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Mayo?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by alphacentauri, May 16, 2002.

  1. alphacentauri

    alphacentauri Member
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    Two days ago I was certain I would be starting at Stanford in the fall. Then I got a call from Mayo saying that I was accepted off the waitlist, with a full scholarship. The prospect of graduating with zero debt is definitely making me think twice. I've only seen Mayo once, during my interview, so does anyone have any thoughts on the pros and cons of the school? The hospital seems amazing and the students seem nice, but the town in small, cold, and far from home. Stanford's financial aid is good, but certainly can't top a full ride, and the hospital is good, but not quite as good as Mayo's from what I've seen. I really don't know what way I'm leaning at this point. I'd love to hear from anyone who is planning to attend Mayo, or has strong opinions on the school.

    Thanks!
     
  2. sorrento

    sorrento Senior Member
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    A full-ride scholarship to Mayo would be really hard to turn down. The facilities are amazing, the students are nice and everyone knows each others, the teaching is excellent .. you obviously know all this already. I think any comparison between Stanford and Mayo based on these sorts of things is going to lead to a stalemate.

    I think the real difference to consider is location. I am assuming that Stanford's location is a pro in your book - it would be in mine. I turned down a spot on the Mayo waitlist because I seriously doubted I could be happy somewhere so cold and so far from the ocean. If you are someone who loves to ride your bike, go hiking, take day trips to the beach, and just generally be outside, you may go crazy during the winter in Rochester.

    Still, it might be nice to try out a different part of the country. There is a lot to be said for the drama of seasons (I say this in complete seriousness). So I think it depends what kind of person you are, and what makes you happy.
     
  3. none

    none 1K Member
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    Yep, it's simply money vs. location. Everything else is relatively trivial. Which is more important to you? I would definitely pick location over reputation...but money? That's a tougher call.
     
  4. JJ4

    JJ4 Senior Member
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    What up alphacentauri!

    Well...I'll be attending Mayo's MD-PhD program this fall. While money is an issue I'll leave that part to you. So I'll comment on location.

    I'm from New York City. And I'm quite aware that Rochester,MN is NOT NYC in terms of weather or location. That said, I've visited Mayo twice to make sure it was the place for me. Because you're considering between Stanford and Mayo you're probably wondering what schools I was choosing between just to get a better perspective of where I'm comin from...okay... so in addition to Mayo I was choosing between the MSTPs at Mount Sinai and NYU and the MD programs at Columbia and Yale.

    After visiting Mayo twice I felt more and more that the place isn't so bad. I mean, the way I see it..between lab and classes I'm not going to be clubbing all the time. I mean Rochester actually has three clubs (which by the way IN NO WAY resembles ANYTHING like those of NYC), a bunch of bars and a bunch of theatres. Furthermore, the Twin Cities are only an hour away and I thought it was pretty cool too. As for going to the beach -- hmm...maybe you can go when you're back home during the summer... :D

    I too am VERY VERY VERY family oriented. I mean I used to go home on the weekends from undergrad ALL THE TIME!! But then again...I'll still see my family and friends during the regular breaks and a flight home is only $59.00 one way. As far as my non-family friends go... they too are going to grad school or going to get jobs and what not...so whether I stay here or go there I'm not going to see many of them on a regular basis anyway. Also, I must say, I like the snow. But still Minnesota is a totally different story during the winter. So if you are completely set on the sun and surf all year round -- I say Cali is the way to go.

    Being in NYC I've never really experienced the "great outdoors" type stuff like hiking and camping and rafting and all that. In Minnesota these things will be a new experience for me.

