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Chances better in Oregon or California?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by thirdunity, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. thirdunity

    thirdunity Senior Member
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    Hey folks,

    I presently live in California. I'm thinking of moving up to Portland. For one, I am a nationally certified phlebotomist, and I can actually get work in Oregon right now, while I'm getting dicked around regarding experience and state certification in California. In Cali, presently, I work a low paying job at a bookstore.

    I just found out that I have a place to stay in Portland for the time being, and I could get a place there that I could actually support while working part time... which is hard to manage in California.

    The only downside is that the tuition for junior college is much pricier here.

    If I stay in California, I'll be going to UC Davis to finish my biology degree.

    The question is - do I stand a better chance of getting into a med school as an Oregon resident or as a Cali resident?

    I do not have a terribly competitive GPA by California standards.
     
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  3. thirdunity

    thirdunity Senior Member
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  4. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    The concensus on the boards here is that california is not friendly to its instaters. However, Oregon only has one med school which is pretty hard to get into as well.....but between the two.....err, it's a draw for me. I saY stay in Cali if those are your only options. UCDavis has an excellent bio program and will probably do a good job preparing you for med school.
     
  5. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    According to the MSAR, there were only 374 in state applications to OHSU, of which 68 matriculated, so assuming that this means maybe 90 were accepted, that would be an acceptance rate of about 25%. Isn't that fairly good?
     
  6. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Well, my copy of MSAR (2004-2005 says that they had 342 applicants, 174 interviewed and 46 matriculated that were instate, not 68. But just looking at that number doesn't help as much as knowing the quality of applicants. There is a self-selecting factor involved in the admissions game. Harvard may accept a higher percentage of people than some state schools, but that doesn't mean Harvard is easier to get into than those schools.

    According to MSAR, the average MCAT for OHSU matriculants was 32P, a bit on the high end I would say. And I know it seems like the difference between a school whose average is 29 and a school whose average is 32 seems small (hey, it's only 3 points), my experience tells me that the school with a 32P is far more competitive. Hence, I believe OHSU is a pretty competitive school to get into for a state school.
     
  7. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Yeah, the numbers I pulled came from the 2007-2008 MSAR.

    OHSU is tough. But at each of the UCs you have literally 6-8 times the number of applicants for slightly more spots at schools with stats on par with OHSU or significantly higher.

    Don't get me wrong, OHSU is competitive for a state school, but looking through the MSAR for schools with average MCATs of 32 and GPAs of about 3.7 or above, and only one med school in state, you have Colorado, Conneticut, Iowa, and Washington, all of whom have a lower acceptance percentage.

    Again, Oregon ain't an easy state to apply from, but there are worse.
     
  8. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    True, true. I didn't say the OP had it EASY choosing between the two. :D I just figured he/she'd have an advantage with a bio degree from UCDavis.

    To the OP: try moving to TX or one of the WICHE states. I remember one WICHE applicant telling me that, while it seems bad to not have any instate school, having several states that will treat her as an instate candidate actually increases her chances of getting into one. :D
     
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    I second that. OP- a degree from Davis would be great. Who knows where a JC in Oregon is going to lead.
     
  10. jillibean

    jillibean Senior Member
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    I agree. You will get a much better UG program at UCDavis than at any school in or around Portland. Also keep in mind that Oregon's tuition is ~30,000/yr instate, so although CA schools may be more competetive, I bet you will get better training there for half the price. Check out last year's MDapplicants... there are a lot of really amazing profiles of OR students that got rejected from OHSU (that was one of the main reasons I chose not to apply as an OR resident). If I were in your shoes, I might check out moving to Missoula MT, Moscow ID or Austin TX... all are cool towns with better prospects for premeds. Good luck with your decision.
     
  11. thirdunity

    thirdunity Senior Member
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    oops double posted
     
  12. thirdunity

    thirdunity Senior Member
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    I'm a Jewish lesbian.

    I'm also a SINGLE Jewish lesbian, meaning that I'd hope to meet other (preferably Jewish) lesbians in any place I move to.

    That said - I am of Northwest Indian (Salish/to anyone who knows the specific tribe, Jamestown S'klallam) descent, they are based in Washington State, and my dad is a tribe member. Does this make absolutely any difference whatsoever?

    If my reason for moving were JUST to go to school, I would definitely go to UC Davis, end of story. But the problem? I don't want to live in Davis, hate Sacramento, not terribly fond of California.
     
  13. jillibean

    jillibean Senior Member
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    Oh... in that case Portland will be perfect! :)
     
  14. thirdunity

    thirdunity Senior Member
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    Oh, absolutely. I know lots of people there, have family up there. If I were to choose just based upon the city alone - it would be Portland. School alone - it would be Davis.

    Do you guys think I should finish out all my community college *here* and *then* transfer up to an Oregon school if I want to live there, because of the better reputation of California community colleges?

