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Does the med school you go to REALLY matter THAT much?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Fumoffu, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. Fumoffu

    Fumoffu Senior Member
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    I'm sure going to a highly ranked school will have the benefits of a 1)big name 2)better research opps attached to it...

    But does the med school you go to really matter that much? Would it be unwise to choose a state school over a private school?
     
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  3. CalBeE

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    To indirectly answer your question, remember how people tell you how important it is to goto a great high school? When you get to college, it really doesn't matter where you graduated from.

    After you enter med school, again future employers probably don't care where you got your undergrad degree from.

    I think it'll be the same for med school. It'll be nice to goto a well-known med school, but will it give you a significant edge in future employment?

    On the other hand, how much cheaper is your state school compared to a private school? If you're saving like 5 grands a year, I'd feel that it's probably not a signficant saving.
     
  4. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    I'd say yes, it does matter, but not because one school might be ranked more highly than any other. You need to find a school at which you can thrive, and that school may be different for different people.

    If you're at a school that has the curriculum, location, atmosphere or whatever else will make you happy, you will do better. You will do better in school, you will get into a better residency, you will become a better doctor.

    So if the state school seems like a better fit for you, go there, that's great, you'll probably save some money. If the private school feels right, go there, even if you end up going into debt, you'll enjoy your four years there more and set yourself up to do better in your career (and ultimately pay back that debt).

    Now, on the other side, if you are concerned about the ranking of some private school versus some state school, the two things you point out are somewhat significant. Really, very few medical schools are going to be doing "bad" research or not have enough research opportunities to satisfy medical students. Your PI may not be the inventor of the self-installing artificial heart, but you are still going to be able to get whatever research experience you may need pretty much anywhere. I think the name issue is the biggest one, and it mostly comes into play if you go to like state medical school on the east coast but want to do residency on the west coast. More "national" names will stick out to residency directors, who won't necessarily be familiar with the intricacies of some distant state school's training program. On the other hand, if you want to do a residency in that same state, chances are local residency directors have a much higher opinion of the school than something like rankings would indicate.
     
  5. I would say whether or not your med school choice matters depends a lot on where you want to end up. If you are interested in being a doctor and taking care of patients, just about anywhere you go can train you for that and land you in a position you are interested in.

    If, however, you are interested in academic medicine or research, you need a "pedigree" to do well. While not always true, the "academic leaders" in any given field went to top 10, or at least top 25 research schools if you look at their CVs.

    Going to a top medical school can also increase your chances of getting a "prestigious" residency (whatever that means). It's not that you can't land such a position from any med school, it's just that the name of the school does carry some weight with residency committees.

    That's my take on it anyway, check back with me in 6 or 7 years and I'll let you know for sure;)
     
  6. celticmists18

    celticmists18 california dreaming
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    I have posted this other places, but here it is again. My dad is on an OBGYN residency committee and he told me that where you went to medical school will not help you get a residency. WHAT you do at whatever med school you go to is what will get you in (your ranking in your class, letters of recommendation, board scores, extracurricular activities, etc.). At least according to him, the "highly ranked/well known" med schools aren't going to help you get into a residency.
     
  7. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    I wouldn't say it matters unless you go to a real big name school. Other than that, what matters more are board scores, LORs, and performance in your rotations.
     
  8. I suppose that may be true, but I think going to a great school in this case simply increases your chances of finding excellent research opportunities or other things to bolster your CV.

    Of course, if you choose not to utilize those opportunities, your certainly not going to be given a free ride into the residency of your choice.

    I would assume though that the majority of people who get into top schools have already got a lot of motivation and will probably keep doing whatever it was they did to get into such a school in the first place.

    I guess this argument is becoming a bit circular;) I suppose it's safe to say that hard work will get you far no matter where you go.
     
  9. What do people think of the difference between Einstein and UCSD name wise given that I don't want to live in Southern CA?
     
