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seeohme

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So I have narrowed my options to UCF and USF. I love both schools and they both have their pros and cons. I was wondering if anyone can give input as to why someone has chosen one over the other. This has been racking my brain over the last few weeks and its been really hard to decide.
 

flatearth22

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The general rule of thumb around here is that, all other things being equal, you should pick the established school over the new one. You might find this thread helpful - http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=895079

That said, you should still list some of your pros and cons for each school so we can see where you're coming from and what you value (price, location, family ties, etc.)
 

Cramer

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I had the same debate going on between ucf and usf. After each second look, it is clear that ucf is the better program. Dean German (ucf) is a fantastic speaker, fund raiser, and her dream for the program is coming true as we speak. Their facilities are massive, well designed, and only used by the med students. Usf is pretty tiny since the pt, nursing, pharmacy, and med students are crammed into a small area. I will say the usf has tgh, which is awesome!

You will become an md in either case. The usf students usually rotate at tgh, haley va, and only a bit at moffit. Ucf students rotate through Orlando Health, Florida Hospital, as well as the brand new VA hospital opening next summer at ucf med.


I hope this helps. BTW, Usf is approx $8k more each year and the 2106 class will be 180 students. I don't like the idea of becoming just another number, like in undergrad.
 
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Sephiroth

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The clearest advantage I could see for USF is there are several specialties for which there are residency program there which don't exist in Orlando. That could be a major reason to choose USF if you really want one of those. I don't really know what your preference is between Orlando and Tampa - it depends on some personal taste. I was quite impressed with UCF though when I was there. Once they have their university hospital built, which may or may not be by 3rd year for c/o 2016, that would probably remedy some of those things.
 

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I had the same debate going on between ucf and usf. After each second look, it is clear that ucf is the better program. Dean German (ucf) is a fantastic speaker, fund raiser, and her dream for the program is coming true as we speak. Their facilities are massive, well designed, and only used by the med students. Usf is pretty tiny since the pt, nursing, pharmacy, and med students are crammed into a small area. I will say the usf has tgh, which is awesome!

You will become an md in either case. The usf students usually rotate at tgh, haley va, and only a bit at moffit. Ucf students rotate through Orlando Health, Florida Hospital, as well as the brand new VA hospital opening next summer at ucf med.


I hope this helps. BTW, Usf is approx $8k more each year and the 2106 class will be 180 students. I don't like the idea of becoming just another number, like in undergrad.

a charismatic dean and new facilities aren't the best things to base this decision on, that said, I don't really have much to add here :laugh:

I'd go for the one that costs less if there's a significant difference after FA packages. If the cost is similar I'd go to the established school.
 

babybutterfly

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I am also having trouble deciding between USF and UCF and would appreciate any help/advice. I think the 2 schools are about equal when it comes to location and curriculum. Mostly, I'm stuck between the cheaper tuition at UCF vs the fact that USF is more established. I can see myself happy at either school and am not leaning in either direction.

Just so you know, I am leaning towards emergency medicine or family medicine (which could surely change during rotations-definitely no surgery or radiology) and I want to stay in Florida in the future.

Location: I like the Orlando area of UCF a little more than USF, which has the Orlando Magic and theme parks. The UCF medical campus is isolated 15 min away from everywhere else though. I also like the Tampa area, which has Busch Gardens and the beach. It seems I have to travel at both schools since rotation sites are 20 min away.

Facilities: UCF's facilities are amazing. They are brand new and very modern. USF facilities are a bit old but not totally rundown like Shands at UF.

Tuition: It turns out USF has the most expensive tuition in all of FL at $31,500. UCF is $24,000 or 26,000 a year.

Curriculum: Both schools have a similar curriculum, mostly lecture-based with some PBL. Attendance is not mandatory at USF, but most professors require attendance at UCF. Both post the lectures online. UCF requires a F.I.R.E. project.I think this project would make me stand out to residencies. USF requires a scholarly concentration area.

Reputation: UCF is brand new. Rel said that their board scores are 3+ above the national average. I just know USF is above the national average but don't know how much. I know USF has a better reputation since it is established since 1978 and they have solid residency matches. I believe UCF is up-and-coming and am very confident they will succeed as a medical school. I personally feel reputation is overrated but that's just my opinion.

Support system: My fiance will be living with me. I do not know anyone at USF, but I have 1 good friend who will be attending UCF.
 

WhizoMD

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Curriculum: Both schools have a similar curriculum, mostly lecture-based with some PBL. Attendance is not mandatory at USF, but most professors require attendance at UCF. Both post the lectures online. UCF requires a F.I.R.E. project.I think this project would make me stand out to residencies. USF requires a scholarly concentration area.

