Loyola (Stritch) vs. URochester

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Mar 27, 2020
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I'd first like to provide some background on myself. I am a traditional applicant born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. I think I would like to match in Chicago as most of my family and close friends having been living in Chicago their whole lives. I am not dead set on any competitive residencies such as derm, ortho, or ophthalmology but I am also not against them. Essentially I am open to really any specialty whether it be IM, Neuro, Radiology, EM, etc... While I do enjoy teaching and research, I am not dead set on academic medicine and think I would be happier as a clinician. I do, however, want to match to an academic program rather than a community program for residency. Please see pros and cons list below:
Loyola (Stritch)
  • Close to home (about 45 minutes without traffic). This will allow me to visit home on weekends whenever I like. I had a similar luxury during undergrad (about 2hrs from home) which was really nice.
  • Great hospital in an area that will give me exposure to a wide range of conditions in a diverse patient population. Also many home residency programs that would be easier to match to coming from Stritch.
  • Match list for class of 2020 was very solid. Also, many of the matches were to Chicago and nearby schools (Loyola, Rush, Northwestern, UChicago, MCW, etc...) that I would love to match to myself.
  • A close friend of mine from childhood is an M1 currently and another close friend of mine from childhood is going to be an M1 next year=> already have friends and a roomate.
  • A little too close to home. My family can be a little bit of a distraction as can my hometown friends.
  • Not a lot of research funding according to MSAR (about 17 million). I am worried that finding research won't be easy which is a big con if I decide I want to match to a competitive specialty.
  • USNWR research ranking of 88. I don't know how much these rankings matter honestly. In residency PD rankings it is 61 which is better, but again I have heard all these rankings are flawed and don't matter beyond T20. I would love input on this regard.
  • Stritch's curriculum seems fairly traditional (2+2). While I do think early clinical exposure is important, if the curriculum is tried and true then i'm not really worried.
  • Plenty of research funding, so I feel like finding interesting research as a medical student won't be difficult.
  • More prestigious with USNWR ranking of 34? Again, I don't know the validity of these rankings. I would love to know if there is any significant difference between the reputations of these two schools.
  • Smaller class size (104 vs. 165). I feel this translates to more focus on each student by faculty and administration.
  • Very early clinical exposure beginning January of M1. This is exciting, although it does seem a little 'too' early...
  • I don't know anyone in Rochester. While I am not scared to have to throw myself in a new environment, it is not necessarily ideal. Rochester also isn't the most desirable city to live in.
  • Far from chicago. I would have to buy a plane ticket whenever I want to visit home.
  • Lectures are not recorded. While I understand the benefits of this system, I don't think I will like it. I would use lecture recordings for many of my classes in undergrad and I really liked being able to pause and rewind the videos as I pleased when taking notes.
  • Would going to UR decrease my chances of matching to Chicago in comparison to Loyola?
COA is negligible at the moment as I will likely be paying almost full price for both institutions. Thank you all in advance for your input!

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Rochester will have more opportunities for research and connections, imo. Med school is 4 years and while you might not be able to visit your family as frequently if you're at Rochester, I think it will set you up for more success going forward, especially if you're interested in academic medicine/prestigious fields. At the same time, happiness matters so just keep that factored in : )
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I agree. Based on what you wrote I think Rochester would provide you with more opportunities to reach your goals.
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I can’t speak to the surrounding areas of Rochester, but it probably isn’t anything close to Chicago. That + the non-recorded lectures is enough for me to keep Loyola in play, despite the lower rank.

I think if you want to match back to the Midwest and you’re happier at Loyola, choose Loyola. But if want to go to a school for a new experience and a strong background with research, I don’t think you'll have a problem getting back to the Midwest either.
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Just graduated Ned school. You sound like you would prefer Loyola. U Rochester is more snow. Stronger for some departments (ortho, derm). Still think Loyola sounds like better fit for you and lots of other med schools for research/letters with aways if you needed it. From MD allopathic you will match academic program. Do well on the Steps good luck!