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Let the wars begin: UCI vs. USC. vs UCD

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Elastase, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. Elastase

    Elastase StanfUrd bound!!!
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    I was hoping we could have a discussion on these great/awesome Cali schools...

    UCI
    Advantages:
    PRIME-LC
    Small Class size (104)
    Cheap

    Disadvantages:
    Late actual patient contact (in 3rd year)


    UCD
    Advantages:
    Awesome Medical Center
    Smallest Class size (92?)
    Very integrated Curriculum
    Great Student-Run Clinics
    Cheap

    Disadvantages:


    USC:
    Advantages:
    Higher Ranked (Research, 32 vs. 47 for the other two)
    LA County (a lot of early clinical experience)


    Disadvatages:
    Expensive (Avg. indebtedness 140k)




    Which one would YOU chose? Anyone have anything else to add? (Medical center info, etc.) This isn't which school is best, but which one you would choose and why. Thanks!
     
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  3. temmie

    temmie Senior Member
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    UCI
    ADVANTAGES: more possibilities of scholarships

    honey, i will go for uci cos USC is too close to home for me, and i am currently going to UCLA, i dont want to have to change sides or risk getting mugged( just kidding).

    bring it on people
     
  4. gossmer

    gossmer Senior Member
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    What about location? Do you want to be somewhere more rural/lowkey or urban/busy? And I wouldn't make the decision based on cost. You'll pay off your loan relatively quickly either way and I think you'll regret it later if you decide solely on cost.
     
  5. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    In my opinion, UCD's biggest disadvantage is its rural location. I'd still go if accepted (just because it's a UC), but honestly I don't know how long it would be before it will slowly drive a city slicker like me mad! :) I know they're moving most of their stuff to Sacramento, but I don't think Sacramento is such a great city either. Terrible weather (by California standards) and really not much there, other than the government buildings.
     
  6. argonana

    argonana SDN Donor
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    there are a lot of claims that usc is a "rising research school." anyone know how solid such claims are?
     
  7. StevenRF

    StevenRF Senior Member
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    Kind of depends. I know there are a few mini hospitals that are specialized... cancer, eyes, etc. that have many opportunities. The professors all have their individual research projects. The main campus is about 5 min away by car if you want to do lab research not under a med school prof.

    Im an undergrad at SC and I do research in a combined project between a MD and Biomed Engineering Prof.

    I would say find what you want to do first, then see if any of the profs are doing it. USC is getting a crazy amount of donations that Sample is pumping into hard sciences and engineering. They just built a large computational biology building.
     
  8. jackets5

    jackets5 Senior Member
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    Id pick UCI. Best location of the three IMO, cant imagine a better place to live. about 2.5x cheaper than USC.
     
  9. Dakota

    Dakota Senior Member
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    As a non-californian I'm curious if anyone thinks there is a regional reputation difference between these three schools. As an OOS'er 'SC is the only Cali school that's really in the cards and I was curious as to it's regional rep. Is it a back up for in-staters, or would some of you guys pick 'SC over some of the UC's?
     
  10. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    I think that the general consensus amongst in-staters (other than those with special ties to USC) is that a UC acceptance, any UC, is a gift from the gods. You get roughly the same education at a bargin price. Stanford is another matter, the sheer prestige of the school may make some choose it over UCI or UCD, but I personally don't see anyone choosing USC over UCI or UCD. I would even choose UCI over Stanford; I highly doubt the "extra" education I would get at the 'furd would be worth the extra money. Of these three I would choose UCI; by far the best location (and close to my home!) with an excellent price-tag.

    Now then...why did you put me on hold, UCI!? :(
     
  11. Elastase

    Elastase StanfUrd bound!!!
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    Cost is definitely not the only or major factor. Its different for everybody.... Its a combination of where you want to live, the cost, reputation (which correlates to resources available at each school), curriculum, patient contact, student life, residency-match lists, etc...Its a bunch of different things. What makes it most frustrating is that all the schools are great. They have all made great impressions on me. I am looking forward to the second-look...to see who else might be joining the class, etc.

    Dakota: They are seen the same as reputation for the most part...They are all great schools...
     
