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GW vs USF (select)

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renaissancewoman

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Hi all,
I am need of help deciding between these two lovely schools (George Washington in DC and University of South Florida in Tampa) which seem remarkably similar in many ways. I will try to keep this short and sweet, and any and all thoughts / experiences/ opinions are greatly appreciated!

The USF acceptance is for the SELECT program which essentially includes a certificate relating to leadership/emotional intelligence and students spend the first 2 years studying on the campus in Tampa, Florida and the last 2 years doing rotations in the Lehigh Valley Health network. I also don't know much about the lehigh health network so if anyone has information or experience to share I would greatly appreciate it.
Also, It has been unclear to me if one of these schools pushes more toward primary care or specialization but I AM interested in specializing (probably a competitive specialty..) so if anyone has intel on this it would be particularly helpful.

Here are my current thoughts on each.

Similarities:
debt would be the same. tuition and rent in both cities astronomical (no word yet on financial aid)
both city environment
USNWR ranking seems very similar. Ranking about 10 places apart. it is unclear to me whether this will actually matter in any way.
could potentially see myself permanently living in either area
it is unclear to me if either school has a "reputation" either positive or negative and the change in step1 grading (to p/f) will affect me so this is something that I would consider.
everyone seems very happy at both schools :)

USF:
pro: weather. I am greatly affected by sunshine and this would probably make my first two years of med school much more bearable.
(con: weather. I am greatly affected by sunshine and the move to Pennsylvania could make my last two years of med school much worse. however, i did undergrad in the northeast so I know I can survive..)
pro: additional credentials/certificate/skills via SELECT program
pro: exploring multiple new environments, cities, hospital systems
pro (?): top 50 ranking
pro: grading is not pass fail but they emphasize that it is chill and based on grades from all past years and not inter-class competition.
con: only two years in the sunshine. year 3 the SELECT program moves to Pennsylvania country. could this move limit research opportunities & faculty relationships?
con: select program has extra class

GW:
pro: close-ish to home (3 hours drive)
pro: friends already in Washington DC
pro: weather not bad in Washington DC. enough sunshine to thaw my cold southern heart
pro: pass/fail
pro/con: area familiar (pro), not "new" experience or environment (con)
con (?): not top 50 ranking (barely)

thank you to anyone who took the time to read and who is able to help out!
 
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Putkernerinthehall

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I think GW sounds like a better choice. I know I would feel reluctant to go to USF, knowing that after two years I'd have to up-root and move 1,000+ miles, only to likely have to do it again two years later for residency. The pros for GW you list are sweet; P/F preclinical, closer to home and support, moderate weather, great city location, and well known / nicely ranked school. Also, if you look at PD Rankings, USF is at 93 but GW is at 54. Not suggesting rankings are that key, but pointing out the PD ranking suggests USF maybe punches well below its USNEWS rank. I'd go GW. Good luck!
 
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