also find out whether, when and why the school or any of its clinical departments have been on probation or had its accreditation revoked. 
  2. Evaluations: Ask how academic and clinical evaluations are performed, whether standardized tests such as NBME shelf exams are used and how students perform on them. Also find out how students can formally evaluate their professors and attending physicians and what changes the school has made as a result of such feedback. 
  3. Counseling and student support: Learn about any academic, personal, financial aid, career counseling and mentoring services available to students, spouses and dependents. Take a look around to see how diverse the student body is and seek out organizations or services tailored to ethnic and cultural minorities, women and LGBT students. 
  4. Facilities: Check out a school’s facilities including the library; athletic, recreational and extracurricular spaces; cafeteria and on-site restaurants; and study areas. 
  5. Student involvement: Voluntary involvement in student and community service programs can help boost your employment chances after graduation. Find out just how involved the student body is in student council, government and other organizations. Also ask whether and to what extent various medical school committees have student representation. 
  6. Residency: Ask to see a list of residency programs to which a school’s recent graduates were accepted and look for programs that fit your particular medical career goals in terms of academics, prestige, location, etc.

Above all, ask yourself at which schools on your list you can best see yourself enjoying, engaging and succeeding. After all, medical school is a multi-year commitment and the one you choose can make all the difference in your long-term career success. And no matter which you choose, consider WOLFPACC’s USMLE prep, COMLEX prep or Head Start courses to assure you’ll have the competitive edge in your studies.