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anoncurious

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Hi everyone,

I currently have a wonderful dilemma of choosing among some of the best medical schools in the country. Before I try to make a decision, however, I am trying to figure out what is most important to me, and I was hoping to gain some more experienced people's perspectives to help think more about these issues.

A big dilemma that I am toying with is the issue of prestige. In particular, the layman's prestige factor. Schools such as Univ of Pittsburgh or Baylor or Univ of Washington are top notch medical schools and seem to have that reputation in the medical community, but the reputation outside that bubble seems nonexistent. Certainly it is superficial to be making any kind of decision based on what the lay-person's perceived prestige is, but it still an idea I have to deal with. I am coming from a decent, but not well-known undergrad, and so this seems to be me 'last chance' so-to-speak to gain a degree from a place that people perceive to be a top notch institution. Especially since now I actually have the opportunity to potentially pick among some of the best institutions. It's an ego thing certainly, but I wonder if it will be of substantive concern or if it is purely a superficial ideal that I will get over once I am older.

Now, let me end this by just saying that I am certainly not going to decide my medical school based on prestige, but I am trying to contemplate what is important to me and trying to decide factors that would weigh in on my decisions. In this regard, I would love to hear perspectives of those who have gone through this dilemma on both sides. I really appreciate it!

Thanks.
 

dilated

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People in Boston are equally (un)impressed by Harvard as people in Seattle by UWash. In other words, while you're in medical school the people in that city won't care which med school it is. And afterwards you'll never talk about where you went. So no, lay prestige doesn't matter.

Medical prestige on the other hand helps a good bit with residencies but even top programs can still be weak in certain fields, which doesn't help if you try to go into those fields from there.
 

Cologist

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Hi everyone,


Now, let me end this by just saying that I am certainly not going to decide my medical school based on prestige, but I am trying to contemplate what is important to me and trying to decide factors that would weigh in on my decisions. In this regard, I would love to hear perspectives of those who have gone through this dilemma on both sides. I really appreciate it!

Thanks.
Go to the school where the students were the happiest and where you felt the most "at home". Forget the prestige factor. It won't make you a better doctor.
 

mmmcdowe

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Hi everyone,

I currently have a wonderful dilemma of choosing among some of the best medical schools in the country. Before I try to make a decision, however, I am trying to figure out what is most important to me, and I was hoping to gain some more experienced people's perspectives to help think more about these issues.

A big dilemma that I am toying with is the issue of prestige. In particular, the layman's prestige factor. Schools such as Univ of Pittsburgh or Baylor or Univ of Washington are top notch medical schools and seem to have that reputation in the medical community, but the reputation outside that bubble seems nonexistent. Certainly it is superficial to be making any kind of decision based on what the lay-person's perceived prestige is, but it still an idea I have to deal with. I am coming from a decent, but not well-known undergrad, and so this seems to be me 'last chance' so-to-speak to gain a degree from a place that people perceive to be a top notch institution. Especially since now I actually have the opportunity to potentially pick among some of the best institutions. It's an ego thing certainly, but I wonder if it will be of substantive concern or if it is purely a superficial ideal that I will get over once I am older.

Now, let me end this by just saying that I am certainly not going to decide my medical school based on prestige, but I am trying to contemplate what is important to me and trying to decide factors that would weigh in on my decisions. In this regard, I would love to hear perspectives of those who have gone through this dilemma on both sides. I really appreciate it!

Thanks.
You might want to change your status to pre-med, just a warning. Some people can get a bit touchy about the whole switching to med student after being accepted. Convention is to wait til you are about to start attending.

Anyways, I know where you are coming from in terms of prestige. However, I guess I'm a bit confused as to which schools you are referring to in terms of prestige. Most of the most prestigous schools haven't started offering acceptances, unless you were in the EDP. Regardless, I would say that all three of those schools have regional prestige, and I would recommend that you go to the one that makes you happiest when you think about them, where you witnessed happy students eager to engage with you, and the school that best approximates the region where you want to work in medicine. You should, of course, also look at who had the opportunities you felt were best suited for you (goes along with fit I suppose). If you want to practice in Texas or a nearby state, I promise you Baylor is well known. Same goes for UWash in the northwest and Pitt in the northeast. True, the might not be world renowned like Harvard or Hopkins, but it will matter little if you are in the region of that medical school. People will still be impressed.
 

