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Decisions!! Vanderbilt vs. NorthWestern

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TrophyWife23

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So i'm trying to decide between vandy and northwestern (and potentially yale if they ever take me off their waitlist :confused:) and I'm looking to give up my place in one of the classes soon so someone else who actually really wants to go there can. Right now I'm leaning towards vandy because of these three, (which are my top choices fyi) it was the one I absolutely loved when I interviewed). They also gave me a really generous scholarship so the odds are defo tipped in this direction, i'm not really trying to pay $100,000+ for a superficial choice that wont really matter in five or ten years. So funding may very well render my dilemma a false dilemma....

That being said though, I'm slightly hesitant about giving up chicago:eek: for nashville. I get that nashville is a great city but Im from DC so chicago would be a lot closer to what I'm used to. Cost of living isnt as important since Im used to paying exorbitant prices for rent and food. There will be more things to do in chicago, no doubt, and the other med schools would be great for networking and professional growth. This is primarily what makes me unsure of my choice. Im also person who likes to work hard but I also would need to have a life outside of the med school bubble to be able to function properly i.e my social and personal life are tres important...

Ranking-wise, vandy would be the way to go (and I guess yale if I did get accepted; funny though how EVERY student I talked to at yale expressed how they absolutely wanted to go to vandy...) . The small class size is also a plus cos Im not used to getting lost in large classes (170 + at NW)


Anyone have any opinions that they'd care to share?

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yale for sure... no clinical grades is absolutely amazing... to think, you can actually focus on LEARNING things in 3rd year...
 
yale for sure... no clinical grades is absolutely amazing... to think, you can actually focus on LEARNING things in 3rd year...
I definitely see the plus in the yale system.. ive come to realize it may not be the best for me though.. ive managed to slack through senior year (aptly blamed on senior-itis) because ive figured a way to get a's while attending the minimum number of classes required i.e once a week (for weeks when im being good)
 
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I definitely see the plus in the yale system.. ive come to realize it may not be the best for me though.. ive managed to slack through senior year (aptly blamed on senior-itis) because ive figured a way to get a's while attending the minimum number of classes required i.e once a week (for weeks when im being good)

might be different when you are actually learning something you care about rather than classes you know you won't be using.. just saying that because I didnt really care for my senior classes and just did what I had to to get As
 
I definitely see the plus in the yale system.. ive come to realize it may not be the best for me though.. ive managed to slack through senior year (aptly blamed on senior-itis) because ive figured a way to get a's while attending the minimum number of classes required i.e once a week (for weeks when im being good)

i mean basically the only thing you have to study for at yale is step 1. seems like it would be pretty easy to stay focused.
 
yale for sure... no clinical grades is absolutely amazing... to think, you can actually focus on LEARNING things in 3rd year...
Except that I'm pretty sure Yale has grades for their clinical years...
 
Except that I'm pretty sure Yale has grades for their clinical years...

hm, I remember them just having qualitative evals when I interviewed there, maybe that's changed. They used to be pass/fail.
 
1. it was the one I absolutely loved when I interviewed).

2. They also gave me a really generous scholarship so the odds are defo tipped in this direction, i'm not really trying to pay $100,000+ for a superficial choice that wont really matter in five or ten years.

3. I get that nashville is a great city but Im from DC so chicago would be a lot closer to what I'm used to.

4. the other med schools would be great for networking and professional growth. This is primarily what makes me unsure of my choice.

5. Im also person who likes to work hard but I also would need to have a life outside of the med school bubble to be able to function properly i.e my social and personal life are tres important...

6. The small class size is also a plus cos Im not used to getting lost in large classes (170 + at NW)

So if I'm reading this all right, #4 is the big thing keeping you from deciding on Vanderbilt. I really think this is a non-issue. Vandy has a vast amount of resources and is a large and respected institution on its own. So is Northwestern. They are both great places. However, I doubt having other schools nearby in Chicago would do you much good. I mean, what would you need at those schools that wasn't already at Northwestern?

As far as networking for residencies go, as far as I know Northwestern and Vanderbilt both have respected clinical departments all-around. They each likely have some faculty that are known in their fields and can get you a letter for residency apps. Plus you could always do away rotations in other places (maybe even bigger cities that you like) & get letters from those as well.

I know it's tough because Chicago is really a great city. However, if your main concern is professional growth, I think it's a toss-up between both places unless you're dead-set on one specialty and one place has better faculty in that particular field.



Check out the Vanderbilt vs. Mt. Sinai thread for more info.
 
Yeah, check out the other thread for some of my comments about Vandy. I don't really have anything to say about Northwestern cause I've never been in there, so for all I know it's a totes awesome school.

As for Chicago vs Nashville: you know, if you're from DC, Nashville might actually be closer to what you're used to. Granted, I've only been to both Chicago and DC all of once so take it with a grain of salt, but Chicago seemed very, very large in comparison to DC, Boston and the like. It's really spread out and very split into "neighborhoods", so if you're more used to having a "downtown" where most people go out, I don't think that's really like that. Also I wonder to what extent people in the different universities really do hang out together. Though I imagine that having a lot of great hospitals around is useful when you're doing fourth year electives, if they actually let you do them in those places.

I mean, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these schools, they're all great. Right now I'd really love to be on the Yale system- a lot less chronic stress- but I'm just not self-motivated enough for that to be a real option for me. I'm definitely not equally interested in everything we're supposed to learn so there would be many, many giant gaping holes in my knowledge where biochemistry and anatomy are supposed to be if I got to get away with not studying them as carefully. You know yourself better than the SDNers do, but let me tell you something - there's no such thing as "you'll be way more interested in this so you'll want to study it". The amount of information is painfully vast and they go into obnoxious detail and maybe 1/3 (1/2 if you're lucky) of things will really be interesting enough for you to want to study them all day.

Oh, also our weather is probably more similar to DC than Chicago's...that may matter to you or not, although it does make going out somewhat easier when it's not like -20 degrees out.
 
Thanks everyone, for your help. I'll be over at second look so I guess I can compare and see for my self as has been suggested on other threads...

Good luck everyone :)
 
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