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Dartmouth or Jefferson

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by whyamidoingthis, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. whyamidoingthis


    Apr 10, 2008
    Hello All,

    I just wanted to ask those of you already in medical school, how important is it that you're extremely comfortable with the surrounding environment when you first enter medical school. I'm a city boy at heart, but now I'm deciding between Dartmouth, a school with a great reputation, and Jefferson, a school with just a solid reputation. I have a feeling that the academics might be slightly better at Dartmouth, but I'm worried about the extremely rural setting there. I'm not a very outdoorsy-kinda guy, and I enjoy having good food at restaurants, going to a club for a couple of drinks once in a while, etc. However, I do tend to adjust wherever I am, but four years in a rural setting has really had me worried lately. I'm also worried that Dartmouth may not expose me to the kind of medicine (urban cases) that I plan to work with in the future. And I do know that at Dartmouth you have away rotations that send us pretty far, so I don't know how that is to deal with as well.

    For those of you in medical school, does it even matter in the end? Is it more worth it to go where you think the education might be a little better, or where you just feel more comfortable with your surroundings? Do you really ever get to enjoy those surroundings, or is medical school so intense that it really doesn't tend to matter? How well will my board scores correlate with where I go if I work hard at both places? And if you do go to school in a city, do you get better exposure to urban medicine than if you're in a rural setting, or does it all balance out in the end with the away rotations and such? If anyone can give me some general thoughts on my dilemma, I would really appreciate it...
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  3. imagined space

    imagined space 5+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    Well, I don't go to either of those schools so my advice isn't all that valuable. Here in Philly there are a good number of med students and I met a few from Jeff who seemed to really be enjoying it. Philly has everything that you would want from a city (besides a cheap, modernized public transport system), so that wouldn't be an issue for your preferred lifestyle and patient population.

    I honestly don't feel like I have been able to really explore the city my first year (they do keep you pretty busy). I know a couple cool areas pretty well and that's about it. If I was in your situation, I'd go to Dartmouth. I think you'll meet some really cool people there and a rural environment might be a great life-altering experience.

    I had one friend that moved from urban dallas to rural kansas for school. He loves it and hasn't looked back.
  4. whyamidoingthis


    Apr 10, 2008
    thanks a lot for the info, imagined space. I am actually from philly - i went there for undergrad - so i'm very comfortable there..but yeah you're right in that it might not be a factor at all in the end.
  5. whyamidoingthis


    Apr 10, 2008
    any other medical students with advice based on their personal experiences?
  6. VCgirl

    VCgirl New Member 2+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    Hey! I actually interviewed at both schools last year and fell in love with Jefferson much more than Dartmouth. The students at Jeff seem to be really cool and I love their curriculum, too. All I can say is when my student host broke out her windshield scraper to "de-ice" her car before heading to class, my decision had been made. Rural, icy cold winters are not fun...take it from a Canadian! Ultimately, if you work hard and kill your boards, you will have great matches so don't let that be your deciding factor. Choose the school that will make you the happiest in your time outside of class and has the best overall feel for you. For me, that was Jeff. I deferred admission since I was waiting for my green card, but from the students that I have met, everyone seem really happy with their decision. Hope that this helps somewhat!! I'll be starting at Jeff this fall so hopefully I'll get to meet you :).
  7. plauto

    plauto 7+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2007
    I never visited Dartmouth and will be going to Jeff in the fall so I can't really compare the 2. However, Jefferson is in the best area of Philadelphia. Night life (if you got time) is great, plenty of diversity, good food everywhere, it's just an electrifying environment all around.
    The hospital also is big and busy and you 'll get a ton of hands-on experience. just my 2 cents. Good luck with your decision.
  8. Reimat

    Reimat Friend of talking skulls 10+ Year Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    East Coast
    I'm currently at Dartmouth, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

    That said, Dartmouth is an excellent medical school. The academics are great, students do well on boards, and match very well. Class sizes are small, so we are a tight community. MS1s get to know MS2s very well, and we spend a lot of time having fun outside of class. Also, many faculty members here trained at power-house institutions and have great connections to leading physicians across the country. However, I have to agree that it is rural up here in NH. If you know you hate rural areas, Dartmouth probably isn't a good fit, BUT if you've never lived in a rural area before I wouldn't write off the school either.

    Good luck with your choice, both great schools - however I would happily pick Dartmouth again if I had the choice.
  9. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    Choosing between schools is a pre-med issue and this thread moved to preallo
  10. theitguy

    theitguy SDN IT Management Administrator 7+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2005
    i agree 100%
  11. WellWornLad

    WellWornLad 10+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    I've lived everywhere from NYC to Stixville, population 2,000. There are many things I enjoy about each. I've also met many different kinds of people, from those who have never been out of earshot of traffic to those that haven't moved more than 20 miles from the farm they were born at.

    You seem to have decided that you're "not a very outdoorsy-kinda guy." In my experience, there are two kinds of "city folk:" those with an open mind to new experiences but haven't had the opportunity to explore them, and those who (consciously or unconsciously) look down upon rural areas as intrinsically inferior to the city.

    If you are the former, then Hanover is a gamble that will most likely pay off. If you are the latter, you will be miserable, and everyone will be miserable around you as you complain about how you are just dying to get back to "civilization."

    For what it's worth, Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital seems like a great place to work. I don't know much about Jefferson, however.

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