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Being close to friends/family vs going OOS

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by rkaz, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. rkaz

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    Hi all,

    I was just wondering what people's view are on staying in-state for med school versus going out of state. Since the DO schools I am applying to are private, in-state tuition is not a factor here.

    My pros would be: getting to live in the same city as my family/relatives (good source of stress relief/social support), weather (I like warm sunny weather, and may have a harder time in a colder climate), not having to adjust to a new city

    In my case, AZCOM happens to be the school that is in my family's city (Phoenix). However, if I am fortunate to accepted to a school like PCOM, I'd have a hard time turning it down. I am wondering what people's thoughts are... if family support, climate, city familiarity, etc outweigh the potential educational discrepancy (although I know AZCOM is a great school).

    Any thoughts??
     
    #1 rkaz, Dec 27, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  2. Semicolon

    Semicolon OMS II
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    Personally, proximity to my home was a huge factor in my choice of DO schools. If I had to choose between a far-off school that has a great reputation or a school that would allow me to stay home, I would most likely stay home.

    As many others have stated, ANY school you attend will give you a good medical education; it's up to you to make the best of it. If you feel that you would fare better with the social and moral support you get from your family, friends, or a significant other, I think you should definitely stay. You ARE lucky enough to have a school in your city; enjoy it.
     
  3. rkaz

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    Thanks for your input. No significant other yet,... but my father is a practicing physician in the Phoenix area, so he understands the stress of med school, and would be there for me if I needed to vent, or go out for a non-study break. Plus, I figured if anything, his connections to medical colleagues wouldn't hurt.
     
  4. gobruins2007

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    i think you made your decision.
    so much of medical school is what you make of it, and if you are going to put in the time to study, and get hands on experience, you will do fantastic. only (mainly) those who are insecure need to go to the big name school just for the pure sake of the name. congrats!
     
  5. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    Reputations like the one of PCOM are very tempting. However, AZCOM has proven itself by performing well on the boards (scores and pass rates), matching students (check out the FAQs for match lists), and offering some really good rotation sites.

    The scenario you describe makes for an easy choice, IMO. Now, if we were talking about a bad/sketchy/super new school vs. PCOM/etc., I might have to give it some more thought.

    AZCOM will provide what you need, while allowing you to enjoy your home environment. If it were me, I'd take advantage of this and never look back! Oh, and try not to rub it in when you're talking to your friends who had to move cross-country for school... ;) :D
     
  6. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian
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    I would definately go for AZCOM, given its proximity to your family and friends. You don't realise how much you need them until that first week of school or right in the middle of studying for your first exam. And to me, it's so much more refreshing sometimes to talk to my non-med school friends who have no concept of what I am going through and don't really care to listen to me ramble about new medical terms they have no clue about. I also think that your relationships with your new friends tend to be a bit superficial in the beginning and revolve entirely around med school talk until you find your niche. So especially during this time, it's so helpful to turn to family and friends in which you have this sound, established bond. I am not sure if that makes sense now, but I'm sure it will once you start school.

    I also have gone through some personal issues too since I started school and I coudn't have gotten through it without being close to my family; my mom would sometimes spend a night wih me or drive up some food right before finals so I wouldn't have to cook or I could take the train to see my close friends. Once school starts, you will find yourself in need of a lot of support. And I think you will be a happier and more balanced person if you have the privilege of having that support physically near you.
     
  7. Semicolon

    Semicolon OMS II
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    Very well said. :thumbup: Totally agree.
     
  8. rkaz

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    Hah... this totally sounds like my mom (who happens to be a retired FP doc herself). I can totally imagine her stopping by my apartment the night before exams telling me "Here, I brought you a healthy dinner and food for tomorrow, so you don't have to spend any time making food yourself or ordering fattening junk takeout... and now that I'm here, let's sit down together and review topics for your anatomy exam tomorrow"... and then she would proceed to take out her 2-inch thick reading glasses and grab my books....

