rager1

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Ok,

I'm writing this one up because no one knows about Yale decisions yet, and I figure a hypothetical might avoid the flames that have been on the other versus threads.

Anyway, I haven't seen much talk about Baylor despite the fact that it's a highly ranked school in a remarkable medical center.

So for those of you out there, what do you think about a choice between the two schools?

--Rager
 

Trekkie963

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Baylor is an awesome school. Better weather than Yale, better medical center, and much cheaper (even out-of-state).

I have heard negative things about people's experiences at Yale. Baylor is definitely a stressful school, but people there are still very nice and the faculty is caring. You get into clinics 6 months earlier than at Yale (of course this means a little more pressure) and you have some great elective opportunities. Plus the first semester is pass/fail.

Baylor may not be my personal top-choice, but I know a ton of people who have chosen to go there and love it. I would recommend it.
 

Tone2002

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Save your money and go to Baylor. Especially since you are a Texas Resident, and I'm sure Baylor will/has offer you scholarship money too.
 

JohnHolmes

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I'd take Yale anyday. The only thing I would even consider is cost, and being a TX resident, maybe that will figure in, maybe not. Depends on whether you want to make an "investment for the future" or how much the rents will pay.

CCW
 

crimson39

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Houston weather is like hell during certain parts of the year. The humidity can be unbareable at times, it is often 100%. Yeah, you probably won't be there during the summer, when it's at its worst, but Houston is not SoCal. The public transportation is practically non-existent; you will have to have a car to live there. Parking sucks in the medical center also. Houston is an ugly, polluted city with not much to offer other than good Tex-mex.
 

TheFlash

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Both these schools are excellent. Can't go wrong here. Two things-- 1) Learning style: If you like a rigid curriculum with signified grading, go with Baylor. If you're self-motivated and don't like having the grade monkey on your back, go with Yale's more lax universal pass/fail system. 2) Location/Cost: New Haven vs. Houston won't win any beauty contests, since both cities are a bit run down. Houston is muggy and Yale has cold winters. However, if cost is no object, then relocation to Yale may be feasible for you. But, if you're a Texas resident, Baylor's dirt cheap tuition (along with whatever scholarships I'm sure they've offered) make for an appealing stay.

Good luck in your decision.
 

Harps

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Originally posted by Trekkie963
Baylor is an awesome school. Better weather than Yale, better medical center, and much cheaper (even out-of-state).

I have heard negative things about people's experiences at Yale.

Can you expand on the negative aspects about Yale? I am always very interested in the origin of "rumours" about schools. I personally heard about the grading and ranking at Baylor to produce quite a bit of competition. This is a rumor I've heard on SDN and which was substantiated by a 2nd year medical student at Baylor.

Peruse through the residency lists and determine whether the rumors have any substance! :)

Go to Yale, if you have that option!

-Harps
 

jlee9531

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baylor is a better value..........

awesome school located near an awesome medical center and cheap for both the instate and out of state student.
 

a_student

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Def. Yale

In the future your patients aren't gonna know Baylor's name but they for sure are gonna know about Yales. Although the medical community wouldn't think Yale is far better than Baylor, your future patients will, also the rest of the people you tell where you graduated from.

-just my .02cents
 

jlee9531

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Originally posted by a_student
Def. Yale

In the future your patients aren't gonna know Baylor's name but they for sure are gonna know about Yales. Although the medical community wouldn't think Yale is far better than Baylor, your future patients will, also the rest of the people you tell where you graduated from.

-just my .02cents
i really cant see the majority of my patients asking me where i graduated from tho when they are there just to get some help.
 

CalBeE

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Well if the thread is UCSF vs. Yale, I'll choose UCSF (Yet another well known school in the medical community but not as "well-known overall") But then I don't know Baylor that much

To be honest, Yale (and Harvard) gave me a sorta conservative vibe. I just got a feeling that Yale attracts many people who're very conscious of the brand name of med school, and I'm not sure if I like that.

