By Dr. Samir Desai
Drive down any of our interstate highways, and it won't be long before you come to an exit for one of our nation's many college campuses. No matter where the university is located, you can be certain that the grounds will be beautifully landscaped and the architecture impeccable. That's not by accident. It's very much by design. Nearly 30 years ago, the Carnegie Foundation released the report How Do Students Choose a College? In the study, researchers found that appearance of the grounds and buildings had the most influence on 62% of prospective students during campus visits.
College-bound seniors generally have more options than aspiring medical students who don't always have the luxury of choosing between multiple admissions offers. For those that do, does a medical school's appearance play a role in the decision-making process?
Online Masters in Public Health has just released The 50 Most Beautiful College Medical Schools. In the introduction to the rankings, the organization writes that appearance does matter. "Does the beauty of a medical college campus matter in the grand scheme of things? If you don’t think so, consider whether you’d use that rationale across the board. Does the beauty of a vehicle affect your perception of its quality? What does a drab, unadorned hotel say about the level of cleanliness you can expect? Do you care about the attractiveness of your plate at the restaurant? You bet. If you wouldn’t trust an shabby hotel lobby or risk your digestion on an ugly plate of food, you can understand why it’s so important to consider the appearance of a med school in your college search. After all, if a campus isn’t particular about the mulch around the trees, would you expect other elements of the institution to be meticulous when it matters most?"
What do you think? Did the attractiveness of medical schools have an effect on where you chose to apply? If you were lucky to have multiple admissions offers, how important was the overall appearance of the campus?