Albany Medical College [OOS] vs TCOM [IS]

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gravityrules

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Hello Everyone. I have been having some trouble trying to decide between Albany Medical College and TCOM. I am a Texas Resident and so TCOM is very appealing to me because it is literally next to home and 25k/year. The only downside to this however is that it is a DO school. I also was accepted to Albany Medical College in New York which is an MD school thats been around a very long time. Its tuition is around 60k however and of course it is very far away. A small detail that might affect this is that TCOM is ranked on USNews and Albany is not. I think what I want to truly ask is if the price and distance are truly worth the MD brand. I do not currently have a specialty in mind that I am dead set on pursuing but I don't think I want to do anything surgical. Maybe at most anesthesiology or radiology. I would appreciate any opinion or viewpoint that would help me to make a better decision.

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If it were me, I'd go to Albany, and I was born and raised in DFW. No OMM, no double boards, and no prejudice from PDs when applying to residency make it worth the ~$200k extra to me. Rankings are arbitrary and don't make a difference in your scenario. Unfortunately, the labels do, and MD >>> DO.
 
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If it were me, I'd go to Albany, and I was born and raised in DFW. No OMM, no double boards, and no prejudice from PDs when applying to residency make it worth the ~$200k extra to me. Rankings are arbitrary and don't make a difference in your scenario. Unfortunately, the labels do, and MD >>> DO.
Thanks so much for the feedback. There really is alot of feedback and responses telling me to go. I appreciate the response truly.
 
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Hello Everyone. I have been having some trouble trying to decide between Albany Medical College and TCOM. I am a Texas Resident and so TCOM is very appealing to me because it is literally next to home and 25k/year. The only downside to this however is that it is a DO school. I also was accepted to Albany Medical College in New York which is an MD school thats been around a very long time. Its tuition is around 60k however and of course it is very far away. A small detail that might affect this is that TCOM is ranked on USNews and Albany is not. I think what I want to truly ask is if the price and distance are truly worth the MD brand. I do not currently have a specialty in mind that I am dead set on pursuing but I don't think I want to do anything surgical. Maybe at most anesthesiology or radiology. I would appreciate any opinion or viewpoint that would help me to make a better decision.
Pick MD over DO. If PSLF is still around; the tuition difference won’t matter.

The only exception is if you think you might struggle being away from home. Only you can answer that. If there’s a high likelihood for that, stay close to home, take the cheaper tuition, and apply to DO friendly programs. It’s better to be a strong DO student than a struggling MD student
 
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Pick MD over DO. If PSLF is still around; the tuition difference won’t matter.

The only exception is if you think you might struggle being away from home. Only you can answer that. If there’s a high likelihood for that, stay close to home, take the cheaper tuition, and apply to DO friendly programs. It’s better to be a strong DO student than a struggling MD student
Thank you for your input. I think everyone has been telling me to go and hearing it on SDN is giving me the courage to go for it.
 
Rankings are arbitrary and don't make a difference in your scenario. Unfortunately, the labels do, and MD >>> DO.
This has been consistent with my experience. Albany all the way.
 
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“Unranked” on USWNR is really misleading. It does not mean that the school is bad. It just means that the school withdrew from the rankings and is not giving USWNR any money. Recently, the water has been muddied because most schools withdrew about 1-2 years ago, so no one is really providing them information anymore. However, they are still using previous data that they collected before, which Albany, Tulane, MCW, Creighton, etc. never gave them. This certainly does not mean that these schools are ranked lower than DO programs.

With all that said, MD >> DO
 
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Thank you so much everybody for your input. I think all of your answers have been a resounding reassurance for my decision. Thanks again for all of your opinions.
 
If I were you, I would choose TCOM but if it were any other DO school then I would choose Albany. TCOM is a very respected school.
 
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If I were you, I would choose TCOM but if it were any other DO school then I would choose Albany. TCOM is a very respected school.
Hello. Thank you for the response. Could you elaborate on that a bit more or tell me about any benefits from attending TCOM?
 