But then again I've never been to New England, not to mention Yale.
 

Caverject

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Yale has a much better sports program compared to Baylor! Even in division II, Yale is much better! If it were me, and the education is very good at both schools, I'd pick the cheaper route. In this case, the scary Baylor Bears win out! (Too bad they are in the Big 12)
 

vtucci

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I would choose Yale in a second. But having gone there as an undergrad, I can't imagine a better place to spend 4 years. I think that Yale Med's program is very unique and it is either for you or not. It is the only program that to my knowledge requires a thesis project for graduation- some people might find this offputting.

New Haven has improved tremendously since I first went there beginning in 1994. Plus with all the organization on campus and its location betweem NYC and Boston- you really can;t go wrong if you need to find culture on the weekends.

It is a little pricey but then all of the best schools are.

I have heard excellent things about Baylor but I have heard also that the student body is very competitive- this is not a negative in my mind but a point to consider if you prefer a more laid back atmosphere.
 

ms. a

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Personally, Baylor is my number one choice, but a lot of that has to do with the location factor, and the fact that my family is tied to Houston.

Honestly, when I interviewed at Yale, I absolutely loved it. I know I would fit in very well at the school, and the whole place just seemed great. The students were relaxed, happy, the staff was really nice. It was just a great experience. If I were alone, and I got into Yale, there is a very good chance that I would choose it, regardless of the tuition difference. But, I still think that Baylor is a fantastic school.
 

fuzzylogic

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IT'S UP TO YOU. ask yourself which school sounds better to you. different people have different opinions on things. personally, i think yale is great. it does not have a whole lot of competition in terms of the patient care (not like boston). that allows students to do a lot during the 3rd and the 4th yr. yale also has great research opportunities. to me, that's a plus.

i am not sure about baylor. but, the choice is yours. good luck.
 

johnd

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Originally posted by South2006
Yale has a much better sports program compared to Baylor! Even in division II, Yale is much better! If it were me, and the education is very good at both schools, I'd pick the cheaper route. In this case, the scary Baylor Bears win out! (Too bad they are in the Big 12)

Baylor College of Medicine has no affiliation to Baylor University in Waco. Just happen to have the same first name.
 

Harps

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Originally posted by CalBeE


To be honest, Yale (and Harvard) gave me a sorta conservative vibe. I just got a feeling that Yale attracts many people who're very conscious of the brand name of med school, and I'm not sure if I like that.

Not unlike UCLA, bro ;)

-Harps
 

Trekkie963

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Originally posted by Harps
Can you expand on the negative aspects about Yale? I am always very interested in the origin of "rumours" about schools.
When I was applying to schools, my pre-med advisor told me not to bother applying to Yale because he had never gotten good reports back from people who ended up enrolling there. That's all he said. The Vice-President for Student Affairs here also told me that back when he was a med school admissions dean he had never really heard of students being happy at Yale. Unfortunately, neither one elaborated beyond the notion that Yale was not a "happy" place to be, but among the many schools I applied to, two people decided to point that one out as a poor choice.
 

Bendrix

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That's strange, Trekkie, because when I ask residents at what schools people are most happy, the one that comes up over and over again is Yale. I haven't ever met a Yale med student or grad who didn't love it.
 

JohnHolmes

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Originally posted by Trekkie963
When I was applying to schools, my pre-med advisor told me not to bother applying to Yale because he had never gotten good reports back from people who ended up enrolling there. That's all he said. The Vice-President for Student Affairs here also told me that back when he was a med school admissions dean he had never really heard of students being happy at Yale. Unfortunately, neither one elaborated beyond the notion that Yale was not a "happy" place to be, but among the many schools I applied to, two people decided to point that one out as a poor choice.
I agree. Bizarre.

I have only heard things to the contrary. When I interviewed at Yale, I did not meet one unhappy or "faking it" student.

