8 Days Left: Which med school should I go to?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by mountaingoat11, May 7, 2008.

  1. mountaingoat11

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    This is for all of you out there who are still trying to decide which med school to go to in Fall 2008. Welcome, indecisive almost-med students!

    I have been blessed with 3 wonderful choices, and am completely stuck. Thoughts, advice, suggestions?
    Choices:
    Harvard (most expensive)
    Hopkins (liked this school the most, but don't know if I can live in Baltimore for 4 years)
    Michigan (most financially feasible, thanks to their generous aid)

    No matter what, I know I can be happy where I go and I feel incredibly lucky to have these schools as options. Still, I'd welcome thoughts from others who may be in the throes of indecision. Best of luck to all in making the "right" decision!
     
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  3. TexPre-Med

    TexPre-Med Banned
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    Michigan.....keep costs down. You'll thank yourself later.
     
  4. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy

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    Hopkins
     
  5. SCRdoc

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    Hopkins. It sounds like that's where your heart is. Good luck.:)
     
  6. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"

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    Unless its absolutely impossible for any Hopkins grad to ever get over their debt (and I think they can), that's where you should go.
     
  7. Didmybest

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    if you're HST, harvard is not that expensive, otherwise I'd probably do hopkins.
     
  8. LovelyMD

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    I vote for Hopkins since you liked it the most, but it might be helpful to know the cost differences between the 3 schools.
     
  9. Wylde

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    Michigan

    I would of told you JHU, but you said you don't like baltimore (this is huge imo, you want to be able to enjoy the place you are living in for the next 4 years!).
     
  10. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member

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    I'd go to Michigan. Of course, it depends on who is paying for this little adventure. If money is a factor [and if there is a huge price difference], I'd go to Michigan and never look back. Go to football games, get a great education, and promise to buy yourself something kickass at some point for saving yourself from an even more enormous debt load.

    If money isn't a factor, go to Harvard.

    You obviously know that only you can make this decision. I'll put in a vote for quality of life as well. If you think you'll hate Baltimore, don't move there!
     
  11. 186321

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    If you're like me.. Michigan.

    First of all, I have lived "in" Baltimore all my life and hate it (I live 15 miles north). Don't get me wrong, I love going down into the city for a Ravens/Orioles game or a day at the harbor, but you won't catch me anywhere near there most of the time. Hopkins is not the safest of all places either. Last time i heard they were increasing the number of security guards, so you can look at that as a good or bad thing. It is literally sickening when you listen to the evening news.. although this is probably true for many other cities in the US as well.

    In terms of Hopkins students, I have never liked their undergraduates (maybe med students are different). Its not that they are so smart and stuck up (many are humble), its that they literally seem to only be interested in what they are studying. They seem to lack any life outside school.

    Also, Michigan has great college athletics and that is something that would be a huge bonus for me. Plus the obvious financial benefits are very important.

    Those are just my thoughts, let us know what you choose. Good luck!
     
  12. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"

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    Michigan only has Ann Arbor. The rest of the state is kind of bleh.... Detroit = :barf:
     
  13. easilydoctor

    easilydoctor doctoreasily

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    you should look into your specialty after med school. for instance, if you wanna do surgery you probably shouldn't pick harvard. if you're sticking to research, then hopkins.
     
  14. Doublecortin

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    :eek: is this post a joke? anyone suspect a troll?
     
  15. LovelyMD

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    Why not pick Harvard if he (she?) wants to do surgery?

    All 3 schools have plenty of research opportunities.
     
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  17. se2131

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    Hopkins' med students were actually the most down-to-earth and amazing ppl that I met on the interview trail.

    Baltimore is terrible though (I'm a maryland resident myself). UMD is in a "nice" area of the city. Hopkins is most certainly not.

    Honestly, I'd go to UMich. It's a great school with a fantastic reputation. Maybe not quite the same "wow" factor as Hopkins, but definitely right next to it. All doors will still be open to you, and you'll be glad to not be in so much debt later. If UMich wasn't such a good school to begin with, then it would make sense not to turn down Hopkins.

    Congrats on the great acceptances btw!
     
  18. da me ka don

    da me ka don Not in your P.I.'s lab!

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    Say no to Hopkins....









    I need my spot:smuggrin:
     
  19. nevercold

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    I can see why you're stuck. No matter what you're saying no to two great programs. Consider the following:

    In terms of competitiveness for residency programs, any of the three will give you a strong rep to go on. Harvard and Hopkins are historically the top two, but the "drop" to Michigan is not something that you are likely to feel at all.

    Money is important, but it is not the be-all-end-all. A primary care physician at current average starting salary rates will be taking home over $7500/month after taxes. $200,000 in loan debts will earn you payments around $2500/month on a 10-year loan. If you can handle living on $5000/month after taxes as a post-residency physician for 10 years, then this is not a problem for you.

