CALguy123

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hi all,
i've been reading the forums for a while now but haven't posted yet. i wanted some opinions on Albany Medical College and Rosalind Franklin...i like the rosalind franklin location better....i know neither has that great of a reputation, but albany probably has a better one. but i do like rosalind franklin's match list. any opinions? would it be stupid to choose rosalind franklin over albany?
 

powermd

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CALguy123 said:
hi all,
i've been reading the forums for a while now but haven't posted yet. i wanted some opinions on Albany Medical College and Rosalind Franklin...i like the rosalind franklin location better....i know neither has that great of a reputation, but albany probably has a better one. but i do like rosalind franklin's match list. any opinions? would it be stupid to choose rosalind franklin over albany?
I interviewed at both schools and attended RF. RF is a great school that is truly up-an-coming. Lots of money has been invested in new facilities, curriculum revisions, and buildings over the past few years and the school is better than ever. Teaching was already excellent 4-5 years ago when I was an M1, it has only gotten better. Clinical instruction in the first two years gives a good foundation for clerkships, and our clerkship sites provide solid non-malignant training that has served me well going into internship. Among our hospitals you will have a chance to rotate through Cook County, Sinai, Christ, Lutheran, and Masonic hospitals, all of which provide a diverse array of patient populations and strong teaching services. Our match list is very good, and improving year over year. It's not as good as Harvard, Northwestern, or NYU- but it's still good list with impressive matches for the candidates deserving them. Between Albany and RF- I would go with RF, the training is probably better, and you will get to live in downtown Chicago for at least two years, and that's a pretty sweet deal.
 

Calizona

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powermd said:
I interviewed at both schools and attended RF. RF is a great school that is truly up-an-coming. Lots of money has been invested in new facilities, curriculum revisions, and buildings over the past few years and the school is better than ever. Teaching was already excellent 4-5 years ago when I was an M1, it has only gotten better. Clinical instruction in the first two years gives a good foundation for clerkships, and our clerkship sites provide solid non-malignant training that has served me well going into internship. Among our hospitals you will have a chance to rotate through Cook County, Sinai, Christ, Lutheran, and Masonic hospitals, all of which provide a diverse array of patient populations and strong teaching services. Our match list is very good, and improving year over year. It's not as good as Harvard, Northwestern, or NYU- but it's still good list with impressive matches for the candidates deserving them. Between Albany and RF- I would go with RF, the training is probably better, and you will get to live in downtown Chicago for at least two years, and that's a pretty sweet deal.
Hey guys, I am currently accepted at RF and waitlisted at Albany. I'm attempting to determine if I would attend Albany over RF if accepted. While I enjoy the fact that RF is newer, provides early patient exposure, and would allow for me to live in downtown Chicago for 2 years, I also like that Albany has a hospital attached to the facilities and is somewhat close to NYC. The students also seemed somewhat happier at Albany when I interviewed there. Plus the whole accredidation probation thing kinda puts a sour taste in my mouth (even though I know they'll regain full accredidation). Deciding between these two schools would be a toss up for me. Is there anyone out there who would surely choose one of these schools over the other? If so, why?
 

YzIa

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Calizona said:
Hey guys, I am currently accepted at RF and waitlisted at Albany. I'm attempting to determine if I would attend Albany over RF if accepted. While I enjoy the fact that RF is newer, provides early patient exposure, and would allow for me to live in downtown Chicago for 2 years, I also like that Albany has a hospital attached to the facilities and is somewhat close to NYC. The students also seemed somewhat happier at Albany when I interviewed there. Plus the whole accredidation probation thing kinda puts a sour taste in my mouth (even though I know they'll regain full accredidation). Deciding between these two schools would be a toss up for me. Is there anyone out there who would surely choose one of these schools over the other? If so, why?
Like you said, the probation really shouldn't be a problem as it happens somewhat often to schools. I wouldn't let that factor into your decision between the schools.
 

kingcer0x

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Albany is a great school with a proven (yet grossly understated on this message board) reputation amongst residency programs, especially in the northeast. I would choose there, if you could look over the price....
 

Calizona

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kingcer0x said:
Albany is a great school with a proven (yet grossly understated on this message board) reputation amongst residency programs, especially in the northeast. I would choose there, if you could look over the price....
How much more expensive is Albany than RF? I know that the total estimate cost for entering freshman into the 2005 class for RF is ~58000. What is it for Albany, if you count all factors (living expenses, tuition, etc)? Anyone have anymore opinions regarding the two schools that don' relate to the accredidation probation?
 

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I didn't really dig RF very much. They were my first acceptance, and I'll always appreciate them for it, but I'm glad I won't be going there.

The people were fine, but the facilities weren't very impressive and the presentation didn't teach you anything.

The weightroom? At least they have one, but one bench patched with duct tape?

The M1 classroom? No desks. Seriously. No I don't want to hold the three ring binder on my lap all day long.

The rec room? two pool tables, a foosball table, and a pingpong table...

The cafeteria...anyway.

I've lived in chicago, and north chicago is pretty far away...

I guess overall just not a good feeling for me.
 

