msafain

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Hey guys, I’m an incoming first year and I need to decide which school to go to. I’ve been accepted at a bunch of different schools including Columbia, Upitt, NYU, and Umass Med. If any of you could help me out be telling me how you chose your own school, and secondly if any of you go to the schools listed above could you give me what you think is best about that school. Thanks I would really appreciate it.
 
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8744

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Like real estate: Location, Location, Location.

Go where you want to live or where the tuition and cost of living is lowest, assuming it is much lower at one school making it a factor.

"Prestige" and "ranking" are factors, I suppose, but not that important once you matriculate. All US medical schools are good and you will get a decent education and residency out of any of them if you put in the work.
 

automaton

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columbia - top ten, sort of manhattan, student friendliness is questionable
pitt - location blows, good rep getting better, student friendly it seems
nyu - great part of manhattan, ok rep, maybe meet oliver sacks? :)
umass - dunno

i think it would be a tough decision. for student friendliness i think pitt is great, heard nothing but good things about that place. i heard columbia is quite malignant but everyone has different experiences i guess. nyu is in one of the best parts of manhattan - great if you love the city.
 

doc05

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the only schools you should consider are Columbia and UMass. Pitt and NYU are very good schools, but only the Columbia name can justify the exorbitant tuition.

depending on what residencies you are thinking about, Columbia's reputation may be a key important factor in getting a coveted residency spot. So unless you are 100% certain that you'll be doing a primary care field, Columbia is a better choice.

Of course if Pitt or NYU offers a generous financial aid package, they are also great choices. Just not as great as Columbia.
 

SarahGM

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1. Our student body is NOT "malignant." Where DO people get these things?

2. Our financial aid is AWESOME! I've said this so much that I sound like a broken record by now. It was cheaper to come here than to my state school (UNC).

I don't know much about the other schools, but P&S is committed to developing the individual outside of the classroom -- not just incredible up and coming physicians. Do you remember hearing about the P&S club? That was a huge factor in my decision.
 

Law2Doc

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doc05 said:
the only schools you should consider are Columbia and UMass. Pitt and NYU are very good schools, but only the Columbia name can justify the exorbitant tuition.

depending on what residencies you are thinking about, Columbia's reputation may be a key important factor in getting a coveted residency spot. So unless you are 100% certain that you'll be doing a primary care field, Columbia is a better choice.

Of course if Pitt or NYU offers a generous financial aid package, they are also great choices. Just not as great as Columbia.
The above post is the reasoning I would use. Either go to the best school (rankings/prestige-wise) you got into in a cool city, or, if money is a big concern, go to the dirt cheap state school in the dirt cheap cost of living city (Worcester). You'd need a strong specific reason (eg. you positively hated Columbia or positively loved one of the others) for Pitt or NYU to make the analysis.
 

worriedwell

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I can speak about both NYU and Columbia to some degree as I have friends at both schools...

Actually, I know a number of people that got into Pitt and NYU and chose NYU. They probably have a roughly equal reputation in the grand scheme of things (unless you are into something very particular). If you look at NYU's match list, they perform very well, probably just outside of the handful of great schools match lists (of which Columbia is probably one of them). Columbia is definitely top dog in terms of academic prestige in New York City. But there are some who are put off by the place. And regarding match lists, its mostly about the individual's participating rather than their school, but sometimes the benefit of the doubt goes to school prestige it seems. Some doors may be more open to you than others at the name places, of which probably UMass doesn't have as much of a national weight (but thats just my opinion).

I agree about financial concerns, as they come into play more than you realize and become an added stressor. If you are financially well off, then go wherever you think you'd be happiest (and some would argue that if its only a matter of being in debt an extra 10 grand a year, then still go to whichever place you'll be happiest). But if the debt difference is on the level of hundreds of thousands of dollars, then it probably makes sense to use that as a factor (but not the only factor). I believe Columbia has better financial aid than NYU, not sure about pitt.

In the end, go where you think you will be personally the happiest given the combination of variables that are most important to you. There are too many people who are prestige junkies who think that it should be a no brainer for you to go to Columbia, unless you just want to do private practice primary care in massachusetts, then they say just go to umass because it is cheaper. I don't totally agree with that because personal happiness is a big deal and NYU and Pitt are both extremely stellar medical schools that have different things to offer.
 

Super Rob

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CONGRATULATIONS on some incredible acceptances! What a great position to be in.

