Maybe I can help a little with your decision. I work at Einstein and live in the Bronx. I would honestly advise against anyone moving to the Bronx to attend AECOM on the basis of it being a very depressing place to live. Every student or lab tech that works here lives in the Bronx and everyone hates it (professors live in Manhattan or Long Island or Westchester County). The Bronx has nothing to it, and the neighborhood that Einstein is located in has nothing to it and is kind of run down. The facilities are old and drab (except for the newly renovated 1st year lecture room which admissions is sure to show all applicants). The library is closed on Saturday and there aren't even any coffeeshops around to study at. It is expensive (food, etc. -- rent is ok if you're student housing) and although they say that the housing is "among the nicest of any medical school in the country" I've seen 3 or 4 apartments and they're a decent size but crappy. Everything associated with the facilities is just cruddy, the professor I work for says that the administration just looks for the cheapest contractor to do the work regardless of the quality. A few years ago they added some new labs to the side of the Forscheimer building and they all leak when it rains. Also, I have NEVER been in an area where the city inhabitants' IQ seems so, so low. I mean average well below 100. Just try to get a basic question answered at the grocery store or bank or post office, and forget about getting competent work done with any low-level non-scientist at Einstein. Have you ever called the admissions office to get a question answered? Also, some bastard stole my car about 10 months ago and without being able to initiate an insurance policy from out of state I can't afford the $4500 per year that it will cost me here.
That said, there are some things that are ok. 1) You are close to Manhattan via bus or subway. 2) the school is considered to be good. 3) The neighborhood is safe, but if I was a woman I wouldn't be walking around at night. 4) Westchester County to the north is pretty nice after you drive for maybe 25 minutes (the closest subburbs are just like the Bronx) but of course you need a car to get there. Those really the only things I can think of and clearly don't outweigh the negatives.
I interviewed here and was accepted. I am very happily going to a ~#40 ranked school over here and am glad that I took one year to work here to help save myself from being stuck here for 4 years as a student.
I don't know much about Emory, but I can comment on both Einstein and UF since I visited.
Einstein: It is a rather good school with a solid reputation. It is rather far from things being in the bronx, and yes, everything closes on Saturdays (library, gym, etc...). The housing is nice and on campus and the gym is also really nice with an indoor pool, located rather close to the on campus-housing.
I cannot comment on the professors at all, but the students all seemed to like the school and the buildings, while not brand spanking new, weren't all that bad either.
UF: The school is pretty good (though I think a notch below Einstein). Professors are very accessible from what I hear. The school is inside the hospital which is convenient, though student housing is a little far away. You def. need a car in Gainsville to get places and probably a bike (it's not convenient to drive to places on campus and then try to find a parking spot).
The hospital is pretty nice (Shands), but the facilities as a whole are run-down I would say. There are some new wings here and there, but the study longue for instance has a retro-80's look and so forth. Some of their programs are top-notch too, so perahps if they are tops in something you want to do, it could be a better choice for you, than say Einstein. (For instance, their neuro department is really, really good with top notch faculty and lots of money and facilities invested in it).
Of note at UF: Shands Hospital did not have a tramua center until this year. They actually brought the chief tramua surgeon from my hometown hospital up to start their new tramua center so it should be getting started shortly, but I'm not sure it has yet. One last great thing UF has: in-state tuition if you are a florida resident and of course the weather
to each his own.
i interviewed at einstein, and loved it. sure the bronx isn't as great as manhattan, but it is still the city. having lived in manhattan 4 yrs i can say that i'm ready for some change perhaps. the people at einstein seemed bright, sharp and easy-going - a drastic contrast from some other schools i have seen. the housing there was also very nice. i live in tiny box for a LOT of money each month. the student housing was spacious and dirt cheap... some people just aren't cut out for that kind of an area - and that is ok too. i could never go anywhere rural, that is just me. so this just goes to show you that you can't really rely on other people to help you make such a large scale decision. if you are still unsure of the school you want to attend - visit them again. good luck.
ps. e a poe - i hope you turned down your acceptance offer, since i am still waiting to hear from them post-interview!!
I'm glad to see some other opinions here besides mine because I really don't have much good to say about the place. Its also nice that facted mentioned somethings that I forgot, the rec facility really is nice, though small. I don't go but when I've been there there is always room on the machines. The med students also seem to be a good bunch of folks though I don't hang with any of them. The faculty also seems very good and the clinical exposure may be great. During my interview they told of a free student run clinic in the West Bronx that is a great experience and appreciated by the folks that use it. So if you want to focus on underserved population care this could be a great place.
An edit of my previous comment: when I said students didn't like the Bronx I was referring to the general opinion of graduate students. I do not know how med students feel about being in the Bronx.
Also, I have heard that there is not an atmosphere of competition here between students.
I forgot to mention the current-Einstein 4th year said it was clinical years that were graded. Not preclinical, so yes, it's P/F and graded. Also, I only know of Einstein from him, and he grew up in Cali and thus was comparing the school's atmosphere, students, etc to the likes of Berkeley and UCSF. Lastly he mentioned that like what E. A. Poe spoke of he didn't like the area and couldn't wait to come back out here (which is where he did many of his 4th year electives --Cali)
So yea, that's one person's view, but I thought you'd want to know it, b/c he is a current 4th year and he regrets not going to a lesser known school for a better-suited location.
But wait, you don't have to worry about a lesser known school Emory is so well respected! Congrats and good luck on the decision.