Hopkins vs Sinai vs Cornell (WL)

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Guggenburg

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Hello everyone! I just wanted to first state how grateful I am for how well my cycle has gone, I definitely never expected it. I am having an extremely difficult time choosing between these two (possibly three) schools and would appreciate any and all advice that you guys could offer me. I'll list my pros and cons for each school below. I'll also write down some quick info on me that might inform your understanding of my pros and cons.

- Born and raised in NYC, went to undergrad in Long Island and I didn't like how I was useless without a car (I don't have a permit).
- FGLI/URM/Low-income -> Finances are king
- Interested in Internal medicine (allergy/immunology) and possibly derm? (only competitive residency that calls me in any way) -> Hoping to match to top IM residencies
- Interested in health equity research, working with underserved patient populations, maybe interested in an MPH?
- I value my social support system A LOT (friends & family)

Hopkins
Pros:
  • SLW was amazing??? Prospective students, M1s, and the overall vibe at the school seemed fire. Definitely did not get the gunner/cutthroat/competitive vibe that people attribute to the undergrad. Obviously, SLW is not reflective of the usual vibe at the school, but even those who kept it 'real' never really mentioned anything that seemed bad. Met a lot of cool potential classmates.
  • Full COA covered, $0 debt -> Technically??
  • P/F all 4 years -> It's up for debate next year but faculty seem to believe that it might stay?
  • No AOA
  • Possibility to do an MPH at the best institution for it?
  • Seems like it is easy to get funded for summer research programs.
  • It's Hopkins lol, which would set me up nicely to go anywhere and for anything for residency as long as I do my part -> No barriers in residency match

Cons:
  • Far from family and friends (compared to NYC) -> 2hr 50 min train ride away. My parents are going through some health scares and I would like to stay closer by so that I can be there in any worst-case scenario. Overall I'll just be able to spend more time with my family and friends (time is money!!!!)
  • Baltimore -> I grew up in the hood so I don't care that it's rough, but as someone who grew up in NYC, Baltimore is definitely lacking in almost every social and quality of life department -> Bad home rave scene (though close to DC), no fashion scene, I would probably need a car???
  • Remember how $0 debt? Well, I would need to invest in a car so I would probably end up with $10k debt (since transportation costs would cover insurance/gas)
  • No free clinic
  • I've heard that admin is at times self-serving/patronizing. They canceled med prom and are usually not responsive to student feedback -> They seem to care about their reputation too much and this is a big reason preventing the establishment of a free clinic. Not sure how real this all is though.
Sinai
Pros:
  • NYC, NYC, NYC -> I retain my existing social circle, able to continue enjoying my hobbies (raving, fashion, etc). Also and probably most important of all, I get to stay near my parents which should improve my own stress and mental health since I will always be a subway ride away from them.
  • I have strong established connections with allergy/immunology faculty and researchers at Sinai as well as general admin at Sinai that would make it substantially easier to do anything that I might be interested in.
  • A strong primary immunodeficiency clinic present that would allow me to work on clinical research that I am super passionate about
  • Don't need a car AT ALL!!!! -> I do not have to waste money on a car that I will not use after Baltimore lol (I plan on doing residency at Boston or coming back to NYC and then settling in NYC)
  • No AOA
  • EHHOP clinic is apparently like a model free clinic that many schools around the country aim at emulating (heard from the grapevine)
  • This is like my dream patient population as I grew up in the neighboring community and have been a patient here my whole life. Feels like a full-circle moment where I'd be able to give back to the community (whether clinically, through research, or even through service)

Neutral:
  • Unsure of how hard it is to get summer research funded?

Cons:
  • It is not as strong of a name as Hopkins -> Feels super minimal tbh, and I don't have insane career plans tbh as I enjoy internal medicine too much
  • $33k-16k debt after all 4 years -> Unsure of the exact cost for all 4 years as I am not sure if my scholarships increase concerning increasing yearly COA or if they remain static all 4 years. Also, I would probably be able to have some costs lowered if I decided to dorm with my parents or get free meals from them lol.
  • Missed SLW (same as Hopkins), so I am unsure about the class dynamics/vibes. I have heard that Sinai cares a lot about wellness from others and that it is a cool/chill environment so maybe not that big of a deal. Know 2 M1s here tho so I have some company.
  • Graded clinicals which might suck BADLY compared to P/F clinicals at Hopkins -> Have heard that grading might be lenient and that the overall culture at Sinai isn't the most competitive?

