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    I'm starting my college search soon (I'm a junior) and was wondering if anyone had suggestions for some good pre-med schools. I'm currently just looking at the University of Washington (my homestate) but I would consider any suggestions! thanks!
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  • #2
    here is my advice: AVOID STUDENT LOANS AT ALL COSTS.

    my recommendation: go to the cheapest school possible -- part time if you have to -- and pay cash for ever semester. one option is to go to a *really inexpensive* community college -- do your general education credits -- and then go to a regular university (still, choose an affordable one). and then, go to an affordable med school -- again "part time" if you can (you have 6 years to finish a 4 year degree. feel free to take all 6!). Try to pay for as much as you can cash by having a job.

    a friend of mine did this with law studies.

    he started out working at his friend's engineering firm. he was a sort of all-around guy, was trained on the job -- a combination of admin and drafting (computerized). he worked his way through community college (first two years), and then went 3 more years at a regular university earning a degree in engineering. he worked with this firm the whole time. he was able to afford an apartment (with roommate), and his own car (cash, a beater), and to pay for school each semester (cash payment for tuition, books, everything). then, he worked as an engineer for a couple of years -- making considerably more income -- and with it bought a house (outright, and fixed it up), and a nicer car (outright, debt free), because otherwise he lived simply, and then he decided to go to law school.

    he worked full time at the firm, and then was able to study law. i think he took 4 years instead of the normal 3. he graduated and works for a law firm that deals with engineering issues. makes a ton more money, but still lives in the little house and drives the old car, but has no debt and is doing well. financial security these days is very important.

    in regards to schools and majors -- as long as it is accredited, you'll be fine. likewise, a non "pre" major (that is, anything BUT a "pre" major) is a good bet. medical schools, like law schools, are looking for "diversity." they hae 10,000 applications for pre-med majors with the same high MCATS, fancy and not-fancy schools, and whatevs. you know the application that sticks out? the art major who also took science courses and wrote a gorgeous essay and drew an illustration of the kreb cycle. for serious -- that's my former gynocologist! my family doctor? english major. my current family doctor? philosophy. my friend the emergency physician -- drama and stage management (irony! LOL). of my lawyer friends -- not one was pre-law. instead, we have english (me and about 12 others), education, environmental science, engineering, sign language, women's studies, international relations, philosophy, psychology, and linguistics.

    honestly, you can get a very good, affordable degree in just about anything -- and then get into a decent (and affordable) medical school.

    but whatever you do, do try to avoid student loans. I speak from experience. *a lot of experience* LOL
    Last edited by zoebird; 02-10-2011, 09:07 PM.

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    • #3
      Stanford but then I'm biased because it's my alma mater. They also have a hell of a good pre-med program. (My roommate was pre-med.)

      Got to disagree with Zoe on this one. Sometimes you get what you pay for. IMO education is one of those times. There are all kinds of financial aid options to ease the burden, but, your first priority should be quality, then think about price.
      Last edited by Paleobird; 02-10-2011, 09:06 PM.

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      • #4
        Cuba educates medical doctors for free last time I checked. I hear their medical eduction system is first class too. The only catch is you go work in a poor country for a while I think.. not sure though, look into it. They accept US citizens as well.

        Why do they do this? To improve their global reputation.
        We need to have a global discussion about the epidemic of donut murder

        Starting Weight: 238 lb
        Current Weight: 224 lb
        Goal: 190-200 lb
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        • #5
          oh, and FWIW, what sent me to law school was snotty, annoying pre-law majors. i was an english major at the time, no clue what to do after graduation (long story). took a class for my last few credits -- expository writing. i was the only english major; there were two education majors; and everyone else in the class -- all 24 -- were pre-law majors.

          i decided about 1/2 of the way through the class that if this dumbos could go to law school, so could i. i decided to take my LSAT and apply. I applied to three schools: two second tier and one third tier (there are 5 tiers). i chose them because they were close to where i would be living due to my DH's job. I had an english degree, a 2.75 GPA (i seriously do not care about grades), and a nice high score on that LSAT, plus a rockin' essay and recommendations from my teachers.

