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Mayo vs. UNC

Discussion in 'Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2016)' started by sundaydress03, 05.12.14.

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Mayo vs. UNC?

Poll closed 05.16.14.
  1. Mayo

    25 vote(s)
    54.3%
  2. UNC

    21 vote(s)
    45.7%
  1. sundaydress03

    sundaydress03 5+ Year Member

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    Hey all,

    I'm sorry, I know that this type of topic is so overdone, but I'm truly struggling with this decision and only have a few days to make it, so I'm hoping to get some advice from SDN. So I just got off the waitlist at Mayo a few days ago! I'm still in shock and can't believe it, but now it's setting in that I have ~4 days before the May 15th deadline to choose between UNC and Mayo.

    As for my goals, I'm leaning towards specializing, maybe something in surgery?, but I also care about working in a free clinic. I'm hoping to match in a big city, preferably on the East Coast.

    Mayo PROS:

    1. Incredibly altruistic philosophy (I'm worried about burning out and becoming jaded)
    2. Greater ability to specialize and match into top residency choice (since UNC is more primary care focused)
    3. I'd be way more proud of myself, as silly as that sounds
    4. Amazing, hands-on education
    5. Small class size (more attention, tight-knit group)
    6. Better atmosphere (balanced lifestyle, varied interests, students seem busy but happy)
    7. More clinical publishing opportunities

    UNC Pros:

    1. Chapel Hill, NC is way better than Minnesota
    2. Larger class/town (more social/dating opportunities)
    3. Higher US News ranking (27 while UNC is 22) - not sure how much this actually matters?
    4. More affordable (about 2.5x less expensive (in-state tuition whoop), since Mayo stopped giving everyone scholarships and it's now more need-based. Even though I'm paying for my med school education myself, my parents are well off).
    5. Close to my family (they live 10 min away fromUNC)
    6. student-run clinic

    Any input would be super helpful - thanks so much, I really appreciate it and I'm more than happy to reciprocate!
     
    Last edited: 05.12.14
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  3. bakedbeans18

    bakedbeans18 "Truly misguided, with delusions of grandeur"

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    Umm....go to mayo. There is no student run clinic because it is among the best clinics in THE WORLD and people don't come expecting to have their care (which is often/typically high acuity) overseen by a student....but the students are incorporated into the healthcare team at Mayo despite this. Seriously, Mayo. You'd be crazy to go anywhere else of you have an acceptance to Mayo.
     
  4. terp720

    terp720 2+ Year Member

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    if you actually want people to offer advice (and not just say Mayo), you might find it useful to also put your pros/cons for UNC too..
     
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  5. Flashfan

    Flashfan 5+ Year Member

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    The financial piece should be taken into consideration, but if I were in your shoes, I would pick Mayo. The curriculum is amazing, especially with the selectives. You could just arrange a time to work in a clinic, volunteer, travel, etc. I think the overall name recognition more than makes up for the small difference in US News. Now dating is an issue, but you never know.
     
  6. Cyberdyne 101

    Cyberdyne 101 Runnin' Down a Dream Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    image.jpg
    I'm going to make my answer cryptic.
     
  7. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Moving to ssd
     
  8. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Sounds like UNC is the right choice for you. Doing clinical year is not nearly the same experience as student clinic for four years, speaking as someone who did it for 5 years.
     
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  9. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

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    I am surprised this is a question
     
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  10. studentdoctor1992

    studentdoctor1992

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    Go to mayo
     
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  11. Cyberdyne 101

    Cyberdyne 101 Runnin' Down a Dream Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I can't think of a better place to get specialization exposure than Mayo. Although, If you were adamant about primary care, I'd say UNC.
     
  12. sundaydress03

    sundaydress03 5+ Year Member

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    Good call! just changed it
     
  13. sundaydress03

    sundaydress03 5+ Year Member

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    I know :( It's actually a way tougher decision than I thought it would be. Can you tell me more about your thoughts?
     
  14. terp720

    terp720 2+ Year Member

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    haha did you just make your cons for Mayo your pros for UNC?
     
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  15. seeinghowitgoes

    seeinghowitgoes 2+ Year Member

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    How much is 2.5 x more expensive? Like are you comparing 10k to 25k or 100k to 250k? If it's the former maybe not such a big deal and you can go with your heart, but if it's the latter I'd take the cheaper option because both schools are great.
     
  16. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD viva la revolucion 7+ Year Member

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    I'm going to assume you are paying full price at UNC so ~85-90k tuition over 4 years. That means that tuition at Mayo will be 180-245k. IMO the only schools in the country that are worth 100-150k more than UNC would be Harvard and JHU. As the Dean of Admissions says about UNC, "selling a luxury car at an economy price." You can't beat that deal.

    You can absolutely specialize and succeed at UNC as much as Mayo.
     
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  17. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

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    I dunno about that. Generally I would agree that prestige isn't necessarily worth the money, but the curriculum at Mayo might be. I'm not extremely familiar with it, but it seems to be very unique, and I could definitely see spending some extra money to have that opportunity.
     
  18. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

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    I love Mayo
     
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  19. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    I was under the impression mayo was very medicine and primarycare oriented. That was my impression during my residency interview.
     
  20. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

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    Do Arabian princes come to UNC for treatment?
     
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  21. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Probably, the arabian royal families are very extensive.
     
  22. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

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  23. Cyberdyne 101

    Cyberdyne 101 Runnin' Down a Dream Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Great to know. I guess you learn something new everyday.
    On the other hand, maybe UNC would be advantageous in that regard if the OP had intentions of practicing as a PC in the NC area. Or maybe not.
     
  24. bakedbeans18

    bakedbeans18 "Truly misguided, with delusions of grandeur"

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    I'm more of a Miracle Whip kinda guy myself.
     
  25. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

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    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  26. bakedbeans18

    bakedbeans18 "Truly misguided, with delusions of grandeur"

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    Yes, I can see that, but....


    ....your lady friend seems to take quite a shine to thousand island / russian / chipotle dressing.
     
  27. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

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    [​IMG]

    The real stuff has a slight tint, thats how you know its good
     
  28. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    Mayo Med students work at the Good Samaritan clinic in Rochester. It doesn't seem to be student run in the sense that the clinic at my university is, but it's still a student clinic.


    That said, it seems like you're leaning UNC. Go with your gut.

    As for primary care focus, the internal med residents tend to sub specialize in large numbers. I think the med school is more primary care focused than residency.
     
  29. TheKDizzle

    TheKDizzle 5+ Year Member

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    Better question: Do medical students learn more when Arabian princes are in the vicinity?
    The responses here (as in nearly every Mayo-related post) are 90% hype and 10% constructive.

    OP, you listed being close to family as a "pro" for UNC - is that actually important for you? From what you typed, it sounds like you're really excited about Mayo - nothing wrong with going for the adventure.
     
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  30. Cyberdyne 101

    Cyberdyne 101 Runnin' Down a Dream Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    My question is for any med student or resident that's willing to answer: Aside from the high-profile patients, does Mayo give you an advantage if you're seeking an academic residency (particularly in a specialization field)? Or am I naive to assume that LOR's from Mayo in certain departments carry a lot of weight?
     
  31. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

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    From what I've heard medicine is medicine, depending on where you go different people will teach it you/different curriculums will be taught to you. I know you can only take the us news ranking with a grain of salt, but when you look at Mayo its notoriety is side by side with JHU and MGH in hospital and specialty rankings, and in many instances it surpasses them. I would rather attend a medical school that would allow me superior access to networking and research, which given my interest in ortho would be significantly skewed to Mayo.

    P.S. I would learn way better if an Arab princess was in my "vicinity"
     
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  32. Member011

    Member011 2+ Year Member

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    Just because UNC is ranked highly in primary care does not mean that they are only focused on creating PC physicians. Many graduates specialize, do research, etc.

