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Duke vs. Baylor

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by youz, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. youz

    youz New Member 5+ Year Member

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    So I'm trying to decide between these two. I was wondering which you all would prefer. I've been giving this some thought and I've come up with the following breakdown:

    Baylor
    Pros
    Cheap
    Solid clinical experience
    Houston (big city)
    Short pre-clinical
    Good research opportunities
    Seemed pretty laid back

    Cons
    Houston (mildly uncool big city)
    Large number of Texans (not that I mind Texans, I just like diversity)
    Doesn't have the Duke "Pizazz"
    No campus feeling

    Duke
    Pros
    Small class, more attention
    Unique curriculum
    Year of research
    Ridiculously short pre-clinical
    Has a great campus
    Students seemed to be some of the happiest I encountered
    Cheap living
    Basketball
    Basketball
    Oh, and basketball

    Cons
    Durham (smaller than I'm used to)
    Not as big of a medical center
    More expensive

    Any thoughts? Anyone else considering these two? Also, has anyone compared the match lists of these two schools (I would imagine that Duke wins in this respect but I'm not certain)? I have a few other good options but I like these two most. Well, today, anyway!

    My apologies for long post but hopefully this list of factors will help others who are considering these two schools...
     
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  3. ryandote

    ryandote Member 5+ Year Member

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    You should go to Baylor. Definitely.
     
  4. Stolenspatulas

    Stolenspatulas 2+ Year Member

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    haha, so he can get off the waitlist at duke...
     
  5. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making 7+ Year Member

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    Chi-town royalty
    and i would say the opposite for self-interest too.
     
  6. gonviper

    gonviper 7+ Year Member

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    I would say it depends upon what you want to to after medical school. BCM is phenomenal for primary care and surgery--CT surgery was practically invented there--so you'd get crazy good experience in those areas during medical school. Also, the Baylor curriculum allows for an MD Honors in Research or Service if any of those are your thing. Finally, one of my interviewers at Stanford, oddly enough, told me that Baylor is probably going to be as good or better than Harvard or UCSF because unlike those places, Baylor has room to expand. Currently, Baylor has lots of renovation and expansion projects going on, so their ranking will only go up.
     
  7. Gut Shot

    Gut Shot 10+ Year Member

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    Huh? Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the nation.
     
  8. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

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    Plus you get Coach K and the basketball team. And, oh yeah, you get the lacrosse team too. But a word of caution.. Don't invite any strippers to your first M1 party.
     
  9. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats 5+ Year Member

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    Hilbert Space
    he was referring the geographical diversity of the med school class.
     
  10. pyrois

    pyrois 2+ Year Member

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    He said Texans, not a particular race:p Everybody in Houston is a Texan:)
     
  11. OncoCaP

    OncoCaP 2+ Year Member

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    Well, if OP goes to a U.S. allo medical school, s/he will most likely get mostly U.S. citizens in his class ... boring! Like my uncle always said, once you have seen one American city, you have pretty much seen them all; sometimes the street names don't even change: 1st Street, 2nd Street, Main Street, MLK, etc. Similar stores ... Home Depot, McD, Blockbuster, Dominos Pizza, Ann Taylor, Radio Shack, etc. The U.S. is not very diverse at all. You have only two major parties: Democrats or Republicans. Heck, Americans speak mostly English some Spanish and the rest is almost in the noise. If OP wants diversity, s/he should go to a Caribbean school because they draw from around the world ... places like Nigeria, Congo, India, China, Russia, France, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, Philippines, oh yeah, and the Carribbean (Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Cayman Islands, etc.), ... now that's what I call diversity! ;) :laugh: I'm kidding, of course, ... I love Americans, but I have no illusions about how "diverse" we are relative to the world when it comes to medical school class makeup (or even demographics of our cities).