Excelsius

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Hi everyone,

I currently have a wonderful dilemma of choosing among some of the best medical schools in the country. Before I try to make a decision, however, I am trying to figure out what is most important to me, and I was hoping to gain some more experienced people's perspectives to help think more about these issues.

A big dilemma that I am toying with is the issue of prestige. In particular, the layman's prestige factor. Schools such as Univ of Pittsburgh or Baylor or Univ of Washington are top notch medical schools and seem to have that reputation in the medical community, but the reputation outside that bubble seems nonexistent. Certainly it is superficial to be making any kind of decision based on what the lay-person's perceived prestige is, but it still an idea I have to deal with. I am coming from a decent, but not well-known undergrad, and so this seems to be me 'last chance' so-to-speak to gain a degree from a place that people perceive to be a top notch institution. Especially since now I actually have the opportunity to potentially pick among some of the best institutions. It's an ego thing certainly, but I wonder if it will be of substantive concern or if it is purely a superficial ideal that I will get over once I am older.

Now, let me end this by just saying that I am certainly not going to decide my medical school based on prestige, but I am trying to contemplate what is important to me and trying to decide factors that would weigh in on my decisions. In this regard, I would love to hear perspectives of those who have gone through this dilemma on both sides. I really appreciate it!

Thanks.
That's a purely personal decision. All you will hear on these boards is go to the place that will make you happiest.

All things being equal - tuition and your fit in those schools - it makes sense that you would choose the most prestigious school just in case you need the connections in the future. If there is a significant tuition difference, then it depends on what you're trying to do. If you are going to be involved in law (expert witness), academia (research, PH.D. work), or politics (trying to lobby for a cause), then obviously a nice school name that goes along with the connections may be pretty helpful to you in the future and you might want to spend the extra money on the tuition. Otherwise, it doesn't matter.

Oh and in terms of general public, no one really knows about places like UCSF or WashU. So unless we're talking about the regular Ivy names + Stanford, don't bother choosing a school to impress laymen. They know about UPitt or Vandy as much as they know about Drexel or Morehouse, i.e., null.
 

PeepshowJohnny

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I've tried to try write a nice, clear argument about how you're looking at this wrong in factoring in prestige, but it always makes me look like a jerk when I read it back.

To put it bluntly: Go where there holy trinity of education, tuition, and personal fit/happiness is the best. While prestige may reflect education quality, it's not a one to one.
 

Knicks

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Not that I want the OP to get bashed, but I don't understand why the OP isn't getting bashed for asking/worrying about "prestige", yet when someone innocently asks about salaries ("God-forbid", :rolleyes:), it's FLAME ON!

(This was a rhetorical question; responses to this post are discouraged).
 

RySerr21

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Hi everyone,

I currently have a wonderful dilemma of choosing among some of the best medical schools in the country. Before I try to make a decision, however, I am trying to figure out what is most important to me, and I was hoping to gain some more experienced people's perspectives to help think more about these issues.

A big dilemma that I am toying with is the issue of prestige. In particular, the layman's prestige factor. Schools such as Univ of Pittsburgh or Baylor or Univ of Washington are top notch medical schools and seem to have that reputation in the medical community, but the reputation outside that bubble seems nonexistent. Certainly it is superficial to be making any kind of decision based on what the lay-person's perceived prestige is, but it still an idea I have to deal with. I am coming from a decent, but not well-known undergrad, and so this seems to be me 'last chance' so-to-speak to gain a degree from a place that people perceive to be a top notch institution. Especially since now I actually have the opportunity to potentially pick among some of the best institutions. It's an ego thing certainly, but I wonder if it will be of substantive concern or if it is purely a superficial ideal that I will get over once I am older.
Thats because nobody cares where you went to school except for your mother (its always nice to tell people "my son/daughter goes to to one of the top med schools in teh country")...... other than that, patients just want to see a doctor.

You might want to change your status to pre-med, just a warning. Some people can get a bit touchy about the whole switching to med student after being accepted. Convention is to wait til you are about to start attending.
Agreed......thats kind of a tooly thing to do. It irritates me and I'm not even a med student. OP, you aren't a med student, you have at least 7 months before that happens. I'm not changing mine til at least the first day of classes.
 