    And also Chapel Hill weather is 1000x better than Mayo
     
  33. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    FWIW I have treated two of such princesses and they are not what Disney told me they were going to be.
     
  34. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    First of all, high profile patients don't give you an advantage when seeking an academic residency. Second, Mayo's biggest influence academically is in the midwest, but frankly I saw a lot of anti Mayo bias on the east coast. That was directed towards the institution not the students, however, so going to Mayo isn't going to hurt you. One disadvantage is that Mayo is so darn small of a school. This means less applicants from Mayo are likely to have been seen by a given residency director. One of the biggest perks you can get from a school is having had lots of programs have had lots of positive experiences with residents from your program. Several program directors on the trail told me "We've had xx number of great residents from your school, we could use another great resident". Nothing is absolute obviously and personal merit is the vast majority of the equation. LOR's from specific people in Mayo probably carry some weight in certain specialties, but the quality of those letters is much more important.
     
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  35. Cyberdyne 101

    Cyberdyne 101 Runnin' Down a Dream Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the insight. Btw, I totally mis-worded the part about "high-profile" patients. I meant to say that it doesn't impact anything in terms of education, but I guess "aside" was the wrong word. A tumor is a tumor, and my guess is that some "high profile patients" may not want too many observers around.
     
  36. hubriz

    hubriz

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    Blah
     
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  37. Cackalacky18

    Cackalacky18

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    Congrats on your accomplishments! Mayo acceptances are a rare gem. With that said though, try not to let the honor count too much. I don't envy you...less than a week is an incredibly little amount of time to weigh everything, and let the surprise wear off.

    I vote for UNC give the lower cost, better weather, better town/university, proximity to family, and comparable matching in non-midwest regions.
     
  38. earf

    earf 5+ Year Member

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    As someone who goes to Mayo, I just wanted to clarify a couple of points. First, we do have student-run free clinics. There's the Smoking Cessation Clinic where you counsel patients and provide nicotine replacement/antagonist therapy. There's also the REACH Good Samaritan Clinic that's staffed by students and a required part of the curriculum 2nd year. However, the access to medical care is pretty good here even though there are pockets of underserved (Somali refugees, rural underserved). Some of my classmates are putting on weekly diabetes education workshops at the free clinic in Dodge Center (20 miles west of Rochester) to help the underserved and overlooked Hispanic/Mexican population here. Contrary to popular belief, you don't only see "high profile" patients in clinic. You can if you want to shadow in the Executive Suites, but a majority of the patients are locals or referrals, many of whom are rare cases. Of course, you also get the "bread and butter" cases wherever you'll go.

    In terms of surgery, the surgical faculty here are beyond welcoming. Since our class is so small, there is a high ratio of faculty:student ratio to the point where faculty are competing to get medical students help them with research. I have several first-year classmates scrubbed in the OR every week. The mentorship opportunities here are very easy to find. I can't say from personal experience since I haven't shadowed in many other ORs, but I've been told that the hospital and OR work much more efficiently and seamlessly than other places based on quality outcomes.

    That being said, I think choosing a medical school is more about reflecting on your own personalities and what you prioritize with your time. What do you like to do on your free time? What experiences have you done in the past and loved? Will you be able to get the same thing at the school you're choosing? If family is important to you, then stay in NC. If money is more of a priority for you, then go to UNC. If you're looking for a significant other (sad as it sounds), then go to UNC since the dating opportunities are slim in Rochester and in a school with <200 students. Burning out is relative, so I think you'll find a way to make it work at either place. But if you value surgery/seemingly unlimited clinical resources/access to network with some of the best surgeons, then come to Mayo. I realize that these are sweeping generalizations and there are obviously many exceptions, but I'm basing this on the trend in the circumstances/environment.

    Good luck! Ultimately you are choosing between two great options, both of which will lead you to the same end goal in different ways.

    And feel free to message me if you have any questions.

