The best medical schools in America are impossible to rank. As we discussed on the page about Top ten medical schools there is really no good way to rank them. There is no...this is the BEST medical school, or these are the top 100 medical schools. US News tries to rank schools every year, but they don't use any real scientific means for ranking them and come upon huge criticism every time they try. All medical schools are just pretty much the same as far as actual education goes.
That said there is a very good way for each applicant to find out what the best medical schools in America actually are. How? By finding out which schools are the best medical schools for you individually. Under what conditions do you learn best? Do you need more structure and oversight? Do you need more free time and freedom to study what you want? These and other factors are what you should look into as you do your research for YOUR best medical schools in America.
So what should you consider? Well, that should be pretty easy. You should spend a couple hours over a few days or weeks to think about and make a perfect picture for what would make up a good medical school. Make a list of things that are important to you. Your list will likely have information about:
- Curriculum - Do you want lectures? Do you want a large class size with a lot of help? Do you want a very competitive class that drives you to push for your best? Do you want a traditional curriculum with basic foundational work in first year with biochemistry and anatomy? Or would you rather have a newer curriculum with more patient contact, more system based from day one, or more problem based learning?
- Life - How much do you want to be in class? Maybe required attendance will be good for you if you know you need lecture but also know you won't go unless it is required. How many lab/required contact hours are you looking for? How often do you want to meet with teachers? Students? How many out of school activities do you want to do? What would be around a perfect school? Nature? City? Clubs?
- Cost - Don't ignore this, pay attention to cost now and you will better your future. See the page on medical school loan and being smart about your debt here.
- Other - Consider other things that are important to you. Family. Friends. Research. Groups.
Make your perfect school up in your head. Write it down. Now your know the characteristics of what would be considered by you to be the best medical schools in America.
Now get to researching. Visit every schools site. If I have a page here for the school you can save a lot of time by visiting there and getting some very good preliminary research done. Match the school with everything you want as closely as you possibly can. Add things that you didn't think of your list should not be set in stone until you feel it is perfect. Once you've gleaned all the information you can from website and other sources, call them or write the admissions director an email. Get to know him and ask him your other questions. Stay in contact with the directors at your top schools. Once you find your schools, THEN, and ONLY THEN, look at the numbers. If you haven't finished yet, try and make sure your numbers match. If they don't match you have to cross those schools off. If you have to cross off too many, you may want to consider making your application better so you can get into the schools that fit you well rather than schools where you may be miserable.
By now, you realize that there is no such thing as "What are the Top 100 medical schools" or "Is this school a good medical school?" It is a good medical school, they all are. But you need to know what the best medical schools in America are, based on what you want. You deserve a school that gives you want you want, and schools deserve a student who is happy, productive, and successful.
If you go to a schools that matches what you want. You WILL be happier, you will do better (better grades and USMLE scores), and you will make your career start on a very good note.
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