  12. studentstudent

    studentstudent Senior Member
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    The one that accepts me.
     
  13. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    I :love: :love: :love: UCI.

    Sorry, just had to give my shout out. :)
     
  14. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Sacramento is definitely no LA. This is a plus for some, a minus for others. It's not a city that immediately grabs you and lots of folks leave with bad impressions, but given the chance, it's not a half-bad town. Not a first rate city, but not a really bad one either. And their hospitals are great. You get a very diverse patient body to treat.
     
  15. SanDiegoSOD

    SanDiegoSOD Milk was a bad choice
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    UCI, because it's the only of the three that's on my plate right now. :love:

    But seriously, that's a really tough choice, and for me there is no outright, obvious winner. If the financial aid package was crappy from USC, I would scrap that one and narrow it down to Davis and Irvine. Then I would probably choose Irvine, but only because I had a great interview experience and felt that the school was really a good fit for me. Maybe I'll feel the same way if I get the chance to interview with Davis. Who knows - I don't have the liberty of the choice right now ;)
     
  16. Re-Evolution

    Re-Evolution Member
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    Same here, I interviewed at UCI, and really could see myself living there for 4 years. Didn't get the same feel at USC.

    I would love to see davis if they'll give me an interview :mad:

    Oh well, I'm content for now, that big envelope from UCI made me feel better :D

    If I got into the 'furd, I'd probably choose it over UCI though, yeah it's just a name, but regardless of what people say, the name goes a long way down the line.
     
  17. jackets5

    jackets5 Senior Member
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    Stanford is a different story. Stanford is a top 10 school and has i believe the lowest indebtness of any school in the country as where USC is around 140k. Cant wait to interview at UCI, i would love an acceptance there
     
  18. qr321

    qr321 Member
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    Been "pending review" at UCI for months. I'd take UCI over USC and UCD.
     
  19. LoneCoyote

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    I'm a 2nd year at UCD and am procrastinating so I'll give you my 2 cents on UCD.

    UCD - Our class size is 96, so it is small. You really get to know your class. UCD is definitely not a super-competitive environment and that is really nice. It is all about yourself and your goals for yourself. I personally like not having the H/P/F and I think having P/F really reduces the stress. If you are into "honors," there are certain classes where you can get "honors" of a sort, a letter for your file. UCD gives you really good exposure to patients early on the student-run clinics, which is something some of friends at other schools have not had. UCDMC sees a really diverse patient population and the 3rd and 4th years seem very happy and impressed with the clinical education they get. I think incoming classes will benefit from everything being at UCDMC since the split campus can be a bit annoying at times. That said, there may be wrinkles the first year at UCDMC which is something to keep in mind. Sac is a cheaper place to live than most of the other UC locations. It is not the most exciting city in the world, but the Bay Area is close by.

    Bottom line: pick a school that makes you the happiest and where you think you will do the best. You will not have tons of free time in med school, but you want to pick a location where you will not be miserable either. Talk to 3rd and 4th years if you can and see what they think of the hospital and the clinical training. Ultimately, that is more important than the 1st 2 years. Good luck with your decision and if anyone has q's about UCD you can PM me.
     
  20. SanDiegoSOD

    SanDiegoSOD Milk was a bad choice
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    BTW - Maybe this is just a rumor, but I have heard that UCI students obtain the highest board scores in the UC system. :)
     
  21. Faust

    Faust Senior Member
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    UCI is wack. IT has a bad national reputation. My friend's UCI professor died there because someone forgot to put the oxygen tube. I would not even go there if they gave me a full ride. Orange County is wack, yo. Really wack. If I had to choose between death and living in orange county for four years, I'll probably choose death.

    UCDavis is also wack. It is like going to school in north dakota or something. Seriously wack. The sciences are weak at UCDavis. Too many cows.

    Keck is a different story. They are building all these new buildings which will attract new faculty and research dollars. USC is has a great reputation nationally. Great clinically training, but a pricey school. However, being a keck alumni goes a long way if you plan to stay in Los angeles or cali.
     
  22. Elastase

    Elastase StanfUrd bound!!!
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    Hi Faust,

    Have you interviewed at any of these schools?
     