Excelsius

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Thats because nobody cares where you went to school except for your mother (its always nice to tell people "my son/daughter goes to to one of the top med schools in teh country")...... other than that, patients just want to see a doctor.
...
In an emergency, yes. But when someone is trying to find the "best" doctor in the given specialty, he goes with someone who has a big name in the field or has attended a big name school. Whether right or wrong, I know patients who do this. Some even travel long distances just to be cared by particular school docs, such as UCLA. Not that this is going to have a palpable impact on your salary, but it does fall under "prestige."
 
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anoncurious

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Hi,

thanks for the comments. First of all, i'm sorry - I wasn't that attune to the convention - my status is now 'pre-med'.

I really appreciate some of your comments, thanks for taking the time. The thing that bothers me, however, is this:

there is the (albeit somewhat superficial) issue of prestige on one hand, but on the other hand is the 'true merit' of a certain program. The merit is hard to discern because rankings like US NEws are inherently flawed. So - that leads to the conclusion to choose a school that is the best fit, which is something that I truly believed going into this process (and many of you have reciprocated this sentiment above). However after visiting so many schools - I think I would fit in with some schools on either end of this spectrum pretty evenly and so I wanted to turn to some other factor to distinguish the schools.

So - a school like dartmouth or brown certainly has the 'name recignition' factor, but for some reason it is ranked low on US News..both factors are rather superficial, so I am trying to figure out what perspectives people use to make a decision like this assuming that a fit would be ascertained at all places. There are differences in the environments certainly, but if one could truly picture himself happy at any of the places..what to do? Anyone been in a similar situation?

(again, I'm not trying to make a decision here based on this, I am doing this mostly to broaden my perspectives)

Thanks again; hearing other viewpoints helps me look at the issue from all sides and I appreciate your time.
 

masterofmonkeys

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Go for prestige.

I went to one of the top undergrads in the states and followed it up with the top grad school in europe in my area. I went to medical school at a lower to mid tier state school.

I have solid grades, great letters of rec both in and outside of my chosen field, phenomenal board scores, research in multiple fields with a couple of published abstracts and presentations at national meetings, and a graduate degree, and I'm applying for the rather noncompetitive field of psychiatry. I'm not AOA. But that's pretty much the only thing I'm missing.

My med school is not exactly a power player but it's known for producing good clinicians and our students are known to be well-prepared for residency due to rather rigorous and demanding clinical years. We also tend to do much better than average in terms of board scores with a significant right-skewing of our score distribution compared to the USMG overall figures.

Many of the places I was so excited about interviewing at...didn't invite me. Granted, many top tier programs did. But based on some feedback I've gotten about my overall package, and knowledge of how other people who DID get interviews stacked up, I don't think it's absurd to say that a big part of the reason i didn't get invites to these places is where I'm from. Friends from my school applying to other specialties with similarly high aspirations have suffered similar fates, so I'm hardly alone in this.

Of course the other question is how much does it matter? I don't think that where you go to changes how hard it'll be to get A SPOT somewhere in your field of choice, no matter how competitive (like rad/onc or plastics), but I DO think it can substantially affect your ability to get invited to and/or match at a top tier program.

How much does that matter? Quite a bit if you're interested in research, academics, or (to a lesser degree) competitive fellowships. If you're interested in private practice, becoming faculty at a mid-tier program, or aren't interested in a cutthroat fellowship, not at all.

Some people will say where you go doesn't matter. Totally false. The question is how much it matters given your personal situation.
 

mmmcdowe

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Hi,

thanks for the comments. First of all, i'm sorry - I wasn't that attune to the convention - my status is now 'pre-med'.

I really appreciate some of your comments, thanks for taking the time. The thing that bothers me, however, is this:

there is the (albeit somewhat superficial) issue of prestige on one hand, but on the other hand is the 'true merit' of a certain program. The merit is hard to discern because rankings like US NEws are inherently flawed. So - that leads to the conclusion to choose a school that is the best fit, which is something that I truly believed going into this process (and many of you have reciprocated this sentiment above). However after visiting so many schools - I think I would fit in with some schools on either end of this spectrum pretty evenly and so I wanted to turn to some other factor to distinguish the schools.