          i got onto the wait list of one second-tier school; i was offered a provisional place at the second one. i was offered a scholarship at the third tier school -- so long as i maintained my GPA. It wasn't a massive scholarship, but a bit off a cheaper school each year is a good one.

          of all of the people in the expository writing class who applied to law school. . . .all 24 pre-law majors and me, most of those pre-law majors preening on about their GPA and snobbing it out at me going "well, I"M going to LAW SCHOOL" with that snide "you will be a loser" undertone . . . .

          well, not one of them got into any law school, not even their safety schools, and some of them applied to the same schools that i did. no wait lists, no provisionals, and no acceptances with scholarships at 'safety' third tier schools.

          moral of the story -- be you. be interesting. be unique. do well in school -- you don't have to copy my GPA! LOL -- but have fun. Your essay and MCATS and recs can make up for deficiencies. I even talked about my grades head-on in one of the questions (it was an option on our application). I just flat out said that if a class is boring, i don't work, but i had to take the classes for credits. This is evidenced by the fact that these other classes -- where i got As and Bs -- were *very challenging classes* as compared to the english classes that i often did mediocre in! i honestly got tired of reading the Tempest for the zillionth time. so, i wouldn't show, and it affected my grade.

          end of the day, just take care of yourself financially, get a degree in something fun and interesting, and then succeed at medical school.

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          • #6
            The less you spend on undergrad the better. Your undergrad degree will not be the limiting factor in getting into a good grad school.

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            • #7
              Here is my two cents....

              I wouldn't focus on just finding a good pre-med school. I would focus on finding a school that suist YOU. Things change during college and the best physicians are the ones who are a little more well rounded anyway. You will need to get solid science classes, do volunteer work, and if possible do some research in a lab. So I wouldn't pick anything too small/liberal arts. But you also want to take interesting classes that fulfill you! Great literature, philosophy, history....whatever it may be.

              University of Washington is a very good school - you should be able to find great research to do there.

              Good luck!
              Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

              http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                Sometimes you get what you pay for. IMO education is one of those times.
                As a graduate of an Ivy beginning with the letter "H" I could not disagree more. You're paying for reputation, if you happen to pull a good education out of it it is merely coincidental. The hardest thing about these schools is getting into them. Not to say Stanford isn't a good school, it's just not worth the premium.

                A focussed, motivated student will do well in any setting and graduating without a backbreaking loan burden would make it easier to buck conventional wisdom in practice when one is done with schooling.
                Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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                • #9
                  Use all of your resources. Go to college night at your high school. Ask your guidance conselor for help. The College Board website is a great place for you to research schools. Focus on SAT and ACT scores. The better the scores the better the school you can get in to. Lastly, take it one step at a time. Focus on your undergrad degree. Things change, so don't lock yourself into a great "pre-med" school so soon. JMHO.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IvyBlue View Post
                    As a graduate of an Ivy beginning with the letter "H" I could not disagree more. You're paying for reputation, if you happen to pull a good education out of it it is merely coincidental. The hardest thing about these schools is getting into them. Not to say Stanford isn't a good school, it's just not worth the premium.

                    A focussed, motivated student will do well in any setting and graduating without a backbreaking loan burden would make it easier to buck conventional wisdom in practice when one is done with schooling.
                    I completely agree.

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                    • #11
                      University of Florida. Yes, my alma mater so I am biased. That said, it has a good premed/medical school and when I was in college many moons ago Florida's out-of-state tuition was cheaper than many states' in-state tuition. Half of my fraternity brothers were from out of state because of the cost and school's reputation. Also there were programs for out of state tuition waivers making it even cheaper.

