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City Safety Factor

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Chemist0157, Dec 10, 2008.

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Is safety a significant factor to you?

  1. Yes

    74 vote(s)
    43.0%
  2. No

    66 vote(s)
    38.4%
  3. People should be afraid of me.

    32 vote(s)
    18.6%
  1. Chemist0157

    10+ Year Member

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    When choosing which schools to apply to, or if you have some acceptances, which one to attend, do you consider safety as a factor?

    Maybe I'm a minority, but I think about these kinds of things for my wife. Plus, she's kind of obsessing over each little detail about my acceptances and beat me to the punch by finding out which cities are the safest.

    Personally, in terms of safety, I think it's more for her because I always felt like I'd spend most of time on the medical school campus and wouldn't really get in that much trouble. Also, my state's capital (Little Rock, AR) seems to consistently be in the top 15 most dangerous cities (AR seems to be the fifth most dangerous state) so I almost have this opinion that we'll be safer wherever we move. Of course, it's kind of unsettling to see St. Louis as the top or runner-up most dangerous city in the U.S. :laugh:
     
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  3. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    In my case (single, armed and dangerous) its not a big factor. In your case, I would say it is a much bigger consideration because of the wife.
     
  4. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    I think Safety should be a big issue and will play a rather large goal. I have lived a good portion of my life in cookie-cutter suburbia, and do not know how I will do in a rather urban location...:rolleyes:


    On the bright side, there is great clinical experience especially if you wanna do EM, Trauma Surgery, etc...;)
     
  5. Nemuri

    Nemuri It's too late
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    If you are interested in trauma, I am absolutely certain the local Homeboy ambulance in St. Louis will be providing immeasurable contributions to your training and education. Safety would be a major concern for me unless I'm getting a free-ride to go to Baltimore/Cleveland/Detroit/"insert 3rd world country warzone here".

    If I'm paying for it, I'd prefer a big safe city with no overwhelming poverty/ghetto population. Maybe be able to shop at a local supermarket without fears of being mugged by a group of teenagers with baggy clothing & horrible tastes in music?
     
  6. Bacchus

    Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I'll say, Philadelphia isn't as bad as the rap it gets if you have street smarts/use common sense. I've lived in W. Philly now going on 4 years and have not had anything happen to me. There was one driveby, however, but no one was hit. I feel safer in Philadelphia than I do in Allentown, which is considerably smaller. The more comfortable you are (while still being smart) the less nerves you'll have.
     
  7. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    Having grown up and lived in the city virtually my whole life, I would suggest that women take extra precaution. I know more than quite a few who came into the city from rural or otherwise smaller towns who thought they could keep their door unlocked and walk alone down alleyways at night. Don't do it. And don't listen to any of that "I'm a woman, hear me roar" feminist crap they spew in college. My college held some seminar on how girls can fight back against rapists. All the sorority girls came out and learned sub-par self-defense moves that will more than likely get them killed faster than it will save them. I got my girlfriend a gun, taught her to use it, and I now feel very sorry for the poor SOB who might try and grab her in a dark alleyway.

    Especially with the economy getting worse and worse and crime rate increasing (especially petty crimes), I recommend all law-abiding citizens obtain a handgun and a conceal carry permit. This will allow you to have some security when you leave late night lectures. Just make sure you get a qualified instructor to teach you how to use it - the NRA holds seminars over a weekend for $75 and you will become comfortable with how to safey use, store, and maintain a firearm.

    If you don't like guns, I recommend you learn martial arts or something. The police here aren't always going to be able to help you in time... Actually, most of the time, when you are assaulted by someone trying to rob you, you won't even have time to call them. Even if you did you have slim to no chance of getting help in a timely fashion in a big city. I guess you can just pray they won't hurt or rape you.

    Note: If you go to school in Illinois you can't conceal carry (one of two states in the US who don't allow it). But you can store a pistol in your handbag and have the clip in an ankle holder. There is a way around this law, and its held up under judicial scrutiny. Check the laws in your area.

    There were almost 500 homicides in the city of Chicago last year and would have been more if responsible citizens didn't arm themselves.
     
  8. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    lol...
     
  9. Bacchus

    Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Most campuses do not allow you to conceal and carry a weapon. Leaving the weapon in your car is irresponsible if a theft occurs. However, you could lock the firearm in your trunk, I suppose.

    In Philadelphia, a muggee shooting an attacker would undoubtedly lead to some form of a public outcry, especially if different races are in the case.
     
