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acceptance dilemma: what would you do??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bleedingheart, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. bleedingheart

    bleedingheart 2+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    as a SUPER late applicant, i had a pretty unsuccessful application cycle this past year - until today. i just got accepted off u maryland's waitlist. i love the school so it's very exciting, but now i'm stuck in an interesting predicament:

    -i'm a 3.8, 34 MCAT washington state resident & university of washington was my top choice
    -at my university of washington exit interview, the dean told me that based on my numbers and experience, i'm an excellent candidate for this upcoming cycle if i can get a bit more clinical experience
    -the price difference is, by a conservative estimate, $30-40,000 a year

    if you were in my position, would you move across the country and accrue a LOT more debt but take this certain opportunity to start medical school now, or would you take the risk of waiting until next year to try for uw again?

    any ideas or comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.. i'm freaking out! thank you..
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  3. 194342

    194342 Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    I'd take it. You can't get a solid guarantee you'll get in anywhere next year. I think your stats are good but just take it.
  4. Gut Shot

    Gut Shot 10+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2003
    There are no guarantees in life. This time next year you can either be 1.) wrapping up your M1 year in Baltimore, 2.) waiting to start M1 year at UW, 3.) still waiting to get accepted to UW, or 4.) rejected from UW and contemplating suicide.

    It's not an easy decision, but an acceptance in hand is worth a thousand kind words from a dean. Go to Maryland and never look back.
  5. 172858

    172858 America = The New Texas 2+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2007
    that's one helluva bind.

    i usually always advise people to take the best financial situation when deciding between two schools they can't decide between. however, your situation is amazingly unique, and one i never have heard of nor have considered before.

    generally, people say that turning down an acceptance to apply again is a death sentence. so i would stick pretty hardfast to that rule.

    however, if you can somehow be 100% assured that would would get into UW next cycle, it would be well worth the savings. such assurances aren't really much of a possibility, unless you're in one of those assured admission programs prior to admission (or, apparently, the son of a republican donor and university of florida medical school applicant). so i just don't see any way you could feasibly turn down an acceptance - no matter how much it costs in comparison to a hypothetical acceptance that you don't even know you will get.

    either way, best of luck. :luck: but if i were you, i'd have to just take the acceptance and run.
  6. Isis24

    Isis24 5+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2008
    If you reapply, there are no guarantees. I would take the acceptance.
  7. pianola

    pianola MS2 7+ Year Member

    May 23, 2008
    Hold the phone. $30-40,000...PER YEAR? That's a LOT of $$ and would certainly drive my decision. It's up to you and it may be a talk you need to have with your family and/or anyone who's helping you pay for med school.
  8. DrJD

    DrJD Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Personally, I'd take university of Maryland... I know it is a lot of money per year, but you will also be a doctor one year sooner which will help compensate for some of that money, ya know? So as a primary care doctor thats 150 thousand, so then you are only down about 10 thousand if you assume 40 thousand a year difference... I know I didn't explain the math very well, but bottom line I'd take University of Maryland and the for sure thing...

    Best of luck in your decision!!
  9. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    hSDN Alumni
    Take the acceptance and transfer if the finances don't work out. I don't think you can afford to turn down an acceptance in hopes that you'll get another next year.
  10. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    2 thoughts:

    1) Can you be considered in-state at UMD after one year?
    2) Do you have any idea what field you want to go into?

    The reason I ask #2 is that you're looking at accruing, let's say, $120K more debt to wait a year and maybe get into UW. However, that's also a loss of one year of physician salary. Even if that $120K is $180K after interest, that's still equivalent to a year of your conservative salary. Much less so if you go into something like specialty surgery, radiology, gas, etc. And this is all assuming you'd be considered OOS for 4 years.

    So, in sum, I would take your acceptance and go to UMD. It's a guaranteed acceptance and you wouldn't be saving any by waiting a year for UW in the long run.
  11. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff 2+ Year Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    I guess it depends on what you will be doing if you don't go to Maryland. I had a similar situation. I was accepted off the wait-list by Oregon three days before classes were to start, but I was also in the last year of my MPH. A doc friend of mine said that I was choosing between two good things, which helped put it into perspective, so I turned Oregon down. Of course they ended up ranking me much lower when I interviewed the next year, but it all worked out cause I got into another med school.

    I suspect you probably know the answer in your heart. Don't worry so much about money, or time, and go with your gut...