    OK, I better contribute rather than just joke around. I'll be going to Baylor starting in July and one of the things that actually did impress me about the medical school class *is* the diversity. There were people with all kinds of backgrounds, not only just in terms of education, but races, etc. They did share some things in common: they were helpful, socially comfortable, friendly, energetic, and smart, of course. Although many students were Texas Residents, many went to an out-of-state UG school (at least I spoke to several) or have lived outside of Texas. The Texas Medical Center is hard to beat with dozens of hospitals and institutions, and Houston is a big city that can accommodate pretty much every interest easily except, perhaps, mountain climbing and skiing (we don't have local mountains or get much snow here ... but these are just a quick plane ride away). We have people from all over, and we have lots of sick people to learn how to practice medicine on. The area around Baylor and TMC has many museums, Rice, and lots of interesting people with diverse perspectives.

    In terms of the "pros" that OP listed wrt Duke, Baylor is known for its excellent program and if you want to explore research, there are tons of opportunities for that. You can do a year of research in one of the Baylor tracks (the "Research Track"). Pre-clinical is 1.5 years ... about as short as it gets. Rice is not very far, so if you are looking for a campus atmosphere, you can hang out over there (and do research there as well). There is an underserved track and international trips you can go on to serve and explore your future career options. It depends on what the OP wants to do.

    I guess I am curious as to what the OP's interests are ... can you tell us a little bit about what you like & don't like (research vs clinical), curriculum preferences, hobbies, etc. Medical schools are not "one size fits all." The answer to your question depends heavily on what you like and are looking for in your education.
     
  12. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh! 10+ Year Member

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    Nope. In fact, Duke has a shorter pre-clinical curriculum than Baylor. 1 year vs. 1.5 years. This is the point of this thread (Duke vs. Baylor.)
     
  13. ryandote

    ryandote Member 5+ Year Member

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    uh oh...busted.
     
  14. FemalesCANTDriv

    FemalesCANTDriv LMAO 5+ Year Member

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    Where I go to school
    baylor = practically no debt, duke = poor as hell after med school (plus I want to go to duke)... u are a baller for getting into both of these schools might I add
     
  15. Guile

    Guile 1K Member 5+ Year Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYOgC2Qbqh4 (Very vulgar, but someone just sent this to me, so I had to post it...)

    Do you think you'll even have time for basketball when you're doing basic sciences in 12 months?
     
  16. OncoCaP

    OncoCaP 2+ Year Member

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    Houston, Texas
    MDApps:
    (Disclosure: I didn't apply at Duke and had no interest in paying $32K/yr in tuition or moving to Durham, NC).

    Wow, Milk ... I didn't know people hated Duke that much for reasons like that ...

    I assume the OP has seen thread like this that go on with many details of Duke and what one might like & not like about Duke:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=379939&page=4

    Jota: Yeah, 1 year is shorter than 1.5 years. Either way, med students are stuck learning what they need to learn no matter how much time the class year takes up. It's not like Duke students have less that they need to know as a physician. Baylor students can skip a lot of classes and learn on their own while watching class videos as well. Baylor students also have plenty of research and extra rotation opportunities as well. From some prior posts I read that BCM students have something like 7 months that can be used in a variety of ways, from vacation to perhaps other rotations and research. For me, 1.5 years is probably about right for my taste. However, I can understand why people go to Duke ... it's a highly respected, excellent school.

    I would hope that someone deciding between BCM and Duke would have some specific concerns and a personal perspective to offer. For example, is this a student that has a strong background in all the preclinical courses (2 years of physiology, biochem with biochem lab, 2 years of anatomy with cadaver disection, pharmacology, histology, etc.) and seeks to minimize repeating them yet again or is this a German major who took the minimum required courses and really has some preclinical weaknesses that could do with more classroom time? Does the OP have a strong connection to Duke BB or will watching Rice BB meet their needs? I could see this decision going either direction for a lot of reasons.

    I also thought the following was a interesting ranking quoted on the City of Durham, NC web site (it has more to do with economic opportunity than quality of life, but still):

    http://www.durhamnc.gov/news/NewsDisplay.cfm?vNewsID=1091
    Friday, May 05, 2006

    Durham Ranked #8 in the USA by Forbes Magazine as

    The City of Durham is pleased to announce that the City has been ranked as the #8 best place in the United States for business and careers by Forbes Magazine.
    "We are excited and pleased to be ranked so highly by such a prestigious publication," Mayor William V. "Bill" Bell said. ...