USF is p/f, UCF is graded.
Some things are mandatory at USF (pbl, labs, skills training, preceptors).
USF doesn't require you to complete a scholarly concentration
 

StitchinUp

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After visiting both myself, I thought students seemed happier at UCF. The ones at USF complained that they didn't get a lot of support or guidance from their administration and faculty. Though still developing, by the time we enter third and fourth years at UCF I think its reputation will be good, at least in Florida.

I'd say UCF for quality of life and education, but if you're worried about reputation USF. (Personally, leaning toward UF, with UCF as my second choice for in-state).
 

apex954

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After visiting both myself, I thought students seemed happier at UCF. The ones at USF complained that they didn't get a lot of support or guidance from their administration and faculty. Though still developing, by the time we enter third and fourth years at UCF I think its reputation will be good, at least in Florida.

I'd say UCF for quality of life and education, but if you're worried about reputation USF.
(Personally, leaning toward UF, with UCF as my second choice for in-state).

i totally agree with this, it's like you took it out of my mouth...
 

Cramer

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The clearest advantage I could see for USF is there are several specialties for which there are residency program there which don't exist in Orlando. That could be a major reason to choose USF if you really want one of those. I don't really know what your preference is between Orlando and Tampa - it depends on some personal taste. I was quite impressed with UCF though when I was there. Once they have their university hospital built, which may or may not be by 3rd year for c/o 2016, that would probably remedy some of those things.

This is true if you want to stay in Orlando for residency. As far as rotations go, students have been rotating through Orlando Health from fsu, uf, and usf for many years. BTW, USF does not have a hospital for themselves. TGH is a completely separate entity. The tuition at USF has been raised to $34,400 while UCF is $27,035.
 

seeohme

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Devil's advocate:


Location: I feel like USF will get more interesting patients than USF because of the area it is in. Also TGH is a giant hospital (way bigger than shands).

Facilities: "UCF's facilities are amazing. They are brand new and very modern. USF facilities are a bit old" but I think USF has a lot more to offer in terms of having standardized patients, fake patients that act out scenarios, and a clinic that allows you to practice what you learned on real people (which UCF doesn't have).

board scores: I heard from a friend that went to their second look that UCF's first class had a few points over their board scores, the second year class had average board scores, but USF is always a few points above the average. Also last boards: 95% of UCF's class passed the boards while in USF only 1 person didn't pass.
 

StitchinUp

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Devil's advocate:


Location: I feel like USF will get more interesting patients than USF because of the area it is in. Also TGH is a giant hospital (way bigger than shands).

Facilities: "UCF's facilities are amazing. They are brand new and very modern. USF facilities are a bit old" but I think USF has a lot more to offer in terms of having standardized patients, fake patients that act out scenarios, and a clinic that allows you to practice what you learned on real people (which UCF doesn't have).

board scores: I heard from a friend that went to their second look that UCF's first class had a few points over their board scores, the second year class had average board scores, but USF is always a few points above the average. Also last boards: 95% of UCF's class passed the boards while in USF only 1 person didn't pass.

Sounds like you're leaning toward USF.

Though, I think all med schools have standardized patients, and it doesn't matter what all of your classmates get on their boards. It matters if YOU pass. Basically, passing the boards is mainly on you and your studying (from what current students tell me).

Also, almost every school told me their students scored above the national average. Who are these students who aren't scoring above average? Conundrum.
 
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Sephiroth

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Sounds like you're leaning toward USF.
Also, almost every school told me their students scored above the national average. Who are these students who aren't scoring above average? Conundrum.

Yeah, 90% of schools have STEP1 scores above the national average. Math is funny like that :rolleyes:
 
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Devil's advocate:


Location: I feel like USF will get more interesting patients than USF because of the area it is in. Also TGH is a giant hospital (way bigger than shands).

Facilities: "UCF's facilities are amazing. They are brand new and very modern. USF facilities are a bit old" but I think USF has a lot more to offer in terms of having standardized patients, fake patients that act out scenarios, and a clinic that allows you to practice what you learned on real people (which UCF doesn't have). I am not sure where Shand's fits into the conversation, but there are two large hospitals in downtown Orlando that would be used for your clinical training, they too are larger than Shand's. Dont forget to add the VA that will open during your first year here. Both USF and UCF have strong clinical training hospitals, probably the best overall array in the state with a diversity of missions.

board scores: I heard from a friend that went to their second look that UCF's first class had a few points over their board scores, the second year class had average board scores, but USF is always a few points above the average. Also last boards: 95% of UCF's class passed the boards while in USF only 1 person didn't pass.

