The practice of medicine has been going on for as long as individuals have been affected by disease. As the population continues to age and technology continues to grow, the need for medical professional and the drive to become physicians continues to grow.Despite the growing need for physicians and growing interest in pursuing a career in medicine, aspiring MD applicants may have noted that the number of medical schools to support training didn't grow for a long time. Between 1986 and 2005, there has been only a single school accredited. Additionally, two schools in Philadelphia merged and one closed, leaving the final number at 124 accredited medical schools across the country.
Why are there so many new medical schools all of the sudden?
You may have noticed that in recent years, a number of new medical schools have been opening. Between 2005 and 2012, the medical education system saw a HUGE increase in the number of medical schools, rising from 124 to 141. As the number of medical schools continues to grow, it may be worthwhile to consider one of them when making your decision. In our post, we’ll give you some things to consider when deciding to go to medical school.
New vs. Established?
How do you know if new medical schools are the right fit? Are you ready to forge a new path in medical education? Here are some things to consider:
1. Think about class size!
The most established schools have class sizes ranging from 100-150 students each year. One of the nice things about these new medical schools is that the class sizes are smaller. In their beginning years, they’re numbers are usually about half (or less) of the more established school. Are you a self-directed learner or would you benefit from more hands on teaching? Ask yourself what works best for your education.
2. Where do I do my clinical rotations?
The major medical academic institutions are associated with teaching hospitals. They have trainees ranging from medical students to fellows and everything in between (RESIDENTS). What this means, is that at level of training, each individual is accustomed to teaching medical students. This is where you will learn the nuts and bolts of the clinical profession. The newer schools will generally be associated with community hospitals. Inquire as to the level of training supported at each institution associated. Will you be at a hospital with residents in addition to attending physicians? If so, this means that they are familiar with teaching students, and can help you along your path. Additionally, some schools, like School of Medicine at Hofstra University actually are associated with research institutions, and actually even have an MD/PhD program. You want to make sure you can pursue all your interests as you learn and train.
3. Can I rotate through a department I am interested in?
The other question with regards to clinical rotations is can you rotate through a department to make connections in your future specialty. If you have a burning desire to be a dermatologist, but there is no significant dermatology department, then a newer medical school may not be a fit. It is worth inquiring if you can rotate through such departments in other institutions.
These are just a few things to consider when on the road to medical school admissions, or even MD/PhD admissions. If you're not sure, Cambridge Coaching's application consulting service can help you break it down and make an informed choice.