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columbia vs upenn

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by catnjk07, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. catnjk07

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    if you had to choose, which one would you choose and why?
    other than, of course, location since it's obvious nyc is better than philly. at least to me.
     
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  3. lgwdnbdgr

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    I am a D2 at Columbia, so obviously that is the only school about which I can truly offered an informed opinion. I didn't even apply to Penn, so I'm truly no help there. My general advice, though, is to focus on where you think you'll be happiest and most productive.

    If you have specific questions and want to avoid the highly emotional gross inaccuracies that pass for fact on SDN about Columbia, please feel free to PM me. I'd recommend trying to find some current Penn students and bug them, too. There's nothing like getting the low-down straight from the horse's mouth.

    Best of luck!
     
  4. tjdent

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    My interviewer at Penn told me that the school is definitely not worth the price tag and that there is very little community among the students. Plus I hate that dungeon clinic. P/F/H grading is better than normal grades in my opinion. I hate to rip on Penn so much, but I've also heard that the renovations to occur there may have students working in makeshift clinics in trailers/other buildings. Columbia is also cheaper. So, Columbia.
     
  5. catnjk07

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    i heard tho from many people that upenn has a better program and a better reputation. true?
     
  6. tjdent

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    Yeah I think the incoming GPAs and DATs reflect a little higher quality student at UPenn. However since it is graded there this may not be a good thing for you.
    I think both will get you where you want to be though so I wouldn't concern myself with rep. I got into both and prefer Columbia, but I think a lot of that just has to do with the feel I got while at the two schools. And NYC!
     
  7. cobalt31

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    philly doesn't come close to NYC

    plus the faculty/students seemed much friendlier and happier at columbia

    and its cheaper with P/F grading

    if i had to choose between those two, i'd go to columbia
     
  8. nydds25

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    you got into both... so where are you going.. Baltimore?
     
  9. Bruinlove

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    You will spend a little more in living expense if you live in NYC, so the price difference must be no more than 40K at maximum.
    I'd pay that much money if I can live a happier life for next 4 years.

    And I don't think H/P/F scale is any better than GPA.
    For those of you who didn't know, only top 10 people are ranked at PENN.
     
  10. MiamiNole20

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    Trailers?... Not really. I asked Corky Cacas how the renovations would affect students and she specifically asked the dean. He told her that students would definitely NOT be moved to trailers, especially since there isn't any room for trailers on the campus. However, you're right in saying that clinics may be temporarily moved to other spaces/building areas. FYI, they haven't even raised the funding for such renovations, so who knows when it will happen. IMO, Penn seems superior in clinical training while maintaining a heavy interest in research. More grads go into private practice after graduating than Columbia, yet they still have a high specialization rate. I spoke to a D4 who got accepted into several ortho. programs and she said that out of 20 or so students applying for ortho, only 4 didn't get in. So, they definitely hold some weight in putting students into specializations, just like Columbia. That being said, Columbia has better numbers in specializing. Columbia also has an interesting curriculum, putting emphasis on a holistic approach to medicine. That's why you take so many classes w/ med students. You can't beat P/F as it alleviates all the stress of shooting for those extra points. However, it puts that much more stress on doing well on the boards as it is the ONLY indicator of your academic performance to specialty programs. But, if you got into Columbia, you'll probably do well on the boards anyways. Also, NYC slaps up Philly any day. Finally, when comparing facilities, Penn's are much better & you have the added luxury of being on a true campus, w/ plenty of students around. These are my opinions and I hope they help.
     
  11. prydA

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    PENN! penn was the most impressive school i've ever seen
     
  12. NyCzPeter

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    Columbia hands down.I mean comon you get to tell people you're a Columbian :laugh:
     
  13. Maregbe1

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    The decision is yours. I wouldn't listen to anyone on here. You visited both of the schools and know what you felt. I too interviewed at both Penn and Columbia and my opinion was that Penn had a greater facility and happier environment, and I did not get that same feeling at Columbia (maybe its because the students had a big test that day). Anyways I liked Columbia because it was in New York where I want to live. But anyways what Im getting at is that we all had our own opinions after interviewing at both places and comparing them. Its no secret both schools has its pros and cons. You just got to chose which one is a better environment for you. And seriously your going to have fun regardless wether its in NYC or Philly. We can agree that they are both great cities. Honestly both schools are really amazing and your not going to be at a loss between choosing one over the other. Good Luck
     
  14. y0ssarian

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    It seems unlikely that the admissions committee would bash its own school like that.
     
