How to Select a Medical School
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. 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. Financial 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.
- When considering medical school, prospective students should look for programs that are accredited.
- Students researching medical schools may want to find one that not only challenges them academically, but offers financial aid.
- 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.
- 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.
Top 10 Medical Schools
|University of Washington||4-year, public|
|University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||4-year, public|
|University of California - San Francisco||4-year, public|
|University of Nebraska Medical Center||4-year, public|
|Oregon Health and Science University||4-year, public|
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||4-year, public|
|University of California - Los Angeles||4-year, public|
|University of Colorado||4-year, public|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||4-year, public|
|University of Minnesota||4-year, public|