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Full Ride vs. Dream School

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by scrappydawg, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. scrappydawg

    scrappydawg Member
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    So I've had a kink thrown into my medical school decision process. Last week I was accepted at UCSF which made my decision very easy, however yesterday, I received a letter from UVA which said that I was granted a full tuition and fee scholarship. I want to be an academic physician so UCSF would be a better fit, but the prospect of coming out with very minimal debt is an encouraging option (especially for a future career in academics). I am out of state at both places.

    I know that the school you attend is important for residency, but I have also been told by many physcians that the best doctors are always self made, meaning that with motivation and hard work, doors will open. I dunno, I guess i'm curious what you would all would do.

    Thanks



    http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=1599
     
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  3. traumamonkey

    traumamonkey mid-level resident
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    wow--congrats scrappydawg! it is great that you've been accepted to multiple schools and a FULL RIDE?! i would absolutely take the scholarship, especially since UVA is darn good school.

    clearly you have to go where you feel you'll fit in the best and get the best training, etc. but if you think the education is solid and you won't be miserable in charlottesville you should think _very_ hard before turning away from all that money.

    alternatively you could check with UCSF and let them know you've been offered such a sweet deal and see if they are willing to match or at least give you something.

    let us know how it works out!
    and don't forget to think of folks on wait-lists as you make your decisions (read: don't hold too many acceptances).
    good luck
    n
     
  4. ek6

    ek6 Senior Member
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    I'm thoroughly impressed. I think the rest of us would give limbs to be in your position. You got into UCSF as an out-of-stater??!

    If you want opinions...mine is that I would be torn between the 2:) Then again...a full ride is tough to turn down, so I would lean towards UVA's scholarship.

    Do what I'm sure you've been doing anyway...ask around AND call the schools to see if they have any resources as to how their graduates fair in academic medicine. Also, make sure UVA has good research facilities as you doing research in med school is an important factor if you want to go into academia (if you can find the time!). Lastly, I would definitely try to see if they have second look days - remember, you have until May 15th hold onto your acceptances.

    Wherever you end up going, I'm sure you'll kick ass. You must be one heck of a candidate to get into the position you're in now!
     
  5. Screw UVA, I live here in SF and its the ****. Always choose the dream.
     
  6. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    Hey doctorkevin, I mean Eraserhead. Everyone's changing their name now. Nice. :laugh: :clap:
     
  7. ek6

    ek6 Senior Member
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    hmm...that's an interesting suggestion to call UCSF to match the offer. If you do do that, be careful not to act snobbish and piss them off - that's never a good position to be in (just imagine someone calling you to say that they've been offered a better deal at some "other" school and that you should give the same deal to them). If you do it, express clear and sincere interest in UCSF and tell them that you really want to go to their school (anybody would, and anybody would love to live in SF - right?) - only it's tough because you've been given a full-ride at a school you would rather go to less.

    That's a total long shot, but as long as you're diplomatic about it, you've at least got nothing to lose! I don't even know if UCSF gives out any scholarships! But then again, to get a full-ride there would be the best possible deal...ever. Good luck.
     
  8. scrappydawg

    scrappydawg Member
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    Thanks everyone,

    Yeah, AZ med and GW will be open this week for those on the waitlist. Hopefully a few SNDer's will get those spots.

    I think thats the thing; where are the best research opportunities. I'm very interested in Rheumatology, specifically in autoimmune disease treatment.
     
  9. Chirurgien

    Chirurgien Member
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    I think you should go to your dream school. You only live once and you only go to medical school once, so why not go to your dream school? You'll be very comfortable financially later on in your career and you'll be able to pay off loans that you acquire now. Follow your dream.
     
  10. Yes, you inspired me. I was sick of looking at the other one and everyone calling me Kev
     
  11. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    :laugh: I hear you. Out with the old and in with the new.:thumbup:
     
  12. Luthertaketwo

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    You got a full ride with a 3.5ish science GPA and below accepted "average" applicant MCAT scores? Must be nice to live in a racist country.
     