    According to Forbes, this year's list included the 200 largest metro areas, up from 150, due to the federal government's reconfiguration of metropolitan statistical areas, which split regions like Raleigh-Durham into two. Both areas made the top ten due to low business costs, a highly educated workforce and strong migration trends.

    Forbes Magazine Top 10 Best Metros
    1. Albuquerque, N.M.
    2. Raleigh, N.C.
    3. Houston, Texas
    4. Boise, Idaho
    5. Knoxville, Tenn.
    6. Phoenix, Ariz.
    7. Nashville, Tenn.
    8. Durham, N.C.
    9. Fayetteville, Ark.
    10. Indianapolis, Ind.

    Anything in the top ten is going to be great with respect to "for business and careers." I'm not sure that the differences here are that signficant. However, the point is that Houston, Texas is a great place to live and not playing a distant second fiddle to Durham (both cities do well on various rankings). Neither place is like living in Vancouver, BC or San Francisco, but still both have a lot to offer.

    Here is another comparison from Money Magazine (that site has a lot of ways of comparing several cities):
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2006/snapshots/PL4835000.html

    Leisure and culture
    Houston, TX 45 movie theaters, 5309 restaurants, 576 bars, 5 Museums (AAM)
    Durham, NC 12 movie theaters, 1250 restaurants, 41 bars, 5 Museums (AAM)

    Also, of Money Magazine's Top 10 small cities to live in the U.S. for a variety of factors, Sugarland, TX (a suburb of Houston) was #3.
     
  17. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I'd like to note that all Duke's lectures are streamed over the internet. This is coming from someone who skipped basically the entire first like 5 or 6 months of school and stayed home doing what I wanted. I skipped labs, lectures, you name it. So if you want that ability, Duke has it too.

    As for this thread in general, I actually REALLY liked both schools last year as well. I was waitlisted at Baylor after being accepted at Duke, so I just pulled myself off the waitlist. I never had to make the Duke vs. Baylor decision. From what I can tell, the schools are actually sort of similar in some respects. In my mind the major differences were in location and price. In my opinion Durham is much better than Houston. Houston is hot, huge, and seems much more congested down by the medical center. Parking is a pain, etc. It's totally a personal choice, but I like Durham a lot more. There is a wonderful campus right out the back door of the medical school, and it is a great place to be. Yesterday my fiance and I took our dog to Duke gardens. Everything is in bloom and it was great. Then there's price difference. Baylor is MUCH cheaper, especially if you're getting in state tuition. If I were from Texas and didn't hate the thought of living in Houston, I would go to Baylor. That's just my honest opinion, even as someone who loves Duke. Baylor is an amazing school, and the price can't be beat. I think the nuances and "feel" of Duke are much better, but we're talking about comparing rather insignificant things.

    The best part about this is that you have one hell of a good decision to make! Good job!
     
  18. Gut Shot

    Gut Shot 10+ Year Member

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    Utter blasphemy. At any rate...

    Duke Student Body Statistics:
    Male: 53
    Female: 48
    Mean Age (when entered): 22
    Age Range: 21-35
    Under-represented Minorities*: 18

    Baylor Student Body Statistics:
    87 men
    81 women
    98 graduated from Texas schools
    70 graduated from other U.S. colleges and universities
    47 total underrepresented in medicine
     
  19. riceman04

    riceman04 10+ Year Member

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    True...but most Rice students go in hiding after classes are over b/c you have so much damn work...and b/c many are so anti-social

    Scary!!
     
  20. riceman04

    riceman04 10+ Year Member

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    that clip was dope!!!

    "This is why you suck, This is why you suck"

    Yeah alot of those Duke girls looked like soccer moms at 19 and coach K could definitely favor Hitler.


