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Michigan versus Columbia

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by k-kidmed, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. k-kidmed

    k-kidmed Junior Member
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    Michigan versus Columbia

    I have a similar quandary to the person deciding between Yale and Michigan who posted recently. I'm presently deciding whether to go to Michigan or Columbia. If you have insights--specific or general-- please share them. This thread could be informative even for those not choosing between these schools specifically.

    Columbia and Michigan are very closely ranked, but have their respective costs/benefits.

    Some important factors for consideration include the following:

    1)Curriculum
    2) Technological and other resources
    3) Prestige (state vs. ivy)
    4) Quality of life (college town vs. NYC)
    5) Matching Record
    6) Quality of Affiliated hospital (Which is better? Mich has a VA. Will this significantly affect the quality of clinical education?)
    7) Other unique strengths/weaknesses
    8)Fuzzy/Anecdotal stuff

    One additional question:

    I have heard that I would have a hard time matching well in NYC if I go to Michigan, unless I work extraordinarily hard. Is this true?

    Thanks very much.
     
  2. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    Gotta go with U of M here. About half the class are going to be Michigan residents, which could mean that they just liked Ann Arbor and their home state and figured they would work just hard enough to avoid going to Wayne State or MSU. So out of that group, you'll probably find some people who are pretty content with where they are now and aren't going to be gunning for a gunner residency. The respective match lists seem to indicate this, as U of M has more people match into non-gunner residencies than Columbia. If I was a michigan resident I would have applied and matriculated there.

    I'd stay away from columbia. Not only do you have a higher gunner factor, but you have to deal with people who have done activities just to try to show that they are not a gunner. Like playing the violin or a member of the lacross team in college. True non-gunners don't play lacrosse or the violin to show how unique they are. Plus you have a former gunner who runs admissions. Even the name P&S is over the top. Michigan hands down.

    (For residency purposes, I don't think there is much of a difference. Do well at either school and you will get a highly ranked residency if that's what you want)
     
  3. lyragrl

    lyragrl Mold-a-rama fan
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    What the heck are you talking about? Plenty of people play the violin because they like to play the violin. Jeez.
     
  4. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating
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    Have you visited both schools in depth? They are very different schools in terms of location & student life.

    They are both great schools - at this point things like the fuzziness factor really come in. Where do you think you would be happiest at? Where do you want to LIVE for the next 4 yrs, and where do you think you might want to do residency, etc?

    I don't know about matching in NYC from Michigan (whether it is harder or not) but I think it makes sense that if you want to match in NYC, Columbia would be the more sensible choice due to exposure to programs here & connections.

    Seek out current students (try to talk to 3rd/4th yrs as well, not just first yrs) from both schools and go from there.

    b
     
  5. CalBeE

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    After reading a couple of your posts...I think you should stop being so judgmental on schools just because of how you "feel" the schools are like. Spreading rumors doesn't help anyone.
     
  6. morecowbell

    morecowbell Member
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    i saw the yale/michigan post too. the prestige thing throws me - we're talking about 3 top 10 programs, is prestige really a factor here?

    michigan has a very talented student body, a la columbia - it's just that columbia is so slanted towards musicians/rugby players that they get ragged on.
     
  7. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    It's not just the musicians, although i would rather be lab partners with someone who enoys shopping than playing the violin. at least we would have more to talk about. But it's the whole way columbia does things. Lets just put it this way, if i had enough initiative to apply to more than my state school, Columbia would be the first school I would have crossed off my list. The mind games they play with applicants is sad. It's amateur hour there when it comes to admissions.

    I'm not crazy about the way stanford does admissions, but they would probably be my first choice out of state school(amongst the top schools). Along with Duke. I wouldn't want to apply to harvard or Johns Hopkins either.
     
  8. 911Med

    911Med Senior Member
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    Whoa! Watch baggin' on MSU and WSU Medical Schools!
    I would venture to guess that there is at least one student out there that opted to go to MSU or WSU because they didn't want to deal with the BS of out-of-state gunners at UMich. (It wouldn't be me, but hey, maybe someone.)

    If you can deal with the weather, Ann Arbor is one of the greatest places to live and a fantastic place for med school. Read the threads on it and decide.
    NYC is cool if your making $400K and can really experience the city. (IMHO)

    Feel free to PM me if you need any info on Ann Arbor.

