Dartmouth vs Vanderbilt

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TheBlueKnight

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Location is not important. The quality of their programs and ability to get into good residency programs are most important, but money will probably be the deciding factor. Although I did not get the fin aid package yet, based on their policies, I might get less aid from Vanderbilt.

Asked family and friends for their opinions already, but thought I should tap into the collective wisdom of sdn as well. Therefore, any thoughts, especially from current students, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Location is not important. The quality of their programs and ability to get into good residency programs are most important, but money will probably be the deciding factor. Although I did not get the fin aid package yet, based on their policies, I might get less aid from Vanderbilt.

Asked family and friends for their opinions already, but thought I should tap into the collective wisdom of sdn as well. Therefore, any thoughts, especially from current students, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I'd choose Vandy. I heard excellent things about the curriculum (high board scores), and overall that the students at vandy are happy.
 
Location is not important. The quality of their programs and ability to get into good residency programs are most important, but money will probably be the deciding factor. Although I did not get the fin aid package yet, based on their policies, I might get less aid from Vanderbilt.

Asked family and friends for their opinions already, but thought I should tap into the collective wisdom of sdn as well. Therefore, any thoughts, especially from current students, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Where would you like to end up? Look at their match lists and see where you want to be. Who will give you the best shot of getting there?

If it were me, I'd choose Vanderbilt. I was rejected pre-secondary but it's a school I would have killed to attend. On the other hand, I interviewed at Dartmouth, so maybe you can't trust me at all because I'm waiting for a decision from them and would love for you to give up your acceptance.

Vanderbilt is the more recognized, higher ranked school, if that matters to you. A lot of people think it shouldn't, but it ends up contributing to where the students match.
 
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One thing to keep in mind, which you probably know if you already interviewed/were accepted (this is coming from someone holding an acceptance at Vandy, and it's presently my leader): Vanderbilt is debuting its new 1-year preclinical curriculum with the 2013 class. To many people, myself included, that's scary because there is no data out there, extrapolatory or otherwise, to say how it will affect board scores or the ability to match.

My biggest fear is that the new curriculum ends up being "buggy" and more of a trial by fire than I'd like.
 
One thing to keep in mind, which you probably know if you already interviewed/were accepted (this is coming from someone holding an acceptance at Vandy, and it's presently my leader): Vanderbilt is debuting its new 1-year preclinical curriculum with the 2013 class. To many people, myself included, that's scary because there is no data out there, extrapolatory or otherwise, to say how it will affect board scores or the ability to match.

My biggest fear is that the new curriculum ends up being "buggy" and more of a trial by fire than I'd like.


Dartmouth is revamping their curriculum too. This seems to be something every school recently did or is doing right now.
 
Thanks everyone! Vandy does have the higher rank, and the students seem super happy. However, will have to see if it is financial possible. Also, the new 1-year preclinical curriculum does concern me too, but they said during the interview that, although it's new, every part of it has been "field tested" with the current students.

Dartmouth seems like a really nice place too. Everyone was friendly, and the faculty seem to care a lot about the students.

Undecided about specialty. So to Frabbitrabbit13, not sure yet about which residency program I want to end up.
 
Vandy hands down, unless you're from the south, in which case Dartmouth.
 
Vandy hands down, unless you're from the south, in which case Dartmouth.

What does being from the south have to do with it? Sincerely curious, as I may be in a similar position with an ivy league and vandy, and I happen to be from the south
 
What does being from the south have to do with it? Sincerely curious, as I may be in a similar position with an ivy league and vandy, and I happen to be from the south

Yeah, that reasoning is very vague...just because you're from the South doesn't mean you want the other climate, especially in the extreme of NH. Also, OP mentioned that location is unimportant.

OP, based on your factors I'd choose Vandy.
 
Yeah, that reasoning is very vague...just because you're from the South doesn't mean you want the other climate, especially in the extreme of NH. Also, OP mentioned that location is unimportant.

OP, based on your factors I'd choose Vandy.

Thanks, so Vandy seems to be winning.

Not sure what being or not being from the South thing is all about...
 
I was rejected pre-secondary but it's a school I would have killed to attend.
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Having interviewed at both I would have to say that one of the things that was distinctive about Vanderbilt vs Dartmouth was the emphasis (ie resources) placed on the medical school and medical center. This didn't seem to be as much of the case at Dartmouth, although I'm sure it's a fine school too.

