If you are fortunate enough to get multiple med school acceptances, the first feeling on your mind was likely jubilation! And then doubt. Doubt about which school you truly want to attend.
To help you decide, we felt it would be a good idea to tell you what you should be thinking about. Hopefully, something will just click, and you will know the right medical school for you. If not, it can still ensure your pro-con list has all the right factors to consider.
But don’t worry. You’ve gotten accepted! There are certainly worse positions to be in.
Which school will get you where you want to go?
You probably have a few ideas about the specialties that you want to pursue. If one of the schools is advanced in that specialty as well, it could be a selling point.
Does one school have that unique endocrinology program? Are they doing groundbreaking research in mental health?
You could also take a look at their faculty. Are any of them in the forefront of a field that you want to go into? These are the people that can give you the connections to help foster your career.
Lastly, you could think about the overall medical school competitiveness. Is there a medical school that will prepare you to do well on the USMLE tests, get you into the residency that you want, and help you become a better doctor? If there is… well… who doesn’t want to be a better doctor?
Do you relate to the values of a school? Do you like their training approach? Did you feel like you were already a part of the group when you were interviewing there?
If you feel connected to the medical school, you will be happier to go there. You may think that they have the “right idea” when it comes to training physicians, and you will want to be a part of that.
This factor could even beat out a prestigious medical school. Let’s say that some prestigious school has a more cutthroat program. If that is not your style, you may like the “non-prestigious” school’s more cooperative and supportive environment.
Medical school is four years of your life. You want to pick a program where you would be happy. There is no reason to spend that much time in a place that you wouldn’t be.
Location is actually a huge factor to consider.
First, if you are planning on participating in a residency in the area, it can be very beneficial. It shows that you are dedicated to the location and that you are likely to continue living there (which is what they want).
The second part of this ties back into the possible opportunities that it can offer. If you want to work at a specific hospital, going to their local medical school can get your foot in the door.
Lastly, you should consider the area in general. Do you want to live there? Do you want a location that is closer to family? Could you see yourself practicing there in the future?
It does not necessarily have to be any of these things. If you have no idea where you want to live just yet, that is perfectly fine. But if this is something that is on your mind, it could be the tipping point to decide where you want to go.
Medical school is expensive. In some places more than others… but expensive nonetheless.
However, those price differences can really add up. If you are taking out student loans, you not only have the principle cost (the amount of money you take out), but you also have interest expense, which will be higher if you have a higher principle.
But having multiple medical school acceptances has its benefits.
Let’s use an example. You were accepted into super expensive medical school and super cheap medical school.
If you really want to go to super expensive medical school, you can tell them that you need more financial aid money to match super cheap medical school.
They may give you the aid. They may not. But asking can only benefit you, and won’t harm you.
If you feel that your two schools are neck and neck in all other factors besides price, go for the cheaper one. You will pay off any loans faster and will make more money in your lifetime.
If you have the opportunity to visit schools again, do it.
You can look at it from a new perspective and get the feel of the place, without having to worry about your interview like you had to on interview day. You can also talk to faculty there, and they may say something about the school that persuades you to go there.
In the end, deciding to go to one medical school over the other is not a life or death decision. You have gotten into medical school! That was the hard part. If you are willing to put in the effort, any school you go to can help you achieve your goals.
So just trust your gut and make a decision.