CCW
 

Dr. Chiquita

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Yale all the way!!! :D

I'm biased b/c I don't know much about Baylor. But a competitive environment is not for me. Not that I want to slack off in med school. I just think that I am the type of person who learns better in a self-motivating/cooperative environment.

It comes down to your personality & other things when you have a choice between awesome schools like Baylor and Yale.
 

CalBeE

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Originally posted by Harps
Not unlike UCLA, bro ;)

-Harps
I'm the type of people that finds it more exciting to move to a different place for school. Since I have been an undergrad at UCLA for 5 years, it's just will be really cool to move to another place. If I went elsewhere for undergrad, I probably would just have dropped some of my waitlists and settle down.


And the thing about Yale students being happy...it's probably something that happens at other graduate/professional schools, and people associated it with the med school. (Just like how people associate the cut-throat culture at U of Chicago undergrad with the med school there)
 

VCMM414

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Originally posted by jaycee
That's strange, Trekkie, because when I ask residents at what schools people are most happy, the one that comes up over and over again is Yale. I haven't ever met a Yale med student or grad who didn't love it.
I have. A friend and former roommate of mine is currently at Yale Med, and he often complains that the competition there among students is much higher than he had expected going into med school. Because they are totally P/F, with optional tests, many students feel the need to go above and beyond in terms of extracurricular activities in order to stand out among their peers. Students start shadowing doctors, research, do community service etc. very very early, which is all good and fine had they not been driven largely by the need to 'resume pad.'

So yea, while there are no official 'rankings' or grades of students at Yale, do not make the mistake of thinking that Yale is all about having free time and being competition-free. The scene you see while interviewing may not be the whole story here.

Also, I have heard one PD (from a certain top 10 school/hospital) commenting on how her program does not view Yale (and other highly ranked schools with total P/F grading... ie. not schools like Harvard or Penn, which have graded clinical years following their P/F preclinicals) grads as any more competent than students from similarly ranked schools, despite Yale Med's obviously superior "brandname." She went on to say that many times these grads are simply not as immediately knowledgeable as grads of other med schools, probably because of Yale Med's philosophy and educational system. This is not to say that they won't or can't bridge the gap quickly during residency, but the gap is supposedly there. She concluded by saying that her program has not taken a Yale grad for years... :eek:

Just the opinions of a few people, I agree, but I do think that a Baylor vs Yale decision is not so clear-cut after all.
 

Bendrix

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What med school doesn't have students striving to differentiate themselves? I think that the anti-competitive line peddled at every school on every interview day is just laughable. Sure environments can be more or less cooperative, but I just don't believe that people who've played the game well enough to get into a top med school suddenly say "game over" at their white coat ceremonies.
 

CalBeE

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Originally posted by jaycee
What med school doesn't have students striving to differentiate themselves? I think that the anti-competitive line peddled at every school on every interview day is just laughable. Sure environments can be more or less cooperative, but I just don't believe that people who've played the game well enough to get into a top med school suddenly say "game over" at their white coat ceremonies.
But at least with a strict P/F system, it encourages people to divert the competition from academics to extra-curriculars/research.

It's still competition, but it's not the same as Undergrad.
 

rager1

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I think it's pretty clear that Baylor has the advantage over Yale with regards to cost of education and clinical rotations. The Yale hospital system just doesn't compare to the opportunities in the Texas Medical Center. Methodist Hospital, Ben Taub, the VA hospital (country's largest), Texas Children's Hospital, St. Luke's, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center are the main hospitals that Baylor students have for 3rd and 4th years.

But Yale does have a really cool curriculum and a dissertation requirement which I think is amazing. As an added plus, it also has an undergraduate campus in which you can take classes in any school at any level (including other professional schools like Law and Business). I'm not exactly sure how much time I would have to take advantage of that but having an undergraduate campus definitely changes the feel of the place. Baylor College of Medicine is only about a quarter mile away from Rice University but they're separate institutions without much interaction.

