OneDayDoc

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2006
75
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Anothere super fun comparison thread!! I have been extremely fortunate to have gotten accepted to two of my favorite schools, and I was wondering what everyone out there thinks of both. I will go to both schools second look activities, naturally, as well. Just a quick background on me, I am a native angelino who wento to college at Columbia, worked in NYC, then did a post bac at Columbia and now do research here. I think I have a pretty good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the university.
For all you presite minded peeps, the US News ranks them equally
In my mind, UCLA is:
much cheaper (helped by a $5k scholarship)
better weather
wider range of affilated hospitals (UCLA, VA, Kaiser, Harbor etc.)
P/F all 4 years
Close to family (all of whom are doctors and nurses)
Horrible admissions office/interview day (a sign of what to expect from admin???)

Columbia is:
in NYC
pricey
AMAZING MATCH LIST
can continue my current research
terrific hospital that attracts all sorts of patients b/c repuation and the local impoverished community
Generally terrible bureacracy and uncaring administration (based on 7+ years going to school and working here)


Any other thoughts?
 

UCLAstudent

I'm a luck dragon!
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 6, 2002
5,046
7
38
CA
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Anothere super fun comparison thread!! I have been extremely fortunate to have gotten accepted to two of my favorite schools, and I was wondering what everyone out there thinks of both. I will go to both schools second look activities, naturally, as well. Just a quick background on me, I am a native angelino who wento to college at Columbia, worked in NYC, then did a post bac at Columbia and now do research here. I think I have a pretty good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the university.
For all you presite minded peeps, the US News ranks them equally
In my mind, UCLA is:
much cheaper (helped by a $5k scholarship)
better weather
wider range of affilated hospitals (UCLA, VA, Kaiser, Harbor etc.)
P/F all 4 years
Close to family (all of whom are doctors and nurses)
Horrible admissions office/interview day (a sign of what to expect from admin???)

Columbia is:
in NYC
pricey
AMAZING MATCH LIST
can continue my current research
terrific hospital that attracts all sorts of patients b/c repuation and the local impoverished community
Generally terrible bureacracy and uncaring administration (based on 7+ years going to school and working here)


Any other thoughts?


I don't know much about Columbia, but I can speak on behalf of UCLA. Yes, the interview day is awful. They are working to fix that. I can tell you that it is the polar opposite of what med school at UCLA is like --- everything is very organized and the professors care about the students. The school pretty much babies the students. :laugh: I encourage you to attend the second look weekend as it is very impressive. Also, since you brought up Columbia's match list, UCLA's is also pretty incredible --- especially if you want to match into the top CA hospitals.
 

Towelie

Resident Towel
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2006
1,129
2
Status (Visible)
I would go to UCLA. It has lower stress and equal prestige. I would especially go there if you think you would like to end up on the west coast.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

OneDayDoc

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2006
75
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Thanks guys. I'm heavily leaning towards UCLA (but will still go to both second looks and applying for fin aid both places just to see what I get). My only hesitancy is because of match list. UCLAstudent, UCLA had a very nice match list, especially on the west coast. But, when it comes to the competitive specialities, Columbia's was off the charts. Nuerosurgery, for instance, UCLA seems to have about 1-2 people go a year (based on the last few years lists I've seen). Columbia had, I think, 10 last year. To places like UCSF, Columbia-Pres, Barrows, Hopkins. Same thing across all the competitive specialities.
As has been said here many times, these lists are often hard to read. But, does Columbia's list imply a better reputation amongst residency directors? Better research?
Does the pass/fail and no ranking at UCLA make it harder for residencies to rank UCLA students relative to each other (I mean if someone is 4th in their class from X medical school vs. UCLA student who has all passes)? Or, does UCLA just accept more people interested in primary care, in which case the match list is more a reflection of who comes in rather than what comes out?

Anyway, thanks for the input.
 

Towelie

Resident Towel
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2006
1,129
2
Status (Visible)
Thanks guys. I'm heavily leaning towards UCLA (but will still go to both second looks and applying for fin aid both places just to see what I get). My only hesitancy is because of match list. UCLAstudent, UCLA had a very nice match list, especially on the west coast. But, when it comes to the competitive specialities, Columbia's was off the charts. Nuerosurgery, for instance, UCLA seems to have about 1-2 people go a year (based on the last few years lists I've seen). Columbia had, I think, 10 last year. To places like UCSF, Columbia-Pres, Barrows, Hopkins. Same thing across all the competitive specialities.
As has been said here many times, these lists are often hard to read. But, does Columbia's list imply a better reputation amongst residency directors? Better research?
Does the pass/fail and no ranking at UCLA make it harder for residencies to rank UCLA students relative to each other (I mean if someone is 4th in their class from X medical school vs. UCLA student who has all passes)? Or, does UCLA just accept more people interested in primary care, in which case the match list is more a reflection of who comes in rather than what comes out?

Anyway, thanks for the input.

I have heard that residencies do not like the P/F no ranking thing.

