S2 is looking at Berkeley for pre-med. He’s in the ball park for grades, standardized scores and EC. The thing I wondered was the fact that Berkeley has no med school. Should that play a part in the decision of where to do undergrad or not? My thought was it could be beneficial to have more access to internships, medical research assisting etc if there was such on or near campus. Obviously plenty of Bears go on to med school. But my concern is heading down the med track and then realizing that being a physician isn’t what he thought. I had some college room mates who headed down professional tracks (top schools too) and then didn’t like practicing the trade. Thoughts?
You certainly do not need access to an attached med school to get clinical experience. There are more than enough opportunities in the community- clinics, nursing homes, hospice, private practices, Highland hospital, Children’s Oakland, etc… Moreover, UCSF is just across the bay and plenty of Cal students find their way there on Bart/Muni.
Take a look at national and UCB admission rates for 2010-2014. Although UCB does consistently do better than national rates, there are still a lot of UCB applicants who don’t get in. And remember these numbers are only for students who actually made it to the point of applying and didn’t change their plans before ever applying. So having a plan B is always a good idea for any premed. Also note that according to UCB a majority of their applicants take a gap year.
I’d also add that where S goes to college is not of zero importance in med school admission, but the college name carries less weight than an applicant’s GPAs, MCAT, ECs, etc. S might consider all colleges where he can fit in as if he’s happy he’s more likely to do well (eg GPAs). And as most med students pay for college by loans he should try to graduate from a college with little if any debt because as a CA resident, the number I’ve seen is +60% of CA residents who start med school go OOS, so having no college debt should be considered.
The thing I wondered was the fact that Berkeley has no med school. Should that play a part in the decision of where to do undergrad or not?
No…and some schools that have med schools, don’t have the med schools nearby anyway.
My thought was it could be beneficial to have more access to internships, medical research assisting etc
Med schools are for med students. I think some people thing that there’s a lot of mixing going on between undergrads and med students…there isn’t.
Most undergrad major univs have medically-related research going on at the undergrad.
Most univs have a hospital nearby
But my concern is heading down the med track and then realizing that being a physician isn’t what he thought
That’s what shadowing is for.
@mom2collegekids Well disclosing a bit more - one of my school friends went to one of the two top law schools and went to a top law firm representing our .01 per centers. He positively hated it. “I’m arguing with people about money 12 hours a day to bill 7 or eight!” He wound up with quite a career anyhow. But the lesson has stuck with me.
It is interesting that the Berkeley graduates were the most represented in D’s Medical school class. They beat in numbers the graduates of the University where Med. School was part of.
Apparently, no problem for Berkeley graduates to get accepted to Med. School. A big surprise was that D’s school is in Ohio. Poor CA natives had hard time driving in a snow. I told my D. to make sure that she is the driver whenever she has to go with the group. They literally were asking my D. who was a passenger in a car what to do when they were gliding and sliding in a snow.
OK, funny part besides, my own D. also graduated from the in-state public university that did not have a Medical School. She had ample of opportunities to volunteer and intern at Med. Research Lab right there on campus. These positions were very easy obtain, were long term and resulted in great LORs. D. had great choices of Med. Schools after graduating and had very hard time deciding. At the end she had to turn down Northwestern Med. School (Feinberg). She could not imagine that she would be in such a position.
She was very happy with her choice of Med. School and that is where she met lots and lots of CA students and most happened to be Berkeley graduates.
On the other note. It is absolutely irrelevant where pre-med attends for UG. Med. Schools do not care. So, the smart strategy is to attend at cheapest (for specific student) UG that still matches his personality and wide range of interests. Save family resources for the Med. School. It is a great idea to graduate from Med. School without student loans. I heard that about 25% of them do. I am happy that my D. belongs in this category. She fully “earned” it, not only by working hard but also making a very wise for the 17 y o decision to attend the UG on full tuition Merit award. She mentioned that many in her Med. School class who graduated from various Ivy / Elite colleges wished that they were done the same. Their expensive Elite UG education did not provide them any advantages in Med. School.
@MiamiDAP We have a hard time driving in the rain. Snow? Snow??
Thanks for the great insight around your daughter’s pre-med and med school experience!
one of my school friends went to one of the two top law schools and went to a top law firm representing our .01 per centers. He positively hated it <<<
Again, that is what shadowing is for…to let young people see what a doctor’s life REALLY is like. Having a med school on campus doesn’t teach students what being a DOCTOR is like.
Students should shadow a few different specialties.
^^Especially primary care specialties.
Shadowing in surgery can be very cool and exciting and is something the makes a huge impression on high school and college students, but even surgeons spend the majority of their time in clinic holding office visits.
Hopeful pre-meds are also expected to have significant clinical exposure (either thru volunteering or paid employment)–which is another opportunity to see if they enjoy spending their time dealing with the sick, injured, disabled, chronically ill, mentally ill, elderly and their families.
I didn’t realize surgery shadowing could be a possibility for a HS student. We have lots of hospitals in the Bay Area, I’ll hunt around. Thanks and thanks mom2. I have friends in tech and biotech but no docs or nurses somehow.
RE: shadowing a surgeon.
Hospital shadowing policies vary a great. Many hospitals require student observers to be at least 18; many don’t allow student observers at all due to HIPAA regulations and insurance liability.
Privately owned hospitals/private practices tend to have greater latitude w/r/t student observers.
didn’t realize surgery shadowing could be a possibility for a HS student.
I don’t think anyone was suggesting a high school student do this. When will your child be 18?
Most shadowing is done while in college. ECs done while in high school aren’t put on med school apps.
If you want your child to shadow in high school, then start with primary care, and then move on to surgery, etc, once 18.
Shadowing in HS is just to have a tiny glimpse at the MD’s job. D. did not get much out of any HS medically related EC’s except for her job at the Med. Research lab that she had for 2 - 3 summers. It just happened for her that Med. Research internship while at college that she was involved for 3 academic years was very similar to her HS experience and HS job may be one of the reasons why she got her second internship so easily. Anyway, she just absolutely loved working with the mice, she even gave them names!
I agree, but if it’s an option, might as well take it.
DD attended Berkeley, several people she knew applied for med school at the same time she did, as far as I know they all got in somewhere, many out of state as CA med schools tend to be very numbers driven. Some of the people preferred the out of state choices over the CA options.
DD has been surprised at the number of times people at her med school commented about her having to gone to Berkeley with a level of respect. I really think she grew to appreciate the reputation of Cal more after she got to med school & was exposed to many people who seemed to hold it in high regard.