  10. Fumoffu

    Fumoffu Senior Member
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    Does anyone know anything about Downstate, StonyBrook, and Albert Einstein?

    I know AECOM is ranked pretty high and is well-respected for research.

    Downstate sounds like it has great clinical experience.

    I guess I'm looking for more info on Stonybrook. I know it's touted as the best SUNY but that's what they all the SUNYs say!

    I still have an interview for UPitt soon and Drexel, although I think I'm gonna go ahead and cancel the Drexel one due to cost of the school.

    I don't think I'm going to want to do residency outside of NY State if that helps in advice you guys will be giving me. I would like to do some research as well as private practice in the future, possibly in academia.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  11. Yeah if I were you I would go to Downstate unless you are concerned about research experience or doing your residency outside of New York.
     
  12. Super Rob

    Super Rob Senior Member
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    I think the reason that some of us wanna know whether or not it pays to go to the "name" school over the state school is because we're well aware that as far as the med school admissions process is concerned, coming from a public or lesser "known" institution gives you a distinct disadvantage that often times extracurriculars, intercollegiate honors, and mcat scores CANNOT make up for.

    At anonymous U, while I sat waiting for my interview, the admissions director came by to shmooze with first the interviewees from Harvard and then the ones from Stanford. He came over to shmooze with me, cuz he had me confused with someone from Hopkins. When I told him I was from StateU, he was like "Oh..." and walked off... ha ha! My interviewer talked down to me for about a half hour, kept shaking his head to my answers to questions like "Where you from?" and then he asked me why I just didn't go to my state school... ergh?!

    Some of us work our butts off and wanna make sure we're taken seriously by residency directors, and not given the.... "Oh, you graduated from the University of Western South Dakota Medical College???.... that's a PARTY school. They don't produce nothing but SCREWUPS! Why don't you stay in rural South Dakota? Now, if you'll excuse me, the Washington University kids have arrived... they be the REEEAAL doctors!"
     
  13. Hmm, my experience was the exact opposite of yours.

    When I interviewed at Harvard, Hopkins and several other great schools, my background at a state university only made me stand out from everyone else (most of my fellow interviewees at most of these schools came from places like Harvard, Stanford, etc.) In the end I got a lot of great acceptances and couldn't be happier.

    Some schools seem to admit 80% of their class from these kind of insitutions, but a lot of great schools take people from all over the country.

    Of course, my interviewer at Hopkins was from the U of A as well, and we knew a lot of the same professors so I guess I can't count that one;)
     
  14. frick

    frick Senior Member
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    You went to the UofA (I'm there now)? What did you major in?
     
  15. CalBeE

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    I feel that I got judged by where I went for college too, but not in the sense you mentioned. I goto UCLA but I'm NOT from California at all. Everyone at interview just sorta assumed that I was, and associated me with all the California stereotype that you can find.

    People get surprised that I prefer a colder city--I got asked questions like "How can you study at this school when it's so cold?"...and people were surprised that I would like snowboarding--"Where can you go for snowboarding in California??"

    I'm sick of that. Part of me just wanna move out of California, so my future employers/interviewers can take me more seriously.
     
  16. If we're both talking about the University of Arizona, then I'm a Biochem/MCB double

    pm me if you like and I'll tell you more:D
     
  17. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    So.... if you're not both talking about the University of Arizona, are you not a Biochem/MCB double?!? :laugh:
     
  18. Good question.......wouldn't that be an eerie and strange world......


    :laugh:
     
  19. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    repuatation wise i think there is a big difference with ucsd easily beating out einstein.
     
