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Mayo vs Feinberg

Discussion in 'Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2014)' started by spf15, 03.05.13.

?

Mayo, Feinberg, or Sinai?

Poll closed 04.24.13.
  1. Feinberg

    43 vote(s)
    29.3%
  2. Mayo

    71 vote(s)
    48.3%
  3. Sinai

    33 vote(s)
    22.4%
Thread Status:
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  1. spf15

    spf15

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Mayo:
    + loved the culture / people there. Super excited about that!
    + really like the selectives
    + small class size
    + cheap!
    - Rochester. Super cold.
    - Not attached to a larger university (not sure how much this matters, but afraid I'll have problems with meeting people)
    - Some people have told me it's better for residency and not so much for med school...
    - Likewise, some people have told me it's not as strong for basic science research, which I am interested in.

    Feinberg:
    + very nice part of town in a great city. Also cold.
    - expensive
    - research is basically mandatory for first year summer and is unfunded...? (Heard this somewhere...)
    ... really don't know that much about the school, to be honest. Curriculum seemed standard, I'm neutral about the pseudo PBL layout.

    Both have pass-fail curriculums.

    My goals and other details: Academic medicine (likely in basic science or translational research, and not too clinical research oriented).

    -I love Chicago, but don't know if I'd specifically mind the quiet of Rochester, either. I dislike the idea of staying in NYC (just really dislike NYC as a whole, though I am from the east coast so that would allow me to be closer to my family).

    -Would prefer to match back to east coast residencies; not sure if being in the midwest would hold me back from this (also have an offer at Mount Sinai).

    Any insights would be much appreciated!
    Last edited: 03.08.13
  2. Daodejing

    Daodejing Dr. Surgery & Mr. Medicine

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    If you prefer to match back to the east coast for residency, I see no reason why you shouldn't pick Sinai, ahem Icahn, excuse me. All 3 match well and have great basic/clinical science opportunities. But if you have a region in mind, and all schools are similarly ranked, why not pick the school that's already in the region so you can start networking?

    I would steer clear of PBL.
  3. 487806

    487806 Life of the Party!

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    Mayo > Feinberg > Sinai
  4. dwills

    dwills

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    Although it seems to be your third choice as you didn't even mention, Sinai.
  5. DrSolus

    DrSolus Illusive

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    Wow...it really is true what they say about the Sinai bias being hugeeee on SDN. And I mean HUGE.

    Why?

    OP: Since you're more interested in basic science research, I would say Feinberg hands down. Mayo is very well reputed for clinical specialties and for clinically driven research (eg everything translational). Feinberg's connection to a major research university that does a ton of basic science research would probably give you better opportunities, resources, and choices when it comes to down to finding a lab to work in.

    My 2 cents. PS - What don't you like about NYC? =P
  6. prado

    prado Become an MD they said...

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    What are you basing that on?
  7. wizedw

    wizedw

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    You said you LOVED the culture of Mayo, also its cheaper so you could afford to visit your family more if that is something important to you. From you list it seems like Mayo is what YOU are most enthusiastic about. Don't go to Sinai if you didnt like it, thats stupid. Go where will make you happy and it sounds to me like thats Mayo
  8. red doctober

    red doctober

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    Who are "they" :confused:? I don't think there is Sinai-bias on SDN as much as that there are a few vocal SDNers who rave about the student atmosphere at Sinai, which they say is laid-back and easy-going. People often cite Sinai's take-home exam policy for a reason why their students might be so lax, which in my opinion is overrated. I've noticed more people talking-up Sinai recently, but before that there was a pretty big Mayo bandwagon on SDN. People saying that Mayo is actually a Top-5 medical school, but the rankings don't show it because they only take "interesting" people with lower stats than the averages of other Top-10 institutions, yada yada yada. One thing about Mayo that I didn't like was that their educational philosophy seemed to very much "hold the hands" of their medical students. I'm more of an independent learner and would do better with more freedom to study the way I want than what Mayo offers, but their philosophy might work wonders for some people who need to be told what to do. To answer OP though, if it were me, it'd come down to (1) cost/financial aid packages (2) location (3) different educational philosophies in that order. In terms of reputation, research opportunities, and match, they are all pretty similar--very good.
  9. spf15

    spf15

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    I grew up near NYC and just find it incredibly stressful. No other particular reason.

