I would be cautious about assuming UCR is easier than UCI. UCR may be "less prestigious"...but if you're speaking med school, the competition will probably be tough regardless of where you go. They will both be similar in the difficulty of the classes. People do get weeded out of the bio major at UCI, but not a crazy number...as you may think. And also, you don't have to be a bio major to be med-school competitive. If you are passionate about English, I suggest that you major in English at UCI (or UCR) while taking pre-med courses. Of course, the Thomas Haider is a valuable opportunity, but I wouldn't count on getting in. Also, UCR is getting its own med school soon so the program might not be relevant by that time.