Attend Medical School Online
Attending medical school online is a completely realistic option in 2021. On-site learning environments are rapidly reopening as COVID-19 infection rates are in decline. Online-only and hybrid learning environments are beneficial options both popular with many students and equally as effective as on-campus programs, however. How long does it take to finish medical school online? What are the specific benefits associated with online learning?
The length of time it takes to complete online medical school varies based on the type (and level) of career you are pursuing and how much education is required to be considered for hire. How much does online medical school cost? Are financial aid options the same for online and on-site education programs today? Read ahead for an informative guide on how to attend medical school online in 2021.
How Long Does It Take to Finish Medical School Online?
Attending medical school of any kind is a serious commitment of time, money and other personal resources. The length of time required to finish online medical school is an aspect pursuant to this type of education and career all pre-med students are advised to give careful consideration prior to enrolling. Any student aspiring to become medical doctor has the option of attending either an allopathic or osteopathic-based medical school. From pre-med courses to graduation (and acquiring the ability to practice medicine as a doctor) takes approximately ten total years.
While it only takes four years to obtain an M.D. or D.O. degree, most students continue their education and medical training by pursuing a residency in radiology, surgery or another specialization/field of study. Some students with additional career aspirations pursue fellowships after completing their residencies. For example, fellowships are required to become a general oncologist and treat various forms of cancer.
Finishing medical school might take less time if your career goal is not to be a practicing doctor. Certificate programs take between three and twelve months to finish on average. It takes two and four years to finish associate and bachelor’s degree programs respectively. For many pre-med students the length of time it takes to finish various online medical school programs influences the career path they eventually choose.
Accredited Online Medical Schools
When choosing an online medical school it is important to select one with official accreditation status. Accredited online medical schools provide accredited degrees/certificates and are taken more seriously by all prospective employers, especially in the medical profession. Some of the best medical schools in the U.S. now also offer accredited online courses and degree programs. For example, the renowned Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD) offers online part-time MA degree, certificate and post-baccalaureate courses. The Drexel University College of Medicine also offers online medical school programs in 2021. Additional top accredited online medical schools include:
Vanderbilt University (online master’s in nursing).
Trident University (master’s in health administration).
Costs & Financial Aid Availability (including grants)
The cost of finishing medical school is another primary consideration pre-med students are advised to carefully process prior to making final decisions. Tuition varies based on multiple factors including the type of degree pursued, scholarships applied, the location of the school and if you live in or out-of-state. For example, private medical school tuition for in-state students averages $60,719 per year and $62,289 per year for out-of-state students. Public medical school tuition costs an average of $61,916 per year for out-of-state students but only $37,611 per year for in-state enrollees. The total average costs for medical school tuition range between $150,000 and $250,000 or higher.
Grants, scholarships and financial aid to help pay for your medical school tuition expenses are available. Independent Medical Education (IME) Grants are supported and funded by medical research and development (R&D) companies such as BeiGene. Federal Pell Grants and other federally funded types of financial aid are potentially made available when you submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This is true for both online and on-site educational pursuits. Full and partial scholarships are awarded to students who display exceptional academic or personal achievements. Scholarships are sometimes funded directly from schools such as those awarded to students by the Perelman School of Medicine (University of Pennsylvania). A few other medical school scholarships awarded by third-party organizations include:
Alternate Medical School Education Options
Attending online medical school gives you the option to pursue various career-field choices without spending ten years to finish your education. The decision generally needs to be made during your pre-med years although other less time-consuming options do exist. For example, it is possible to get a job as an MRI technician by completing a minimum one-year certificate program or obtaining a two-year associate degree. Medical technology schools with phlebotomy and radiology programs are also available.
Benefits of Attending Medical School Online
The primary benefit of attending online medical school during the previously raging COVID-19 pandemic was safety. Additional benefits to online learning environments are multiple regardless of COVID-19-realted factors, however. The convenience of studying from the comfort of your own home is a huge benefit of online learning. Schedule flexibility is also an important benefit for many students during increasingly hectic modern times. Students are often able to take online courses at a customized pace and take advantage of pre-recorded and/or replay options. Online education requires no time or money spent on commuting and in some situations accelerated scheduling allows you to finish your medical school education and enter the workforce faster.