Georgetown vs Rush vs FIU

Discussion in 'Help Me Decide: X vs Y Medical School' started by 1732md, Feb 11, 2019.

?

Which one?

  1. Georgetown

  2. Rush

  3. FIU

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  1. 1732md

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    Hi all, first time poster here. I was hoping to get some feedback and opinions on the rankings of these 3 schools for my particular situation and for insight that I may not have been previously thinking about, as I don't have many sources in real life to go to for this kind of stuff. I served active duty military and have the military paying for medical school, so tuition cost is not a factor. Lastly, my current interests are ortho/general surgery and EM. So here we go:

    Georgetown

    Pros:
    -Prestige
    -Great match list
    -Pre-clerkship grading scale is P/F (is this as good of a thing as everyone says?)
    -Opportunities to rotate at Walter Reed (as an army veteran, this would be fulfilling)
    -Optional attendance

    Cons:
    -I did not like DC when I visited (which could be a good thing? less distractions)
    -Old facilities
    -Step 1 is taken at 18 months
    -Far from family
    -Undergoing curriculum change which I hear has been rough


    Rush

    Pros:
    -2 hours away from family
    -I would have a property I could stay at for cheap, relative to the surrounding area (although ~35 minute commute from Rush)
    -Pre-clerkship grading scale is P/F
    -Hospital system supposedly has a strong reputation in the Midwest

    Cons:
    -Mandatory attendance policy
    -Less prestige
    -Facilities were so-so
    -Also undergoing curriculum change

    FIU

    Pros:
    -Liked this place on interview day the most (although it is only one day... and it was my most recent visit, so I could be victim to a recency effect type bias)
    -High Step 1 average (240s)
    -I liked Miami more than Chicago and DC
    -New facilities
    -Step 1 is taken after 3rd year (and 1 year of clinical rotations)
    -Optional attendance

    Cons:
    -New school and unknown
    -Graded pre-clinical years (is this as bad as everyone says?)
    -No home hospital rotation site


    SUMMARY: Currently, my heart is saying FIU, and my brain is saying Georgetown. But I don't want to limit my opportunities by going to a newer school. Thanks for your time, and please let me know if I'm looking at any of these criteria (i.e. location and grading system etc.) incorrectly.
     
  2. Fracture

    Fracture "The only way to heal is with cold steel"

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    Georgetown honestly doesn't have prestige. It's a decent mid tier, at best. If you're interested in ortho, they're an ortho matching powerhouse. They've figured out a way to match 8+/year into ortho consistently. Edit: I see that you're interested in ortho. Awesome, lol.

    But I will say that Rush is a top program in ortho (with the accompanying big name letter writers), so you wouldn't have any problems on that front if you went there.

    Preclinical grading scale doesn't matter, unless you're easily affected mentally by grades, which you shouldn't be, because they don't matter when it comes to the match. Residencies only care about AOA, which is usually based at least partially on class rank, which most schools have regardless of P/F status. Gtown has AOA, as do most schools. My point is, if you're going to be stressed about preclinicals, it'll be because you're gunning for AOA (depending on how AOA is determined at each school), not because of grades in and of themselves. Feel free to ask more about this for clarification.

    Optional attendance is huge. This can't be understated.

    Old facilities...they are really neither here nor there. You'll be studying a lot, so it really doesn't matter, unless you're easily affected by the way the inside of buildings look. You may be even spending most of your time studying in a coffee shop or at home. My point is that it's not something that should really count for or against Gtown.

    Step 1 being taken at 18 months really shouldn't be a con. Furthermore, the fact that it's before clinicals really shouldn't be an issue because the majority of schools operate that way. Step 1 is all about the work that you put in, not the curriculum for the most part.

    Yeah, I would say that going to a new school is potentially risky...and we are all risk averse people by nature, aren't we? Lol.
     
    #2 Fracture, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  3. OP
    OP
    1732md

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    So if I'm understanding your post correctly, you are in favor of Georgetown over the other two? I am too, but I can't really shake the 240 average step score (considering the MCAT average was a 509 going in). I suppose this statistic could have been gamed/manipulated as well...
     
