Getting into medical school is no breeze, and many people will tell you it’s the hardest part of getting a medical education. So how do you improve your chances of getting into a medical school?

Like getting most things done, it’s important to have a plan. There are a lot of important aspects to your “getting in” plan. In this article, we deal with choosing the right medical schools to apply to. For other resources on getting into medical school, visit the the “getting into medical school” page.

Choosing the right schools to apply to: In choosing a medical school you want to strike a balance between the best schools and the realities of which schools you can get into. The strategy recommended to me by my pre-med advisor many years ago was to choose one or two long-shot schools, several schools where you would be competitive, and one or two back-up schools. The big question is: How do you know where you’re going to be competitive?

There’s no way to guarantee that you’re application will be competitive at any given school, but there are some resources to help you find out how good medical schools are, and how competitive your initial application might be at each of these schools.

Medical School Search: This is a tool to let you see how your grades and MCAT scores compare to the average scores of students admitted to specific medical schools. Use it to get an idea of which schools your grades would be competitive at, and which schools are long shots. When combined with your own off-line research and some of the other sites listed here, the medical school finder is a good starting place.

US News Rankings: US News has compiled a lot of information on the quality and admissions history of many medical schools in the US. The rankings are updated annually.

continued at Medical School Planning 2

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