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Harvard or PENN?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Bucks241, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Bucks241

    Bucks241 New Member

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    I'm a complete newbie, but most everyone here seems to have some interesting opinions.

    I've narrowed down my list of acceptances to Harvard and PENN. I liked both schools, though after interviewing I was drawn more to PENNs ability to get students into the clinic faster and Wharton's offering of a healthcare track (I'm considering an MD/MBA).

    So please, let me know what you think! What would you choose and why?

    I'm currently interested in going into surgery, so I'm not sure if I want to go all the way with the MBA, maybe I'll just take a few courses.

    Anyway, I'd love to hear people's opinions.

    Thanks!

    :clap:
     
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  3. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    IMO GW is your best choice of the two.

    CCW
     
  4. bongsen

    bongsen Member
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    HARVARD!!! good business school there too (george bush went there)! Really, outside of the US, if you ever go international, the big H name will get you what you want. Try telling someone in some foreign country about UPENN, and you'll get huh? what's pennsylvania?
     
  5. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    yeah but if you dont go international...everyone in the medical field knows upenn...and if you get an mba from wharton...bow down...
     
  6. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    Greetings, Bucks. I'm a Penn first year and I'll throw in my two cents. The MD/MBA program is very difficult to get into. Frankly, unless you have several years experience in business, health care administration, or health care policy, I wouldn't bother considering it. I think some of our class felt duped by this. It's also very expensive, where you'll be paying for business school (as much as med school, same poor fin aid) for the extra year.

    As for getting us into the clinic faster, it is a good idea, but they really work you hard during that year and a half to make up for it. If that idea doesn't bother you, than forget about it. I just want to make you realize that we have required classes pretty much every day during module 2, higher classroom hours/week than any Philadelphia school (and most other schools I'm aware of), and the second longest first year (behind Duke). This screws over some of our students, as they cannot participate in most summer programs for med students off campus because we're getting out too late. They also surprised us this year by shortening our Summer Break on us by a week.

    Good luck with your decision!
    Eric
     
  7. thewebthsp

    thewebthsp Shoobeedoowap
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    Hmmm... the tour guide said all the med students who applied to the MBA program got in...it seemed interesting....
     
  8. goobernaculum

    goobernaculum Member
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    the wharton school reserves spaces for med students every year for the mba. i'm not sure if harvard does this though. also, if you're interested in health policy type stuff, i believe wharton can help focus your track towards that.

    agreed...harvard will get better name recognition overseas, but why the hell would anyone wanna go overseas unless s/he is mother theresa or something?

    either school will get you a top-notch residency.

    penn's curriculum philosophy is geared towards boards performance, and you won't hear a lot of lectures that focus on what the lecturer's research interests are. last time i compared numbers, penn students do better on step one than harvard students (it might be different now, however). either way...as i said before, residency matching will be the same.

    boston is way better than philly (my opinion).

    living is cheaper in philly.

    dual degree at penn is easy to do and highly encouraged by the administration.

    library at harvard is much much better.

    research at both is top notch.

    harvard's hospitals are, in general (probably minus BID), better, but i'm not sure how much that matters to med students. teaching and the faculty's quatlity of teaching is what really matters. i know that in the past few years harvard has added some incentives to their med school professors to place more emphasis on teaching. whether this is because of poor teaching or attention towards students previously or just a measure to increase the quality of teaching, i don't know.

    harvard, as a school, has more money and might be able to better help you out financially.

    P/F at harvard is very nice. penn is h/p/f (to me, this sucks) after the first semester, and essentialy straight-up grades in the clinics (but grades in the clinics - h/hp/p/s/f - is the standard at almost every school). both schools, however, have very motivated and amitious students. so just by being in that company you'll work your tail off regardless of grade policy. at either school, though, i'm sure you could get by just passing comfortably.

    the med school at penn is better integrated within the university, even though you'll have to make an effort to "mix" with other people from other schools. hms is in the longwood area, whereas the rest of the university is 15-20 mins away (depending on traffic) in cambridge.

    that's all i can think of right now. you're very fortunate to be in such a situation. make sure you try to attend the second look weekends. though it's difficult to make a definite judgment on the student body in just one weekend, it's better than nothing. it'll be nice just to see the night life in boston/philly, see what the students supposedly do on the weekends, get a feel of an "average" day at each school, etc. hope this helps! PM me if you've got any other questions.
     