    The thing that confuses me about Feinberg is that even though it's attached to Northwestern, NU is in Evanston and Feinberg is in downtown Chicago...
  10. Barney Stinson

    Barney Stinson Wait for it...

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    What part of that makes you say it's confusing? The two campuses are separate but the medical school is downtown with a lot of the grad/professional programs. The two campuses are also linked by a NU shuttle and the red/purple lines so it's a very easy and pretty short trip.

    Feinberg is the one school that didn't show me love that I'm probably the most disappointed about. The feel is totally different from Mayo (I think I was there on your interview day based on the other thread), but if you want an urban med school NU would be tough to beat.
  11. GreyEarl

    GreyEarl

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    Don't go to Mayo so a waitlist spot opens up! :p
  12. spf15

    spf15

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    Oh I just meant that I wasn't sure if that would affect access to basic sci labs... (Not sure if most of the basic sci research at NU is actually in Evanston or if it's also in downtown).

    ! I loved everybody on my interview day (at Mayo)! :) I think people were nice at NU but it was really different from Mayo.... I had to call my parents and tell them how amazing Mayo was in the middle of my interview day. I felt like it really supported the way I generally think about the profession; I went to an undergrad that really emphasized student-professor interactions and support, and so I also liked the close-knit feel that I got from Mayo. I also liked the selectives / the general idea of planning out what you want to do for yourself, etc...

    At Feinberg, I was mostly struck by how ... shiny everything was, haha. It's an amazing location, not going to deny that. My significant other is not so excited about Minnesota. I wasn't immediately blown away by the people I met, etc at Feinberg, but I don't know if one interview day is enough for me to come to a real decision, to be honest. Anyway, some people have been telling me that Feinberg is "better" .... and I guess by residency director scores (whatever that is?) it's better... but how much does it end up mattering?
    Last edited: 03.06.13
  13. spf15

    spf15

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    Also, if anyone can comment on internal transfer policies to MD-PhD (not saying I'm definitely going to do it, but I'm still considering it) at these institutions... that would be very helpful!
  14. red doctober

    red doctober

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    Probably not good at Mayo given that they only have 5 spots/yr.
  15. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly Moderator

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    I know of at least one person who's done it, but you could probably ask the admissions people.
  16. spf15

    spf15

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    Any other input? Is Mayo really considered weaker at basic science?
  17. Barney Stinson

    Barney Stinson Wait for it...

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    SDN's take on Mayo is a really interesting one - there are those who love it and those who think it's entirely overhyped. There's a group that similarly enthusiastic about Sinai. I had the chance to interview at both and I can certainly understand where it comes from since they both seem to put a huge emphasis on culture and the student experience, but I think that some of the other aspects of the schools may not be evaluated on a level field because of this.

    Feiberg has a huge emphasis on research as has been mentioned here and in its own thread, and they just introduced a new curriculum which seems to stress it even more. Mayo requires research but they seem to be much more focused on translational and clinical areas based on what I remember from my interview day. This makes sense as a pretty isloated place focused on the highest level of patient care pretty much anywhere.