So - a school like dartmouth or brown certainly has the 'name recignition' factor, but for some reason it is ranked low on US News..both factors are rather superficial, so I am trying to figure out what perspectives people use to make a decision like this assuming that a fit would be ascertained at all places. There are differences in the environments certainly, but if one could truly picture himself happy at any of the places..what to do? Anyone been in a similar situation?

(again, I'm not trying to make a decision here based on this, I am doing this mostly to broaden my perspectives)

Thanks again; hearing other viewpoints helps me look at the issue from all sides and I appreciate your time.
Both the Dartmouth and Brown programs are relatively new compared to the other ivy schools (they restarted them within the last 50 years I believe). Considering that, they aren't doing too bad.
 

mmmcdowe

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Go for prestige.

I went to one of the top undergrads in the states and followed it up with the top grad school in europe in my area. I went to medical school at a lower to mid tier state school.

I have solid grades, great letters of rec both in and outside of my chosen field, phenomenal board scores, research in multiple fields with a couple of published abstracts and presentations at national meetings, and a graduate degree, and I'm applying for the rather noncompetitive field of psychiatry. I'm not AOA. But that's pretty much the only thing I'm missing.

My med school is not exactly a power player but it's known for producing good clinicians and our students are known to be well-prepared for residency due to rather rigorous and demanding clinical years. We also tend to do much better than average in terms of board scores with a significant right-skewing of our score distribution compared to the USMG overall figures.

Many of the places I was so excited about interviewing at...didn't invite me. Granted, many top tier programs did. But based on some feedback I've gotten about my overall package, and knowledge of how other people who DID get interviews stacked up, I don't think it's absurd to say that a big part of the reason i didn't get invites to these places is where I'm from. Friends from my school applying to other specialties with similarly high aspirations have suffered similar fates, so I'm hardly alone in this.

Of course the other question is how much does it matter? I don't think that where you go to changes how hard it'll be to get A SPOT somewhere in your field of choice, no matter how competitive (like rad/onc or plastics), but I DO think it can substantially affect your ability to get invited to and/or match at a top tier program.

How much does that matter? Quite a bit if you're interested in research, academics, or (to a lesser degree) competitive fellowships. If you're interested in private practice, becoming faculty at a mid-tier program, or aren't interested in a cutthroat fellowship, not at all.

Some people will say where you go doesn't matter. Totally false. The question is how much it matters given your personal situation.
The question I have to ask you is were those programs that you applied to in your area, or were they in other states? Also, did you get into more prestigous programs and choose based on fit?
 

masterofmonkeys

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only one of the programs I applied to outside my home program could be loosely construed as in my area (about 250 miles away).

Obviously this was another factor that hurt me since I'm over a thousand miles away from all of the top programs. And no one from my school ever tried to go anywhere prestigious for psychiatry residency.

As for medical school, no this was the only program I got into (my home program). It would have been smarter to wait a year and try again.

I stand by my statement. Go for prestige, go for a program that is either geographically close to where you want to end up for residency, or from an area known for having strong medical schools (i.e. the northeast or california).
 

ohmedschool

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I have a similar question/dilemma. I have been accepted to Georgetown, which is a nice name but not generally considered a powerhouse in medicine. I am anxiously awaiting a response from University of Wisconsin, which I believe to be better both in terms of research and primary care.

Of course, having nothing better to do, I keep thinking about what I would do if I got into Wisc. Likewise, if I got into Brown once I interview in January. By the US News rankings, Wisconsin is a better school, yet by the prestige/name recognition factor, everybody knows Georgetown and Brown. When I tell anybody outside of the medical field, they think I am crazy for wanting to go to Wisconsin over those two name brands.

Yes, I know I should go to the place that makes me the happiest. But honestly, I don't know where I will be happiest, and I certainly can't decide that based on a singular interview experience at X school. I guess my question is: does the general perceived reputation of the name brand matter? Is it better to attend a lesser known name with a better program or a big name with a not-as-good program?

All things being equal, would the name of the school matter in the residency match? I don't necessarily think US News rankings correlate to quality of program in residency directors' eyes. Georgetown is 40 and placed 50% of its students into top 25 medical schools. Wisconsin is 27 and placed an overwhelming majority into Wisconsin programs (granted, it is a state school)...
 