    NICE
     
  21. youz

    youz New Member 5+ Year Member

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    Thanks for all the good advice! Oh, and that video was great. The must have REALLY disliked Duke to spend all that time making and editing the video!

    That Forbes list was really interesting. I had no idea that Houston ranked so high on that list. I have actually spent a good amount of time there and I have to say, I was very proactive in trying to find things to do. I didn't really like the city. It's very subjective but everything just seemed kind of disjointed.

    When I visited at Duke, I was impressed not so much by the city, which I didn't see much of, but the campus feel that it had. I really liked the fact that you were in the middle of this giant campus filled with students, along with a huge garden filled with ducks (kidding about this point!!)... The students there, it seemed, also had that impression. Durham is small, but my undergrad isn't in a huge city and I'm having a great time as it is. Also, you're in driving distance from mountains and ocean.

    With Baylor, everything seemed a little disconnected. There's no sports team to rally around, no undergrad campus to visit (at least not in Houston, anyway). A previous poster mentioned that Rice could fulfill my campus/community needs. However, I think riceman was right about what he said about their students. Plus, I heard Rice was thinking about starting a medical school. That would make things kind of weird...

    So now that I'm looking at my post I see that it is probably tinted towards Duke. However, to set the record straight I'm not leaning in any direction. I really did like Baylor. Perhaps the cost is so much different that I feel like I need to rationalize even considering another school (barring any scholarship from Duke, which would change things up completely). I have to admit, though, barring cost as a factor, I liked Duke more for a number of reasons including the smaller student body, the built in (as opposed to added on) full year of research/dual degree, the campus feel, and the regional diversity of the student population. Dookter summed it up well for me when he mentioned that the "nuances" of Duke are much better. I think he was also right when he mentioned that these things might not be that significant in the long run. Whether these elements are "$70,000 significant" is a very good question that hopefully I'll be able to answer by May 15. Anyway, thanks for all the advice, everyone!
     
  22. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh! 10+ Year Member

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    Re-read the title of that list -- those are the best places to live for "business and careers". Not really sure how that is relevant to picking a medical school location (unless you plan on being involved in lots of business deals in medical school.)

    In terms of best places to live, the old standby is the Money magazine best places to live list. Of course, Houston is NOT one of the top best places to live, but neither is Durham. It's not really wise to base your decision on where to live on what a magazine article says. Go with what seems best to you.
     
  23. munnabhai

    munnabhai Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    Is this really true? Wow. I would have my reservations about the legitimacy of this claim though... it seems hard, if not impossible, to beat HMS it terms of research.
     
  24. Stolenspatulas

    Stolenspatulas 2+ Year Member

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    Someone pointed out in another thread that HMS is actually #26 or so in terms of NIH funding... the only reason they have a huge NIH number on USnews is b/c of their ''affiliated'' hospitals.

    So, if the USnews ranking methodology does not change and allows these ''affiliates'' to contribute... then I truly doubt that HMS will ever lose its number 1 ranking.

    Unless another school gets better at playing the game.
     
  25. weathertalk

    weathertalk 5+ Year Member

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    As a future Baylor student (most likely), I'd really love to believe predictions about BCM rising into the top 5 or whatever. However, basically every school says they're going to be in the Top 10/Top 5 etc. in the next 10 years. I wouldn't put too much stock in it.
     
  26. munnabhai

    munnabhai Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    Yea I read about that... quite surprising. Maybe Harvard is structured such that most research goes on at the hospital rather than in the medical school itself. Who knows...

    All I am saying is "Baylor, show me that you love me"
     
  27. youz

    youz New Member 5+ Year Member

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    I tend to agree. I have no doubt that Baylor will grow. Who knows, they could even be ranked among the best in nation. However, it takes time to achieve that growth and when I'm looking at a 4 year time-frame, these changes don't seem all that feasible in the near term. Now perhaps when I am considering where I would like to go to residency, this will come into play. I know someone out there will probably object, though, and mention that Baylor likely takes a lot of its own. That could be true but I don't think I or anyone else for that matter should make a big decision like which medical school to attend based on a projection, no matter how probably that outcome is.