    Now for the academics...I think you know most of these things -- but I was completely thrilled by everything that it had to offer. As for research, I've never encountered this much translational research (I mean to the point they ACTUALLY use it on patients). There was once an MS patient at Mayo with some severe neurotic problems in addition to her demyelinating degenerative disease. One of the lab PIs (an MD) had data from his studies showing the effect of IgM-kappa to assist in remyelination (as opposed to other more invasive therapies) which of course was backed up with an IMMENSE amount of in vitro and in vivo animal model studies. Knowing that this women would die nonetheless, one night he went in and switched up the IV bag with IgM-kappa (high dose for 48 hours (in addition to other stuff I'm leaving out based solely on the research) This was eight years ago-- she still lives today. I don't think there's a better place in the country that keeps patient records and specimen like at Mayo. You can pick up the epidemiology of your research in almost any affliction there is.

    Also the teaching there is fantastic. All the teaching is done by the attending house staff. No senior students or junior residents will scut you (unless you like that kinda stuff).

    In the end...Mayo fit my research and clinical interests...which outweighed the location issue for me.

    Alrighty then....

    The choice is yours. Just like EVERYONE says -- do what you feel is best for you. Even if you're saving yourself a load of cash -- you don't want to be miserable there -- that would just suck.

    Take care -- and good luck with your decision. Let me know if I can be of help in ANY way.
     
  5. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    There is another thread about Mayo versus U of Michigan on this forum. Again I would take Mayo hands down. I did research there one summer and was very very impressed with the Mayo way. It is a world reknown clinic not just here, everyone knows about the Mayo Clinic. You will see tons of special cases and the teaching is superb. The small class size, the huge amount of resources, the way all the health care professionals work as a team, and the caring nature of the faculty makes Mayo a great place to become a doctor. On top of that you are getting a full ride, pray tell how you managed that? you must be very qualified and I congratulate you!
     
  6. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    That's another wonderful thing about Mayo...the incredible financial support. Half of the students (not including MSTP or MD/PhD) get full tuition scholarships. The other half get a minimum of half-tuition scholarships.
     
  7. Cambrian

    Cambrian Colonel/Senior Member
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    I would go to Mayo if I were you. If all things were equal, I would probably choose Stanford. But we are talking about a full ride here! Additionally, Mayo is an excellent school. It is probably the most under-rated school in the United States. The facilities and faculty are amazing. Class size is small so all attention is devoted to you. I realize that Minnesota can be painfully cold. But trust me, no pain can be compared to that of indebtedness.
     
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  8. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Cambrian you are right about Mayo beind underrated! I truly believe that it should be up there in the top ten. Part of the reason for it not being top ten is that they do not get a lot of NIH funding and that is one of the reasonings for a school to be top ten (someone correct me if I am wrong here). Most of the money that Mayo gets is from private donations. You guys should see the new Gonda building it is freaking amazing. The patient will only have to do one stop from my understanding everything will be there (lab work, cardiac, etc.) in one location so you do not have to go from one bld to the other looking for different specialists. It is truly a great place to go.
     
  9. X-tremist

    X-tremist Member
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    I love to give unsolicited free advice!!!!!!!

    Don't even think twice!! Go for Stanford. It is so damn hard to get into a good residency in california unless you ge to med school there. Teaching and stuff may be better n one place than the other. Who cares!!! It does not matter. Would you rather enjoy life and learn a few less stuff or live in a wonderful area and learn a few stuff less???? Medicine is so vast- An ocean. You get a bucketful in stanford , maybe a few extra drops in Mayo. Money will come once you start your practise. Look down the road!!!!!!! Open your eyes!!!!!!!!! Go Stanford......all the way!
     
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  10. still hopeful

    still hopeful Junior Member
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    It is actually good to hear everyone rave about Mayo. I applied to Mayo but didn't get in. However, I did get into their graduate school. Should I go? I'm currently waitlisted at NYMC and waiting to hear from UC Davis medical schools. My boss thinks I should reapply this coming fall to both medical school and graduate schools and he thinks I will have a better chance at choosing more graduate schools. What do you guys think?
     