  10. Nemuri

    Nemuri It's too late
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    I'll co-sign the street smarts section of his post having lived in Washington Heights ( Upper Manhattan ) and Cleveland. I will say living so close to the ghetto isn't a pleasant thing regardless. You'll be counting down the days when you can finally live somewhere people aren't so ignorant and barbaric.
     
  11. LossForWords

    LossForWords PGY-1
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    The city I live in is safe enough, and the part I live in is especially safe. The 400 yards surrounding the hospital and med school though is one of the most dangerous parts of town. When sh!t goes down, it goes down there.

    ....yeah.
     
  12. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 ;)
     
  13. flip26

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    If you are sweating the safety of Little Rock, you are in big trouble. Truth is, you are looking for reasons to leave your state school behind (I have read your other posts)...I don't think that the safety of Little Rock is really much of an argument for leaving...

    Name the cities you are contemplating...some are definitely worse than others...
     
  14. Loon

    Loon Clawed to bits
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    How bad is Cleveland? I wasn't there for very long, so I got experience case western and the airport.
     
  15. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    I would probably be more comfortable carrying mace around than a firearm. Mace will get someone out of your grill and flat on the concrete. My bud is a cop and he said that when he got sprayed he was completely incapacitated. Sobbing like a baby. Shooting someone seems a little brash to me when you have the option of carrying a small can of mace.
     
  16. Chemdude

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    Damn dude, you are 20(MDApps) and you have a wife? Ballin:cool:
     
  17. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    thats an option.. but I've been sprayed with mace and pepper spray before, and I know if I was fighting someone, I wouldn't be completely out of commission. I'll keep my gun.. I don't want to shoot anyone but if they're a useless piece of garbage trying to rob or kill me or rob, rape, kill my girlfriend, I know I wouldn't care if he got off'd.
     
  18. Chemist0157

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    Actually, that's why I have a hard time taking these rankings seriously because I have never thought of Little Rock as a dangerous place. I've never felt unsafe. If I choose to not attend UAMS, it won't be because I feel unsafe. Like I said, this safety stuff is mostly for my wife.

    I'm an armed citizen as well, but that is mainly for if someone tries to break into my apartment while I'm there. I don't carry a weapon everywhere I go so muggings are a greater concern to me.

    Honestly, I wish the statistics were a little bit more clear/specific because we all know that most crime occurs in certain neighbors and among certain people (criminals shooting each other, etc.). Sure, there is always a chance of being mugged/killed/raped, but keeping away from certain areas and not running around with the wrong crowd can go a long way. Heck, if 90% of the crime occurs in 5% of the city, just stay away!

    My greatest concern (like I said before) is a place like St.Louis that consistently is at the very top of the "most dangerous lists." I'm not trying to quantify the safety of a number of cities but rather really asking if I should be genuinely concerned with living in a city like St. Louis.
     
  19. Chemist0157

    10+ Year Member

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    Oh yeah, I should update that...I'm about 21.5 now (but I'm sure that's still young, lol).
     
  20. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Schools are required by federal law to report crime stats annually (Cleary Act). You can google the school name and Cleary and find the report. Crime tends to be focused in specific areas of cities (particularly where drug dealing and gang crime occurs) and other areas can be very safe.
     
  21. nogolfinsnow

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    It's hard to judge cities by statistics. Every city has its good parts and its "you're f'ing crazy if you are going there" parts. Oakland has parts that are like Baghdad, and parts that normal middle class people enjoy in relative safety. You can never be 100% safe, even with a gun (even cops get killed sometimes). But you can at least increase your chances; know what parts of a city to avoid, don't walk around with your ipod in, lock your doors, keep your eyes open for anything suspicious, etc etc. Even in "dangerous" cities, the vast, vast, vast majority of people get through the day without anything happening to them. Just remember when you watch/read/listen to the news, they only pick the bad things to report. That being said, I do have a wife as well so I worry about her. Find a relatively safe place to live, get to know your neighbors so they'll be more likely to look out for you, map out good directions, and you'll feel at least a little better.
     
  22. Chemist0157

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    Ironically, my small hometown of ~11,000 people has had a long string of thefts and break-ins lately. I guess some people have been "shopping" for Christmas! ;)

    They actually caught a few people so that's good, but I was concerned for a while because a girl got robbed at gunpoint within my apartment complex. And it's not in a bad area at all.

    That's why I'm pretty skeptical of these statistics because the chances of getting mugged are VERY low regardless of where you live as long as you take the proper precautions. Even in the most dangerous cities, your chances are only slightly higher.
     