    Although it is interesting that the Stanford interviewer was so excited about Baylor...
     
  28. Gut Shot

    Gut Shot 10+ Year Member

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    Take it from someone with six figures of debt, these elements are nowhere near "$70,000 significant." Med school flies by, much of it with either your head shoved in a book or doing H&P's in county at 3 AM. If you're envisioning med school filled with days spent strolling by the duck filled pond, rooting for the basketball team and being enriched by interaction with interesting colleagues from all over the nation, I'd say you need to lay off the mescaline.
     
  29. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I'd have to disagree to a certain extent. Atmosphere is important. There's no way I'd pay $70K to attend one top school over another just to get that better atmosphere.... but it is important, and it can be appreciated, even in med school.
     
  30. topdogg82

    topdogg82 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    in reference to the "duke sucks" clip, although its funny even for me, i'd say you could easily find ugly girls on any college campus, so it's not like duke girls are that much worse looking. i was actually surprised for being a 'top 10 school' how many good looking girls go here, especially since its also pretty small and doesn't have the numbers.
     
  31. Uncle Izzy

    Uncle Izzy Member 5+ Year Member

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    I didnt feel like reading through very post here but what's funny about that Forbes list is that both Raleigh and Durham made the top ten list. For those who are unfamiliar, Raleigh and Durham are neighbors (15 mins apart).

    I say pick Duke. Better curriculum, better weather (Houston is hot and sitcky), much less traffic, cheaper to live in, gorgeous part of the country, tons of young professionals and grad students (UNC, Duke, NCSU, RTP, etc.), really hot women (remember UNC?), smaller class, the free third year, etc etc etc.

    I'm originally from TX (Dallas) and I still think Duke is without a doubt the right choice... But then again, I'm a little biased.
     
  32. youz

    youz New Member 5+ Year Member

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    I guess that just depends. When I visited, I met a number of third years that, while doing research, were very relaxed. In fact, one person in particular told me how he/she had done basically nothing for the last few days.

    And how about MS4 when you've already gotten your residency match and you're taking electives. Now I'm not saying every day is going to be a breeze. I envision lots of book buried days but it just seems like with how the curriculum is structured, you might actually have more time for ducks than you suggested.

    You are the med student, though, and I am not, so it is possible that what you say has merit. I will say this: from all the people I've talked to, most have told me that they definitely study way more than in undergrad. However, many have also told me that they were surprised that they did, in fact, have time to have a good time. I'm sure this varies from one institution to another but these students were studious people at top schools. Ahh, who knows, maybe they were trying to sell the school to me or maybe I'm just idealizing what med school will be like...
     
  33. husky0684

    husky0684 2+ Year Member

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    just to clarify, when you say "free third year", i assume you mean free to do what you want research wise? and not actually free as in do not have to pay tuition...because you still pay full tuition for duke med third year
     
  34. youz

    youz New Member 5+ Year Member

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    You still pay tuition but often times you apply for grants for you research (free meaning not pre-clinical or rotations) that can sometimes cover all or part of your tuition. So not free in that respect, but sometimes subsidized...
     
  35. husky0684

    husky0684 2+ Year Member

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    right that is what I assumed uncle izzy meant....and the stat from the duke finaid office is that approximately 30% of 3rd year students receive grant/research funding so it isnt overwhelming but definately something unique to duke.
     
  36. OncoCaP

    OncoCaP 2+ Year Member

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    MDApps:
    It's hard not to extrapolate previous experiences to new ones. Maybe I'm rude for being a bit honest about my impression here, but when you describe your likes and dislikes I find it hard to look past statements that sound like an undergraduate sizing up a school for another BX level degree. From what I've been told (I'm an old non-trad Ph.D. engineer / businessman entering med school), med school is much more about the clinical rotations (or research if that floats your boat) than about the basic sciences. Yes, there is a lot of basic science, but the reason that a school like Duke can reduce that to one year is that the clinical part is more important. I'm curious as to what the schedule is for MS2 @ Duke (is it pretty much 8-5pm? -- that would allow plenty of time for visiting duck ponds). BCM's equivalent (MS3) is hard work (sometimes you go in ~6pm and aren't done until 3am) and there isn't much time to visit ponds (I can go fishing for catfish about a block from my house in Pearland, a suburb of Houston, and my kids play on the playground / pool / tennis court area but I don't expect to do much of that during MS3). In fact, I plan to be fairly busy MS1 & MS2, but still able to work out, spend some time with the family, etc.

