In this episode, Ryan basically talks about picking medical schools to apply to and whether you should apply to out-of-state public schools. This is another question pulled out from the forums over at the OldPreMeds.org which you should check out, if you haven’t yet, so you too can start joining the discussions or post any questions that you have related to your medical school replication.
OldPreMeds Question of the Week:
Poster is talking about applying in the upcoming cycle and curious about how to go contacting admissions at a state school which generally offers an extremely low number of interviews to out-of-state (OOS) applicants. Poster lived in this state for less than a year in the last five years with immediate family in the vicinity of the school. Poster is drawn by the school’s commitment to service in the community and its leadership in the field of medicine and its proximity to family. Who do you contact at the medical school with the application season coming up? And what should you say considering a complicated residential history?
Here are the insights from Ryan:
Where do you want to go to school?
State schools in other states
Dig into the state schools that you’re looking at in other states because there is a high likelihood that they give extreme preference to in-state applicants. State medical schools are funded by the state and are there to train students who hopefully stay and work in that state.
Majority of private schools don’t give any preferential treatment to in-state applicants.
What are your chances?
To not apply to a public out-of-state school because your premed advisor told you not to is silly. There is always a chance. But you should have a good reason why you want to go to that public OOS school.
What are your ties to the state?
Having family in that area is the perfect reason why you want to go to that school so you can have that support structure. Talk more about the living in the area and staying there and the more likely you’re getting an interview. It boils down to having ties to the state so you can sell yourself to the admissions committee.
How do you reach out to the school?
There is really no need to reach out to the school. Instead, just put together a well-thought out personal statement and talk about your reasons for applying there. They’re going to ask about it on your secondaries so be prepared as well.
Links and Other Resources:
The Premed Years Podcast www.medicalschoolhq.net
Dr. Ryan Gray: The Old Premeds Podcast, session number 50.
You’re a nontraditional student entering the medical field on your terms. You may have had some hiccups along the way, but now you’re now ready to change course and go back and serve others as a physician. This podcast is here to help answer your questions and help educate you on your journey to becoming a physician.
Now welcome to the Old Premeds Podcast. I am your host, Dr. Ryan Gray from the Medical School Headquarters. If you haven’t checked out everything going on over there, I highly recommend you do. Again www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net or you can go check out Med Ed Media where we have other podcasts to listen to.
This week’s question is taken directly from the Old Premeds forums like every question is. If you don’t have an account over there, go check it out, www.OldPremeds.org.
Now this question is not really a nontraditional question and so it can work for anybody, but it’s posted in the nontraditional forums so I’m going to talk about it.
Out of State Admissions
The poster here is talking about applying in the upcoming cycle and curious how to go about contacting admissions at a state school which generally offers an extremely low number of interviews to out of state applicants. And let me just mention here because they abbreviated out of state. If you’re ever browsing around premed forums and you see OOS, that means out of state. Now this poster went on to say, ‘I’ve been discouraged from even submitting an application by a premed advisor at the school for this exact reason. However I actually did live in the state for less than one year within the last five years and have immediate family in the vicinity of the school; my brother, sister, and mother. I am drawn by the school’s commitment to service in the community and general leadership by the school in the field of medicine, and of course by its proximity to my family. Any suggestions on who to contact at the medical school with an app season coming up, and what should I say regarding interest in my complicated residential history there?’
Alright so this really boils down to picking medical schools to apply to, and whether you should apply to out of state public schools. So as you are creating your school list, you need to look at where you are considered a state resident, and what schools are in that state where you are a resident, and apply to those schools if you want to stay in that state. If you want to leave the state where you’re currently a resident, then you really need to dig into the state schools that you’re looking at at other states- in other states, because there is a high likelihood that they give extreme preference to in state applicants. State medical schools are funded by the state and are there to train students to hopefully stay and work in that state. So there’s preference for them to accept a residence of that state who will likely stay in that state afterwards. I’m trying to say ‘state’ a lot in this podcast episode.
So what you need to look at obviously are the state schools in other states, and private schools- so public schools and then private schools. Private schools don’t give any preferential treatment to in state applicants. That’s the majority of them. I think there is one or two schools out there that do. Don’t quote me on that though. So you really need to do your homework and see where do you want to go to school? And for this poster, they have a reason for wanting to go to this in state out of state school, this public out of state school for them. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t apply. If you go and look at numbers for schools, they will tell you how many out of state applicants they interviewed, how many out of state applicants they accepted. That typically means that they accept out of state applicants and they interview out of state applicants. If they’re interviewing you, then there’s a chance that you can get accepted. And so to not apply to a public out of state school because your premed advisor told you not to is silly. There is always a chance.
Now you are going to have to have a good reason on why you want to go to that public out of state school. And so for this poster they have family in the area which is the perfect reason to want to go to that school, to have that support structure there. The more that you can talk about the area, and having been to the area, and your family living in the area, and loving the area, and wanting to settle down in the area maybe; the more that you can talk about that, the more likely it is that they’re going to think about you for an interview. It doesn’t mean you will get an interview, but they’ll think about you for an interview and not just throw you in the ‘do not interview’ pile because you have really no ties to that school. So you have to have those ties to the school.
When I was applying to medical school I was a Florida resident, and I applied to the University of Colorado, and I got an interview. I wasn’t the best applicant by far, but I was surprised that I got an interview at an out of state public school. And I think it boiled down to having ties to the state. I had family in the state, I had visited the state a bunch, I loved Colorado- I obviously loved it enough I live here now, and am applying to have a faculty position at the University of Colorado which is awesome. So there are ties to the state that you really need to have to really sell to the admissions committee why they should bother interviewing you as an out of state applicant. So that’s what you should be thinking about. What are your ties?
Reaching Out to Schools
Now the second part of the question here, the poster talked about wanting to have some information about what they should say to the school, or reaching out to the school. I really don’t think you need to reach out to the school in this case. You just need to put together a well thought out personal statement and talk about your reasons for applying there. Reaching out to the school and saying, ‘Hey I’m applying to your school and I’m an out of state applicant, what do you think?’ They’re not going to be able to really to tell you anything. They’re going to say, ‘Apply to our school, we’ll evaluate you with the rest of our applicants,’ and that’s it. So you’re really not going to get a lot out of the school for that particular question, so I don’t think you should reach out. Just write a good personal statement with a good reason why you want to go to that school. Alright- and also with secondaries as well, they’re going to ask about that as well. So be prepared for those questions in your secondaries.
Alright that is it for this week’s podcast here at the Old Premeds Podcast. If you haven’t checked out The Premed Years, I highly recommend you do. Today we released episode 210 which is a great episode all about applying to medical school early. Not applying early but getting your applications prepared early, and what you should be thinking about if you’re applying. So whether you’re applying this year, or next year, or whenever you’re applying, go check it out over at www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net. Not ‘the’ Medical School, just www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net.
I hope you got a lot of great information out of the podcast today, and as always I hope you join us next week here at the Medical School Headquarters and the Old Premeds Podcast.
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