  15. tjdent

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    I already was accepted at Penn. I have nothing to gain by lying and bashing the school. But to be honest, I was very surprised when my interviewer said that to me. He claimed that he has seen too many people get sold on the school and then when they get there they end up resenting the place when its not all its cracked up to be. He interviewed another student too and told that kid the same thing.

    Also, I dont understand why people rave about Penns facilities, they have a nice LOBBY but the actual clinic and classrooms are awful. The sim lab is smaller than my closet. The students there all just talked about how hard the classes were and how bacterial pathology was going to make our lives a living hell. Penn is relying on its ivy reputation and the deans scholarship to attract good students.
     
  16. Maregbe1

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    Like Harvard and Columbia arent doing the same.
     
  17. tjdent

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    Very true, but at those p/f ivies with smaller classes it seems like the students are more taken care of and are happier. In contrast to Penn, where according to my interviewer they are attracted to the school and then are miserable.
     
  18. Maregbe1

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    I am just curious on how you know soo much about their students' happiness from an interview from a professor? I would think you would find this out directly from students who attend, and honestly when i was at Columbia I had several students tell me that they didn't like it there but only came bc they like new york. So that theory that they treat you better does not hold up, sorry try again.
     
  19. Maregbe1

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    Honestly, I think the interviewer was just trying to see how bad you really wanted to go to UPenn. Mind games my friend lol.
     
  20. visbimmer79

    visbimmer79 Cornellian
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    Columbia...because it's in NYC
     
  21. PSU SHC 414

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    Does anyone have the breakdown of clinical requirements (by procedures) for graduation at Penn?

    Also, do you know if Penn students get to place implants by the time they graduate, or are most of those cases reserved for post-grad residents?
     
  22. somethinpositiv

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    Penn > NYU/Pitt/Buffalo/Temple/UMDNJ > columbia

    ...but that's just my opinion ;)
     
  23. tjdent

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    Haha interesting theory but that really wasn't the case. How bad I wanted to go there? I just sat there and listened to him talk and really gave little reaction except thanking him for his opinion and honesty. I didn't pretend to know more than I do and blindly stand up for UPenn. And i got in, so I don't think it was mind games. When I say that the students seemed unhappy I was mostly thinking about the three students that sat next to me during lunch and the one student that showed me how to find Corkys office, however my interviewer had mentioned this also. Literally all they talked about was how bacterial pathology was going to ruin my life. Maybe I just had a few bad apples and its wrong to generalize, but when I combined that with what my interviewer was saying I just got a poor picture of student life at Penn. Im sure many people have gone there and loved it. It is a sweet campus.
     
    #22 tjdent, Dec 13, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  24. tjdent

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    Okay ill "try again" to explain to you why I think Penn doesn't care as much. Ive already explained what the students and professor told me about the school so how about this angle...

    Penn has 117 students in the class of 2012 in a clinic with too few chairs per student. Instead of making students worry about not having a chair, why not just cut back the classes a little bit and be like everyone else. Their past classes have often been in the 120s and 130s. 136 students in the class of 08, 131 in the class of 07, 124 in class of 06. Why would they have classes of these amounts when they know they don't have enough clinic space? Why? Same reason why they charge $55,000 a year for tuition. They know how to do business on that campus, so you tell me why these are there numbers?

    Contrast that to Columbia with 75 kids at $10,000 less per year. And they are learning in a P/F/H system, which eliminates some anxiety and makes the learning more enjoyable.

    So Maregbe1, that is another reason I came away from the two interviews feeling turned off to Penn and optimistic about Columbia.
     
  25. cobalt31

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    i hear you tj. i grew up outside philadelphia and have always had a great perception of UPenn (so many of my friends went to their undergrad/grad schools) and I was certain it would be one of my top choices going into my interview. However, nothing destroys my perception of a school faster than unhappy students. my student tourguide single-handedly toppled my interest in the school by (upon questioning) pointing out many of the things he didn't like about the school and not offering many positive things to balance that out. his main gripe was the lack of chairs, but he had others too. I never got a sense of community from the students at all. i understand that my opinion is based mostly on one student's anecdotal evidence and i still think UPenn is a superb school and you can really get a great education there, but when im trying to decide between plenty of good schools who had really happy, enthusiastic students, its just not worth the risk in my mind.

    for UPenn's sake, i hope they screen their tourguides in the future... a little school spirit goes a long way!
     
  26. nydds25

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    cobalt..... are you choosing Columbia?
     
  27. cobalt31

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    in the expensive school category, i liked the schools in this order: UCSF > Columbia > Penn

    if i end up going to an expensive school, it will be UCSF. i still haven't decided if i should just go to a cheap school though and save the $$, like so many people on SDN recommend...
     

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