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deleted984162

Brody (Greenville, NC)
Pros
- I want to undergrad here and know a good amount of people going here
- The medical campus although older has a lot of grass and greenery which felt a little more homely given not from being from the city
- Good school within NC
- ~84 class size
Cons
- Old campus, old facilities, old anatomy lab
- Low ranking nationally
- Very primary-care focused (~80% matches are primary-care)
- Letter grades

VCU (Richmond, VA)
Pros
- Campus is relatively new (2013) and has new facilities
- US News higher rank
- Great facilities
- Wide range of matches (only 40% primary-care)
Cons
- Completely new area/state
- ~200 class size
- Don't know anyone here.

I would like to get involved in clubs and research to boost my resume during medical school. I am also not sure what specialty I would like to pursue, but I am pretty sure I don't want to do primary-care. I'm not really worried about the cost (tuition or cost of living). I want to figure out which school would be the better option for me.

I need to decide within a couple days and would really like to hear other people's opinions. Especially from those who are going to either school
 
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FuturePedsDoc1993

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VCU isn't a new school? Or do you mean new building? It's a reputable school and thy have a great match list! But if the OOS cost is too much of a burden, go with the cheaper school.
 
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I will be attending VCU.

VCU is true P/F during pre-clinical years, which I think is a huge pro and it is a really old and established institution. The building and facilities however are brand new as you mentioned. There is also lots of exciting research happening at the medical campus and it’s right next door to the Capitol in VA if you’re interested in health policy stuff. Even though the class is big they break the class up into 4 big houses and from what I have felt it is a very warm and collaborative environment. With Covid there is a chance lectures will be online anyway however Richmond is a pretty fun city and has lots to do, as well as being a great place for a foodie, if you’re into that. You said the cost is not a concern, so I think VCU would be better.
 
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Disclaimer: I will be attending Brody.

Based on your reasoning above, I'd say you should lean towards Brody. I know you said that cost is not a huge issue for you, but the fact remains the Brody is one of the most affordable schools in the country, so you'd be looking at >$35k more per year at VCU ($55k vs $23k tuition, $90k vs $50k COA), which can add up down the road. Brody is marginally lower ranked than VCU, but Brody's ranking has been climbing and I personally know multiple current Brody students who are having success in non-primary-care fields (i.e. EM, surgery). On a more personal level, M1 can get rough, and already having extensive connections and friends gained through your time at ECU and going to a small med school could be real benefits. Just some things to think about.
 
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deleted984162

I will be attending VCU.

VCU is true P/F during pre-clinical years, which I think is a huge pro and it is a really old and established institution. The building and facilities however are brand new as you mentioned. There is also lots of exciting research happening at the medical campus and it’s right next door to the Capitol in VA if you’re interested in health policy stuff. Even though the class is big they break the class up into 4 big houses and from what I have felt it is a very warm and collaborative environment. With Covid there is a chance lectures will be online anyway however Richmond is a pretty fun city and has lots to do, as well as being a great place for a foodie, if you’re into that. You said the cost is not a concern, so I think VCU would be better.
Congrats on your acceptance to VCU! Thanks for your response. I really like the fact that VCU is P/F and I think that will help relieve stress during the first two years. The main concern I have is that I don't know anyone there and it will be a brand new city for me.
 
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deleted984162

what's the difference in cost of attendance if that matters?
I am trying to figure out if I will be able to switch to in-state tuition at VCU after my first year. If not, VCU will cost about $35K more per year in tuition. However, I am trying to decide which school is best for me without looking at cost. I am willing to pay the extra money if I decide that VCU would be the better fit.
 
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deleted984162

Disclaimer: I will be attending Brody.

Based on your reasoning above, I'd say you should lean towards Brody. I know you said that cost is not a huge issue for you, but the fact remains the Brody is one of the most affordable schools in the country, so you'd be looking at >$35k more per year at VCU ($55k vs $23k tuition, $90k vs $50k COA), which can add up down the road. Brody is marginally lower ranked than VCU, but Brody's ranking has been climbing and I personally know multiple current Brody students who are having success in non-primary-care fields (i.e. EM, surgery). On a more personal level, M1 can get rough, and already having extensive connections and friends gained through your time at ECU and going to a small med school could be real benefits. Just some things to think about.
Thanks for your response! I definitely agree that having some connects at Brody will be beneficial. I just have two main concerns with Brody. One is that there are letter grades and so it will matter what percentages I get on exams as compared to VCU where it is P/F. And the other is that although people do get non-primary-care residencies, I want to make sure that choosing Brody won't make it harder to get into such a residency. I am planning to talk to a Brody graduate later today to talk about how he got into a specialized field.
 

TheDataKing

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I am trying to figure out if I will be able to switch to in-state tuition at VCU after my first year. If not, VCU will cost about $35K more per year in tuition. However, I am trying to decide which school is best for me without looking at cost. I am willing to pay the extra money if I decide that VCU would be the better fit.
Virginia won't let you switch to in-state tuition unless you marry someone in the military afaik. VCU would be a better fit for me because I value pass/fail for pre-clinical grading and letter grades would stress me out. If you're not interested in primary care, VCU will have more research opportunities, will be a more "well known" especially as step goes pass/fail, and might help you achieve your goals more easily. That said, $140,000 is nothing to scoff at and you'll have to weigh those things obviously
 
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Feb 4, 2020
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Congrats on your acceptance to VCU! Thanks for your response. I really like the fact that VCU is P/F and I think that will help relieve stress during the first two years. The main concern I have is that I don't know anyone there and it will be a brand new city for me.
Have you lived away from your family/ support system before? It is definitely important especially during stressful times which will be plenty in Med school. However, I’m sure you won’t be the only one new to the city, in a class of 180 there will be lots of others in the same boat.
 
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deleted1025690

Thanks for your response! I definitely agree that having some connects at Brody will be beneficial. I just have two main concerns with Brody. One is that there are letter grades and so it will matter what percentages I get on exams as compared to VCU where it is P/F. And the other is that although people do get non-primary-care residencies, I want to make sure that choosing Brody won't make it harder to get into such a residency. I am planning to talk to a Brody graduate later today to talk about how he got into a specialized field.

I’ll very likely be attending ECU in the fall as well, just waiting on one more school haha. While I do agree that a graded system is not as ideal as P/F I’ve heard from current students that the scores themselves are more for us to have an understanding of where we stand because what’s reported to residencies is which quartile of your class you fall under. Additionally, while there may be fewer opportunities for research compared to a bigger system like VCU there’s also a much smaller class size which I think eventually does level off the playing field. The points I stated along with the overall tuition and proximity to your support system may make ECU a serious contender for your consideration! Good luck!
 
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