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                      • #12
                        Last I heard (ie when my medical-minded high school friends were looking into colleges 10 years ago - yikes), medical schools kinda like it if you major in whatever YOU are interested in and passionate about, and just fulfill all the requirements and do enough service/extracurriculars and whatnot on the side. It makes you look more ambitious and interesting. There are people who go to med school having majored in classical literature, economics, math, etc. So, if there's something you're interested in, go to a school that has a good program in THAT and at least a halfway decent biology/chemistry program so you can get in all the med school requirements. In that case, a "premed program" isn't really necessary, as long as someone at the college is familiar with the requirements and the application process to help you out a bit.

                        At my college you could tell the premed kids because they were the only ones who majored in "biology," which no one else wanted to major in (rather than biotechnology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, environmental science, etc). It always seemed like a waste of time to me.
                        Last edited by mayness; 02-11-2011, 09:59 AM.
                        "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                        I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

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                        • #13
                          I would highly suggest discussing this with a few doctors or people who are in the profession you think you want to enter. While many would probably be supportive, I think my husband (an ER physician) has some regrets and sometimes talks about all the other things he could've done to make money that would be far less stressful.

                          Listening to my husband's education, he went to a good state school (CA) but really busted his arse and showed some serious initiative. Started a nonprofit related to infant carseats, taught OChem as an undergrad (!), did genetic research, created his own undergrad degree which is still being offered, etc. Be prepared to look for opportunities and make some when you don't see any. Also be prepared to decline that party invitation so you can study, because if you have any slack in your science or math classes, it's no-go. Because of this, I would keep your classes as general as possible the first two years while also still keeping you on track for a possible pre-med program. You wouldn't be the first person to change your mind about your major, and you wouldn't want to have useless credits and extend your college stay unnecessarily. My husband started as a music major!

                          I would do some soul searching about if you really think your temperament, talents, people-skills and such are good for whatever career you have in mind. Luckily with medicine, there are options. Don't like dealing with people or all their orifices? How about pathology or research! Are you a people person? Pediatrics! Like details? Maybe surgery is for you. My husband chose Emergency medicine because of the flexible schedule, no call, and job security. But there is much that is difficult and burdening about it all too. We haven't had a lawsuit yet, but I am not looking forward to that inevitable day. To me, it's this sort of thinking that is impossible to conceive when you're a junior in high school: how your daily life will be affected, how it will affect your future marriage and your future children, what these decisions actually mean in the real world. There are many benefits and certainly we enjoy financial security (for me, for the first time in my life...), but please find someone who is willing to be honest with you about the drawbacks.
                          The Paleo Periodical
                          It's not a Diet. It's a lifestyle.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IvyBlue View Post
                            As a graduate of an Ivy beginning with the letter "H" I could not disagree more. You're paying for reputation, if you happen to pull a good education out of it it is merely coincidental. The hardest thing about these schools is getting into them. Not to say Stanford isn't a good school, it's just not worth the premium.

                            A focussed, motivated student will do well in any setting and graduating without a backbreaking loan burden would make it easier to buck conventional wisdom in practice when one is done with schooling.
                            +2

                            P.S.
                            Go Huskies!
                            "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                            • #15
                              Very good advice so far. I tutor lots of juniors for the SATs and ACTs, so I deal with this question a lot.

                              The straight dope is that your undergraduate school doesn't really matter unless you are going into the status professions of law and corporate management. Even then the education is irrelevant, it's the reputation and networking that you're buying.

                              From a long-term lifestyle perspective, go as cheap as you can for medical school too. Consider two alternative futures for yourself:

                              Path 1, paid $200k with student loans for name-brand med school. After internship and residency, get job paying $120k. Pay on student loan for next 30 years.

                              Path 2, paid anything else with cash for less expensive med school. After internship and residency, get job paying $85k. Keep what you make.

                              Which one will leave you with more money? If you said Path 2, you're probably smart enough to go to med school . And frankly, the difference in starting salaries is probably much less than I've presented here.
                              http://www.theprimalprepper.com - preparing for life's worst while living for the best

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