ecoscuba

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Ok, so I got accepted into a few schools including my state school and some nifty private schools.

However, after going over the financial aid forms, the financial reality of the situation is starting to sink in. I want to go into academic medicine, and am not after a large paycheck and am consequently having trouble justifying the additional $100K in debt that I would accrue if I went to a private school.

My pros for going to the private instead of state are:
1. better reputation
2. better curriculum

Cons:
1. significantly higher cost (both tuition and cost of living)

My pros for going to the public
1. know people here (have some political sway)
2. own a house here already (living costs go toward mortgage)

Cons:
1. Ok reputation

Arguments:
I could svae a buttload of money going to a state school and still do my residency and fellowship at more prestigous instituitions.

Summer opportunities for research are the same as I plan on going elsewhere for both private and state.

The crux of the matter is:
Is a neater curriculum and better rep of a med school really worth $100K extra in debt when my residency and fellowship are going to be what matters most in my research career? Especially if I am after an academic research position (meaning it will be much more difficult for me to pay off debt).

Thanks for the input.
 

tinkerbelle

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private schools won't necessarily mean more debt... some schools give good financial aid packages (i.e. more grants and scholarships verses just plain old loans)

i've gotten into a few schools as well, and i'm going the the cheapest school... unless i get into a top 10 school. I can justify paying extra $$ for a top school.
 

housemd

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tinkerbelle said:
private schools won't necessarily mean more debt... some schools give good financial aid packages (i.e. more grants and scholarships verses just plain old loans)

i've gotten into a few schools as well, and i'm going the the cheapest school... unless i get into a top 10 school. I can justify paying extra $$ for a top school.
why would you double post? And yes, reputation does matter, if you are looking to go into academic medicine. Any school in the top 20 will get you where you want to go. That is not to say that your state school will not get you there, it will jus be a bit more difficult.
 
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ecoscuba

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housemd said:
why would you double post? And yes, reputation does matter, if you are looking to go into academic medicine. Any school in the top 20 will get you where you want to go. That is not to say that your state school will not get you there, it will jus be a bit more difficult.
The thing is, if I plan on doing my reseach elsewhere and not necessarily at the institution i am attending for school, it may not matter as far as research is concerned. And secondly I double posted because I was getting an error message when the forum was having its database issue today, and just hit back and hit post again (with the same error message). I just refreshed the forum and saw that it posted twice.
 
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ecoscuba

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tinkerbelle said:
private schools won't necessarily mean more debt... some schools give good financial aid packages (i.e. more grants and scholarships verses just plain old loans)

i've gotten into a few schools as well, and i'm going the the cheapest school... unless i get into a top 10 school. I can justify paying extra $$ for a top school.

That is true, but not in my scenario. In my case, the debt will be 100K more.
 

monstermatch

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Your success in med school depends entirely on your own effort and drive - MD curriculum is very standardized and you're going to learn the same stuff no matter where you go. Unless your state school is crummy or deficient in some important area, you'll be fine if you stay in state - every state med school produces some superior applicants that get into great programs.

That said, if you are 100% certain that you want to go into a competitive specialy in academic medicine, THEN you should consider a big name university. Elitist fields are predjudiced towards elitist universities, and some fields like rad onc are so small that its essential to go to a big name school. Plus, realize that when you are applying for funding once you're on faculty, your academic credentials can really help when you submit that grant request.

Still, you can get into elite fields from a state school if you're a good candidate - you may be limited geographically tho as far as where you are offered interviews. However, if you are savvy, do some away rotations 4th year at big name programs/do some good research/get a letter from a famous chairman/become buddies with a proram director, you can overcome any hurdle other than poor rec letters. That'll sink you no matter your grades/school/boards.