    Good luck!
  12. brsboarder

    brsboarder 10+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    I just read Maryland's residency laws and they suck:

    Requirements for Residency Classification: In-state status is granted to students who have maintained a domicile in Maryland for at least twelve consecutive months prior to the last day for late registration for the semester for which in-state status is sought (see Evidence of Domicile
    defined below). Students must provide at least one half or more of their financial support for the entire 12-month period preceding the semester in which in-state status is sought. The presumption of non-residence is raised if: 1) the student was attending high school or residing outside Maryland at the time of application for admission to a USM institution; 2) the student is both (a) not financially independent and (b) is financially dependent upon a person not a resident of Maryland.

    I would call Maryland and see if there is any way to claim residency. Also, did you receive your financial aid package? Talk to financial aid before making any decision.

    Regardless, you might put yourself in a difficult situation if you decline to enter medical school.
  13. overthebars

    overthebars 2+ Year Member

    Oct 3, 2007
    There is basically no way I can think of that you would able to turn this acceptance down and justify it to an admissions committee next year. Personally, watching the trend in the applicants the last few years it has gotten much more competitive than 4-5 years ago. I think next year is going to be worse. Besides your residency training is way more important than med school, so you still have time to gun for your #1. Tell UM you're on your way. Congratulations & enjoy the ride.
  14. jult24er

    jult24er 2+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2007
    might as well at least write the UW Dean, explain/remind him/her, of your predicament/exit-interview and see if he can guarentee, or maybe "guarentee" an acceptance next year. i see other posters say thats pretty much impossible, but no harm in taking a shot.

    seems to be one of those, only you can make the decision, in the end, but id agree it depends alot on how much youd enjoy the next year doing something other then school and how in a hurry you are to start school / prepare for being able to start a family. but i baisically agree with the bird in the hand, and, assuming a $56,000 savings from going to UW, a $50,000 salary next year if you dont go to med school, a discount rate of 8%, $150,000 / year as a Dr. and a carear until 2050 in either scenario, its only a total difference of $17,000.

    can i ask if you were in the top or bottom half of the waitlist, as a former UM waitlisted / late app / 34 mcater myslef?
  15. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel 5+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    Unfortunately, you can't just transfer med schools due to finances. Medical schools have a very set number of students in their classes and do not accept transfers unless students drop out, which usually opens up only a few spots per class. These spots are preferentially given to transfer applicants who have a spouse who has a job in that area and/or other VERY COMPELLING reasons. "My med school costs too much" is not one of them. Additionally, schools usually only accept transfers after 2nd year.
  16. Ashers

    Ashers Bacteria? Don't exist. Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    Land of Entrapment
    From what I've heard (my friends in my med school who are WA residents), UW is notoriously hard. I had friends try for 2 years (with better stats than yours) to get in to UW, told they'd be great candidates, and they didn't get in when they reapplied.

    I'd go with the Maryland acceptance.
  17. pianola

    pianola MS2 7+ Year Member

    May 23, 2008
    That would be my worry. A 34 MCAT gets less and less competitive as we speak, even it if it IS a terrific score (congratulations).
  18. ACSurgeon

    ACSurgeon Acute Care Surgeon Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    You already have an acceptance. Take it! Dean's tell you all sorts of stuff to make you feel better about yourself. I am sure the Dean was trying to give you hope in case you didn't get in anywhere, not a guarantee by any means. I am sure that if you ask that same Dean what to do, he/she would tell you to go to Maryland! Regarding the 30-40K increase in price, keep in mind that by sitting out for a year you just lost a potential 130+ thousand in lost wages. Unless the moving across the country is such a huge factor for you (aka might cause you to fail out or fail a year or kill yourself), I would say take it. However, if it was such a factor, why would you have applied that far to begin with? Best of luck, and I hope you take that acceptance!
  19. cpants

    cpants Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    Choosing between two acceptances, I always recommend going to the cheaper school, but even if staying in state is free it is just too much of a risk to turn down an acceptance.

    Even if the dean does have the power to guarantee your admission, things can change overnight. For one thing, deans get fired (or promoted) out of power all the time. Regardless, the dean didn't even come close to guaranteeing your acceptance. He said you would be very competitive next year. You were already very competitive this year, and you didn't get accepted. Don't roll the dice!
  20. jka0067

    jka0067 5+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    This. Plus, I've read on UW's website that they haven't accepted a transfer for over a decade.

    I'd talk to the dean again and explain your situation. If he is unwilling to guarantee a spot, take the one at Maryland.
  21. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Wire Jockey Trainee Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Its difficult but not impossible to get in-state after 1 year at Maryland. I was already in-state but some of my classmates managed it. The trick is to show that you are "setting up shop" in Maryland and "putting down roots" as the point of in-state tuition at a public medical school is to encourage Marylanders to stay in Maryland and practice here.