The weather in NH is a lot, lot colder. I would say that both schools have comparatively small class sizes. Nashville is much more of a city with people than Hanover.
 
What does being from the south have to do with it? Sincerely curious, as I may be in a similar position with an ivy league and vandy, and I happen to be from the south

Yeah, that reasoning is very vague...just because you're from the South doesn't mean you want the other climate, especially in the extreme of NH. Also, OP mentioned that location is unimportant.

OP, based on your factors I'd choose Vandy.

Thanks, so Vandy seems to be winning.

Not sure what being or not being from the South thing is all about...

Bear's roommate here: It isn't about weather. Medical school's not an outdoor sorta place. It's about cultivating a solid network and diverse academic record. Going to undergrad in the south, then a med school in the south, well, good luck getting a residency in the deep north or on the west coast. It's possible, of course, but yeah.

It's advantageous to know people throughout the country. All other things being equal, and family not being a huge concern, I would take the school that isn't from your hometown/undergrad location. If OP went to Dartmouth, for example, then it'd likely be better to go to Vanderbilt.

If you don't care about diversifying your academic portfolio or whatever, and the whole "Ivy League medical school" thing doesn't do anything for you (it shouldn't, but to each their own) then Vanderbilt's the better choice by a significant margin.
 
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It's advantageous to know people throughout the country. All other things being equal, and family not being a huge concern, I would take the school that isn't from your hometown/undergrad location. If OP went to Dartmouth, for example, then it'd likely be better to go to Vanderbilt.

Don't want to completely go off-topic, but what would you say to Vanderbilt vs. a top 5 medical school at your home undergrad? Is it always better to diversify?

Edit: to contribute to the thread, I also say Vanderbilt. To me, it seems to be a much more "fun" place than Dartmouth (location and school both considered).
 
Bear's roommate here: It isn't about weather. Medical school's not an outdoor sorta place. It's about cultivating a solid network and diverse academic record. Going to undergrad in the south, then a med school in the south, well, good luck getting a residency in the deep north or on the west coast. It's possible, of course, but yeah.

It's advantageous to know people throughout the country. All other things being equal, and family not being a huge concern, I would take the school that isn't from your hometown/undergrad location. If OP went to Dartmouth, for example, then it'd likely be better to go to Vanderbilt.

If you don't care about diversifying your academic portfolio or whatever, and the whole "Ivy League medical school" thing doesn't do anything for you (it shouldn't, but to each their own) then Vanderbilt's the better choice by a significant margin.


I went to a school in the far North. Regardless, I see your point about diversifying.

Sure, let's talk about Vandy vs the top fives as well. And, yes, Vandy does seem fun! No Dartmouth defender out there, really? I thought both places were amazing in their own way.

Just out of curiosity, if Vandy turns out to be significantly more expensive, say ... 20K more, would you folks still choose Vandy over Dartmouth?
 
Don't want to completely go off-topic, but what would you say to Vanderbilt vs. a top 5 medical school at your home undergrad? Is it always better to diversify?

Edit: to contribute to the thread, I also say Vanderbilt. To me, it seems to be a much more "fun" place than Dartmouth (location and school both considered).

Overall, people should go where they are most comfortable. If that's Harvard, then so be it; if that's someplace else, more power to you. You'll only encounter people, whom you care about, that are concerned with ranking in your career if you yourself are somewhat-to-equally concerned with it, or seek it out. It's largely irrelevant to being a physician. SDN sacrilege, I know.

My statement was tempered by "all else being equal," so your mention of rank is nullified, and the answer then is "yes." Realistically, they should take the highest rank-comparable school. Vanderbilt isn't a top 5 school, and academic diversification at a school in a potentially lower-tier wouldn't help you as much as the networking at the top.

That being said, if that question is in any was serious, you should go to Vanderbilt. You'd only ask that question if you were looking for a way to justify making that decision.
 
I went to a school in the far North. Regardless, I see your point about diversifying.

Sure, let's talk about Vandy vs the top fives as well. And, yes, Vandy does seem fun! No Dartmouth defender out there, really? I thought both places were amazing in their own way.

Just out of curiosity, if Vandy turns out to be significantly more expensive, say ... 20K more, would you folks still choose Vandy over Dartmouth?

Because there's no reason you should go to Dartmouth over Vandy, other than "it's an Ivy League," which isn't too major a factor in medicine. It isn't in the same tier rankings-wise (which matter to most of the people you'd ask here), it's pretty isolated (affecting the cases you could see), Vandy often gives out more financial aid, and Vandy is the best in its respective region, while Dartmouth may not even be in the top 10 of its region.