HeatherMD

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It's up to you -- I think you're the one that will ultimately care the most, and there's no shame in choosing the more prestigious institution.

My province has more than one med school, and one comes out well above the others in both ranking and international recognition. Is it a better med school? Maybe, maybe not, it depends who you ask -- but if I'm given a choice, I'd probably take it above the others for namesake alone.

This is assuming of course there's no difference in tuition costs.. though it would probably take a significant amount to sway me otherwise.

I don't know how valuable prestige is in the long run, you'll come out an MD no matter what, but I know that I care what school I go to.
 

Gut Shot

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By the US News rankings, Wisconsin is a better school, yet by the prestige/name recognition factor, everybody knows Georgetown and Brown. When I tell anybody outside of the medical field, they think I am crazy for wanting to go to Wisconsin over those two name brands.
Don't listen to anyone outside the medical field. They know Georgetown and Brown for their undergraduate schools. Check out Georgetown University Hospital's specialty rankings... they don't have any. Likewise, Brown has many famous programs, but the medical side (while certainly not bad) doesn't match the prestige of the overall institution.

Since the opinions of those outside medicine will have no impact on your career trajectory, you should listen to those inside the field, and those voices (correctly) give Wisconsin an edge.
 

theroadtomed

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What about people who google doctors before going to them? You can easily look up where a doctor went to medical school, and I know of a lot of people who take this into consideration when choosing which doctor to go to for a problem. Do you think they pick Harvard or a third tier? Harvard every time, regardless of the fact that medical school does not equal clinical training, etc. People don't really know that, nor do they take it into account.
 

HeatherMD

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What about people who google doctors before going to them? You can easily look up where a doctor went to medical school, and I know of a lot of people who take this into consideration when choosing which doctor to go to for a problem. Do you think they pick Harvard or a third tier? Harvard every time, regardless of the fact that medical school does not equal clinical training, etc. People don't really know that, nor do they take it into account.
It's unlikely as a physician in North America that you'll ever experience a shortage of patients, so who really cares if someone googles physicians and chooses a Harvard guy over your own state credentials?
 

biophysicianai

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I have a similar question/dilemma. I have been accepted to Georgetown, which is a nice name but not generally considered a powerhouse in medicine. I am anxiously awaiting a response from University of Wisconsin, which I believe to be better both in terms of research and primary care
If you plan on practicing in the midwest, you might want to pick UW. There are TONS of wisco fans in these parts, and they love everything that has anything to do with Wisconsin. I'm not a Wisconsin student, but there are others in my family who are or have been. I sometimes feel like I disappointed people by going to an ivy. This discussion about prestige is ultimately one about name recognition, an area in which huge big-10 schools carry a lot of weight. just a thought!
 

ohmedschool

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If you plan on practicing in the midwest, you might want to pick UW. There are TONS of wisco fans in these parts, and they love everything that has anything to do with Wisconsin. I'm not a Wisconsin student, but there are others in my family who are or have been. I sometimes feel like I disappointed people by going to an ivy. This discussion about prestige is ultimately one about name recognition, an area in which huge big-10 schools carry a lot of weight. just a thought!
Hmm, I guess geographical location is a factor I haven't given much thought...you bring up a good point! I grew up overseas, did HS in the DC area, college at Stanford, never been to the midwest until my Wisc interview but found it to be a much friendlier, community-based environment than either coasts. I will have to think about this a little more... :laugh:
 

theroadtomed

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It's unlikely as a physician in North America that you'll ever experience a shortage of patients, so who really cares if someone googles physicians and chooses a Harvard guy over your own state credentials?
It is very possible to have a shortage of patients, especially as a specialist opening up a private practice. It can be very difficult to build up a strong referral base, and things like this can help or hurt you. It makes sense to me, and this is what a derm-surgeon told me he and the guys he did residency with experienced.
 

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Only go for prestige if the financial aid package matches. Wait until the financial aid packets come in and then make a decision.
 

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Also, where you do your training (residency) probably matters more for career than where you do medical school. Also, be prepared to do audition rotations at locations where you might be interested in residency.
 

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Hmmm I don't mean to hijack the thread but it's brought up a question of mine.