    My understanding is that Mayo's financial advantage will be significantly less this year (somewhere around a 10k bump in tuition), so NU might not end up costing as much more as you think right now, for whatever that's worth... I'm guessing you might not know numbers for a while.
  18. red doctober

    red doctober

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    This really depends on your definition of basic science. If you're talking about research with the sole idea of learning for the sake of understanding, you won't find that at Mayo or any other medical school at that, but you will find that at Northwestern's main campus. Basic science as a term could also mean research that isn't clinical or translational, which is typically how medical schools use the term, but it will have some sort of clinical relevance. There are researchers at medical schools, including Mayo, that do research on things as "basic" as cellular metabolism, how DNA is packaged, or what the 3-dimentional structure of a certain protein looks like. You will find more of that type of research at Northwestern and Sinai than at Mayo though. Although Mayo has good basic science research, they are much better known for their clinical and translational research.
  19. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly Moderator

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    I would also agree that Mayo's research strengths are in clinical/translational areas as opposed to more basic science types, but you will be able to do any type here. You just might not have as many labs to choose from as you would at a place linked to a major university. Also, the strength of the individual lab's basic science research that you work in might matter more than the overall strength of the institution.

    That said, from what I've gathered, it's very easy for students to get involved in projects and Mayo seems very supportive of fostering students interests with things like dual degrees, research years, away research programs, etc. If you aren't familiar with what exactly translational research consists of, it might be worth checking out. There's a continuum and I've found that while I really like basic science work, I like the clinical/translational side more.

    For your sig. other: Mayo definitely has a unique culture. Rochester itself really sucks for some and others really like it. I'm from a small town in the midwest, so it suits me well. There are tons of bike trails, which are awesome in the summer. My drive to work takes roughly 10 minutes unless it's "rush hour" then it's like 15 and I don't live right by the clinic. There are a lot of fitness buffs/groups (cyclers, runners, triathletes, etc) if that's your thing. I think it seems boring to some because activities can be harder to find, but they are there if you look for them. There are complaints about the night life being a bit lacking, with a shortage in the diversity/# of restaurants and entertainment venues/clubs. I've also heard that singles struggle a tad more with this and meeting people. The town is pretty much centered around the clinic (and IBM to some extent) It's not an bad drive up to the cities and it's nice to have access to the big city stuff without having to deal with the some of the big city headaches. Cost of living is moderate. It does snow and get pretty cold, although this year is the first year that I've lived here (in ~ 5 years) where I'd consider it a real, lasting midwest type winter.
  20. spf15

    spf15

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    Yeah... the idea of not being able to meet people outside of medicine + IBM scares me a bit (in regard to Mayo) ... my friends from undergrad were definitely not all in medicine, for sure.

    I'm not sure how to gauge the strengths of the labs.... should I be looking at where they're publishing, or what?
  21. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly Moderator

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    I'm not involved with research at Mayo, but I bet you could ask one of the administrators if one of the MD/PhD students would be able to talk to you about research opportunities. That'd probably be the best place to start and get your questions answered.

    I met most of my friends at work and then through their friends, but they have pretty varied interests so we don't spend all of our time talking shop. I think it's more about searching for opportunities/activities you're interested in and meeting people through those activities: hobbies, martial arts, outdoor/fitness activities, churches, service activities, art classes, cooking classes, etc.
  22. Frazier

    Frazier turtle in a rabbit race Lifetime Donor

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    Northwestern.
  23. Ichiban88

    Ichiban88

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    can you elaborate on your impressions of Sinai?
  24. Bearstronaut

    Bearstronaut A giant leap for bearkind

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  25. spf15

    spf15

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    hahaha for all you people who responded with just the name of the school... care to elaborate a bit? :)

    And impressions of Sinai:
    I really liked Dean Parkas; she definitely gave me the impression that the administration really cared about the students (she knew students by name/ remembered what they did and such), which I liked. I also got the impression that most students at Sinai had very varied interests-- of the two Sinai students that I do know, one is really into creative writing, and the other did some sort of art/anatomy/drawing endeavor, which I thought was very cool.

    With regard to location, I think Sinai is indeed in a great area-- upper east side, right next to Central park, and close to Harlem... so what they say about getting a diverse patient population is true. The student run clinic is called EHOP (or something like that?) and it seemed really great, too.

    I personally don't like New York; I find it very stressful (and isn't med school somewhat stressful to begin with?). I didn't like the student dorms that much, but I think it's a good deal for living in a place like NYC.