If you would be happier at Dartmouth, though - and I imagine in making this thread you were hoping for a justification as to why you can pick Dartmouth over the "better (ranked) school," then you should go to Dartmouth, and should be excited about that. The personal factors you can't put a finger on - the intangibles - are very important. Go with your gut and all that. I don't mean to be nitpicky - I could ask the same question about Brown and Vanderbilt. Nearly everyone would say Vanderbilt. For me, the difference may be in the aid package, but:

20k is not a substantial difference, unless you're planning to go into basic primary care (and even then it isn't really). If you're aiming to be a (competitive/sub)specialist, 100k may not even be that substantial a difference.

Pretty sure Vanderbilt is usually cheaper, too.
 
Don't want to completely go off-topic, but what would you say to Vanderbilt vs. a top 5 medical school at your home undergrad? Is it always better to diversify?

Edit: to contribute to the thread, I also say Vanderbilt. To me, it seems to be a much more "fun" place than Dartmouth (location and school both considered).

I'm facing a similar decision and leaning toward going to the new institution. It's a hard choice to make for sure but I think when it comes down to it, it might be more valuable for my development and just general life experience to gain some new experiences in a different part of the country. Good luck with your decision, I'm sure you can't go wrong either way!
 
I'm facing a similar decision and leaning toward going to the new institution. It's a hard choice to make for sure but I think when it comes down to it, it might be more valuable for my development and just general life experience to gain some new experiences in a different part of the country. Good luck with your decision, I'm sure you can't go wrong either way!

Good luck to you too!
 
the matchlist at dartmouth is quite phenomenal this year, it doesn't lose to vanderbilt, although i can see why people would choose vandy--it does have a better rep in the med school world and of course the matchlist is not necessarily the sole consideration
 
I am in the same scenario and I chose Dartmouth over Vandy. Dartmouth falls behind in research because it's in a secluded town, but medical professionals still recognize that it's a reputable medical school, evident through their students' strong board scores and match list.
 
I am in the same scenario and I chose Dartmouth over Vandy. Dartmouth falls behind in research because it's in a secluded town, but medical professionals still recognize that it's a reputable medical school, evident through their students' strong board scores and match list.

you've chosen dartmouth without going to vandy's second look? lol, you should give both schools a fair shot. unless dartmouth offers more money.
 
I am in the same scenario and I chose Dartmouth over Vandy. Dartmouth falls behind in research because it's in a secluded town, but medical professionals still recognize that it's a reputable medical school, evident through their students' strong board scores and match list.

Congrats on making a decision. I am still on the fence myself. Both have great board scores and match list, and both have a very good reputation. Would you mind elaborating why you went with Dartmouth over Vandy?
 
Location is not important. The quality of their programs and ability to get into good residency programs are most important, but money will probably be the deciding factor. Although I did not get the fin aid package yet, based on their policies, I might get less aid from Vanderbilt.

Asked family and friends for their opinions already, but thought I should tap into the collective wisdom of sdn as well. Therefore, any thoughts, especially from current students, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Dartmouth's UG is great, but their med school is just good. The fact that Dartmouth is in the Ivy League is meaningless. Vandy is a much better school overall. They have better research, better hospitals, better residencies, and a more diverse patient population.
 
Dartmouth's UG is great, but their med school is just good. The fact that Dartmouth is in the Ivy League is meaningless. Vandy is a much better school overall. They have better research, better hospitals, better residencies, and a more diverse patient population.

Agree. Vanderbilt is the better school in every objective category that I can think of. Don't be scared off by the one year preclinical curriculum, it's a huge advantage over the traditional one that I think Dartmouth will still have.

On the other hand, if you feel more at home at Dartmouth, then go there. No difference between these schools is worth a poor fit at the one you choose.
 
the matchlist at dartmouth is quite phenomenal this year, it doesn't lose to vanderbilt, although i can see why people would choose vandy--it does have a better rep in the med school world and of course the matchlist is not necessarily the sole consideration

Keep in mind that many students at Dartmouth do an extra year. When I attended second look a few years ago, one student estimated that ~1/2 of Dartmouth students do an extra year for research or to pursue additional degrees, and this will skew their match list toward high-powered academic places.
 