    Congrats - you have two great choices.

    p.s. I am the lacrosse player that beat up the violinist.
     
  9. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    good point. haven't thought about that. Come to think of it MSU vs. UM vs. Wayne would be a tough choice for me if I were a michigan resident. Where is MSU? I wouldn't want to be in detroit. If MSU was in a nice area I might go there over UM.
     
  10. rager1

    rager1 Anatomy-be-gone
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    Not just the musicians?
    You would have more to talk about with a shopper than a violinist?
    I'm baffled about the unidimensional archetypal world population you see as surrounding you. What do shoppers do that give them more conversation starters?

    A Day in Lab with Southbelle
    ---------------------------
    Shopper: "Hey did you hear? Macy's is still selling clothes! They're like on a 35 year long streak. Everyday, baby. Everyday"

    Southbelle: "Really? That's awesome. Did you hear that Violinist?"

    Violinist: <strips naked and rocks back and forth in a corner>

    Exeunt
    ---------------------------

    Anyway...

    back to the OP's point: In terms of prestige, people usually refer to the "household value" of a school's name which is usually defined by the undergrad program. So while UMich and Columbia have comparably regarded medical schools in medical circles, the prestige "values" attached to the names of each university are different. I do agree with Southbelle that if you do well at either school and rock your boards, you can get into any residency you want. But medical schools tend to be regional feeders with most graduates filling the local area programs. Many people at Columbia remain at NYPresbyterian. Many people at Baylor stay in Houston. Same with Michigan probably. Undoubtedly, both schools will prepare you well for the M.D.
    My advice is choose based on flavor assuming money isn't a factor.

    As for difficulty matching in NYC from UMich: I suppose it is possible for there to be a bad relationship between schools. I heard, UMich will not accept Yale graduates that want to do a surgical residency because of a couple of bad experiences with Yale-produced residents. This is second-hand info but I might as well throw that out there... but I have no clue if that's the case between UMich and NYC hospitals.


    --Rager
     
  11. morecowbell

    morecowbell Member
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    ahh - i guess it never even crossed my mind that someone would consider the quality of the undergrad program when picking a med school, but i get your point.
     
  12. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    Ahhhhh....I wondered what happened to someone after smoking a pound of wacky tobacky in a day...
     
  13. TheFlash

    TheFlash Playtime Is Over
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    I don't agree with this. If this was true, UCSF would be one of the least prestigious schools in the country. You cannot blindly interchange prestige with the "household value" of a school's name when considering medical schools. Most lay people think MIT Med is a top 10 program, but we all know this isn't the case. Heck, you probably shouldn't really consider "prestige" as its own separate entity at all when applying. If anything, you should use the residency/peer scores provided by US News to gauge the effectiveness of a school landing you a competitive residency position.

    Even if we were only considering the household knowledge of an undergrad, I think UM would beat Columbia by a landslide, thanks mostly to its amazing sports programs giving it national exposure as a premeir public university. But I digress.
     
  14. sistahnik

    sistahnik Senior Member
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    you betta watch what you say about detroit!! :mad: what's wrong with detroit? have you ever lived here? we have excellent medical schools with adequate training in residency programs. the people out of state have nothing to go on but what they here on the news/papers, there is more good than bad. actually there are nuts all over the world, so to say you wouldn't attend a school because of crime is rediculous b/c its everywhere, even in the places where people consider it high class or what ever you want to call it. :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  15. ice_23

    ice_23 Economics Monster
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    This seems to have become a thread filled with some mud slinging and a lot of not answering the original post. I am actually interested in the columbia & michigan distinction as well, if any current students at these schools wouldn't mind replying (although I know that perhaps this should also be in the allo forum as well)....

    -Ice
     
  16. ddmo

    ddmo BMF
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    Ok, it's obvious you don't know what you are talking about in regards to the 3 med schools in Michigan. Maybe you should reserve your opinion to matters you are educated on.
     
