Jun 7, 2012
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So I know this has been discussed some, but I've been thinking a lot and would really like some advice on a particular situation (Though I'm sure it would fit for many others). I have been very fortunate to be accepted to a handful of schools, but I'm really deciding between two. Here are a couple specs on them:

School A
-Cheaper, I'm sure even more so after fin aid comes out this spring.
- Ranked higher by a fairly large margin.
- In a city I don't really like.
- Matches really well, but I wouldn't want to match at their affiliated residencies (Again, location).

School B
- More expensive
- About middle of USNews rankings.
- Really like the city.
- Not as good match list, but I would love to match join their affiliated residencies. Really great hospital.

What should I do? I realize most people would say I'm crazy for not picking the better, less expensive school, but I honestly don't think I would be as happy there. Any advice would be very appreciated.
 

mcloaf

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Jan 21, 2012
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I realize most people would say I'm crazy for not picking the better, less expensive school
Put me in this category. It's only four years, most of which you're going to spend in the library and hospital.
 
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Oct 19, 2013
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I would pick the cheaper one, but that's just me.
 
Aug 12, 2013
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So I know this has been discussed some, but I've been thinking a lot and would really like some advice on a particular situation (Though I'm sure it would fit for many others). I have been very fortunate to be accepted to a handful of schools, but I'm really deciding between two. Here are a couple specs on them:

School A
-Cheaper, I'm sure even more so after fin aid comes out this spring.
- Ranked higher by a fairly large margin.
- In a city I don't really like.
- Matches really well, but I wouldn't want to match at their affiliated residencies (Again, location).

School B
- More expensive
- About middle of USNews rankings.
- Really like the city.
- Not as good match list, but I would love to match join their affiliated residencies. Really great hospital.

What should I do? I realize most people would say I'm crazy for not picking the better, less expensive school, but I honestly don't think I would be as happy there. Any advice would be very appreciated.
I'm in the same exact situation, except my School B is higher ranked than School A (but all else being the same). I'm waiting to see the final official financial aid package (as well as hearing back from a couple of other non-rolling schools) and doing a look-back weekend before making that decision. It's hard to make such an important decision without all of the information.
 
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Jun 7, 2012
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Put me in this category. It's only four years, most of which you're going to spend in the library and hospital.
Thanks for the advice already. During the residency application process then, what control would I have over choosing a hospital in a different area? I agree that four years isn't bad, but staying for eight or more is obviously a bit different.
 

eefen

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May 31, 2012
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What is the price difference here? If it's like $10k, then sure, go for the city you like. If it's more like $100k, then I'd say you'll probably be happier later just going with the cheaper one.

Unless it's in Detroit...;)





Kidding...



...sort of...
 

DokterMom

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How certain are you about liking or not liking the two cities? And if you don't mind sharing, what are your reasons? Weather? Cultural? Political? Terrain? How much do you know about the two cities? It's easy to have preconceived notions that are completely wrong...

Also, how much cost difference are you talking about? At current terms, every $10,000 of debt translates into about $115/month payback. Do the math. And don't think that because you'll likely be earning $200,000 or so means you won't notice $1,500 per month. You will...
 

mvenus929

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Thanks for the advice already. During the residency application process then, what control would I have over choosing a hospital in a different area? I agree that four years isn't bad, but staying for eight or more is obviously a bit different.
You can apply wherever you want for residency. I applied to programs in the same state as my med school because they were convenient, not necessarily because I have a strong desire to stay in state. I'm also applying to several programs on the other coast. If I can at all avoid it, I will not stay at my school for residency, not because I don't like the program, but because I really want to live somewhere else.

But how much control you have in where you end up? That will depend on what your application looks like and what you are applying to. If you're going for derm, for instance, you're not going to have as much say in where you go as you would going into medicine.

Also, FWIW, I went to the more expensive school. But it was also better ranked, had happier people, and was in a nicer area. Sounds like you have a few more factors to weigh.
 
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Jun 7, 2012
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How certain are you about liking or not liking the two cities? And if you don't mind sharing, what are your reasons? Weather? Cultural? Political? Terrain? How much do you know about the two cities? It's easy to have preconceived notions that are completely wrong...

Also, how much cost difference are you talking about? At current terms, every $10,000 of debt translates into about $115/month payback. Do the math. And don't think that because you'll likely be earning $200,000 or so means you won't notice $1,500 per month. You will...
This is a really informative post, thank you. I'm pretty familiar with both areas, so I can say with a lot of confidence which I like more. Your point on financial differences is a really helpful one though. Thank you very much for the input.
 
OP
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Jun 7, 2012
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You can apply wherever you want for residency. I applied to programs in the same state as my med school because they were convenient, not necessarily because I have a strong desire to stay in state. I'm also applying to several programs on the other coast. If I can at all avoid it, I will not stay at my school for residency, not because I don't like the program, but because I really want to live somewhere else.

But how much control you have in where you end up? That will depend on what your application looks like and what you are applying to. If you're going for derm, for instance, you're not going to have as much say in where you go as you would going into medicine.

Also, FWIW, I went to the more expensive school. But it was also better ranked, had happier people, and was in a nicer area. Sounds like you have a few more factors to weigh.
Thanks a lot. I've heard though that the best possibilities for landing residencies are actually at your own program. As an M4, how much would you say that factors in?
 
May 31, 2013
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You could go to the second look weekends, get a sense of your classmates, walk around the town, and check yourself on where you would actually be happy.
 

mvenus929

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Thanks a lot. I've heard though that the best possibilities for landing residencies are actually at your own program. As an M4, how much would you say that factors in?
Again, it depends. There are 24 people in my class going into my specialty. Our program only has 12 slots. So clearly, most of our class is going to go away for residency. In general, 1-3 people stay per year. Our program director is pretty awesome, though, and supports our efforts to go where we want. When I got rejected from my top choice, she helped pull some strings that ended up with me getting an interview.

Obviously, there's a lot of inbreeding at the larger, top programs, but some of that has to do with the fact that people like the programs there and want to stay, not because they end up there because they didn't match somewhere else. If you want to leave for residency, in general, you should be able to make it happen.

That said, a good thing to ask students (M4s) at the schools you are looking at is just how supportive the faculty/administration is in the residency application process and how much mentorship there is in picking where to apply. I've heard of several schools where the support is less than ideal.
 
Jun 18, 2013
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California
So I know this has been discussed some, but I've been thinking a lot and would really like some advice on a particular situation (Though I'm sure it would fit for many others). I have been very fortunate to be accepted to a handful of schools, but I'm really deciding between two. Here are a couple specs on them:

School A
-Cheaper, I'm sure even more so after fin aid comes out this spring.
- Ranked higher by a fairly large margin.
- In a city I don't really like.
- Matches really well, but I wouldn't want to match at their affiliated residencies (Again, location).

School B
- More expensive
- About middle of USNews rankings.
- Really like the city.
- Not as good match list, but I would love to match join their affiliated residencies. Really great hospital.

What should I do? I realize most people would say I'm crazy for not picking the better, less expensive school, but I honestly don't think I would be as happy there. Any advice would be very appreciated.
Rankings don't mean much if you don't perform well while you're there. I would go to the place where you feel like you would be the most successful (i.e. probably the place where you would be happier).
 

GopherMD

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Rankings don't mean much if you don't perform well while you're there. I would go to the place where you feel like you would be the most successful (i.e. probably the place where you would be happier).
Agree with this. Go where you feel most comfortable/happy.