I remember the sheer joy of ripping open the letter that granted me a medical school spot. Everything was roses and rainbows, and I was thrilled that my dreams were coming true. This cute little fantasy carried on until I received the tuition numbers a few weeks later . . . wow. I had no money, and I was being expected to pay how much? Regardless of what you hear from other people about how doctors make enough money to quickly pay back their debt, those five digits after the dollar sign per year are still scary.
Selecting a medical school is a significant decision, as the program you attend may play a key role in determining your career path. Whether you are completing final interviews or simply starting the application process, below are several factors to consider when comparing potential medical schools.
The majority of applicants have a reasonable idea of the type of setting they would like to spend four years. In general, medical schools can be in urban and suburban settings. They are rarely rural. However, realize that the area a medical school is in affects more than your personal life and cost of living. Different geographic regions will expose you to different patient populations and disease processes. If you are extremely passionate about working with certain patients (e.g., the under-served urban poor), then take location heavily into account when choosing a program.