  17. rager1

    rager1 Anatomy-be-gone
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    Umm...no one said it was a hard and fast rule. Obviously it can only apply to schools with undergrad programs. Just to be clear: I am speaking of the prestige of the university name as perceived by the population at large. You tell some guy from Podunk, MO that you go to UCSF medical school and that you have a friend that goes to Yale Medical School and he probably will not have heard about UCSF. He will have heard of Yale most likely. And assuming he's heard of both, this guy from Podunk might just (and I think, almost certainly will) think of Yale as the more prestigious program because he will attach the prestige of the undergrad program with anything that has "Yale" stamped on it. And I'm not suggesting that the OP consider this strongly or anything when choosing a medical school. And honestly, even some doctors in my experience do the same as Joe from Podunk. I was just pointing out that prestige is often the impression left by a school name. It's a totally superficial thing. It says nothing of training quality. If you go to a school with a world-renowned name, that will change the perception of many people when comparing your pedigree to others. Not necessarily medical people, but a lot of people nonetheless. No one has heard of Baylor in Europe but most have heard of Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. Baylor is a great school however, and in medical circles in Texas it carries a great deal of prestige. I'd place money that the name means jack-squat in Germany. It'll just be lumped in the American School Category.

    So perhaps I was unclear about my "household" comment, I didn't mean to imply that the number of households that have heard of a school affects it's prestige. I was referring to the weight/prestige given to a school name by a household. UMich has awesome sports; Yale has none that I know of. Yet I would argue that in a given american household, Yale is granted more "prestige" by people because of how synonymous it's name is with good academia. Should we care? I know I don't care all that much. But some people might care if only for aesthetic reasons. As you pointed out, Flash, with the UCSF example, the lay public perception doesn't necessarily reflect the true quality and comparability of certain medical school programs.

    Anyway, I'm a big believer that the more perspectives we have, the more confidently we can make our decisions. Giving another perspective about what contributes to a school's prestige was all I was trying to do for the OP.

    --Rager
     
  18. derf

    derf Ohio Land
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    4 years in ann arbor or in NYC :rolleyes:

    even if I get a full scholie at Mich, i would still go to P&S out of pocket. just my opinion.
     
  19. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    in what way? I just didn't know where msu was(aren't they moving soon or something...thats why I was confused). WSU is in the inner city if I'm correct, and UM is in ann-arbor. Sure I'm fully aware is a 'name' school compared to the others, but I think I might get a laid back atmosphere at MSU. If I was a michigan resident of course...
     
  20. sistahnik

    sistahnik Senior Member
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    derf that is sooo rediculous, to pay out of pocket vs accepting a full scholarship???? you know what, I listen to all this lip about prestige and what school is the top when the fact of the matter is what are you going to offer to these supposively high ranked schools???? I work in the hospital and the patients could give a rats tail about whether you went to columbia, mich, yale, ny, or where ever you got your med degree. I believe that some people desire to attend these ranked schools because they think it will add some value to their name. who cares. the real question to be asked is can you reach the people you will be caring for? can you assist them in getting their quality of life back? what can you do? think about it for a moment. I'm not trying to bash you, but I know what I see everyday and to give my patients a smile to carry them through their chemo treatments is a miracle in itself. I understand though, that's where you are in your life right now. :love: :love:
     
  21. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    Sure I'd have more in common with someone who loves fashion and loves to shop than someone who is interested in classical music and the violin. You wouldn't? I don't play the violin. I don't like that type of music. I like to shop. I like clothes.

    I don't think I'm exactly alone on this one either. Compare the # of girls interested in talking about shoes to the number of girls interested in talking about different violins.
     
  22. derf

    derf Ohio Land
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    prestige is not a factor for me, but location is...reread my post. Live in L.A. and would not survive four years in Ann Arbor. NYC is a different story. that's just me
    :)
     
  23. ddmo

    ddmo BMF
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    Ok, now I know where you are coming from about the location of MSU. Anyways, the locations of the three are very different, as our their purposes and the educations students would receive. UMich is concentrated on academic medicine and top 10 rankings, MSU was created to provide physicians for rural medicine, and Wayne is a 'get your hands dirty' clinical medicine school to give care to an indigant population.
     
  24. ice_23

    ice_23 Economics Monster
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    Please let's not knock musicians. Some of my best friends are musicians, and if you think a violinist or a singer can ONLY use his or her music as a conversation starter, then you'd be very wrong. My friends tend to be empathetic, caring, and downright fun to be around (and that might have something to do with them being musicians, and it might not).