So the "soldier of light" .....;>).......needs to provide some factual correction to the "advocate of the devil".......;>)
- Both areas have a solid and diverse patient base, at least as diverse as the other major cites in the state. It may be that with Orlando being an international destination that they actually have more oddities than you might imagine.
- At UCF you will be in the Clinical Skills Lab at least 2 hours per week working with standardized patient actors (of course, lots of actors in Orlando) or in the simulation center. That is easily more clinical skills time than any other program in the state that I am aware of.
- Only the charter class has taken the boards and, yes (like 90% of the nation) they finished above the national average. One of the 40 did not pass due to catastrophic events within the family just prior to the exam and subsequently took a year off to help all get settled. That individual is a strong test-taker, has excelled academically, and should easily pass on the retest in the next few days. Our second class of 60 is currently studying for the STEP I exam and will take it in the next several days also. On a side note that is a remarkable showing of USF if only 1 of 120 did not pass on the first attempt, I hope that information is accurate.
- On a side note, attendance is not required for most courses at UCF, however with the integrated teaching modalities students are best-served to be in class. UCF only schedules ~20 hours of your time per week during years 1 and 2, of that ~20 hours, less than 8 hours are lecture-based. There is a lot of utilization of case basis, team-based learning, pbl, small group activities, clinical skills, and labs. From what I understand most of the med programs are heavily lecture-based (~70%).
 
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seeohme

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thank you REL! :)
I am just really trying to sort everything out
 

ankit999

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I am a 4th year student at usf and wanted to clarify some things-- the facilities at usf are outdated but due to a relatively large monetary donation by a private philanthropist -- we will be building a brand new medical school building at the site of the old usf clinics. The dean has done an amazing job emphasizing clinical experience through building the morsani center, south tampa center, and recent affiliations with Florida hospital Tampa, & Lehigh Valley.

The biggest plus to usf is the fact that we have every single residency program with the exception of anesthesia. In fact we have the only integrated plastic surgery and vascular surgery programs in the state. We have rads, rad onc, derm, ophtho, ortho, urology, ENT, etc. Having a department to guide you and write letters of recs on your behalf will mean everything

No matter where you go- you will be prepared to do well on step 1 & 2. Our step 1 pass rate is very high - with the avg slightly above the national mean.

Usf medicine prides itself on amazing clinical experience at Tampa general hospital, 2 va hospitals, moffitt, and the usf clInics on campus and in south Tampa.

Hope this helps.
 

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I just wanted to point out that I would not be considering the condition of facilities in my deciding between medical schools. Your biggest consideration coming out of medical school is not having the best clinical skills (and thus choosing schools based on who will give you the best clinical education with the best stuff). Most medical students have rather crappy medical skills coming out straight out of schools. That is what RESIDENCY is for.

Your biggest consideration should be maximizing your ability to match a competitive specialty. This is the reason everyone gets in medicine, right? Well you need to ask yourself some key points:

1) What is the relative prestige of school X. There are three tiers of medical schools. Tier I: Harvard, Hopkins, Penn, et al. Tier II: almost everyone else ranging from Ivies like Dartmouth to Georgia to Louisville and so on. With this Tier you need to bust your back, but it is possible to get a competitive specialty with scores and grades. Tier III: newly accredited medical schools and schools like NYKMC and Morehouse. You have a battle ahead of you with these schools, and it ain't going to be pretty.

2) DON'T WORRY ABOUT STEP 1 averages at schools. They are mostly bogus. There is no way every school in the nation has an average above the national average. Doesn't make sense. Step scores are the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of your residency application. However, you control this aspect NOT the school you attend.

3) LETTERS. Don't underestimate the power of a phone call or a letter. Coming from no-name medical school that doesn't have a home department will not work in your favor. Residency Director Steve most likely knows home Chairman Alex, and if Alex makes the call you move up the rank order. Don't underestimate this.

4) Third year grades. How many honors does the school give. If you are in a Tier II or even worse a Tier III school, you MUST honor medicine and surgery at least. No need for AOA, but things won't work in your favor if crappy school X is even crappier in that they sink you by not grade inflating their 3rd year.

5) Research. You want big names here with lots of money. Which school has more NIH dollars. Again research in the specialty you want.

To conclude: Medical school is a stepping stone to reach your preferred residency. It is nothing more, nothing less. You attend medical school to match competitive specialties. Make sure your school has the same mission as you do.
 

flatearth22

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I just wanted to point out that I would not be considering the condition of facilities in my deciding between medical schools. Your biggest consideration coming out of medical school is not having the best clinical skills (and thus choosing schools based on who will give you the best clinical education with the best stuff). Most medical students have rather crappy medical skills coming out straight out of schools. That is what RESIDENCY is for.

