As a parent of a premed student who is applying to college, the first thing I’d want to know is, “Which universities have the highest acceptance rate to medical school?” As a premed advisor-consultant-coach, I think this is a very correct, accurate, honest and straightforward way of thinking. It’s what I would ask if my son or daughter wanted to be a doctor.
Schools sending premeds to medical school — where’s the data?
So why does this data not exist anywhere? I took this question to several premed advisors, and honestly I was stunned to find the answer.
Let’s look at medical school admissions from the point of view of an on-campus premed advisor at Harvard or Yale, or Columbia or NYU.
Problems with accurately identifying the percentage of students who apply and get into medical school:
First Problem: Not every student who applies to medical school tells the premed advisor. So there’s a chunk of applicants every year who apply outside of their premedical advisor’s system. So any data that the advisor captures has the potential for being skewed by this.
Second problem: Of those students who apply to medical school AND work with their advisor, not all of them report the results. That’s another problem that interferes with obtaining good quality and accurate data.
Third Problem: There’s a percentage of students every year who do not have sufficient grades, MCAT score or experiences to qualify them as competitive applicants to medical school, yet they still apply. Should this group of students be included in the admissions data? If you do include this group, doesn’t this mislead others as to the school’s actual potential for helping you get accepted?
Fourth Problem: A significant fraction of students apply to medical school after graduation. Are they still considered students? Since this group is no longer part of the on-campus community, it’s much harder to keep track of them and their performance.
So as you can see, getting the most useful data is quite a chore, and not as easy as it seems on the surface.
What’s the solution?
Ultimately, your performance is more important than that school you attend. If you can achieve a 3.5 GPA in the sciences, earn strong letters of recommendation, score a 32+ on the MCAT, and apply on time, you have a great shot at getting in.
Would it be nice to know which schools are sending the most premeds to med school? Sure. But until we can get access to that data, the best thing you can do is to do your best. Learn more about how to get from high school to medical school here.