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To become a physician or surgeon, individuals must go through many years of medical school and clinical study. Find out more about how to choose a medical school, including important considerations, below. Also, find a table with the largest medical schools in the U.S., based on enrollment.
Doctoral-level medical degrees include Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) programs. These degree programs are found specifically in medical schools that are usually part of 4-year universities or colleges.
When considering medical school, prospective students should look for programs that are accredited. For an M.D. program, the accrediting agency is the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. D.O. programs are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association. Both of these agencies and degrees are recognized universally in the United States and within the broader medical field. Accreditation assures the programs meets the education standards to prepare students for state licensure.
Many new doctors come out of school in heavy debt. In fact, 85% of public medical school graduates and 86% of private medical school graduates are in debt upon graduation, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Therefore, students researching medical schools may want to find one that not only challenges them academically, but offers financial aid. Aid can come in the form of government grants and private loan programs; most public schools offer government financial aid programs, but not all private schools do.
Prospective doctors and surgeons should also consider a medical school's awards and rankings, such as the annual list compiled by U.S. News and World Report. Rankings are available for both the overall school and individual programs or specialties. Students should consider both when selecting their medical school.
Residency programs and teaching hospitals are also important to consider when selecting a med school. Medical residencies, which take place after the first four years of academic and clinical work, are available in multiple specialties; a prospective student should make sure the school has a strong program in the specialization in which he or she is interested, such as cardiology, pediatrics and anesthesiology. This information can often be found on the school's website.
All of the colleges and universities listed below have medical schools that primarily offer M.D. programs.
|College/University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|Arizona State University||67,082||4-year, Public|
|Ohio State University - Main Campus||53,715||4-year, Public|
|University of Florida||51,474||4-year, Public|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||51,140||4-year, Public|
|University of Central Florida||50,121||4-year, Public|
|The University of Texas at Austin||49,984||4-year, Public|
|Texas A & M University||48,039||4-year, Public|
|Michigan State University||46,510||4-year, Public|
|University of South Florida||46,189||4-year, Public|
|Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus||44,406||4-year, Public|
|University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign||43,246||4-year, Public|
|New York University||42,189||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University of Wisconsin - Madison||41,620||4-year, Public|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||41,028||4-year, Public|
|Indiana University - Bloomington||40,354||4-year, Public|
|University of Washington - Seattle Campus||39,675||4-year, Public|
|Florida International University||38,759||4-year, Public|
|Florida State University||38,682||4-year, Public|
|University of California - Los Angeles||38,220||4-year, Public|
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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics