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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Frica99, Dec 7, 2005.
Thanks for any thoughts on this decision. . .
Have you walked around both campuses and talked with students? The schools have very very different feels to them, kinda like comparing apple tarts to mountain bikes - how do you compare? Both have advantages and disadvantages, what are you looking for in a school?
If you go just by stats, Rush would probably come out on top. I haven't interviewed at Loyola (yet, hopefully) but I have heard has a great and friendly environment. They are both good schools, which place did you feel most comfortable at?
awesome thread guys - i'm currently torn between these two schools also!
I'm curious what you mean by "just by stats"? Do you mean match stats or AAMC stats cause I actually thought the opposite.
The first two years at Loyola looked a little more structured and manageable. Facilities wise, I would say Loyola is way on top. However, I have heard good things about year 3 and 4 at Rush.
What are you looking for in a school? What is important to you? What type of students do you want to be in school with? Where do you want to live? What specialty do you want to eventually work in? What will you do during the summers? What will you do AFTER class? (eg, have you seen Loyola's fitness center?) How important is "student happiness?" Are you more of a traditional, or non-traditional applicant? Help us out a bit, and maybe we can provide a better answer. In terms of numbers, I think these two schools are close enough that the numbers don't really matter.
Holy questions, but thank you so much for the interest. Well-rounded good people to spend these tough years with is what I am looking for. The whole environment at Loyola seemed to be very student focused. The fitness center after school is important to me as well. As far as speciaties, I am open, but I am interested in surgery. I am a more non-traditional applicant. Student happiness is very important to me because life does go on in med school. I'm basically 99% sure of Loyola and just looking for confirmation probably or any major red flags.
Sounds like Loyola it is then. The students at Loyola appeared to be a bit happier than their Rush counterparts, and the sense of teamwork and esprit de corp was MUCH stronger at Loyola. There were a ton of non-trads at Loyola, and the match list had plenty of matches into surgery programs. What is it that you did NOT like? I mean, after my day there, I just felt a "click" that made it pretty clear where I wanted to be.
The big plus with Rush (in my view) is being in the city and rotations at Stroger H (aka Cook County H). I understand that there are many nontrads there, too.
I am totally torn between which schools with either reject me or put me on hold first. Decisions...decisions...
essentially, i think it comes down to location for me. it seems like the students at both places are incredibly happy and the education/training they recieve is comparable. if only we could take loyola's facilities and plant them on top of rush's campus...
Loyola is just a short blue line ride away from downtown - so I am not sure that the location deal is as big of an issue compared with say Rosalind Franklin. Plus, you can live somewhere with more square feet out by Loyola for the same price.
completely agree with you flop - i just cant get over that 'intangible' with rush being downtown, in the mix of everything. loyola was awesome - everything about it was great, don't get me wrong - ill just have to take advantage of these second look days. btw, what are your housing plans for next year (said as un-creep-ily as possible)...
Still working that part out.. going to decide that in May or June.
There are three big things pushing me away from Rush and toward Loyola:
1: 40hrs/week of classes leaves little time for ind. study. Rush is very classroom intensive whereas Loyola has a more progressive curriculum. Students at Rush seemed to dislike there first two years saying they had optional texts and little direction from professors.
2: The facilities and staff at the hospitals and students seemed more burnt out.
Students seem really prized at Loyola. The only thing that I like better at Rush is the diversity piece.
Thanks for all the votes and responses.
Students from any of the Chicago area schools can apply to do some away rotations at Stroger. It's a huge place. UIC and Rush obviously have more interaction with stroger because of location, but pritzker, northwestern, and loyola all end up having students that choose to spend time there as well. and, of course, like some other posters mentioned, maywood is not really "outside" chicago like rosalind is. public transportation is still nearby and the near west chicago suburbs are still very urban, moreso than a lot of other big city suburbs from my experience.
Frica, are you holding an acceptance at both? I haven't seen you post on the Loyola thread...
dude, rush isn't downtown. if it's next to UIC, which i thought it was, it's a pretty ****ty neighborhood. HOWEVER i'll give you this - it's like 8 minutes from downtown, so it's obviously close enough to say it is....right?
holy crap what point was i trying to make?
oh well. 1 vote for loyola. maybe that's just because rush hasn't gotten in touch with me for the past 4 months
i am, however, concerned about diversity.
rush and uic are basically a 10 minute walk to the loop and the area is becoming increasingly a yuppy territory - pretty nice compared to the local digs in maywood. i don't really know why i'm defending rush - i really really liked loyola as well - there is just something attractive about the medical district of chicago
A few people have mentioned this concern, and it is one that I shared, so I asked about it. Loyola is aware of a need to improve in this area, and has increased recruiting efforts aimed at increasing the diversity of the school. In addition, they have added a summer program to help attract people from underserved areas. If you look at the current M1s, you will see a more diverse class than other years, and hopefully our class will be even more diverse.
Glad to see that Loyola is ahead in the poll! WOO HOO!
that's not really a walk you'd want to make after dark though...
yes, the nice neighborhoods are starting to push west some, but the UIC neighborhood is still transitional at best. not to say it's unsafe to be a student, but it definitely is not really part of the nice part of chicago. of course, maywood isn't either, but in maywood, you're driving everywhere anyways, so walking around doesn't really matter.
well of course they are...everyone wants to meet the famous flopotomist...i think they might actually be adding that to the recruitment brochure now
point well taken jbrice,
but that brings up another issue of student housing...
(btw, im not trying to antagonize pro loyola peeps - its just that this dialogue is really helping me flesh out a foundation for a future decision)
What is the housing issue? I don't know much about Rush's housing situation... but just from looking at Craigslist, you can get more for the money out in Oak Park and Forest Park than you can downtown.
and uhm.. have you seen the gym at Loyola? I don't even GO to gyms, but fell in love with it!
haha, it is a sweet gym - those locker rooms were rediculous! - and i don't believe rush even had a gym...
regarding the housing - rush owns a bunch of apartments available at very reasonable prices with a parking spot. though, one probs wouldn't need a car since the apts. are located right across the street
yeah, i wasn't trying to take a shot at you with my response...it just fit better quoting you.
housing is a sticky situation anywhere around chicago...and in my opinion, you get what you pay for. living in the uic area is relatively cheap, but the neighborhoods aren't great, and the new up and coming neighborhoods near by are accordingly up and coming in price. similarly, oak park is significantly more expensive than forest park for those wanting to live near loyola, but again, nicer housing and nicer areas.
that said, i'm staying in my current home on the north side of chicago and taking out a second student loan to pay for gas to commute to maywood every day
the great thing is, whichever school you pick, you'll get to enjoy this lovely snow we're having right now...although i suppose rush would be slightly more prone to the lake effect snow which i will be trudging home in tonight
jbrice, i'm glad i'm not the only one who will be commuting from the city to maywood. we'll see how it goes (until 3rd and 4th year anyway)
regarding rush vs. loyola, academically, the hospitals themselves are fairly even, with rush being strong in some areas while loyola being strong in others (e.g. rush in neurology and loyola in cardiology)
location-wise, rush is in the loop close to downtown in an area that is gentrifying and nice to walk around in during the daytime (definitely not the night time though). they are opening up new shops and cafes in university village. Plus, you will be surrounded by your medical colleagues from UIC.
To be honest, maywood is a suburb that I would drive right on through. Within five minute are suburbs such as oak park (where a lot of students live) that cater to young crowds (w/ cafes, bars, etc.). Still, Loyola's hospital is I would say the most important medical center out in the western burbs, so you get a nice mix of patients (rich and poor) along with diverse pathologies.
diversity is a concern at loyola. they are improving but still have a long way to go (imo). can't comment on rush, though I have heard it is more diverse.
Facilities-wise, Loyola is top notch and brand-spanking new. can't comment on rush though.
people have already commented on curriculum and such. really, it comes down to evaluating what is important out of all these factors for you and then making a decision. good luck! you're in an enviable position.
this is true. nearby oak park isn't too suburban. i believe it's one of the older suburbs in the u.s., from back when they made them somewhat walkable.
still, if you're planning on being in med school without a car, rush is probably the more convenient option. if i were to go there, i would probably live in ukranian village and bike a few miles south to school each day. or maybe find a place in the umd area.
i really appreciate all the comments/criticisms about both schools. does anyone have the matchlist for both available offhand? anyway, keep selling both schools - perhaps a little love for rush out there...
Phil A did a good job of consolidating match lists. Here is the link. http://forums.drslounge.com/showthread.php?t=187352 you can find the links to both schools there.
Reading this thread is interesting. But I would like to say that Loyola is not that far away(some are talking like it's close to Iowa). If you mapquest it the distance from Rush to Loyola is 9 miles and 13 minutes. I know that is without traffic but even with traffic they aren't hours apart.(Well maybe today they are but not usually). Both are great schools.
Hey jbrice, for those of us not familiar, can you give us a comparison of Oak Park vs. Forest Park? Trying to figure where to look.
I completely disagree. Areas like Taylor Street have been safe (and reasonably nice) for years - you could walk down Taylor after dark no problem. There have been nice, even rather expensive, neighborhoods along Ashland for a long time. What's changing a bit is some of the area between Ashland and downtown, but generally further north or south than UIC/Rush. That strip that they are along has been fine for a while. Walk north of the Eisenhower? Not such a great idea unless you're within a few blocks of Greektown. But if you stay along the area between Harrison and Taylor or so, and don't go further west than Rush, you're fine. As mentioned, safer than Maywood. Also safer than most of Hyde Park.
I've lived in Oak Park for, um, 25 years of my life on this earth, so I'll take a shot here
The two suburbs are right next to each other, and as a result things like public transportation and whatnot are basically identical. The blue line EL runs along the Eisenhower Expy through both, and the Green Line EL runs just south of Lake Street through Oak Park, ending at Harlem in Forest Park.
Oak Park is the more historic, and generally "nicer" of the two as far as neighborhoods, which basically translates into more expensive. Whether you are planning to rent or buy, Forest Park will be less expensive than Oak Park. Far, far less expensive for buying, and somewhat less for renting.
Oak Park is "dry" other than liquor served in restaurants - no bars or liquor stores. Forest Park has plenty of both to make up for that Oak Park has better restaurants (both in quality and sheer numbers), a slough of good ice cream shops and coffeehouses, and somewhat higher-end shopping (Gap/Old Navy/specialty shops/nice small chain movie theater in Downtown Oak Park as compared to the Walmart/Old Country Buffet of the Forest Park Mall).
For the most part, the best parts of either are easily accessible from either by car. If you prefer to walk more, I'd recommend Oak Park. There just isn't as much to do in Forest Park other than the bars on Madison Street, which frankly aren't anything special.
When I looked around for apartments about a year and a half ago, I looked mainly in Forest Park first due to the cost differences. I was never really happy with the neighborhoods though - not any sort of safety concerns or anything like that, just lack of much to do in the immediate area, typically. After digging around I found a very affordable 2 bedroom in Oak Park that's one block north of the downtown Oak Park area - near the Frank Lloyd Wright houses, a bunch of good restaurants, some shopping, the only decent nearby movie theater... On the other hand, if you're going to be as busy with school as you probably should be, saving money by living in Forest Park is probably a good way to go. If you can find something reasonably priced in Oak Park, I can't think of any compelling reason to go Forest Park though. It's perfectly fine, just not great, I guess.
In either case, the best area to be if possible would be close to Harlem/Lake. Either a bit west and south of there in Forest Park, or north or south, and east in Oak Park. That's really the best area as far as things to do within walking distance, and also still close to two train lines for hopping downtown. South of the Eisenhower expressway in either suburb is not nearly as nice as north of the expressway.
Thanks for the reply!! I think Oak Park might be where I will end up. I am coming from the bay area of CA where rent is ~$1,400 for a one bedroom, so anything will be cheaper.
where can you find a 2005 loyola match list? i know it's in that brochure they sent but i lost it
yeah that just goes up to 2004 right...unless i missed it.
ucjames did quite a nice job of answering that, so i won't repeat it all. i'll just second what he threw out threw out there, and definitely agree that, considering they're bordering communities, the best of each is easily accessible wherever you live.
having grown up in oak park, i'm obviously biased towards oak park, but i have friends from high school who live in both towns and both seem pretty happy where they live. my recommendation to anyone looking to live in oak park or forest park would be to check both out and pick the best apartment which will probably be more important in the long run that the town itself.
Flop, yes I am holding an acceptance at both. Not past the end of the week though.
What? More like a 20 minute train or bus ride from the Loop. From the UIC campus you can see the Sears Tower (southwest of the Loop) far in the distance and that is 16 minutes by bus or train.
2005 wasn't on the list when you checked, but hey, I just found it
http://www.luhs.org/news/pubs/lm/spr05.pdf (PDF pages 9-10)
In my opinion, Stritch and Rush both fair quite well.
Why do you have to decide by the end of the week? Let us know which way you decide, and why... we are curious!
I don't know much about Loyola but I just got back from my interview at Rush and I was very impressed that Rush Medical Center was number one in Illinois for Orthopedics (8 in the nation), Neurology/Neurosurg (11 in nation), Geriatrics (14 in nation) and Kidney Diseases (14 in nation).
holy crap how did you find that?? i searched forever for that thing. you rock!
hey vizsla - i'd like to know what else you thought about rush - and if they said anything about when you or your predecessors would be notified about admission or rejection...
my interview at rush was dec 7th and they said they would try their hardest to get us a decision before the holidays but if not, we would get a letter of accept/waitlist/reject by at least first week of january. As for the school, their hospitals are obviously their biggest asset, academic facilities are ok, students seemed genuinely excited about their school and told us that rush administration would do anything for their students. The area surrounding the school is great and they provide on-campus housing for around 60% of incoming students. Only thing I didn't like too much was the fact that students are usually in class from 9-5 but then again you get a complete syllabus at the beginning of each course so going to class is up to you. Also tuition is pretty high. Rush really stresses great clinical training over research (although there are research opportunities available, you just have to look for them little harder). Im not too interested in academic medicine, so Rush is definitely at the top of my list. good luck with everything.