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I interviewed at both Albany and RF last year and during the interview day I was much more impressed with Albany. I agree with one of the earlier posts that students at Albany seemed happier. I am now finishing my first year at Albany and have really enjoyed it. Neither location is ideal, but it partially depends on what you do in your free time. RF was in the middle of nowhere, but only a 45 min? drive from Chicago. Albany is about 2.5 hours from NYC, Boston, or Montreal so there are great places for weekend trips. I also like to ski, mountain bike, camp ect. and Albany is between the Catskiils, Adirondaks, Green mountains of Vermont, and the Birkshires of Mass so there is a lot for me to do around here. I got to ski around 20 days at Mount Snow in Vermont which is about 50 miles away. As far as costs, Albany probably has higher tuition but the cost of living is pretty cheep. As far as the quality of education Albany seems to have a pretty good reputation in the NE and our match results are also impressive. Albany also has an advantage of bing attached to a major hospital. I have on multiple ocasions observed in the OR in the moring for a couple hours before class starts five minutes down the hall. The organ based theme aproach is also very nice for the basic science years. Really I think the educational quallity at every medical school in the country is pretty good and the most important thing is how much you put into it. For me I knew I would be able to put more into medical school if I was still able to do the things I wanted with my free time.
 

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Calizona said:
How much more expensive is Albany than RF? I know that the total estimate cost for entering freshman into the 2005 class for RF is ~58000. What is it for Albany, if you count all factors (living expenses, tuition, etc)? Anyone have anymore opinions regarding the two schools that don' relate to the accredidation probation?
If I recall correctly, the tuition is higher at albany, around 39000, but the total cost estimate for one year with rent, food, etc., is around 49-50k. From what I've heard it's pretty cheap to live in albany, so that makes up the difference in tuition.
 

Calizona

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Badger150 said:
If I recall correctly, the tuition is higher at albany, around 39000, but the total cost estimate for one year with rent, food, etc., is around 49-50k. From what I've heard it's pretty cheap to live in albany, so that makes up the difference in tuition.
Well the 58000 is the financial aid estimate, which is always higher than the actual amount. ANyone receive a financial aid package from Albany? I am currently waitlisted and have not filled out any financial aid informaiton other than the fafsa. I remember someone mentioning like an AMC financial aid form. Does such a form exist? What steps did you guys take get completed in regards to financial aid to Albany?
 

Freakingzooming

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I've been fortunate to be accepted to both RF and Albany. I think there are some similarities to their pros and cons:

Albany:

Pros: Small class size (for me this is a plus but could easily be a con) about 100 to 120?, Teaching hospital attached. Has all the works- Level 1 trauma center, helicopter pad for ridealongs, pretty much the only major academic receiving center north of new york city area. Has the option of adding a distinction in ethics. For their match- they do well in placing their grads into the northeast area- especially new york. So if you want to stay on the east coast, I would lean to Albany. Also, Albany is a much older school that is more well known. School starts later than most (early September is start date).

Cons: Location, location, location- It's too far from NYC for anyone to cite that is a plus. Albany is not a city. The med school is in the dumps of Albany. It seems to be colder than North Chicago but that to me was just because it was further north. Cost- it's one of the most expensive schools, tuition wise. Also with high living costs, the school is really pricey. A little more than RF (which is at 37K), Albany is 39 K. I don't like the fact that they have the early acceptance programs with Union. You'll have groups that know each other before school starts. For its high tuition, you would expect decent facilities. The hospital and school is old and in need of repair. The lecture rooms were sorta dreary and had no wireless.

RF:

Pros: Student body is a lot larger (with the applied physiology people) you'll have about 225 students. Overall, North Chicago is not that far from Chicago. People may complain about it, you can still commute if you need to from Evanston or Wrigleyville. About 40 minutes to travel by car. There is no public transportation. Best in terms of clinical exposure during clinical years. Students are seriously allowed to do things at Cook County you wouldn't in some hospitals. I like EM so I'm impressed with their match list. They seem to place so well in surgery, EM, and the other competitive residencies, which indicates that residency directors recognize the clinical edge RF students have on other students. I've worked with several residents from RF and they are prepared. Some have done central lines and intubated ad naseum before they've become interns. RF has dorms that are very very nice. Decent for price and location next to campus.

Cons: Grading- ABCF.Sure, I can hear people say that it doesn't encourage competition but I've visited the school several times and each time, I saw students frentic and studying all the time. This may be why they do so well on boards. Expensive with no teaching hospitals. You'll have to move so if you're the type who wants to stay in one place for four years, you'll need to uproot come third year and move downtown or that area. RF's reputation is up and rebounding but the probation was a black mark that I hope doesn't taint anyone's view of the school because they're doing so much to improve their facilities, recruit researchers, and get financial funding. (I've heard the school is looking for a Catholic affiliation so they can have another hospital affliated for their students to do rotations. I'm okay with this but some people aren't).
 

Calizona

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Wow thank you for the in-depth description. If given the choice, choosing between these two schools will be harder than I previously thought. Sounds like you put some major previous thought into this (which is impressive and in a way expected). Did you choose either of these schools or NYMC?


