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How important do you think the location of the school is?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by schnauzr, May 26, 2008.

  1. schnauzr

    schnauzr New Member 2+ Year Member

    May 4, 2006
    I'm just trying to decide on which schools to apply to,
    and I can't really make up my mind up about some schools.
    I really like the feel of living in a big city,
    so I'm a little hesitant about the idea of going to schools that are located in rather rural areas.
    But I know I'll be studying indoors most of the time anyway,
    so it really shouldn't matter right?

    like.. Dartmouth in Hanover, SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, Case Western in Cleveland. (Syracuse and Cleveland are not exactly rural but they're both industrial cities which I personally would not enjoy living in)
    They're all fantastic schools but their locations make me a little skeptical if I'll be a good fit for those schools.

    What do you think?
    Any advice would be helpful.
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  3. Cegar

    Cegar 7+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Case Western is a bit of a dump. The campus isn't, but the location it's in is... less than prime.

    Syracuse isn't bad.

    Hanover is has 11,000 people. It's a nice, small, Northeastern town.

    In comparison to Syracuse and Cleveland, Hanover is heaven. However, I'm not sure what the housing prices are like. Ivies aren't generally near affordable neighborhoods.
  4. nu2004

    nu2004 5+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2008
    Los Angecagoveland
    Eh, the area due west of the campus (where the Cleveland Clinic is) isn't any great shakes, but it isn't terrible either, and the city is actively working to clean it up (Euclid corridor project finishing up this fall).

    I was pretty convinced that Cleveland was not for me when I went to interview. However, after A LOT of looking around, I have decided that Cleveland is actually a pretty nice smaller midwestern city. It has rough parts, and is perhaps more segregated than other cities of comparable size, but the area by the university (specifically, the Heights due east and south) is gorgeous, the traffic is easy as pie, and the cost of living is low. For what my condo in Chicago is worth I'm getting a 3bd/2.5ba coach home a mile from campus.

    The only thing Cleveland lacks, in my opinion, is the overwhelming array of ethnic good that can be found in a city the size of New York, LA, or Chicago. Other than that, it's more than livable. We'll see if I have the same opinion in 4 years...
  5. nu2004

    nu2004 5+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2008
    Los Angecagoveland
    The "industrial" area of Cleveland near the lake and under the skyway is actually sort of scenic nowadays. It combines nicely with the skyline to give a very urban feel, but it's not like the sky is choked with smoke or anything (quite the opposite, in fact). Having the lake in the first place is a big plus to which I had become accustomed (living 2 blocks from Lake Michigan in Chicago); our tour guide told us that Erie has been cleaned up a lot over the last 20+ years and that now the residents of lakeside cities are really starting to reap the benefits.

    I guess my main point is that location IS an important consideration, but don't be too prejudicial with your primary application submissions. If you get an interview, you'll have an opportunity to see a little of the campus and city; if you get an acceptance, you'll have a "Second Look" to get more acquainted with the general area. When I started the process, I wasn't too thrilled about some of the locations, but I applied broadly to maximize my chances of acceptance and found that some of my perceptions regarding location changed (e.g., Cleveland isn't so bad) or were reinforced (North Chicago = total dump). It's good you are thinking about this now, but apply broadly and you can be more discriminating later.

    gl :luck:
  6. Cegar

    Cegar 7+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Yeah. Midwestern cities.

    I'm not really used to such blatant segregation. Anything you'll hear out of my about Cleveland is pretty strongly biased. I'm sure it's not half-bad if you're used to it though.
  7. handbanana

    handbanana 2+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    I wouldn't be so sure. I've heard gunshots outside of my dorm on more than one occasion.
  8. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    It's important.
  9. Cegar

    Cegar 7+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    I know. I was lying.
  10. bcat85

    bcat85 10+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    It is kind of important... but it depends on what you want to do and where you want to be. SLU is sort of in the ghetto, but I like the big city atmosphere. Conversely, U of I placed me in peoria... a medium sized city with not a ton of crime. It wasn't really for me.. but its all about what you're comfortable with.
  11. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy 2+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2007
    if your unsure then apply anyways....after you get more than one acceptance then you can narrow down by location
  12. elderjack21

    elderjack21 10+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    If you want to see more interesting cases...then you probably want to go to a school in a larger population center. It also gives you more options for doing rotations without having to actually fly out to somewhere else.

    Cleveland has been cleaning up for the last 20 years....not likely going to get so much better in the next five years.
  13. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian 7+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    I think the location can be pretty important. For me, it's important to live in an urban area, not only because I always have and feel comfortable, but because I think I would see more diverse cases and have a more unique opportunity to learn about medical issues that I may not see in a rural environment.

    On the flip side, my brother is heading to Dartmouth Med in the fall and despite the more rural setting, he is excited to be surrounded by a new environment but one in which he knows he can focus and not have to worry about distractions.

    So I think location can mean different things to different people and I certainly think your comfort of an urban vs rural setting should be thought out. But I also think it can be helpful to think about the kind of learning environment you are going to be in and what you think would be beneficial to your medical education.
  14. Chemist0157

    Chemist0157 10+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    The location is very important. After all, we'll YEARS there attending medical school, and maybe residency.

    Size of the town doesn't really affect me: I come from a small town (11,000) and am used to that, but I could live in a big city. I think I would be happy with a city that had all the good stuff without being so big that it takes forever to get anywhere. Guess size doesn't really matter :).

    Safety is another big factor: I'll be married, and I'd like to know my wife is okay when I'm not home at night. I'd like to be safe too, lol.
  15. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. Emdee Jaydee Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    Ok, so this is how I looked at it when I was making up my list of schools to apply to: If it came down to it, would you rather go to med school in ________, or wait and reapply next year? If you know you wouldn't want to spend four years living in _____, and would rather reapply, then don't apply there in the first place. Obviously if you've never been there and have no idea it's harder to evaluate, but if you know yourself and/or have visited there before, use that info. Also, if you're an average applicant (or from CA), I'd suggest applying more broadly rather than narrowly. If you get invited for an interview at a school in a location you're dubious of, you can re-evaluate then if you want to actually go on the interview (i.e., see if you have other options or not). If you do take the interview slot, and you get accepted, then you'll just have to see what your options are and how you felt about the place when you interviewed there. Just remember to withdraw asap after interviewing if it's clearly somewhere you could not imagine going for four years.
  16. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Ditto. It's a distant second to price, but I'd put it pretty firmly as second most important factor.

    Location will give you an edge on residencies in a particular region due to exposure (both you to the programs and the programs to you).

    Location determines the patient base you'll be dealing with. There are some great programs out there in which 80% of your patients will be rural white folks. That's fine to some, not to others.

    Location shapes the school. It helps determine the hobbies and other opportunities you'll have outside of the class room. It also helps determine the type of students you'll be studying with. A prime difference between a NYC program and a rural program is tha the former self-selects for students wiling to live in NY and the latter self-selects for students willing to live in the sticks. This affects the class culture.

    It's important to pick a school whose location you can live with, but it's not important that you're over the moon about the place. You're going to be busy for four years. Make sure you can enjoy your downtime, but your downtime will be limited.

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