  13. I do research here at UCSF. I don't know anything about UVA but you can pretty much find anything you want here... Why don't you look up the faculty websites and click on profs and see what they are doing (at both schools).
     
  14. delete! fast!
     
  15. Luthertaketwo

    Luthertaketwo Membership Revoked
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    Not even some kind of non-traditional: 22, and fresh out of college. Disgusting.
     
  16. scrappydawg

    scrappydawg Member
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    You got a full ride with a 3.5ish science GPA and below accepted "average" applicant MCAT scores? Must be nice to live in a racist country.


    Or one where ADCOM's can deliniate between heart, drive, and passion, vs resume builders and opportunitists.
     
  17. Luthertaketwo

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    If you had heart, drive, and passion, you would have killed the MCAT and ugrad-- or at least one of them.

    Tell me about the rabbits again, George.
     
  18. frick

    frick Senior Member
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    'nuff said.

    AA may be great for the individual, but it just makes a mockery of non-Caucasian/Asian races as a whole.
     
  19. Since none of us here know scrappydawg, lets not be quick to judge what exactly made him such a great applicant to these schools.

    At the same time, AA does make it tough for the rest of us who also have "heart" and just happen to be white/asian.

    Scrappydawg.....just out of curiosity, what was your major at the U of A?
     
  20. there_is_no

    there_is_no Member
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    Don't you mean nice to live in a country that's changed its institutionally racist ways inspite of the fact that many racist people live within its borders? I think people tend to forget that not 30 years ago, this country blindly accepted segregation and violence against colored people. Thirty years ago. Do you understand what a short time that is to have changed this much? But suddenly, this generation, our generation has decided that we don't want to have to live with the consequences of those sins, even though the effects of hundreds of years of racism still plainly exist. Well, too bad. Even MLK predicted that the next issue in race would that we would have to fight the people who next wanted a race blind society.

    It's easy just to pass judgment on a situation so quickly. To assume that just by the mere qualifications you possess that you deserve better than the next person. However it actually takes effort to try to understand another person's position. Furthermore it takes someone of courage to understand that one's own position in life is the accumulation of hard work by the people who preceded us and thus brings into question what exactly we deserve anyways. I'm not forcing anyone to make these realizations. Just sad that some choose not to make them. I can understand how it might make you mad that someone with certain stats getting certain things. But I'm not just going to assume that I can put together what makes you tick just because I read your signature or gauge your standing on a controversial issue like affirmative action.

    But I would ask that just for your sake, that you might wonder about some of the stances that you profess and just think for a second that you might be wrong. It's just another characteristic that makes good doctors, versus the ones that can't see the fallacy in their own logic or reasoning.

    I'm Asian, does Medical school affirmative action make a mockery of my GPA or MCAT? You know I don't think it does. It doesn't try to bring me down or say that I didn't deserve those scores or say that my hard work counts for nothing. But what it does say, is that not everyone had all the same chances that I did. And that some people's hard work and efforts deserve a little more credit than certain standards can measure. Maybe it doesn't always catch everyone this way, maybe it doesn't always make the best judgments case by case, but we're better off with Affirmative action than without it. The medical schools are under-represented as they are already and diversity matters not just to the individual's education but to everyone's. Not only that, it matters to patient health. You think someone who doesn't support Affirmative Action is the person mostly likely to serve racially diverse, underserved communities?

    You know it's easier to think that now we live in modern times or something like that and racism is just some long lost era. But it was just yesterday and not only that I grew up with racism, even from races which Affirmative Action exists to help. But I still stand by it. Sure, it makes my life tough in some ways. But guess what, my GPA and MCAT scores are because of a lot of advantages I had. Maybe you think your scores are yours, but I think there's a lot more than stands behind your grades and standing than you'd like to admit. So I support Affirmative Action in full.