  20. goobernaculum

    goobernaculum Member
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    listen people....i don't mean to be a prick, but those of you from "state U" why do you always have to think that it's the interviewer that has the wrong perception? why is that the medical school always has the condescending attitude? evaluate yourself and stop blameshifting. look at getianshi...this person went to a state school and apparently did well. is it never the applicant's fault?

    look...at a well known school (e.g.- an ivy league institution, duke, stanford, etc.), if you stand out you will most certainly be standing out among many well-qualified students. at a state school, if you're an average student or even an outstanding student is this always the case? it's not "always" the case in either situation, but the probability is in favor of the better known institution. the thing is that adcomms can never know if a student with the same gpa and mcat from a state school or a well-known school is better than the other. they have to play by generalizations, heuristics, etc. in order to make the best choice. if you're coming from an ivy league school and have a gpa of 3.8 and mcat of 33 competing with a student from a "smalltown university" with the same scores, GENERALLY (not always) you will pick the person that comes from the more competitive institution. that's also the case with students coming from upper tier medical schools. the same generalizations are at work.

    you might say that schools shouldn't make such generaliztions, but then...what should they do? what other means can they use to evaluate students?

    this is the real world, folks. and things will be working this way because there's no other better solution. it's true...some very qualified students will get screwed over, and i admit this. but for those of you who aren't that "hot", take ownership of your own shortcomings and stop blameshifting.
     
  21. Word........

    I've known lots of people from my school that have gotten into great schools and done well for themselves. At the same time, I respect those who chose to go to really competitive schools.

    I have to be honest and say that it is difficult sometimes to be an above-average student at a state school. (I'm not being arrogant here, I work hard for my grades;)) I often feel that the teachers spend too much time dumbing the material down so more people can get A's. Since I'm planning to do my med school at a more competitive insitution, I think it will take some adjustment. At the same time, I probably won't have to deal with all the people who have no business being premeds trying to make themselves look cool on paper.

    I'm not trying to offend anyone here, I've known plenty of great students who never got in or had to reapply many times before they did. All I'm saying is that great people come from just about everywhere, and adcoms (generally, not always) will accept anyone who has a unique application and has worked hard to get to where they are.

    Is it tougher to get into a good med school when you go to a state school? sure it is, but it's also easier to stand out at a state school than at some place like Harvard.

    Ugh....rambling. It's 2:30a and I can't sleep because the neighbors are partying too loud.......so maybe I'm just sleep drunk and not making sense....you be the judge;)
     
  22. ih8biochem

    ih8biochem Member
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    Funny... What do MCAT scores have to do with comparing schools? I see the corelation between GPA and undergraduate institution but MCATs are supposed to the equalizing factor. That's where your argument is flawed.
     
  23. kelenaf

    kelenaf Member
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    I don't know if generalizations are safe. I mean, sure, you can look at a trend and you might get an idea of where you might fit in, but EVERYONE is unique, even an average student whose case might appear to parallel the general pattern.

    But no one is the same. We all work hard in undergraduate to stand out and the adcoms look at the whole picture. The example situation above (3.8/33/smalltown U) is me to a tee and I went out on a limb when I applied this year. Turns out I got in to a highly ranked school. Why? Because I am more than my numbers.

    If I had read posts like this a year ago I might not even have tried. But my point is that everyone is different. The school you go to might affect your application, but like getianshi said, it's easier to stand out at State U than at an Ivy League which might affect your application equally well.

    If you apply this logic to medical school, work really hard and stand out, you'll probably go far with your residency. But if you think that it?s the name that matters and you don't try for something because you don't think your school's name is strong enough, then you'll lose out. Either way, good luck with your decision! :)
     
  24. tsj

    tsj Senior Member
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    GO see the match list thread on the allopath threads. It shows that all schools have fantastic matches with the top-tier medical schools being putting a few more people into the incredibly competitive specialties. But even the "worst" US medical schools have people going into unbelievably competitive specialties at unbelievably competitive locations.
     
  25. Super Rob

    Super Rob Senior Member
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    I probably shouldn't have included that anecdote in my post. I was venting frustration toward a particular institution that wasted a lot of my time and patience. I probably stirred up some nasty feelings. Also, I made some generalizations about the way members of admissions committees view applicants from public and lesser known institutions.

