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Aaargh...can't decide: Columbia vs. UMich

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by CBG23, May 13, 2008.

  1. CBG23

    10+ Year Member

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    Took the following questions from a similar thread by Macbook Pro and added a bit more:

    Factors:
    1) Quality of education?
    2) Quality of teaching hospitals?
    3) Quality of students?
    4) Quality of faculty?
    5) Research opportunities?
    6) Location?
    7) Residency match?
    8) Prestige in medicine (to residencey directors and others)?
    9) Quality of Doctorate programs? (I am thinking about applying MSTP after my first two years)
    10) Prestige of Doctorate programs?
     
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  3. Textuality

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    There was a spreadsheet somebody had that had residency director ranking on it...don't remember the name of the thread though :(
     
  4. CBG23

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  5. Multiplex

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    For schools so close in quality overall, I'm sure it's got to come down to personal preferences: most importantly, money, and also location. I'd choose Michigan under those criteria, but it'll differ for everyone. As far as I know, there's no significant difference between the two in most of the listed categories, though I don't know about how the hospitals or Ph.D. programs compare. Good luck with this awesome decision!
     
  6. loganhayes

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    You have a tough choice there. Both are excellent schools. In case you haven't noticed, Columbia med school is located near Harlem, not at the main campus. It looks a little bit unsafe and takes forever by subway from Manhattan. But I am biased, I would choose Columbia P&S despite its location. This really comes down to your preference.
     
  7. searun

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    Hmm. Harlem... Well, there are people of color in the area. That is true. Also alot of Spanish spoken around there, apparently.
     
  8. coin18

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    yeah the columbia campus is a bit dangerous and in the middle of nowhere. i loved umich when i was there - it just seemed like a much happier place than columbia, which depressed the heck out of me. i also really didn't like columbia's curriculum. personally i'd go with umich hands down
     
  9. TexanGirl

    TexanGirl runs away from trees
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    :confused: It is in Manhattan.
     
  10. LovelyMD

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    P&S is actually in Washington Heights (a part of Manhattan), which is a largely Dominican area. I personally like the Heights since I like Dominican culture, but others may disagree.

    I think it really does come down to personal preference. I ruled Michigan out because in the end I wanted to be within 5 hrs driving distance of home, and preferred to be in a large city. Not to mention the fact that Columbia was also cheaper for me...
     
  11. MsJLewis

    MsJLewis Retired Pre-med
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    Columbia Med is NOT in Harlem. It is in Washington Heights.. which is next to what is traditionally considered Harlem (Hamilton Heights). Its relatively safe neighborhood considering you ARE in NYC which is not (and I'll be honest) the safest city in the world. The neighborhood is predominantly Spanish (largely Dominican). And its only a 15 minute trip to mid-town Time Square area.. a little more (25 min) to trendier areas in lower Manhattan... which is quite short if you ask me (I commute 1hr 15 min from Westchester to Time Square for work everyday).

    Just wanted to clarify some items about Columbia! If I were in your shoes it would come down to MONEY and location. I've heard Ann Arbor can be cool! I would chose Columbia though FWIW. Good luck!
     
  12. loganhayes

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    Yea, Manhattan. I don't know about you, but when you are at 160th street and above, you are no where near Times Square. Translation: there is nothing there. That's more than 100 blocks. And it is 50 blocks away from the Morningside campus. I felt it took forever when I drove to the medical campus. It took even longer when I took the subway. A bit scary too when I had to pass Harlem, above or under ground.
     
  13. Multiplex

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    True, there are more dangerous neighborhoods in NY than Washington Heights, but there are also much safer neighborhoods (see Cornell, NYU, Mount Sinai). So I wouldn't describe Wash Heights as "relatively safe"--it's more fair to say "not particularly dangerous". Muggings certainly aren't rare. That said, more than crime, the problem for me is that it's just kind of desolate up there in terms of restaurants, entertainment, non-basic shops, etc.

    But I second that it should come down to money--and without knowing the OP's individual circumstances, I assume money points to Michigan.
     
  14. CubaLibre

    CubaLibre member
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    throw that school stuff out the window. it's Washington Heights vs. Ann Arbor.
     
  15. MsJLewis

    MsJLewis Retired Pre-med
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    True but I think we're just debating semantics. Whatever you want to label the neighborhood, it does (as CubraLibre stated) comes down to Washington Heights vs. Ann Arbor. I know UMich does give out a lot of merit scholarship but Columbia may be cheaper if you have significantly financial need. Either way you can't go wrong! Only one more day!
     
  16. DrJD

    DrJD Junior Member
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    I'd vote for University of Michigan... Wolverines!

    Seriously, seems like since the caliber of school is relatively the same, you can't beat the better cost of living/quality of living in Ann Arbor... Just my two cents, regardless congrats on the acceptances to two great schools!
     
  17. bozz

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    How is Columbia not more prestigious than UMich :confused:
     
  18. loganhayes

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    Err,... I would give my UCSF acceptance, if I had one, in exchange for UMich. Seriously.
     
  19. bozz

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    From what I've heard from ONE doctor directly involved in the residency selection, coming from an Ivy League school is an automatic plus. They are normally favored over state-school applicants, regardless how highly the state-school may be ranked.

    I guess they have their own internal rankings system and naturally value Ivy-league candidates over others.

    Again, this is one doctor's opinion ^
     
  20. Multiplex

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    Funny, I've actually heard the exact opposite ("we look only to quality of programs, we don't lean to 'brand name' schools") -- but again from just *one* doctor. In any event, the stats to answer this question are out there.
     
  21. MacBook Pro

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    My opinion, based on what I've read and heard from students, doctors, and researchers.

    Factors:
    1) Quality of education? Very similar in all top 20 schools
    2) Quality of teaching hospitals? NYP/Columbia is top 3 in the nation, rich history, 2nd oldest in the country, world-renowned. UMich does not have the same level of national/international recognition, but very highly regarded in the Midwest.
    3) Quality of students? Difficult to say. If you just compare the undergrad institutions represented, Columbia--70% of their class is Ivy+stanford+mit. Last year's class had about 40 students from Harvard/Yale alone. The other 30% are mostly from top national/liberal arts programs. UMich is mostly UMich undergrads (however you feel about that).
    4) Quality of faculty? Columbia's faculty are leaders in their respective fields. A lot of Nobel prize winners. I would characterize Columbia's faculty as celebrities in medicine. Eric Kandel and Oliver Sacks come to mind.
    5) Research opportunities? They both have a lot of money, so there isn't a big difference. This pretty much applies to all top 20 schools.
    6) Location? How you feel about the location depends on your personality and goals. For example, I've always wanted to do my residency in NYC and eventually work in NYC, so Columbia is great for me. This is different for different people.
    7) Residency match? Both schools will allow you to match in competitive specialties, but Columbia students match at better institutions.
    8) Prestige in medicine (to residencey directors and others)? Columbia hands down.
    9) Quality of Doctorate programs? (I am thinking about applying MSTP after my first two years). Probably depends on what you want to do, but I would say Columbia.
    10) Prestige of Doctorate programs? Columbia hands down.
     
  22. radi0headfan

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    please do explain
     

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