How to choose the medical school which will be right for you

26th July 2022

Applying to medical school is like entering a long term relationship. This may sound a little
far-fetched and cheesy however, it is true that over the course of your lifetime you will likely
spend much more time at work than you ever will with your life partner. Becoming a doctor
will influence every aspect and corner of your life. And so you want to make sure that this
new relationship which you are entering is built on the most solid of foundations in order to
avoid a messy and painful divorce later down the line.

Your years at medical school will be some of the most important and influential of your life.
It will grow and develop you as a doctor and ultimately as a person. And so you of course
want to make sure that whichever medical school you do decide to apply to is going to be
the right one for you. This means distancing yourself from the idea of the “best” medical
school and instead focusing on somewhere you think you can be happy and thrive for the
next 5 years.

So how can you narrow down your options?

Firstly, before you delve deep into researching medical schools it’s important to consider
that some require specific qualifications ,and so make sure that you take this into account
whilst doing your investigations!

Then research, research, research! Again, just like a prospective boyfriend or girlfriend each
medical school has its own very different personality. Their own pros and cons. But of
course these will vary from person to person and so the only thing to do is to find out all you
can about each medical school and conduct your own background checks!
Visiting as many universities as you can and attending their open days would be an ideal
way of getting a feel for each campus, of what kind of facilities they offer and what your
possible future lecturers are like.

The structure of the course which is offered by each medical school also varies. Some have a
more traditional approach with a few years of lecture based learning before you are let
loose talking to patients on the wards. Or would you rather be thrown in the deep end and
gain this experience early on? Can you tackle staying awake in lectures or would a more
modern ‘problem based learning’ approach be more suited toward your style of studying?

Even the location of the medical school is important. Are you the kind of person who wants
to be in a big city with lots of things going on? Or would you prefer a more quiet and calm
time at university? All of this needs to be taken into account and ultimately should become
just as important a factor in your final decision as the layout of the course itself.

All of this may sound daunting but by doing your research beforehand you can’t go too far
wrong. Whichever medical school you do end up at it’s all about immersing yourself in the
life there. As in any relationship, it may be rocky at times but the more work you put into it
the more you will eventually get out in return.