  4. Fracture

    Fracture "The only way to heal is with cold steel"

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    Personally, I would pick Georgetown. Yes, that is also important to consider; there is no way to be sure that the data weren't manipulated, like at any school. Again, step 1 is all you. If you're willing to work very hard, you can score highly at any school. Step scores shouldn't be on the list of criteria for deciding on a school. But I get it, it's kind of hard to ignore, lol.
     
  5. Fracture

    Fracture "The only way to heal is with cold steel"

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    Furthermore, you have to remember, the MCAT and step are two completely different tests. The MCAT is more of a critical thinking test while step is more of a knowledge test (~10000 facts if I recall correctly). Also, the MCAT is a weak predictor, at best, of step 1 scores.
     
  6. theKingLT

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    Go read through the FIU thread. There are students claiming the administration is awful and they hold back as much as 20% of the class to keep the Step average that high. Other students say it's an exaggeration and are really happy there. I'm not sure what to believe but it's definitely a risk. My vote is for georgetown. Their history matching ortho could do you very well.
     
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  7. OP
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    1732md

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    Yeah, I thought FIU was really trying to sell that Step 1 average to potentially mask other things. I guess I was calling taking Step 1 at 18 months a con in comparison to FIU taking it after M3. But what you're saying totally makes sense. I really appreciate the help @theKingLT and @Fracture, you have given me clarity. Good luck in whatever stage of this process you are in!
     
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  8. tgc21

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    I would go Rush, but I'm biased because I interviewed there and not the others. Agree with @Fracture that Georgetown doesn't have huge prestige over the others. One thing I want to add is that Rush has mandatory attendance because its 100% PBL/TBL. All schools that have any sort of non-lecture learning usually require attendance at those sessions. I think at Rush you would be doing a lot of self paced learning at home and then go in a few times a week for group session... which is p similar to having optional traditional class and skipping to go over material yourself at home. I think Rush has better clinical experiences available with a lot of community outreach, but Georgetown probably has more resources available for research, which would be important for ortho/surg. Both are ortho powerhouses. Go with Rush or Gtown, whichever place you felt a better fit at. I don't think either one would drastically change where you match, so do what makes you happy. Stay away from the dumpster fire that is FIU. ps congrats on the A's!!!!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    1732md

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    Okay, thanks for the advice. A lot of the responses seem to mention my interest in ortho. Would the recommendation on either school change if I ultimately ended up not choosing ortho?
     
  10. theKingLT

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    I would say overall probably no, but I'm no expert. The thing is, of the specialties that interest you, ortho is by far the most competitive so I think it would be best to prepare for that. Just following the whole idea of prepare for the worst. You'll be able to match EM or Gen surgery from anywhere, but ortho is tough, so if it's on the table for you, best go somewhere that's going to help you the most in matching ortho. Even if you eventually end up going with another specialty it's worth it because at this point you just don't know.
     
  11. Fracture

    Fracture "The only way to heal is with cold steel"

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    I fully agree with theKingLT. I would still pick Gtown, regardless of what your interest is. Rush's mandatory attendance and PBL/TBL curriculum are serious deal breakers, personally. Mandatory classes just eat up time. Furthermore, the consensus is that TBL/PBL curricula are largely ineffecient. The best curriculum imo is lecture based with minimal mandatory stuff (you've got some mandatory small group stuff at every single school thanks to the LCME and some doctoring courses too).
     
  12. CarpeDiem1993

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    Georgetown! They are a specialty surgery matching machine! And...no matter what anyone tells you, the prestige of a name (associated with the school generally) definitely is still a factor. Whether it is a top tier, mid-tier, whatever in medicine... it's still a strong academic name. Georgetown all the way!
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    1732md

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    Okay, thank you all! You've been incredibly helpful.
     
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  14. lalalallala

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    No one in the area thinks of Georgetown as a prestigious medical school. The only prestige comes from sharing the same name as the undergrad, but all residency directors will see through that.
     

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