    I was thinking of moving in the spring, taking a semester off to get established. I'll either be moving to Sacramento [I'd go to a JC there, then transfer to Davis] or another city [such as Portland].

    In any case, I have a semester to think about it... no rash decisions...
    I'm just frustrated too knowing that it seems to be a cast iron bitch to get certified down here in my work and knowing that I may be stuck at my crappy bookstore job yet longer. Whereas. I could work in Oregon tomorrow, with my present level of certification and experience.
     
  15. dopaminesurge

    dopaminesurge My friends calls me Steve
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    You're an Indian Jewish lesbian? That's some nutty diversity. Anyway, I guess I sort of think unless there's serious financial concern, your best bet is to finish your degree ASAP and then move wherever there's work while applying. But maybe I didn't understand your question. As for whether CA schools are loyal to their residents? Marginally, I guess. But you don't like CA, so you're lucky. Just get out after you finish school, and don't bang your head against the table like the rest of us to come back. :)
     
  16. kimmcauliffe

    kimmcauliffe Surfer Chum
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    What's up, Third Unity? You are most definitely the poster girl for diversity ;)

    I'm currently living in California as well, and being sick of watching 3/4 of my paycheck disappear towards rent and the water bill, have also been seriously considering a move to Portland. I'm not just considering- I actually have a date set and am looking forward to it for all the same reasons that you stated you wanted to move in the first place (more affordable being the #1 reason).

    At any rate, I've heard about how hard it is to get into OHSU... though it's been addressed already in this thread, I think a big part of it is because it's a good school and it's Oregon's one and only. That being said, it's not deterring me from transferring to Portland State and then keeping OHSU at the top of my list of schools.

    Don't give up the fight because you never know... if you're a well-rounded person and have a good app, I don't see why your chances would be any less in OR than anywhere else. Hopefully we'll be classmates :thumbup:

    Take care, best of luck!
     
  17. thirdunity

    thirdunity Senior Member
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    Yep. One big reason I want to move.
    I hate the crappy neighborhood I'll have to live in, to live in Sac, even though Sac is "a deal" by Cali standards. And I'm sick of Cali in general. Hate the weather (way too hot in Sac; I like cooler weather). More, I spend all this time getting training as an EMT and as a phlebotomist only to find out I can't actually get WORK, and I'm stuck working at crappy 7 dollar an hour jobs in the meantime while waiting for my certifications to finish. Amazing. It could take up to a year for my Cali phlebotomy license to arrive. And no place here will hire me without about a year experience. And of course how do you get the experience?? By the time I'm actually working as a phlebotomist- I'll already be mostly through college. I'm 32. I live at home. I can't support myself on any work I can actually do before I can manage to get into the field I'm training to be in. Oh. I'm an ex-dotcommer. Half the reason for my lack of real success in that field was that I spent the entire time reading the Yahoo Diseases directory and looking at pathology pictures.

    Then I come up to Oregon, find out I could work tomorrow. Really.

    OHSU as a med student?

    I have pretty much a "sure thing" getting into Davis as a bio major, to finish my bachelor's.

    My GPA is not competitive - I am an older student and I messed around my first few years. I also did not have my act together about work, either, through my 20s. I worked on and off as a dotcommer and partied a whole, whole lot.

    I pretty much did not get serious or get real purpose in life before deciding I wanted to be a doctor. Then I decided I would do whatever I had to do, no matter how long it took. But all the same, as a single person in her 30s, I do consider the social angle. IE. "Are there girls there?"
    Plus, as an "oddball" I consider whether or not I'll feel like I fit in where I live. The "fit in" issue has plagued me all my life and dictated everything from what jobs I would do to where I would live.

    I am a "weird" person in some ways; artist, MIDI musician, and writer. Amateur in most, but I'm starting to look at ways to push my arty stuff. I go to sci-fi cons. If I don't become a doctor, I won't become a nurse; I'd become a high school science teacher. I'm a big science buff, but personality wise I'm more Beakman than Einstein :) I have a huge and strangely diverse social life and have in my life considered a number of careers from Buddhist nun, tatoo artist, hairdresser, anthropologist, artist... and I write (amateur) science fiction. Science was my first love, and I'm coming back to it. I'm a scientist at heart, and medicine is the common theme throughout my life.

    My background in medicine isn't the usual. I didn't start off going into nursing or having some important experience of saving someone's life or anything like that.

    Actually, I started these articles about two years ago (originally on LiveJournal) before I finally turned them into a blog:
    http://todaysmalady.blogspot.com/

    I'm not concerned about osteopathic vs allopathic except for research opportunities. I see myself as a pathologist, though I could change my mind down the road, obviously.

    Too well rounded maybe. I'm concerned they may not see me as "serious".
     
  18. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Most career changers fight this. But it sounds as if you haven't gotten your BA yet, so you have plenty of time to put in the time volunteering, getting great ECs to show your commitment to medicine. You have a couple years to show that you're now focusing on your intended career path.
     
