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Apr 18, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
Hi everyone, I've been so so fortunate to receive two acceptances this cycle, but I'm having a hard time choosing between CWRU and Brown. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Case Western
  • Higher rank, more prestige within medicine, and affiliation with Cleveland Clinic
  • Research thesis - the structure will be nice since research is necessary for surgical specialties
  • Not everyone rotates through Cleveland Clinic
  • No layman’s prestige
  • No pre-clinical electives so it could be more difficult to get early structured exposure to some specialties

  • Student body seems the most collaborative and supportive on a genuine level
  • Faculty are nicer and more supportive
  • Pre-clinical electives - I really like how you can gain early exposure during M1 and M2 to a wide variety of topics ranging from surgical specialties to food science
  • Doctoring - I like how they emphasize teaching clinical skills and effective patient communication starting M1 (during pre-clinicals)
  • Heard wonders about the administration
  • Layman’s prestige because of its Ivy name

  • Name may not carry as much weight as Case
  • Not as research heavy
Trivial Factors
  • Cleveland vs. Providence - equally far away from immediate family and friends.
  • Cost - going to be the same at either school
Last edited:


5+ Year Member
May 28, 2014
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  1. Medical Student
You seemed to be mostly held back by “name in medicine.” PD ratings for brown and case are equivalent. So go where you like it more. Sounds like brown.

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2+ Year Member
May 26, 2018
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  1. Non-Student
Rankings you need to do it in bands like T10, T2O and T30 so not much difference between Brown and Case. Check match data for last five years for both. Since you went to T5, Brown name may help with layman 😀
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Mar 4, 2020
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  1. MD/PhD Student
You seemed to be mostly held back by “name in medicine.” PD ratings for brown and case are equivalent. So go where you like it more. Sounds like brown.

“US News rankings” is synonymous with “terrible metrics collected terribly that reflect little reality”. There are constant renewed calls within (and outside of) the AAMC to create a ranking system that actually summarizes med school quality; if AAMC follows the path of Step 1, it might actually happen, a la’ 2015 paper in collab with doximity:


Since PD rankings were brought up: they sample from (usually) the same sub 20-30% of directors that respond to their messages. They take what they can get – regardless of uneven distribution across specialties/regionalities. It is already a subjective rating, that is made even worse by the sample collection. In recent years, PD’s have even given rankings to schools without inaugural classes. The whole thing (like many of the other parameters) is a farce, and I would pay little attention to it.

Your perception of the research output of either school is correct. For numbers: Case has roughly ~4.5x funding from the NIH for 3x the number of PI’s. Their classes tend to have consistently strong IM matches at top residencies for research. They tend to be more highly regarded as a research powerhouse.

That being said, I wholeheartedly recommend Brown in your case. Brown still has an excellent reputation in academic medicine, and graduate outcomes for both schools are very strong (T20). Go to both revisits and confirm whether your initial impressions of the student body/administration at either school is correct. If it is, go to Brown. Class success is not a determinant for your success. It seems that you will be happier at Brown, and no doors will be closed to you if you work hard and enjoy what you do.
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