If you look at the data for all applicants and matriculants for California MD medical schools in the 2020-2021 cycle, you’ll find the following statistics: Total applicants: 87,431. Total accepted matriculants: 1,520. Percent accepted: 1.7%. Those numbers are pretty daunting, so it’s wise for in-state and especially out-of-state applicants to diversify their school lists beyond California medical schools. But what do these elite 1.7% of accepted candidates look like? Who are they and what makes them so special?
Beautiful weather, sunny beaches, great food, vibrant culture - who wouldn’t want to spend 4+ years living and training in California? Whether you’re an in-state applicant who’s desperate to say close to home or an out-of-state applicant looking for a new adventure during medical school, the 16 California medical schools draw a lot of attention and receive a bevy of applicants every year. So, how exactly do you get into a California medical school? Well, it’s not that simple of an answer, mainly because the 16 schools are so different. But we’re here to offer a general breakdown of what it takes to get into a California medical school, with relevant data and key information about each institution!
The reputation of a school doesn’t matter as much as one might think, but admittedly, the Ivy League colleges are often better equipped to offer more resources and opportunities for pre-meds. Yet, since seats at elite colleges are limited, thousands of pre-meds must opt to attend elsewhere. And despite not going to an Ivy League school, many pre-meds are successfully admitted to medical school every year. With that being said, we thought it would be useful to assemble a list of the best non-Ivy-League colleges for pre-meds!
The area, state, and school you choose for your undergraduate years could have a significant effect on your eventual medical school destination. With that in mind, we thought it would be an interesting exercise to rank the best colleges for pre-meds in each of the four regions denoted by the U.S. News and World Report: North, South, Midwest, and West. For these lists, we’ll be drawing upon our brand new Best Colleges for Pre-Meds Search Tool!
Soon we’ll be launching our Best Colleges for Pre-Meds Search Tool - organized by liberal arts, national, and regional - with comprehensive rankings based on pre-med advising, class size, popularity, clinical experiences, and prestige. But we don’t want you to simply take our word for it. We wanted to complement our quantitative analysis with some qualitative evidence. That’s right - we’ve polled actual pre-meds to gather firsthand testimonies about their experiences at their various colleges and derive some meaningful takeaways from the trends in their feedback on their institutions.
We’ve received ample praise and positive feedback for our Savvy Pre-Med Medical Search Tool, and we wanted to emulate the same useful resource for younger pre-med hopefuls who are choosing their undergraduate institution. So, without further ado, we’d like to introduce our Best Colleges for Pre-Meds Search Tool!
We’re on the verge of releasing our Best Colleges for Pre-Meds Search Tool! So stay tuned for that sometime this month. However, first, we wanted to answer some of the many questions we’ve received about our Best Colleges for Pre-Meds lists and the data behind them. We’re all about transparency here!
Thousands of dollars in application fees; hundreds of hours writing and editing essays; dozens of schools selected to apply to; countless pre-meds all around the country vying for a seat at a medical school program. A seat. Yup, just one. A single acceptance to a medical school is all that is needed to become a doctor. But what happens if the only medical school that accepts you is a brand new school? Should you accept the offer of admission without hesitation or reject it?
When gaining admission into a US medical school feels impossible (or at least unlikely), less competitive applicants often turn to Caribbean or international medical schools to fulfill their dreams. But what are the consequences of choosing this route? Is going to a foreign medical school a viable option? We’re here to answer all your FAQs about Caribbean and international medical schools so that you can make a well-informed decision before pursuing this option!
We’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of pre-meds, and every year we encounter dozens of reapplicants who ask us to troubleshoot their past applications and help them reset for the future. One of the most common trends in these reapplicants is a poorly constructed medical school list. We thought we’d share an (anonymous) example of one to show you the most common mistakes applicants make with their school list and illustrate how our Savvy Pre-Med Med School Search Tool can help you avoid these issues.
There are 155 accredited U.S. allopathic medical schools (including those in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands). Adding in accredited Canadian and osteopathic medical schools, for which there are 17 and 38 respectively, yields a whopping total of 210 medical schools. Applying to all these schools would cost an exorbitant amount of money (not to mention time and energy). So, how do you go about carefully picking what medical schools to apply to?