  19. thirdunity

    thirdunity Senior Member
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    Yep. I'm doing ER volunteering now. I decided also to train as an EMT and phlebotomist so I could have a job in medical. Only real hobby I put any time into is my science blog... it's just too much fun :)

    I've been making music all week while on vacation, but for the most part I'm pretty focused these days.
     
  20. kimmcauliffe

    kimmcauliffe Surfer Chum
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    What's up ThirdUnity-

    I think you worry too much ;)

    Listen- you have to do what is going to make you the happiest. If you're passionate about something, you'll be that much better at it. You said yourself you didn't apply much towards your last job because of your interest in all things medical- then go for it! Of course you're well rounded; you're an older student like myself (I'm 27), you know what it's like to support yourself and pay your own way. Even though you're struggling now (I can sympathize, believe me), it will pay off in the end. I don't know much, but I do know that much.

    Past grades are done with, so the best advice anyone can give is to just kick ass in your remaining classes and go from there. Not everyone who is book-smart will knock the socks off of adcoms; that's a huge misconception that I find all the time here on SDN (i.e 4.0 BCPM, 40 MCAT, UCLA grad who can't get a secondary and doesn't know why). Anything is possible, my friend, and there's plenty of motivational success stories on here to guide you along that path.

    If you're going to the AMSA pre-med conference at ARC, let me know. We're going to be there so if you'd want to meet up and trade stories, that would be cool. :thumbup:

    Kim
     
  21. geogil

    geogil Still training.
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    To the OP, To correct a few posts, OHSU is actually 25k a year, not 30 (MSAR 2006). I don't know if you're in the current applicant pool, but you're going to have to live here (oregon) without being a stuent for a year before they'll count you as in state as an applicant. In other words, you won't be an instate applicant this year if you're applying. LIke you, I'm a phleb, and I can tell you there's work to be had, especially if you're considering Eugene, rather than Portland. If you're in Davis right now, why are you considering a JC in portland? you could easily transfer to OSU or UO.
    just some things to consider
     
  22. Go Time

    Go Time Member
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    FWIW...

    In-state tuition and fees at OHSU total almost $30k/yr, with in-state at the California state schools running $7-9k/yr less for the same.

    In California, it may be possible for some students to be classifed as in-state for tuition purposes after the first year of school. I don't know about Oregon.
     
  23. Go Time

    Go Time Member
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    I don't know if this helps, and I'm not sure if this is correct thinking...please correct me!

    Using the MSAR numbers...if one assumes that California residents overwhelmingly apply to all the state schools to maximize their chances (the published totals are similar between schools), there are about 3300 in-state applicants to fill ~570 in-state seats between all five schools. So, about 17% take a seat somewhere at a California state school. It is about 19% at OHSU for in-staters.

    Sounds like a draw if my thinking is in the ballpark...but, in California there are a larger number and variety of institutions (people) making judgements within each school's different screening and selection criteria.
     
  24. Go Time

    Go Time Member
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    There is apparently a slightly larger percentage of total Californian applicants matriculating in California than Oregon residents in Oregon (18.9% vs. 17.6%). Maybe because many Californians also apply to the private schools too? Does that sound like it's very slighty tougher to get a spot in Oregon as an Oregonian than it is for a Californian in California?

    http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2005/2005slrmat.htm
     
  25. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    Honestly, I think California is slightly better but not by much. Oregon has a lower or rate of instate student matriculation than California, suggesting that it's harder to get in instate in OR than in CA. Also, Oregon's one instate school is very, very random, so you can't predict your chances of admissions there. Either way, though, your odds are poor. Move to Texas or something.
     
  26. Go Time

    Go Time Member
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    Oregonians tend to have a bit higher "numbers" than Californians in total as well.

    http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2005/mcatgpastate.htm

    The USNews total acceptance numbers in context with the stats above appear to support a bit of a Californian advantage.
     
    #25 Go Time, Aug 12, 2006
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  27. thirdunity

    thirdunity Senior Member
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    To clarify some things:

    1) I'm not at Davis yet. I'm at a CC preparing to transfer to Davis. But I have serious second thoughts because of how hard a time I've had trying to find any job that pays more than minimum wage in Cali.

    2) My main concern isn't whether or not I can get into OHSU.
    It's whether I can get into any med school *somewhere* (on either the West or East Coast), private or otherwise, as a graduate of an Oregon school with Oregon undergrad CC classes, as opposed to being a graduate of Davis with the first two years and most prerequisites (because they are also prereq for admission to my major in upper division) at the better-regarded California CCs. Am I seriously shooting myself in the foot by taking myself out of the running for Cali's state schools?

    3) Will my family's membership in a Washington state Indian tribe do absolutely anything for me or is it not worth mentioning?

    Thanks.
     

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