Are All US Medical Schools Created Equal

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Session 162

It is known that there is a stigma surrounding going to Caribbean medical schools, but our student today is wondering if all U.S. medical schools are respected?

The questions here are taken directly from the Nontrad Premed Forum so if you haven’t yet, be sure to register for an account (for free) so you’re ready to ask away.

[01:07] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:

“All my life, I’ve been told that if you can gain admittance to any allopathic school in the U.S., you need not worry about the quality of the school. Any U.S. med school is considered good. Is this really the case? Are any U.S. schools looked upon negatively like the Caribbean schools are? If so, why?”

[01:33] Medical School Accreditation Process

The student specifically talks about allopathic medical schools. Medical schools in the U.S. need to conform to LCME (Liaison Committee on Medical Education) that reviews each of the medical schools to determine if medical schools should be accredited.

When a new medical school is formed, the LCME will review their procedures, curriculum, faculty —  all the stuff — and determine if they should get preliminary accreditation. Afterward, the school can then accept their first class and after they graduate, the school may now get their full accreditation. Once they’ve done that, the LCME says that such medical school has conformed to the standard of other medical schools, at least at the bare minimum that’s required of them.

Osteopathic medical schools have the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, which also has their standards, making sure that schools meet those.

So you if you are a medical school in the U.S., either allopathic or osteopathic, you’re going to meed all of the standards.

'Are they looked upon with respect? Are they equal?'Click To Tweet

[03:47] Are All Medical Schools Equal?

We all have our individual biases and you will find that there are admissions committee members out there who have their own biases. So it’s impossible that every medical school in the U.S. is looked at with the same respect. But you’re also going to have people who look at a degree from Harvard and think it’s better than a state school university.

Will you get the same education? 100% These medical schools are all teaching to the same standard. They’re all teaching to make sure you pass Step 1 and Step 2. They’re all teaching to the same level.

Education/knowledge is commoditized at this point. 50 years ago, you’d have to go to Harvard to get the information from the most prestigious lecturer around because that information wasn’t available anywhere else unless he/she wrote a book.

'Now, with the internet, information is commoditized. So we can get as much information as we need to do as well as we want on all of these facets of the exams.'Click To Tweet

[05:45] Same Education, Different Exposure

Again, you may get the same education but then you probably won’t get the same exposure. There are different networking opportunities anywhere. Some schools may give you amazing exposure that you’re not going to get as some well-known Ivy Leagues since those areas are oversaturated. While at a smaller school, you may get more one on one time with the PI, with the faculty, or with a residency program director. All this being said, there are pros and cons to everything.

The education that you’re going to get is going to set you up for as much success as you can do in the future, based on how well you do as a student. Once in medical school, it’s all about your board scores and doing well on residency rotations or your elective rotations.

'Everything from residency on, is all about who you are!'Click To Tweet

[07:00] Final Thoughts

Get to any U.S. school, allopathic or osteopathic. Do as well as you can on your boards and elective rotations.


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