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best schools to prepare you for med school

gurkaurgurkaur Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
edited October 2011 in College Search & Selection
hello! i have been trying to search up precentages of student who get accepted into american Med schools. does anyonw know any colleges that have a good precentage of their students accepted? i'm having a hard time finding the info. i want to go to a smaller school because i like smaller classes, but big school i can deal with. (am a junior) i am thinking a pschology or religion major but who knows at this point. any ideas or thoughts are welcome!
Post edited by gurkaur on

Replies to: best schools to prepare you for med school

  • gurkaurgurkaur Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    also i have a great GPA and i'm going to take the SATs this year sometime.
    are ivy leagues worth it? i mean i probably have a slim chance of getting in....
  • KudryavkaKudryavka Registered User Posts: 879 Member
    Obviously students at more prestigious schools are more frequently accepted to med school, but contrary to popular belief, that's more about the quality of students going in than the quality of instruction. Pick a college where you'll succeed. If you want a small school, look at liberal arts colleges instead of stressing out over the Ivies. I go to Grinnell and there are quite a lot of pre-med students here; you don't need to go to a big university to do pre-med.
  • M's MomM's Mom Registered User Posts: 4,562 Senior Member
    That stats on pre-med acceptances by school can be very misleading: A school that aggressively weeds out pre-med students in the early chem and bio sequences may, as a result, have a higher accept rate than schools that are highly supportive of all their pre-meds and therefore don't weed them out. A state school that is located in a state where the state med school doesn't admit any or many out of state students may also show an unusually high accept rate. And smart student at a less competitive school many do much better in the application process than an equally smart student at a more competitive school, since the committee letters (which is what are usually sent by undergrad schools to med schools) rank the students against their peers. Finally, medical schools are notoriously less sensitive to undergrad prestige: they care about your GPA, your MCAT score, your research and other ECs and your letters of rec. If they are state schools, they often care a great deal about whether you are a resident of that state. The name of the school just doesn't count for that much.

    What should you look at then?
    1) How good is the pre-med advising at the school?
    2) What opportunities are there for research and medically-related volunteering?
    3) How likely is the atmosphere and learning style to help you optimize your academic experience?
    4) How likely are you to get to know your profs at the school since you will need them to write letters of rec for the committee letter
  • sakkysakky - Posts: 14,759 Senior Member
    To M's Mom's list, I would add another feature - which we can call point #0 because it is arguably the most important feature of all: choose a school with high levels of grade inflation. After all, as M's Mom said, admissions are heavily based on GPA. If you have a low GPA, adcoms won't really care why. All they'll see is that you have a low GPA and then reject you accordingly.
  • M's MomM's Mom Registered User Posts: 4,562 Senior Member
    gaukaur, my recommendation to any pre-med would be to check out the LACs (liberal arts colleges) for a number of reasons:

    1) Most don't weed out undergrad pre-meds as aggressively as the big universities and state schools do.
    2) The small class sizes generally mean that you get to know your prof well and often have more than one class with the same prof (no TAs, no crowds at office hours, etc...)
    3) While the research opportunities are more limited in range, you are working with the prof directly, not under the supervision of a grad student, and med schools don't generally care what kind of research you did as much as whether you've had the experience-poster session, publication, etc...
    4) As a broad generalization, I would expect pre-meds at LACs to be more supportive of each other than at larger schools because school norms at LACs are so strongly against competitive behaviors in the classroom. You never hear about someone sabotaging some elses lab or refusing to share class notes as you do at the larger, more competitive schools.
    5) There are medical volunteering research opportunities are most LACs - even the most rural are near a hospital, clinics, doctors offices, etc... where you can get experience, and you can always apply over the summer to work in appropriate settings.

    S is pre-med at Grinnell College, a LAC in rural Iowa. He's had a wonderful experience there and highly recommends it. Outstanding sciences, amazing facilities, no intro science class bigger than 24 students, merit aid, no distribution requirements and wonderfully supportive faculty.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,608 Senior Member
    i want to go to a smaller school because i like smaller classes,

    Do not assume that smaller schools mean smaller classes. That is often not the case. Even in smaller schools, intro classes and pre-med pre-reqs are often quite big.

    I know a lot of pre-meds target elite schools thinking that will give them a better education or an edge. However, elite schools often have many, many super stat pre-meds & STEM majors all gunning for the limited number of As that are given in the weeder classes.

    You may be better off going to a "good school" that is strong in sciences where you can shine, your profs will know you, and you'll emerge with a very high GPA.

    Also...talk to your parents about how much they'll pay for college. That may influence where you should apply. Debt should be avoided as an undergrad since med school requires a lot of debt.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 9,579 Senior Member
    "percent accepted" means little not only for the reasons pointed out 1) smart students in means good results 2) weed-out classes that discourage all but the strongest students but for a 3rd reason.