    I compare notes with a lot of people, and it seems that it really pays to go to a "name" undergraduate institution if you plan on appying to competitive medical schools... wouldn't it make sense that going to a "name" medical institution sets you up for a competitive medical residency?... (provided you make yourself a hot prospect)?

    Take two well rounded and hot candidates with 3.9s and 37s and (not that numbers mean everything, so) some interesting life experiences and enough personality to carry them through interviews. At most private schools, the one from the top tier college is probably going to get the acceptance while the one from lower tier university is going to get the waitlist. Just look around you. I appreciate that this is not always the case, and at certain public medical colleges, political pressures may change the course of events. But it makes for a rule of thumb.

    Is it fair? Life is not fair. Is it worth complaining about? In retrospect, no but it sure felt good!

    If the trend in generalizations can be extended to residency match, then it seems reasonable to turn down a lesser known or perhaps lower ranked school to attend a highly regarded private school, even though there are a slew of people telling us that where you go doesn't matter, or that you should go where you feel you will fit in, or where you will like the curriculum, grading system, pigeon to squirrel ratio, etc.

    As ridiculous as this sounds, you hear these stories of students from Who U medical college landing extremely competitive residency placements... of course, you hear stories of students from Who U undergrad getting into Columbia med, but anyone with an appreciation for the process understands that Who U to Columbia is more of an exception to the rule than the rule itself. Take a peek at Columbia's book o' students and you'll see lots of smiling faces representing the same seven or eight institutions. Who U appears once every five pages or so, and usually Who U is just one factor that makes the student unique to the page (I mean, the student may have come from another country, been the daugther of an astronaut, or have spent a decade touring Europe as a concert violinist).

    It seems reasonable that where you go to med school really DOES matter. The top school gives out about 150 acceptances and there are forty-something thousand of us. Guess we're not all going to the top school, but when the top school is no longer an option we should probably remain objective in choosing our back-up school. Subjectivity could lead us to a school that makes us less competitive candidates for residency.

    I don't know... too much thinking for now. Thanks for the good convo. I'm so glad we've got this forum.
     
  26. premyo2002

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    At the hospital I work at, the chief of Anesthesia went to school in the caribbean and we have three people that went to Top ten schools.
    I guess it only matters when patients choose you. Going to a Top school has it's benefits. For example, in LA we have radio commericals for "Harvard Graduate plastic surgeons", but never do they say, Caribbean school graduate.
     
  27. SoulRFlare

    SoulRFlare Senior Member
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    That's true...but I've also noticed that more students in the higher ranking schools (sometimes significantly more) match at the "big 15 hospitals." For example--right now I'm trying to decide whether i can justify going to a higher ranked private school as opposed to one of my state schools. the fact is, 21 ppl--nearly 15 % of the class, matched at places like CCF, umich, stanford, and hopkins, while the state school had about 6 people matching into those types of programs. so if I choose the higher ranked school, I have a better statistical chance of getting a "high powered" residency. I really think it does matter.
     
  28. Super Rob

    Super Rob Senior Member
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    SoulRFlare, I hear you. I guess we're very fortunate (and hard working) to have this sort of a decision to make, but ain't it tough?
     
  29. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    yes, but are you taking into account that there are fewer applicants from Who U than from larger more prestigious institutions?

    like, you'll see people from UCLA everywhere, but that's because we have the largest number of people applying to medical school (i think....i'm pretty sure that's what i saw....)
     
  30. mentoz

    mentoz Senior Member
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    Actually, when I was interviewing at UCSF, my interviewer told me that MCAT scores are used to compare undergraduate universities. Since UCSF uses some special algorithm rather than having the adcom duke it out in steel cages, they need numbers. Every part of the application is ranked, even the university you attended. They rank the undergraduate schools by where the MCAT avgs of that school fall onto UCSF's scale. I was hurt by this (my school ranked the lowest), but I compensated with the rest of my application (subsequently got an acceptance, and I'm from UknownU out in TX).