    The place you plan on living for the next four years of your life will be very important to you. I can't stand cold weather. I would not have attended Harvard if they offered me a full tuition scholarship plus room & board money because I know I would have been miserable. However, no matter how much an area sucks, it still has its charms and you can still find things to do or a reason to like it. Being between Baltimore, DC, and Philadelphia opens up options in terms of going out at night or getting cultural experiences. I lived in Maryland for 22 years and found that there were a number of positives about the state.

    Being somewhere that just "felt right" can make all the difference, but being somewhere where the "feels right" feeling was not as strong (but wasn't completely absent) isn't a bad thing either.

    In summary, if you have undergrad debt and have persistent doubts about living in Baltimore, it sounds like Michigan is the right thing for you. If you can go to Hopkins without being swallowed up by debt and that feeling that Hopkins was really the right place won't go away, then I would say Hopkins is the right place. You haven't given any good reasons why Harvard could be the right place for you.
     
  20. mountaingoat11

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    Wow--thank you all for your constructive and thoughtful advice. This was my first ever post on SDN. To the person who thought I might be a troll: I am *real* but got incredibly lucky in the application process; I am short and may have strange hair, but I'm no troll.

    Also, I was hoping others who are having trouble deciding on a school would post, too, so that it wasn't all about mememe.

    Many thanks to you all. See you on the wards and in the clinics, eventually!
     
  21. nutrition

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    First of all, thanks for the post. Because some of us also have very similar decisions to think through, and it is certainly very interesting to read other people's reasoning.

    Secondly, as far as Doublecortin's comments are concerned... please ignore. I have NEVER EVER read anything useful from him, other than bad-mouthing top schools like Hopkins, making somewhat racist comments and whining about how affirmative action is what's keeping him from top schools, and forcing him into UC Irvine, (on his oh-so-noble path to being a dermatologist).


    In any case, here is my take on each school:

    Year 1-2:
    -Harvard NP: first two years are a bit touchy-feely and the basic sciences are definitely not the strong suit of the pre-clinical curriculum.
    -Harvard HST: first two years lack any patient contact and focus on basic sciences too much. All patient contact is compacted into a 6-week dedicated pre-ward clinic exposure. This for me feels too rushed.
    -Hopkins: Just the right blend of clinical and basic science. Curriculum is good at both. Tests every 2 weeks in year 1 & every 1 month in year 2.
    -Michigan: Just the right blend of clinical and basic science. Year 1: Quizzes every week on "flex time." Year 2: Tests every 1 month.


    Year 3-4:
    Best Clinical Training, in terms of: direct patient responsibility, interactions with attendings and residents, focus on teaching medical students and hands-on work:

    Hopkins > Harvard MGH > Harvard Brigham > U Mich = Harvard Beth Israel


    Research Opportunities
    Harvard = Hopkins > U Mich


    Fellow students
    This is VERY subjective. Personally, I liked the Hopkins prospectives and med students the best. They were incredibly bright AND incredibly nice.


    Access to Faculty
    Harvard = Hopkins = UMich


    Top Ranked Faculty
    Harvard = Hopkins > UMich


    Residency Placement
    Harvard = Hopkins > UMich


    Prestige
    Harvard = Hopkins > UMich


    Financial Aid

    In your case, it sounds like UMich (full-ride) > Hopkins > Harvard


    Awesomeness of city (once again this is very subjective), but for me:
    Boston > Baltimore > Ann Arbor (little suburb/college town = :thumbdown:)


    But as you probably realize... no matter which you choose, all of those places are outstanding at training physicians, and as a result, you can't go wrong. Good luck!
     
  22. momofpremeds

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    If I was offered a scholarship - wow, the choice is clear - go to Hopkins or Harvard for your residency!
     
    #20 momofpremeds, May 7, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
  23. medgrlsox21

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    I would go where you felt most comfortable. The money; everyone will have debt (ok most u lucky sob's). Prestige, okay if you realllly care that much but honestly will it matter to you in 20 years if you say I'm a Dr. so and so because I've never met a doctor in my life who introduces themselves as I'm Dr. Jackoff and I went to Harvard. Residency, I heard states like to keep their doctors so if you want to be in a particular state go to that school I guess but it seems the harder you work the easier residency placement is for you no matter where you go, and obv you'll do the best in the place you're most comfortable in. Do you need to be close to family, gf/bf, friends etc?

    And since you wanted a post I'll ask an opinion, what are people's thoughts on choosing a school closer to bf/gf? Am I a silly romantic for adding that into my consideration?
     
  24. hra87

    hra87 Junior Member

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    We need more information.

    1. How much is the difference in cost between the 3 schools? Just give an estimate.

    2. Did you go to Hopkins revisit? Have you ever visited Baltimore to look around?
     
  25. searun

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    Is Stanford an option??? Because then we could factor in the weather and the whole Cali thing.
     
