NJguy123

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Hey Guys....I need some advice. So I really like Duke, however my state school is playing the money game with me, and I don't know exactly what to do. Basically...with financial aid....Duke comes down to $150k (everything for all 4 years) vs. $90k for UMDNJ-RWJ. I come from a pretty middle class family...so the $60k seems like a lot.

I really like Duke compared with NJ (and I also feel like there are many more opportunities at Duke), but I'm afraid about taking out the extra loans. Would going to Duke really make a difference in the long run? Would spending an extra $60k really make my life a living hell later on? Anyone have experience with this? Any suggestions or comments? I really need some help with this one! Thanks!
 

Mr. Rosewater

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dude, are you serious? Grab your balls and go to Duke. You're gonna be a doctor, you'll make the 60G's in a few months.
 

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My opinion - go with the reputation, Duke will open up a lot of doors for you. From your post it also seems like you prefer Duke's programs and curriculum. Go with Duke. Good luck making your decision - you can't go wrong!
 
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TheFlash

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Go with whichever school you really want to be at. 60K is small beans in the long run.
 

JohnHolmes

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When having to choose between living in NY, NC and NJ, there is not a man in this world who would pass on the opportunity to live in The Garden State. I can feel you on that one...

However, as Flash pointed out, 60k is really small beans. If you had to choose between a full ride at state U and duke full tuition, I'd hear you a bit more.

Despite the exotic, siren-lure of The Garden State, I would head to Durham. There is a strong possibility I will see you there next year .... I'll be the one who is always dressed as the lucky Pizza Delivery Man.

Good luck bro,
JH
 

southbelle

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njguy, if you are a gunner who sees yourself maybe going into academic medicine, head to duke. If you're not a gunner and don't care all that much about such things, stay in NJ.

Normally under these situations I always go with the non-gunner school, but this would be complicated a bit by the fact that I like NC and hate states like New Jersey. Would be a tough one for me, but I'd probably pick Duke because I could take a year off while getting an mph and still graduate in 4 years
 

secretmiss

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I personally think Duke is worth the extra $60,000. I was in a very similiar position to you recently because I too was offered a scholarship to RWJ and I debated choosing it over NYU. I took the money to go to RWJ it really is a good school and if you work hard, you can still get an excellent residency. I did not think the extra $100,000 + to attend NYU was worth it in the end. But, that was NYU not Duke. I am presently on the Duke waitlist and have every intention of choosing Duke over the money at RWJ if I get in. I understand the money issue but Duke is worth every cent. Also, I don't know about your Duke financial aid package, but remember that you can apply for grant money/stipends to fund your third year of research at Duke and may save more money than you think.
 

blz

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Dude go to Duke. 60K is chump change once you become a doctor. I go to rutgers and I am so sick of New Brunswick. Trust me, you dont wanna go to RWJ.
 

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Yeah...I absolutely love Duke's novel curriculum (1 year classes, 2nd year rotations, 3rd free to do research, 4th year electives). NJ was more traditional...wasn't too thrilled with it (2 class....2 hospital). If money weren't an issue...I'd pick Duke in a heartbeat.
 

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NJguy123 said:
Yeah...I absolutely love Duke's novel curriculum (1 year classes, 2nd year rotations, 3rd free to do research, 4th year electives). NJ was more traditional...wasn't too thrilled with it (2 class....2 hospital). If money weren't an issue...I'd pick Duke in a heartbeat.
60K is really not that much in the long run. If you are that set on Duke, it seems to me you have already made your choice.
 

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I didn't get any scholarship money from RWJ, but I'm choosing UPitt over it. For me, the difference is about $80,000, but I still feel that it's worth it. If you don't like the school you're at, you won't be happy. The difference in the money will mean that you can't buy an extremely nice car as fast, or that you'll have to buy a house that isn't quite as nice. But you WILL pay it off - people do it all the time. I'm worried about the debt as well ($160,000 loan!!), but I like Pitt too much to pass it up. Plus, knowing that schools like that exist while i'm at RWJ will just make me unhappy. So i'm going to Pitt - and you should go to Duke. Good luck!
 

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idk...$60k seems like a lot now since I don't have any money. I can't conceptualize this being a drop in the bucket.
 
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southbelle

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you're right that 60k isn't a drop in the bucket. And remember it will be a lot more by the time you finish residency/fellowship. A Duke anesthesiologist isn't going to make any more than an anesthesiologist who went to RWJ, and don't worry about getting into ENT or ortho from RWJ. If you are a gunner(and you probably are since you got into Duke), you will probably be able to land a subsurgical specialty spot from RWJ.

I'm not saying you should go to RWJ. I'm just saying don't listen to people who are acting like 60k before any interest is tacked on is an insignificant amount of money.
 