I had a similar decisions to make last year and I went with the big name, big city school. Shop around - see what they give you for financial aid. You pretty much know what you're going to get from UMASS already, and if you're interested in doing primary care in-state... I don't need to say any more. If you graduate with a degree from Columbia, you will be able to do whatever you want. As your advisor would say, "The sky is the limit."

The good news is that you're not trying to choose between traditional and pbl. Big difference - very tough call. I guess your decision comes down to whether or not you think your school will have the opportunities you want as a med student, whether or not it will set you up for the sort of life you want after graduation, location, and financial aid.

Don't know much about Pitt. NYU was a great place - location, Bellevue, lots of academic tracks and well organized student groups. I've said location twice now: what's really important about location is that it gives you access to the sort of lifestyle and patient populations that you are interested in. It's taken me a long time to get used to the big city after spending five years at a place called "Puffer's Pond." ;) One thing I love about the big city is that there is a huge variety of people and many opportunities to pursue whatever you are interested in academically and socially.

I have a friend at Columbia who loves it. I also work with an alumnus. Great school. Consider it carefully. I'm surprised you didn't apply to the rest of the NYC schools. Don't know much about Pitt. Obviously a great school. UMASS is a gem and the price is right. If you are not particularly interested in primary care, and unless you have a particular attachment to it, I would consider other schools. And that's my incredibly biased opinion.




----------------------------
Go UMASS!


msafain said:
Hey guys, I’m an incoming first year and I need to decide which school to go to. I’ve been accepted at a bunch of different schools including Columbia, Upitt, NYU, and Umass Med. If any of you could help me out be telling me how you chose your own school, and secondly if any of you go to the schools listed above could you give me what you think is best about that school. Thanks I would really appreciate it.
 

automaton

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i wasn't necessarily talking about the student body.
 

missbonnie

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ok my very biased answer (and sorta my job to promote P&S anyway!)

we have a lot of fun! We just had our last Society of Bacchus event - 8 champagnes including Dom Perignon with a full sit down dinner then post party at a club downtown.
classmates are great!
i think we have way more diversity here than NYU in terms of student body
a NYU med student who is studying here for a yr was compeltey amazed at how different it is here - especially things like the P&S club, our coffeehouse, and Bard Hall Players - *3* full theater productions a yr.
if u have any interest in psych, neuro, def go here but u probably don't know.
come to revisit for sure and meet us!

bonnie
 

TheRussian

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Here are two things that I didn't consider when I was making the decision but that now seem to be the most important to me.

1. Get to know your potential future classmates. In other words, go to second look weekend and meet other students planning on going to that school and decide if they are the type of people that you want to spend the next four years with. Past classes may have been great but there is no guarantee your class will be the same so go see for yourself. Your classmates can make your experiences really enjoyable or extremely miserable.

2. Find out average amount of class time (including lab) per day at those schools. Being able to be done with school by noon on most days not only gives you plenty of time to study but also plenty of time to have fun. Related to this also see how the exams are distributed (block of exams or spread out). If your exams are spread out then you'll always be studying for one exam or another. If you have block exams then you'll have weeks where you can relax.

The argument here about reputation is an irrelevant one I think. I don't see a huge difference between Columbia, Pitt, and NYU. None of them are going to give you an advantage in getting a residency that the other one won't. As for UMass, if you really want to be a clinician in Mass then UMass is as good as the other three.
 

fourthyearmed

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How did I chose my medical school???

They chose me.

Isn't there any one else on here that wasn't accepted to 20 schools?
 
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msafain

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Thanks for all the help. Ive taken all your comments into mind. My decision has been even made more complicated by getting unexpected admission to Penn and Yale. I will be going to most of the second look weekends and hopefully be struck by one school. Once again, thanks to you all.
 

worriedwell

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Congratulations on being in a very successful position having been accepted to some of the best medical schools in the world. In your case, since you seem to have the academic and intangible factors that go into being accepted to all of these great schools, I urge you to really go where you think you will be happiest. All of the schools you are thinking about will not prohibit you from anything and most of them (maybe with the exception of UMass, but I don't know about their research) will put you in a position to work with some very big time researchers while getting great clinical training. You will be able to succeed and do any residency that you want if you work towards it at any of these places. The common factor is you in this equation and working in an environment where you feel most comfortable does make a difference. Decide what are the important factors (definitely not ignoring gut feelings) and go to that place. Each place has their own nuances but I urge you to not worry about the details of prestige or money too much, because your happiness should take priority during an important 4 years of growth and stress and learning.

Best of luck with your decision.