    Sorry if the admissions game has been tough for you because of Affirmative Action, but just realize a lot more institutional problems have made this process even more tough in ways that you've never had to deal with...
     
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  21. Cube21

    Cube21 Junior Member
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    Man, I was just placed in the same position! And I have ties to both schools, I'm very glad that you put this post up Scrappy!
     
  22. scrappydawg

    scrappydawg Member
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    getianshi

    Biochem,
    By the way congrats on JH and Harvard.
     
  23. scrappydawg

    scrappydawg Member
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    Way to go cube,

    let me know how it all pans out for you
     
  24. there_is_no

    there_is_no Member
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    Back to the real issue at stake anyways. Some of my friends here at UCSF have become in-state after a year, although granted with the new tuition rises, it doesn't mean as much as it once did. My impression is that even in academic medicine, you still can make enough to pay off your debt, though you might have to drive around the same car for about 10 years. Everyone here at UCSF really loves it. I'd say unless you can see yourself being content at UVA, just bite the bullet and go where you want to go. The big thing for me is that the people you find at the various medical schools are of all different types, just like here on SDN. I guess that's life.
     
  25. frick

    frick Senior Member
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    As I said... AA is good for the individual. It allows someone who comes from a disadvantaged background to achieve a great deal of success under circumstances where they ordinarily might have not, which I think is great.

    Nevertheless, as you mentioned, vestiges of racism still pulse strongly through the veins of this country, and all AA does is help remind us that they're there. What AA essentially tells us (if not consciously, then subconsciously) is this:

    "Blacks/hispanics/whatever don't have to achieve as much as asians/whites to experience success."

    What, then, does this imply?

    It is the imposition of the mindset that one race has inherently "better" characteristics than another which makes AA bad. There has got to be a better way to do the things AA does without helping to perpetuate this country's latent racism.
     
  26. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    Oh geez, here we go with the AA stuff. Please watch your comments, as some things here are borderline bad as it is.

    For a real opinion... The difference in reputation between UCSF and UVa is not big enough in my mind to justify paying out of state tuition at UCSF. Plenty of academics come out of UVa, and it's a highly ranked and respected program in many areas of research. If you choose UCSF, I would make it for other reasons than a perceived reputation difference.

    Congrats on your success!
     
  27. frick

    frick Senior Member
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    No kidding -- I wouldn't ever eschew a full scholarship, especially at a school as good as UVA. Reputation may matter among the lay, but within the medical schools themselves it's only your personal abilities/character that count.
     
  28. Luthertaketwo

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    "As I said... AA is good for the individual. It allows someone who comes from a disadvantaged background to achieve a great deal of success under circumstances where they ordinarily might have not, which I think is great."

    The only problem is that AA doesn't even help the truly disadvantaged. In the case of minorities, the vast majority that benefit are middle/upper class individuals. This is the main reason why many minorities, again, the SAME ones that are continually reaping the rewards of the system, are it's biggest proponents.

    In short, AA doesn't do what it claims to do, and it causes far more problems than it relieves.
     

  29. Thanks man, congrats to you too!

    Biochem majors of the U of A unite;) You're not in pchem this semester by chance are you?;)

    In any case, it response to all of the stuff about AA spewed out thus far, I agree with some and disagree with some. I suppose it just depends what side of the fence you're on. I have a friend who had a 3.9-28 and was laughed out of every med school she applied to (she's asian). Does that mean she was discriminated against? I don't know, I can't say for sure. I think that no matter what AA will always seem racist to whites/asians and a good idea to those who are not.

    In any case, just lay off ol' scrappydawg because none of us have his AMCAS sitting in front of us and can't really judge. Besides, dissin' him is not going to get you a spot at UCSF.

    Feel free to generalize all you want, you might even be right. I too would like to see a better system than the current AA system that's in place, but I think we can all agree that diversity is important and something must be done at some level.
     
  30. CalBeE

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    Ok Slickness to Adapt, Dr. Kevin to Eraserhead???? Maybe CalbeE is getting a bit old too...


