Debt versus prestige

trudub

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    Let's say you could go to a lesser ranked medical school (a state school) for free on a scholarship or you could go to a well-known, prestigious, higher ranked university but pay the full price. You would be equally happy at either medical school because you like both programs. What would you do? Why?
     

    quideam

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      If equally happy, state. Take the $$$ - I want to do international medicine, so the faster I get out of debt, the better.

      My 2 cents :)

      (btw, I personally don't like either of my state schools, so I would go to a pricey private school instead)
       

      fullefect1

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        If it was a top ranked medical school, it would be a very difficult choice. I would like the idea of more oppurtunities with the big named school. It would probably be decided after the interview and tour.
         
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        Amy B

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          Take the paid ride. The Prestigious school won't mean anything later in life. Well, it will mean something, but what I am saying is the money you save in tuition is well worth giving up the prestige.

          I would love to be able to finish school with no added debt to have to pay off for the next 10-30 years.
           

          prettypea

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            As somebody who has been in a similar situation, honestly... And this may just appeal to the gunner in you, I would go for the debt and the name. I know that the end goal is getting that M.D., but a good name school carries a lot more benefits and opportunities (usually, and esp internationally) than a state school - tuition-free or not - may not be able to afford you.
             

            trudub

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              Well, just for kicks lets go ahead and give names to the schools. The choices are Wash U and University of Nebraska. If I choose UNMC then no debt full ride. If I choose Wash U, the no scholarship and have to pay everything. What kind of doors would going to Wash U open up that UNMC would not? How much difference do you think it will make if I want to get into a competitive residency someday?
               

              edfig99

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                only training programs care about where you went to medical school. patients generally could care less where you went to medical school or trained (the only exception I can really think of is some of the surgical subspecialties). save your money so you have a nicer place to live in, or better food to eat during residency.
                 

                quideam

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                  Again, I really think it depends on what you want to do after graduation. If you want to do derm or something as competitive, then I say go for WashU to be on the safe side. On the other hand, if you want FP, peds, EM, Gas, etc... just about anything besides the top few, then I say for UNebraska - UNLESS having the un-prestigious name is going to bother you ;)
                   

                  drdoctor

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                    prettypea, no one will care where you went for medical school. You can do international, surgery, whatever coming out of ANY US medical school and there is no argument in that statement. Both of these schools are good. Take Nebraska and kick ass there for free. You will have all of the options available at Wash. and you save alot of money. Whatever you make in the future goes straight to you.
                     

                    prettypea

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                      I hear what you're saying, doctordr, but I regret. There are virtually no options to going abroad at the place I'm at right now, and I want to work in international medicine so I'm truly stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'd rather take the debt and suck it up - BUT the difference for me is probably greater than for the OP's situation. So it's all relative and totally depends on what the safety school is... in this case, I would probably lean toward NE too.
                       

                      Gbemi24

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                        Originally posted by trudub
                        Well, just for kicks lets go ahead and give names to the schools. The choices are Wash U and University of Nebraska. If I choose UNMC then no debt full ride. If I choose Wash U, the no scholarship and have to pay everything. What kind of doors would going to Wash U open up that UNMC would not? How much difference do you think it will make if I want to get into a competitive residency someday?

                        If it was Hopkins, Yale or some other big name school, many on SDN would tell you to pick it over UNMC. However, there are a lot of Wash U haters on SDN so most people here will probably tell you to choose UNMC. Personally, I think the decision should depend on your career goals. If you just want to practice, then go to UNMC and save the money. However, if you want to go into academic medicine, then go to Wash U. Money cannot buy the access and credibility that Wash U will give you. There is a reason why academic institutions list the schools from which their faculty members got their degrees.
                         
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