    Let's talk about the matchlists/quality of life/student body/curriculum of the two schools (which a current student would be better at illustrating). I would bet that the two schools are almost equal in those regards in the eyes of many people.

    -Ice
     
  25. KylahM

    KylahM Member
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  26. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    In regards to everything....


    1) "household prestige": I tend to agree. If you ask a person on the street how good is Michigan Med outside of the midwest, they probably think Columbia is better (definitely Stanford....most my friends still don't believe me). If I wasn't in med school, I probably wouldn't know about UCSF. Some of my friends at other med schools still don't. I obviously didn't go to a premed feeder school. Most my friends at home thought I got rejected at Emory and came to Michigan as a result (although I got in at both), if that tells you something about "household names".
    2) Both are good schools. I don't know much about Columbia but one poster was right, they seem to be vastly different schools. Ultimately, do you want a tertiary care center in a relatively rural area, or an urban hospital in NYC. Put aside the match lists and crap for a minute, and I think if you can honestly answer that question, you will have decided.
    3) 20% of this year's graduating class stayed at UM. 50% on average are instate students so they tend to stay in the midwest I bet. I think we have 5-6 people in the Bay area. A million in Chicago. 3 in the raleigh-durham area. Those are the only places I took note of since I have no desire to go to NYC.
    4) Read my comment on the yale/michigan thread. If you have specific questions, IM me or post them. I think this is a great place, but then not every school is for everyone. The administration is great here, something I hear isn't good about Columbia.
     
  27. rager1

    rager1 Anatomy-be-gone
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    That was certainly the impression I had about Columbia and I was really worried about it.
    Yeah the administration at Columbia does come across as a little out of touch. Some people have assumed that the administration is unreceptive because it ostensibly puts few recommended changes into effect. A high school/college friend of mine went to Columbia P&S and dropped out his second year when he realized medicine was not for him. I asked him if that decision had anything to do with Columbia's atmosphere and he said "well, in a way it did. Columbia throws all the non-humanistic elements of medicine--and there are many--at you during the first two years. In a way Columbia was the best medical school for me because it showed me what medicine is like, and I might not have realized that this was the wrong career for me if I had gone to Yale where I wouldn't have been forced to look at those big parts of medicine that I personally found unappealing."

    Just some quick background so that no one thinks my buddy's a slacker. My friend was quite the hardcore science premed. We went to both high school and college together and he excelled in both. He had stratospheric numbers and a good sense of what he thought he wanted. He graduated from Stanford in 3 years and chose P&S out of many acceptances.

    Anyway, I also asked him about the receptiveness of the administration and he said "I think they're very receptive to feedback but most people think they aren't for two reasons: 1. Most of the students with complaints at Columbia won't put in the effort to organize their complaints and be persistent about making meetings with deans and following up on them. In my experience, I found them very willing to make time to listen and figure out ways of incorporating changes. 2. However, there are a instances in which they're unable to make changes at all or in time to benefit your class, and so a lot of students think they're just unwilling to make the changes. And of course we have a few administrators who will just tell you to go screw yourself when it comes to certain things. but remember that this is my experience from three years ago and it's possible circumstances have changed...I can't really tell you much about the clinical atmosphere outside of my selectives in CP [i.e., the clinical-exposure course during the first two years has selectives which are basically preceptorships. Note: Columbia P&S is opening a brand-new free clinic that will become an option for the CP selective]"

    I was actually reassured about my decision to go to Columbia over some other schools after speaking to him. I will grant you that financial aid is playing a large part in my decision, but all the same, I wouldn't go to a school that I suspected would make me unhappy. There were a few changes made to the curriculum pointed out to those of us at admit weekend--the biggest one being the abandonment of poorly or inconsistently-written syllabi (aka course readers) for textbooks instead. When I mentioned this to my friend, he said "Wow! that's huge. That was one of the major sources of complaint because one article here would be excellent and another would be full of typos and factual errors and people would go crazy. It'll be interesting to hear how this works out."