    It's pretty clear that there are plenty of happy students at Baylor and Duke and that both schools offer a great clinical education via the clerkships that we rotate through. It sounds like you like Duke better for several personal reasons, and that is what it probably should come down to when you are comparing two excellent schools. I would never go to a school I was unhappy with just because it was cheaper. In fact, I would turn down a full ride to a school I didn't like. However, if it came down to two excellent schools that I both liked and in cities that I wouldn't mind living in and $70K (I'm just copying this number, hoping it's right), I would pick the less expensive one unless the more expensive one somehow fit my career goals much better (I was rotating through hospitals or working in research labs that have a great reputation for _x_, where _x_ is what I'm most interested in currently.). However, for you, Houston is not a happy place and the Duke campus is, so Duke is worth the extra $70K assuming that you're in great shape financially and it's worth basically the equivalent of a couple of cars or a nice down payment on a house down the road. I like Houston reasonably well and Pearland is a nice place to raise a family (I can think of places I like more, but they are more expensive to live in), so I don't have your issue.
     
  37. Samoa

    Samoa Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    Speaking as a current 4th year (i.e. not on the waitlist at either school), I think you can't go wrong at either place.

    If I were coming straight out of undergrad and still wanted that campus feel, I'd choose Duke. If I were older than average, or for whatever reason didn't care much for the undergrad lifestyle, I'd choose Baylor. If I were dead-set on a super-competitive specialty that required some serious research, Duke with it's dedicated third year seems like a better choice.

    However, it's a bit more of a struggle to teach preclinical subjects well in just a year, and it does show when Duke students do away rotations with students from other schools. I think Baylor's 18 months is more realistic, and their Step 1 average is insanely high.

    However, Duke students match a bit better--probably because of their research year. About half of Baylor's six saved months are added to their core rotations, with the rest allowed as vacation time. So unlike at Duke, there's no expectation of academic productivity during the time saved.

    At Baylor you have the unparalleled opportunity to work in several world-renowned hospitals, as well as a largely resident-and-student run county hospital with great pathology. Duke has a great teaching hospital, but it's private. They also have a VA and a regional hospital, but the sum total doesn't even compare to what you have at Baylor.

    However, the parking is better at Duke.

    I don't know how you'll be able to decide, but I envy you the decision.
     
  38. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    2nd year at Duke is like any other school's M3 year...you work as long as they want you in the hospital. It can be 50 hours a week or it can be 100 (although technically it's not supposed to be more than 80, as Duke has an 80 hour/wk limit for med students as well).

    OP, I agree that if you like the two very similarly, go to Baylor. The price is hard to beat. On the other hand, I wanted to mention the biggest advantages of Duke. One, it's essentially a two-year med school. You work your butt off for 2 years, and then your 3rd year is so chill and your 4th year is all elective time (besides your sub-I) like at any other school. The biggest advantage I see to getting to the wards a year earlier is that not only do you gain exposure to fields well before you need to decide what you want to do for residency, but Duke actually gives you 3 electives during this year to do either 2 or 4 weeks in practically anything you want. The vast majority of med schools don't even give their students elective time their 3rd year. So you'll have plenty of exposure to things you may potentially be interested in by the end of 2nd year, then you can do research your 3rd year (which really helps, especially if its in your intended field), and then 4th year you're ready to apply early to your desired field. It's a great system in my opinion.
     
  39. Gut Shot

    Gut Shot 10+ Year Member

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    That's one hell of an expensive trip to the see the waterfowl.

