Reviewing the list of medical schools is an important first step toward the application process. You have now made up your mind that you want to be a doctor, despite reading the medical school introduction detailing the obstacles you must overcome. So where do you start?
You Need a List
If you are in college, it is never too early to research about the different medical schools. Although the medical school requirements may be largely the same in every school, some of them may have unique requirements.
You have to start out with a list of medical schools if you want to be prepared by the time you apply. Wikipedia’s list of medical schools is actually very good. It is accessible, free, and full of good information to get you on the right track. So instead of recreating redundant content, just click on the link (which opens in a new window).
There are two main features of the list you should be aware of:
- sorting by state
- sorting by degree (MD or DO)
Using Wikipedia’s List
To sort by state, click on the little box by the “state” header. See the red arrow in the picture below.
The most important information you want right now is to find out which schools are in your resident state. These schools give preferential treatment to their state’s residents. You should definitely apply to all of them if you want to maximize your chance for acceptance.
To sort by degree, click on the little box by the “degree” header. See the green arrow in the picture above.
Determining which school offers a MD degree and which school offers a DO degree is only important if you specifically want to go to a MD (allopathic) school or a DO (osteopathic) school.
I applied to both types of school because my goal is to be a rural doctor. Both paths lead to the same destination. The two degrees are largely similar.
Check out the osteopathic medical schools section to find out if you should apply to DO schools or not.
Detailed Information About Each Medical School
As you go through the list, you should be developing a vague idea where to apply. Again, definitely apply to all your state’s schools. You want to pick about 10 to 20 schools. A typical applicant applies to around that many schools. Your state many only have a few schools, so what schools should fill the other 15 or so slots?
When I was deciding on which schools to apply to, I needed more information than what was available through Wikipedia. You may need additional information as well.
A good guide to get is the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR).
The 2012 – 2013 version had really horrible reviews. So I am not recommending that. The 2011 – 2012 version is better.
This book has all the information you need for applying to allopathic (MD) medical schools. It shows the average accepted students’ GPA, MCAT scores, highest degree earned, and the schools’ admissions requirements.
When I applied to medical school, I used the MSAR to gauge my competition to MD schools. Not only will it help you choose which school to apply to, it’ll let you know how well you must do in your classes and on your MCAT.
Personally, I borrowed this book from the library. So if you are interested in saving a bit of cash, I would strongly recommend you do that.
MSAR is only for allopathic medical schools. If you are interested in osteopathic (DO) medical schools, there is the Osteopathic Medical College Information Book (OMCIB). It is free to download! All you need is a PDF viewer, and then you will have all the information you need to apply to DO schools.
So between the list of medical schools on Wikipedia, MSAR, and OMCIB, you should have all the information you need to make an educated decision on which medical schools to apply to. Once you have narrowed down your choices, you can plan on how to fulfill their requirements.
Top 10 Medical Schools in the US
If you do not know where to start when researching which schools to apply to, I highly recommend you look through this section. Actually, even if you have an idea where you want to apply to, take a look at this. It delves into how the U.S. News ranks medical schools. I also present a list of medical schools which I think are among the top 10 in the country.
This article is part of the Get into Medical School series. Click on the link if you want more tips and hints about getting accepted into medical school.