The holiday break can be a time of blissful unproductivity - lazing around, eating hearty meals, tinkering with new presents - but it can also be a good time to put in some work on your medical school application (hopefully it’s a little bit of both!). So, if you’re feeling ambitious, how exactly should you spend your holiday break? Well, that depends a little bit on how far along you are in your pre-med journey. Regardless of whether you recently applied or won’t be applying for a few years, we wanted to give you 6 possible options for holiday productivity.
For each medical school, only about 10-15% of applicants are offered an interview each year, let alone placed on a waitlist. So, if you’re on a waitlist, you’re in rare company! It’s actually quite an accomplishment. Okay - sorry - we know that’s not much consolation. The waitlist is the medical school equivalent of “being in limbo,” so we’re sure you have lots of anxious questions. Let’s get them answered!
Based on what we can tell, most medical schools will accept virtual shadowing and clinical hours. That’s good news for pre-meds who have been deemed non-essential during COVID-19. However, not all virtual shadowing platforms are created equal, so you’ll need to carefully choose which ones you pursue. What makes a virtual shadowing experience worthwhile, and which platforms are the best?
Hospitals and clinics have mostly banned pre-med students from shadowing and volunteering, but medical school admissions committees continue to require hundreds of clinical hours (~300 total, 100 shadowing) in order to get in. You could opt to get an EMT or phlebotomy certification, but those essential jobs typically require 20+ hours per week, not a time commitment that most full-time students can keep. So how do you get clinical experience when you're not "essential personnel?"
Selecting medical schools that fit your goals and credentials is one of the most significant decisions during the admissions process. After all, having a well thought out list of medical schools will make a difference between being denied acceptance or becoming a first year at your dream school. So what tools are out there to help you create your list of medical schools? Well, we can tell you this right off the bat: it’s NOT just the MSAR!
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You already know this, but it's, like, HARD to get into med school, y'know? I don't want to dwell on the obvious, but looking at the percentages can help us learn lessons about how many schools you should apply to.
Last week, we looked at a probability-based model for how many med schools to apply to. We learned that because each medical school accepts so few students, you should apply to enough schools to give yourself a good enough chance of getting into at least one school.
For a small group of pre-meds, military medicine has been on their minds for years, possibly due to a family history in the armed forces, and some are even active duty already.
Are you a Central Valley or California resident who’s dedicated to the underserved and looking for a local osteopathic school for your list? Well, we’ve got some good news for you. There’s a new osteopathic medical school, and it’s the first program of its kind in the Central Valley.
Imagine if a medical school ignored your MCAT and GPA when evaluating you and granting you an interview?
“They all sound the same!” When you’re researching different medical schools on your list, in search of those “Why Our School” reasons for your secondaries, the schools can easily blend together.
You actually got in - and to more than one medical school! Congratulations! But of course, this brings up a new problem, one that you’ve probably overlooked with all of the focus and anxiety on just getting in:
“The only constant is change.” You’re probably familiar with this phrase, but you probably don’t know how it relates to the University of Michigan Medical School.
On Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming” is a catchphrase used to warn characters of impending doom. But in medical school admissions, “Summer is coming” would be far more apt.
If you Google “Best Colleges for Pre-meds,” you’ll find plenty of conjecture, but until now, you would not get data. But we here at The Savvy Premed have decided to release the world’s first rankings of the Best Colleges for Pre-Meds
Pretend you’re the dean of a brand new medical school. You’ve got a lot to build: a campus, a faculty, and a team to help you run the school. You’ve got to get accredited, raise money from donors, and recruit people to join you on this mission.
“It’s not about finding the best college; it’s about finding the best college for you.” If you’re a high schooler or parent looking for college admissions guidance, you’ve probably stumbled across this advice before.
“How much would it cost for you to write my personal statement for me?” A medical school candidate asked me this question during a particularly stressful moment in the application process.
Statistically speaking, as an Ohioan, I should be working as an engine assembler in a factory rather than writing this article for you.
They say “everything is bigger in Texas” - 10-gallon hats, 72oz steaks, the world’s largest cowboy boots - but does this expression hold true for your chances of getting into medical school as well?
If you wanted to apply to 151 medical schools, what would you need to accomplish that?