    But this is only one school. At Yale, the director told me that yes indeed, they do duke it out in steel cages:D .
     
  31. mentoz

    mentoz Senior Member
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    haha i totally went through the same thing! at UPenn, the directors schmoozed with the students from Harvard and Stanford and Princeton only because they had some sort of connection with those schools or knew other investigators there .. i didn't blame them at all for not knowing about my state school ... while in college, i regretted not going to Cornell b/c i was afraid i was at a disadvantage ... but now i realize that my attitude was everything .. i was just as motivated as the next student coming from a prestigious institution, and i knew i could survive among the likes of anyone else ... coming from an unknown state school made me unique (even the director at Yale commented on that) ... so it may have been annoying to have to explain what the campus dynamic was like at UnknownU, but in the end, it worked out to my advantage ...

    when i interviewed at my state schools, they were telling me that i shouldn't go there and keep my eyes on the better schools (can you believe that?!)

    out of the top 20 schools (minus harvard and johns hopkins .. my initial poor attitude and underestimation let to withdrawing pre-secondary regrettably), the only schools that didn't interview me were Columbia and Cornell, and it may have been b/c of my school or the fact that i turned their secondaries in on the day of the deadline .. i ended up getting into my dream school (UCSF) which was crazy b/c i'm not even from CA ... my interviewer told me that my stats are just like the other competitive students he interviewed, but he prefered me over the guy he interviewed before me (who was from Harvard, but in no way am i intending to say anything negative about that institution or the students that go there .. heck, it'd be nice if i did) b/c that student couldn't hold a decent conversation ..

    so i think b/c you were interviewing among the students from ivy-league universities, you really have something special going on :) ... hope things work out for you!
     
  32. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    no...both candidates will most likely get accepted. if they have excellent supporting material, then there is no reason why both would not get accepted. one candidate is not better than the other.

    if anything...top tier student should be embarassed for not scoring higher than the lower tier student. if the quality of education is lower at the lower tier school, then this particular student went above and beyond by scoring that 37. that deserves props and if i were an adcom id easily pick that student over the top tier one if i had to pick just one.
     
  33. Odaroloc

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    #'s dont tell the whole story, so one of the applicants could certainly have been "better" and not interms of Ugrad but in terms of personality...the person the interviewer deemed more beffiting to represent thier institution would get the imaginary slot in that case...or both, but one could definitely be "better" than the other.
     
  34. Super Rob

    Super Rob Senior Member
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  35. seev99

    seev99 Senior Member
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    bump...I DONT REALLY CARE WHICH MED SCHOOL..AS LONG AS THERE ARE HOT CHICKS, A MEAL PLAN, AND A TACO BELL...
     
  36. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    Well, as someone who has done undergrad coursework at both and Ivy League school and an ?unknown? state university, I suppose I?ll throw in my $.02?.

    I went to Penn, took a year of chem. & bio, and ended up graduating with a degree in Economics. I?m now at Grand Valley State University (in Michigan) to finish my pre-med undergrad work. I definitely am more focused in school now than I was before, which likely colors my opinions. With that caveat, here are my thoughts.

    The single biggest difference between an ?elite? school and ?Who U?:
    The quality of the average student.

    The top students at a state school (working hard, doing well) would, in my opinion, be comfortably above average at an ?elite? school. (Thus the many people here on SDN who went to ?Who U?, earned high grades & have a great MCAT score.)

    The average ?Who U? student would not survive at an elite school. At Penn, I knew plenty of people who didn?t do their reading, didn?t do homework, etc. Very few of these people had stellar GPAs, but they were often able to pick up enough to surprise you with their academic performance. I also know plenty of people at GVSU who don?t do their reading, homework, etc. For the most part, these students are quite unsuccessful. Why? Because while they?re still great people (and potentially could still make great doctors) they?re not as academically talented.

