There’s a myth that a perfect medical school exists based on a school’s average MCAT scores or match rate, but in reality, you should be looking for the medical school that is the perfect fit for you. There are a lot of reasons we don’t believe in ranking medical schools. Every medical school is as unique as the students who apply. Each school has a different story, mission, and method for teaching students how to become physicians.
A couple of years ago, we shared an article that embraces this philosophy called “Ignore the National Rankings and Make Your Own School List,” which explained why we often encourage students to put less emphasis on a school’s average GPA or MCAT scores and instead look at each school’s mission statement, teaching style, and resources to see which schools most closely align with your personal mission, values, and career goals when determining where to apply.
In the MSAR, you can review all these topics and, in addition to things like MCAT score and GPA, you can narrow your search for schools by factors like location, class size, combined degree programs offered, and campus type. The MSAR gives you the power to decide what is most important to you, and you can save and rank your own schools with notes about why you are most interested in them.
This year, we thought we’d share some advice from real medical students on how they found their perfect medical school:
- “Consider your comfort level. I have always felt more comfortable in a small school environment where I could truly get to know my peers and faculty. With medical schools and residency becoming increasingly more competitive, I wanted to attend a school that fostered an environment where students helped each other succeed rather than pushing each other down.” — Ai Yamasaki, MD
- “I frequently recommend that others apply broadly. Explore the differences in curriculum and locations.” — Mike Brigoli, MD
- “Focus on applying strategically. Choose schools with missions that clearly align with your own. For instance, Quillen’s mission is focused on rural/underserved/health disparities, and that is something that resonated for me.” — Rose Desvaristes, MD
- “If you have options, don’t pick the big name or the cheapest school. Know the kind of doctor you want to be and pick the school you believe will encourage and grow that doctor.” — Hannah Winters
- “Using self-reflection, it is important to identify qualities and characteristics within yourself that you saw in the physicians you know. Demonstrating medical exposure is essential for applicants.” — Fiora McRae, MD
To find the medical schools that are a perfect fit for you, visit the MSAR website. Browse schools for free or subscribe to see school-specific data, save schools, and rank your favorites based on your own criteria.