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