operationMD

State Schools

In applying to med school, new jersey, Rants on August 15, 2009 at 10:59 pm

As I spent months preparing for this application process, I thoroughly researched every US accredited medical school.  Of course, as an applicant you are strongly advised to always apply to your state schools.  Me, I’m from New Jersey – born and raised.  In this backward, corrupt state that I do so love, nothing is as typical or even resembles the normalcy of other states.  Prime example – our medical schools.  Aside from the recent Touro medical school that opened in our state (or is set to open – I’m still not quite sure), the only state schools we have fall under the umbrella of the statewide institution known as the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (mainly referred to as UMDNJ for simplicity…however, most people get tongue-tied attempting to say the acronym).  I still don’t completely understand UMDNJ, I think it includes a pharm school, three med schools (2 MD, 1 DO), maybe a vet school, a school of public health?, and of course dental school and it is spread out between 4+ cities/towns in the state.  Anyways, it’s entire structure is confusing and it’s website is uninformative and non user-friendly…

Back to my qualms with my state school(s).  Granted, I feel somewhat blessed to even have a state school (although the ones lacking usually have some agreement with a neighboring state to give them some sort of preference), however, I really wish they acted like a state school…or at least the one I have envisioned in my ideal world.  When I look at, oh let’s say the big ol’ state of Texas, where their state mandates by law that ~80% of their entering class must be Texas residents, I get pissed.  Call me bitter, but this is in no way fair.  I know some not-so-bright people from undergrad who applied everywhere with not so nice stats and non-interesting backgrounds/ECs who got rejected everywhere outside of TX, but are now well on their way to becoming doctors because Texas takes care of their own.

One of my chief resources when doing school selections was the US News and World Report’s book on US medical schools [note: this is not the only thing I used to base my final list on…I’m much more thorough than that ;)].  In this, I specifically recall looking up both UMDNJ schools (MD) and reading that my state school(s)(?) only give slight in-state preference, and on top of this, (not stated in their book) they also give some preference to NY and PA residents. [note: I am unsure the validity of this, but since it’s in print, I’ll say its safe to say there is some truth to it]  Come on!  You don’t see NY or PA schools giving any special looks to NJ residents.  Jersey is the most densely populated state in the US, and as such, many med school applicants are from my state…meaning, in-state competition is high enough already, we don’t need to be competing again NY residents (which there are also a plethora of).  I keep looking on MDapplicants, and the amount of people I see from Cali, New York, [insert random state] applying to either UMDNJ-NJMS or UMDNJ-RWJ astounds me.  I mean, I know we’re a great state, but I didn’t expect people to be clawing to get into our med schools!

I just think it should be an all-or-none deal – if one state so choses to require an insane percentage of their med school class be in-state, all should have similar requirements (I do think 80% is a tad bit ridic, maybe more like 65%?).  Really, TX should just break off and become it’s own country!  At least I’m not a Cali resident…now, that’s a crappy draw!

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