  23. argonana

    argonana SDN Donor
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    Awesome. Right up my alley.

    I'm going to Davis in a couple weeks, and I'm excited to get a feel for the school...

    UCI is TOTALLY my least favorite because my app has been "pending review" for three months. :smuggrin:
     
  24. Uegis

    Uegis 1 Down 3 To Go
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    To follow up one what Lone Coyote said, UCD is truly an awesome school. I feel the P/F system fosters cooperativity in learning and rids a lot of unnecessary stress. Med school is hard enough as it is, grades would only make it worse. The student-run clinics are also great. Having been an undergrad here and going into clinic now as a MSI, I am still amazed at what I am allowed to do and what a privilege it is to be able to see patients so early on. The small class size is great too. I know everyone by name, though not on a perosnal level. But it can also be a drawback. I find myself trying to stay away from social functions because I get tired of seeing the same people over and over again. It's not that they're bad people, just need a break. The teaching here so far is pretty good too. Anatomy is awesome and I cannot imagine any group of professors better than the ones at UCD. And the new med school is going to be great. I seriously will miss Davis a lot, but I was over at the Cancer Center the other day and saw the structure of the new med school. It is HUGE! I'm sure you saw it on your interview day, but it is going to be awesome. HAving the hospital and the research facilities close by will definitely get rid of the old transition from Davis to Sac and help open up opportunities for med students to do research/shadow/etc. Sacramento really isn't that bad of a city. Davis is quite charming in and of itself. Lot's of young people and everything is accessible. It was named one of the last remaining TRUE college towns in America. Go Ags!
     
  25. SanDiegoSOD

    SanDiegoSOD Milk was a bad choice
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    I'm pretty sure that every school claims that their new buildings are going to bring them new research $$$ and higher rankings. I like USC a lot and hope to interview there, but I don't think anyone should put a lot of faith in its "coming on up" attitude on the US News rankings.
     
  26. Jaydiggity21

    Jaydiggity21 Member
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    You're an idiot...do you even know anything about UCD? It has some of the best science programs in california, and its research is starting to become more nationally recognized...mark my word, in 10 years, UCD will be top 20 in research.
     
  27. letmein!please?

    letmein!please? Senior Member
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    Me neither. Regardless, it would be real nice to do rotations in the brand new $1 billion hospital they are building...especially compared to the old, earthquake-damaged one right now. US News rankings aside, I do feel that 20 years from now USC will be a much more prestigious research institution (not just Medical) than it is now. As an undergrad, I have seen in just 4 years how much smarter each freshman class is, and there is lots of money going into things other than our football team, like a new Neuroscience building they just put in. I love being a Trojan :love:
     
  28. dynx

    dynx Yankee Imperialist
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    Since the upside of UCD has been expressed I'll give the down side from the inside.

    -No honors is bad for some, as someone mentioned you can get a letter in your file saying you performed at an honors level, but the only way most people know this is after recieving one, most of my classmates are unaware...imagine finding this out at the end of your four years when you were told all along it was P/F.

    which brings me to my next point...

    -the administration sucks. No kidding, I love it here, im happy, it was my second choice behind UCSF and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else, but the administration structures your time in an attempt to make everyone exceptionally mediocre rather than letting people excell in thier own way. Your time will be occupied with useless crap that looks great from the outside so that we can pioneer a 4 year "doctoring" course where you will be pulled from real patients in order to talk to actors. No one will care if you make the correct diagnosis so long as you cry with the patient...bring a drum.

    -Split campus means difficulty conducting research till at least 2007, if you want to do clinical research in years one or two, it IS harder to do it here.

    As far as the up side, Id like to say:
    cheap - no way I'd go to USC over a UC, I may have gone to Stanford over a UC (except LA or UCSF) the name justifies the cost in a way USC doesnt.

    nice town - I liked davis. You can walk home at 3 am and not worry about a damn thing. Sacramento...to busy in 3rd year to really notice it.

    Clinics - like no where else, you can get all the patient interaction you want as early as you want.

    good luck with the decision.
     
  29. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Davis is a great school, but you're crazy if you think Davis will be top 20 in research in 10 years.
     

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