Can pre-med students at Tech get into prestigious medical schools?

<p>My mother has continually been telling me that pre-med students at VTech typically end up going to lower ranking medical schools and that it would be better to go another school for pre-med. Is this true?</p>

<p>It seems to me that your mother is only a fan of ivy leagues institutions</p>

<p>What does she consider "low ranking"? Anything that's not an ivy? That's pretty narrow minded of her, no offense. </p>

<p>I've heard from many, many people (both here and at other schools, and on this forum) that where you go for undergrad really doesn't matter that much. I know people who have started at community college and end up at great schools for med school or grad school.</p>

<p>Most friends that I have that are pre-med (which are a lot) end up going to UVa or VCU for medical school. Most of my friends have great stats, but from what I know, they limit their choices to in-state med schools because of cost. And UVa & VCU's medical programs have amazing reviews and rankings, from what I've heard.</p>

<p>Undergraduate does not matter to medical schools. Major doesn't matter either. You could have a 3.7 GPA in Engineering, which is quite amazing, compared to a 3.7 in Biology and med schools look at it the same.</p>

<p>For your question, VT is excellent for Pre-Med. They have weekly sessions for Pre-Health advising. They pretty much have their own community in Hillcrest Hall. There are classes where you can get shadowing and clinical experience. I'm taking Careers in Medicine this fall, since I'm a Biology/Pre-Med student at VT. </p>

<p>Virginia Tech has its own system for Pre-Med. If you find the Pre-Health advising website at Virginia Tech, the system is outlined. </p>

<p>VT has something called a Pre-Med folder. You put all of your experience, extracurriculars, adademics, etc in it. They actually send that folder to the med school when you apply. They will help you with the AMCAS application, they will advise you, and even help you get research/intership opportunities.</p>

<p>If you choose VT for Pre-Med, you shouldn't have any problem getting in med school if you keep your GPA high, study for the MCAT, and get involved with volunteering/shadowing. Like one of the answers above says, most students do typically try to stay in VA for med school. OOS med school is super expensive. There is like a $150,000 difference between 4 years of med school in VA vs. OOS med school.</p>

<p>If you have any further question, feel free to PM me.</p>

<p>James can you tell us more about the classes you have to take and the difficulty of the pre med program?</p>

<p>Of course.</p>

<h2>Pre-Med Courses</h2>

<p>The Pre-Med track at Virginia Tech is pretty much like every other Pre-Med track. </p>

<p>One Year of Biology + Labs (8 credits)
One Year of Chemistry + Labs (8 credits)
One Year of O Chem (6 credits)
One Year of Physics + Labs (8 credits)
One Year of Math (Calculus Preferred) (6 credits)
One Year of Freshman English (6 credits)</p>

<p>However VT required two additional parts to their Pre-Medicine track:
3 credits in a Statistics Course
A Psychology or Human Development course.</p>

<h2>I personally recommend taking a course in Biochemistry. There are medical schools that have that as a requirement. It is just more of a "Better safe, than sorry" type thing. You don't want to get rejected from a med. school because you didn't have the Prereqs for their school.</h2>