    Don't know too much about the curriculum; I know that Sinai students can take their tests whenever they want to, which I guess could be nice? I'm not sure how much this impacts quality of life. I know it's pass/fail.

    During the tour, everybody I met, including the nursing staff at the hospital, seemed super happy, which I really liked as well. Other than that, I'm not sure, I don't know enough about what research is going on and the specific extracurriculars available to students.
    Last edited: 03.08.13
  26. spf15

    spf15

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    There are art classes at Mayo?
  27. Bearstronaut

    Bearstronaut A giant leap for bearkind

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    1) It's delicious on a sandwich.

    2) Her job is to make you think she cares at interviews. Of course, she probably does. But it's not a bad thing to be realistic about it.

    3) If you don't like NYC, it's, let's say, ill behooving to think Mount Sinai would be a good choice for you. "I don't like NYC, I think I'll live in the dead center of it." Let's be serious.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say: you prefer Mayo, your SO wants to live in Chicago (or NYC, or just not Minnesota), so you want to find a reason to prefer going to NW. How serious are you about that? Did you put a ring on it? Are you planning to?

    Either way, you should go to wherever you feel will give you the best launching pad to your chosen career. Both offer myriad research opportunities, and both give you the resources to match pretty much anywhere.

    That being said, my impression, reading what you've written, is that you'd be pretty happy at Mayo, and all the rest is rationalizations.
  28. 7032

    7032

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    way to tell it like it is Bearstronaut. I am growing to respect your boldness to call it like it is.

    Mayo is clearly the way to go for you. You are unique in the simple fact that you have the opportunity to study there. You want to do it.
  29. spf15

    spf15

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    Hahah, your answer is much appreciated :laugh:
    Well, yes, I prefer Mayo in the sense that I think I'd fit in with the people there the best; I could see myself being very happy there. My hesitations are primarily the location and the fact that I'm interested in basic science (biochem/biophysics/computational bio) as opposed to clinical research (not that I've crossed it off my list, but...), which I feel that Northwestern might possibly be better for.

    My relationship is rather long-term, and so even though I haven't, er, "put a ring on it," there's a decent chance we will... I don't want to force my SO to relocate to Minnesota when all of our friends are still on the east coast. And if (hopefully not) things ultimately don't work out (since I keep hearing all these things about even long-term relationships breaking up in the first semester of med school)... I feel I might be one of those people who have trouble with meeting new people.
  30. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly Moderator

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    Not at Mayo itself, that I know of anyway, anything's possible. Rochester has a pretty cool community ed program with tons of offerings from oil painting, wood carving, photography, and blacksmithing (which I took and was awesome, how many ppl can say they've done blacksmithing? ;-) , snowshoeing, maple syrup gathering, rescuing migrating baby turtles, literature, language, business, cooking, etc. It's cool, just wish I had more time to explore them.

    Mayo itself does have interest groups like a chess club, an equestrian club, and a photography club, among quite a few others.

    If you like art I believe one of the students did some art therapy work as a selective.

    and this is pretty cool too http://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2009/03/26/learning-perspective/


    The fact that people go out of their way to be friendly here will help a lot, just find something outside of medical school that you like doing and you'll meet people, and people through them.

    But you've obviously got a difficult decision to make. And while you've got three choices, not two...I think this quote fits, stolen from an attending talking to residents about making ROLs for the match.

    "Flip a coin. When it's in the air, you'll know what side you're hoping for."

    Good luck.
  31. dahassa

    dahassa

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    I applied and interviewed at NW. At the beginning of the cycle, it was one of my top choices. I didn't apply to Mayo primarily because of the location and the small class size. I spent a lot of time researching all the schools before I applied. I think for the most part Mayo is a little overrated on SDN, but at the same time, it is underrated on USnews. I would place Mayo and NW on the same tier of schools. Although its true that NIH funding plays a role (15% I believe), that alone can't explain why Mayo isn't in the top 10. If you look at both the residency directors assessment and the peer assessment over the past 5 years, NW and Mayo score around the same (and depending on the year NW is a little higher). So overall, I'm inclined to say Mayo MEDICAL SCHOOL and NW have an equal reputation. Regardless of what SDN states, the only seemingly quantitative data available seems to indicate otherwise.