I have been so fortunate as to have been accepted to two amazing schools, both of which were in my top 5 after visiting. One, Vanderbilt, is in the South and the other, Mt. Sinai, is in New York City. Vanderbilt is "ranked higher" by about 5ish spots so that's pretty irrelevant, and their hospital is ranked among the best hospitals in the country, while Sinai's is not, fwiw.

Anyways, in terms of fit, they rank similarly in my head, and I am confident that I'd be extremely happy at either school. The choice, then, will probably be mostly based on financial aid, unless I am swayed one way or the other by something else.

My issue is this: I would probably ideally like to do my residency either in the Northeast (Boston would be my first choice, followed by DC and Philly and those sort of major cities- I probably wouldn't stay in NYC if I did med school there although I might go to NYC for residency if I didn't go to med school there, if that makes sense) or another major city like Chicago. I would also ideally like to go into academia in the future so I can teach. Right now, my favorite field is cardiology, although I suspect it'll change.

So, to what extent should geography play a part in my decision? Since I would probably want to stay in the big cities of the Northeast, would Sinai be a better choice or would they stack up pretty equally? Would it be easy for me to have an away rotation at a Boston hospital when coming from Vandy? Residency match lists are sort of hard to read because so many factors go into them (say you met someone in your area and don't want to leave him/her). Any advice?
 

Chuck's Right Foot

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Hmmm I don't mean to hijack the thread but it's brought up a question of mine.
(SNIP)

Any advice?
LET, from what I know (and I am by no means an expert since I am just getting in... But I do have several friends who are residents...) it is much easier to get in where your school as a reputation. There are probably more MSSM applicants at NE spots, so that could make it easier. If you are applying mainly in the NE, it could make it easier to get a good residency in the area.

However, that is not to say it will make it IMPOSSIBLE otherwise. I think the difficluty is in the paucity of away rotations that you will be able to get. However, board scores and competitiveness of your chosen specialty will also be factors.

Sounds like a tough choice!!! Good luck!
 

MrBurns10

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So, to what extent should geography play a part in my decision? Since I would probably want to stay in the big cities of the Northeast, would Sinai be a better choice or would they stack up pretty equally? Would it be easy for me to have an away rotation at a Boston hospital when coming from Vandy? Residency match lists are sort of hard to read because so many factors go into them (say you met someone in your area and don't want to leave him/her). Any advice?
The obvious answer, of course, is to go to neither and come here instead. :p

But as for your actual question, you will have no problem going to the NE or Chicago from Vanderbilt. I think geography plays more of a role when referring to schools/hospitals that perhaps don't have as well-known reputations nationally. Vanderbilt has one of the best medical centers in the nation, besides being a great school. Provided you do well, you won't have any more problems going to New York or Boston from there than you would from MSSM. Besides, Vandy is likely to be far cheaper.
 

RySerr21

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In an emergency, yes. But when someone is trying to find the "best" doctor in the given specialty, he goes with someone who has a big name in the field or has attended a big name school. Whether right or wrong, I know patients who do this. Some even travel long distances just to be cared by particular school docs, such as UCLA. Not that this is going to have a palpable impact on your salary, but it does fall under "prestige."

Ive never known anyone to search for a doctor by "school attended." I dont even konw how one would do that. I agree that people will go with "big names" in the field, but that has to do with whether or not you have made a name for yourself while praticing medicine. Whether or not, through word of mouth, you have built a great reputation because of how you pratice medicine, how you treat your patients, whether or not you are good at what you do....not necessarily where you studied it. Secondly, the OP is trying to decide between top schools. No one is going to care whether he/she went to Baylor or UWash.
 

ButImLETired

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The obvious answer, of course, is to go to neither and come here instead. :p
Sigh...oh FINE! If you INSIST!

*calls dean of admissions: "Hi, sooooo Burnsie wants me to come over there. I know, I know, I mean, I wasn't gonna go, but you know, she INSISTED....yeah ok, I'm gonna need a scholarship though, k thx"
 

Gut Shot

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So, to what extent should geography play a part in my decision?
None. Vanderbilt is nationally recognized as a top flight institution. You can go anywhere and do anything from Vandy. Away rotations can be set up from anywhere, so whether you're in NYC or Nashville won't make a shred of difference.
 