Hello. Thank you for the response. Could you elaborate on that a bit more or tell me about any benefits from attending TCOM?
TCOM does well within the state from what I last recall. Some students have been swayed by the cheap in-state tuition (due to the state support the school gets that most DO schools do not) and the fact that they don’t plan on leaving Texas for residency or where they will practice.
 
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I am a TCOM graduate.

Truthfully, it’s hard for me to give you a great answer here. I had a good experience with TCOM. I matched my #1 (within the state) and have been quite happy with my decision to attend. Similarly, almost all of my friends matched towards the top of their list in their desired specialties.

As others have said, TCOM is a regional powerhouse with uncertain prospects in other parts of the country. We do regularly send people to big names (eg Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, JHU), but you may find that not every program even among those institutions is willing to look at you on the basis of letters despite alumni in sister programs.

In terms of research etc., I don’t think there’s a strong argument either way as I tend to believe TCOM and UNTHSC have relatively strong research and other student involvement activities. I wouldn’t let that sway you if it was on your mind.

The rotation experience at TCOM is excellent. Almost all of my rotations were done at JPS and I felt the education there was top-tier. With that said, we do have some rotations at Medical City (HCA) which is a noticeably worse experience. All third year rotations are scheduled by the school and you basically just need to show up, but your fourth year rotations will be on your own. While TCOM does offer many in-house rotations for this, my understanding is that ultimately many MD programs have an easier time and larger breadth of selection for fourth-year rotations.

In terms of cost, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the significant cost difference as this will make a substantial impact on your life in the immediate and foreseeable future in terms of the payments that you may be required to make or if, for whatever reason, PSLF does not pan out as it does not always for everyone.

If you think you’d be happier at one versus the other, I think you should take that option and not look back. The worst thing you do will be the regret of not choosing the place you wished you’d had and it’ll probably haunt you for all four years.
 
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TCOM does well within the state from what I last recall. Some students have been swayed by the cheap in-state tuition (due to the state support the school gets that most DO schools do not) and the fact that they don’t plan on leaving Texas for residency or where they will practice.
I am a TCOM graduate.

Truthfully, it’s hard for me to give you a great answer here. I had a good experience with TCOM. I matched my #1 (within the state) and have been quite happy with my decision to attend. Similarly, almost all of my friends matched towards the top of their list in their desired specialties.

As others have said, TCOM is a regional powerhouse with uncertain prospects in other parts of the country. We do regularly send people to big names (eg Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, JHU), but you may find that not every program even among those institutions is willing to look at you on the basis of letters despite alumni in sister programs.

In terms of research etc., I don’t think there’s a strong argument either way as I tend to believe TCOM and UNTHSC have relatively strong research and other student involvement activities. I wouldn’t let that sway you if it was on your mind.

The rotation experience at TCOM is excellent. Almost all of my rotations were done at JPS and I felt the education there was top-tier. With that said, we do have some rotations at Medical City (HCA) which is a noticeably worse experience. All third year rotations are scheduled by the school and you basically just need to show up, but your fourth year rotations will be on your own. While TCOM does offer many in-house rotations for this, my understanding is that ultimately many MD programs have an easier time and larger breadth of selection for fourth-year rotations.

In terms of cost, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the significant cost difference as this will make a substantial impact on your life in the immediate and foreseeable future in terms of the payments that you may be required to make or if, for whatever reason, PSLF does not pan out as it does not always for everyone.

If you think you’d be happier at one versus the other, I think you should take that option and not look back. The worst thing you do will be the regret of not choosing the place you wished you’d had and it’ll probably haunt you for all four years.
Thank you very much for both of your inputs. It is refreshing to see another viewpoint. Another concern I have is that I don't know 100 percent what specialty I might want to do in the future. I do understand that there are some specialties that DO students are outright rejected from or specialties I have never seen a DO student land in. I.e. Plastic Surgery. The thing that gives me pause is that I am not sure if I want to do surgery. Because of that I think I would regret losing out on the opportunity for those specialties by attending TCOM. I've heard wonderful things about JPS and the students seem very happy at TCOM. I am not too sure about PSLF not panning out but what I understand is that working at a nonprofit hospital is sufficient.
 