    The OP wants to go to a small school, but do a bit of digging and you'll find that small schools that seem to have found the magic formula for med school admissions (eg. they aren't top-20 or top-50 in terms of undergrad ranking, but have amazing success rates) usually get those results by judicious use of the committee letter. If your school offers this letter then you are required to submit it, and many small schools make no bones about writing letters that say "recommended with reservations" or "not recommended". Either is a death knell to an app, and if you're smart enough for med school you're smart enough to realize that. Consequently they can ensure only their best students actually end up applying.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,799 Senior Member
    Do not assume that smaller schools mean smaller classes. That is often not the case. Even in smaller schools, intro classes and pre-med pre-reqs are often quite big.

    At Carleton College (a private LAC) in 2010-11, 2 classes in the whole school had sections with 50-99 students; none had more than 100.

    At St. Mary's College of MD (a public LAC) in 2010-11, 10 classes in the whole school had sections with 50-99 students; none had more than 100.

    At the University of Colorado, 246 classes had sections with 50-99; 229 had 100 or more. 327 had a graduate teaching assistant as the primary instructor.

    You can look up these numbers in the Common Data Set files for many schools.
  • OCELITEOCELITE Registered User Posts: 994 Member
    If you want small class sizes, most private schools offer that. Try LACs or LAUs, usually they have small class sizes. As an example, Chapman University has a small to mid-size campus with small class sizes. They have a great premed program and they're planning a medical school. I would imagine they'll probably take on some of their own premed students.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,608 Senior Member

    At Carleton College (a private LAC) in 2010-11, 2 classes in the whole school had sections with 50-99 students; none had more than 100.

    At the University of Colorado, 246 classes had sections with 50-99; 229 had 100 or more. 327 had a graduate teaching assistant as the primary instructor.

    Carleton.......2000 undergrads

    UColorado....26,500 undergrads

    You can't compare Apples and Oranges.

    First of all UColorado is a large university, so one would need to look at proportions, not actual numbers. UColorado offers many more courses.

    Secondly, because it is a university, it will have some types of classes where having a Grad student teaching is no big deal....such as one of the many recreation classes for credit. Do those classes really need a PhD teaching them? No. There are other "non-academic" classes that universities offer where they stick a Grad student in to teach it. To just put numbers out there without indicating what they are teaching can be very misleading. Having a grad student teaching "Weight Conditioning" is different from having a grad student teaching Differential Equations. At my kids large public, the only grad students they ever had was for weight conditioning and jogging. No biggie at all. To put a PhD in that spot would be a waste of university funds. And, who cares if a jogging class has 60 kids in it? Without any indication of what those classes are, such info can be very misleading.

    But getting back to my point, it is a myth to just assume that smaller schools mean smaller class sizes. A few privates may limit all class sizes to less than 30, but many do not. My son is in a PhD program at a top 20 private school. He's taking one undergrad class for interest. That class is so big that during the first week 25 kids had to sit on the floor until a larger room could be found. Oh, and a grad student was teaching the class. BTW....my grad student son will be teaching at this school next year.

    10 classes in the whole school had sections with 50-99 students; none had more than 100

    Since the school is a LAC, this info is misleading. You'd have to compare the A&S at a university. Those 10 classes could be Bio, Chem, OChem, Psych, US History, Cal I, Spanish I and other typical classes that are often large.

    I think that CDS breakdown is odd. Once you have about 70+ kids in a class, what difference does it really make? Is anyone going to get more "personal time" with a prof that is teaching 80 kids than if he were teaching 150?

    However, I would agree that once you get to those mega-size classes that some schools offer with 300+ kids in them....wow. I'm not saying that you can't learn in such classes, but if you had any questions, you'd be hesitant to ask them and likely the prof might not even see your raised hand.
  • KudryavkaKudryavka Registered User Posts: 879 Member
    ^There are exceptions to every rule. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that you're much more likely to have small class sizes at an LAC than at a large university.
  • parent56parent56 Registered User Posts: 7,658 Senior Member
    UAB in birmingham al is a great school for premed. excellent premed advising, super sci/tech honors program (research opportunities+++) very strong school for sciences, great automatic merit aid, (reasonable cost regardless at 20-24K[tuition, dorm and food] per year for oos student)

    Science and Technology Honors Program
    The Science and Technology Honors Program, otherwise known as Sci-Tech Honors or S&T Honors, is UAB’s research based honors program. This program prepares students for research careers and graduate school by connecting them with labs and mentors in their undergraduate years.
    The first two years of the program focus primarily on teaching the methodologies and techniques used in scientific research, while the last two years are spent on developing the student’s Honors Thesis, consisting of an individual research project and report that will be submitted for publication.
    The program also encourages collaboration amongst students and boasts its tight-knit learning community, which is facilitated by numerous program meetings, activities, and summer retreats. In order to promote these ideas, the program only accepts a maximum of 50 students each year. The minimum requirements for application are a 3.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and an ACT or SAT score at or above the 90th percentile in math and science. However, all applications are individually reviewed and there is no definite cut-off based on ACT or SAT scores.

    The student-faculty ratio at UAB is 18:1. 91.3% of the faculty at UAB hold an academic or professional doctorate. Average undergraduate class size of 31 students.