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anoncurious

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hi guys, thanks for the responses. So would the residents/experienced med students care to comment on the NE reputation of Baylor vs. A place like Dartmouth or Brown?
 

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*calls dean of admissions: "Hi, sooooo Burnsie wants me to come over there. I know, I know, I mean, I wasn't gonna go, but you know, she INSISTED....yeah ok, I'm gonna need a scholarship though, k thx"
Don't forget to mention the shoulder monkey and theme music. That is KEY.
 

MrBurns10

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hi guys, thanks for the responses. So would the residents/experienced med students care to comment on the NE reputation of Baylor vs. A place like Dartmouth or Brown?
I don't go to school in the NE, so I'm not really sure. Baylor definitely has a great reputation in Texas, and I would say nationally its reputation is probably a bit stronger than Dartmouth or Brown. But if you want to eventually be in the NE, I don't think it really matters between those three.
 

mmmcdowe

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hi guys, thanks for the responses. So would the residents/experienced med students care to comment on the NE reputation of Baylor vs. A place like Dartmouth or Brown?
Among doctors in the NE, Baylor wins hands down. If you are wanting to get into academics and research, I think Baylor is a better choice no matter where you go. Among patients in the NE, the Ivy Leagers win. Among residencies in the NE, I would probably say its pretty balanced unless you want to do it in Providence or New Hampshire. If you got into Baylor, I really don't think you can lose! Now if it came down to Baylor or Yale, Columbia, Cornell, and Harvard, those guys would probably get you farther in the northeast. Brown and Dartmouth are great schools, but they are newer schools. I too want to practice in the Northeast, but unless I really felt the "fit" at Brown and Dartmouth, I would go to Baylor all things considered. Then again, I want to get into molecular genetics, which is a Baylor specialty.
 

Loon

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It's also worth noting that reputations may change as you cross borders. Go to Asia and you will find plenty of of people who know and love UCLA and can only name maybe one other school (I have no idea why).

Prime example (speaking of undergrad):

Girl: Where did you graduate from?
Me: UCLA.
Girl: UCLA? That's great. You must be brilliant. Ooh, by the way, my brother goes to Stanford. Is that a good school?
 

scarletgirl777

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Ive never known anyone to search for a doctor by "school attended." I dont even konw how one would do that. I agree that people will go with "big names" in the field, but that has to do with whether or not you have made a name for yourself while praticing medicine. Whether or not, through word of mouth, you have built a great reputation because of how you pratice medicine, how you treat your patients, whether or not you are good at what you do....not necessarily where you studied it. Secondly, the OP is trying to decide between top schools. No one is going to care whether he/she went to Baylor or UWash.
It's very easy. In picking a primary care doctor, my HMO supplies the name of where they went to school. There's also this thing called Google.

I honestly think this would be more common for a patient who, say, has cancer. If a patient has a life-threatening disease and has the time to pick and choose, he or she will get interested in his doctor's training. Usually, however, I think patients choose based on the hospital where the doctor is rather than the place the doctor went to school...so specifically looking for an MD Anderson or a Sloan Kettering physician that comes with high praise. In that sense, I think you are partially right.
 

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OP, go where you think you'll be most happy...i actually was deciding b/w baylor and michigan last cycle (i deferred), and i ended up choosing michigan at the last minute..i dont know cost is factoring into your decision, but i know i wouldnt have picked umich over baylor w/o a scholly-- it would have been the difference b/w 13K/yr at baylor (im a TX resident) and 41K/yr at michigan :eek:..both are great schools, but i felt like i'd fit better at michigan for several reasons...feel free to PM me if you wanna know anything in particular
 

TheRealMD

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Prestige from non-medical perspective doesn't matter because most can't distinguish a "UWash" from a "Baylor.

Prestige from medical perspective isn't decisive enough when talking about top-ranked schools. All are going to give you a good education. It's the resources and people that you'll be around that really matter. And none of this is tied to the school's name.

So take it from a newbie MS1, there are more important things to think about than prestige like potential debt load, living area, nightlife (whatever chance you get, you'll want it to be good), ability to find a mentor, counseling, etc...
 

