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Any regrets?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by dlc, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. dlc

    dlc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 1999
    Durham, NC
    This question is for anyone out there who had to choose between 2 different med schools, especially for those who had to decide whether to attend their state school or a top 5 or 10 school. Are you happy with your decision? Did anyone choose their state school because it was cheaper (this excludes California schools)?
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  3. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2001
    East Providence, RI

    Check your PM's.
  4. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    No and that is the wonder of choosing a CA school.
  5. abbeydesert

    abbeydesert Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2000
    I chose my unranked primary-care oriented state school over a top-20 school. Money was a major factor, but not the only one. I just couldn't be 100% certain that I would be happy at the expensive private school- and I felt the same way about the state school. So, I decided that it would be better to save the money and go to my state school. If you definitely like the top-5 or top-10 school better, go there. However, if you could be happy at your state school, save your money and go there. First, however, be sure to compare financial aid packages- some private schools offer enough financial aid to actually make them more affordable than many state schools. Unfortunately, the state raised our tuition a whopping 15% last year and another 15% this year- so I'm going to end up in almost as much debt as I would have had I chosen the other school!
    Do I have any regrets? I'd be a liar if I said no. Overall, I have enjoyed my MS1 year- my school has a lot of great things about it and I've met some great people and had some awesome experiences. However, there are things about my school that annoy me and there are times that I find myself thinking "Gee, if I had chosen the other school, I wouldn't have to deal with this." Of course, every school has its weaknesses, so I'm sure I would have thought the same thing the other way. Overall, there are enough advantages to my state school that I'm still comfortable with my decision (in spite of the ridiculous tuition increase.)
    Bottom line: go where you'll be happy- and don't let money be the only determinant of your decision.
  6. cchoukal

    cchoukal Senior Member Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    SF, CA
    my story is just like that of abbeydesert. I chose the state school for financial reasons, although they also have a very well developed study-abroad program for years 3-4. You'll never really know what you missed in either case. For me, and this will sound like it all comes down to money, but in the end, I calculated that my monthly loan payments at the private school would be about 600 bones more. That's $600 every month for ten years. That's a pretty fat car payment AND insurance. There's just no way I'd make that much more going to the "better" school; I'd never make my money back, so to speak.

    The one regret I might have is that I could have moved to a new city and struck out on my own to see something new. I can still do that for residency, though, and it won't cost a dime more than staying where I am. For reference, I turned down Pitt to go to Minnesota.

    If you can, check out where graduates from both of your options are matching for residency. You may see that grads from your state school are going to some pretty good programs or matching in your specialty of choice (or you may see that they're not, which is just as important).
  7. dlc

    dlc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 1999
    Durham, NC
    Wow Gale! See, I figure, it may not matter where I go to anyone else, even though some say that the name will help me, but it has always been my dream to go to this one school and I feel that I would regret it and wonder what would have happened if I didn't go. Do you mind me asking, what will your debt be like when you graduate? Are you going to do any service programs that reimburse you for tuition? Everybody has a different opinion but I don't think it would bother me to be in debt twice as long for going to my dream school over my state school (especially if I keep up on interest payments). What made you choose the top five school in the end?
  8. dlc

    dlc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 1999
    Durham, NC
    Also, GGale, did you ever consider transferring to a less expensive school or do you pretty feel at this point that you might as well follow it through?
  9. Doc AdamK in 2006

    Doc AdamK in 2006 Now 2 year UB Med Doc 7+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2002
    Defintely Buffalo
    I recently chose a SUNY school over a private school (NYMC) IF I went to NYMC, which is a great school but by going to a SUNY school I save $20k per year so $100K over four years. I will live at home so I save $10-15K per year. So I save $35K per year time 4 years $140k plus the interest. Thats nearly quater of a million dollars in savings.

  10. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader Banned Banned

    It's a good thing that I was only accepted into one school, because I'm the type that is always second guessing any major decisions in my life. My advice would be go with the cheaper school unless you are wealthy, most medical schools in the US are about the same and if you think that you would have succeeded at the higher ranked school, you will probably stand out even more at the lower ranked school. Maybe a list of the pros and cons for attending either school would help. Also, you might want to keep this list so that once you make your decision, you won't go back and regret it because you will know that you made the decision that made the most sense at the time.
  11. GoGas

    GoGas New Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    I personally think it does really matter where you went for medschool. Although I went to a state school and was accepted into one of top five hospitals in the country for my residency training, I must admit it was harder to compete against other candidates from prestigious medschool with similar credentials as mine. Also, the prestige of your medschool will stay with you for the rest of your life. If you are in doubt, think plainly. If you were a residency program director, wouldn't you be inclined to pick someone from Harvard vs others? I mean if they had similar credentials. If you really believe that you are a stud and can ace your boards and get all honors in your clinical years, then maybe you can attend less expensive school (I still would choose the top notch one). Some naive people might argue that it will be easier to stand out in less prestigious school than the top schools, but this is very unlikely. Medschool is challenging no matter where you attend. I think it is ridiculous to worry about the amount of loan you incurr during medschool. You will be in big debt no metter where! You only attend medschool once and don't let money be in your way.
  12. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2002
    I chose a 30 ranked something school over harvard/yale as an undergrad b/c well one of the primary reasons was money.

    but i know for medical school, i'd be willing to spend the extra bling bling if given the chance. i still love my underg tho!
  13. dlc

    dlc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 1999
    Durham, NC
    Wow, my thread has been revived!
    I am so glad to hear your thoughts because I did end up going with the top 5 school. I had heard so many different views but mainly I discovered that, those who had gone through school already and were at or beyond residency, shared your thoughts, while those who were still pre-med or just at the beginning stages of school, mostly thought that it didn't matter where you get your education. In fact, there is a thread in the pre-allo forum about whether your med school matters when going for a residency. It seemed like everytime I brought up how much it was going to cost me with someone outside of medicine or someone who hadn't gone through with it yet, they were appalled and this made me wonder whether such an expense was worth it, and whether the education was any different than at the state school. But I had many doctors tell me that the education would be different and that this was to be an investment in my career, in my life. It is hard right now, when I am nearly broke, to swallow such a debt...but like you say, I will more than make up for this when I am out and practicing. This makes me wonder if I should even put any effort into looking for scholarships. GGale, what type of scholarship did you get? I would love to find such a nice scholarship and I am hoping my financial aid office can help me out, I just have to get my butt over there now that I am living near the school! Also, GoGas, what field have you gone into? Was it a competitive one? Also, going to your state school, did you still have a pretty large debt?

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