Helpppppppp...SUNY Buffalo vs Penn State

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by khi bong, May 17, 2007.

  1. khi bong

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    Hi all,
    I'm from Michigan, so I will be OOS for both schools. I'm thinking about doing Plastic.
    1. SUNY Buffalo
    - Tuition 230k+ 30k from undergrad could be reduced to 180k+30k undergrad if I applied to residency and become NY resident. It looks like everyone at Buffalo does this. UB students, could you please confirm this?
    - Real dissection
    - Not a lot of Family Medicine matched
    - Bigger city
    - Lot of research opportunities
    - Chance to get PhD in 2-3years after 2 years of Med school.
    - NO plastic residency
    - 8 to 12 pm class schedule, a lot of self study ( I preferred)
    - Chance to have Honor Thesis (optional)
    - great clinical exprience (from day 1), have to take a clinical test after first year
    - Cold area ( I hate winter)
    2. Penn State
    - Tuition 240k (can't change) + 30k from undergrad
    - real dissection
    - Rural area
    - These (required), can have honors??
    - 9 to 5 pm class schedule
    - HAS plastic residency ( 2 per year)
    - Great clinical experience?
    - Less chance to pursue a PhD (3 to 4 years)
    - warmer area (I hope)

    I understand plastic is a very small world and you'll need a lot of connection. I don't know if UB have this or not. Please help me to solve this issues. My deadline is next week. I'll have to pick one.
    THanks
     
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  3. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    All the SUNY schools do let you pay in-state tuition after the first year after getting state residency.

    Buffalo alegedly doesn't get as much snow as everyone thinks it does (the lake effect is supposed to be south of Buffalo), but yes, it's damn cold.

    Can't say much about Penn State. But I wouldn't mind you going there... *is on UB's waitlist*
     
  4. toxicgate

    toxicgate Receiving End of Sirens
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    it all comes down to what kind of experience you want to have and where you want to live. Buffalo is a great school, but so is Penn state. I know alot of people going to buffalo because of the cost factor. If that is the major problem for you, go to Buffalo. If you want a warmer area, closer to some bigger cities, such as NYC, Philli, or DC, go to Penn state. In terms of match list, it changes every year. Overall, they are both great schools and you will be fine going to either.
     
  5. khi bong

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    Thanks for your inputs.
    I would like plastic surgery residency. I don't know if Penn helps more in term of plastic research. I will do research in my first year. Penn State and UB students, what do you think?
     
  6. HreComesTheSun

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    hi khi bong, my PI told me to go back at least a few years when checking out match lists for my interests...i checked plastics for you at UB and there was at least one in 2005, a guy matched at Johns Hopkins for plastics. i didn't check the rest of the list that year, but go to UB website and check out other years too. compare to penn st for the past couple years, and see which school is more consistent in plastics, although i think you will just plain have to work hard at either school to match in plastics :)

    i don't have a final opinion on which school, but i hope this helps, good luck!
     
  7. khi bong

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    HreComesThesun,
    Where did you find out about UB match list for 2005? How do we know if he matched into plastic surgery?
    Thanks so much for your help.
     
  8. HreComesTheSun

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    http://www.smbs.buffalo.edu/

    just type match 2005, 2006 etc in the search function, it will tell you the where the student matched and what he/she matched in :luck:
     
  9. khi bong

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    Thanks,
    I did find it. From 2003 to 2007, UB has two (2) plastic matched while PSU has ten (10) matched.
    However, the money at UB allowed you for personal is 4,700 transportation and 1,400 for personal use / year. At PSU, transportation is only 1700 + 1500 for personal use. I guess if I chose PSU, I don't have much money to spend.
     
  10. khi bong

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    any other ideas?
    Please help me with this. I need to tell them by next Tuesday.
     
  11. MissTreesh

    MissTreesh Junior Member
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    go to penn state so we can be classmates!! :love:
     
  12. the negative 1

    the negative 1 Bovie to "war crimes" please
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    Were you referring to your total loan costs rather than tuition alone? As an OOSer, my tuition was about $17K per semester or close to $35K for the year. If I took the maximum amount of loans offered, about $53K, that would have left me with some $18K to live off of for the year. Factor in four years with in-state residency for MS2, and my total loan costs for tuition are under $100K. Plus, it's relatively inexpensive to live here in Buffalo.

    As for clinical practice, you take four clinical exams during first year or two each semester. The first two exams test your ability to interview a patient and obtain a comprehensive history from them. The last two exams also assess your skill at conducting physical exams. During my two exams, I had to do a complete respiratory and upper extremity evaluation.

    As a first year, you will be assigned to a preceptor who is a doctor in the community. You spend at least 20 hours (most do more) per semester at your preceptor's office, practicing history taking and physical exams. Just like anything, your experience will vary depending on how well you get along with your preceptor, how much freedom they give you, and how comfortable you are with the patients. I had a great experience working with a pediatrician this past year. There's also tons of clinics in the area where med students volunteer their time for additional clinical exposure. Hell, we even run our own clinic downtown every week!