    Here's a story I wanna share. A family friend of mine is currently a full professor in Rheumatology at UCLA Health Care System, and he fought real hard to get that academic position. He graduated from Loma Linda (Which is in the eyes of many people, not a prestiguous school at all). When he was an assistant or associate professor, his colleagues told him that he wouldn't make it to full professorship b/c of his background; and when he made it, everyone was surprised.


    So it's true that if you wanna go into academia, it'll be advantageous to have gone to a famous school, but it's possible to make it from a relatively less known school as well.

    Plus, UVA is still a highly-respected school.
     
  31. Luthertaketwo

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    Read for comprehension: most AA beneficiaries are upper middle/upper class. Just what type of "diversity" is that bringing you?
     
  32. menemotxi

    menemotxi Stalker
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    Since when did this become an AA thread? Everyone stay calm, deep breaths.

    Congratulations scrappydawg.

    Let me know how the bargaining goes with UCSF. I'm in a similar situation with some other schools.
     
  33. Where exactly are you getting your statistics? Could you maybe direct me to a website (one preferably not run by the KKK) that can site specific statistics as to the income level of those minority students who are accepted to US med schools?

    You seem quite sure of yourself on this, I'm just wondering what you know that everyone else doesn't.

    And maybe you're right! Hell! I'm not saying that I know myself how AA is doled out. That's why I said I'd like to see a change since such abuses of AA are POSSIBLE. However, until I see some government approved stats, I'm not going to pass judgement either way.
     
  34. scrappydawg

    scrappydawg Member
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    getianshi

    Actually, I find Brown's class quite funny at times!
    Looks like neither us are going to U of Chi! ;)
    South Tempe Kids Unite
     
  35. Thought that was u;)

    Word....U. Chicago's a great school, but I really enjoyed Hopkins while I was there.

    Brown is a total gimp. I go to class only when homework is due or there are tests coming up;) Major senioritis.....

    It's a tough choice you've got to make for sure. I'd pick UCSF, but I never visited UVA so can't comment on it. I love SF though and would love to end up there for my residency or whatever else.

    See you in class man;)
     
  36. Luthertaketwo

    Luthertaketwo Membership Revoked
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    "Where exactly are you getting your statistics? Could you maybe direct me to a website (one preferably not run by the KKK) that can site specific statistics as to the income level of those minority students who are accepted to US med schools?"

    Whoa, there, hotshot. Don't project your ignorance on to me. I'm just the messenger. Do some googling for "derek bok" and "william bowen." "The Shape of the River." This is actually ground zero for AA proponents.
     
  37. mikeyboy

    mikeyboy Senior Member
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    <WARNING>Long rant follows on affirmative action. If you just want to stay on the topic, read the last two paragraphs.</WARNING>

    I think this is fairly true. I have no problem with cutting an applicant some slack on his or her MCAT if he goes to a community college because he can't afford tuition, but does well in school. I don't think grades and MCAT should matter all that much; as long as you are above a certain threshold that indicates the ability to learn and apply the material in life, that's good enough for me.

    I have a couple problems with it though. One is that the admissions committees are likely to forget that AA is meant to reward those that are disadvantaged; being black or Hispanic doesn't make you inherently disadvantaged. One of my best friends is Hispanic, and he is at Harvard now. We did most of our extracurriculars together, and had nearly identical grades/SAT. However, when I had my interview, I was told point blank by my interviewer that my chances were slim because of the sheer volume of Asian male applicants just like me. Sure enough, I didn't get in. My friend certainly isn't disadvantaged (his parents pay his housing and tuition in full), but I know that his application stood out more because of his ethnicity. He had the same advantages that I had growing up. If the ADCOM is made up of (mainly) old white men, they may think that an average scoring URM is better than a low scoring URM, even if the average scoring URM had all the advantages of an Asian (over-represented minority perhaps?) or white applicant.

