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help me choose: Vandy, U Michigan, or Emory

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - 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. :confused:
     
  2. yigit

    yigit Senior Member
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    If I were you I'd GO BLUE. I did my undergrad there and my brother went to med school there and every student I've ever heard from has loved it. I'm not sure there's a better college town than Ann Arbor, and the med school speaks for itself. It'll be a nice change from Nashiville as long as you don't mind the cold too much. And of course the most important reason to attend UofM....Michigan football.
     
  3. BlueFalcon

    BlueFalcon curmudgeon
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    Do well at any of these schools and the chips will fall for you. Given that the only thing you've cited about each school is cost, go with the Emory. The only reason I can see to do differently would be if you had some burning desire to go to one of the other schools. I haven't seen evidence of that in your post. You say you think you'd be happy at any of the three? If that's the case, why spend an extra $13000 (Vandy) or $63000 (Michigan)? I know it may not seem like real money now, but it will when you're paying it back. If that's not enough to sway you, think about January in Ann Arbor versus Atlanta.
     
  4. po' boy

    po' boy Senior Member
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    BlueFalcon-

    Your last point about the weather was an excellent one. :) As for my original post, I wrote it in the interest of simplicity rather than to emphasize debt as the most important factor (I simply imagined that posters would want to know the financial aid breakdowns for the schools, as many applicants have waited to decide until now in order to receive this information). I just didn't want to taint people's posts with my own thoughts -- the whole point of this question was to obtain NEW information.

    But you are right -- performance in med school is the greatest factor in matching, not school reputation. Vandy and Emory are very similar Southern schools, with traditional, lecture-based, letter-graded curriculae and small class sizes (around 110). Vandy struck me as a specialized, research-focused school (with a research requirement that is a plus or minus depending on your viewpoint), while Emory seems more clinically-oriented (with a good school of public health and Grady, the busy inner-city public hospital students rotate through, again a plus or minus). Both Nashville and Atlanta are very nice Southern cities, though I perceive Vandy is more integrated into the downtown area than Emory.
    Beautiful campuses at both.

    Michigan is larger (170 people), pass/fail first year, h/hp/p/f the remaining three, traditional lecture-based curriculum. It is a "top-ten" school, for what that is worth (although looking at their match lists, I honestly don't see why it's consistently ranked #4 by residency directors), and I perceive that it is strong clinically and research-wise. Michigan and Vandy typically jockey for some of the highest average step 1 scores in the country. Fun college town; ugly campus. Expensive to live in compared with Nashville and Atlanta. Cold as ass. (I lived in Michigan for a year before college.)

    Students seemed smart and fun at all three schools, though I think they were probably more stressed at Emory due to their joint exam structure. All three schools are close to their undergraduate campuses, a definite plus.

    Those are all the thoughts I have right now. Let the discussion continue! :p
     
  5. 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:
     
  6. puffy1

    puffy1 Senior Member
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    Those are 3 good schools, so I don't think that cost should be a big factor in your decision making (unless there was a difference of $100,000).

    I've heard good things about Emory, but nothing specific (I knew a doctor who graduated from there, and she had nothing but positive things to say about it). Atlanta is one of the more happening towns in America (at least in the South).

    OTOH, UMich has a got a great rep (top-10), and I don't think you can go wrong spending that kind of money on this kind of school. Vandy also has a great rep (top-20), but you're from Tennessee, so I'm not sure if you want to spend another four years there or would want to go learn medicine abroad.

    Tough choice my friend, but one I would love to make myself. If you ever get frustrated, remember the situation you are in and how many other people would LOVE to be in it. :D
     

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