    The major advantage NW has over Mayo is the location and a larger student body. Chicago is an amazing city and it has a great music/art scene. Jazz has deep roots in Chicago and modern/American art in Chicago is phenomenal. Also, the architecture is beautiful and arguably the best in America. Some parts of the city have a big swing, 1920s feel. NW is also in a quiet, nice part of the city and public transportation is great in streeterville. NW has a larger class that skews a little younger and seems to have a lot of fun (going out and generally enjoying the city). It seems like a fun place to be. Having said all of that, if you like Mayo's atmosphere and student body more then this point is null and void. Especially, if you are ok with being in Rochester. For me, this is NW's biggest advantage.

    I think Mayo's advantage is the amount of attention the administration gives to its students and the Mayo Clinic. Due to the small class size and general Mayo philosophy, the administration seems more receptive and student oriented. In addition, I think Mayo has one of the best match lists in the country, but a big part of this is b/c so many students match at Mayo, so obv Mayo Med results in an advantage for Mayo clinic. But again this begs the question can you live in Rochester MN for 8 or more years.

    In terms of research, Mayo has more opportunities, but NW also has a plethora of research going on. Although I am not sure about Mayo, NW really emphasizes dual degrees, and they have a 4yr MD/MPH program. So switching to MD/PHD seems possible. NW will have more basic science research (they have one of the best chemistry departments in the country). However, are you sure you won't change your mind later? There is so much research going on at Mayo that you may find clinical research that interests you.

    In terms of curriculum, the two are pretty different. Mayo has the tradition 2 and 2 curriculum. The first 2 years are preclinical lectures and the last 2 are clinical rotations. Mayo also has different sites in AZ and FL, I believe, so there can be some region diversity in the last 2 years. NW has a new condensed curriculum and it has a strong PBL focus. NW has less class time, but it is also a newer curriculum and isn't as battle-tested.

    Finally, Mayo is more generous with financial aid. NW is expensive and doesn't seem to be as kind.

    Overall, I would say reputation is the same. Personally, I would pick NW (assuming equal money). I think the best thing to do is to look over the 2 curriculums and see which works for you. Then wait for the financial aid packages. I imagine Mayo will be cheaper. If you truly love the student body and atmosphere of Mayo (and you don't mind the "quiet" of Rochester as you say), then go with Mayo. As I said, NW's biggest advantage, in my opinion, is location and student body. Also, if you would be happy doing your residency at Mayo (I know you said you want to go to the east coast but most ppl would kill for a Mayo residency), that's another advantage for Mayo.
    Last edited: 03.10.13
  32. spf15

    spf15

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    Hmm... does anybody know what percentage of Mayo students do basic science research?
    Or how many go on to academic medicine?
  33. spf15

    spf15

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    just wanted to bump this thread one more time...
  34. Bearstronaut

    Bearstronaut A giant leap for bearkind

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    If those are the questions that're important to you, go to NW.
  35. red doctober

    red doctober

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    Are these numbers really going to be that informative to you? If a small percentage of Mayo students do research during med school, that doesn't mean that you won't be able to.
  36. spf15

    spf15

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    Feinberg students told me that bench research was generally discouraged because you publish a lot less. I guess it's similar everywhere, though. All mayo students do research as well since there's the research quarter built in to the curriculum.
  37. Nymphicus

    Nymphicus kane o ke kai Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    Bench research isn't truly "discouraged," it's just that it's less efficient overall in terms of publications. It's a global phenomenon.
  38. skais595

    skais595

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    I vote Northwestern. Chicago is an awesome city, your girlfriend/boyfriend will love it, you guys will be able to fly back to the east coast easily to visit. It sounds like you're afraid of turning down Mayo because it's Mayo, but Northwestern is awesome, so you shouldn't worry. The split campuses is not that unusual (USC comes to mind), but I think it's really great for the med students because you will be in a great and fun part of town.
    Also, in terms of where the research is located, I've heard of undergrads going down to Feinberg to work in labs, but never med students coming up to Evanston... so I'd guess that most of it is downtown?
  39. OhHey

    OhHey

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    you'll have to consider Feinberg's curriculum as it is strongly oriented around PBL. Is this your learning style? Also, I've heard good things about Mayo's curriculum.. very structured and designed to make you competent for both Step 1 and clinical years.

