Fun medical schools have a good mix of diversity, things to do and an atmosphere that’s nice to be part of.
In this article we’ll cover:
- Fun med schools in the U.S.
- What makes med schools fun
- What to keep in mind while having fun at med school
Let’s get going.
The Most Fun Medical Schools in America
After scouring Reddit and several med student-related forums, there are several names that keep coming up when it comes to fun medical schools in the U.S. Here are the six most commonly mentioned. I’ve also thrown in a couple of honorable choices at the end.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)
LECOM’s on this list for the sheer fact it has the biggest med student population of all schools in the U.S (2,252 students to be precise). With big numbers comes big opportunities for fun! As this school well knows thanks to its many extracurriculars, clubs and sporting options.
Set on the south shore of Lake Erie, LECOM is one of the newest schools on this list, founded in 1992.
Erie itself, a city home to 100,000 people, has lots to see and do away from the busy campus. On the doorstep med students have access to some pretty pristine parkland. As well as cool amenities like Splash Lagoon (the East Coast’s largest indoor waterpark) and Waldemeer Park, the fourth-oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania.
Student Sydney Shearer makes LECOM life look fun. Check out her YouTube channel to get a further glimpse into what goes on.
Miller School of Medicine – University of Miami
Founded in 1952, the Miller School of Medicine is Florida’s oldest med school, set in the upscale urban neighborhood of Miami’s Civic Center.
Closeby to one of the country’s best nightlife and party scenes, just check out the weekends at Coconut Grove or South Beach to see what I mean, med school life here is vibrant to say the least.
With 800-plus med students in attendance it’s a good size too. Another reason Miami shows up on my list of med schools that like non-traditional students.
This is how a typical chill weekend looks.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Dorm-life is the norm at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, meaning there’s a very solid community of med students all living, working and playing in close proximity.
Related: Do Medical Students Have Dorms? (4 Important Accommodation Questions)
Founded in 1953 in N.Y.’s borough The Bronx, the school itself has just under 700 students ranging anything from 21 to 33 years old. As 16% of first years are from underrepresented groups in medicine, Albert Einstein’s big on diversity too.
Nearby to the main campus students have lots of sport facilities and hiking trails to explore in Van Cortlandt Park (the 3rd largest park in New York State) and other smaller options. That’s one of the main reasons this school’s recommended so often – there’s a lot of cool things to explore. None of which will prize too much money from people either!
The campus atmosphere seems pretty energetic and fun. Here’s how students got down on their most recent Match Day.
University of Texas Medical Department – Galveston
UTMD Galveston comes up a lot in the recommendations of med students looking for fun, social schools to study at. Founded in 1891, it’s got a big student population – the site is also home to the UMTD’s School of Nursing, Health Professions and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences too.
One of the best things about UTMD? Classes end at midday. This means you’ve got enough time to fit in trips to sights like the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, the Galveston Art District (home to the famous ArtWalk, taking place every six weeks on a saturday) or Poretto or Stewart beaches.
Related: Med Schools By The Beach (15 Amazing Options)
Here’s a little insight into how fun life at a Texas med school can get.
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Set in one of the U.S’s most up-and-coming party towns of Nashville, Tennessee, students at Vanderbilt love med school life for a reason. Not only is it at the cheaper end of cost of living, but it’s plenty fun too. Nashville bar crawls are some of the messiest around.
Related: How Do Medical Students Pay For Living Expenses (Crucial Money Saving Tips)
Life in the ‘hot chicken capital’ is varied. You’ve got sights like the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Frist Center for Visual Arts. Then you’ve got the honky tonk saloons of downtown.
With a school populace of 1029 students you can bet there’s a lot of ways to wind down at Vanderbilt. Here’s the kind of things they get up to in their downtime…
Harvard University Medical School
Yes it’s an Ivy League school and seriously competitive but it can be pretty fun too. As evidenced by some of the hilarious parody videos med students put together in their free time…
Set in the Longwood Medical Area of Boston, a city of over 700,000 people, there’s a ton to enjoy and explore outside of a busy school life. Across town you’ve got Boston Common, the oldest public park in America. And if you’re into sports you’re spoiled for choice – you’ve got the Red Sox, The Patriots and The Celtics playing here.
But as far as fun goes, Harvard medics know how to have it. Here’s another one of their genius executions…
Obviously, due to the setting and the not-so-difficult-to-get-into reputation, Caribbean med schools get a lot of love. Other schools worthy of mention include Washington University in St. Louis, schools in big cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, and basically any beach-based school!
Is Medical School Fun?
Medical school can be fun depending where you go and how you study.
Studying smart so you have enough free time helps. As does being in a cool location with plenty of things to do.
Probably the biggest factor are the students around you though. Life at a small school where everyone’s got their head down gunning for the best grades? Probably not going to be as fun as life at a big city school.
Things like diversity, social organizations and extracurricular activities all help make med school more fun too.
Related: Is Medical School Fun?
What Makes A Medical School Fun?
Here are a few things I believe can help make a med school more fun:
- Pass/Fail Curriculum: puts less pressure on students to perform on in-school exams and thus frees them up to enjoy other interests instead.
- Schedule: med schools that don’t have a whole lot of elective requirements or unsociable hours will be a lot less stressful to attend.
- City: big city schools will have more amenities and leisure activities to explore.
- Average age: med schools with a younger crowd will be looking to party or have fun more than those with more a non-traditional or mature crowd.
You can check out each of these factors when researching med schools you’re interested in to see if it’s a good fit.
Fun Vs Study: The Most Important Things to Remember
The biggest thing to remember is that you’re in med school to become a doctor. Doing so requires serious study. Choosing a med school on the amount of fun you’re expected to have? Shouldn’t be a big priority!
A couple of things to bear in mind:
- You’ll want to work hard to get a good residency spot (too much fun could jeopardise that!)
- Equally you need a balance in order not to burn out or become overwhelmed.
Studying all the time in a place you can’t stand is only going to make you miserable.
Related: How Stressful Is Medical School? (My Perspective)
Fun med schools can make an otherwise monotonous and hard time seem all the more easier.
The examples on this list are just some of the places that can offer that.
Let me know if you think I’ve missed any!
Image Credit – @jacobowens1 at Unsplash
Born and raised in the UK, Will went into medicine late (31) after a career in journalism. He’s into football (soccer), learned Spanish after 5 years in Spain, and has had his work published all over the web. Read more.