    As I mentioned, I?ve just returned to school. I?m in my first semester of Chem, Bio & Physics. So far, I?ve noticed that tests are considerably easier at my "Who U" state school. If you have a conceptual understanding of the material, you?ll get a high A. The limits of your knowledge are not tested like they were at Penn (at least as my foggy old brain remembers it?!)

    Without dragging on ? here?s my point. (Or at least here?s a point?)
    If you have great grades, it probably doesn?t matter too much where you went to school. I would think that this is certainly the case when you combine those great grades with a great MCAT score. Basically, you have removed the adcom?s opportunity to question your academic abilities by but demonstrating that you are among the best.

    If you don?t have great grades, you open the door for more subjective evaluation. As detailed above, I think there are legitimate reasons to differentiate between students with a ?non-excellent? GPA based on the school they attended.

    Either way, grades and MCATs are just the numbers. It is certainly well documented (and appropriate) that there are other significant factors in med school admissions.
     
  37. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    Another thought:

    I suppose this could also be a reason that even a great GPA from a lesser-known undergrad school is not always held in as high a regard as one from a more competitive school. - From my experience, you don't alwasy have to know a know as much to get an A at "Who U."

    This isn't to say that you don't know as much information!!! You just may not have been tested on it.

    I feel that I will be at no disadvantage on the MCAT because of the school I'm attending. I also feel that I need to have a better understanding of the material than the exams in my classes test.

    Then again, maybe I'm just another compulsive SDN member obsessing about the process!!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  38. Fumoffu

    Fumoffu Senior Member
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    Uh I don't know how this got turned into a undergrad to med school conversation...

    My original question was if it really mattered whether or not you went to a state med school or a much higher ranked private one...
     
  39. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    True that.
     
  40. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    I think its very true that if you're a stud, it doesn't matter where you go.

    And I think its great that we have these stories of people from the Carribean rising above themselves to become chiefs at top institutions.

    But don't you think there is a selection bias in these stories? Ive read DOZENS of posts on students from noname schools matching at top schools in top programs, or of chiefs of top ranked schools coming from nowhere-- but what of the 40% of chiefs (made up number) who went to Harvard-Hopkins-Duke-Penn?

    The thing is, you'll never hear/read about success stories of individuals from top ranked schools because they are SUPPOSED to succeed and thus never get their stories told, so I think there is a definite selection bias.

    In terms of the residency lists, the one in Allo ranking competitive specialties has one major problem-- smaller private schools are going to get screwed in terms of ranking by larger public schools.

    In any case, if you're good, you're going to be good anywhere. But there is a reason the average joe at a top school is going to be better than the average joe at Who U, and that has to do with self-motivation. But the creme of the crop from ANY school can likely compete against anyone out there.
     
  41. canada

    canada Member
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    i totally agree
     
  42. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    Hey - hijacking your thread or not, I put a lot of thoughtful consideration into my response regarding "elite" vs. "Who U" undergrad schools! :p
     
  43. Fumoffu

    Fumoffu Senior Member
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    Haha no prob, mostly I was concerned about picking btw SUNYs and 2 privates I got into. But a lot of what you said applies too.

    I was more concerned about it but from what the guy with Brian the dog avatar said, I think I'm gonna stick with SUNY due to tuition and go from there!
     
  44. 1996

    1996 Member
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    I think going to a highly-ranked med school can help quite a bit in the residency app process, especially if you're not AOA or at the absolute top of your class.

    Now, I know many of you are getting ready to reply with posts like "I know I'm going to be AOA" or "I intend to be the top of my class, why would you want to aim low?" But the reality is, your med school class is going to be full of students with grades and MCAT scores just like yours (or very likely, higher than yours). They too have the same goals of being at the top. Unfortunately, only a small number will get to be at the top of the class. So, it is no guarantee that you will definitely be one of them, no matter how hard you work.

    Students ranked in the top of lower-ranked, lesser known med schools can still match into very competitive, pretigious residency programs. However, average to below-average students at these institutions will have a hard time at the top programs and specialties.