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Going back to the OP I think I can understand what you are saying. A lot of people here are focusing on the "importance" of prestige for more quantitative reasons, like will i get more patients, better residency, etc. Whether or not there would be a quantitative difference aside, there is that nice factor of coming home and telling people from high school or college or whatever, that you go to X school and they've heard about it before. I know just having gone to a decent underground school that the average person knows is a decent school, that being able to tell people I go to ... and having them know about that school is kind of a nice little ego stroke from time to time. Ya it is egotistical and I admit it, but that doesn't mean it still isn't somewhat encouraging for time to time. Its not the reason I chose the school at all but it is a nice bonus.

Whether or not that matters to you is probably just another component of the overall fit of a school. I mean ultimately just being a doctor is a pretty prestigious profession to begin with , I mean you are dedicating your life to care for others and you have to be at least fairly intelligent to pull it off. But lot of people truly aren't interested in prestige so adding a name-recognition factor to their med school of choice is ridiculous. But for others to whom prestige matters, I don't think its something just to be tossed out the window because it might not actually make a huge difference in your day to day, once you've completed your training.
 

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Pick the most "lay" famous school and go there. Then after M2 try to transfer to the the second most "lay" famous school. Then you can wow the lay people by saying you went to BOTH high prestige school A & high prestige school B.

But make sure you tell them while you swing your lamborgini key chain on your finger.

;):D
 

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Hi everyone,

I currently have a wonderful dilemma of choosing among some of the best medical schools in the country. Before I try to make a decision, however, I am trying to figure out what is most important to me, and I was hoping to gain some more experienced people's perspectives to help think more about these issues.

A big dilemma that I am toying with is the issue of prestige. In particular, the layman's prestige factor. Schools such as Univ of Pittsburgh or Baylor or Univ of Washington are top notch medical schools and seem to have that reputation in the medical community, but the reputation outside that bubble seems nonexistent. Certainly it is superficial to be making any kind of decision based on what the lay-person's perceived prestige is, but it still an idea I have to deal with. I am coming from a decent, but not well-known undergrad, and so this seems to be me 'last chance' so-to-speak to gain a degree from a place that people perceive to be a top notch institution. Especially since now I actually have the opportunity to potentially pick among some of the best institutions. It's an ego thing certainly, but I wonder if it will be of substantive concern or if it is purely a superficial ideal that I will get over once I am older.

Now, let me end this by just saying that I am certainly not going to decide my medical school based on prestige, but I am trying to contemplate what is important to me and trying to decide factors that would weigh in on my decisions. In this regard, I would love to hear perspectives of those who have gone through this dilemma on both sides. I really appreciate it!

Thanks.
If you are worried about prestidge the prestidge of your residency is more important than your medical school. If you have only great medical schools to choose from, choose the one you like best and residencies will prefer you too. It is a win-win situation.
 

TRAMD

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You also have to think about this: schools with more prestidge have smarter girls and smarter girls aren't as good-looking as those of more average intelligence . . .
 

SDN2013

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You also have to think about this: schools with more prestidge have smarter girls and smarter girls aren't as good-looking as those of more average intelligence . . .
really? The ladies at WashU and Mayo were very good looking :D

Besides, most male med students probably date PT, nursing, dental, or other allied health students
 
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anoncurious

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You also have to think about this: schools with more prestidge have smarter girls and smarter girls aren't as good-looking as those of more average intelligence . . .
That's what PA schools are for! ;)

Edit: Gloryfield: you beat me to it!
 

ButImLETired

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You also have to think about this: schools with more prestidge have smarter girls and smarter girls aren't as good-looking as those of more average intelligence . . .
Well I'm guessing based on your spelling woes that you're hot, then? ;)
 

TRAMD

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Well I'm guessing based on your spelling woes that you're hot, then? ;)
Dang! How'd all those 'd's get in there? Oh, how I have shamed myself. I went from local spelling bee champ in 7th grade and English student of the year in 12th grade to this. :( That is twice in a week as I wrote 'dorsaflexors' the other day. Anyways, the same rules do not apply to me as I am male. That is also faulty logic. Intelligent females tend to not be as attractive (although there certainly are exceptions) but being stupid doesn't mean you are automatically attractive. It would be nice if there were that nice balance, wouldn't it?

Pretty soon I'll be writing 'your' when I mean 'you're' and 'there' or 'their' when I mean 'they're'. Then I will have to shoot myself. You can judge for yourself as to my attractiveness:
 
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