View Full Version : fossildoc's guide to finding a med school: #4 - ask questions

07-27-2007, 10:14 PM
The stakes are high in attending medical school. You will spend lots of money and time, and work yourself into a coma trying to get through it, and there may not be a second chance if you make a mistake in your choice of school. Yet there are schools out there who act like they're doing you a big favor if they even send you an automated response to your inquiry.

It's your duty to yourself to ask lots of questions, especially those the school doesn't want to answer. The answers will form the basis of any legal action you may have to bring against the school for misrepresenting their offerings.

Start with the 25 questions I posted at http://www.valuemd.com/caribbean-medical-university-cmu/139549-cmu-will-not-answer-these-questions.html, as elaborated by CrunchTime at http://www.valuemd.com/international-american-university-iau/139976-iau-questions.html (thank you, CrunchTime).

Send your questions by email; that is the polite way to initiate dialog. Don't go public unless you're ignored.

It is unlikely that such a long list of questions will be answered on the first try, but if many students submit a similar set of questions and the school is not asleep at the wheel, they will develop a FAQ combining all such questions, and put it one their web site. They will refer you to it, plus answer any questions not in the FAQ.

In theory, anyway. There was a saying when I went to college: the 'A' students will be working for supervisors who were the 'B' students, in companies owned by the 'C' students. In med school, the sharpest knives in the drawer are generally at the low end of the faculty totem pole, and the butter knives own the joint. So don't expect rational behavior, like developing a FAQ, to emerge in time to make your admissions decision. But pound away with your questions anyway.

When I was looking around for my second school, I sat as a guest observer during the first three days of the very first semester of AGU, and had several 'bull' sessions with the owners. Although I decided against attending AGU, I was surprised at their candor in answering questions that a new school might find embarrassing. They had no loans and couldn't promise ever having them, no accreditation, weren't quite sure what their building plans were, but were very clear about their educational goals and practices. Most importantly, they did not dodge any question, and in hindsight, they have behaved in accordance with their answers. I believe that the 'early adopters' who decided to attend did so on the basis of candor, not bullpoop promises.

Other schools would do well to follow AGU's example.

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