    On the other hand, average to even below-average students at top-ranked med schools usually still have decent shots at big-name residency programs. Most importantly, one of the biggest differences I've seen between the med school app and residency app process is that most residency programs heavily favor applicants from their own med schools. Very often, you'll see students from the bottom of their highly-ranked med school class staying at their very prestigious institution for residency, while being rejected pre-interview from all other institutions of similar caliber. This sense of having a "back-up" is one of the biggest advantages to attending a top-ranked med school. Remember that med schools want their graduates to do well in the match, and they will try their best to make sure that everyone has a good match (which includes moving their own students higher on their rank lists).
     
  45. KarateGirl

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    This makes sense, but my question is: ultimately, how important is a "high-powered residency"? If you're doing research or need academic credentials, I can see why you want to go to a top hospital. But aside from that, I don't see it making or breaking you as a doctor. I guess if you want to be the world's top neurosurgeon, then you'll want to get into the world's top neuro residency. If you just want to heal people, then you'll succeed no matter where you go.
     
  46. celticmists18

    celticmists18 california dreaming
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    since apparently people didn't read this the first time here it is again!
     
  47. drlexygoat

    drlexygoat Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
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    I'm wrestling with the same issue right now, too.

    Go to private university with a GREAT reputation for research and have over 200k in debt

    OR

    Head to lesser-known state university with good clinicals and have 110k in debt.

    I'm def. leaning toward option B. I think I can still excel, get good marks, and obtain a good residency at the state school. And, I'll be a hell of a lot happier when I pay off my loans in 20 yrs compared to 30.

    I'm not a "prestige snob" anyway. Your medical education is what you make of it.
     
  48. 1996

    1996 Member
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    I think what your dad might have meant is that going to a highly-ranked med school is not going to give you a free ride into a high power residency. Your academic records(clinical grades, step I score, research, etc.) remains the most important part of the selection process. However, there are many other intangible factors that might come into play during the process. Your med school's reputation is one of them. Others include who wrote your letter of rec, whether you know a faculty that knows the residency program director, location of your school, etc. This is not to say that these factors will dominate the process, but they might very well come into play at different times throughout the process.

    My whole point is, going to a high-ranked or low-ranked school is not going to make or break your chance of residency. Your academic record remains the most important factor. However, going to a highly-ranked med school will give you a little more cushioning or a little more room if you are not at the absolute top of your med school class. Very often, you see students from a top med school with a lower class rank and lower step I score matching into a residency program over students with a slightly higher class rank and board score from a lower-ranked med school. The residency application is not as clear-cut as the med school application process. Many intangibles come into play. Where you go and who you know, though not as important as your academic records, can sometimes have an impact on the match outcome.

    All in all, I think going to a not-as-highly-ranked med school will not hurt you. If you get good grades and scores, you will still match well. It is more that going to a highly-ranked med school can help you a little, if you are not AOA or at the top of your class.
     
  49. celticmists18

    celticmists18 california dreaming
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    1996: actually I meant exactly what I wrote. We talked about it extensively. I have also questioned other doctors I know on various residency committees and the consensus is that when they see a "big name" med school they think "hmmm, why is this person person applying for a clinical position. They should be pursuing a career in research" and "wow, they must have a lot of debt". But obviously you aren't going to heed so have fun with you debt!
     
  50. I doubt that. Many great clinicians with interests in public health come from big name schools too. Regardless, you can go wherever you want from a great school, period.
     
  51. So now going to a great school actually makes your chances WORSE for a good residency? Do you honestly think anyone buys that?

    Don't be so bitter. There are plenty of great clinicians that come from top 10 schools, they don't all go into research/academics. What's more, many of the top ten schools have lower average debt than some state schools.

    Good applicants go to good schools and get good residencies, I think that's pretty much the way it goes. Maybe it's not the name that gets you in, but in any case that's what happens. If you're a good student and would rather go to your state u to save money, go for it. Just do what works best for you.
     

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