Choose a Medical School

  factors      Financial-Aid

Your best chances of acceptance into medical school are in the state schools where you claim legal residence and Tulane University School of Medicine. State schools are supported by tax dollars and, therefore, are obligated to accept students from that state. Generally, out-of-state applicants to a state-supported medical school need to present credentials superior to those of state applicants. Some medical schools can accept only bona fide state residents (not obtained by attending school in that state); other medical schools have different requirements for residency than the state. Private schools place less emphasis on state of residency. Tulane undergraduates are given preferential treatment compared to graduates of other schools in applying to Tulane Medical School. 

Many applicants try to identify "the best medical school." There are probably ten to fifteen schools which most professionals agree are prestigious, although they might argue about their exact ranking. Before you put undue emphasis on the rankings, study the methodology used to determine them. You may want to investigate the reputation of a medical school before you apply or decide on what medical school you want to attend. One indication of the caliber of the school is the quality of the faculty, as indicated quantitatively by the number of research publications written or grants received by faculty members. Additionally, the school's affiliated hospital and the percentage of placement in residency programs and their location may be figured into the analysis.

If you are particular about where you want to live, the location of the medical school may be important to you. There are medical schools all over the country. Some in large metropolitan areas and others in small towns, some in downtown areas, others more removed from the urban center of the city.

Different medical schools emphasize different aspects of medicine. Some schools are geared toward research. Others are more clinically oriented, sometimes giving the students patient contact during the first or second year. Some medical colleges prefer to produce family practitioners while others like to train specialists. With your interests in mind, become familiar with an institution's emphasis. Recent catalogs are available in the Health Professions Advisors’ Office.

Many medical colleges offer special programs to their students. One such program is the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). This six-year program, specifically designed for high-achieving students interested in a career in academic medicine, is funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and leads to a combined MD.-Ph.D. degree. Tuition plus an annual stipend is awarded. Other M.D.-Ph.D. programs exist, as well as M.D.-M.P.H. and M.D.-M.S. programs. Some schools even offer a combined M.D.-J.D. program for students interested in careers in legal medicine or medical law.

A medical education can be very expensive. State schools are generally less expensive than private schools. Tuition for out-of-state applicants is significantly higher than for residents. Some states, however, have rather lenient residency requirements, allowing you to establish residency during your first year of medical school and then assessing you to the lower (in-state) tuition for the remaining three years. (Information on financial aid can be found in the following section of the manual.)

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