    The easy stuff: move to the state as early as you possibly can. As soon as you can when you move here, change your voter registration to Maryland, get your Maryland license, change your car registration & plates to Maryland. Get involved in the community in some tangible way. If you are religious and attend religious services, find a home church/synagogue/mosque/whatever and attend regularly and get to know the priest/pastor/rabbi/imam/whatever so you can get a letter of recommendation singing your praises about how involved you are when the time comes. If you're not religious find something else to get involved in that would give the same appearance of "putting down roots." If you have family living in Maryland, that helps some but not a lot.

    The bad news: the two specific examples of non-married students that I know who managed in-state residency after MSI both bought a house/condo here. In both these cases, the individuals family members helped the student buy "investment properties" which they put in the student's name. This was done with the understanding that said family members would be reimbursed for the loan at a later point in time.

    I know there was someone who did not buy a property who was still trying to get in-state status but I don't know if they were successful.

    Best of luck :luck:
  22. The Nephilim

    The Nephilim 2+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Humble yourself and go now. It's unfortunate that it ended up like this, but you have to take what you were given.

    Also, I thought the exit interview was more to give advice on how you can get into medical school period (not just UW). You've already done that. It won't fly next year when they ask why you didn't go when you had the chance.
  23. WSUCougar2012

    WSUCougar2012 2+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2008
    I'm from WA too and I would definitely take the acceptance at the University of Maryland.

    It's going to be much harder to gain acceptances in the next cycle and the fact that you got one now, even though you applied late, is awesome.

    I know the UW is great for medical school and it's definitely cheaper than Maryland, but you can't let this acceptance slip away. UW is my #1 as well, but if I were in your shoes, I would take the acceptance.

    Good luck!
  24. WellWornLad

    WellWornLad 10+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Humble yourself? Unfortunate? That's a bit harsh.

    But yeah, what everyone else is saying. Don't forget that the hypothetical earnings you'd miss out on by skipping a year would come from the (better paying) end of your career rather than the fresh-out-of-residency end.
  25. Tygacil

    Tygacil Phar_MD 5+ Year Member

    May 9, 2008
    Two words: Go Terps!
  26. BTC

    BTC 7+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2008
    How old are you? Almost every single resident I've talked to said their number one regret was not taking some time off between undergrad and medical school. What's the possibility of deferring your Maryland acceptance for a year and then applying to UW this cycle?
  27. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Columbus, OH
    i was under the impression that you would have to sign something that says that you won't apply anywhere else, if you want to defer... i could be wrong though...
  28. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. Emdee Jaydee Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    I would definitely give that a shot. Can't hurt. And if you can't get a guaranteed spot in next year's class (I do remember reading (VERY infrequently though) of someone getting a guaranteed spot for the next year when the school was very interested in them but just didn't have room to let them in off the waitlist), I agree with the other posters that you should take the acceptance you have and start med school this year at Maryland. Congrats on your acceptance!

    I agree. I'd be absolutely shocked if you could defer for a year and meanwhile apply to other schools.
  29. brsboarder

    brsboarder 10+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    Good shot getting a Dean to give you a spot in next years class. You interviewed this year, and didn't get in. If he truly thought you were perfect, you would have been accepted no? So, go to Maryland, talk to financial aid, and everyone else and figure out how to best get residency. Lucidsplash had some good ideas. I would talk to MSII's and III's and get it done.
  30. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Wire Jockey Trainee Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Deferring off waitlists almost never ever happens at any school including Maryland. The point of a waitlist is to fill the current incoming class. The school gains nothing by giving you a spot in next year's class when what they're doing is looking to finish filling their incoming class.
  31. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    You should try to find out what other students heard at their exit interviews. I wouldn't be surprised if the Dean told many students they would be an "excellent candidate" if they did more clinical work, research, demonstrated leadership, blah blah blah.

    I had a similar experience as you, I have similar stats and applied really late. I also wanted to go to UW, but got rejected post interview from UW and got an acceptance elsewhere (which will cost me quite a bit extra). I am planning to go med school this year for several reasons.

    First, if you reapply every school will ask why you dropped an acceptance. Your answer, which is you want to go to UW, will only work at UW. Second, there is no guarantee UW won't pass on you next time. Furthermore med school is a long process. You may want to enter a residency program that is 4 to 5 years long. That means 8 to 9 years from now you will start earning a decent paycheck to pay off your debt. For me, it really wasn't beneficial to wait a year just to try to get into UW.

