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Decision time, USC versus UCI

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by HopesDefender, May 12, 2008.

  1. HopesDefender

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    USC Keck versus UC Irvine

    I already know what the price difference is, for me 100,000 over four years.

    I would like to hear sdners opinions on both schools if you don't mind.

    Also, maybe put one or two words in stating from what perspective you are speaking from, (like, you know a student, know the school, heard some things, current student, etc)
     
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  3. jsegalBSD

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    UCI all the way! i hear they all go to disneyland together when they are tired of going to the beach!
     
  4. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on
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    I second.
     
  5. taponthecloud

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    Go to UC Irvine COM; it's the better of the two and cheaper. (Go Bruins)
     
  6. pntgrd

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    I think USC is the better one but I don't think the cost difference is worth it unless you have enough money where price doesn't matter.
     
  7. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    UCICOM is like a former DO school right?
     
  8. hippiedoc13

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    You really should base this decision on where you felt the best fit. They are very different schools. The clinical training and level of autonomy at Keck is head and shoulders above UCI, IMHO.
     
    #7 hippiedoc13, May 12, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  9. taponthecloud

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    Okay SC is ranked higher, UCI used to be a DO school in the Dark Ages, blah blah... Whatever. I F*cken HATE USC! So, OP, do yourself a favor...GO TO UCI!
     
  10. Daydreamer2008

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  11. Character

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    id go to usc, despite the difference in price..and im a broke *** mo fo!!! Id even pick USC over ucla.
     
  12. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on
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    For 100,000$ extra + interest?

    o rly?
     
  13. Character

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    a lifetimes worth of joy knowing that your alma mater rules the PAC-10 and being able to visit the rose bowl every january 1st to watch my alma mater play for the national title is well worth 1/3 a years of my future income
     
  14. mrhealth

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    I interviewed at Keck and really liked it. However, I have 2 good friends at UCI that are really enjoying their time there. If UCI had accepted me, I would have definitely chosen there purely for cost reasons.
     
  15. Daydreamer2008

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    It's more like $80,000 over the course of 4 years. and private schools are much better about grants. The OP may be able to get a grant/scholarship. Maybe the OP can ask Keck what her financial aid package is gonna look like?
     
  16. HopesDefender

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    no, for me the difference is 100,000 over 4 years actually. :)

    I have seen the financial aid package, it is as stated in other threads, the basic package around 40 thou in federal loans, 5 thou free, then 10 thou more in cheaper interest loans
     
  17. alwaysaangel

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    Its really a personal decision so you ned to decide where you can be happiest. And how afraid of debt you are. For some a 100k difference it debt is huge, for others its not so daunting.

    From the perspective of a current first year:

    My first year of med school has been about as pleasant as a year of med school could be. They eased us into it (only 1 class to start, anatomy doesn't start til' Thanksgiving), lots of social activities, FABULOUS classmates, friendly admin, plenty of extracurricular opportunities. Class 8-12 most days - PLENTY of free time. Ocean 10 minutes away, plenty of shopping opportunities, a state park 10 minutes south of campus, close to LA and SD. No block exams - which can be good and bad. Means you have a test most weeks but no scary massive cramming. 3 months of summer before second year. A USMLE step I prep course right on campus at the end of 2nd year (apparently these are really rare). I honestly believe that it doesn't get any better than this (but I'm biased ).

    As far as clinical stuff, I'm not there yet, but my understanding is that clinical experience here is awesome. There are a variety of hospitals to choose from and there are plenty of excellent teachers. The one thing I'm sure USC would be us out on would be number of traumas in EM and surgery simply because of their location, but other than that I'd be surprised if there was a significant difference.
     
  18. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"
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    Damn, you make ME want to come to your school. :p
     
  19. DrZaius

    DrZaius Member
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    Yeah, me too
     
  20. alwaysaangel

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    Haha. Good!
     
  21. flip26

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    This is a no brainer...save the $...
     
  22. notdeadyet

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    Agreed. But even with that, I'd go with UCI if the difference is $100K. I'd take the $100K cheaper school any day of the week this side of a Harvard.
     
  23. 3 little birds

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    That's a tough one. Do you know what your interests are in medicine? For instance, if you are interested in ER, you can't beat County General/Keck. You don't see many GSW's on the mean streets of Irvine.

    money is a big consideration, and I know from experience that USC financial aid packages can leave huge gaps of unmet need. It's a tough choice.
     
  24. ChristianJames1

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    not a tough one. uci. 100k is a lot of money. you will kick yourself in 4 years if you go with usc.
     
  25. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on
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    Oh. Wat? Do you have any idea of what you speak?
     
  26. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    What are you some meathead? :thumbdown:
     
  27. uci18753

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    UCI all the way. USC will have more trauma and you can probably do more as a med student but that is only because the hospital is a hell-hole in the ghetto. You can always find trauma surgeons to shadow if you want to no matter where you go to school.