    The bottom line here is that $70,000 to go from one top school to another should require a very, very, very good reason. Sorry, but this doesn't cut it. Your problem remains the biggest no brainer I've seen here in a long while.

    Hopefully Duke will cough up some good financial aid and your dilemma will dissolve.
     
  40. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I think this statement needs to be qualified a little. First of all, Baylor does in fact have absolutely amazing clinical facilities/experiences to offer. I was absolutely blown away by Ben Taub, etc. But Duke is definitely not some plush private hospital full of high $$ patients. Duke is full of patients that are very sick or have very unique and interesting cases, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds. Some of the patients are rich, sure. But most of them that I have actually spoken with actually seemed to be on the lower end of things. They just have cases that require the care of bad-A doctors like the ones at Duke. If you want to see pathology, Duke has more than you'd believe. I think that was something I had no idea about before I actually started school here. Duke isn't Ben Taub, and it's not Grady down in Atlanta. Those places are great places to train, but Duke has just about anything you could imagine as well.
     
  41. youz

    youz New Member 5+ Year Member

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    I think you're speaking in terms of your personal preference. I think the fact that you used the word very three times demonstrates your own personal views taking on debt. And that's fine. Perhaps it's a no brainer for you, but I would rather take on twice as much debt and be happier or maybe even have a better chance at a specialty or career I want.

    Now I'm not saying Duke will provide me those things. I'll have to determine that for myself. All I'm saying is that it's not so clear cut, at least not for me. Moreover, Gut Shot, it's one thing to offer advice but shoving your personal opinions on others isn't appropriate now and it certainly won't be when you're a physician. I hope you learn the difference.
     
  42. Guile

    Guile 1K Member 5+ Year Member

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    First of all, he is already a physician. Secondly, I'd put a little more weight on the wisdom of those older than you. He's giving you good advice, and if I were you I would take it. You'll appreciate it later.

    There seems to be a direct correlation between the youth of the person and their emphasis on "experience" and "overall feel." Those things fade away quickly. When you're trudging to 5am surgery rounds, you're not going to give a crap about ducks. I'm about 95% sure I'm going to Baylor over some other, pricier med schools with a more "plush" feel. Talk to residents, attendings, and those in private practice. They tell you that the name on their diploma means nothing now. Houston and Baylor have a lot to offer. Rice has a beautiful campus within walking distance from BCM. I don't think they have duck ponds, but hey, if you've got a thing for ducks, then maybe you should go to Duke. As for me, I'd take that $70K and enjoy nice vacations every year, AND still be in less debt. Shoot, you can fly to Durham and enjoy them there for less. I think the advantage that Duke MIGHT offer you is negligible. There are endless opportunities for research at Baylor.

    In the end it's your decision. I just wouldn't be so hostile to those giving you advice, even if you disagree with it.
     
  43. Stolenspatulas

    Stolenspatulas 2+ Year Member

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    Duke students tear up the USMLE consistently (have one of the highest averages in the nation, from what is advertised by admissions on interview day). The condensed 1 year preclinical does not give them a disadvantage in this respect. I understand that it may not give them an advantage either... the argument can be made the Duke takes a lot of students that are very strong test-takers (have the second highest MCAT average after WashU) and trains them to be incredibly efficient at cramming and slaughtering multiple choice tests (forgive me I just watched the movie ''300'').

    I have heard that it does sometimes show that Duke students know less than their peers during away rotations. This is the drawback of the efficient first year... but this does not seem to hurt them at all in matching... so they must have learned to catch on really quick (part of the philosophy of the first year, from what i understand, is learning not only the most significant aspects of raw knowledge, but how to think as a physician and incorporate further knowledge efficently and well).

    In regard to Duke being a private hospital, this does not take away from treating a diverse population at all. Durham has a very large poor population (largely hispanic and black). Duke also does attract rich people from all over as well (since it is recognized as one of the top medical centers in the south, if not the best). I have worked at Duke for a year now (and went their for ugrad, so Ive volunteered in the hospital as well) so I feel I can vouch for this.
     