SunnyS81

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Go to duke....you can read my comments on the NYU vs Yale thread which was similar.....

In response to southernbelle, who I've learned knows nothing from reading many of her posts....
1) YOu don't have to be a gunner to a name school or go into academic medicine. Looking back at the producers for the UM annual theatrical production proves you can be really cool and be a successful academic.
2) Pitt is the most (and only) underranked school out there. As the only tertiary medical center in western pittsburgh, and awesome surgery departments, they are a force to be reckoned with.
 

southbelle

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SunnyS81 said:
Go to duke....you can read my comments on the NYU vs Yale thread which was similar.....

In response to southernbelle, who I've learned knows nothing from reading many of her posts....
1) YOu don't have to be a gunner to a name school or go into academic medicine. Looking back at the producers for the UM annual theatrical production proves you can be really cool and be a successful academic.
2) Pitt is the most (and only) underranked school out there. As the only tertiary medical center in western pittsburgh, and awesome surgery departments, they are a force to be reckoned with.

you're saying you would go to duke, which is understandable coming from a gunner. You were probably the type of applicant who had no real desire to end up in the midwest but did so just because UM was the highest rated US news schools you gotta into. To each their own.........

Even from a gunner's perspective, what is underranked about pitt? Their average stats aren't any better(and in some cases worse) than schools like Vanderbilt. The only tertiary med center in 'western pittsburgh'? What does that even mean.....'western pittsburgh'? I don't think pitt's matchlist really stands out compared other match lists in that range.

Sure, pitt has increased their NIH funding a good bit in the last few years, but that doesn't matter to most people. The bottom line is that if you end up going to pitt and matching ortho, you probably could have done the same at RWJ. Hate to be blunt, but that's the truth. Except for the top few schools, and you know what they are, it's not the school that matches but the person.
 

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southbelle said:
you're saying you would go to duke, which is understandable coming from a gunner. You were probably the type of applicant who had no real desire to end up in the midwest but did so just because UM was the highest rated US news schools you gotta into. To each their own.........
I agree with Southbelle. If you want to be surrounded by gunners, just attend any of the top 15 med schools and you will see how it feels like. Furthermore, many of the residents at these top academic hospitals are gunners themselves (former gunner premeds/medical students). It is truly a sight to behold. You gotta experience it at least once or twice in your lifetime to see the intensity and the pressure to not only outperform your classmates and also outperform your superiors (i.e. residents).
 

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First...I don't think you can label someone a "gunner" because he or she likes Duke. In fact, I came from a very laid-back, liberal educational instuition in the northeast that really doesn't focus a lot on grades. So I do not consider myself gunner. In fact, I don't like competition between people...should be with yourself to do your best.

Secondly, I did not get the gunner feeling from Duke. In fact, I felt like everyone there was very cooperative, friendly, and anti-gunner.
 

quideam

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You guys are being ridiculous. Pitt IS good, and i'm not just saying that because i'm going there - I CHOSE it in part because of its great reputation.

As for gunners - they're everywhere. I think you're more likely to find them at state schools because there are tons of people there who could have gone to better schools but chose the state school in order to save money or to stay close to home. These people are intent on being at the top of their class so that being at the state school doesn't hurt them. At top schools, sure, there will be gunners, but there isn't as much pressure to be the best because everyone recognizes that all of the students there are great.

Overall, pick where you'll be happiest. Oh, and could someone please give southbelle some more negative karma? I'm all out :)
 

hypersting

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I never heard the word gunner till I came on this message board ... I don't get the meaning? Someone who is diligent? ... You have to be if you want to do medicine. People who aren't gunners (if I'm using this correctly) will have a hard time getting in .. so why would you want to not be one?
 

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Gunner = someone who wants to be at the top of the class (gradewise) no matter what (gun for the top)
 

pekq

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Let's stay on topic. We are not talking about NYU or Upitt. Though I'd go to NYU over RWJ.

I am gonna appear to be bashing RWJ but it's just what I thought. RWJ is not p/f and split between campuses in different cities. The fruits of the recent building projects will not materialize in time for us to benefit from it. Their research is also weak (It's decent but still lacking).

Duke is superior to RWJ is every way. The only negative I can think of is their crazy 1 year compressed courses which is known to drive people nuts. Since you seen to like 1 year of basic science, I guess it's not a problem for you.

Go to Duke.
 
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NJguy123

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Definitely don't mind only 1 year of lecture....actually, it would be good to get into the wards by year 2. Its just I'm not comfortable with Duke's cost Vs. RWJ's...but then again, I'm a teacher making $25k per year currently.
 