    Anyway, I hope my anecdotal post is helpful to you in your decision between two excellent medical schools. On a personal note, I withdrew from my interview at UMich because I couldn't see myself in Ann Arbor for four years. Not that I would have gotten in necessarily, but I was pretty sure I didn't want to be in Michigan. Since you have the luxury of more than one acceptance, you may want to bump up the importance of location. Columbia provides affordable living in Manhattan and while I don't know how old you are, I can think of few places as exciting as NYC for someone in their early 20s--or any age for that matter.

    Good luck!
    --Rager
     
  28. spumoni620

    spumoni620 .:good girl down:.
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    i interviewed at both schools, withdrew from columbia, got accepted early on at michigan. i'll give you my opinion on both schools with the disclaimer that this is purely my opinion and isn't meant in any way to offend students at the two schools.

    Michigan - I was very, very impressed with its program. Not only is Michigan a well-regarded medical school; it also has top programs in nearly every other area from law to engineering to business. This = opportunities to meet other people not in medicine, expand horizons, etc. The curriculum is outstanding and the students I talked to (and I've talked to quite a few) summarily loved their school. Resources - especially technological - are *outstanding*; probably by far the best i've seen across the board. It's also in a beautiful, very very safe location (Ann Arbor is a nice place w/a lot of culture) and having the ugrad campus right there is pretty nice as well. Cons: Ann Arbor is small, cost of living is expensive, and the WEATHER.

    Columbia - For some reason, I was not that impressed with my day there. The school itself is great. The students seemed to really like their school, but honestly i didn't meet many of them, so maybe that's why my opinion is a bit skewed. i have no complaints curriculum-wise etc. It's definitely a well-regarded, prestigious school by any record, at least from what i've perceived. however, i really didn't like the location in washington heights...i felt pretty unsafe even in broad daylight at the sketchy subway stations. and i'm not new at all to ny - i lived there for a while, in a different area of manhattan - it does make a big difference. This is just my personal opinion; for the OP the benefits of living in a community residence hall might outweigh the negatives of location; I don't know? Coupled w/weather, high cost of living, etc. etc. i just withdrew early on b/c i knew there was little chance i'd attend.

    I guess fundamentally I'd prefer A2 over NY just b/c the hugeness, impersonality etc. of NY got to me over time, and I didn't even live there very long. That said, there is no better place to have fun IMO. NY has everything - culture, theatre, great restaurants, central park (?)...and i definitely miss it at times. i just want to caution that even though it's only a 10-15 minute subway ride...it's not like living by nyu or by central park...i dunno.

    Bottom line is that noone can really make these decisions for you - you have to weigh where you think you'd be happiest, not what other people think. good luck!
     
  29. Tezzie

    Tezzie b*witched
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    Wtf does it matter if the average person know of an institution or not? Are you doing this for them or you?

    An MD in itself is prestigious.

    However i am scared of people who go into medicine because of the prestige. These threads are a scary reminder that these people still exist.
     
  30. bobbo

    bobbo Member
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    I'd go to UMich over Columbia anyday. Ann Arbor is a great town with plenty to do, there are tons of great bars and restaurants, plenty of culture, and a great campus. New York is New York, but for a med student and the little free time you have, A-deuce has more than enough to keep you entertained.

    As for the drawbacks that spumoni mentioned, Ann Arbor is a little expensive, but not even in the same league as New York - you will most likely have a roomate and pay somewhere between $4-500/month. Its definitely not a big city, but its a good size, and if you're 30 minutes from Detroit (okay, so the only things worth going there for are Greektown, a couple casinos and the Red Wings) and ~4-5 hours to Chicago or Toronto. And based on my experience, the weather isn't all that different from New York. It snows more and gets a bit colder, but it also doesn't rain as much as New York.
     
  31. Tezzie

    Tezzie b*witched
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    I m surprised that so far in this thread noone has mentioned facilities.

    I interviewed at both schools and i have to say that both schools are great. Since i am from NYC, i would have to say that i could easily enjoy going back and give the edge to Columbia for that.

    Columbia seems to have a long history when it comes to matching people in great neurosurgery spots. Something to look into if your interested in neurosurgery.