    That brings me to my second point, that not being an URM makes it more difficult to stand out to the ADCOM. Most of my friends are Asian-American, thus I tend to compare myself to them. Until I started to look at other people's profiles online, I thought that I am just average: I'm as traditional as you get, 37R/3.9 GPA in bioengineering at Berkeley, with research/volunteering/work etc. I was rejected post-secondary at both UCSF, which I would have given anything to go to, and Stanford, my second choice. The problem I had was that I couldn't find a way to distinguish myself. I know they get tons of applicants who are just like me; if the ADCOM isn't actively looking to take more applicants of my background, my chances aren't good without something truly extraordinary. Maybe I am just an average applicant, and I'm starting to think too much of myself, but I'm sure that being Asian didn't help my cause.

    Sorry for the length of the post. I guess it's just the frustration of not being able to stay where I want to stay (don't get me started on the California in-state applicant). On the topic of where to go, I really wouldn't pass up the chance to go to your dream school if it really is a dream. If money is a concern, you can probably get pretty low interest rate loans. The interest on a Stafford loan is almost nothing. It's 2.8% while you're in school, then up to about 4% after; the 2.8% is probably the inflation rate. Give me as much money as I want at 4% and I'll be rich. Debt doesn't matter if it's not really compounding. You can take your time paying it back. You can EASILY make back that 4% through investments.

    But it really depends on how much you want to go. I love the Bay Area, have friends and family here, and nothing would have made me happier than to be able to stay here for the rest of my life, but that's me; I would pass up being paid to go to Harvard in favor of UCSF (but offer me a contract to be an MD now and I just might just pull a LeBron). If it doesn't make that much of a difference to you, take the money and go to UVa, but remember you only have one chance to follow this dream.
     
  38. Fermata

    Fermata Hold me.
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    Full ride = my dream school. :D
     
  39. Familiar with the book. Are you using it to prove your point? If so, you're pretty much just shooting yourself in the foot.

    And if you can't come up with the stats I asked for, please don't try to cover up your own ignorance by making reference to mine. If you're so damned informed in this area you should run for public office and stay the hell out of medicine.
     
  40. supereagles

    supereagles Spread your wings and fly
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    Nicely said. You are now officially my new hero:thumbup:
     
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  41. Luthertaketwo

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    I'm using it because it has the god damn data you whined about.
     
  42. Luthertaketwo

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    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

    Racists/classists are cool!
     
  43. Maybe we're thinking about 2 different books? As I recall this book mostly discusses African American students. Wasn't all your pent up rage released over a Hispanic student getting into some good schools?

    So I renew my challenge. Post some real numbers or everyone will just keep on assuming that you're making generalizations you can't back up.
     
  44. Luthertaketwo

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    "Maybe we're thinking about 2 different books? As I recall this book mostly discusses African American students. Wasn't all your pent up rage released over a Hispanic student getting into some good schools?"

    Maybe either YOU weren't thinking at all or YOU weren't reading.

    "So I renew my challenge. Post some real numbers or everyone will just keep on assuming that you're making generalizations you can't back up. "

    I supplied a source. If you wish to call it into question, the onus is on you to prove otherwise.
     
  45. You provided a source that supports an argument which opposes yours.....GREAT JOB!

    Credibility going, going, GONE!

    I can see I'm wasting my time with you on this one. You're obviously not going to do anything to back up your position.

    Have fun spouting off, I'll have no more part of it.
     
  46. Luthertaketwo

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    Good. Get lost. Try reading for comprehension next time.
     
  47. supereagles

    supereagles Spread your wings and fly
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    Originally posted by Luthertaketwo [/i]

    To Luthertaketwo: From your signature, all I can say is that you are the biggest racist idiot on the planet. Hope i never meet you in med school and you make comments like these because i guarantee you that you will be missing a couple of front teeth. Sometimes this is one issue violence can certainly solve. F**K I just had to respond, people like you make me sick to my stomach
     
  48. A.D.O.R.

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    It's quite apparent that no one here has heard of Prop. 209. Race is not a factor in admissions decisions at California's public schools. If anything, his research experience got him into UCSF and his cumulative GPA is 3.7 not 3.5.