But Baylor's curriculum isn't without it's appeal. Basic sciences are completed in 1.5 years instead of the regular 2 essentially giving students 8-months off between basic sciences and clinical rotations so that they can study for the Step 1, vacation, potentially do research or international work, and some people are even opting to do work toward an MPH or some such during that time. And the curriculum is a blend of lecture and PBL according to people that go there.
Both schools offer international rotation opportunities.

However, there is also the Yale name factor which is what most people seem to be harping on and I must admit I also share in my admiration of the Yale name. But is it really worth $100,000 of debt and even more in the repayment? The Yale alumni networking opportunities are far superior to Baylor's and I wonder if the difference will be substantial for someone like me who's interested in health policy and academic medicine. or will the name of my residency program end up being more important?

For all I know, in two weeks time I'll have received a rejection from Yale and this entire discussion will be moot... but some of the stuff on this thread is also applicable to a Columbia and Baylor comparison, which is the decision I'm actually dealing with at the moment.

I suspect that if Yale Medical School and Baylor College of Medicine were renamed Foo and Dweedle, respectively, that many people would call Dweedle the superior environment.

In my own experience, I identified with the quirkiness of the Yale students on its interview day more than I did at Baylor. But I revisited Baylor recently and met a lot of students who seemed a lot like the Yale kids except more preoccupied with classes and studying. I really like Yale's proximity to both Boston and NYC and it might be nice to leave Texas for a while (again) since I will most likely return here after residency. Houston's weather is better though (except summer, ugh) ...I am a little concerned that Yale's curriculum might result in more procrastination on my part...

Anyway...I'm just rambling at this point. Thanks to everyone who has chimed in thus far. And I want to just point out that I am aware that choosing between these two schools is really a win situation regardless of choice because they're both wonderful but the decision making process can still remain difficult...

Keep your comments coming!

--Rager
 

JohnHolmes

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Originally posted by VCMM414
Also, I have heard one PD (from a certain top 10 school/hospital) commenting on how her program does not view Yale (and other highly ranked schools with total P/F grading... ie. not schools like Harvard or Penn, which have graded clinical years following their P/F preclinicals) grads as any more competent than students from similarly ranked schools, despite Yale Med's obviously superior "brandname."

Just the opinions of a few people, I agree, but I do think that a Baylor vs Yale decision is not so clear-cut after all.
I don't think this is accurate. I am nearly positive the clinical year is graded, both SUBJECTIVELY (the really important stuff) and objectively. In fact, as long as you don't "fail" classes are HMS, the first two years wouldn't be all that different grade-wise than at Yale. So, just to clarify, only the preclinical years are Not graded at Yale.

Secondly, I am going to speak up and say that I wouldn't be so sure that the clinical training at Baylor is better than at Yale. In fact, it may not be as good. You can have the most expansive hospital system in the world and still receive the poorest training on the planet. I am not saying this is the case at Baylor, but I'd want to do some research on my own (and the OP should too) before he sits back and swallows this assumption.

I agree. Baylor is a tremendous school, and IMO, the financial consideration is probably (and would be my) greatest inhibitor of going to Yale (if I was you and had the choice between the schools). I haven't been to Houston, but haven't heard tremendous things about it either. New Haven isn't the shizzle either, and its colder, which is a minus, and probably rains more too, which would also be a minus, but you are paying for an education not a location. Furthmore, the proximity to Boston, Philly and NYC are a HUGE bonus.

I think Yale is more than a brand name, its a type of education and a philosophy. If you buy into the philosophy its great, if you don't like it, then you probably won't choose the school. If you don't want to do research and write a thesis than the decision should be that much easier. If you are psyched about doing it (like me--both Duke and Yale have this requirement) then its a draw.

Tit for Tat, they are both good schools. I would say the general quality of education is better at Yale, but what do I know, I am just a premed student.