  26. hra87

    hra87 Junior Member

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    If Stanford or UCSF are options, there really isn't any decision no matter what the other options are.
     
  27. searun

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    You make a compelling argument. At least from a gastronomical perspective. Also, if you like fog creeping in on little cats' feet, then, end of agrument.
     
  28. atisha

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    From the doctors I've talked to the debt from med school is no big deal- totally manageable and doesn't have an impact on their way of life. Go where you want to go- don't make it about money
     
  29. 87138

    87138 Guest

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    And how old are these doctors? Chances are they went to medical school when 4 years of tuition cost ~$50,000 total. Yeah, I know, inflation and whatnot, but that's still peanuts.
     
  30. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"

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    Or perhaps they would know the salaries of the fresh positions a person could get into if they went to one of these schools talked about in this thread. I really doubt people are going to ignore that things change in 10-20+ years.
     
  31. nonesuchgirl

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    I saw a mention of Hopkins curriculum in this thread. I didn't read too closely, but make sure that you consider that they're breaking in a new one.
     
  32. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"

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    Most attendings who graduated a while ago really have no idea how much tuition has increased. Our local attendings are astounded to hear that tuition and fees at our state school are close to $25,000/yr. They are still fully stuck in the idea that you pay about $10K. They also had the era of economic hardship deferrals and low low low interest on med school loans with consolidation options. Bottom line, your financial situation is going to look very different from theirs.
     
  33. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"

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    eww. Then again, I live in the awesome state that is TEXAS!

    *sorry, I just had to*
     
  34. Ella Shepherd

    Ella Shepherd Screen. Stage. Studio.

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    Hard to decide, but I'll say Hopkins. :)
     
  35. LandSpeed

    LandSpeed Can you dig it?

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    Yeah, you know that's the first thing I said, too. This person has a 3 post history or something and then drops THIS question all of the sudden. Really, though, I have a tough decision of my own to make in the next 5 days... should I go to UCSF or Stanford?
    :spam:
     
  36. Didmybest

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    Not even close to the truth, HST has more patient contact hours in years 1 and 2 than NP does, when I went there to interview I saw the schedule.
     
  37. RandomBlackManX

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    Great thread. I have to echo the poster who said it's interesting to see other people's line of reasoning as May 15th approaches.
     
  38. nutrition

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  39. PlayMeSomeMusic

    PlayMeSomeMusic Always waiting...
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    So I'll bite.. the OP said they wanted others to ask about their decision. How about Tulane vs UIC-Chicago.

    during my pros and cons list making it seemed that Tulane won the majority (living, laid back class, mostly how New Orleans and Tulane is/feels.. I also know some professors already from getting my MS there.. so its not completely a new place) BUT Uic definitely takes the bag for being cheaper (about 65,000 or so) and closer to home. I keep switching back and forth. last year during my interview at uic I had a horrible first impression and had decided then I'd never go. so although this years experiences have been better its hard to forget that first impression.

    Sorry that was sorta long. Any thoughts?
     
  40. loganhayes

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    If you don't like Baltimore, Harvard is the way to go. Nice campus (wow!!)... I have been there. I saw every corner of Harvard was meticulously manicured.. and Boston is a great city... expensive but great. Michigan is an awesome school, too, but dude, you have Hopkins and Harvard in your hand. I would pick Harvard if I were you... (and I was a student at Hopkins). Money should not be a factor in this case. You'll pay it off anyway later on.
     
  41. nevercold

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    I was actually very underwhelmed by Harvard's campus. Boston is a good city, but cold (not that Michigan isn't). Baltimore probably has the nicest weather of the three.
     
  42. Wylde

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    I just read in that forbes article that average debt was like 25k a couple years ago (1984 or something was the date they gave).

    OP, Tell us when you make your decision, everyone is so jealous of you haha (myself very included, awesome job!).
     
  43. LovelyMD

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    I think money should be a factor, but it doesn't need to be the deciding factor. The OP didn't say what the cost difference was between the 3 schools so it's unclear whether the Michigan scholarship is making a tremendous difference.

    OP, I know that Harvard and Hopkins are awesome big-name schools and all, but you should actually like them if you're going to go there (and I see that you do like Hopkins... just make sure you also can do Baltimore). All the people I know who were accepted to both of those schools experienced a TREMENDOUS amount of pressure to attend one of them. I've heard the whole "I'd give my left kidney to get a degree from one of those schools" argument one too many times in the past few weeks. But don't just go there for the name, or you could potentially end up being miserable in the end. Make sure you have solid reasons to attend.
    FYI, I got accepted to all 3 schools also, and I'm at the point where I actually might be turning down all 3 (already turned down 2, and will think about the last one for a little bit), and I'm sure people will think I'm CRAZY for doing this, but hey, in the end, I'M the one that has to be happy with my choice.
     
  44. nonesuchgirl

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    You aren't from Baltimore, are you?
     

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