Applying to Brand New Medical Schools

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Session 193

New medical schools look just like more established programs on paper. How do you evaluate a brand new medical school before you apply?

Your questions are answered here on the Nontrad Premed Forum which you will find on the Meded Media network. If you haven’t yet, sign up for an account for free to join a collaborative community of like-minded students.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[00:57] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“Hi, I’m curious to know if anyone has any experience or tips for someone who’s thinking of applying to a brand-new medical school. 

My undergraduate (University of Houston) is opening its new medical school at exactly the time when I’ll be ready to apply so if I went there I’d be in the first cohort. Does anyone have any helpful advice on this? 

I know a few new schools have popped up in the last few years and would love to hear what it was like to be in one of the early classes. I imagine the school wouldn’t be completely organized and that might add some extra stress but it also seems like a neat experience.”

[02:00] Preliminary Accreditation

Now, a lot of schools are actually opening up. There are lots of demands. There’s a lot of research saying we’re going to have a big physician shortage. And so many schools tap into this opportunity. Hence, students are put in a situation of applying to both old and new schools.

Looking at the recent history of schools, I personally haven’t seen any school that has gotten their preliminary accreditation and has graduated their first class and didn’t get their full accreditation.

Schools have to get a preliminary accreditation from the AOA for DO schools or the LCME for MD schools.

The accreditation bodies give these schools permission to open up and accept applications for their first class. But they can only get their full accreditation until those schools graduate their first class in 3 or 4 years time.

'Typically, schools don't have any issues getting that full accreditation.'Click To Tweet

[Related episode: Is There Risk in Applying to New Medical Schools?]

[03:50] Overcoming Obstacles

There could be stumbling blocks that new schools have to overcome but those things happen even at full accredited, long-standing schools as well. Those things happen everywhere.

Remember that a lot of these schools are pulling administrators from other schools. So for the most part, the people seeding these new schools are coming from other places where things have been done. They can then bring their experiences and their knowledge to the new school.

'There will be obstacles and challenges but that's everywhere and not necessarily just a new school thing.'Click To Tweet

[05:05] Is There Any Risk in Applying to New School

In the grand scheme of things, there is no risk in applying to new schools. It won’t hinder you in your life as a physician. There will be small obstacles here and there. But that’s in every place.

'Apply to schools you want to go to. Apply to schools that are going to be a good fit for you.'Click To Tweet

Back in Episode 256 of The Premed Years Podcast, I talked with Dr. King Li, the dean of Carle Illinois College of Medicine. It’s a brand new, engineering-based medical school. They’re flipping the model 180 degrees in what they’re doing and a lot of students actually resonated with that.

Also, check out Episode 349 where I talked with Carle’s recruitment director talking about secondary applications, the fact that they don’t do interviews, and so much more.

A school like that is an amazing opportunity. You want new schools that are trying to push the boundaries and really changed the way things are done. Change is good and so is pushing new boundaries.

So new schools are not a problem. It’s an adventure so there’s nothing to worry about.


Nontrad Premed Forum

Meded Media

The Premed Years Podcast Episode 256: A Look at Carle Illinois College of Medicine with Dean Li

The Premed Years Podcast Episode 349: This Recruitment Director is Revamping Secondary Apps