Best of Luck to you,
CCW
 

elias514

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Yale med students do incredibly well in the Match. They must be doing something right.
 

rager1

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Originally posted by Cooper_Wriston
I don't think this is accurate. I am nearly positive the clinical year is graded, both SUBJECTIVELY (the really important stuff) and objectively. In fact, as long as you don't "fail" classes are HMS, the first two years wouldn't be all that different grade-wise than at Yale. So, just to clarify, only the preclinical years are Not graded at Yale.

Secondly, I am going to speak up and say that I wouldn't be so sure that the clinical training at Baylor is better than at Yale. In fact, it may not be as good. You can have the most expansive hospital system in the world and still receive the poorest training on the planet. I am not saying this is the case at Baylor, but I'd want to do some research on my own (and the OP should too) before he sits back and swallows this assumption.

Well I didn't really swallow an assumption. I think I'm the only person to actually make this "clinical rotations" assertion. My belief that Baylor is superior in this regard is based on my familiarity with these Baylor affiliated hospitals, the residents and attending physicians that I've met, and the feedback from the 3rd and 4th year students from Baylor. I will admit that I met relatively few upperclassmen at Yale, and the few residents I met were somewhat low on enthusiasm for their clinical programs(pediatrics, maybe? I don't really remember...). Every student was super high energy about their research projects as were the faculty working in the basic sciences. I know that students get good exposure to clinicians in the first year anatomy course at Yale. Small groups (or for those who took the tour, every group between wall partitions in that awesome lab) are assigned two faculty members, one anatomist and one surgeon. And there are additionally two "floaters" that move from end to end of the room to help out.

Anyway, Baylor Medical School is kinda the original hub of the Texas Medical Center and it's affiliated hospitals are really dedicated to being teaching hospitals (St. Luke's might be the exception in my list because it is more closely affiliated with UT-Houston Medical School) but I think it's fairly safe to say that Baylor probably has the edge over Yale in this regard. Which isn't to say that Yale is bad. I just think that given what I've seen and heard, Baylor is rather awesome for years three and four.

CCW, I heard the same thing about the grading for Yale years three and four (or with the year of research, years 3 and 5) I heard that there are grades those years but that your ability to match in residency is strongly dependent upon the written evaluations that you receive. Someone told me that the different attendees/department heads you worked with write letters that go to the dean of the school and the dean incorporates those into your letter for residency directors.

--Rager
 

rager1

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Originally posted by Cooper_Wriston
Ra,
Are you going to P&S or Baylor?

CCW
I have no f***ing clue. I was thinking Columbia for sure last week, Baylor for sure this past weekend, and now I'm back to Columbia at this hour. I'm sure things'll be different in 5 minutes and again 5 minutes after that.

I can't make up my mind. Baylor offered me money; I have yet to get my financial aid package from P&S. Perhaps I should call...I have family in both NY and Texas. Manhattan is super cool. Houston weather is awesome. NYPresbyterian is supposedly an awesome teaching environment for students...

What say you? And where are you going?

--Rager
 

JohnHolmes

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Originally posted by rager1
I have no f***ing clue. I was thinking Columbia for sure last week, Baylor for sure this past weekend, and now I'm back to Columbia at this hour. I'm sure things'll be different in 5 minutes and again 5 minutes after that.

I can't make up my mind. Baylor offered me money; I have yet to get my financial aid package from P&S. Perhaps I should call...I have family in both NY and Texas. Manhattan is super cool. Houston weather is awesome. NYPresbyterian is supposedly an awesome teaching environment for students...

What say you? And where are you going?

--Rager
Thats a tough one. Right now I am deciding between Duke and P&S and WashU. For a WashU decision I am more reliant on receiving a great financial aid package to pull me that way (ie, scholarship) which has yet to pan out. I am going to be going to revisit weekends and after that, I'll sit down with my girlfriend and we'll make some decision together since where I go, she will be coming too.

NYC is a STRONG force towards P&S...no doubt.

