Deciding top choice ROL...How important is location?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2003
Reaction score
I am having a tough time deciding which program to rank first... I know the final decision is mine, but I would like to hear different opinions.
I am a single male, planning to go into REI (Reprod. Endocrinology and Infertility) after my residency.
My top 2 choices are Hopkins (Baltimore) and Cornell (NYC).
The program at Hopkins is a very strong, academic program with a good reputation/name. Residents and Faculty seemed very nice. Residents rotate at 3 other institutions. You definitely need a car to get around but cost of living is not that expensive (compared to NYC). I am used to big, more lively cities, and really don't like Baltimore.
Cornell on the other hand, is also a good program, but maybe not as academical as Hopkins, more hands-on style. Residents were nice but they did not seem to be "extremely friendly", although it is difficult to say in two days. There is a much larger private patient population. I love NYC and although expensive, you don't need a car, and there is pretty nice housing that is subsidized (although not cheap) and just across the street.
I know that at both places I will be well trained; but I don't know how much importance I should give to location... It will be at least 4 years living there...
Opinions appreciated!... Good luck to everyone!

Global Disrobal

Along for the ride
Moderator Emeritus
Volunteer Staff
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2002
Reaction score
Hi MailBuddy,

I don't know much about the area around Cornell or the program, but I do live in Baltimore and can basically tell you about the Hopkins area and B'more in general.

The town itself is very mixed in that when driving 15 minutes you're bound to go through patches of good and bad areas. There is crime here but not as bad as it is publicized. Most of the crime is in the inner city area (unfortunately Hopkins sits at the epicenter of that), but the areas outside the beltway are very benign. As for cost of living, it is cheap compared to NY, but not the rest of the country. I did check out housing here, and to get a decent "detached" home you've gotta get up there (without sacrificing commute time). Otherwise you're looking at a condo/townhouse which is nice. A big draw back to this city is the snow days. Coming from having lived in VT an dMaine for years, I was shocked to see how slow they are in lowing and maintaining the city. This will affect you since Hopkins in notorious for not closing or cutting slack when it comes to snow. This will be crucial if you live outside the beltway and have to roll into work that day. The Metro is awesome here, but with an OB schedule and the Hopkins location I would be vary when you use it. There are always stories of Hopkins students/residents getting mugged (the last one was a gen surg resident). Lastly, crime is big in the city and around Hopkins (considering the Prison is 5 min down the road). Anyway, I tried to give you the bad as I am sure you've already heard the good from the program. Good luck with the ROL!