    I only heard these things through word of mouth, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
  40. spf15

    spf15

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    I really don't like the idea of PBL at all. I also really liked Mayo's curriculum; it seemed perfect for my learning style.
  41. lostintranscrip

    lostintranscrip Livin' la Vidaloha

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    Done deal.
  42. UrbanRiver

    UrbanRiver

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    then are you still unsure because of the ranking factor (Feinberg is more highly ranked than Mayo)? The general pattern is that.. the higher the rank, the less "practical" the school becomes--that is, they teach less to the boards and are less structured. On the other hand, they provide more prestigious research and social justice opportunities.. of course there are exceptions.

    Having said that, in my mind, schools ranked #10 - 30 are all the same to me. In fact, Mayo, I would have guessed ranked higher than Northwestern.. Feinberg (as a med school) isn't well known around non-science people.. at least not more than Mayo. And even among the medical community, I don't think many people know that Northwestern is ranked particularly higher... ionno can anyone vouch for this? I didn't apply to Mayo, but I always thought of it as a very special, prestigious program that take in only a select 50 students.

    That's just my two cents. Good news is you got some amazing options, and you can't go wrong either way. Congrats and good luck.
  43. Tots

    Tots c/o 2017 Moderator

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    Did you go to second look? It was pretty awesome for one main reason: the people at Mayo are awesome. Everyone from the deans the physicians to the current student to the revist-ers.
  44. spf15

    spf15

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    Yep, I went to second look. I agree, the people at Mayo are amazing!! :)
  45. alpinism

    alpinism Ut ceteri vivant

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    Mayo is a relatively new school (opened in 1972) compared to most top medical schools that have been around for 100+ years (NW opened in 1859). Because of this fact and because of its tiny classes, Mayo has a much smaller and less accomplished alumni base.

    When most people think of Mayo in terms of reputation and rankings they are referring to the clinic not the medical school. Pre-Allo SDN tends to get the 2 confused. Mayo has one of the best hospitals in the US, but generally speaking in the medical community it is not considered to be a "top" medical school.
  46. UrbanRiver

    UrbanRiver

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    but that's what I mean by reputation though.. Mayo is known by the general public.. and most likely due to its hospitals. Hopkins probably got a lot of momentum due to its hospital as well. Non-science folk don't know which med schools have prestigious research, faculty, etc. they just hear what they hear.
  47. red doctober

    red doctober

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    Does it matter what the public thinks of your medical school? Last time I checked, I have no idea where any of my doctors went.
  48. Wisco1

    Wisco1

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    The latter half of this statement couldn't be more inaccurate.

    As far as "rankings" are concerned, yes NW is ranked higher. But that's because USNews uses a formula that considers factors favoring "larger" universities (library space, NIH funding, etc.). Because Mayo isn't attached to a larger university and our research funding comes in the form of private benefactors (we take little in the form of NIH funds), the ranking by USNews is artificially lowered. Mayo is easily top 10, and probably more like top 5 in terms of reputation/prestige of the medical school, and institution as a whole.
  49. prado

    prado Become an MD they said...

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    [​IMG]

    I'll agree that the Mayo name rings more of a bell than Feinberg, at least on the west coast. But to self-identify them as easily top 10 and more like top 5 is kind of a stretch, don't you think?
  50. Wisco1

    Wisco1

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    No I won't say it's a stretch, evidenced by match lists and the repeated examples over the past several years of matriculation rates and people turning down other top-5 institutions to come to Mayo.
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