    EDIT: People who tend to think that Mayo matches mainly in the mid-west tend to also make a lot of unsubstantiated assumptions (e.g., that Mayo is not well known on the coasts, residency directors don't know students from that school, etc.). A majority of the people who choose to attend Mayo are from the midwest and would like to stay there for residency as well, but almost everyone from the coast who wants to return ultimately ends up matching on the coasts.
     
    Last edited: 05.13.14
  39. wiloghby

    wiloghby In a Step 1 cave 2+ Year Member

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    You should go to UNC. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is a much better area for a single person to live in. I think you will get a good medical education at both, but UNC is less expensive and I think would afford you a better quality of life for 4 years.

    You're going to be in a great position to match well if you go to either school and do well, as they both have a reputation for turning out quality graduates.

    If it were me, I'd pick UNC. And I just had to do the whole pros/cons list for 2 med schools earlier this week.
     
  40. sundaydress03

    sundaydress03 5+ Year Member

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    Haha yes : ( I had originally set it up with pros for each, but it seemed a little confusing, so I changed it. But I definitely think your point is valid, thanks!
     
  41. sundaydress03

    sundaydress03 5+ Year Member

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    It would be more like the latter...approximately 80k (UNC) vs. 200k (Mayo). I also got the match list and step 1 scores for both schools and Mayo actually is way more primary care focused than I had anticipated (which is great and totally fine). Also interestingly, both schools had the same USMLE step 1 score average (232). My only other issue is that UNC is revamping their curriculum this year and I'm not sure about being the guinea pig for that, especially since the application cycle has been a bit disorganized on their end (receiving the same email multiple times, wrong directions to set up email addresses, etc).
     
  42. seeinghowitgoes

    seeinghowitgoes 2+ Year Member

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    I totally get not wanting to be the first class to test a new curriculum; based on some people's reports from my state school, which switched a couple years ago, I actually usually tend to personally recommend avoiding the situation.

    That being said, for 120k difference and all the other factors you mentioned (being close to family, etc), I'd take the risk. It's not like a bad curriculum is gonna keep you from passing your boards, it may just be frustrating at points. Avoiding that frustration, which would probably only be at points anyway and is only potential, is surely worth something, but it is not, to me, worth 120k (not to mention the other factors).

    Good luck with your own calculus though!
     
  43. sundaydress03

    sundaydress03 5+ Year Member

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    Super interesting - could you tell me more about that?
     
  44. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Simply discussing with one of the surgical program directors about the potential for student involvement that they don't tend to get a lot of students because of small size + tendency to go into IM/PC but that they would love it if more people did.
     
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  45. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member

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    Mayo has an outstanding hospital system and a very good medical school. However, its not on the same level as other traditional top medical schools in terms of research/academics.

    FWIW Im saying this as someone who's rotated at Mayo hospitals and who knows multiple current students there.

    I've heard the same as well.
     
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  46. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

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    What impact does "not being on the same level" have on students that attend mayo?
     
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  47. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Probably little in the long run, but the bottom line is Mayo has a lot of research, but it is all medical. There's less potential for collaboration. For example, I'm interested in using ipad tech to improve outcomes. Harder to find a robotics/compsci lab to work with nearby but certainly not impossible.
     
  48. Cyberdyne 101

    Cyberdyne 101 Runnin' Down a Dream Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I'm glad you confirmed this. Thanks
     
  49. byaaaaaaah23

    byaaaaaaah23 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    I'd choose UNC in your shoes, since it's closer to your family, cheaper (although you haven't said how much), and the weather is better. How much is the price difference?
     
  50. terp720

    terp720 2+ Year Member

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    looks like 120K

     
  51. byaaaaaaah23

    byaaaaaaah23 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Thanks, missed that. In that situation, I wouldn't take on the extra debt. 80k is a seriously small debt load and I don't think Mayo is worth that much more. I wouldn't worry too much about guinea pigging a new curriculum-- no curriculum is perfect and all schools will be tweaking things from year to year, so my point is that you aren't guaranteed a flawless experience in that regard no matter where you go.
     
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