Deciding to enroll in a medical program is a big decision. Even a certification requires at least a year’s worth of schooling, and that’s in a fast-tracked school. The programs can be extremely time-consuming with classes, labs, homework, externships, and long hours of extra work. So before making the big leap, what to ask when enrolling in medical school?
Start with the Basics:
The first item to address is if they offer the exact program you’re interested in. If they say they offer something similar, understand that it is NOT the program you want and may not qualify you for the career you want.
Next, ask your advisor about the school’s accreditation. Not all schools are legally recognized as being able to achieve certification, so research this on your own after asking your advisor.
The length of the program and the size of the classes is also a factor. A school with large classes may not fit your learning style, and you need to know if the length of the program will fit with your allotted timeline.
Ask about your Preferences
Cover everything that is specific to your needs. If they waive off your questions or can’t answer you, strongly consider looking into other schools.
Issues such as child care, school standards, disability accommodations, and more that pertain to your circumstances should all be brought up. If the school cannot provide you a comfortable and progressive environment, then it is not the school for you.
Get into the Big Issues
Cost is one of the biggest questions any school attendee should ask about. Ask to have a solid list that is broken down to what each dollar is spent on. Know how much each class is worth, if parking requires payment, if printing and using the school lab is costly, and look for hidden fees such as start-up costs or a fee for school-issued scrubs.
Ask for statistics. How many people enroll yearly? What is the drop-out rate? How many students go on to get jobs in that field? How many students return to get a higher degree? If they cannot provide this information, contact alumni through the internet or look at reviews.
Ask about and get a list of every single class needed for your desired program. Ask what the classes entail – for instance, what classes require labs that make the class last longer? Do any classes require traveling to hospitals or other facilities? Take notes for each of the advisor’s answers.
Review the Advisor’s Answers with Reviews
Virtually every school and program has reviews or forum posts online. Take time to look through these and see if there are any differences between the reviews and what your advisor said. If there are, call your advisor and ask for clarification. You can also contact the reviewer and see if there is more to the story.
Once you have asked all of these questions, you can be ready to choose the medical school that is right for you.