HomeArticlesAre All Medical Schools the Same?

Dear Estelle. Being a physician has been my dream for years. The summer before college I worked with small children in a clinic in Peru. These children were chronically ill, often deprived of the basic means of survival. Their lives were typical of children raised in an impoverished society. In college I worked in a local inner city clinic assisting the physicians and nurse practitioners. Currently I am assembling my list of medical schools with plans to apply next fall. Seeing the direction of my medical interests i.e. primary care and possibly third world medicine, are there some medical schools, which would be more suitable? SK, Denver

Typically medical school applicants ask “To how many schools should I apply?” or “What do I need to put together an excellent application?” Your question is a good one. While you can receive a good education at any accredited medical school, your chances of acceptance and receiving an education commensurate with your own goals might be better achieved at a school having a mission similar to yours. Many schools have more of an emphasis on primary care while others focus on academics and research. If primary care is your interest, you should consider comparing the various programs to ascertain how much time is allotted to your specific interests. How much involvement can you expect in the health care of the neighboring communities? How much of your training will involve direct contact with indigent patients? Research will help you identify medical schools that have a focus similar to yours.

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