How to Choose a Medical College

How to Choose a Medical College
  • Opening Intro -

    So, you want to be a doctor?

    Maybe you've wanted to wear scrubs ever since you were five and first played with a toy doctor's kit.


Or perhaps you’ve avidly watched every episode of Grey’s Anatomy and House, taking notes on how to be the best MD in the game. Whatever it was that led you to apply for medical college, make sure you’re applying to the one that’s right for you. With more than 100 medical colleges in the US, below are some key tips to help you decide which one is right for you.

Academic Focus

Is research the focus or primary care the core of the course’s program? Get to know what the academic focus of each course is to be sure to pick the one that’s right for you. This can be the decider between a college that sets you up with high levels of patient contact throughout your studies, and a research-based college where most of your time will be spent in a lab. Some colleges may focus on teaching predominantly via lectures whereas others may teach through small group learning. Work out which suits your learning style best, and find a college that matches.

MCAT and GPA Scores

Understand the balance between your MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and GPA scores when it comes to admissions. Many colleges also take into account your life experiences, extracurricular activities, community service history and medical knowledge, so it is worth boosting your CV to make sure you have the strongest chance at getting into the college of your choice.

Community Service Element

Why not look for a Medical College that has a focus on giving back to the surrounding community? Not only can this benefit local communities, for example by providing healthcare to homeless people or tutoring children to encourage their interests in science, but it is also a valuable experience for students providing them hands-on care opportunities to build and hone skills.  

Research Opportunities

Cutting-edge research opportunities are an exciting draw for perspective students, as research leads the way in terms of developing new treatments, so do your own research as to what area each college specializes in, and what opportunities are available. Do not be afraid to contact colleges to seek further information about their research if there is something that you are unsure of. Be proactive!


Four years can be a long time to live somewhere, so work out whether the sun-kissed beaches of California are calling, or the snow-drenched winters of Seattle are more your thing. It’s worth remembering that many students complete their residencies in the same state in which they studied at medical school, so your choice of location may end up lasting for longer than four years. Personal reasons, such as staying close to your family or a partner who doesn’t want to move state, may also play into your decision.

The average number of medical colleges people apply for is 15, so don’t forget that applying doesn’t mean you’re committing. Take your time and find out which ones fit you best.

College Financing reference:

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Last update on 2020-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Categories: Career Planning