What are the Tiers of Medical Schools?

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

What are the Tiers of Medical Schools?

Session 33

If you hear premed students talking about tiers of medical schools, turn, and run away. Medical school is medical school. They all train you to be a physician.

Should you be worried about tiers when looking to applying to medical schools?

The short answer is no. Ignore all of that.

Check out all our other amazing podcasts on MedEd Media Network. By the way, the episodes in this podcast are recordings of our Facebook Live that we do at 3pm Eastern on most weekdays. Check out our Facebook page and like the page to be notified.

[00:35] Ignore the Tier

The tier system is a premed thing, which premeds like to talk about. They like to talk about the schools they’re applying to because they think they have the grade and the score to get into these “top tiered” schools.

'Ignore those people. Ignore those tiers. Medical school is medical school.'Click To Tweet

There are some caveats. If you know in your heart and mind that you want to go to Harvard and do a research there and be an academic physician. Then try to go to Harvard.

The name helps. But more importantly, the connections help. Go to Harvard because you want to be at Harvard, teach there, and practice medicine. Going there opens up opportunities for you because you have connections and because you’re close to those people.

[01:40] Do Tiers Matter for Residency?

Outside of that, if you want to be a physician, it doesn’t matter where you go to medical school. The tiers don’t matter.

And I’ve heard people say tiers matter when applying for residency. Allison went to New York Medical College, supposedly a lower tiered medical school. But she ended up with her residency at Harvard.

So I tried looking at the different residencies. Try looking up a particular school where you’re interested in going to their residency. Look them up and see if they tell you where the students are from. And a lot of times, they do and say a lot of them are from the same school they went to medical school to – Stanford, UCSF. So it’s the connections.

There are a lot of schools out there that aren’t the “top tier” schools. But you make the biggest difference. It’s your ability to study and get good grades, great board scores. Getting into residency is a lot about board scores. It’s your effort and your work that determine your ability to get into these great residencies.

'What makes the biggest difference for getting into medical school is not the school name. It's you.'Click To Tweet

Even going above and beyond that, it’s your ability to perform well on your away rotations, your electives, when you’re trying to show off to those residencies who you are. Show off why they should accept you in the future and match and rank you.

[04:23] Tiers Don’t Matter

Don’t look at the tier system when you’re looking at applying to medical schools. There are nor tiers. Once you get onto this other side, and you’re in medical school, you’ll realize it’s all the same. The tier system is a premed thing. Ignore it. It doesn’t matter.

Again, don’t look at the names on the walls for where you’re applying to school. Go to a medical school. Become a physician. Do your job.


MedEd Media

Facebook page


Click here to subscribe



Crush the MCAT with our
MCAT Secrets eBook



DOWNLOAD FREE - Crush the MCAT with our MCAT Secrets eBook