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southbelle said:
njguy, if you are a gunner who sees yourself maybe going into academic medicine, head to duke. If you're not a gunner and don't care all that much about such things, stay in NJ.

Normally under these situations I always go with the non-gunner school, but this would be complicated a bit by the fact that I like NC and hate states like New Jersey. Would be a tough one for me, but I'd probably pick Duke because I could take a year off while getting an mph and still graduate in 4 years
southbelle for moderator!!!!! :thumbup: :love: :love: :love:
 

Mr. Rosewater

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dude, don't nickel and dime your education. duke is one of the greatest medical schools in the world. you could probably name all the better ones on one hand. this is absolutely ridiculous. just take the loans and go to duke. you'll make plenty in practice.
 

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quideam said:
As for gunners - they're everywhere. I think you're more likely to find them at state schools because there are tons of people there who could have gone to better schools but chose the state school in order to save money or to stay close to home. These people are intent on being at the top of their class so that being at the state school doesn't hurt them. At top schools, sure, there will be gunners, but there isn't as much pressure to be the best because everyone recognizes that all of the students there are great.
Sorry. Please allow me to introduce the concept of "super gunners" then.

you gotta see how super gunners some of the residents are when you work with them at these top notch hospitals.
 

southbelle

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quideam said:
As for gunners - they're everywhere. I think you're more likely to find them at state schools because there are tons of people there who could have gone to better schools but chose the state school in order to save money or to stay close to home. These people are intent on being at the top of their class so that being at the state school doesn't hurt them. At top schools, sure, there will be gunners, but there isn't as much pressure to be the best because everyone recognizes that all of the students there are great.

Overall, pick where you'll be happiest. Oh, and could someone please give southbelle some more negative karma? I'm all out :)
I think you have to separate the top schools when talking about pressure to be a top student. Look at the matchlists for schools ranked in the teens and twenties. All the students aren't getting superstar matches like at the highest ranked schools. Combine this with the fact that a large % of students at these schools want superstar residencies and you have probably the highest gunnerism of all the schools.

For different reasons gunnerism is high at the top 5 or 6 schools. These students are much more assurred of matching very well, but they were unquestionably huge gunners in college and this usually carries over into med school.

At state schools you have a certain number of people who just don't care about getting a superstar residency. All they want to do is match into a decent field, maybe anesthesiology or EM, and make a bunch of money in private practice.
 

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dude, don't nickel and dime your education. duke is one of the greatest medical schools in the world. you could probably name all the better ones on one hand. this is absolutely ridiculous. just take the loans and go to duke. you'll make plenty in practice.
bingo. go to duke. 60k? no worries. unless you want to practice in a third-world country, with the urban poor, or pro bono. it might have been different if rwj gave you full-ride, but that's not the case.
 

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though im not exactly in the same situation, it's somewhat related so ill just throw this out there. 80K difference between HMS and duke...(over 4 years, with duke being 80 K cheaper)...a big fan of both but leaning towards HMS just because of variety of clinical settings, proximity to some family, and interest in trying something new with PBL. Input?
 

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somekevinguy said:
though im not exactly in the same situation, it's somewhat related so ill just throw this out there. 80K difference between HMS and duke...(over 4 years, with duke being 80 K cheaper)...a big fan of both but leaning towards HMS just because of variety of clinical settings, proximity to some family, and interest in trying something new with PBL. Input?
Holy Big Name schools batman!!
Another tough decision... Just choose the one you like more. Looks like you will be happier at HMS. :)
 

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NJguy123 said:
First...I don't think you can label someone a "gunner" because he or she likes Duke. In fact, I came from a very laid-back, liberal educational instuition in the northeast that really doesn't focus a lot on grades. So I do not consider myself gunner. In fact, I don't like competition between people...should be with yourself to do your best.

Secondly, I did not get the gunner feeling from Duke. In fact, I felt like everyone there was very cooperative, friendly, and anti-gunner.
southbelle's posts are foolish.
school A: rank 15
school B: rank 20
school B is 5 orders of magnitude less gunnery go there! gunner gunner gunner state school....gunner gunner gunner gunner.....
:laugh: dont listen.

go to duke man. 60K isnt a drop in the bucket, but in the end, we all have to deal with the money issues. i mean you like duke better so just go there.
 

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Go to Duke. If you go to RWJ, you will regret this decision later on when you start making money. Go for the best! Go for what you really want! You deserve it!
 