    Anyway, congrats on getting into two great schools. I think you should go to the revisit weekends, hopefully they are not the same weekend, and then make a decision. UCSF's SNMA and LMSA members would love it if you joined us at this wonderful school. PM me if you have any specific questions about UCSF.
     
  49. OTN

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    ...If you want to go into a field that is competitive (rads, derm, radonc, ophto, ortho, etc), then without question UCSF should be your choice, especially for academics. If you want to go into a field that is (and probably will be four years from now) not very competitive (internal medicine, psych, family practice, peds), then UVA will allow you to achieve your career goals without spectacular debt. Usually those fields are not as "lucrative," even for academics, so not having a large debt burden upon graduation would help proportionally more.

    There isn't a only "perceived" reputation difference between these two schools. There is a very large reputation (justified as well) difference, and this difference may be an important aspect in your career.

    Additionally, if you want to end up in a part of the country which is more competitive (Cali, east coast, other west coast), UCSF might make that happen.

    Lots of things to consider.

    Good luck with your decision- it's a nice one to have to make.
     
  50. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    My point was not that there was not a reputation difference. Indeed, there is some reputation difference between the two. Still, we're not talking about UCSF vs. lower tier here. There isn't a huge difference in my mind, and I can't imagine that it would matter down the road for academics. What's going to matter alot more is residency and onward. As a large academic center, UVa probably puts more students into highly competitive specialties than UCSF, considering UCSF is required to take half of its class as primary care interested folks. I don't have matchlists to back myself up, but I think its silly to think that UCSF students are getting much better residencies than UVa students. Maybe it's true if you count getting UCSF residencies...

    Elitest attitudes abound around here... But what can I say. I looked up where you're posting on SDN from, and it all makes sense to me.
     
  51. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    An MD from UVA will not circumscribe your specialty options--i.e., it won't keep you from becoming a neurosurgeon if you're destined to become one. Every allopathic medical school in the US sends grads into a wide variety of medical specialties, including the most competitive ones (neurosurgery, ENT, urology, etc.).
    Reasons why you should attend UVA:
    1. Graduate debt free, which is freakin awesome.
    2. You exited the womb knowing that you wanted to become a pediatrician, family doc, or general internist. The earning potential of these primary care specialists is around 150-200K/yr (after expenses and before taxes) after 3 years of private practice, which is a crapload of money but not on par with other specialties. My point is that primary care physicians have a tougher time paying off a huge debt than specialists, so you might as well take the cheap route. This argument is especially compelling in light of the fact that a) most generalists START at 90-100K/yr and b) you can match at the most prestigious residency programs in primary care (internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and possibly emerg. med and ob-gyn nowadays) from ANY allopathic medical school...take a look at match lists if you don't believe me.
    3. You really liked the academic atmosphere at UVA and feel like you would "fit in" there.
    4. You have never given a crap about prestige, you just want to become an excellent physician.
    5. You have no intention of becoming a tenured academic at a top 20 medical school.

    Why you should attend UCSF:

    1. You're strongly interested in securing a spot in a prestigious residency program in a highly competitive specialty (e.g., Neurosurgery at Barrow or Columbia).
    2. You want to become a tenured academic physician--possibly even the chair of a department--at a prestigious medical school.
    3. You're very disinclined toward becoming a pediatrician, general internist, or family doc.
    4. You absolutely loved UCSF and suspect that you would be unhappy at UVA.


    Good luck with your decision, and keep in mind that an MD is prestigious and highly respected, regardless of its institutional origin. Patients will never ask you where you earned your degree. Most importantly, every allopathic medical school in the US graduates top-notch physicians who make a huge difference in the lives of their patients.
     

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