    You have to decide whether waiting to get into UW and saving 30k/year is more important to you than a guarantee to become a doctor.
    I have a feeling you will decide to go to Maryland and in 10 years you will be laughing at how much you freaked out over this.
  32. LadyWolverine

    LadyWolverine 10+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Hiding in your closet
    This is very similar to my own experience. UW was my top choice the first time I applied to medical school. I moved to Seattle as soon as I finished undergrad, became a WA state resident, spent a few years working as a researcher at UW Med, filled out my EC profile a bit more, and applied to medical school. I made their in-state interview cutoff based on my GPA and MCAT score, and thought that I had a pretty good shot at admission, based on my vested interest in and work history with UW, and the fact that my PI and another professor at the medical school wrote UW-specific recommendation letters that went directly to the Dean of Admissions. I was also ecstatic that I was extended an interview so early in the season (I believe it was in August).

    My interview was a nightmare (3 on 1 format, with one of the interviewers being a very sleepy 4th year, and another an over-the-top argumentative PhD-type who no doubt was trying to rattle the interviewees' cages by disagreeing with every single answer), and I was told point-blank at the conference table that I was "too highly opinionated." Lame excuses aside, I was a bit disappointed in my performance but nevertheless held onto my high hopes that my work history and strong desire to remain in Washington State would demonstrate how committed I was to UW.

    Not even 3 weeks later, I received my rejection. I was devastated. It meant that I had to leave town.

    Oddly enough, I am now at Maryland. (Maryland is my official "home state," and it wasn't too hard to re-establish residency here once I moved from Seattle.) I completely understand how you feel - I really do love Washington. I didn't want to leave. I missed having my established social network, my favorite spots, etc. It was difficult to return to an area with which I have a very long-standing love-hate relationship. Baltimore is no Seattle, that's for sure.

    However, you have to keep in mind that there are no guarantees. I was certain that I had a decent shot at UW, and they slammed the door on me. You may think that you are sitting on top of a winning lottery ticket ("if I just apply a little earlier next time..."), but everyone feels that way. It would be extremely foolish to give up an acceptance to a school because you are speculating that you *might* have a good shot at UW next cycle, regardless of what the Dean told you. Unless he outright offered you admission to next year's class, nothing is guaranteed.

    Take the sure thing. I learned to adapt to life in Baltimore, and I really, really love my school. Maryland has graduated students who have gone to UW for residency, so it is possible to return to the PNW. Unless you would be going to UW on full scholarship, I believe that your estimation of the cost difference is a bit off. And, if your screenname is reflective of your personality, you will fit in very well at Maryland.

    The only way that there would be any real "decision" to make is if you had been guaranteed admission to UW. Since you haven't, what's the point of speculating about something that you don't even have?

    Good luck.

    Edit: A little perspective - You got into medical school. Off of a waitlist. In June. You should be jumping for joy, not having regrets. You're going to be a doctor. There are people who would kill to have your spot.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  33. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . . Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member


    There are no guarantees in life. Do not turn down what might be your only shot at med school.
  34. dnagyrase

    dnagyrase 10+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    you gotta go to baltimore. hopefully you found some way to eventually be a state resident but you gotta go to baltimore.
  35. 87138

    87138 Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    I'd take it. I'll be OOS at Maryland too, and while the indebtedness will certainly suck (looking at possibly just over a quarter million after four years....) I'm really looking forward to it.

    I've seriously (well, half seriously) considered getting legally married to a girl I went to high school with who has been living in Maryland for the past 6 or 7 years in an attempt to try to establish state residency . . . :eek:
  36. DenaliView

    DenaliView 2+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2008

    Where are you from orginally? Your stats are extremely good but correct me if I am wrong isn't the rate of acceptance for UWSoM really really low if you are not part of the WWAMI circut?? I think personally I would get going at Maryland. You have worked very hard and it would be tempting to hold out for your dream school but that will also tack on a whole extra year on completing your degree. Also I agree with the above comment their was no gaureentee from University of Washington and that can possibly put you in a really tight spot later on. Either way congrats on your acceptance and good luck!!!:luck:
  37. bleedingheart

    bleedingheart 2+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    hey everyone, thank you so much for all the great advice. i knew in my heart the moment i heard the news that i couldn't possibly turn the offer down, and hearing what all of you had to say made me realize that heading to maryland is the right decision.. so thank you.
    to med school i go!
    and for the record, i am literally beside myself with excitement.
  38. Vihsadas

    Vihsadas No summer Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    An Igloo

    Listen to this! :thumbup:

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