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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Medical School Choice: Curriculum

For the past few weeks, we have been discussing how to choose a medical school. Location and people top the list. The curriculum is another important criteria to think about.

How do you learn? Do you prefer formal lectures or small group learning? Do you learn better on your own or with study partners? Are you motivated by grades or prefer a “pass-fail” environment? Though the trend in medical school education is toward “problem-based learning” in small groups, some schools still focus on the more traditional lecture-style. Be honest with yourself about how you best learn (it’s ok if you like traditional lectures better than small-group learning) and ensure you choose a school whose curriculum fits that learning style.

Another tip – don’t be fooled by “pass-fail” schools that offer high pass, pass, and fail. That is basically an A, B, F grading system and creates competition for those few A slots. If you want pass-fail, be sure that’s what the school really offers. Schools will also often have different grading systems in the first two and last two years. Be sure you are informed.

Still grappling with which school to attend? We can help you decide. Email or call 415.939.5251 to set up a consulting session with a Harvard/Stanford MD and medical school admissions insider.

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