Congrats on making a decision. I am still on the fence myself. Both have great board scores and match list, and both have a very good reputation. Would you mind elaborating why you went with Dartmouth over Vandy?

Based on your previous posts, you seem to want to go to Dartmouth but you enjoy the high-research capacity of Vandy, which is partially indicated by its US News rank. Anyone can tell you that Dartmouth falls behind Vandy in terms of medical research, but its lower rank doesn't mean anything for a med student. The school, as a medical school, is still very reputable, though Vandy is slightly more so. Dartmouth has the 7th highest Step 1 average of all schools and it's as hard to get into as schools ranked 15-20. On SDN, people seem to be infatuated with Vandy, but the reasoning behind it is a little unclear.

Both Vandy and Dartmouth seem to have exceptionally happy students. One is in New England (rural with snow), one is in the South (country music). To some, rural quietness offers a better study environment, but others will find that living in the city has more restaurants to explore. Vandy offers great clinical training while Dartmouth give you more opportunities in other fields (top 10 business school and the Dartmouth Institute that formed the basis for Affordable Care Act). Dartmouth has a fairly traditional curriculum with little PBL, Vandy has a single condensed pre-clinical year, which to be honest, worries me a little because it's the first and only school like that. Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital gives you a warm feeling, Vandy hospital gives you a large urban medical center feel. The less diverse patient population in Hanover doesn't really both me, and if it does, everyone gets to go to San Francisco and Los Angeles area for rotations, which is pretty cool.

Regarding your life after medical school, which is arguably very important: though both schools will enable you go match anywhere, about half of Vandy students decide to stay in the South, while 90% of Dartmouth students either stay in the Northeast (Boston, NYC, Philly) or go to the West Coast (California, Seattle, Portland). I personally cannot see myself end up living in the South, so I would much rather have a large network of colleagues in the Northeast and West Coast.

For all my comparisons above, I liked Dartmouth's side more. So to me, the only advantage that Vandy has over Dartmouth are: better local research and the "absolute rank" by US News. For the latter, their actual reputation for the quality of medical education is similar. The reputation of Dartmouth medical school is constantly boosted by its ties to the undergrad college and simultaneously heavily dragged down by the fact that its hospital is a smaller hospital and it cannot draw enough researchers to a rural setting. Anyone in the medical field who is impressed by Vandy's name will probably be impressed by Dartmouth's as well, otherwise they just probably won't be impressed by either. In terms of research, I only plan to do research the summer between the pre-clinical years, so the best of the best research opportunities at my local institution isn't very important to me - I plan to go to a large hospital in Boston for summer research instead.

If you're already leaning towards Dartmouth, then the decision has already been made. However, Vandy definitely has lots of positives as well. Both schools are fairly different from the mainstream medical school, so neither is for everyone.

Incredibly long post, but I hope that helped. Feel free to PM me.
 
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Very well thought out. An excellent example of the power of location in this choice. One thing: Duke has had a curriculum with a single preclinical year for a number of years now, and I haven't heard anything but good things.

Based on your previous posts, you seem to want to go to Dartmouth but you enjoy the high-research capacity of Vandy, which is partially indicated by its US News rank. Anyone can tell you that Dartmouth falls behind Vandy in terms of medical research, but its lower rank doesn't mean anything for a med student. The school, as a medical school, is still very reputable, though Vandy is slightly more so. Dartmouth has the 7th highest Step 1 average of all schools and it's as hard to get into as schools ranked 15-20. On SDN, people seem to be infatuated with Vandy, but the reasoning behind it is a little unclear.

Both Vandy and Dartmouth seem to have exceptionally happy students. One is in New England (rural with snow), one is in the South (country music). To some, rural quietness offers a better study environment, but others will find that living in the city has more restaurants to explore. Vandy offers great clinical training while Dartmouth give you more opportunities in other fields (top 10 business school and the Dartmouth Institute that formed the basis for Affordable Care Act). Dartmouth has a fairly traditional curriculum with little PBL, Vandy has a single condensed pre-clinical year, which to be honest, worries me a little because it's the first and only school like that. Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital gives you a warm feeling, Vandy hospital gives you a large urban medical center feel. The less diverse patient population in Hanover doesn't really both me, and if it does, everyone gets to go to San Francisco and Los Angeles area for rotations, which is pretty cool.

