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Honors/accelerated medical programs

Many patients have asked me about medical school advice for their nieces/nephews and grandchildren.

I highly recommend that if your relative has a strong interest in medicine as early as high school and if they are a top student that you have them look into accelerated medical programs. These programs give a high school senior guaranteed admission to medical school with conditions. Another strong consideration is to go to college outside of California which provides a competitive advantage.

I attended Northwestern University’s Honors Program in Medical Education and have not at all regretted my decision. It came down to going to Stanford or going to NU, and for me it was the right choice. I knew I hated worrying about grades and just wanted to focus on learning. I had diverse interests besides medicine and science, such as English literature and psychology, and had a dream of doing junior year abroad. I was able to fulfill all of these dreams by doing this and was able to have a more happy social life during college because of it. Of course, the inner drive in me still couldn’t let my GPA fall, but I was really blessed to have had the opportunity to let go a little in college and not worry that everything I did revolved around competitiveness.

We have a number of employees who want to go to med school who were top students in HS, but are just on the edge of competitiveness to enter med school. It is heartbreaking for them and for us to see them have to re-apply or give up on med school entirely.

Not all schools that have these programs are as liberal with grades and requirements as NU was. At the time I went (and I don’t know what the story is now), all that was required was to maintain a 2.0 GPA. Of course, one also has to look at the quality of the undergraduate experience as well as the quality of the med school. It was a fantastic experience for me and the location of NU’s med school cannot be beat. NU’s program is now even more competitive than when I applied. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, there are 5000 applicants for 1-200 interviews and 15-40 admitted. At least half will probably come from Illinois.

I found a list of schools with these programs

Good luck to them! If you have any other questions, please let me know.


This entry was posted on Saturday, December 18th, 2010 at 3:23 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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