You can't choose the best medical schools in America until you know what you need from the school. Depending on your career goals, one school might be better for you than another.
When it comes to the actual education you receive, all medical schools are pretty much equal. The difference is in what the school specializes in, the prestige attached to certain schools, the medical school rankings, and the medical school's location.
According to US News, Harvard Medical School, founded in 1782, is the most famous medical school in the world, and is the top-ranked US medical school. Others that made the top ten list of the best medical schools include:
University of Pennsylvania – ranked at #2, this school was first established in 1765
John Hopkins Medical School – rated #3, this school opened in 1887
Washington University in St. Louis was established in 1891. It is ranked the 4th best medical school in America
Duke Medical School (1930), Stanford University (1908), University of California – San Francisco (1873) and Yale University (1701) tied for 5th place
University of Washington Medical School – established in 1946 came in at #9
Columbia University (1824) and University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (1850) tied at #10
Most schools offer huge discounts for students that go to schools in their own state. In general, medical schools in California have the lowest tuition fees. For California residents there are no tuition fees at all. If money is a problem and you don't want to spend years paying back student loans, going to a medical school in California might be the best option for you.
Harvard Medical School and Yale University don't offer any discounts, but if your dream is attend an ivy league school, then this is the price you have to pay.
Read More About Top-Ranked Medical Schools and Specialist Schools
Click any of the images below to read more about each school.
Finding the right school for you needs the same type of careful planning as any other important journey in your life. Attending medical school could very well be the most important decision you ever make: it lays the foundation for the rest of your life. Without a solid foundation, everything else you try to build may crumble and fall apart.
There are many aspects of each school to consider. What situations help you learn best? Do you need the sunshine of San Francisco, or would you learn better in Boston? Do you need careful supervision, or do you learn better when left alone? Do you enjoy freedom and flexibility, or do you need structure and discipline?
Aside from the actual curriculum and programs offered, these factors are also important to consider. If you aren't happy at school, your learning ability will be dramatically decreased.
Before you begin your search for the best medical schools, do a little self-analysis. Make a list of what is important to you. Do you enjoy lectures? Is the size of the class important? Do you want a competitive environment that drives you push yourself harder? Would you like a traditional curriculum, or one that follows newer methods with more real patient contact? A system-based learning method, or one based on solving problems?
Your list should include how much time you want to spend in the classroom. If you have trouble with self-discipline, a required attendance program might be best.
The cost is also a very important consideration, especially if you can't expect too much help from your parents. There are many graduate school scholarships and grants available.
Find out early which financial assistance programs you qualify for, and work out the balance with loans. Once you have all this information down on paper, finding the best medical school you can afford will be much easier.
Research the Schools
Once you know what you are looking for, it will be easier to find. Start with the schools that offer the programs you are interested in. Find out which schools match the items on your wish list. As you go along, you can add more things you didn't think of before. Your list does not have to be written in stone.
Once you have obtained as much information as possible from the internet and other sources, you can contact the admissions director by email. This is your opportunity to ask any additional questions you may have.
At this point you can start thinking about your application. You know what you want; now it is up to you to make sure the school will want you. Find out what the school admittance requirements are. If you don't meet those requirements, but you are positive this is the best medical school for you, then make some changes to improve your application.
Be honest. Admittance officials will know right away if you are lying. Improve your application with real data, gain some more experience in vital areas or take a few make up courses to get your grades up to an acceptable level. If you settle for a school just because they are willing to take you, you could end up being miserable instead of fulfilled.
A Final Word
You deserve a school that gives you want you want, and medical schools deserve a student who is happy, productive, and successful. When you go to a school that meets your needs and desires, you will be happier and more productive. This will set the perfect foundation for your career.
So, when you are trying to decide which are the best medical schools in America, decide which will make you happiest and give you the education you want.