Where You Should Go To Med School Based On Your Personality

By Madison White on September 5, 2016

This article is brought to you by Kaplan, the leader in test prep for over 90 standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

While researching which medical school you should apply to, you may find that most people seem to be obsessed with only going to the best school regardless of lots of other factors. Some other factors may be even more important to you than the wealth and prestige of the famous schools.

These things could include factors like price, value, program, specialties and location. It’s very possible that the best medical schools in the country are the best fit for you, but it’s also very possible that they are not. So explore your options! Many, many options await you in the field of med school and it’s up to you to choose the right one.


To help you with this decision, here are five personality traits and which schools are best suited for them.

1. Perfectionist

If you’re attending medical school, it’s likely you have some perfectionist genes in you already. While this may be true for some people, it is obscenely true for others. If your “Type A” brain is off the charts, you may feel uncomfortable settling for anything less than the best. It’s no surprise that the schools ahead of the pack are generally great schools.

The top three spots to go to are Harvard University, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University. This isn’t to say that other medical schools aren’t equally great and valuable, but that these tend to be the generalized “best of the bunch.” If going to the best to be the best matters to you, then these are the schools for you.

2. Hands-on

Knowing what kind of medicine you would like to practice is also crucial to your school choice. Some people are inclined to being hands-on and treating people daily and directly. Others are more apt to spending time in labs doing various amounts of research.

If you’re the type of person who likes to be directly involved, try and go for schools that specialize in primary care rather than research. While the three schools mentioned above will be great in any regard, you may find the ones specializing in primary care to be a better fit for you.

The three top schools listed in primary care are the University of Washington, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the University of California-San Francisco.

3. In the lab

If you have some aversions to working with people all the time, you may not be inclined to primary care. That’s alright! There are certainly a fair amount of coveted research positions awaiting your medical expertise. Like the others, the experience you get at any of these schools far outweighs some of your other needs.

If you do know exactly what you want, however, it may be wise to choose a school directly related to your needs. Besides Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins listed before, there is also the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis, and Columbia University for your medical research needs.

4. Well-rounded

Some people may not be aware that medical schools often offer, or even specialize, in one of two different degrees. These degrees include an allopathic (M.D.) or osteopathic (D.O.) degree. The difference is that M.D. is the more classic, research based degree. However, if you’re more interested in pursuing medicine from a more holistic standpoint, you may be better off opting for an osteopathic degree which often includes philosophy and prevention techniques.

If your grades are in a lower category, you may be more apt to apply for a school in a D.O. as they’re often less stringent on their criteria. So far, there are 33 U.S. accredited D.O schools. The top schools based on MCAT scores are Western University of Health Sciences and Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.

5. Adventurous

Now, you may be spending most of your time in medical school in the lab or in a hospital, but you don’t have to sacrifice great location for that. There are some great medical schools in beautiful and exotic locations if lying on a beach during your (rare) downtime is your cup of tea.


If you don’t think a beautiful locale will distract you too much from your studies, you may be wise by choosing something that will soothe your aesthetic eye as well. A great school for living in a gorgeous place while obtaining your medical degree is the American University of the Caribbean.

Hopefully this little quiz has helped you identify or at least consider some options for your choice in medical school. As this will become the central part of your life for the next few years, it is a choice to heavily consider and not just choose based on prestige. You want the best fit for you and that school could be one that you haven’t even heard of before!

Learn more about Kaplan’s test prep options and start building the confidence you need for Test Day.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format