    While the clinical course is continually being debugged and is far from perfect, I feel that the course director has been very open to suggestions for change and things will hopefully run more smoothly for the next first year class. Oh, and this type of clinical experience continues on into MS2, becoming more rigorous as one approaches their third year.

    One last thing, the 8 to noon schedule is great. I'm so thankful to have the rest of the afternoon to take care of things as I see fit.
     
  13. khi bong

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    Negative,
    You're right. I'm talking about total cost. I love the 8 to noon schedule. My main concern is UB doesn't have a plastic surgery department. How can I become a competitive applicant if I don't have connection or plastic research? What field are you going to? It looks to me a lot of UB grads going to surgery,then do fellowship for plastic.
    It looks like we can save a decent money at UB but I'm not sure about opportunities for plastic. What do you think?
    Thanks again
    PS: One more question for you, negative. Did you guys really dissect the body? In the interview, it looked like the body was already dissected. Does anyone in your class interested in plastic?
     
  14. khi bong

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    @nagative,
    Thanks so much for your help.
    --------
    By the way, Can any penn state students comment on this? I don't know about 9-5 schedule at PSU.
     
  15. toxicgate

    toxicgate Receiving End of Sirens
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    khi bong, well the student to cadaver ratio is 8:1 so, there are times when you are dissecting and other times when you are letting others dissect and you present. You wont be dissecting all the time and you will have to share your body if u go to UB. Thats what they told us when they gave us the tour...
     
  16. Bluemirage

    Bluemirage Senior Member
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    Interesting...I did not realize they did not have a plastic surgery department within their surgery program until I checked for myself. If you really know that plastics is what you want to pursue then obviously Penn State has the edge since they matched 10 people in the last few years and has a plastic surgery department. The school will definitely give you the edge in applying since you need letters from faculty that know you well and will write you strong letters to match. You can still get these if you go to UBUffalo but it will be more difficult since you will have to get them from your away rotations rather than at your home institution. You will have to decide whether the cost savings at UBuffalo offsets this factor. Another factor to consider: How do you really know you want to become a plastic surgeon? Unless you were a PA/nurse assisting in plastic surgery, you just never know. People change their minds during medical school all the time for one reason or another. You should evaluate other factors that are more important ie. where will you be more happy going to school for the next 4 years? Best of luck in your decision.
     
  17. khi bong

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    Blue,
    Thanks for your opinion. One interesting point about PSU match this year. They have 4 plastic total, 2 matched in PSU. However, the plastic at PSU is an independent program, not integrated. So these two guys must have some arrangement after they complete 3 years GS before starting Plastic.
    On the other hand, UB had a lot of GS. About 10-12 per year. I don't know how many of them apply for plastic in their 3 or 4th residency. Can anyone give some thoughts on this? PSU has fewer General Surgery. In fact, they have a LOT of family medicine. UB has few FM.
    I likve UB because of the schedule (8 to noon), lifestyle. I guess it will have less pressure compare to PSU. Hershey has nothing but to study. I want a life and enjoy my time at med school.
    In terms of programs in residencies, UB has 66 while PSU has 45 accredited programs.
    Do we have any PSU students here?
     
  18. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this
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    That's what they tell you when you visit, but just trust me that there is a LOT of snow, and even when it's not snowing it's really frickin' cold and there's still snow leftover from the last time it snowed.

    Not that you shouldn't consider the school anyway, but just don't have unrealistic expectations about the weather :laugh:
     
  19. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    That does sound a bit more realistic... I only had the party-line to go off of.

    Still. I like snow...
     
  20. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    RE: Penn State frm a former Surgery resident there

    1) Weather - it gets pretty darn cold there too; don't fool yourself. Because its inland, without protection of mountains and a higher elevation, it gets MUCH more snow than Philly or DC. There are only a few storms which dump several inches to feet of snow - around 3 or 4 each year. However, it is less than Buffalo. I found your comment, coming from Michigan, that you hate cold weather, rather amusing.

    2) Plastics - the web site is misleading. The program takes applications from 4th year medical students for a 3+3 program. Each year one of the designated surgery prelims is Plastics, thus they are not applying after 3 years of general surgery. In addition, they offer a position or two (depending on what's available) for a traditional plastics independent residency after general surgery. They have been attempting to go to a fully Integrated program, So the two residents who matched into Plastics did so into the combined program - no deal. NO ONE gets into PRS anymore with only 3 years of general surgery unless you are in an Integrated program.