Regarding your life after medical school, which is arguably very important: though both schools will enable you go match anywhere, about half of Vandy students decide to stay in the South, while 90% of Dartmouth students either stay in the Northeast (Boston, NYC, Philly) or go to the West Coast (California, Seattle, Portland). I personally cannot see myself end up living in the South, so I would much rather have a large network of colleagues in the Northeast and West Coast.

For all my comparisons above, I liked Dartmouth's side more. So to me, the only advantage that Vandy has over Dartmouth are: better local research and the "absolute rank" by US News. For the latter, their actual reputation for the quality of medical education is similar. The reputation of Dartmouth medical school is constantly boosted by its ties to the undergrad college and simultaneously heavily dragged down by the fact that its hospital is a smaller hospital and it cannot draw enough researchers to a rural setting. Anyone in the medical field who is impressed by Vandy's name will probably be impressed by Dartmouth's as well, otherwise they just probably won't be impressed by either. In terms of research, I only plan to do research the summer between the pre-clinical years, so the best of the best research opportunities at my local institution isn't very important to me - I plan to go to a large hospital in Boston for summer research instead.

If you're already leaning towards Dartmouth, then the decision has already been made. However, Vandy definitely has lots of positives as well. Both schools are fairly different from the mainstream medical school, so neither is for everyone.

Incredibly long post, but I hope that helped. Feel free to PM me.
 
Thanks everyone for your input, especially nychila for the long, informative post. It would be nice if we ended up being classmates.

90minIPA makes a good point about the impact of taking an extra year at Dartmouth, and nychila's point about many of Vandy's students staying on in the South is something I will have to consider. Currently, the NE and Cal appeal to me more for where I ultimately want to live and practice, but the South could grow on me after 4 years. Anyway, for med school, location is really not important for me. It's only 4 years. As long as it's not the north pole or the Sahara desert, I will be fine.

If my previous posts seem to suggest to anyone that I am leaning towards Dartmouth, that was purely unintentional. I am truly on the fence. It will probably come down to my experiences during second look weekend and the financial aid package, probably more so the financial package. A less than ideal situation would be if I find out I like one school more, but other offers significantly better aid.

Any inputs from current med students at these two schools?
 
I was also in this position at one point and made the opposite choice so I just wanted to give some context and information to others who might be making similar decisions.

Based on your previous posts, you seem to want to go to Dartmouth but you enjoy the high-research capacity of Vandy, which is partially indicated by its US News rank. Anyone can tell you that Dartmouth falls behind Vandy in terms of medical research, but its lower rank doesn't mean anything for a med student. The school, as a medical school, is still very reputable, though Vandy is slightly more so. Dartmouth has the 7th highest Step 1 average of all schools and it's as hard to get into as schools ranked 15-20. On SDN, people seem to be infatuated with Vandy, but the reasoning behind it is a little unclear.

Vandy is great. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you go to second look, and then you will see what everyone is talking about. In fact I would recommend going to any second look weekends in general. You get a much better feel for what the school, administration, and student body are actually like than at the interview day.


Both Vandy and Dartmouth seem to have exceptionally happy students. One is in New England (rural with snow), one is in the South (country music). To some, rural quietness offers a better study environment, but others will find that living in the city has more restaurants to explore. Vandy offers great clinical training while Dartmouth give you more opportunities in other fields (top 10 business school and the Dartmouth Institute that formed the basis for Affordable Care Act).

There is a lot more to Nashville than country music but there isn't really that much more at Dartmouth/Hanover than, as you put it, rural with snow almost six months of the year. I personally wouldn't want to spend four years in an isolated area without any ethnic populations. A quick yelp search just showed me that there are almost five times as many restaurants in a one mile radius from Vanderbilt as Dartmouth.

I agree that Dartmouth has some cool opportunities with Tuck and TDI, but if you aren't specifically there for those programs, having the nearest airport not be two hours away is way more useful than being able to say that your university also has a good business school.



Dartmouth has a fairly traditional curriculum with little PBL, Vandy has a single condensed pre-clinical year, which to be honest, worries me a little because it's the first and only school like that Incorrect: Duke also. Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital gives you a warm feeling, Vandy hospital gives you a large urban medical center feel. The less diverse patient population in Hanover doesn't really both me, and if it does, everyone gets to go to San Francisco and Los Angeles area for rotations, which is pretty cool.


