3 Tips for Students Considering New Medical Schools – U.S. News & World Report (blog)

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3 Tips for Students Considering New Medical Schools – U.S. News & World Report (blog)

With more slots available for prospective medical students, now is a great time to apply or reapply to medical school for matriculation in fall 2017. To help answer the rising need for physicians – 46,000-90,000 additional in the U.S. by 2025 – three new medical schools in Texas, California and New York offer distinct missions of incorporating technology into their curriculum and responding to the specific needs of the communities in which they serve.

The University of Texas—Austin, for one, focuses on research and leadership while encouraging Austin to be a model healthy city. The inaugural medical class of 50 was seated in June 2016 in a program created through a 2012 ballot initiative.

While honoring its financial responsibility to taxpayers, UT–Austin’s new medical program will capitalize on its proximity to the university’s business, nursing and engineering schools as an incubator for ideas, transforming health care across disciplines and professions.

California Northstate University, near Sacramento, seated its first class of 90 students in fall 2015 with the mission of primary care. Tuition is equivalent for both California and out-of-state residents.

The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education will become part of a new medical school as the City University of New York launches its new school of medicine with 70 students this fall. Founded in 1973 as a five-year B.S.-M.D. program, the school targeted underrepresented minority students.

The focus of the new, seven-year CUNY School of Medicine is patient-centered, culturally appropriate care that will make health care accessible to all New Yorkers.

For successful applications to these newer schools, here are a few things prospective medical students should keep in mind.

1. Practice MCAT questions daily in each subject: Don’t think that because a program is new, applicants won’t need to score well on the MCAT. High scores will still be required for successful applications to these programs.

Practicing MCAT questions daily encourages success through familiarity with the test question patterns. Consider joining a study group in conjunction with the MCAT prep course. The group format facilitates seeing the questions’ nuances from different perspectives, cementing concepts by teaching others and learning from fellow members’ questions.

2. Visit your preprofessional school adviser early and often: The adviser can be a realistic touchstone, help you strategize and keep you on target for deadlines. If you weren’t successful in the first application cycle, a preprofessional adviser can help you regroup.

An adviser will also help prospective medical school students keep abreast of new schools and programs and can help guide applicants to fresh opportunities. In addition to preprofessional advisers, prospective applicants can keep an eye on the Association of American Medical Colleges’ website for announcements of new medical schools.

3. Update your application if reapplying: If you were unsuccessful in your first application cycle, reflect on why you want to be a physician – and demonstrate that on your next application. Include any additional volunteer and science medicine work experience, such as medical scribe or medical mission work, and new achievements in science coursework and research.

Since many new programs have specific missions, see if your goals and experiences align with a focus of a new medical school. The more your application demonstrates goals you have in common with those of medical programs, the more success you may find.

Your personal statement, especially, should demonstrate this authenticity and alignment with a new school’s mission. Have an academic adviser, professor, preprofessional school adviser or trusted family member or friend evaluate your personal statement.

No matter where you’re applying, don’t compare yourself with other applicants. “You are your only competition and have full control over the contents of your application,” says Haley Marks, a first-year medical student at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.

One size does not fit all in selecting a medical school, since each has a specific mission. To find your ideal fit, discover how your experience and goals align with a school’s mission and present an application that’s a true reflection of you and your accomplishments.

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