How to Choose Between Your Offers
Congratulations, you have multiple offers for medicine! That’s an amazing achievement – but it leads to some very interesting questions. Perhaps you already have a firm choice and want to know how to choose an insurance, or you were so excited to get into medical school you forgot to work out which school you’d actually like to go to – but no fear!
The majority of medical schools are remarkably similar in that at the end of them you walk away with a medical degree and have to enter FPAS to get yourself a job. What happens in between then and now though, that’s the real question. The major variations in terms of the course will lie in whether there is an intercalation year expected of you, the hospitals you’re attached to and how the course is taught, whether that’s with primarily lectures in the first few years or with early clinical experience.
What Should I Consider When Choosing a Medical School?
What matters most when deciding on a medical school is what matters most to you, not to anyone else. If your parents want you to stay close to home or your partner wants you at a university near them, that’s nice to consider – but the choice is yours and yours alone! Consider the differences between the universities you have offers at and whether they’re important to you, then work from there.
Things to consider include:
- Does one of your courses offer you an intercalated degree? Do you want to do an extra degree, or is it not important to you?
- Does one of your universities have research strengths, or strength in an area that you think you’d consider later down the line, such as infectious diseases or psychiatry?
- What sort of city do you want to live in, and do you like the vibe of any of the places you’ve seen?
- Is being on a campus at university important to you?
- Does the reputation of the school matter to you?
- How far away from home do you want to be?
For many students, choosing universities will have depended on where they think their best chance of getting in lies. Once you’ve passed this hurdle, it’s time to start considering what sort of life you’d like at university- whether you’re particularly social, want to visit home often or want to spend a lot of time doing research or academic extracurriculars.
Universities may actually be remarkably similar, and it might just be the general atmosphere of the surrounding area and university that settle it for you. This is when going to open days or exploring the city comes in handy – because you get to experience the university and the lifestyle without the pressure of wondering whether you’ll get in. You’ll no longer have to pay attention to how to get into the university, and instead will have time to ask questions about the things that matter the most to you, whatever they are.
At the end of the day, you’ll leave medical school with a degree, fond memories and a wealth of experience behind you, ready to join the best career in the world. Choosing a university should be based on what matters to you – not to anyone else. Good luck!
Words: Katie Hodgkinson