The Great Lakes State is a fantastic location for studying and practicing medicine. From its diverse population and great variety of cities to study and practice, to the outdoors and cultural infrastructure which allows for rich and enjoyable student life, Michigan is a great destination for medical schools. Moreover, Michigan is home to c. 10 million people, making it the tenth-largest US state – this means there is great demand for medical care and a great opportunity for students to be exposed to the medical profession and study it.
Let’s have a look at the top medical schools in Michigan.
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Best Medical Schools in Michigan
1. University of Michigan Medical School
The Medical School within the University of Michigan was founded in 1850 and has since been one of the top medical school in Michigan. They were the first university to build a teaching hospital in America, and have innovated in many aspects of medical education such as the curriculum, involving students in clerkships, and using laboratory work alongside classroom tuition.
The mission of the University of Michigan Medical School is “to transform health through bold and innovative education, discovery, and service.” This means having students involved in their own education in an active manner from the first day of medical school and working in a multitude of active service initiatives while studying at the University of Michigan. Alumni of the school include Nobel prize winners and top researchers and faculty members in the academic world, as well as high-ranking decision makers in government.
The curriculum here will see you go through a first year of scientific tuition, the only pre-clinical period in a student’s time at the university. From the second year, you will transition into clerkships and begin clinical rotations. Afterwards, before the start of the third year, students have to choose one of four main branches for specialization: Patients and Populations, Procedure-Based Care, Diagnostics and Therapeutics, or Systems and Hospital-Based Care. At this point, you may also look into starting a dual degree or doing international clinical rotations. Finally, in the fourth year you’ll be doing sub-internships including in ICU, residency prep courses, and preparing your final project before graduation.
2. Central Michigan University College of Medicine
Located in Mt Pleasant, the Central Michigan University, one of the top medical schools in Michigan, was established in 1892 and has over 20,000 students. The College of Medicine operates with the aim to educate diverse students who focus on the underserved population of the state. Indeed, 51 of Michigan state’s 83 counties is considered to be in a shortage of physicians according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. This makes its mission all the more relevant.
In order to be eligible for admission at the College of Medicine, you’ll need to either be a US or Canadian citizen or have permanent residency in either country. The Bachelor’s degree academic performance plays a large part in the admissions process, as does your overall performance in the secondary application and interview (as you go through each level of the screening process).
Studying medicine at Central Michigan University means that you will be in a self-directed learning environment where you take ownership of your studying. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and designed as team-based. During your third year, there are five required hospital-based clerkships, exposing you to the realities of the medical profession in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Surgery and OB/GYN. You can then go for clinical electives in your fourth year, also completing a required sub-internship and a rotation in emergency medicine.
3. Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Michigan State University founded the College of Human Medicine in 1964 and it quickly became known throughout the United States for its focus on a “social mission.” This means training doctors from minority backgrounds focused on practicing in underserved areas of the state and country. The College has access to seven campuses across the state and is affiliated with local hospitals and clinics. The campuses are located in Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Midland Regional, Southeast Michigan, Traverse City, and the Upper Peninsula Region.
In the first and second year of medical school, teaching takes place in either East Lansing (the main Michigan State University campus) or in Grand Rapids (at the Secchia Center). From the third year, clinical rotations begin and you will have access to any of the 9 primary teaching hospitals and 57 community hospitals.
4. Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Next on our list of best medical schools in Michigan is the medical school at Oakland University serves the area north of Detroit in central Oakland County. It is named after William Beaumont – a US Army surgeon who became famous as the “Father of Gastric Physiology” due to his research on human digestion.
The School of Medicine was founded in 2008 so it is a very new institution, the first such medical school to open in Michigan in 47 years. A small number of students is accepted each year, c. 125, keeping class sizes small and interactive. The curriculum focuses on research and personal initiative, leading to forming compassionate physicians. You will be working with patients from the first semester and right through to the completion of your studies.
5. Wayne State University School of Medicine
Wayne State University School of Medicine has strong ties to Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System, allowing students to practice in some of the biggest and best hospitals in Michigan. They are also partners of many urban medical institutions and have a high level of success rate for graduates matching with hospitals after graduation.
A distinction of Wayne’s School of Medicine is their focus on volunteer work during studies, at free clinics throughout Detroit. They also offer patient care for the homeless and a mentorship program for schoolchildren. Not only are they invested in connecting with and supporting local communities, the School of Medicine at Wayne State University also has a great international connection. There are opportunities for students to travel and work in South America, Central America, Asia and Africa on relief medical missions. They also allow students to join World Health Organization medical relief trips.
Finally, Wayne State have excellent laboratory facilities and have partnered with multiple leading health care facilities. Participation in research during your studies here will be diverse and rich.
6. Western Michigan University School of Medicine
The final school in the list of best medical schools in Michigan is the Western Michigan University School of Medicine. The full name of the school is Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine, named for an illustrious alumnus of the school who founded the Stryker Corporation, when the school was relaunched and re-built in 2014.
Located in Kalamazoo, the school offers a “decompressed” curriculum for the MD program, which means that the break between the first and second years of study is divided into one-week breaks spread throughout the first two years of study. These are meant to either be taken as holiday, or for studying electives or catching up on studies.
The school focuses on supporting students’ interests with on-campus associations and clubs, options for electives, and a Simulation Center to allow you to practice before going into a real clinical setting.
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