  11. JJ4

    JJ4 Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by still hopeful:
    <strong>It is actually good to hear everyone rave about Mayo. I applied to Mayo but didn't get in. However, I did get into their graduate school. Should I go? I'm currently waitlisted at NYMC and waiting to hear from UC Davis medical schools. My boss thinks I should reapply this coming fall to both medical school and graduate schools and he thinks I will have a better chance at choosing more graduate schools. What do you guys think?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wow... that's a tough call. I think this depends on the kind of research that you intend to do. Of course, almost all research tends to have a certain clinical correlation but the nature of the work is sometimes more applicable in basic science. Mayo's research as you may already know tends to be very clinically driven. Of course, it is approached at the very basic level. Also, the types of research that you would find at the more basic research oriented institutions (i.e. those that pertain to DNA replication, C.Elegans, Zebrafish and Drosophila genetics) tend to be more limited at Mayo. For instance, I know of maybe two PIs that use yeast models. So it depends on what you're looking for. Immunology/Tumor Biology, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (primarily on the imaging end of things) departments seem to be their stronger ones. There are a few good molecular/cellular neuroscience labs as well (i.e. Mark McNiven, Tony Windebank, and Julio Fernandez --- although he has turned to atomic force microscopy of modular proteins as his primary focus these days).

    I only know of two guys that did their PhDs at Mayo -- one's at Mt. Sinai and one is at Scripps in La Jolla. In general I must say that if a PhD is your goal you should apply to several graduate schools in the coming cycle which are more basic research oriented like UCSF, Hopkins, Harvard and other more university-based institutions. If clinical training is important to you as well either try the MD-PhD route. Also Harvard has program under their HST pathway that enables their PhD students to round on the wards and even take call in their final years just like other medical students.

    With that said -- if one of the labs at Mayo really tweeks your interests its defintely a place worth considering. Like I said above, you can really delve into the clinical implications there while at the same time studying the very basic aspects of the mechanics involved. But don't choose Mayo solely based on their Medical School -- for a PhD -- look at its research and see if it works for you. I met a guy finishing his PhD there studying synaptogenesis and growth-cone targeting and had some EXCELLENT publications and is going on to do an awesome post-doc fellowship at Harvard/Mass.General.

    Think hard... and good luck :D
     
  12. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    JJ4 said it all in a nutshell. The main focus here is what do you *really* want to do? if you desire to be a physician above everything else then wait to see how you do this application cycle (it is not over yet) and if you do not get in rectify the weak areas and reapply next year. If on the other hand you really want to be a scientist then go to grad school.
     
  13. paean

    paean Senior Member
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    Personally I would take the scholarship and the much lower cost of living. Top California residencies are hard regardless of where you go to school, but if you want to do a less competetive specialty, there are lots of positions at fine hospitals available with very little competition. I think a good indicator of how happy students are with Mayo are the number that choose to stay for their residency. I know Rochester is a big difference from the Bay Area (I live here too), but four years isn't forever, and the individual attention at Mayo would for me make up the down-side of the location. Let us know what you choose.
     
  14. still hopeful

    still hopeful Junior Member
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    Thank you JJ4 for your helpful comment. I have decided to see if I can defer a year to Mayo's graduate program. Deep down inside, I think I still want to pursue medicine. It has been especially hard for me since this has not been my first, or second time applying to medical schools. I must say though, this year has been the first year that I am most prepared in my application process. So as of right now, I am on NYMC's waitlist and am waiting to hear back from UC Davis after being put on hold since Jan. I don't want to give up yet. At the same time, I want to think ahead as to what else I can do if medical school does not pan out this year. I don't see that much change in my application if I reapply again this year. Maybe adding a couple new publications, but I don't think that will make that much of a difference to medical schools. I've also asked myself what it is that I really want to do. I'm very passionate about helping people in the medical scene and is even thinking maybe going into physician assistant programs or even nursing! I guess the biggest thing to let go is my ego. I would really appreciate some input from you guys again on what you think about my current situation.
     
  15. alphacentauri

    alphacentauri Member
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    Thanks everyone for all your thoughts. I'm hoping to make a decision within the next few days, but this is a tough one. I'll let you all know when I decide :)
     
  16. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Alpha please do keep us posted...
     

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