Some of my friends are preparing to apply to med school this upcoming cycle. Others have finished their interviews and are currently deciding which school to attend. Before you spend thousands of dollars applying, traveling and interviewing, I thought I’d put together some advice from my colleagues about what questions to ask when you’re applying:
(In Letterman style format)
4. What are rotations like? Great question. How faculty and students talk about the 3rd and 4th years is valuable in understanding the type of training you’re going to get. Some rotations are high volume, some are rural but full service, some emphasize a lot of teaching, some have no residents. Identify what might be valuable to you.
3. What does Step 1 preparation look like? As much as preparing for Step 1 is an individual journey, having institutional support is key. Do they provide resources for you? How much study time do they provide you?
2. What are the biggest suggestions for improvement that current students have? Seriously, ask this question. How faculty and students answer this, in my opinion, reflects how they consider the support structure of their school. It’s good to have a healthy level of criticism for any program, and so hearing how schools listen to this and adjust is essential.
1. Where will you be happy for next 4 years? I cannot stress this enough. People think that the world stops for medical school and that anywhere will be sufficient to go. But life does not stop. Your friends will be getting married, birthdays will happen, life moves on. What do you need to sustain yourself? A city? A rural area? Close to family? Take those into consideration heavily, because you need to take care of yourself throughout this journey.