Virginia is a great place to attend school in. The weather is great, the beaches are gorgeous, and the cost of living is cheap. You need to be in tune with your audience and you need to be willing to completely clear your mind from all of your worries, doubts, fears, apprehensions, expectations of what you think a medical school essay should be, and you’ve got to come at it from the point of view of this older, experienced, seasoned, maybe cynical admissions committee member who has read 5,000 essays, and is kind of dreading having to read another medical personal statement.
You already know that the Ivy League schools and the prominent institutions you have heard of are going to be expensive, but if you want the best medical education you could ever have and you get accepted to a school like that, there is no reason in the world why you shouldn’t take up on the opportunity and go. There are many different calibers in choices of relevant colleges out there, and certain schools have certain requirements but your future may be more set in stone if you find the right type of school for your needs.
In general, the GPA, the MCAT scores, the application material, the recommendation letters (written by faculty, physicians or managers who have interacted with the applicant in co-curricular activities), and personal interview are the main areas used by admission committees to evaluate candidates.
Rising tuition costs, decreasing physician salaries, a troubled medical system, and increased costs of malpractice insurance are all factors that have affected recent applicant pools, and they are leading many prospective students to reconsider medical careers.
It is still a foreign country though, and its customs and culture are different than what most North Americans are used to. Most people find the differences exciting and fun, but some do find that it adds more stress to the already demanding medical school curriculum.