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help me choose: Vandy, U Michigan, or Emory

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by po' boy, May 8, 2001.

  1. po' boy

    po' boy Senior Member
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    Hi guys. I need serious help on this one: Vandy ($95,000 debt), U. of Michigan ($145,000 debt), or Emory ($82,000 debt). Which would you choose, or not choose, and why? I feel very fortunate to have this choice, and I think I would be happy at any of them. However, could people please post the pros and cons they see in each school, and which they'd pick if they were in my shoes? Don't worry, I'll make my own choice in a week, but getting other people's unbiased opinions would be helpful. I am from Nashville, but I do not think that will play a huge factor in my decision.

    Thanks in advance. Constructive replies are welcome.
    :confused:
     
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  3. BrianU

    BrianU Senior Member
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    Maybe this will help your decision:
    www.usnews.com Click on Graduate School, then click on Med School and compare all three schools.

    It really depends on what your looking for! Personally, I favor the any school from the state of Michigan. :)

    Later
     
  4. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member
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    Being a first year student at UMich, I would obviously advise you to come here :) Since I know next to nothing about Vandy or Emory, I can't help you on whether or not the extra debt you will incur at Michigan will be "worth it". However, I will share with you some of my feelings about the school.

    The strongest pro for Michigan is its reputation. It has consistently ranked 4th in the country in terms of reputation as seen by residency directors and coming here will help you when it comes to applying for residency. The fourth years here say that programs are always enthusiastic about having Michigan grads coming to interview. Also, Michigan does a great job preparing you for the boards. Our mean step 1 score last year was ~230, almost two standard deviations above the national mean and close to being the highest in the country (don't bother trying to find this stuff on the web, it's only information that the deans pass down to us). The big question is whether or not how Michigan prepares you is the way you want to learn. We are almost entirely lecture-based, with only a few small group discussions. We have Monday quizzes every week which we all grumble about but admit they force us to learn the material and to keep up with the pace of the class. We have some patient contact during the first year through the Introduction to the Patient course which also includes various clinical skills training and discussion groups. First year is purely basic sciences while the second year takes an organ systems approach.

    As for location, Ann Arbor is a nice town - it's not New York City, but far from being Hickville too. Class composition varies GREATLY year to year, so I won't generalize the entire school's student body as being one way or another except diverse. There are great opportunities for research here and pretty much anyone who wants to do research during the summer after first year is guaranteed funding.

    The one con I see in the first year curriculum is that there is not much cross-talk between courses. I wish I could have a dime every time a professor said - "So, have you guys had this concept in your other courses?" It's a bit bothersome, but I could stand to hear things more than once.

    If you have additional questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
     
  5. po' boy

    po' boy Senior Member
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    Hi Wingzero,

    Could you give me an idea of what your daily class schedule is like, and how many hours a day you're in lecture? Thanks! :)
     
  6. ned

    ned Member
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    Hi -- I'm another M1 (soon to be M2!) at UMich. Try http://www.med.umich.edu/lrc/students/ (click on "M1" and then "schedule") to get a typical schedule.

    To WingZero: I'm curious as to who you actually are. :confused: Strange how these message boards work -- you could very well be my best friend and I wouldn't even know it! For some reason I think your initials may be K.F. Would I be right?
     
  7. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member
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    Ned - I, too, am curious who you are :) No, I am not K.F. - I'm much less outgoing than she is so chances are you probably don't even know me! Which brings me to another "disadvantage" of UMich - the class size - it's 170, one of the bigger schools in the country. I know pretty much everyone in the class by name and face at the very least, but I've been told that there have been classes where at graduation, you meet people you never even knew were in your class :)

    I guess one other gripe I have is that our curriculum, especially the ITTP course, is under review and they will implement a new curriculum in Fall 2002. Most of the changes will be to ITTP (Introduction to the Patient), I suspect, since the rest of the curriculum seems to be doing just fine in producing knowledgable grads. This year, our class served as guinea pigs for several experiments in ITTP, some good, some not. Tuesdays and Thursdays afternoons are usually reserved for some ITTP activity, but we end up having most of those days off because only a portion of the class does the activity on any given day (Monday/Wed afternoons are reserved for anatomy/histo labs, Friday afternoons are free except for the ocassional Multidisciplinary Conference, which I feel is another area we need to work on). But other than these relatively minor complaints, I am very happy with my choice to come here - I was choosing between UMich and another school that did mainly PBL, and am glad I chose a traditional curriculum.
     
  8. draper

    draper Member
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    po boy, congratulations on your choices! I don't think you would go wrong academically from any of those schools, but, I had similar choices to you and I picked Vanderbilt.

