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Is it better to go to a more “prestigious” university for medical school rather for pre-med?

I want to know what I should except going into becoming a neonatologist and be prepared rather than lost and confused. #nicu #degree #career #college #medicine #doctor

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Jasmine! I agree with Dan. While some universities can offer more during undergrad, the important thing is not your university but how well you do as a premed. Take the curriculum/prereqs, volunteer, shadow a physician, do well in school and the MCATs. These are things that matter for a portfolio of an applicant. Once you are in medical school you will get more experience for your specific speciality but for now as a premed what matters is proving you have what it takes to go to medical school, why you are passionate about it. While a "prestigious" university may appear nice at first glance on a transcript or application, it will not be the ultimate deciding factor of candidacy. The essays you write and your grades/scores will help in proving that you should be accepted. Please let us know if you have further questions about medical school :)

I hope this helps!
Best of luck!

Thank you! Do you have any advice on how to prepare for pre-med? Jasmine V.

You're welcome and of course! So I would recommend to pick a major that interests you. While traditional majors are important and can help such as biology, biochemistry and chemistry, for example there are many majors out there what matters are the prereqs. For example I was a Psychology major while one classmate I know was Spanish. I think being a major that interests you will keep you more devoted - this may be a traditional major- or a diverse one, the choice is up to you. Before premed I think just doing well in classes as a high school student, getting involved in community service (maybe post COVID) and just understanding why you want to go into the field, where your passion lies will help. Yasemin G.

2). As a premed, just do well in classes, get involved in meaningful activities (research, community service, clinical ) and prepare your next steps well. Have a planner, have a to do list, know what classes to take, stay balanced with work-school-volunteering and seek out a premed adviser once you are in college. I would also recommend doing research for medical school applications and what kind of experiences help. I assure you it is not GPA or MCAT only but who you are as a person that gets you through the door. I would recommend also to check out AAMC.org (the official website for MD) as well as AACOMAS (for DO) to get a better understanding. Yasemin G.

3)I would also definitely check out Dr.Gary /Medical school Headquarters on YouTube and his own website where he has helpful podcasts and much advice on how to be successful as a premed student. I wish I knew him before! It truly matters who you get advice from and what you do with it, so be cautious who you ask and make sure it is quality and reliable information to help you! Best of luck! Yasemin G.

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Dan’s Answer

Becoming a neonatologist has more to do with which residency you're going into than medical school. I would recommend going to a at least a state university for pre-med and whichever medical school (MD or DO) as long as it is in the states. During medical school you will apply and match into a pediatrics residency -- this part is more important since you'll need to finish 3 years of peds before you apply to neonatology fellowship. If your ped residency has a neonatology fellowship program, it makes it easier to get into -- but if it doesn't than you apply to other fellowships for neonatology starting your second year of peds residency. It is kinda confusing but hopefully this flowchart will help:

1. Pre-Med: Any big university as it looks better compared to community college. This is where you prove you can handle medical school.
2. Medical School: Any one in the state, MD or DO. While it is possible with Caribbean medical schools, it is just really hard to get a residency spot.
3. Pediatrics Residency: 3 year program, if the program has a neonatology fellowship program even better, if not, you'll just apply your 2nd year of residency.
4. Neonatology fellowship.

Thank you this really helped me! Any tips on how to get into a good residency program? Jasmine V.