Cornell
Pros: Honestly Cornell is probably a better version of Sinai so this one feels easier to write out
  • $0 COA (projected as they are debt-free and I am beyond poor) -> Big tbh
  • NYC again and everything that comes with
  • Layman prestige similar to JH -> Minimal to me

Neutral:
  • Don't have the same connections at Cornell compared to Sinai (similar starting point as JHU)

Cons: A lot of these are coming from others as I wasn't able to go to SLW
  • Not sure of the school vibes, have heard contradicting things regarding the culture here
  • AOA before match and graded clinicals -> more stress and probably the only real con of this list
  • Heard that receiving funded summer research is competitive
  • Weak primary immunodeficiency clinic/program (worse than JHU and Sinai) -> Isn't necessary

Sorry for the long post! But I think this is it! Please do let me know

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Disclosure: A at Hopkins, did not interview at Sinai or Cornell.

When you say immunodeficiency clinic, do you mean hiv? If so, Hopkins has one of the best HIV programs in the world in terms of clinical practice and clinical, translational, and basic science research. This is true for both the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health, so I'd imagine you wouldn't have a hard time finding faculty members who share your research interests. But you're right that there's no student-run clinic...
 
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Disclosure: A at Hopkins, did not interview at Sinai or Cornell.

When you say immunodeficiency clinic, do you mean hiv? If so, Hopkins has one of the best HIV programs in the world in terms of clinical practice and clinical, translational, and basic science research. This is true for both the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health, so I'd imagine you wouldn't have a hard time finding faculty members who share your research interests. But you're right that there's no student-run clinic...
I meant primary immunodeficiencies which are genetic disorders that make patients immunocompromised (CVID, Ig deficiencies, etc). Hopkins does have a clinic for this (at Bayview) so it's definitely not a negative for Hopkins. Its just that I think Sinai has a stronger overall immunology program (I believe) and I already have connections with the director of this clinic.
 
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Disclaimer: On the Sinai WL

I’m going to go with Sinai because of the support system and family health scares. It’s not an issue at all if that’s important to you and you should be there if you want to.

I will say if you are considering Hopkins then you can’t really say getting a car for $10k is a con when that’s still 3x cheaper than whatever Sinai is offering you. I just wanted to say that I laughed a bit when I read that lol
 
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Disclaimer: On the Sinai WL

I’m going to go with Sinai because of the support system and family health scares. It’s not an issue at all if that’s important to you and you should be there if you want to.

I will say if you are considering Hopkins then you can’t really say getting a car for $10k is a con when that’s still 3x cheaper than whatever Sinai is offering you. I just wanted to say that I laughed a bit when I read that lol
Oh lol totally on the second part. I just wanted to add that to show that the COA difference between the two schools would be less than it appears (10k vs 16-33k). But I totally get that lololol.
 
Oh lol totally on the second part. I just wanted to add that to show that the COA difference between the two schools would be less than it appears (10k vs 16-33k). But I totally get that lololol.

I get that part, but I feel like it makes the case for Sinai even stronger because it seems like you really want to go to Sinai but can’t let go of the full COA at Hopkins so you’re subconsciously looking for more cons at Hopkins to push you to Sinai

I’m not in your position but I can imagine how difficult it would be to let go of a full COA offer at Hopkins. However, if it’s not where you want to be then it’s just not where you want to be. It’s not like it’s Hopkins vs SUNY Downstate (no shame to downstate, just listing a school close to OP that is out of Hopkins’ league). Mt Sinai is an incredibly prestigious school that will set you up well. I really can’t imagine Hopkins opening that many more doors that Sinai cannot
 
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This is late as hell, but you can definitely get a car on the living expenses that hopkins provides (~32k a year) as long as you cut a little down on housing with a roommate without additional loans.
 
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