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UT Southwestern vs. Northwestern vs. (potentially) Pittsburgh

Discussion in 'Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2014)' started by zoho, 12.15.12.

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  1. zoho

    zoho

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    I would like any input in choosing between schools. I have interviewed but not been accepted at Pitt but put it on the list because it's the only school I might possibly be accepted at that I would consider choosing over Northwestern or UT Southwestern.

    Here are my thoughts about the schools:
    UT Southwestern
    Pros- the students I met were SO friendly and seemed quite happy, I felt like I really could fit well there, I have a lot of family in the area, cheap tuition, i would get to learn medical spanish, college system

    Cons- I wouldn't mind living in Dallas for the next 4 years but I think I'd rather be in Chicago or on the East Coast for residency and after, graded (not P/F), not sure how the reputation compares to NU or Pitt, I am interested in getting an MPH as well but not through the program in Dallas

    Northwestern
    Pros- great MPH dual degree program, LOVE Chicago, P/F system, better research opportunities aligned with my interest in health informatics and health services research

    Cons- expensive tuition and housing costs, don't want to be guinea pig with new curriculum

    Pitt
    Pros- great research opportunities with an area of scholarly concentration in the field I am interested in pursuing, P/F

    Cons- I happened to interview on a very cold, dreary, rainy day so this may have colored my impression but I did NOT like what I saw of the area around campus, I know people here that complain about the administration not being very friendly and helpful, felt like a competitive atmosphere, expensive tuition

    Currently my feelings are UT-SW> NU > Pitt which is the opposite of rankings I've seen, so I think partially I am posting here to see if others support the decision to choose the "lower ranked" school. I do not know what I want to specialize in- I am very open but can likely rule out surgery of any sort. Please let me know any thoughts you have. Thanks!

    P.S. Another reason I am trying to decide early is because I am considering doing UT-SW's summer research program, so I have to decide before the May 15 deadline so I can find a mentor well before then. That's why I haven't even been accepted to Pitt but am trying to figure out whether I would go there over UT-SW.
     
    Last edited: 12.16.12
  2. Plue00

    Plue00

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    :thumbup:
     
  3. sector9

    sector9 Administrator Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Thread moved to "School specific discussions"
     
  4. PreMedOrDead

    PreMedOrDead I'm sure you'll get in...

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    It sounds like your heart is in Texas. That's the most important thing. Follow it.
     
  5. MilkIsGood

    MilkIsGood

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    Pitt>NU>UTSW
     
  6. zoho

    zoho

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    Do you know whether it will be a lot harder for me to get a decent residency in the Midwest or East Coast if I do well at UT-SW versus if I did well at NU or Pitt? I know there is regional bias but I don't have a good sense of the degree to which this will impact me if I go to UT-SW. Looking at the match list at UT-SW, most people don't leave Texas for residency.
     
  7. zoho

    zoho

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    Can you explain your reasoning a bit more or is this purely based on rankings? Thanks!
     
  8. Whatyousay

    Whatyousay A few loose screws

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    Any ideas about financial aid / personal finances?

    Going to UTSW would save you at least 100-200k in tuition costs alone compared to NW and UPitt. The reputations of the schools are similar enough that it wouldn't justify paying extra for the name alone.

    A few thoughts:
    (1) Definitely go to second look.

    (2) UTSW's MPH program is pretty bare-bones compared to some of the other programs that I've seen, but they do have a pretty decent community health program (CART). I don't really have a lot of familiarity with the specifics of the program, but it might be something that's worth getting more information about if that sort of thing interests you.

    (3) Reputation-wise, UTSW should be at about the same level as Pitt and NU - if you do well, you shouldn't have problems getting a good residency. Regional bias is definitely something that exists, but it's pretty hard to separate "director's bias" (programs prefer applicants from the region) from "applicant bias" (applicants from the region prefer to stay in the region anyways), so short of actually asking each residency program if they care, it's really anybody's guess how much an applicant's region influences residency decisions. It comes down to whether or not you like Chicago/the East Coast enough to shoulder the extra debt load.
     
  9. Nymphicus

    Nymphicus kane o ke kai Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    They are all competitive, research-focused schools.

    NW is pretty different from UTSW though. Do you like PBL all day everday?

    Also, lots of people "have an interest in getting a MPH." Very few actually go through with it. Just a thought.
     
  10. zoho

    zoho

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    I am having a hard time deciding whether PBL is right for me or not. While I did study in groups for problem-solving based classes like Orgo a lot in undergrad, I found it more effective to study on my own when memorizing a lot was needed (like Biochem). So it seems med school is more memorization and I may want to study on my own?

    At Pitt, the student tour guide said she didn't find PBL very beneficial because it was a group of students "wikipedia teaching" one another. I haven't heard anyone rave about PBL but I do notice that it's what more schools are moving toward. Can anyone who has done PBL speak to the pros and cons?

    Also, I am probably going to pursue an MPH but may do so after medical school.
     
  11. Nymphicus

    Nymphicus kane o ke kai Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    For PBL to work well, everybody has to be "all in." Unlike high school or undergrad where it seems the goal was to do as little work as possible and as late as possible. This obviously is not conducive to effective CBL.

    I tend to find that the subjects we cover in CBL I learn well. However, it takes so much time that I might have learned it even better on my own or with a friend in half the time (or less).
     
  12. zoho

    zoho

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    Thanks! Good to know. Yeah, with PBL it seems you are forced to work in groups whereas if PBL isn't part of the curriculum you can always pick and choose on your own when to study with a group.
     
  13. penguinism

    penguinism

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    It really depends on your group. My PBL group was great so I did actually learn a lot from their presentations. Other groups slacked off more and therefore it felt like a waste of time for them. At Pitt we spend roughly a third of our time in some sort of PBL/TBL small groups, but I don't mind it that much. I actually understand the topics that we cover in our TBL sessions (group quizzes, etc.) better than some of the other topics that we only discuss in lecture.

    It also depends on your learning style.
     
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