    UCI: 1) Med school near the beach; 2) Safe, clean area around the school; 3) Brand new hospital to train in (opens early next year); 4) Laid back students and profs; 5) Tons of research opps; 6) SAVE 100K - that's like 20+ trips to Maui staying at the Four Seasons!
     
  28. Doublecortin

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    :lol:

    By far the best reason to pick a school I've ever seen!

    Dude, UCI hands down! Do you want to spend the next 4 years of your life in depressing, dreary, gang-infested, 3d world-like, ghetto-ish downtown LA or 10 minutes from the beach?

    UCI is undergoing a lot of growth, there is a lot of momentum, a lot of excitement among students, faculty and administration. Plus UCI has a brand new 0.5 billion hospital
     
  29. Doublecortin

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    dude:eek: you obviously don't know what you are talking about. first off, our hospital is in orange not irvine, totally different demographics, crime level etc, and UCI is like one of 2 or 3 level 1 trauma centers in the county, so all the crazy traumas come to uci
     
  30. frikarika

    frikarika RADIOHEAD
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    go to the cheaper school, MD is an MD, you will be able to get any residency no matter where you go. It all depends on how you well you do.
     
  31. notdeadyet

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    This is viewed as a big plus by many medical students. The "hell-hole in the ghetto" factor makes some people a little uncomfortable, but you learn a lot more in this environment than in a slow suburban med center. You have a lot more leeway as a medical student, the sheer volume is a lot higher and you deal with much more advanced pathologies. This is all in addition to the ability to provide medical care to the underserved, which is why many students are going this path.

    But again, to each their own. If you're looking for cush, low volume, low acuity rotations in a nice setting where you can stroll the streets in the middle of the night, LAC is not the place to be.
    LAC's attraction is much more than just a busy ER. If that's what you're after, you can always do a rotation there. The attraction of LAC is the entirety of third year you'll spend learning to be a doctor. One of the best ER programs is just icing on the cake.
    The other five are largely fluff, but this is a clincher. UCI is a great school. I'd much prefer USC, but wouldn't pay an extra $100k for the privilage.
     
  32. uci18753

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    I think we're both on the same page. However, let's keep in mind that UCI's hospital is in Orange (next to Santa Ana) so it's not like it's in La Jolla or something. There is still plenty of action (maybe not to LAC's level) but it's not like you're not doing anything.
     
  33. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Actually, UCI is the only level 1 trauma center in Orange County (unless things have changed; someone feel free to correct me with more recent info).

    Folks get confused about the UCI med school experience. The first two years are spent in clean, safe, suburban Irvine, like uci18753 described. The second two years are spent in ugly, urban Orange, where you'll get a lot more of your great pathology and medicall underserved.

    Upside: makes for a nice comprimise. All the folks scared of "ghetto" med schools can live in the burbs for another two years before venturing into the big, bad city.

    Downside: It's a 15-20 minute drive to the hospital every day for third and fourth year if you want to stay in the Irvine area. And that's without much traffic. If you have rotations at 9:00 a.m., things get very interesting. Of course, you have the option of moving to Orange for those two years, but I would guess that not too many UCI students do that. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  34. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    No, not comparing LAC to UCI in that analogy. Just saying LAC is not the place to be if you're looking to avoid a high volume, high acuity experience in an urban environment. Orange is sort of a comprimise environment. It's not Pleasantville like Irvine, but it ain't LA either. They chose a good hospital for affiliation.
     
  35. Doublecortin

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    actually orange ain't that bad, they are trying to renovate the area and make it more business friendly
     
  36. alwaysaangel

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    This is true, but Orange County as a whole still doesn't see nearly as many traumas as LA. He's right that they will get more traumas there. But if you want to do trauma surgery or EM you'll do away rotations anyway so it doesn't really matter.
     
  37. alwaysaangel

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    Actually the vast majority do move out of Irvine. Unless you have on-campus housing its not worth it to live in Irvine and commute - you save tons of money by moving.
     
  38. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    The choice is clear. UCI

    less debt for about the same training.
     
  39. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Interesting. Where do folks move? I just can't imagine the UCI crowd living in Orange. Santa Ana?
     
  40. Doublecortin

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    :laugh:, that's a stereotype, we are actually a pretty hardy bunch, there are areas of santa ana, orange, and costa mesa that are safe and very livable, plus there is newport beach, the enclave of the rich and famous, but it's more pricey
     
  41. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Sorry, don't mean to stereotype. But on every thread with UCI students talking about the pro's of UCI, there is mention of the safety and pleasantness of Irvine. Irvine is mentioned as a strength.

