Over 40,000 students apply for just around 20,000 available places in classes at medical schools in the U.S. each year. A degree in Medicine in the United States starts at postgraduate level so you will have to finish a Bachelor degree first in order to be eligible to apply for a medical school.
Below you can find out:
- What you will learn in a U.S. medical school
- What are the unique characteristics of medical schools in the U.S.
- Why being a doctor is extremely rewarding
Best medical schools in the United States in 2019
Getting into one of the best medical schools in the U.S. is without a doubt extremely competitive for future doctors. According to U.S. News, the following ten medical schools/universities were ranked as the best ones in the States, considering main criteria such as prestige and reckoning of deans, residency programs, research activity, funding, and admission selectivity.
- Harvard University
- Johns Hopkins University
- New York University (Langone)
- Stanford University
- University of California - San Francisco
- Mayo Clinic School of Medicine
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of California - Los Angeles
- Washington University in St. Louis
- Duke University
While the selection process in the best medical schools from the U.S. may seem like a lottery, once you are in, you may consider yourself a winner! You just received the opportunity to be taught by some of the big league medicine teachers and get a front row seat for watching the work of ingenious medical doctors.
Check out more ranked universities in the United States according to World University Ranking 2019 and Shanghai Ranking 2018.
What you will learn at a U.S. medical school
In the first year, the focus will be on the basic and clinical science courses. You will study biology, chemistry, anatomy and more. If the word basic makes it sound easy, you'd be wrong. There will be many things to learn because these are the courses on which you will build your future profession.
During the second year, you will a lot of time reinforcing the first year basic science courses. This will also be done through clinical clerkships. In addition to these, other new important courses which will be added are:
- at least one practical course
- a course on clinical skills
- a health policy or global health course
This is the year where the main focus will be on clinical clerkships/rotations. You will also become a member of a medical team.
During the rotations, you will get to see all the fields/specialities of Medicine such as internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, radiology, etc. The 3rd year is supposed to help you figure out what type of medicine you want to practice.
In some universities, like the University of Columbia, this year is called the “Differentiation and Integration” year.
This will be the year when you start your residency. You will get to choose the medical speciality you want to study further and this should become your area of expertise.
If you are not really sure of your future medical specialization, you can contact a faculty advisor that can help with your career plan. At Stanford University, for instance, students can choose their specialization from their first year of study.
Examples of medicine specialties you can choose to study in the U.S.
- Physiotherapy degrees in the United States
- Public Health degrees in the United States
- Veterinary Medicine degrees in the United States
- Dentistry degrees in the United States
- Complementary Medicine degrees in the United States
Three unique characteristics of medical schools in the U.S.
1. Learn to care for your patient
In addition to the main courses that you can basically learn in any medical school worldwide, in the U.S., you can see an almost equal focus on study programs that are related to psychology, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills and ethical principles. In addition, some universities also include sociology and a foreign language course in the first or second year of study.
In the U.S., being a good doctor is not limited to simply doing an excellent job; it also involves honestly caring for the supreme good of your patient in all its aspects. That includes knowing how to communicate and how to listen to your patient.
2. Think critical and fast!
Just like any school or university from the U.S., regardless of your study program, the teaching style focuses a lot on the problem-based learning method. What does that imply in a medical school? Well, think of Dr. House and the usual scene when interns and professional doctors investigate and try to guess the diagnosis of a patient and you get the idea.
3. Access state-of-the-art research resources and facilities
Research is a fundamental feature in medical schools in the U.S. and The American Institute of Higher Education appropriates huge funds on research. As a student, you can embrace this wonderful chance of benefiting from the greatest research resources and cutting-edge facilities and be a part of amazing discoveries in the field of medicine.
Why being a doctor is extremely rewarding
Based on the idea that all great things should be said more than once, we’ll now talk about the obvious and well-known reasons why being a doctor is a great choice.
You will help people overcome various diseases and illnesses and that’s great. Health is incredibly important, even though many people only realise this when it starts going downhill. Offering them the right treatment and being there to see their full recovery and their gratitude is one of the most rewarding things in the world.
Another great aspect is the ability to empower people. Treating a disease is one thing, but you know what’s better? Preventing it in the first place. You will have the necessary knowledge to inform people about what they should do and how they can improve their lifestyle in order to stay healthy. You will definitely feel fulfilled once you start seeing that your efforts are actually helping people take more responsibility and give up harmful habits.
In the end, what really makes the medical profession great is the fact that you’re doing something for the others. The money will be there, and it may or may not compensate for the stress, lost hours of sleep, or the hectic schedule. But doing this work from your heart with a clear intent to serve people and make their life better will make you feel that you have a positive impact in the world and that’s simply awesome.