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Thank you very much for both of your inputs. It is refreshing to see another viewpoint. Another concern I have is that I don't know 100 percent what specialty I might want to do in the future. I do understand that there are some specialties that DO students are outright rejected from or specialties I have never seen a DO student land in. I.e. Plastic Surgery. The thing that gives me pause is that I am not sure if I want to do surgery. Because of that I think I would regret losing out on the opportunity for those specialties by attending TCOM. I've heard wonderful things about JPS and the students seem very happy at TCOM. I am not too sure about PSLF not panning out but what I understand is that working at a nonprofit hospital is sufficient.
You can do general surgery. To be realistic, there will be many who go to Albany hoping to do derm, plastics, ortho etc and will have to readjust expectations as they actually go through classes and exams. It is up to you how you want to weigh those chances.
 
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You can do general surgery. To be realistic, there will be many who go to Albany hoping to do derm, plastics, ortho etc and will have to readjust expectations as they actually go through classes and exams. It is up to you how you want to weigh those chances.
I appreciate your feedback. It is pessimistic but definitely realistic. I understand that there is.a general idea of DO being able to do what an MD student can but how about things like unmatched percentages across the board. It always seems that DO students are at a disadvantage compared to MD.
 
Just so you can make an informed decision, I think the best stats are the “by preferred specialty” stats (what the applicant ranked #1) that the NRMP releases a few months after match day every other year. They haven’t released 2024 yet, but 2022 shows the following match rates in competitive specialties:

Anesthesiology
- MD - 90%
- DO - 66%

Dermatology
- MD - 72%
- DO - 50%

Diagnostic Radiology
- MD - 83%
- DO - 67%

Gen Surg
- MD - 82%
- DO - 62%

IR
- MD - 81%
- DO - 59%

NSG
- MD - 74%
- DO - 43%

OBGYN
- MD - 84%
- DO - 65%

Ophthalmology (2024 SF match data)
- MD - 75%
- DO - 32% (19/59)

Ortho
- MD - 66%
- DO - 56%

Otolaryngology
- MD - 69%
- DO - 60%

Plastics
- MD - 63%
- DO - 0%

Vascular Surgery
- MD - 76%
- DO - 7% (1/13)

Keep in mind that some of these stats (like vascular surgery) are skewed because there are not many DO applicants, perhaps because they are aware of the bias and weed themselves out ahead of time.
 
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Just so you can make an informed decision, I think the best stats are the “by preferred specialty” stats (what the applicant ranked #1) that the NRMP releases a few months after match day every other year. They haven’t released 2024 yet, but 2022 shows the following match rates in competitive specialties:

Anesthesiology
- MD - 90%
- DO - 66%

Dermatology
- MD - 72%
- DO - 50%

Diagnostic Radiology
- MD - 83%
- DO - 67%

Gen Surg
- MD - 82%
- DO - 62%

IR
- MD - 81%
- DO - 59%

NSG
- MD - 74%
- DO - 43%

OBGYN
- MD - 84%
- DO - 65%

Ophthalmology (2024 SF match data)
- MD - 75%
- DO - 32% (19/59)

Ortho
- MD - 66%
- DO - 56%

Otolaryngology
- MD - 69%
- DO - 60%

Plastics
- MD - 63%
- DO - 0%

Vascular Surgery
- MD - 76%
- DO - 7% (1/13)

Keep in mind that some of these stats (like vascular surgery) are skewed because there are not many DO applicants, perhaps because they are aware of the bias and weed themselves out ahead of time.
Thank you so much for this data. This is what I have been looking at.
 
Thank you so much for this data. This is what I have been looking at.

No problem. With that info in mind, especially after looking at how the TCOM and Albany match history aligns with these trends, for me Albany would be the obvious choice.
 
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