    Vanderbilt has been ranked #1 by the AAMC for student satisfaction from at least 1996-1999. The students there were the happiest I had seen and during my medical school career, were very tightknit. The faculty is absolutely unique because of how much they care for individual students: because the class size is 104, they get to know each of you personally.
    Our average stepI board score in 1998 was 232 and has gone higher each year. My class (class of '00) matched 93% to one of their top 3 choices and 74% to their top choice: this is better than almost any school in the country. We sent subspecialties to Hopkins, Harvard, UCSF and just about every top program in the country.
    And your being from nashville is not such a small thing- the most important factor in deciding where to go is where you'll be happy, because you'll need support and happiness to do well.
    I think the 3 schools are comparable in academic reputation to residency directors based on my own experience on the interview trail; I think that a little favoritism was shown to harvard and hopkin students at a few residencies. You should go to the program where you will thrive. Don't be too concerned with the debt; I'm in residency now and it's not difficult to defer or forbear those loans. thirty or forty thousand won't be much of a difference when you're ready to repay.
    Good luck!
     
  9. dcpayne

    dcpayne Member
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    I went to Emory for undergrad and couldn't imagine a better place to spend four years in college. The location in Atlanta is wonderful and I love Emory's campus and faculty. That said I think the medical school is another story. My impression at least (and I could be wrong) is that it is an ultra-traditional program, with almost no clinical experience in the first two years. My understanding is that it is also extremely cut-throat. If you like that kind environment, more power to you, but the few med students I've heard from at Emory sounded like they were going through hell.
    Maybe an Emory med student could chime in on this because I've only had limited contact with med students there.
     
  10. draper or anyone,

    Where can I find student satisfaction data for the med schools?
     
  11. wilsingham

    wilsingham New Member

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    Well, I currently go to Emory for undergrad, and I have just withdrawn my acceptance from Emory for Vandy. I do know a little about Emory's curriculum. They have been redesigning the programs where student DO get exposures in the first 2 years by making rounds at the various Emory hospitals and Grady. I know quite a few people who attend Emory Med, and they don't think it is at all competitive.

    I am choosing Vandy simply because I have been here for 4 years. I just think it is time for me to go somewhere else.

    You really can't go wrong with any of these choices. Hope to see you at Vandy!
     
  12. draper

    draper Member
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    bling,

    the office of student affairs at each medical school will have this data. alternatively, you could search the aamc web site or call them to see. From what i remember, vandy, baylor, and yale were at the top of the list.
     
  13. po' boy

    po' boy Senior Member
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    Thanks for everyone's input. Your thoughts have been very helpful and I appreciate not being flamed for a potentially arrogant-sounding post.

    An update -- I got a call from Dean Frantz at Columbia this evening accepting me off their alternate list, so I think that's where I'm headed. Before that, I was leaning towards Michigan or Vandy (more likely Michigan), but the high cost was what was hanging me up. The biggest factors influencing my decision are Columbia's reputation, clinical strength, and location in NYC, where I'd absolutely love to spend my twenties.

    I'll be releasing UofM, Vandy and Emory as soon as I receive the notification in writing, which I hope to have faxed tomorrow. I hope this helps people. Thanks again. :cool:
     
  14. ned

    ned Member
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    Hey WingZero -- I'm still curious.
    :) You seem to be very outgoing on these boards, so that's why I thought you might have been K.F. My intitials are M.C., and I'm one of the MSTP guys.

    I've been trying to post whenever someone wants information about umich -- but I know that if *I* was making a decision, I probably wouldn't take anonymously-posted internet messages too seriously. I wonder if we actually made any difference in anyone's decision.

    Well, anyway... Back to Quiz 11 studying... :D
     
  15. cavaor

    cavaor Member
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    I went to Emory for some of undergrad and worked in the medical school. If my experience is any indication, choose another unless you love cut throat attitudes and no sense to teamwork.
     
  16. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member
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    My main gripe with UMich is that the cadavers in anatomy are always too dry... :)
     
  17. ned

    ned Member
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    To all premeds contemplating UMich: I did *not* find the cadavers too dry. We are given a moistening solution (called BIOSTAT) and are instructed in its proper use. WingZero likes to badmouth our med school, but the bad things she says are simply not true!

    Cadaver dryness is not a laughing matter. If there are further concerns surrounding this matter, I suggest you contact me personally. ;)
     
  18. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member
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    Actually, I was being facetious about the cadavers. It was meant as an inside joke for ned to give him a clue as to my identity, but clearly he didn't get it :)
     
  19. ned

    ned Member
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    I, too, was kidding (it's hard to make one's sarcastic/humorous intentions clear on a message board -- I'll try to throw in more of those nifty smiley-faces next time). Of course I'm still not sure if you're male of female. My guess is that you're D.C., the new-and-mighty "guru of the m2's."

    By the way -- why aren't you studying?

    :cool: :) :)
     
  20. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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    Bump..Administrators...Is there anyway I can bump this into the PREALLO FORUM???

    I THINK IT WOULD SERVE OF GREAT USE :)
     

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