We’ve all been there (or at least I have): my car battery has died once again. The hoods go up. I have the cables, and now I’m staring at the car batteries, knowing that if I attach them incorrectly I can damage both batteries severely, or worse, electrocute myself.
Imagine a private gathering of medical school admissions officers, perhaps in an ivory tower somewhere. This conclave of academic gatekeepers, mostly from prestigious schools, is meeting behind-the-scenes to discuss candidates and divvy them up amongst their programs.
68 medical schools. That's the record number (for us at Passport Admissions, at least) of schools that one of our students applied to. If you had to guess, do you think that student got in?
My friend begins every trip to Vegas at the roulette table, throwing down a chunk of chips on black or red. “Let’s just see what happens,” he says.
The last thing you want is to waste a year of your life. Becoming a doctor already requires four years of med school and another four of residency, so unless you want to get a real paycheck before you’re 30, you’d better get a move-on. Right?
Milli Desai is currently a third year medical student at UC San Diego.
If you've stopped by Student Doctor or pre-med Reddit, you've seen dozens of threads that ask, “What are my chances?”
Being a pre-med is like playing a massive, multiplayer role-playing game (RPG). Similar to characters in RPGs, pre-meds must gain experience, collaborate with others, conquer obstacles, and step into unfamiliar territory.
Sky blue. Robin’s egg blue. Turquoise. Cerulean. Navy. Denim. Teal. Periwinkle. Aquamarine.Some of these Crayola crayons are fancier sounding than others and some hardly seem blue at all (looking at you Periwinkle), but in the end, they’re all blue.
This week we want to go deeper with our numbers and compare statistics. These statistics can be hard to find, since a) only some med schools release their match information, and b) even those that do release it differently.
Thinking about applying to a DO school? You’re not alone. Each year, more and more pre-meds are considering DO schools as a viable option. Most pre-meds start their journey to medical school by focusing on allopathic (MD) schools. Part of the reason is that MD schools are more prominent.
When I was 24, my primary care provider was a D.O., but I didn’t choose her on purpose. I had simply picked a clinic near my apartment that took my insurance, and she was the first doctor available to see me. I saw the letters D.O. after her name and noticed they were different from the others that had M.D., but I didn’t have any idea what that meant.
“Ivy-Covered University is my top choice, because it's good for pre-med.”I've heard this sentence countless times from high school seniors - and their parents - who believe the conventional wisdom: that there's a list of schools that are good places to be pre-med. Attending one of these schools will supposedly make your medical school dreams come true.
We at Passport Admissions have helped 250 pre-meds (and counting) apply and get into medical school over the past nine years. Approximately half of those students attended one of the UC schools. We've seen what the applications of UC students look like, from grades to extracurriculars to letters of recommendation.
In our first installment, we broke down myths #1-5 in an attempt to decode the cryptic and overwhelming medical school admissions process.Now we’re back to complete the top ten and put an end to the rumors once and for all.
In our work with pre-meds, we hear all kinds of crazy claims. About 95% of the time we hear one of the above phrases, what follows is false. No, you don’t need 400 hours of shadowing to get into medical school. No, it doesn’t help to finish college in three years. And when you get a rejection letter, you shouldn’t call the medical school and plead to be given a second chance.
Why do you want to go to medical school? “Duh,” you might say. “Because I want to become a doctor.” But not all medical schools are equally successful at helping their students become doctors. Most US MD schools have a solid match list - approximately 94% as of last year - but it’s a self-selecting group. If you’re graduating from a top medical school, you might go for your number one choice of dermatology, but if you graduate from a school that’s not as well regarded, then perhaps you might settle for internal medicine.
In recent weeks, we at Savvy Pre-med have explained the 5 Necessary Factors for Getting into Medical School and the 5 Characteristics of the Most Successful Pre-meds. But now we’ve arrived at an important question -- how does your choice of undergraduate college affect these factors?
Last week, we dove into the first three lessons that successful students can teach us about how to get into medical school. Let’s continue with our final three lessons:
"Nobody gets into medical school these days." I hear this statement a lot, and I understand where it comes from. When you see scores of well qualified candidates - brilliant classmates, selfless neighbors, hardworking siblings - apply and get rejected, it's easy to think, "there's no way I can get in."