Columbia almost definitely has a stronger national reputation than UCLA. But the difference isn't big enough to choose it over UCLA if you will be happier there.
 

GoSprout24

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2006
97
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I wouldn't worry too much about Columbia having "more competitive specialties", such as neurosurg, in their match list compared to UCLA. Personally, I think it's more of a reflection of the student body and the environment of the university than it is the quality of the students. It's my general perception that Columbia has more of a subspecialty emphasis than UCLA. Just this past year when I applied to Columbia for residency, my interviewer admitted that primary care is one of the weaknesses of their (residency) program. At my med school, we only had 1 person this year apply to neurosurg -- not because we didn't have several students that would have been easily qualified, but bc many of the "top" students in my class ended up choosing internal medicine, pediatrics, etc...

Also, as is always mentioned in these forums, be careful about judging residency programs based on their affiliated medical school. Unless you know the specialty well and know something about their residency programs, it can be difficult to decifer the programs on the match list.
 

Stolenspatulas

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2006
1,696
9
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
If you are interested in anything neuro (since you brought up the matchlists...), Columbia is the place to go. Best Neuro research/clinical training in the country is done there. Ask any MSTP applicant interested in Neuro...its understood that Columbia is the best.

Personally if I had your dilemma, I'd go to UCLA since its so much damn cheaper. You can't go wrong with either school, though.
 

doctor0125

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2006
119
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Columbia for sure! NY is way funner and Columbia is a super well known school around the whole country.
 

kc222

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 29, 2003
121
0
40
Bay Area, CA
Status (Visible)
If you're looking ahead, you may get a better residency going to Columbia. It's because of your opportunity to continue your research. Top schools look really favorably if you've done research and it's a plus since u could have your PI write you a letter. That's not to say that UCLA wouldn't be a bad choice either since it'll be a nice change, you have family in the area, and it's a strong program too. I think you have to assess where you'll be more happy and what would be the best place to get you to where you want to be after med school. Yes, that's kinda lots of advanced planning but something to consider! :rolleyes:

:luck:
 

photo_girl07

Western Blot Queen
10+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2006
653
0
CALIFORNIA BABY!
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I can't speak for Columbia, since I declined my interview...

but I will say that UCLA rocks! The atmosphere is sooo much more laid back and students just seemed happier. Plus, the weather is amazing and there are so many clinical opportunities.

Plus, it doesn't snow and its cheaper (a lot cheaper :)

Good Luck!
 

Margarita

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2007
12
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Interview day also rubbed me the wrong way at UCLA, was wondering if any others had similar experiences, but were accepted/ found the school to be different from the interview day? My interviewer popped open his laptop and typed everything I had to say after we sat down, very little chance for me to make eye contact/ even know if and when he wanted me to pause or continue.
 

agscribe

Padawan
10+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2007
16
0
40
Fresno, CA
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I was in a similar type of situation. I was trying to choose between UCSF and UCLA. I put up a threrad and a lot of people helped me by giving their opinion/tips. But the nail in the coffin for me was what I heard from the residency directors. I figured that if anyone cared about what school we went to, it would be the residency directors. I mean, they choose us for the next phase of our careers, so they must be a good person to ask. I just googled for a while and found the top residencies in the country for a range of programs (ortho, medicine, ER, radiology, and OB/GYN). Then I did faculty searches till I found their directors and emailed about 5 of them. Unanimously they all said that it didn't matter one bit which school of those two I went to. One guy said that if you went to Ross vs Harvard, there would be something to be said, but they said not at the level of UCLA/UCSF. Columbia is on the same level, so as far as schools go, you are square either way. They all said that the only thing that they care about is USMLE scores, letters, and research etc... Where you went to school makes no difference at that level. And those were the top programs in the nation respectively. But since research is one of the things they DO care about, already having something set up will make you look that much better come residency application time. You will have the potential for great research at both places, but being able to say"I have been doing "x" for 5 years now will look pretty sweet no matter what anyone else has. That is a unique situation. So the question is do you want less debt in a more relaxed atmosphere with better weather (native of Cali = close to home?) or do you want to build a sweet ass resume in one of the most fun cities in the country (with a slightly higer than average debt load)? In 4 years you will be done with either one. You will have either a $90,000 debt and a great residency application or $150,000 debt and a wicked application. Take your pick. :D You can't go wrong. :thumbup:
 

kyneuromania

Neurosurgeon
10+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2006
72
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Same boat as you. I am leaning toward Columbia. Having lived in CA for many years, it's time for me to get out of here. NYC!!! :cool:
 

OCPreMed

Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2006
257
1
Los Angeles
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Columbia and UCLA are a good match up head to head. However, the match list speaks for it self. UCLA is great, but Columbia's Ivy status, international/ national recognition, and breadth of research surpass UCLA. Columbia was one of my top choices because of these reasons and also a change of pace from So Cal life style. UCLA is a great school, one of the best as well, but IMHO it is not Columbia.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 14 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.