  23. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    nemuri, i live a little below where you used in upper manhattan, im in the 130's, but i totally know what oyu mean. i want to go to nyu partly for the change in location.
     
  24. bob1988

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    I think everyone will be fine regardless of where you go to med school. Just be smart about it. I live in Berkeley (southside) and there are regular incidents of muggings and the like. But, you just have to be smart and not use a phone while walking late at night, be observant, walk on lighted streets and not look like a target. I walk home regularly at 2 AM alone and have never had any problems. Even if I did get mugged, I wouldn't lose anything of value (besides the psychological scars) since I don't carry a laptop or cash.

    Safety is important, but most med schools and college campuses will be relatively safe, there is no need to venture into the ghetto.
     
  25. cpants

    cpants Member
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    Why does it have to be a race thing? If you shoot somebody who is mugging you, it's not because you hate a certain race, it's because you hate getting hurt/killed/robbed.
     
  26. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
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    Because events such as shootings (justified or not) exacerbate racial tensions already present. For example, if three police officers had been acquitted of excessive force charges after the beating of a caucasian man named Rodney King, would the riots in L.A., Las Vegas, and Atlanta still have occurred? I doubt it.
     
  27. Bacchus

    Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    It doesn't. But in Philadelphia it will be. Mumia rallies still occur, for example.
     
  28. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    I already spend a good amount of time in one of the country's rougher cities. Anywhere I go for med school would most likely be an improvement as far as safety goes.

    Maybe if I were married It'd be a bigger factor, but in my present situation safety isn't a factor i'm considering. Most of the time common sense (streetsmarts, whatever you want to call it) will keep you out of trouble.

    The other positive to mace over a knife or gun is that if your assailant takes it from you, mace in the face is far superior to a bullet. It's not uncommon for victims to get shot/stabbed with their own self-defense weapon.
     
  29. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member
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    Most cities with high crime rates have those crimes confined to certain areas. I've lived in NOLA for 8 years now (minus some evacuated time) and I've never had ANYTHING happen to me. But then again I don't do stupid stuff like walk around by myself half drunk through a questionable neighborhood. Not saying that freak stuff doesn't happen but the likelihood of it happening while you do normal things like go to the store or the park are pretty close to nil. You just have to adopt some new habits like locking doors, staying with the group, being aware of your surroundings etc.
     
  30. Crazyday

    Crazyday Junior in HS
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    I wouldn't rely on mace or a tazer. Most people are completely shut down by them, but there's some that will keep going and you'll be boned when your mace doesn't faze them.

    Pulling out a gun might get them to run their ass off without even having to fire. You could pistol-whip the **** out of them, or if absolutely necessary shoot them. I think your safety is first and foremost in a situation like this, over any legal trouble you could get in or lawsuits etc.

    Few people can keep going after getting shot. It's really the only reliable option, if you ask me.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2A7IsQ83bY

    Youtube embed stopped working for me, or something's up with their site. Demonstrates what I'm talking about though.

    Around here we had a kid on LSD keep going after 19 5-second taser bursts.
     
    #29 Crazyday, Dec 10, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  31. efitzpat

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    I go to USC and downtown LA isn't very fun and we recently had a student stabbed to death and numerous robberies/muggings/assaults throughout the school year.

    HOWEVER, the majority of these instances happen when people are walking alone, late at night, etc. I'm a small female, I live alone, walk home, etc and I've been able to keep myself safe just by being smart.

    Wanting to go into emergency medicine, cities like this are actually kind of a draw for me for more experience in the ER. I plan on living in a suburb and commuting. Proposed safety of a city isn't going to keep me away from a school.
     
  32. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    I thought you were cool:eek::eek::eek::(:(:(

    I guess not...:p
     
  33. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    wow how sheltered some of yall are is funny lol

    and I love the ignorant comments about "the ghetto" and what not...ahh I wish I could just think as simply as that....oh well :rolleyes:
     
  34. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    I think about 1 in 100 is going to be able to withstand mace in the least bit. Im not too worried about being chased down by someone tripping that bad on LSD. Even then, they will think twice. If its a good enough first line of defense for cops its good enough for me!

    or you could always carry bear mace...that should do the trick!
     
  35. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    Free Mumia Abu Jamaal!! ;)
     
  36. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    For real though....just use common sense and you'll be fine 99.99% of the time in any city...if a neighborhood is known to be dangerous, avoid it; if you are going out late at night, don't go alone; and if there is any situation that you're second guessing, go with your gut! lol
     
  37. Bacchus

    Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I prefer the safe passage method as I refer to it. There are two streets by campus I will always walk. I will not stray even one block in any direction from them.
     