  9. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    The ones who won't get in are just discouraged from applying, so they usually don't. You can have counseling once you're here about whether or not you'll get in.
     
  10. MabdulD

    MabdulD Senior Member
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    Compare thread to "Harvard or Hopkins?" thread. Discuss.
     
  11. felipe5

    felipe5 Fingerpickin' Good
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    i say chose HMS so that a spot will open up for those of us on Penn's waitlist!
     
  12. bongsen

    bongsen Member
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    i second that! :horns:
     
  13. DrJ2B

    DrJ2B Senior Member
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    I'll third that. :D Honestly, you should choose the school you think you will be happier at. Go to both 2nd-look weekends and meet your prospective classmates. Both are phenomenal schools so your decision will basically come down to a personal preference based on curriculum, location (weather, things to do, proximity to family and friends, and etc.), flexibility of the program, gut feeling/vibe from the school, and if you are still stumped, financial aid packages can ease the decision. I wish you the best of luck. Remember that UPenn was the first medical school in the nation for a reason. Harvard is awesome, but UPenn is definitely worth a good look. :clap:
     
  14. klooless

    klooless Senior Member
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    I can say that you should definitely go to both second look weekends. Having gone to Cornell's revisit (this weekend) and realized I'm not excited about PBL AT ALL, Harvard is not looking like a good choice for me (since they too emphasize this PBL stuff). That, coupled with the fact that Harvard is too far North (in my opinion) to be livable (as a person who struggled through New Haven's winters), I simply want to reiterate that Harvard is simply a school like all the rest of them--"right" for some people, and not for others. Yes, even Harvard is not "right" for some people.

    G Luck Dude!
     
  15. musiclink213

    musiclink213 My room is a mess
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    may we all have your problems.
     
  16. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    Just from analyzing the Harvard and Hopkins match lists over the last 3-4 years, it's clear that virtually 100% of these students match in whetever field they want at top 10 programs. At schools like Duke, Penn, Columbia, etc this number isn't 100%. It's higher than every other school besides Harvard and Hopkins, but imo there is a clear difference in match list quality. Just going to Harvard or Hopkins appears to be enough to get an extremely competitive spot at a top program. At Penn there won't be the same guarantee. I'd go to Harvard.
     
  17. PsychNOS

    PsychNOS Member
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    Just so you guys know, there is no "guarantee" at Harvard. This year, not all of the Harvard people who applied to radiology matched into radiology. At Penn 17/17 people matched into radiology. The difference in reputation within the medical community is not as great as some of you may think. Residency placement is more dependent on the credentials of each individual applicant. I would go to the place that is more comfortable and provides resources that are more suited to your interests/strengths. This will allow you to perform better and attain the residency spot that you want. Good luck regardless. Both schools are great.
     
  18. klooless

    klooless Senior Member
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    The 2003 Harvard match list does show that about 90 kids were appointed to Harvard Hospitals. If you view that as an exceptional match, then that's you. Judging from such a list, I would advise you to attend Harvard if you would love to fulfill your residency there, because that's all that list says to me personally. Just like many other med schools, they have a high retention rate of their own students (ie. many Hopkins kids end up at Hopkins, many UCSF kids end up at UCSF, many Cornell kids remain in NYC, etc.). I am not at all saying that Harvard doesn't allow it's students to go elsewhere...I see a U. Iowa, a Loma Linda, a U. Miami to name a few...I am simply challenging everyone here to understand that a match list may not be the best means of deciding where to attend med school.

    If you attend a second look and you meet a bunch of wonderful people who you would love to spend 4 years with, then choose that school. If you come to the conclusion that one school provides more opportunities than the other in terms of research or whatever have you, then choose the school more in tune with the opportunities you seek. If you decide that one school is located in an area that feels unsafe to you, or unreasonably expensive, you would probably not want to attend that school. If you walk through the door at one school, and it just "feels right," there is another reason to choose that school, though some people may deem that reason irrational. But let's all stop kidding ourselves about the difference in reputation between Harvard, Penn, Hopkins, Yale, Columbia, etc. etc.
     
  19. Bucks241

    Bucks241 New Member

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    Just wanted to thank everyone for their input. It was very helpful. I'm definitely going to visit both schools for the second look weekends.

    Thanks again!
     

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