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Help me decide Round 2: Eastern Virginia Medical School vs Saint Louis University SOM

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rdyotz

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Round 1 saw EVMS knocking out Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac. Round 2... Fight!

Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) - Norfolk, VA (245k COA total)

Pros:

- As a vet, I get in-state tuition (huge savings of ~20k a year over SLU. I did not receive any other scholarships).
- I enjoyed the current students and the few faculty that I spoke with
- Strong ultrasound and standardized patient programs within the first week.
- NBME test questions are 100% of the exams…. Which likely matters less now that Step 1 will be P/F.
- Higher step scores (likely due to 100% NBME exams)
- The children's hospital is cool.
- Beach nearby
- Recorded lectures
- UWorld included in tuition
- Pass/fail pre-clinical. H/HP/P/F for clinical.
- Earlier clinical experiences

Neutral:
- EVMS seems to be shorter commutes during clinical as it's primarily Sentara and then Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters for peds. SLU has a few different sites, but commute does not seem excessive.
- I am not Jesuit, or even religious. I'm not turned off by other people's religions though and see this as a moot point.

Cons:
- The interview day was weird. We were left alone waiting in the hall for tour guides to show up. I’m hoping medical school is not run the same way.
- Larger class than I truly prefer.
- Slightly higher cost of living estimates (~2k a year)

Saint Louis University (SLU) - Saint Louis, MO (320k COA total)

Pros:

- Higher 'ranked' school
- More research opportunities (Though I have not done any real research - will likely be helpful for match) including through WashU
- Closer to family - day's drive vs a flight
- Went to college a few hours away, so aware of the area
- Recorded lectures
- Better match list (relatively subjective though)
- New hospital opening this year
- 20 month pre-clinical
- P/F pre-clinical. Honors/near honors/pass/fail for clinical. No rankings.
- Recorded lectures

Neutral:
- Slightly larger metro area, but with fewer cities within a short drive
- Professional sports. I can support the Blues (despite being a Blackhawks fan), but I will never be able to support the Cardinals (go cubbies!)

Cons:
- Higher tuition (~55k per year, pending financial aid information.)
- The interview day was also weird. I sat alone in a conference room until my first interview. After I returned, a few more applicants showed up, and eventually a short financial aid talk. I did not get a good chance to see how current students felt or what the faculty is like.
- Slightly larger classes at ~175 (vs 150). I prefer smaller class sizes, but this difference is not an issue.
- Colder and no ocean, though they do have underground tunnels (that are too hot) to some locations

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and currently live in Phoenix. SLU would be a 5-hour drive back home and I have some friends that live in the area. I am on 3 waitlists, so things may change. Both have residency programs. Both have free clinics. Lecture attendance not required at both. I have not received financial aid info from SLU... hoping to get that prior to deciding.

Also, feel free to add other pros/cons that I may not have thought of. Thanks!
 

rdyotz

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I should something. I'm old (mid-30s) and looking at MSAR data, SLU has only matriculated 1 person over the age of 30 in the past 4 classes (last was back in 2017). I was expecting to be the oldest in my classes, but with no one over the age of 30 is a different story. Did anyone go through a similar situation and can offer advice? With work, relationships, and life in general, age has never been an issue for me, so I am probably just over-thinking things.
 

rdyotz

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I received the financial aid package today. $0 in support. My decision is much harder now :(.
 
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