  38. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    Yes.

    But I feel most Canadian cities are very safe (at least compared to the USA) so I don't worry too much about it.
     
  39. snicket

    snicket ghettochip malfunction
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    Unfortunately, I knew a person who was a fan of mugging others -- there are some things to remember besides your standard ~don't be stupid~ precautions:

    - Don't be afraid. They can see the fear in your body language, and that will make you become the prime target.
    - Don't walk down a street adopting a holier-than-thou attitude. This vibe will not only get us city dwellers to look at you funny and/or with disdain, but your pockets will probably end up lighter as well.
    - Do attempt to feel at peace with your new community. It's kind of hard to explain, but try to integrate yourself into the community instead of observing it from the outside. This will make you think to yourself, "Oh holy crap. This city is bananas and I love it." You'll only project your joy of being in the city, and unsavory characters will see that you're part of their 'hood. You'll be more relatable. If it's a serial killer, though... well, g'luck then. D:

    If you seem awkwardly out of place or uncomfortable -- you have taken the first step to being screwed.

    Don't worry. Every major city has a crappy place. Avoid going into active danger, but if you must cross it, don't project fear. I know, easier said than done -- but after living in the city for a while, you'll have it down pat. You'll be fine, no matter where you go.
     
  40. parafilm

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    True story. I've lived in a kind of rough part of a city for several years now and even as a (very) white female, I've never had any problems, nor have my roommates or friends. I've lived in cities my whole life, so I'm pretty aware of my surroundings and which situations are safe and which aren't.

    And Snicket's right. I don't speed up as I pass the projects (literally) the next block over, I don't cross the street when there's someone "suspicious". I feel safe and people can see that I know what's going on. So far I have not been murdered/mugged/raped, so it seems to be working.

    Frankly I find the sketchy frat guys at my school to be creepier than the old homeless guys hanging out on my street corner.
     
    #39 parafilm, Dec 10, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  41. Bacchus

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    A large group of the homeless in Philadelphia have obscure psychiatric issues. It is frightening. I have found myself crossing the street plenty of times.
     
  42. snicket

    snicket ghettochip malfunction
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    Haha, there was this awesome hobo at 10th and Cantrell -- he always gave us cake whenever were walking to Broad St.

    I have no idea where the cake came from. No idea. Aren't you homeless, dude? Where the hell are you getting this gourmet german chocolate-y goodness?

    Obviously, we ate it!!!
     
  43. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    :eek: I would be to weirded out to eat it.
     
  44. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    It's no factor at all for me. I don't seem to get much trouble from people, regardless of where I am.
     
  45. snicket

    snicket ghettochip malfunction
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    Oh, lawl, sorry -- internets sarcasm. :[ :[

    If I did eat it, I probably wouldn't even be here to reply to you!

    ...It looked so moist though. D:
     
  46. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    Sorry, finals must be erroding my sarcasm detector.
     
  47. lildoc

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    So I go to SLU undergrad and have lived in St. louis all my life. Yes, the city itself can be dangerous. Slu recently had 3 muggings in a week and a half...one male got robbed on a campus parking lot at 6 at night. The city of St. Louis is trying to fix itself up and some places are nicer than others. Still, things have never gotten to the point where I constantly feel like I have to worry about my safety. (and I'm a 5 foot female). Needless to say, I'm not sure how I would feel about raising a family in the actual city of St. Louis. St. Louis county is very safe for the most part. So if safety is a huge concern for you, there are certainly nicer and safer areas a little farther from campus.
     
  48. snicket

    snicket ghettochip malfunction
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    Bahaha. I can send you some cake to remedy finals stress! Not that a hobo gave it to me or anything...
     
  49. cpants

    cpants Member
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    You don't give black people enough credit. The Rodney King case, involving a half a dozen police officers kicking and beating a defenseless man with clubs, is a lot different from defending yourself against a violent criminal. Most people, black or white, will agree that the criminal gets what he deserves if he gets hurt mugging someone.
     
  50. cpants

    cpants Member
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    I will add that unless you are well trained and completely comfortable and confident with your firearm, you have absolutely no business walking around armed.
     
  51. halekulani

    halekulani Member
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    if you are female, have a wife, or a family, then it's something to consider

    for myself, as a male, i'm not really that concerned.
     

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