    There is a large plastics lab with active research and as noted, students are fairly successful in getting plastics residencies. The Penn State department has pretty high standards and the faculty have some good connections. Unfortunately, they also have fired a number of residents over the years, so if you should match into their program you need to keep your nose to the textbooks, practice your surgical skills as often as possible, and keep a pleasant and appealing demeanor (ie, must be professional).

    3) I'm not sure what the number of residencies at each school as to do with anything. PSU has over 400 residents, so there's lots of company. PSU has Family Medicine residents but they don't actually spend any time in the main flagship hospital, but rather at a community hospital where FM has admitting privileges. PSU general surgery takes fewer categoricals per year than Buffalo but they are pretty successful in getting the residents whatever fellowships they want after graduation. At any rate, not sure what either of the above has to do with your decision.

    4) I think you would be mistaken to assume that students at Hershey "don't have a life". They are some of the happiest medical students I've seen. Hershey is not rural but rather suburban and granted you essentially have to have a car if you want to go out to dinner, museums, clubs, etc. I'm sure the students find lots to do. They had more time off than I did, and I was still able to go out, travel, etc. while I was a surgical resident.

    At any rate, it sounds as if you would prefer UB. I would talk to the faculty there and see what they have in the way of assisting students who wish to apply for residencies in programs that don't exist there. If the answer isn't satisfactory, then perhaps you have your decision.
     
  21. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this
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    BTW I was looking at Ortho and UB's matches have pretty different numbers from class to class. 2002 had only 1 Ortho match while 2003 had 5, 2004 had 6, 2005 had 3, 2006 had 3 and 2007 had 3. Weird how it was low then high then medium.

    But again it's really dependent on how many people actually want to do a particular specialty.
     
  22. Winged Scapula

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    Exactly. This is why matching lists are pretty useless when determining where to go to medical school. You have no idea how many people applied to Ortho (or specialty X), how many got one of their top choices, etc. Students make the common mistake of comparing numbers and where people matched into residency as a measure of quality of a medical school. Trouble is, if only 1 person applied to Ortho, that doesn't mean the school is of a lower quality but perhaps rather reflects the students who attend there or the mission statement or as you note, just the class make-up.
     
  23. khi bong

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    Kimberli cox,
    1. Thanks so much for your kind response. I see both pro and cons for each and I'll go to UB this weekend and monday. When I said "no life" I meant I don't have a lot of money to live with. With around 3k per year for personal and transportation, I also have an incoming wife too. Do you know if I can get some extra loan?
    2. Regading plastic, do you have any ideas about which way is more competitive ( integrated or independent). It sounds to me integrated (like Penn State) is more competitive. I don't know how many spots available for each. I just the total is about 93 spots per year.
    3. Do you mind if I ask what specialty you are? general surgery or subspecialties?
    4. Again, I really appreciated your input. This is what I'm looking for.
    KB
     
  24. HreComesTheSun

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    the problem is that websites and old match lists are pretty much all we have to go by. most of us won't really know faculty or former students (people who may have more insight into the match) of the schools we have been accepted to. i did email back and forth with a few student interviewers, but it wasn't too helpful...

    if you actually have suggestions on how we could better go about this for any med school, please share them
     
  25. Winged Scapula

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    I suggest you ignore this issue completely. I know of no US medical school in which well qualified applicants don't get the residency of their choice without some reason attributable to the candidate, not the school they attended.

    Your choice of medical school (if you are lucky enough to have a choice) should be based on a place in which you feel comfortable, like the location, curriculum and the price is right. If you can get information on other special interests - ie, ability to do research, time for an international elective, or residency matches, so much the better. But frankly, IMHO this information is the cherry on top - its nice, but the ice cream and fudgy topping is the best part.
     
  26. Winged Scapula

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    Since I wasn't a student at PSU and its been ages since I was a medical student, I wouldn't have any idea about loans.

    Having a wife would seem to make things better for you - she'll be working or a student too? Two cannot live as cheaply as one, but presuming she either has income from a job or loans, scholarships, it is cheaper to live together than separately.

    Integrated PRS is one of the most competitive specialties around these days. If there are 93 spots available, that's more than there used to be. Mind you, independent pathway PRS is also competitive, but less so.

    Just finishing my breast surgical oncology fellowship.

    Glad to be of help.
     
  27. HreComesTheSun

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    thanks for taking the time to do this :thumbup:

    what you say is very helpful and actually makes me lean alot more towards one school (which ironically is buffalo :laugh: )
     
  28. khi bong

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    Dear Kimberli,
    Thanks very much for this comment. So far, I feel a bit more comfortable at UB than PSU. But the main concern is where to get elective in year 3 for plastic and how can I make connection at UB (this place have only 1-2 plastic surgeon). :( I hope I'll find a good answer at UB this coming Monday.
    At PSU, student can have plastic elective at their 3rd year. This is EXTREMELY helpful for residency application. I don't know how much important for electives in year 4th because by that time, the application has been processed.
     

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