how much does the college matter?

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how much does the college matter?

Postby Guest » Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:52 pm

I am a student at Queens College in NYC, which is a City University. I was wondering how much impact the reputation of the college has on med school admissions. If i meet all the requirements, are my chances still hindered by the fact that I go to Queens College and not NYU or Columbia?
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Re: how much does the college matter?

Postby DrDave » Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:21 pm

Most 4 year universities are going to be okay to get into a medical school, assuming they have the pre-med classes offered that you need. If the school does not have a great reputation, you'll need to get great grades in all of your classes, and do well on the MCAT (which is also true at a school with a great reputation actually, but not to the same degree). I think that if you want to go to the top tier of medical schools, then it will be very tough coming from an average college.

I don't know anything about Queens College, so I can't really say about how that particular school will effect your chances of acceptance.
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Re: how much does the college matter?

Postby Guest » Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:31 pm

Queens college offers all the courses and it isnt a bad college. It just average, like you said. Also my grades have been very good thus far, even though I just finished only my first year. So you think it is a good idea to attempt to transfer out?

BTW, thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.
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Re: how much does the college matter?

Postby DrDave » Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:00 pm

I would see if you could talk to one of the college advisors / counselors. See if they have any information on how successful their students are at getting accepted into medical schools. That would probably give you the most information.

If you want to transfer out, I'd actually make the move based on how much of a better experience you think you'd get at whichever school you will be transferring to. If the teachers you've had at Queens college have been good, and you think the departments you want to study have good teachers, then you may not gain much from transferring out. However, if there is a much better school you can get accepted to, and you are willing to pay the extra cost (assuming there is one), then it probably is worth making the move - more so because you'll likely have a better learning experience at a better school - the other students will be more motivated, hopefully the teachers and curriculum are better, and you may get better advisors.

In the end, unless you are looking to go to a top tier medical school, I'm not sure it'll matter that much, especially if you are getting good grades. In the end, it may be an interesting issue that'll come up in interviews - about why you decided to stay or transfer and about what your thought process was with making this decision.

As I've said several times in this forum - I'm not an expert in these matters - I'm just sharing my opinions. Check with one of your college advisors. If you are able to do that, I'd actually be interested to hear what their suggestions are to you. It's actually not a simple decision and you'll have to try to figure out what is the right choice for you.
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Re: how much does the college matter?

Postby Guest » Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:50 am

hello Admin,
I guess my question is kind of different-- how much does it matter if i can only get into a med school that are not in the top tier? if that's the case, will it be hard for me to be hired by hospitals because the med school that I go to is just average?

thank you very much for your help :-)
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Re: how much does the college matter?

Postby DrDave » Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:08 am

Going to an "average" med school is not going to be a problem for the vast majority of doctors. The only situations where it may matter is if you want to go to one of the top tier residency programs within a non-competitive field or if you want to go into a very competitive field of medicine. The competitive fields of medicine for recent years have been orthopedic surgery, dermatology, most other surgical fields, and then fields like radiology and emergency medicine. Oh yeah, radiation oncology is pretty competitive too, but hardly anyone goes into that field. If you are looking to go into internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, or psychiatry, then you should be able to match into most programs going to an "average" medical school.

If you want to go into a competitive field, you can probably get into a residency program going to an average medical school if you perform exceptionally well in med school. Even if you go to a top tier medical school, you'd still have to perform above average to match into the competitive fields. If you want to go into one of the less competitive fields, as long as you perform average at any medical school, you will have a pretty good choice of places to go to for residency. If you want to go to the top tier residency program in those fields, you'd have to perform well at an average school, or above average at a top medical school.

Hope that all made sense.

Basically, if you want to get into a competitive residency program (competitive field or top program) you'd have to either perform well at an average medical school, or above average at a top medical school.

In the end, if you just want to practice the field you are trained in, it doesn't make much difference where you did your residency as for finding jobs.

The reason to go to a better program is because a) you want to learn things from better teachers b) the better programs may be more resident friendly (less demanding work loads) c) may better prepare you for research if you want to pursue a research career d) may better prepare you for an academic position if you want that e) you want to subspecialize in a competitive field (ie, cardiology) - and then you'd have to do well enough in residency to get into the fellowship you want - which brings up the same issues of where you trained, etc, etc.

Most patients and hospitals don't care where you trained, as far as I can tell. In fact, from what I've heard, while most patients want their doctor to be very competent at what they do, they will rate their doctors higher based mostly on bedside manner / interpersonal skills - something that some medical schools don't teach well.
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Re: how much does the college matter?

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:03 am

Admin, you've been more than helpful for me, and I didn't even post those questions. I do have something I wanted to ask you though. I'm starting my second year at an osteopathic school, and I really want to specialize in orthopedic surgery. Do you think the fact that I attended an osteopathic school will hurt me when compared to allopathic students?
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Re: how much does the college matter?

Postby DrDave » Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:54 am

I would guess that it will be much more difficult to match into an orthopedics residency. However, after I searched around a little, it does appear that there are at least a few DO's out there that are orthopods. Additionally, there are orthopedic programs specifically for osteopaths:

American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics

From some of the things I saw, it looks like some docs who did the osteopathic ortho programs were able to match into decent fellowship programs after that. I would follow up with the academy link I just pasted up above for more info.
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