Freakingzooming said:
I've been fortunate to be accepted to both RF and Albany. I think there are some similarities to their pros and cons:

Albany:

Pros: Small class size (for me this is a plus but could easily be a con) about 100 to 120?, Teaching hospital attached. Has all the works- Level 1 trauma center, helicopter pad for ridealongs, pretty much the only major academic receiving center north of new york city area. Has the option of adding a distinction in ethics. For their match- they do well in placing their grads into the northeast area- especially new york. So if you want to stay on the east coast, I would lean to Albany. Also, Albany is a much older school that is more well known. School starts later than most (early September is start date).

Cons: Location, location, location- It's too far from NYC for anyone to cite that is a plus. Albany is not a city. The med school is in the dumps of Albany. It seems to be colder than North Chicago but that to me was just because it was further north. Cost- it's one of the most expensive schools, tuition wise. Also with high living costs, the school is really pricey. A little more than RF (which is at 37K), Albany is 39 K. I don't like the fact that they have the early acceptance programs with Union. You'll have groups that know each other before school starts. For its high tuition, you would expect decent facilities. The hospital and school is old and in need of repair. The lecture rooms were sorta dreary and had no wireless.

RF:

Pros: Student body is a lot larger (with the applied physiology people) you'll have about 225 students. Overall, North Chicago is not that far from Chicago. People may complain about it, you can still commute if you need to from Evanston or Wrigleyville. About 40 minutes to travel by car. There is no public transportation. Best in terms of clinical exposure during clinical years. Students are seriously allowed to do things at Cook County you wouldn't in some hospitals. I like EM so I'm impressed with their match list. They seem to place so well in surgery, EM, and the other competitive residencies, which indicates that residency directors recognize the clinical edge RF students have on other students. I've worked with several residents from RF and they are prepared. Some have done central lines and intubated ad naseum before they've become interns. RF has dorms that are very very nice. Decent for price and location next to campus.

Cons: Grading- ABCF.Sure, I can hear people say that it doesn't encourage competition but I've visited the school several times and each time, I saw students frentic and studying all the time. This may be why they do so well on boards. Expensive with no teaching hospitals. You'll have to move so if you're the type who wants to stay in one place for four years, you'll need to uproot come third year and move downtown or that area. RF's reputation is up and rebounding but the probation was a black mark that I hope doesn't taint anyone's view of the school because they're doing so much to improve their facilities, recruit researchers, and get financial funding. (I've heard the school is looking for a Catholic affiliation so they can have another hospital affliated for their students to do rotations. I'm okay with this but some people aren't).
 

vcatz

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Freakingzooming said:
It's too far from NYC for anyone to cite that is a plus. Albany is not a city. The med school is in the dumps of Albany. It seems to be colder than North Chicago but that to me was just because it was further north.
While Albany is not NYC, Chicago, San Fran.... it is certainly not as bad as you make it out to be. Albany med is not in a bad part of the city. Arbor Hill is the worst section of Albany and it is miles from the campus. The downtown area while not huge is really nice and there are a number of great bars and resturants. The Pepsi arena/Saratoga Performing Arts Center get all of the major concert tours. There are a number of decent local semi-pro and college sports teams. Plus you are only an hour south of the Adirondacks which offers numerous outdoor activities.

Just thought you could use some info on Albany from a person who has spent a significant amout of time in that area.
 

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I interviewed at both and chose RF (then called Finch). Remember it is still Chicago Medical School. The location sucks, but you can live downtown and commute (I did). Chicago is an awesome city. The education at CMS rocks. You are well prepared for Step I and the wards. Plus our match list rocks. The school is not looking for a Catholic Affiliation as its heritage is Jewish. Do they want to make a stronger affiliation with some Catholic Hospitals - Yes. Bottom line, go anywhere you get in and have a life outside of medical school.
 

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I also interviewed at both schools and got accepted to both. I chose to attend Albany and cancelled my acceptance at RF. I just felt too disconnected from a clinical institution at Rosalind Franklin. For me it is a huge deal to be extremely close to a hospital. The medical school is fully connected to the hospital and I have been told that there are almost too many opportunities for clinical experiences at Albany. Plus, Albany has an outing committee that sets up group trips to NYC, Boston, and the Catskill Mountains for Skiing/snowboarding or hiking. I think this choice is somewhat of a toss up for some people. Either way, you'll be in med school, you'll be studying, you'll be making trips to the nearby city, and you'll be getting your M.D. Actually with financial aid stuff, I found Albany to be a cheaper school to go to than Rosalind Franklin. My friend at Albany pays $250 bucks a month for rent and told me that most people pay ~$300. Living is expensive near Rosalind Franklin. Their dorms are also pretty expensive. However, if you are looking for a place with newer facilities than Albany might not be the place for you. I think if you are solely concerned about reputation than this decision is somewhat of a toss up. Albany is like the 6th oldest med school in the nation which helps its reputation, but Rosalind Franklin seems to set students up well to do residencies in California. However, I really think that is because Rosalind Franklin takes so many students from California and they all want to go back. I think the previous post that went in to many details regarding both schools will be sufficient to show different people's opinions of Albany and RF. There isn't much left to say. Good luck picking.