    Orange and Irvine are just kind of polar opposites within Orange County, so I can't imagine folks who love Irvine being all that psyched about living in Orange. That's why I figured the nice parts of Santa Ana might be the UCI stomping ground. Interesting that Costa Mesa is big too, as that starts to sound like a drive. By the time you hit Newport, you're probably not moving from where you lived in years one and two, no?
     
  42. alwaysaangel

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    Well for one, the vast majority of us have lived in many places other than Irvine in our lives so I don't know what you mean by UCI crowd - we came to school here, its not like we've never lived outside the Newport Beach bubble. (except for maybe 2 of my classmates and they are special cases)

    Secondly, Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Westminster, Garden Grove - none of these places are all that bad unless you get into a few choice neighborhoods. Its certainly not like living near the USC hospital.
     
  43. alwaysaangel

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    It is a plus because you don't have to worry about being mugged - but lets face it thats kind of a plus of most of orange county. As a whole Orange County is safer than living in LA or SF, or even Sac.

    And when all you're doing is driving to and from the hospital 3rd and 4th year you don't really need to be living in the Ritz. Or at least I think thats everyone's attitudes.

    Newport is actually further from the hospital - I live in Newport now because I didn't want to live on the undergrad side of campus and its the cheapest I could get within biking distance of the med school campus. So no one would move there 3rd year.
     
  44. flaahless

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    OP, I think you'll enjoy USC more. It suits your personality much more than UCI. That said, a 100k is pretty steep and if you really want the LA life, you can easily drive there on the weekends.

    IMHO, LAC offers the best clinical education in the country, but UCI is no slouch. If I were you, I'd go with Keck and try and do a loan repayment program or apply for outside scholarship to mitigate your financial burden.
     
  45. pseudoknot

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    Slightly OT, but it's "emergency medicine" (EM) not "ER." More importantly, trauma is a pretty minor aspect of EM that is very cookbook and gets boring after you've seen a few. So even if you were interested in EM, I wouldn't make the decision on that basis.

    Also, I would strongly argue that no US med school is worth $100,000 more than another one, but especially not when you are comparing two very good schools of similar quality like UCI and USC. And physician salaries go down every year, and you don't want your debt to rule your life forever.

    Go to UCI.
     
  46. Doublecortin

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    :thumbup:
     
  47. Character

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    actually. i am.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    in all seriousness....i love sports..some of my best memories are from watching my alma mater kick butt in sports...as well as pro teams...such as sf giants, pacers, cowboys..yadda yadda yadda...never underestimate the joy a sports team can bring to ones mundane life....
     
  48. Character

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    ive never heard of usc students describe themselves as depressed....but uci from what i hear is a commuter school and is the depressing one...its nothing but old people in orange county areas like orange and irvine...its not like newport beach/newport harbor/huntington/...etc....but uci is still an awesome school.
     
  49. Doublecortin

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    didn't say the students were depressed, i said the area is depressing
     
  50. uci18753

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    I think you have the wrong impression about folks going to UCI because they are scared of LAC. I have lived in big, bad cities on the east coast and they make the area around USC look like Irvine. My point is - why deal with it if you don't have to?

    As far as "serving" underserved populations. How much "serving" are you really gonna do as an med student? At a place like LAC you might be doing stuff a normal MS3 wouldn't be doing sometimes but in my mind that is just a bad deal for the patients. Bottom line is you are just practicing on poor people because they are too understaffed there. It's great for the students but not a good deal for the "underserved".
     
  51. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Yeah, my bad. I have a bad habit of associating medical schools with their undergrad counterparts, which isn't always fair. I have a bad association with a lot of what I remember about UCI undergrad (many of whom haven't lived in any place other than Orange County), but it's not fair to associate that with the medical school. My apologies.
    Actually, it's very much like that. LAC is in a bad neighborhood, but you're 7 miles from West Hollywood and other nice parts. Like Orange, Santa Ana, or anyplace. There are bad neighborhoods and that's often where the hospitals are located.

    I doubt folks from UCI live within walking distance from the hospital either. From what folks are saying, folks commute. So it really doesn't matter a whole lot.

    I guess I just get bugged by the fact that as med students, most of us apply upper middle class perspectives to neighborhoods. Any place rougher than your average suburb can get dismissed as "ghetto".

    And I think any schools in predominantly African American neighborhoods have an even tougher time of it. Walk folks through a strictly middle class African American neighborhood and it gets written off as "ghetto" at the first sign of graffiti, but if it's a Latino/Asian neighborhood, it hardly merits a shrug.

    LAC is a great hospital in a bad part of town. If that's a problem for folks, don't attend USC. UCI is a great medical school, too. The first two years are in a very safe suburb. The second two years are probably spent in a better neighborhood than LAC, but it's probably nowhere you're going to be looking to settle down.
     

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