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choosing program: research strength vs. location


Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2003
Hey everyone,

I am glad its decision time, FINALLY, but I was wondering if anyone was having the same dilemma:

Would you choose an MD/PhD that has a better research program or a program that is in a better location. The medical schools are comparable, but I am stuck with the question of: do I go to this school with dozens and dozens of great faculty and be far from family friends and in the cold 10 months/ year or do I go to a closer school which still has good research and a smaller program.

Anyone's thoughts will definately be helpful.

Lots of luck to everyone wherever you go.


10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2003
  1. MD/PhD Student
I'm assuming that you're trying to decide between Pitt and NJ?

Personally, I would go to Pitt. Great school, great program. It might be a little chilly at times, but the drive home wouldn't be totally unmanageable. Despite the cold and the distance from home, I would still go to the more solid program.

Who am I to say, though? I left the cold AND my family when I moved to DC from Alaska.
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Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2003
los angeles
I have been faced with the same dilemma (although its a dilemma I am very thankful for!) between choosing a larger, bigger name school which is further away from family and my fiance, or a smaller, more intimate school which still has quality research and is closer to home. In my opinion, it really depends on how much the name and prestige of the school really means to you, and if that is important enough for you to relocate away from your comfort zone. I think that if both schools are doing cutting edge research and have no problems with receiving funding, then the rest is up to us to be successful, no matter the name of the institution. Just the fact that we are future MD/PhDs already gives us an advantage in seeking residencies and career positions in the future. I think the best thing for me is to probably stay closer to home, since wherever I decide to go, I will have to live with that decision for the next 7+ years of my life!
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