Help Please? Don't Know If I Should Believe My Friend!

<p>My friend only got into UC Santa Cruz because of a problem with his application and I got into UCSC, USSB, AND UCD. The problem is that he wants me to go to Santa Cruz with him, he says that Santa Cruz has one of the best biological programs in the world and that it would be easier to get into medical school that way. I don't know if I should believe him because the other UC's I have got into are higher ranked than Santa Cruz. Please Help!
Or would it even matter what college I go to to get into Med School. Would they look at Davis or Santa Barbara before they would look at Santa Cruz?</p>

<p>I don't know anything about these programs, but I would not choose my college based on where a friend is going. Check out some of the pre-med threads for discussions on undergraduate schools for pre-med.</p>

<p>where do i go to find those</p>

<p>I've heard that UCSC is good for biology, especially bioinformatics and genetics.</p>

<p>It's a no-brainer. Since Davis has a Med school, I would pick Davis, hands down. </p>

<p>You have four years to get to know profs in the Med school, who can help get you in there, or to another Med school.</p>

<p>For the premed threads, just go to College discussion, look under PreMed and Med School and click on Premed Topics.</p>

<p>I agree with joemama. Go to Davis. UCSC does have an excellent biology program, and specializes in undergraduate science instruction, but it doesn't have a medical school while Davis does.</p>

<p>But even if I go to Davis it doesn't mean that I'll get into their Med School. They don't look at you any different if you were to go to say Santa Barbara. But do they frown upon Santa Cruz because it is ranked lower as far as universities go or since it has a really good biological program would it be higher on what the Med School's look for.</p>

<p>Sorry...I am not really a fan of adults posting on the college streams but I thought I might be of a little help. I spent many years on various med school admissions committees (stopped a few years ago) so I might be able to offer a little advice. In general, getting into med school is more than about good grades and MCAT scores. They want to see that you are a real person with an ability to connect with other people (after all, you DO have to communicate with your patients). Therefore, it is very helpful when applicants have community service suggesting a compassionate person (looks better with long term commitments). In addition, the medical field is fairly tough on those that practice medicine so committees like to see that applicants have at least spent a fair amount of time in clinical settings to grasp some understanding of this and the daily ethical issues that arise. They also like to see that you have general balance in your life with ways to reduce stress (play an instrument, some type of routine physical activity, etc.). I don't know the general availability of things that would fit into these categories around UCSC but UCD runs shuttles from campus to the med center (in Sac) everyday (free for volunteers) and they have many reserved spots for college students to volunteer/intern at times that are convenient for you (including the ER and surgery-they are just building a brand new ER/outpatient surgery wing onto the hospital). In addition, the med students run several community clinics in Sacramento that undergrads may volunteer at (they used to be able to, not sure about now). UCDMC also has close ties with the AIDS clinic, if that is something you might be interested in. There is the newest Shriners children's hospital directly across the street from the med center (and dually staffed by UCD physicians). They are always looking for volunteers and all the physicians I know are extremely respectful of students and truly appreciate that teaching is a part of the job.</p>

<p>One other piece of data you might want to research before making a decision is the total amount of grant dollars for medical research that is coming into each of the universities. I don't know the data on this one but I suspect that UCD far surpasses UCSC. One reason this is important is that without funding, not much can happen at a research institute. I am sure UCSC pulls in a lot of grant dollars, but it might not be as flush as UCD for medical research funding (you have to include the vet school, the comparative medicine center and UCDMC in this equation because there is a lot of crossover research going on at UCD). This could be important to you if you wanted to be able to do undergraduate medical research (helps with the med school application and also helps you feel comfortable thinking "outside the box").</p>

<p>I have two degrees from UCD so I have my personal biases but I think UCD far surpasses UCSC in the variety of scientific fields (med school, vet school, brand new human genome sciences building, brand new mind institute, the list goes on and on). However, my daughter also got into UCD but I am not really encouraging her to attend because she has very specific career goals (not science) that will likely be better served by attending a school back east and I think it is important for her to gain diverse experiences. She also acknowledges that her main reason for possibly not wanting to attend UCD is that it is located in the town that she grew up in and she really wants to go to school in a more urban environment. I just thought you should know that I have dual perspectives on the matter. </p>

<p>I hope this info is helpful and gives you some other things to consider when making your decision.</p>


<p>Choosing UC Davis will help your chances of admission to medical school because Davis has all the things commonly associated with medical school, as Quirkymom points out. Some of the faculty are probably the same in both medical school and the undergraduate biology staff, especially concerning medical research, and the latter offers a career track you might be interested in. For that matter, so does vetrinary medicine.</p>

<p>It is really not possible for you to say now exactly where you might end up in the medical field, so undergraduate education at a campus with a medical school will broaden your knowledge of the available opportunities. I was astounded upon discovering in law school that my best subjects were corporate and securities law - I somehow had a knack for understanding them. So I interned for the Enforcement Division of the Securities & Exchange Commission my third year - they had an office a block from my law school.</p>

<p>Using medical research as an example, you'll have more of an opportunity to do undergraduate medical research at Davis because of its medical school, which would give you a better chance earlier of realizing in medical school, or as an intern or resident, that you prefer medical research to medical practice. You just can't know until you do it, so take the opportunity Davis affords to learn more about medical research early to increase your chances of discovering whether that is something you do or don't want to do after medical school.</p>

<p>Because Davis has a medical school, you will be exposed as an undergraduate to more possibilities in the medical field than at a UC campus without a medical school. This will increase your chances of admission to any medical school, admission to the ones you want, give you a broader pre-med education and help you learn what sooner what you might want to do after medical school.</p>