It’s that time of year when many pre-med students begin to think about where they want to attend medical school and start forming their lists. If that’s you, or even if you’re just beginning to research various programs, remember to always ask yourself if this school is the right fit.
How can you figure out whether a particular school will be a good fit? Besides just focusing on the admission statistics and course requirements for each program, also think about starting with medical schools’ mission statements. Within their mission statement, medical schools outline their areas of focus, core values, and goals. As a prospective applicant, think about your own interests, values, and career aspirations as a future physician. Do they align with that particular program?
To help illustrate this idea of “mission fit,” we asked several medical students about what made their particular school the right choice for them:
“At Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, we are both medical students and military officers, so we spend our time outside of class training for operational experiences that simulate potential future deployments. For example, we spend 10 days in southern Pennsylvania simulating a medical mass casualty in a fictional foreign country. First year students act as patients while fourth year students act as the clinicians. Working with limited resources, tired brains, and cold weather, the fourth years have to make life-or-death decisions against the clock as their makeshift treatment facilities are overloaded with sick patients.”
- Marianne Seneczko, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, 2020
“I like that Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) has a focus on underserved communities in Northeast Ohio. Their dedication to training doctors who will be sensitive to the needs and problems seen in many urban and rural settings was an important attribute that made NEOMED the right fit for me.”
- Carl Allamby, Northeast Ohio Medical University, 2019
“The University of Kansas School of Medicine strongly believes and exemplifies the true meaning of serving the community. They offer many community service and research opportunities for first year medical students. They also have a ‘big sibling program’ where first year medical students get assigned to a second year medical student who mentors and guides them through their first, second, and third years. Also, when I interviewed at this university, I was seen holistically as a person. I felt that they really cared about me as a prospective student. Further, I learned that the university was to be named as a cancer center so I saw them striving to be the best medical center they could be. I continue to see that when I walk the hospital campus.”
- Ana Jimenez, The University of Kansas School of Medicine, Class of 2017
“I personally see medicine as a component of social progress and justice. Loyola Stritch School of Medicine is immensely dedicated to social justice and involvement with marginalized and vulnerable populations, therefore it was a great fit for me.”
-Cesar Eber Montelongo Hernandez, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine MD-PhD program, 2022
“I wanted a program where I could continue to build on my interest in public health and health policy, and George Washington was a perfect fit. With a unique health policy track program, outstanding student placement, relationships throughout government and private sector organizations, and a premier location in our nation’s capital, GW was my number one choice.”
- Ashtin Jeney, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 2018
Every medical school is different. It’s important to only apply to medical schools you’d seriously consider attending, so be sure to do your research before submitting applications. You can read each school’s mission statement in the free preview of the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR).