med school costs

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by marakah2, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. marakah2

    marakah2 Member
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    i have been told by a number of doctors "go to your state school, its cheaper"

    i don't think that this is necessarily the best advice.

    just curious what other people think, is it worth the extra 20K a year to go out of state or to a private place?
     
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  3. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    it depends...

    what do you want to do? how much debt are you willing to go into? do you want to stay close to friends/family, or get out and go someplace new? do you want to specialize?

    for me, going to one of my state schools would be the best thing b/c cost is a factor. ultimately, i want to stay in NC and be a rural primary care physician, which means that if i go to an out of state or private school it's going to take me forever and a day to pay back my loans. if i don't get in to unc or ecu, i will go out of state or to a private school. i'll just be broke for a very long time. ;) but that's just me and how i rank my priorities. if going to a certain private school or getting out of town is worth the extra cash to you, then by all means go where you'll be happiest! :)
     
  4. Explosivo

    Explosivo blah!
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    I agree with most of what Sweet Tea said so here's my 2 cents:

    I've debated this myself as I think by the time this is through I may have to make this same decision. I am leaning though toward choosing the place where I would be happiest regardless of cost. The reason?

    You are going to be spending the next four years of your life at a medical school. I will be in my 20s and single, prime years of my life and I don't intend on spending them feeling miserable by having something like "cost" trump my personal happiness.

    I always say this. Money comes and goes, loans can always be paid back. The years you spend in place where you will not be happy cannot be. You can't have them back.

    Now a complication arises though if you are married or have children. Now you really have to factor cost into the equation since you are living with someone else and may have children to think about. But if you are young and single you can afford to be selfish and focus solely on where you'd be most happy.

    My advice is to go where you feel the most comfortable. Factor cost into the equation but please don't make it the only factor in your decision, you will regret it.
     
  5. dpark74

    dpark74 Senior Member
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    I believe that time lost cannot be recovered, exactly as Explosivo stated. If I were you, I'd follow his advice.
     
  6. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    it depends on the day of the week that you ask me this question.

    For one I did NOT apply to my state school specifically because it is in a small town and I would not be happy there - but also because it specializes in rural medicine and I want to practice in the inner-city...so I think I would receive the patient exposure and learn the type of medicine I want to practice elsewhere. I think those are over-riding concerns over cost.

    Having said that, nothing is black and white. If the choice were between two places, both in major cities, but one in a city where I *could* be happy and was cheap-tuition and the other in a city where I was *sure* I would be happy but at a high tuition price the decision is tougher to make. After all, it's not jsut the time in med school one has to consider but the quality of life afterwards, and that involves the debt level you will carry.

    At the end of the day life is what you make it, wherever you are, so arguments on "miserable" versus "having the time of your 20s" are unfortunately a tougher call than they really sound - it's rarely that cut and dry; if it were, where would be the dilemma?
     
  7. ucbdancn00

    ucbdancn00 Senior Member
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    all i know is that just the med school application process....is going to have me donating body parts.....hehehe

    I think it's important to #1, go to med school....and if possible #2 where your most happy. This is four years of your life and you don't want to be stuck in some miserable ass location. Explosivo said it pretty well.....
     
  8. vm26

    vm26 Member
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    realize that its not necessarily 4 years spent at a specific location. If you attend NYU, the first 2 years will have to be spent at their facilities, but with the clinical years there is some leeway as to what hospital you will be assigned to, I know that NYU has some rotations out on Long Island which is very different from downdown NYC.

    Loans will not only affect your quality of life but also your choice of residency. I'm not sure if this is completely accurate but I read that if you have 75K debt (average for public), you will need to be earning minimally something like 125K to be able to handle it. Private schools typically result in 125+ debt, so u will have to make that much more to stay afloat and have a decent lifestyle

    When I applied to PT school, I considered some privates which lead you to believe that cost is not an issue, what they actually mean is dont worry, your costs will be covered but you will have x amount of debt to deal with after you graduate, PT's obviously make much less then MD's but I know more than a few that accrued 50K+ at privates and are now pretty much screwed, if I was one of them, med school wouldnt even be an option

    on the flip side, if you really must go to an expensive school and are concerned about debt, there are military/govt programs that will take care of there in exchange for a number of years of service
     
  9. Lara

    Lara Senior Member
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    I'd try to follow these guidelines...

    1. Go where you'll be most happy irrespective of cost. If only one school does it for you, there's not much of a dillemma. If you're still debating, keep no. 2 in mind:

    2. Unless a school is ranked top 10-20, there's most probably not a big enough prestige difference to warrant an extra $80,000-$100,000 overall debt (which will increase due to interest). So find other reasons to go besides (such as better facilities or hospitals, etc).

    This is assuming that you're not going for MD/PhD and aren't set on a *uber*-competitive residency like dermatology. :)

    Lara, who had no such choice and will have to swallow a $160,000 debt after graduation :eek:
     
  10. gotgirth

    gotgirth Greatest Icon in Wrestlng
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    From a financial standpoint, I'm not convinced it is that much different, although it probably depends greatly on your state school. Here in IL, the state school (uic) is not that much cheaper than private schools (savings of about 10k a year). Who knows what kind of aid package you'll get from whatever public or private schools you apply to? I'd apply wherever you would like to go, and then see how the financing situation shakes down.
     
  11. DoubleDoctor

    DoubleDoctor Ceder Dog's Daddy
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    I wanted to go to school in my hometown because I'm very family oriented and love Cincy so that was my main motivation but I can tell you that grads from Cincy's MD/PhD program (which is what I'm doing) now teach at Harvard, Univ of Washington and JHU so
    I think that pretty much debunks the "you have to go to a top 10 school". It may give you an slight edge, but I'll let my scholarly ability speak for itself any day.

    Sure, if money's no object and you like the area and want to go to a top tier school, by all means, do it. I don't think you should feel compelled to do it thinking it's going to get some great advantage later on because one of the profs at Cincy is an MD/PhD from Harvard. I also know of two big name cardiologists here in Cincy, one from Yale and the other from Hopkins that are in a practice with a Cincy grad (who is the senior partner) and a OSU grad.

    Having graduated from Miami University (which has a large percentage of professors that are from Ivy league schools), I can tell you that yes, they must have gotten a good education because they were good in the classroom but I had several profs from state schools that were equally well prepared.

    I truly believe that this whole process of applying tends to perhaps bring out the worst in us. Most of us are competetive by nature, and anal and then we get into this app process and it just exacerbates those tendencies. Many of us have spent years of of life calculating every move to give us the best possible advantage and we tend to blow things out of proportion. Even if it would only give us a slight edge, we feel compelled to do it. Don't let where you went to school, define your self worth. Any education is what YOU make of it.

    I have had physicians from top 10 programs tell me that, although they appreciate their education, it doesn't really matter and they wish they had not come out of school 160K in debt. Let's face it, that kind of debt will effect your quality of living for a while (and your family's) so you have to be sure that it's really what you want and you are willing to sacrifice for it.
     

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