This is such a humbling post to write because I was honestly shocked when I got into more than one school — I was so happy and grateful to just get into one! That being said, multiple medical school acceptances are a reality for quite a few applicants and it’s something that I wish I had given more thought to before it smacked me in the face. I was meticulous about choosing schools during the application process, so when it came down to acceptances, I was really torn.
So how do you choose between all of the wonderful schools that have accepted you? For me, there were a few factors that went into making that decision.
There is something to be said about your gut reaction on interview day. I made sure to keep a small notepad with me to keep track of my thoughts and feelings throughout the day. It’s sometimes tough to find breaks throughout interview day, but taking those couple seconds here and there to record my feelings proved extremely helpful when I was thinking back on that day a couple months later. If something about a school feels off to you, pay attention to that feeling! Don’t discount your gut feeling; it’s there for a reason!
Opinions of People I Trust
When I was making my final decision I talked to A LOT of doctors and medical students. They brought up points that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own and they helped bring me to reality when I was perhaps too over-the-moon about one school. They were able to give me honest opinions about the caliber of faculty at each school and talk me through the different types of opportunities [research, volunteer work, etc.] at different schools. I talked to my family a bit about this decision, but I mostly wanted to hear from people who have walked this path.
Location was lower on my deciding factors since I already weeded out a lot of schools in my initial application by only applying to schools in the South. A lot of my friends weighed location heavily because they wanted to be close to their families/friends. None of my family lives in the South so that was less of a concern, but I definitely have built a great life for myself out in Charleston and didn’t want to leave if I could help it. There is something comforting about knowing that I already have a support system in town even before I start school.
Preparation for Residency
This was the factor that I weighed most heavily. I feel confident in saying that all US medical schools will prepare you well for residency, but I wanted to choose a school that could provide any and all opportunities I could dream of to help me on my path to residency.Getting a good residency isn’t just about your Step 1 score, it’s also about your extracurriculars and your research. I chose to attend a larger, established institution because they have so many different research projects going on and their student activities list was extensive. I also felt that the faculty was incredibly supportive and have known students who have come out of my school who have gotten into amazing residency programs. I recommend looking at each schools match list to give you a feel for what types of programs the students at a particular school match into.
I hope that this breakdown of my decision thought process helped! I know that choosing between schools is tough. It’s totally normal to question yourself along the way, but if you take the time and make an informed choice, you will end up exactly where you are meant to be 🙂