  44. youz

    youz New Member 5+ Year Member

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    I'm surprised that he is a physician at all to tell you the truth. And while many might disagree with mine or other opinions most have been pretty helpful (including yourself, MilkofAmnesia). Gut shot basically took, well, a gut shot. Good for him. I wish him the best. By the way, I was joking about the ducks... If I wanted a ducks there's a nice park where I live that has tons of them. I could just start a med school there myself.

    Anyway, for me, I've been to Houston and spent some time there but I'm not from Houston or Texas originally for that matter. The fact that 90 of the incoming class are is a little strange. It's not that I don't like Texans but it seems a little odd that a highly ranked private institution such as Baylor would have so many in state people in their entering class.

    Anyone know why that is? I'm just wondering...
     
  45. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    TX
    Agreement with the Texas legislature... it's why the tuition is so cheap too. Stems from when they were trying to get a med school to Houston (before UT-H).
     
  46. youz

    youz New Member 5+ Year Member

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    Hmm that makes sense. That would also explain why many people at second look where from out of state/out of state schools... They must value us because they can only get so many...

    Also on a related note, and I don't mean to spur a whole U.S. news ranking debate but does anyone have any idea why Baylor's Residency Director and Peer Evaluations are relatively weak compared to other top 20 schools. I just eyeballed the list and if clinical exposure and curriculum are so great then why are they not more regarded?
     
  47. weathertalk

    weathertalk 5+ Year Member

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    This was one issue that made me apprehensive about picking Baylor. However, I think the match list speaks for itself.

    I believe the residency director and peer evaluations are low because Baylor is an incredibly young school. It moved to Houston around 1950. At the time, classes were held in an abandoned Sears Roebuck warehouse. Baylor's rise to prominence has only really happened in the last 30 years. Debakey became chancellor in the late 60's or early '70s and his groundbreaking cardiovascular surgical techniques are what put BCM on the map.

    So yeah... from a warehouse to top-10 in half a century. Not too shabby. BCM and the Texas Medical Center may not have existed at is current site when many current residency directors were in med school (hah!).
     
  48. youz

    youz New Member 5+ Year Member

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    Wow that's a pretty crazy story. I had no idea about the Sears part. I have heard of Debakey, though. On my interview day people mentioned him. From what I can gather that man is revered as some sort of deity at Baylor. It must have been awesome to train under him.
     
  49. weathertalk

    weathertalk 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    Wikipedia Michael Debakey. He practically invented modern heart surgery and is a living legend. Incidentally, one of the other heart-surgery gods is Denton Cooley, who founded the Texas Heart Institute. THI is one of the top CV surgery center in the nation and another institutional affiliate of BCM.
     
  50. Guile

    Guile 1K Member 5+ Year Member

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    Jul 26, 2006
    As is Methodist (where DeBakey is), and they're right next door! (BCM still has an affiliation with Methodist despite the fall-out.) World-class hospitals no matter which direction you turn.
     
  51. Gut Shot

    Gut Shot 10+ Year Member

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    I apologize for my bluntness. I'm not omnicient, and my opinions are just that; my opinions. I am a 33 year old PGY-2 (PhD -> MD), so I've been around the academic med center block longer than most folks in here, and I know a thing or two about slave labor and abject poverty. What has become a major pet peeve of mine is the flippant attitude many premeds have regarding debt. Your debt level is going to influence your choice of specialty, whether you are academic vs. private, clinical vs. research, and it's going to follow you around long after the warm fuzzies of undergraduate medical education have faded. The monthly payment on that extra 70K is the difference between a nicer home, saving for your kids education, and putting money away for retirement. Will you still ultimately be okay with an extra 70K in debt? Sure, but nobody became wealthy (or happy) by writing checks.

    Good luck with your decision. I hope it works out for you.

    P.S. I'm not a Baylor alum, but I know quite a bit about the school, and this Baylor bashing is pretty laughable.
     

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