The “Most Popular Medical Schools”?
The list of the 10 most popular medical schools was built from only one piece of data—the percentage of accepted students that a medical school actually enrolled.
The definition of popular is “liked, admired, or enjoyed by many people.” While at a glance it may seem that the higher percentage of students matriculating equals “popular,” that most definitely is NOT the case.
Why This “Most Popular Medical Schools” List Provides No Value
In a field where research is king, no statistics can show this to be the case. What I would love to see are surveys of the students that did matriculate at a specific medical school, surveys of students that are GRADUATING from the school. I want to see WHY the students went to the school they choose, not just that they did choose it. I want to see after they finish how much they enjoyed it or hated it.
The reason WHY a student chose a particular medical school is much more important than just the fact that they chose it. Did the student choose the medical school because it was the ONLY school he/she received an acceptance letter from?The reason WHY a student chose a particular medical school is much more important than just the fact that they chose it.Click To Tweet
Did the student choose based on location, weather, friends, or family? Or did the student truly choose the school based on reviews and recommendations from others that it was a great medical school and therefore, by definition, “popular.”
This “Most Popular Medical Schools” Math Doesn’t Make Sense
How about the fact that simple math makes this list insignificant. Does every school follow the same standards for accepting students?
Simple logic tells us that if you accept 100 people for 100 seats, you will probably have some empty seats. Schools accept more students than they have spots for, with the expectation that some will not matriculate. They are counting on people not wanting to come.
Each school will have a different method for over-accepting and handling various class sizes. The fact that this random math is being used to calculate a popularity ranking is laughable.The fact that random math is being used to calculate a popularity ranking for medical schools is laughable.Click To Tweet
The Need for Better Medical School Reviews
You have to remember that the US News is a business. They do things to make money. If you read the article to the very end, it leads you into their Medical School Compass product that they are happy to sell you.
I’m not against people making money, but to produce a crappy Top 10 List like this does a disservice to the already information-over-saturated premed students. Unfortunately, there is not a great one-stop-shop for quality reviews of medical schools. You have to piece together all the information yourself from many different sources.
The studentdoctor.net site is full of over 5 million posts of opinions to dig through, which could themselves lead to defining a school’s popularity. The AAMC has the MSAR, but that data is just raw facts and information, not reviews.
We need better quality medical school reviews for premed students than this list of the “top 10 most popular medical schools.”
Update: We are working on launching medical school reviews here at Medical School Headquarters. They should launch this year (2019).
How to Choose Which Medical School to Attend
In the end, applying to medical school involves emotions, data analysis, and logistics. Don’t rely on a list like the US News top rankings, and especially not this list of the most popular medical schools.
Apply to a medical school that you want to go to or have dreamt of going to, and accept the best one of those based on YOUR needs and desires, not what a company tells you based on some random formula.Apply to medical schools that you want to go to or have dreamt of going to, and matriculate at the best one of those you can based on YOUR needs and desires.Click To Tweet
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my Premed Playbook series of books (available on Amazon), with installments on the personal statement, the medical school interview, and the MCAT.
- Related episode: Top Medical Schools: Are They Really the Best for You?
- Related episode: How to Choose a Medical School & Put Together a School List.
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!