I agree that the DHMC facility is quite nice and a little cozy, but it's also not that big or busy compared to most academic medical centers. Things might have changed since I interviewed, but even if you selected a "home" rotation, you might be as far as 45 minutes away somewhere in Vermont because DHMC didn't have the case load for all the students.
Also, I believe Dartmouth has a lottery system for their rotations so going to SF, LA, etc aren't guaranteed. Being shipped around for rotations was actually not a plus for me. I wanted to be able to stay at a place where I can develop relationships with faculty and advisors and be able to be ready and prepared to go into each rotation, instead of stumbling around every few months trying to learn how to use the medical record system, who I need to impress, and where the bathroom is. It's also a pretty big logistical challenge to actually move around.

Personally, I felt that having a major medical center to do your rotations at and having the option of doing away rotations when I wanted to and where I wanted to was a much better option.


Regarding your life after medical school, which is arguably very important: though both schools will enable you go match anywhere, about half of Vandy students decide to stay in the South, while 90% of Dartmouth students either stay in the Northeast (Boston, NYC, Philly) or go to the West Coast (California, Seattle, Portland). I personally cannot see myself end up living in the South, so I would much rather have a large network of colleagues in the Northeast and West Coast.

As with any school with strong residency programs, some students do choose to rank Vanderbilt highly on their match lists. However, not counting matches to Vanderbilt, the south is a minority compared to Chicago, the mid Atlantic, and the Northeast. For example, please see 2012/2011/et al http://mapalist.com/Public/pm.aspx?mapid=253500 and https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/events/match-day/wheretheymatched2011

For all my comparisons above, I liked Dartmouth's side more. So to me, the only advantage that Vandy has over Dartmouth are: better local research and the "absolute rank" by US News. For the latter, their actual reputation for the quality of medical education is similar. The reputation of Dartmouth medical school is constantly boosted by its ties to the undergrad college and simultaneously heavily dragged down by the fact that its hospital is a smaller hospital and it cannot draw enough researchers to a rural setting. Anyone in the medical field who is impressed by Vandy's name will probably be impressed by Dartmouth's as well, otherwise they just probably won't be impressed by either. In terms of research, I only plan to do research the summer between the pre-clinical years, so the best of the best research opportunities at my local institution isn't very important to me - I plan to go to a large hospital in Boston for summer research instead.

I felt at Dartmouth that the emphasis (ie resources) was on the undergraduate experience and no so much the medical school.

I am also somewhat confused about why someone would limit themselves to only summer research before even starting medical school (unless maybe you are already involved in a particular lab and want to continue). Regardless, Vanderbilt has a much higher number of labs (ie large variety of research projects to get involved in) and funding. These connections can only help you.


If you're already leaning towards Dartmouth, then the decision has already been made. However, Vandy definitely has lots of positives as well. Both schools are fairly different from the mainstream medical school, so neither is for everyone.

I definitely agree that both schools are good and neither is a bad choice. Areas I felt Dartmouth were particularly strong in were rural medicine and healthcare policy and quality improvement.


Incredibly long post, but I hope that helped. Feel free to PM me.
 
Thanks everyone for your input, especially nychila for the long, informative post. It would be nice if we ended up being classmates.

90minIPA makes a good point about the impact of taking an extra year at Dartmouth, and nychila's point about many of Vandy's students staying on in the South is something I will have to consider. Currently, the NE and Cal appeal to me more for where I ultimately want to live and practice, but the South could grow on me after 4 years. Anyway, for med school, location is really not important for me. It's only 4 years. As long as it's not the north pole or the Sahara desert, I will be fine.

If my previous posts seem to suggest to anyone that I am leaning towards Dartmouth, that was purely unintentional. I am truly on the fence. It will probably come down to my experiences during second look weekend and the financial aid package, probably more so the financial package. A less than ideal situation would be if I find out I like one school more, but other offers significantly better aid.

Any inputs from current med students at these two schools?

This is probably because a lot of students at Vandy come from the south(https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/admissions/states-origin-statistics). Just looking at the Match List I don't think people have trouble going anywhere(California or the northeast). I turned down an interview at Dartmouth so I can't speak too much about what it has going for it but the reasons why I loved Vanderbilt are as follows:

  • Nashville seems like a great place to live with a moderate cost of living(outdoors and city life close by)
  • I liked what I saw of the campus.
  • Every student I met loved being there.
  • Both my faculty interviewers were fairly new to Vanderbilt(6 months and 2 years) but freaking loved the place.
  • They emphasized student wellness/happiness and it seemed like much more than a recruiting gimmick.
  • One year curriculum seems like it will allow a lot of flexibility(And they appeared to have put A LOT of work into it)
  • Clinical resources strong and all close to campus.