<h2>Difficulty of Courses</h2>

<p>The difficulty of the course really depends on quite a few factors:</p>

<ol>
<li>The grade you want in the course</li>
<li>The instructor you have</li>
<li>What time of day you have the course</li>
<li>How many courses you had prior during the day</li>
<li><p>The effort you want to put into the course</p></li>
<li><p>You really want to push for an A in all courses. When doesn't a 4.0 GPA look good? If you are someone who is fine with a C or a C+, then the class is going to be easier because you won't have to work as hard as someone who wants the A.</p></li>
<li><p>There are several instructors for each course at Virginia Tech. Sometimes you get a bad one and other times you get an incredible one. The best thing to do is to go to a VT teacher rating website and look up the instructors name before your register for their class. Here are two places that I know of:
<a href="http://www.k%5B/url%5D"&gt;www.k&lt;/a> o o f e r s.com (no spaces. take them out)
Rate</a> VT Teachers</p></li>
<li><p>If you have a course at 8 a.m. in the morning, you will likely be tired. You probably won't have your full attention span, especially if you stayed up all night studying or goofing off. The best thing is to try to get your classes around 10-11 a.m. and try not to schedule too many Tuesday and Thursday courses. M, W, F courses are only 50 minutes; it is much easier to pay attention for 50 minutes compared to the 75 minutes you will spend on a T, R lecture.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>The same goes for late night classes. I made the mistake of scheduling a 7 p.m. Physics lab. Bad idea. Labs are good for around noon - 5 p.m. Do not go any later than that. You will hate your life.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Try not to schedule too many classes on the same day. If Biology is your last class at like 4 in the afternoon and you just had 3 classes before that, you will more than likely be bored out of your mind and won't take as good of notes or do as well on a test. The best thing to do is to schedule maybe 3 courses per day on M, W, F. Try to get your classes between 10 - 4 p.m., if you can. You probably won't be able to get the perfect schedule, but it helps to have good schedule times. It increases your chance of succeeding in Pre-Med.</p></li>
<li><p>Effort is probably the number one thing that will cause a course to become difficult. Don't procrastinate. Get everything done early. You never know when your english class might throw a 10 page paper at you on top of studying for a Chemistry test. You don't want to deal with that at the same time. Effort also applied to the amount of studying you do outside of class. I think the credit hour rule at Virginia Tech is that it is 3 hours of work outside of class per week for every credit hour. So around 9 hours of outside classwork per week per 3 credit course. That may seem like a lot, but it really isn't. It will all be worth it when you are a practicing physician, right?</p></li>
</ol>

<h2>All of the things above have to do with course difficulty. If you have trouble with any courses, there is always some type of help available for you, whether it be at the math emporium or a study session with your instructor before a test. Do whatever you can to succeed and work hard towards your goal. The material in the course might seem difficult at first, but if you put forth the effort to get a good grade, you will most definitely succeed in the course.</h2>

<h2>Personal Course Experiences</h2>

<p>My situation is a bit messed up. I came into VT as a University Studies major. I knew I was Pre-Med, but couldn't choose a major. I decided on Engineering, so I registered for all of the classes that the engineering students were taking. I did okay my first semester, but I overwhelmed myself the 2nd semester and I've ended up dropping 11 of the 14 credits I registered for. So I have chosen to pursue a Biology major now and I've already got my courses lined up for Fall '11.</p>

<p>I can't really give you any insight on Freshman Biology. I haven't had the chance to take it since I've had to take an extra math each semester to do an engineering major. After realizing I hate engineering, I have to pretty much start over. If you do a Biology major, I could possibly be in your class. haha</p>

<p>As for the other courses, besides O-Chem, Statistics and Human Development, I have been in those courses at VT. I'll give you a review of them in my own personal opinion:</p>

<p>General Chemistry: This class isn't that hard. The material is fairly straight forward. If you go to class, you will get an A or a B. Try to get Trivedi or Amateis for instructors. I had Arachchige and I hated her. If you can avoid her, do it. Other than that, even with a lab along with the lecture, the material is pretty easy.</p>

<p>Calculus I: Depends on the instructor. I had a terrible instructor and he hardly explained the material. I had never taken calculus and I ended up having to teach myself all of the material in the course. It wasn't easy when tests came along because the instructor graded the tests. Needless to say, if it wasn't done his way, you missed the whole question. I didn't do so great in Calc I.</p>

<p>English: This class was fantastic. I had a teaching assistant that made the class very enjoyable. I never missed this class because it was always fun going to a class that made me laugh. The guy told jokes during class and used shows like South Park and Family Guy to show us patterns in social media. Unfortunately he graduated, so I can't really recommend him. =(</p>

<h2>Physics: If Chang is teaching it, get him. I have some guy named Joyce and I don't like his class. I took Physics in high school and the way he teaches it just doesn't come to me very well. I am teaching myself the current material right now, but I'm probably force dropping the course to take Chang in the Fall.</h2>

<h2>Difficulty of the Pre-Med Program</h2>

<p>The Pre-Med program itself isn't that difficult. It just requires a lot of time and effort. The one thing that really made me choose VT for Pre-Med was their whole system they have going there. They have a step-by-step system for preparing you for medical school. You can find the information on the Pre-Health advising website. I'll provide a link at the end of the message. </p>

