I think that if you do a search through previous postings you will find many threads which address the rumor that UCSD students are not happy. With 17 days remaining in my first year here, I find that I am still happy with my decision to attend UCSD. I spent some time at UCI and considered attending there, but I think that our extracurricular opportunities are better. We have a great faculty, and though some days lectures drag on too long, you can always simply opt not to attend. My classmates are great fun, there is always a party happening and I think that if you came to UCSD you would be able to enjoy yourself while getting a stellar education. On the other hand, UCI and USC are good schools as well. I don't think you can go wrong.
my uncle went to UCI for med school...he had a blast and an excellent learning experience. he's now a wonderful and very well respected doc. however given the choice between UCSD and UCI, I would choose, and i think he also would have choosen UCSD.
there's quite a big difference in terms of reputation. UCSD is usually about a top 15 school. i don't know exactly how residency match worked before, but these days there's an obvious preference by program directors for students coming in from higher ranking schools. going to a higher ranking school automatically opens more doors. there have been a lot of arguments that reputation doesn't matter. people can deny it all they want...but just look at the stats. if you interested getting into a particular specialty and or location for residency is important for you, please don't ignore the stats...you may regret it later.
I am currently accepted to UCSD, and just got UCI, and still waiting on USC. I think I like USC (mostly cuz its in LA, and the curriculum is not 10hrs of lecture aday). Please give me your experiences, and recommendations. I've heard many students unhappy at UCSD, and some at USC. Seems like UCI are happiest..but I don't know if its in the same calibre as UCSD (mostly based on rankings...but 17/6 vs. 53/55 for research and clinical respectively).