A guy I know who graduated from UVA received a full ride from some high-mid-ranged ranked school (12-20 or what not), but turned it down to go to Harvard, I think. He cited "investment for the future" as the reason. I'd be inclined to agree he made the right decision...

Are you going to the P&S revisit weekend? I am going.

CCW
 

Gleevec

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Originally posted by rager1
I really like Yale's proximity to both Boston and NYC and it might be nice to leave Texas for a while (again) since I will most likely return here after residency.
If you want to return to TX for residency, going to Baylor would be better not only because you would save a ton of money, but also because residency does have a regional bias. Remember, as an academic (I too want to enter academic medicine) our pay scales won't be as cushy as those entering private practice. You might as well save the 120k, especially if you do want to return to TX. Also, if you're entering academia, most people in academic medical centers know Baylor better than the general public, so you wouldn't be at a disadvantage there.

Yale is really really chill from what I hear because of the lack of grading and the ability to pace yourself. The thesis requirement is pretty good too, considering its a research school. Baylor doesn't have a thesis requirement, but it does have a 5 year research program where you waive tuition and get paid a 20k stipend for research, which is nice if you want to enter academia. The residency placement is actually very good for Baylor, in terms of specialty. Most people are from TX to begin with, so stick around anyway (so fewer national program matches, but the specialty breakdown is very good for the competitive ones). The board score average is 235ish, similar to Penn's, because they both have that great 1.5 year curriculum. I too have heard about people stressing, and really, you are probably going to be working harder at Baylor than at Yale (simply because of the grading system), but from what people tell me, it really shows up well in terms of boards.

In terms of clinical training, the TMC is way bigger than Yale. While this will play a greater role in your choice of residency, it doesnt hurt to have letters written by some of the top guys in their field. Then again, this is true of Yale as well.

You sound like you're pretty much set on the northern schools, which is cool, its a good change of pace compared to Texas. But as someone who also left TX to go to college elsewhere just because I was tired of TX, I have to say the metro areas of TX aren't bad at all in the grand scheme of things. Im laughing as I read these comments about New Haven being similar to Houston and how close it is to NY and Boston. First off, Houston is actually a real city and is the 4th biggest in the US. Ive been to Yale, and there is definitely a LOT MORE to do in Houston. Aside from the sporting events, music, cultural events, festivals, etc, I dont see how you can make the comparison. Sure its hot and humid in Houston, but you're usually inside working during the day anyway. So weatherwise, yeah, take your pick between the heat of Houston or the cold of New Haven, but don't for a second think that they are equivalent in terms of entertainment and cultural activities. And I would ask Yale students how often they go to NY and Boston before believing you make a bimonthly sojourn there. The ugrads I know there generally only go to a major city during longer holidays, most have told me that the regular weekend is too short in general to enjoy the big city. But I mean, Id ask around, this is what my friends just told me.

But I definitely agree that for the lay public, the names Yale and Columbia have a much greater 'wow' factor, but if youre interested in academia and a residency in TX anyway, I don't see how Baylor can hurt you relative to those other schools (now, if you wanted a residency in the NE, I could understand that 100%). You do have access to the ugrad campus immediately for Yale, but Rice is nearby Baylor as well. The curricula, while Baylor has only 1.5 years preclinical, the edge has to go to Yale simply due to their grading scale. I mean, their grading system is definitely the best out of the top schools as far as I know, and this is probably a huge deal. Im not sure how this affects boards, or whether that matters though.

One last thing, it seems as if you've been in the South a long time (like me). Don't underestimate the effect constant cold will have on your happiness. At least at Columbia you have NYC, which is fantastic, but Yale might get depressing in the winter (I speak from experience for some friends who go there from TX, who said the winters are killer and they said it took almost 2 years to adapt after having lived in TX all their life). But I mean, each person is different in that way, just wanted to point that out at least for consideration.

Good luck, I don't think you can make a bad choice here.