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In the state of Michigan, I've heard Wayne is actually far more "gunner-esque" than Michigan because to get a good residency. Here, they tell us, "don't worry, you'll get a good residency." So I wouldn't count on state schools have less gunners. A personal friend graduated from Wayne in the late 80's AOA and barely matched ortho (very low on the school's rank list). Would a person at Pitt, Duke, etc still match at any state school? I disagree. Matching in competitive residencies has many variables with your board scores being a small part. Do you really think if you applied for Derm that by some freak of nature you will be able to seperate yourself from the 100's of people applying for 2 spots at an institution? I know an ortho residency director at a non-top 30 school said he throws away all applicants who don't have a rec from someone he knows......

Correction: Only tertiary center in Western Pennsylvania (and eastern ohio too I think).

Ignore stats of gpa and mcat when evaluating schools in how good the school is. Having heard a lecture from Pitt's dean, I honestly think they will give the top 10 schools a run for their money in the near future. GPA and MCATs would put my class above harvard. Is that a realistic evaluation? I don't think anyone besides USNews really thinks JHU is worse than WashU. Listen to people in acdemia talk about which schools are good, then you'll understand what I mean by underrated.

For the record, I couldn't have been a gunner undergrad, I was an applied mathamatician. And I came to Michigan partly because i have lots of family in the area.

I never heard the term gunner before starting med school, and I think the term gets thrown around a bit too much on here.
 

SunnyS81

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I forgot to include my main point....

I know some of my classmates turned down Duke because the curriculum is very different from other places. Make sure you are comfortable with it (regardless of its rank).
 

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somekevinguy said:
though im not exactly in the same situation, it's somewhat related so ill just throw this out there. 80K difference between HMS and duke...(over 4 years, with duke being 80 K cheaper)...a big fan of both but leaning towards HMS just because of variety of clinical settings, proximity to some family, and interest in trying something new with PBL. Input?
To be honest, if you are only starign 80 k in the face ... I'd go to HMS .... I would ...

JH
 

southbelle

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Plenty of people from state schools every year match ortho, ent, etc Looking at the match lists most state schools have 3 or so people each year going into each of ortho, urology, ent, and optho. Compare that to the average school of Pitt's caliber which might have 4-5 each. The biggest difference is clearly the reputation of the programs that people match into, but it isn't like a non-top 20 otho program won't train you to be a fine private orthopod. And let's not forget that many people go into medical school knowing they don't want to match into a surgical subspecialty. A lot of people know they simply don't want to operate. Just like plenty of people know that academia isn't for them.

Dermatology is dermatology. Hopkins had 0/2 matches year before last. It's going to be very hard to match derm from pitt just like most schools outside the top 5. Whole different level of competitiveness from the surgical subspecialties.

If Pitt was blowing me away with their match list, I would agree that they are better than schools with similar stats. But the fact is that most of the students there aren't doing ENT at Iowa or optho at BP. In fact, I would say their match lists over the last 5 years have maybe been less impressive than a few schools ranked below them.

I don't want to say it's always a bad idea to go to a school like Pitt over a RWJ, but I think it's a bad idea for most people. 200k in debt really sucks.

The way to have the best lifestyle from this whole thing is to go to a state school or a school where you've been offered a nice scholarship, do a gas or EM residency, and then go to a community where reimbursements are high and they are in need of that specialty. Good hours, reasonable loans, no fellowship, and 200-250k+ in salary coming right out. 300k after a few years.

Of course I don't have enough energy to do anesthesiology or EM, but if I did that's what I would do.
 

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So even if I go into something like primary care...would $150k in debt ruin me? Or would it just be more of an inconvience and a little more sacrificing?
 

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NJguy123 said:
Yeah...I absolutely love Duke's novel curriculum (1 year classes, 2nd year rotations, 3rd free to do research, 4th year electives). NJ was more traditional...wasn't too thrilled with it (2 class....2 hospital). If money weren't an issue...I'd pick Duke in a heartbeat.

Hey,
As a Dukie (MSIII) I will say the curriculum has its good points and bad. The first year is very compressed. It's all the preclinical training you're going to get, so you have to make it count. I am using the 3rd year to get an MPH at UNC. For my year it didn't matter, but now you have to get NC residency (i.e. a driver's license, etc.) or else I think they make you pay for the UNC tuition yourself--I could be wrong about the details of what you actually pay, but basically they'll only pay for it if you go ahead and get NC residency, so then you pay your regular tuition to Duke and they pay whatever they have to pay to UNC. Not a big deal, but something to get in order if you want to take advantage of the opportunity to get an MPH. If you do come to Durham I would highly recommend buying a nice big townhouse/house, and getting roommates to pay the mortgage. Real estate is relatively inexpensive here and rent is just money down the drain.
 

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Go to Duke. Ignore southbelle. As a self-proclaimed previous gunner, is she bitter about how she is now or still getting over how she used to be? Either way, she isn't helping any discussion in this thread. Get off the gunner issue...learn some new words.
 
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