Current students: any regrets about choosing a top 10 over state?

lalalala

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This is a little bit of a twist on the "this" versus "that" school. I am wondering if there are any current med students at top 10 schools that regret going there over a cheaper state alternative. we are talking just a regular state school, not a UTSW, Baylor, UNC, UCs type caliber school.

Reasons may be: $$, feeling like you could have "stood" out more or honored more at your state school, also feeling like the reputable school actually didn't give you that "oomph" everyone talked about [if any M4s wanna chime in], or any other kinds of reasons (homesick, tougher to get residency back in your state), ETC.

I know 90% of med school is what YOU make of it, but I am just wondering about the other stuff that rounds out the experience.

thanks,
lalalala
 

Lhickz22

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I would love to hear what people think about this too...I'm trying to choose between staying in state at the University of Florida or shelling out the big bucks and heading to Norhtwestern.
 

aydinhatemi

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I chose my state school over a top 10 school. As I assume my time is limited to 24 hours a day and I can not study an extra 25th hourper day, medical school is pretty much depends on how much you study. Rotations? I do not know it yet.
 
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wahoo99

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You will be in so much debt by the end -- it can be 100,000 for a state or 300,000 for a private! I really don't think it matters - I am from UCONN and we are sending people all over this year (MGH, Yale, Duke, Hopkins, etc..) Remember - we all take the same boards, so that is not an issue. Try to get a feel for each place when you interview -- see where you feel most comfortable. It's a tough 4 years and you want to be in a supportive environment (which may be in a state or a "top ten" - depending on what you like!!) Also remember what the "rankings" are based on -- there is the "Primary Care" list and the "Research" list. I would just talk to current students and see how happy they have been with their educations!
 

Masonator

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wahoo99 said:
You will be in so much debt by the end -- it can be 100,000 for a state or 300,000 for a private! I really don't think it matters - I am from UCONN and we are sending people all over this year (MGH, Yale, Duke, Hopkins, etc..) Remember - we all take the same boards, so that is not an issue. Try to get a feel for each place when you interview -- see where you feel most comfortable. It's a tough 4 years and you want to be in a supportive environment (which may be in a state or a "top ten" - depending on what you like!!) Also remember what the "rankings" are based on -- there is the "Primary Care" list and the "Research" list. I would just talk to current students and see how happy they have been with their educations!
If you want to see the difference in matching line up a top 10 school with a state school like UConn, you can find match lists for 2004 on the allopathic forum. There is a definite difference in the residency placement. That being said, you need to decide if a big name residency is worth the extra 150,000. 300,000 is a bit on the high side, most do 200-250K. Do you really want to do that high end academic specialty or are you happy in a low key community setting? What kind of mentors do you want during your experience? These are questions that you need to ask yourself. Breaking into a top 10 residency from a state school is not impossible, you can do it if you are in the top of your class. However finishing in the top 10% of a medschool class is no easy task! It will take hard work, dedication and some conniving. If you come from a top 10 program you are almost guaranteed a top 10 residency as long as you are not in the bottom of the class. Still challenging but probably easiar then finishing in the top 5-10% in any medical school. If private practice is your aim, I would recommend saving the money. If derm or some other lucrative high paying specialty is your aim, or if you want to do academics, then I would say go with the top 10.
 

bluegill

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I chose a "top 10" school over my state school for about double the debt(200K versus 100K). I am an M3 and I have never once regretted my decision.

I entered not knowing what I wanted to do, which is how most people enter. I figured that a top 10 school kept every option open, even if I don't graduate in the top 10% in my class.

In the M1 and M2 year, the difference is small, because the only key to success is memorizing. In the M3 and M4 year, I believe the difference is huge, and my friends at the state school agree. I love that every single month, I work alongside national and international EXPERT attendings in their given field, and with residents who were hand-picked over thousands of other applicants. They are amazing and inspiring. Frankly, I'd rather learn from the doctor who wrote the book than the one who read the book. And don't forget, working alongside the best students in the country will push you to be your very best.