<p>VT has what is called a Pre-Med folder. It is located in the Pre-Health advising center. You pretty much put everything from academics to extracurriculars into the folder. That folder accompanies your medical school application(s) to everywhere you apply. It outlines everything you have done during your undergraduate years and lets the medical schools see you as a whole, right from the folder.</p>

<p>VT offers numerous clinical, volunteer, and shadowing experience opportunities. There are even courses you can take to volunteer at the Montgomery Hospital in Blacksburg and you get credit for it. I am taking a Careers in Medicine course in the Fall. The course is actually taught by the woman over Pre-Health advising. The course outlines study habits for the MCAT, the best way to make yourself stand out to admissions representatives from medical schools, and other things as well.</p>

<p>That is really all the information I can think of right now.</p>

<p>If you have any further question, feel free to ask me or send me a private message.</p>

<p>Here is/are the Pre-Health advising link(s):</p>

<p><a href="http://www.advising.vt.edu/new_students/Fall_2010/Pre-Medical2010.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.advising.vt.edu/new_students/Fall_2010/Pre-Medical2010.pdf&lt;/a>
Health</a> Professions Advising | Career Services | Virginia Tech
Health</a> Professions Advising | Career Services | Virginia Tech
Health</a> Professions Advising: Forms | Career Services | Virginia Tech
Health</a> Professions Advising | Career Services | Virginia Tech
Health</a> Professions Advising | Career Services | Virginia Tech
Health</a> Professions Advising | Career Services | Virginia Tech
Health</a> Professions Advising | Career Services | Virginia Tech</p>

<p>^^ All of those links are different although they look the same.</p>

<p>Hope all of this information helps. =)</p>

<p>Wow, thank you James. I am going on an animal science/premed course and that post was ridiculously helpful!</p>

<p>im saving this somewhere...haha thanks so much</p>

<p>My cousin who graduated from Virginia Tech and quite a few of his friends are going to medical school in the Caribbean (like 5 or 6). My friends from UVA, who were pre-med, are at Yale Med, UChicago Med, Stanford Med, Georgetown Med and our own UVA Med. I don't know if there's a correlation, but you should ask Career Services at Virginia Tech to provide you with information about what medical schools their graduates enroll in. At UVA, we have a sheet with that information and quite a few students enroll at schools like the aforementioned.</p>

<p>^good suggestion to ask Career Services or even at the Honors Program for a history of where grads matriculate to med school after graduating. </p>

<p>However, don't be put off by the prospect of going to med school in the Caribbean or other "lower ranking" med schools. Two stories:</p>

<p>I have a friend who went to the Caribbean for med school (he wasn't a VT grad) and stayed on at a neighboring island to open his practice. He and his family are ridiculously happy and he has done very, very well professionally. He has a "life of purpose" so he says.</p>

<p>The very best specialist that we have ever seen (and we saw a bunch early on with our kids) was a physician at Johns Hopkins. Top of his field. Incredible doctor. His med school? University of South Carolina, which I am pretty sure doesn't rank up there with Yale. :)</p>

<p>IMHO, prestige can mean many things to many people and there are many paths to success.</p>

<p>Good luck to you!</p>

<p>I'm glad I can help. I generally try to make my posts helpful, because I know that is the type of answer I would want. If someone sends you an answer and it just leaves you staring at the screen thinking, "Wow. That didn't help me at all." then you pretty much wasted your time asking. It is a much better use of our time if we ask questions and get helpful answers back. As always, feel free to ask me any further questions. I'll answer them if I can to the best of my ability.</p>

<p>In addition to the links that James has provided, here is an additional one, specifically about applying to medical school. I found the answer to #15 under FAQ to be interesting. For bright, motivated students from Virginia Tech, many are having success in getting into medical school.
Applying</a> to Medical School | University Honors | Virginia Tech</p>

<p>What do you need to do in high school to get into Virginia Tech pre-med?</p>

<p>Unless you want to teach medicine or pursue a career in medical research, generally medical school is medical school and so I would not get hung up with the prestige factor. They still call graduates of all medical schools “doctor” (who meet the other prerequisites for licensing) and the accreditation standards are so high for any medical school that this is warranted.</p>