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Medical School

Decision Strategy: Medical School Applications

The commendable Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Fee Assistance Program (FAP) provides financial assistance to those Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) examinees and American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) applicants without the financial resources required to complete the medical school application process. As one such applicant, I’m grateful that these resources are made available and feel particularly responsible to do well with the opportunity thus provided. The program waives the AMCAS application fees for up to fourteen medical schools. With over one hundred twenty medical schools to choose from, clearly, determining which fourteen to apply to will require some selection criteria.

And while some of the most critical factors in deciding will be other than the academic characteristics of a given school, these do matter, and I’ve compiled a few of them below (based on the 2009-2010 data available). I’ve also calculated the number of “slots” available to be filled by someone like me (male, non-traditional, economically disadvantaged, Kentucky resident) based on the published class profiles of each school; and I’ve included financial information based on state of residence, percent of students receiving financial aid, and average debt of graduates.

Medical school comp. chart

Comparing medical schools on admission statistics, financial data, and class compositions


Other criteria weighted heavily in my decision include:

  1. Medical school features such as curriculum, match statistics, public/global health programs, class size, facilities, diversity of patient population, and the quality of associated medical centers
  2. Community features that match my family’s needs, such as:
    1. Quality of the public school system
    2. Safety/crime statistics
    3. Recreational resources and climate
    4. Cost of living
  3. Graduate opportunities available for my partner in:
      1. Track with global health focus
      2. Dual degree options available between public health and an international affairs program

The 14 schools I chose to apply are included in the map below.

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