As for the money, after it is paid off in ten years, I doubt I'll ever think about the cost of tuition again. But I will remember fondly my four years at one of the best medical centers in the world, and the extraordinary patients and doctors with whom I worked.
 

Yuliya11111

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What are these top 10 residencies everyone keeps talking about? What am I missing? Where are they ranked?

Thanks.
 

ginseng

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I had no problem in deciding. As a California resident, the school I decided to attend is both a public school and a "top-ranked" school whatever that means. I was originally going to attend another school on the East Coast, but when I got that acceptance letter, I said good-bye to double the debt, absurd winters, and sticky summers.
 

Jalby

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Wherever you go to school is most likely where you will do your residency. If you like the area where your state school is, go there. If you want more options across the nation, go to the top 10. (really simplified version)
 

banannie

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i chose Duke over my NJ state schools and have absolutely no regrets.
of course, the decision was made easier by the fact that Duke gave me excellent financial aid.

even though NJ Med and RWJ are closer to the region of the country I'd ultimately like to end up (ie, Philadelphia or New York) i still think that i'll have a better shot at top notch residencies in those cities, coming from duke, than i would if I'd gone to one of the NJ schools.

according to a prof. at Mount Sinai who i spoke with last year, who has a hand in picking residents every year, he would prefer a Tufts grad to a RWJ or NJMS grad. take this with a grain of salt, but i think it's an indicator that being in a particular region for med school is not always going to trump reputation, even when it's only a modest difference in reputation.

honestly, i'm not confident i would have been at the top of my class at my state school. i probably would have been middle-of-the-pack, just like i am here at Duke. so, all things being equal, i think i have an edge coming from Duke.

to be honest, i wish that i were able to go home more often. but my quality of life here is much, much better here than it would be in Newark or Piscataway. also, personally, i think it's beneficial to live in different areas of the country. if you went to undergrad near where you grew up, and think you want to return there for your residency, it would be really good to consider going somewhere else for 4 years.
 

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Thyroid Storm
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One thing to consider is what kind of fields you're interested in. If you want to do one of the high paying and competitive fields (eg derm and ent), then you'll get accepted to them more easily from a top ten school and will be able to pay off the debt without too much trouble. However, if you want to do a less competitive field like medicine or peds, then you don't have to go to a top ten school to get an excellent residency position. Furthermore, if you have 200k in debt, you may not be able to afford going into fields like peds, even if that is what you would like to do!
 

SunnyS81

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No regrets over the $140k tuition over $0 tuition for me. I didn't pay tution in undergrad either though, so these are my first loans.....

Then again, I take pride in knowing that trained at premiere institutions in becoming an engineer and a doctor.......maybe I'm an academic elitist or something.....
 

wahoo99

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Where is this "top 10% of the class" thing coming from? As far as I know, a lot of schools are going to the pass/fail system as it is. I am from a state school and was able to get a "competitive" residency & have no clue where I "rank".
 

mattorama

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have you asked this in the residency forums? You will certainly get more resonses from people who have matched and whose debt is more "real" to them now....though it looks like a few may have posted here already.
 

wahoo99

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I guess that depends on the school, because there was no mention of this anywhere in my application, transcript, or dean's letter. To address the original question -- if you are good enough to get into a top 10 school, I'm sure you would be in the "top 10%" (whatever that means) at a state school.
 

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Thyroid Storm
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wahoo99 said:
if you are good enough to get into a top 10 school, I'm sure you would be in the "top 10%" (whatever that means) at a state school.
That's BS. I'd agree that it's definitely a lot easier to be in the top 10% in a state school then at a top 10 school. But there a lot of really smart students who chose state schools b/c of money. I'd be very surprised if a mid 50% student from Hopkins could make top ten % at a state school. Average board scores certainly don't support that!
 
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