    In fact, I confess that was a (small) part of my consideration for me moving away... as my folks tend to baby me, and I don't like to be babied anymore at age 27 (that's why I moved 2 hours away for college to get some 'space to find myself'). I figured that by moving back to their city for med school, my personal evolvement would be stunted... and that by instead putting myself out of my comfort zones, like in some random city across the country, I'd have more of a chance to be my own person. (Hah, it sounds like I have mom issues... but I still love my folks regardless.) :oops:

    From all that you guys have written here, I realize it's kind of sad that I have seen any downside to living near friends/family (thinking that I'd be stuck in my comfort zone). On the contrary, it seems that I would instead be very LUCKY to have all this support... as many students don't get this. Maybe med school is stressful enough that 'personal growth' will be the least of my concerns. I suppose when my brain is fried and spinning after studying for several hours, having someone offer to bring me a healthy dinner or review topics with me would be a breath of fresh air....
     
    #8 rkaz, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  9. Flushot

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    What about the location itself? Family was important to me, which is why my first choice is what it is (still waiting to hear back :xf:) but it was also the location. If I had a chance to rotate around the state I was from, it would be a major plus.
     
  10. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    My top schools so far are all relatively close to at least one family member. My top choice is close to my parents. The place my deposit is in now is about 10 minutes from my brother who has lived there his entire life. I don't think he'd bring me healthy food, but he'd probably bring a bottle of bacardi over and take me out fishing or sailing the day after the exam.

    Support is a huge thing during this process. I've gone through the stresses of living far from family and friends. I know I can do it, so as it is now, I have no reservations asking for help and support. A network outside of medicine is good to have. As much as I love my science and medical friends, the people that offer the biggest reduction in stress are the ones that force me to talk about OTHER things, go out to see a concert or get coffee and talk about a book. While I may not have time for that when I start, the casual conversation outside of medical crap will probably be enough to keep me sane.
     
  11. theserbatron

    theserbatron put mo' chamomile on it
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    i think when it comes to location, any school that is plane ride away is still a plane ride. what's the difference between a 3 or 5 hour plane ride? for me, medical school was an opportunity to see a new part of the country and gain experience on the opposite coast. good luck to you!
     
  12. JayhawkDoc

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    rkaz-
    I understand the dilemma you are having. There are many similarities to our situations. I too am thinking about moving OOS. I have strong ties to my area. I am very close with my parents and all of my family and my wife's family. My father is a physician in the area. All I can say is go to a school were you think you will be the happiest. My family and my wife's family have been encouraging us to try a new location because we have only lived in the Kansas City area for our whole lives. We are not sure what we are going to do yet but we are leaning towards OOS. I wouldn't be going alone though because I am married so that is something to consider. Bottom line is you have to do what makes you happy and I wouldn't risk being unhappy going to PCOM because it has a slightly better reputation than AZCOM. I'm sure you'll do fine at either place.
     
    #12 JayhawkDoc, Jan 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  13. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    EDIT: I originally posted this as a rebuttal to JayhawkDoc, but he/she meant to say "wouldn't" instead of "would." Thus, this post will stand as a seemingly random comment, but it's still very relevant to the OP. :)

    I can appreciate your perspective, Jayhawk, but I can attest to being unhappy while going through a rigorous program. It can be crippling.

    If you're happy, you will perform better in school. Not happy-distracted, but happy-I-can-visit-my-friends-and-family-during-breaks-or-catch-a-movie-every-once-in-a-while. If you feel trapped at PCOM or somewhere else, you can easily feel tortured and depressed, which will not help your grades. Trust me.