    However, there are a few things that an applicant can't ignore. I think that Michigan has by far better facilities than P&S. Also the student body at Michigan seems more interesting. I am not so sure that i would enjoy being in a school with 95% of the class coming from Yale, Harvard and Princeton and calling diversity their Hopkins, Duke and WashU students.

    You have to choose between two fantastic schools. You can't go wrong either way.

    Congratulations on your success. :thumbup:
     
  32. spumoni620

    spumoni620 .:good girl down:.
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    i have to agree with this. :thumbup: if you're choosing a school purely for prestige you risk being unhappy. definitely don't go with one school over the other simply because its "brand name" is more recognized by the average layperson. of course, if you're bent on a certain specialty or on academic medicine, then the "reputation" of the school in the medical field is a little more important. but we're talking about umich and columbia here, two amazing schools. as far as both go, i really believe you can't go wrong no matter what you want to do.
     
  33. Sixdegrees

    Sixdegrees Member
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    I lived for years in Mich (kinda near U of M) and went to Columbia undergrad and will be going to P&S.

    There are so many myths about Columbia: 1) You're so far uptown that it's hard to experience the city. 2) Washington Heights is dangerous. 3) As a student you won't have a chance/money to do what's fun in the city. I laugh when I read those things on SDN.

    What's true? You must deal with the administration with a NY frame of mind. I'm coming from the undergrad perspective but I've worked up in Washington Heights for a couple years and little is different.

    After living in NYC for an extended period of time I undoubtedly know that it wears down people. Not everybody. MANY people find it exhausting though. I did, but I'm going back.

    Although people on this forum always write about how fun it is and the many things you can do (very true of course) I think many do not realize the education you acquire in being in a truly INTERNATIONAL city.

    People claim the student body all comes from Ivies (when probably they have 10-15% more Ivy students than comparable top med schools) and forget that the international/cultural diversity of NYC shapes you in a way Ann Arbor most likely will not.

    There are VERY VERY few places that can expand your mind in the same way. I'm going back because that global perspective, albeit exhausting, is addictive.

    Recently, I went to a luncheon given by Pres. Bollinger who was recruited from Mich. In a week he said he met with seven international leaders. He said there was no way he could do that at Mich.

    I am NOT saying you should go to Columbia over Mich. What I am saying is that the choice is HUGE. Life will be very different. And if someone says it really doesn't matter since they are both great schools, that person couldn't be more wrong.

    They are both great schools but after 4 years (having learned medicine on different patient populations) being in totally different places will have changed you.
     
  34. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating
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    Sixdegrees, I couldn't agree with you more.

    b
     
  35. CalBeE

    7+ Year Member

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    I agree with SixDegrees....especially for people interested in Int'l public Health/Health policy...NYC's the place to be...but then what do I know...I've been living in California for half of my life :oops:
     
  36. JulianCrane

    JulianCrane The Power of Intention
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    Just go to the med school where you feel that you will be most productive and you will be have at. That's the best advice anyone can give you.
     
  37. josephgoro

    josephgoro Member
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    i will give you a dollar if you do :)

    from all you've written it seems that you would be happier "in nyc," if not "at columbia," but who knows these things...

    good luck to you wherever you go, though :)

    _________________________________________________________
    1st [email protected], waiting in nyc. grrrr
     
  38. TheFlash

    TheFlash Playtime Is Over
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    :laugh: Does this have anything to do with your 1st tier waiting list at UM? I love conflict of interest.
     
  39. KylahM

    KylahM Member
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    Any advice on getting off Columbia's waitlist?
    Thanks! :D
     
  40. thewebthsp

    thewebthsp Shoobeedoowap
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    A NY frame of mind eh?

    I feel like this is some difficulty level on Max Payne.
     
  41. KylahM

    KylahM Member
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    Any Michigan or Columbia students out there with insights?
    Thank you so much.
    :)
     
  42. seev99

    seev99 Senior Member
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    yo if u like football at all, you would go to UM hands down...since ur in doubt, u should choose columbia cuz u can't go wrong...ivy is ivy at the end of the day...holla!

    +pity+
     
  43. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    You could always come to the 2nd look weekend to further consider UM. And then you could ask LOTS of students (i'm spending a large chunk of my weekend in related activities).......and see parts of the med school that even I have yet to see.
     

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