    THey also have an early acceptance program for med school Very very competitive

    Early Medical School Acceptance Program
    The Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP) is the most competitive honors program available at UAB. EMSAP serves as a magnet for academically superior high-school seniors, attracting them to UAB’s undergraduate programs by offering guaranteed acceptance into the School of Medicine, Dentistry, or Optometry, after completion of their undergraduate degree at UAB.
    EMSAP is a combination of three separate programs: the Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP), the Early Dental School Acceptance Program (EDSAP), and the Early Optometry School Acceptance Program (EOSAP). Currently, EMSAP accepts only 10 students per year into its program while EDSAP and EOSAP, both of which are new programs starting Fall 2008, are anticipated to accept only 1–2 students each per year.
    The minimum requirements for application are a 3.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and at least a 30 ACT or 1320 SAT (out of 1600). However, the average ACT score of those accepted ranges from 32 to 36. The minimum academic requirements for remaining in good standing are a 3.5 GPA in natural science and math courses and a 3.6 GPA overall. Should a student’s GPA drop below these minimums, the student is placed on probation and has one year to bring their GPA back up to the minimum, or be expelled from the program. In addition, EMSAP students must achieve a minimum score of 28 on the MCAT examination before their matriculation into the School of Medicine, while EDSAP and EOSAP students must make at least average scores on the DAT and OAT.
    The program is currently mentored by Gregory Pence, a renowned bioethicist and both an undergraduate and medical school professor.

    UAB's med school is top notch too


    In 1960, Dr. Basil Hirschowitz was the first to explore the stomach with his new invention, the fiber optic endoscope, which is now in the Smithsonian Institution.
    UAB heart surgeon, the late John W. Kirklin, developed a computerized intensive care unit that became a model for modern ICUs around the world. They help improve care and reduce complications. Kirklin initially gained fame by improving the safety and usefulness of the heart-lung bypass pump.
    The Diabetes Research and Education Hospital was dedicated in March 1973, as the first public, university-affiliated diabetes hospital in the nation.
    In 1977, Dr. Richard Whitley administered systemic antiviral for the treatment of the deadly HSV (herpes simplex virus) encephalitis, leading to the world’s first effective treatment for a viral disease.
    The first use in the United States of color doppler echocardiography for visualizing internal cardiac structures was introduced by Dr. Navin C. Nanda and occurred at UAB Hospital in 1984.
    In 1986, Dr. Thomas N. James, then chairman of UAB's Department of Medicine, presided over the tenth World Congress of Cardiology held in Washington, DC.
    World's first genetically engineered mouse-human monoclonal antibody was used at University Hospital in the treatment of cancer in 1987.
    The first simultaneous heart-kidney transplant in the Southeast was performed at UAB by Drs. David C. McGiffin and David Laskow in 1995.
    The journal Science named three UAB faculty, Drs. Michael Saag, George Shaw, and Beatrice Hahn, among the top 10 AIDS researchers in the country, and highlighted the AIDS research program at UAB in 1996.
    The AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Unit (AVEU) became the first evaluation unit to enter a Phase III trail of an AIDS vaccine in 1999.
    UAB’s Kidney Transplantation Program is the world’s leading transplant program, with more than 5,000 transplants being performed since 1968. In each of the last seven years, more kidney transplants have been performed at UAB than at any other institution in the world. UAB is also a national leader in other organ transplants.
    The UAB AIDS Center was the first to perform clinical trails of the protease inhibitor Indinavir (Crixivan), one of the first protease inhibitors used in the [triple drug cocktail] to fight HIV.
    UAB researchers were the first to discover the protein that led to the development of the now well-known drug Viagra, causing what some have called the second sexual revolution. [3] [4]
    UAB hosts one of only 45 Medical Scientist Training Programs in the country. A highly selective program funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the UAB MSTP offers students the ability to earn both an MD and a PhD during a 6-8 year time period. During this time, all tuition is waived and a stipend of $25,000 per year is awarded. Generally, 6-10 students per year are admitted to the program.

    In the 2012 edition of US News and World Report, the University of Alabama School of Medicine was ranked #30 nationally in research and #10 nationally in primary care [5].
    Five medical specialties at UAB are ranked in the top 20 nationally by the magazine: AIDS, 4th; women’s health, 8th; internal medicine 18th; geriatrics, 19th; and pediatrics, 19th. The school’s primary care program was ranked 34th. [6]
    In funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), eight departments within the School of Medicine ranked in the top 10; Anatomy/Cell Biology (No.1). Other departments in the top five are Surgery (No. 2), Obstetrics/Gynecology (No. 3) and Physical Medicine (No. 4). [7]
    [edit]Interesting facts

    Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, which has been used by many physicians for decades was originally edited by Dr Tinsley R. Harrison, who served as dean of the Medical School and chair of the Department of Medicine.
  • yh006866yh006866 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    what other LACs are good for biology / pre med?

    williams, amherst, haverford, middlebury, washington and lee???????
  • KudryavkaKudryavka Registered User Posts: 879 Member
    ^Most top tier LACs will probably be good for it, but Grinnell is definitely another school to add to that list.
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