    Anyone who does well at a decent school (like AZCOM) can make it out the other side with no need to rely on any perceived "reputation." Now, I'm not saying PCOM doesn't have opportunities that AZCOM doesn't. PCOM has been around forever and has strong roots that are undeniable. They have connections with great hospitals and tons of residencies. What I'm saying is that there are plenty of opportunities via AZCOM and that I would not endorse the following equation:

    PCOM "reputation" > Importance of personal happiness/sanity during med school
    ------

    I say this because:

    Personal happiness/sanity during med school can lead to/help support/assist with academic performance

    And for residency placement/fulfillment of career goals, for any non-borderline residency applications:

    Academic performance >>> School's "reputation"


    Your school could have all the connections and "wow factor" to Program Directors in the world, but if you sucked in med school, you're not gonna have the same choices you would if you had excelled. Period.

    Just my two cents. Take it or leave it. I just wanted to chime in based on my own personal experience. Depression during med school would suck.
     
    #13 Chocolate Bear, Jan 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  14. JayhawkDoc

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    My bad that was supposed to say I wouldn't risk being unhappy. As you can tell from the timestamp it was late when I typed this!
    I edited this in my original post. Sorry for the confusion!
     
    #14 JayhawkDoc, Jan 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  15. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    Ohhhhhh! Haha! I'll edit my post then. Good call. :thumbup:

    You can go back and edit yours, too (which would probably be best).
     
  16. rkaz

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    Hey Flushot, I really do like living in the Phoenix area... though I have been out of the city for several years now. But I remember there being many restaurants, shopping malls, gyms, etc - so plenty of resources are there. I wish AZ was a bit more new agey and liberal and diverse like California, but that's okay - I'm reasonably satisfied with the environment there. Plus, I like warm weather and the beautiful mountains... and I'll have to check out if there's some good hiking trails there.

    As far as rotations go, I've been inquiring about these things with current AZCOM students here on SDN. There are some nice hospitals there in the Phoenix area (like Mayo clinic!), but I think the opportunities seem to be a bit more favorable to University of Arizona (MD) students. I'm still trying to find out more though...
     
  17. rkaz

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    Hi Jayhawk, I can relate to what you've shared. If I were married, I think I would be much more inclined to moving out of state. I have lived in Arizona for most of my life, except for a brief stint in Washington DC a few years ago, and that was certainly an experience. It's nice to be in a different environment sometimes. I don't know if it's worth moving during med school (since a support network is so important)... so I don't know what is best in your situation. However, having your wife's support would surely be helpful if you decide to move. I know this isn't my business... but I hope things are good between the two of you... as it would suck if you moved OOS, and then things didn't work out between you two... and you ended up being OOS without a support system. Not trying to be negative here, just pragmatic. As long as your relationship is solid, I don't see an issue. Good luck in your choice though.
     
  18. MaximusD

    MaximusD Anatomically Incorrect
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    I know relatively little about AZCOM, but when I was applying it had some problems with rotation locations. That was 2-3 years ago, and a lot may have changed in that time period.

    In my case, PCOM was in my home state. I also received an acceptance to CCOM. I gave up my acceptance to CCOM to come to PCOM almost exclusively based on location. But it is a different situation, because CCOM and PCOM are extremely comparable in quality.

    I have to say that it is nice only being a few hours away from "home" and being able to easiy visit old friends and family. Essentially, you are going to have to weigh how much you have relied on family in the past and how important it will be in the coming years.

    If you want to end up in your home state to practice medicine, you should also consider that attending medical school in AZ will give you more exposure to hospitals in that state and give you a better undersatnding of regional health centers than simply using your elective/audition rotations at a distant institution to travel back to AZ.

    I've probably missed stuff, but I hope that this helps.
     
  19. rkaz

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    I totally understand your perspective here... as my experiences living away from family have been invaluable in my growth as an individual. I guess one of my main concerns though, is that I wasn't sure if med school was the time for me to challenge myself personally... or if I should just keep things as convenient and simple as possible, since med school is enough of a challenge themselves. Anyways, although I am very much leaning towards staying in Arizona if possible, I still have interviews elsewhere, and I will check out those places as well to see if I could feel at home there.
     

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