Honestly the biggest downside to Dartmouth for me(and the reason I didn't attend my interview) was the fact that they do rotations throughout the US. I imagine that would drive me crazy.

Edit: Oops, Nymphicus beat me, and you should probably listen to him since he is actually a vandy student
 
A couple factoids.

DHMC has 396 beds with a pediatric wing of 63 beds.

The Vanderbilt children's hospital alone has 271 beds and the entire medical center has over 1000.
 
Numbers, whether its the percentage of Vandy's students from the South or the number of hospital beds, that's what make an argument convincing. I can at least say this much about Vandy: it's students, or soon to be students, are great at representing their school!

Any Dartmouth student chiming in?

Looking forward to the second look weekend at both schools. Vandy's is less then two weeks!
 
It seems most people would choose vandy over dartmouth...funny how these two schools tend to accept the same people...I think I've met 7 people during revisits with the same dilemma
 
I go to Dartmouth but never applied to Vandy so I can't give you a good comparison. I'm very happy with the education I've received at Dartmouth. In 3rd year we have a lot of clinical sites (I did inpatient peds in Orange County, CA at a children's hospital with a few hundred beds, medicine in San Francisco at another busy hospital and OB in Hartford, CT at a very high-volume hospital) so the DHMC bed numbers doesn't give you a particularly accurate overview of the clinical experience. That being said, I really can't complain about any rotations, whether at DHMC or now. The vast majority of residents and attendings I've worked with have been awesome teachers. Dartmouth puts a lot of effort into making sure that we're learning well and that we're having great experiences on clinical rotations. I've rotated with UCSF, UC-Irvine and UConn med students and I'm confident that my clinical experiences have been at least equal in quality (and I'd argue better) than their average clinical experiences. I also appreciate how open the administration is to student concerns and how willing they are to change things based on our input.

This is my 7th year at Dartmouth (MD/PhD) and I'm still happy I'm here. Depending on the specialty I go into, I wouldn't be disappointed about matching at Dartmouth for residency. I've watched many classes of med students match and people tend to do very well in the match and, from what students who have matched have told me, Dartmouth seems to be well regarded on the interview trail by PDs (I'm sure Vandy is as well).

So, I can't give you a comparison between Vandy and Dartmouth and I can't really tell you where to go. Which school fits your personality better? Which school is in the area of the country in which you'd need to live? Most importantly, which will cost less?

Feel free to ask me any questions you'd like about Dartmouth. I really have no vested interest in convincing you to come here (other than the basic unconscious desire that all people have to see their life choices validated). I really think that you can't go wrong either way. I do, however, think that Dartmouth's advantages haven't been emphasized enough on this thread because the people posting don't go here and haven't experienced what I have. I think Dartmouth is a special, underrated (on this thread) place to get a medical education.
 
congrats! both are great, vanderbilt may be more desirable for a few of reasons. Nashville may be a more interesting area depending on your taste. vanderbilt has excellent training as well. however, cant go wrong with dartmouth either.
 
I also have these two schools on my list. Except family med, would Vanderbilt have the edge in any specialty/residency over Dartmouth?
 
I also have these two schools on my list. Except family med, would Vanderbilt have the edge in any specialty/residency over Dartmouth?

Yes, multiple. You are right in that Vanderbilt doesn't have a Family Medicine department or required FM rotation. A this level, I don't think department strength is a super important factor compared to location and cost, however. Going to Dartmouth won't "hold you back" from certain specialties.
 
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Thanks for your input everyone, and thanks to the current students and staffs at both schools for two awesome weekends. I am now in the fortunate, but difficult, position of having to make a final decision soon.
 
Thanks for your input everyone, and thanks to the current students and staffs at both schools for two awesome weekends. I am now in the fortunate, but difficult, position of having to make a final decision soon.

How did you like each second-look?
 
I'd choose Vandy.

Both are great schools with lots of opportunities, but Vandy has WAY more money than Dartmouth. Attending a medical school with more money will def open more doors for you in terms of getting more funding for whatever you want to do, rotating at better facilities, better research opportunities, etc.

If you can imagine yourself attending both schools for 4 years, and you equally like both schools, go with the school with more funding.
 
I liked second look at both schools.

Yes, Vandy does seem to have more research funding and more stuff going on in general.

Anyway, will decide soon.
 
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