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Path to Medicine

Pre-med Requirements

School Considerations
General Info
Allopathic (MD) schools
Osteopathic (DO) schools
Podiatry (DPM) schools
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Selecting a school

Med School Statistics

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Taste of Med School

Residency Thoughts

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Allopathic (MD) medical schools

General Info

There are currently 125 Allopathic schools in the US and 16 in Canada. Successful completion of the medical school curriculum leads to the "MD" degree. Generally speaking, admissions to MD schools is the hardest, but the "MD" is also the most recognized by people.
The "MD" is also internationally recognized, which means that you can practice in other countries outside the U.S.

MD schools are typically more research-oriented with faculty involved in research and the school receiving significant research funding. So, faculty is responsible for teaching and research. The education is centered around the classical basic sciences for 2 years followed by hospital-based and non-hospital based rotations for 2 years.

MD students take the USMLE board exams and enter the Residency Match for allopathic residencies. Application for MD schools is handled through the AMCAS or "American Medical College Application Service" for most schools with only a few exceptions that require direct application to the schools. Check the Medical School Statistics section for detailed school info and some stats as well as GPA & MCAT scores for specific schools. General historical MCAT and GPA info for MD schools can be found in the GPA and MCAT section.

Residency

As far as residency choice is concerned, MD graduates are considered by all allopathic residency programs. Some residency programs will only accept MD graduates (sometimes only from U.S. medical schools) and may not consider DO or foreign graduates (International Medical Graduates - IMGs for short). Generally speaking, MD graduates are often preferred over DO graduates or IMGs at allopathic residencies, all other factors of the residency application being equal. However, in recent years, the school attended for the 4-year medical education is supposedly loosing in importance and board scores are gaining in importance. Some residency programs are still biased and may even have policies that only allow consideration of US-trained MD applicants, though.

Also note that there are special residency considerations if participating in a military scholarship that apply to both MD and DO graduates. Military residencies consider both MD and DO graduates completely equally. Students involved with the military are required to go through a Military Residency Match instead of the civilian residency match in most cases (there are exceptions). You can find out more about this in the Residency Thoughts section.



I would highly recommend the book "Iserson's Getting Into A Residency".
It obviously covers residency information in great depth as the title suggests, but it really covers much more than just residency and is an excellent resource on a wide variety of topics related to the medical education experience. (see the recommended books list - I highly recommend this book)

Combined Degree Programs

Many schools also offer MD/PhD or other combined degree programs. Some of the MD/PhD spots are often supported by the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). This MSTP program pays all of your tuition and a stipend. You can read a little more about this in the Path to Medicine section.
The MD/PhD is primarily designed for those who wish to enter academic medicine and/or be involved in major research. Other combined degrees, particularly the MD/JD (law), MD/MBA (business), and MD/MPH (public health) are often available.

Other Related Info

See the Path to Medicine section for a brief overview of the entire medical training and the Taste of Med School section for more detail about the medical school experience itself. You can also read Student Perspectives to get an idea of what applicants (MD and other) did to gain admission to schools. Also, be sure to check out the medical school diaries for a more "insider" view into medical school life. For a complete list of medical schools, details and statistical information about medical schools, visit the Med Schools Statistics section.


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