Your biggest consideration should be maximizing your ability to match a competitive specialty. This is the reason everyone gets in medicine, right? Well you need to ask yourself some key points:

1) What is the relative prestige of school X. There are three tiers of medical schools. Tier I: Harvard, Hopkins, Penn, et al. Tier II: almost everyone else ranging from Ivies like Dartmouth to Georgia to Louisville and so on. With this Tier you need to bust your back, but it is possible to get a competitive specialty with scores and grades. Tier III: newly accredited medical schools and schools like NYKMC and Morehouse. You have a battle ahead of you with these schools, and it ain't going to be pretty.

2) DON'T WORRY ABOUT STEP 1 averages at schools. They are mostly bogus. There is no way every school in the nation has an average above the national average. Doesn't make sense. Step scores are the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of your residency application. However, you control this aspect NOT the school you attend.

3) LETTERS. Don't underestimate the power of a phone call or a letter. Coming from no-name medical school that doesn't have a home department will not work in your favor. Residency Director Steve most likely knows home Chairman Alex, and if Alex makes the call you move up the rank order. Don't underestimate this.

4) Third year grades. How many honors does the school give. If you are in a Tier II or even worse a Tier III school, you MUST honor medicine and surgery at least. No need for AOA, but things won't work in your favor if crappy school X is even crappier in that they sink you by not grade inflating their 3rd year.

5) Research. You want big names here with lots of money. Which school has more NIH dollars. Again research in the specialty you want.

To conclude: Medical school is a stepping stone to reach your preferred residency. It is nothing more, nothing less. You attend medical school to match competitive specialties.
Make sure your school has the same mission as you do.

If you want to troll at least be subtle about it.

My 2 cents after reading some of the posts comparing the two schools: If "new school" falls under your pros list for UCF (more leadership opportunities, get to be a trail-blazer, unique new curriculum, smaller class size, brand new facilities, etc.) then go there. But if "new school" falls under your cons list for UCF (unsure about reputation amongst residency directors, clinicals aren't as finely tuned, lack of residency programs affiliated with the school, still in the "guinea pig" stage, etc.) then go to USF.

Personally, I think that medical school is enough of a challenge on it's own to also be burdened with going to a newly established school which has no residency placement data and reputation, where all the quirks in the curriculum (especially clinicals) haven't fully been worked out, and where you may be called on to be more of a leader and trend-setter than you desire. I had a similar choice between Hofstra and an established school in the midwest and chose to go to the latter because "new school" fell directly under my cons list for Hofstra.
 

babybutterfly

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So my main dilemma between these schools is the fact that USF is established and has a better reputation than UCF. But UCF's tuition is about 7 grand cheaper per year. I like both schools equally. Do you think it is worth going to the more expensive school since it is more established?
 

kid Icarus 3

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I have reached that point where I feel compelled to comment... This is of course just my opinion and I by no means intend to argue with people so just keep that in mind. I have been accepted to both schools as well and I am choosing UCF.

I have seen a lot of people on this thread get in a tizzy about USF being so established and UCF being new. I would first say that although, yes, USF is more established than UCF and is a great school it still isn't a top tier school like having an Ivy league reputation. So for that matter it will not make a big difference. I guarantee that when you are applying for residencies the school you went to will not be one of the big contributing factors. In fact, I recently read a research article on this and school reputation fell 9th in a list of the 14 most important criteria to gain entrance to a residency slot... and I would bet that it is only 9th because people that go to the REALLY big name schools might find some preference... if it weren't for that it would prob not even be as hihg on the list as number 9.

Lastly, I just felt happier when I was at UCF. The facilities are new, all the faculty are on board to bend over backward for the students, the Dean is awesome, and every student I talked to is loving their experience. And yes, it is a lot cheaper which is a bonus... So ya... choose what you will but I loved UCF. Choosing USF is not a bad choice however and that is not what I am saying. Basically I just wanted to say don't get hung up on the reputation jazz that everyone keeps floating out there. It is silliness in my opinion. Cheers.
 

apex954

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I have reached that point where I feel compelled to comment... This is of course just my opinion and I by no means intend to argue with people so just keep that in mind. I have been accepted to both schools as well and I am choosing UCF.

I have seen a lot of people on this thread get in a tizzy about USF being so established and UCF being new. I would first say that although, yes, USF is more established than UCF and is a great school it still isn't a top tier school like having an Ivy league reputation. So for that matter it will not make a big difference. I guarantee that when you are applying for residencies the school you went to will not be one of the big contributing factors. In fact, I recently read a research article on this and school reputation fell 9th in a list of the 14 most important criteria to gain entrance to a residency slot... and I would bet that it is only 9th because people that go to the REALLY big name schools might find some preference... if it weren't for that it would prob not even be as hihg on the list as number 9.

Lastly, I just felt happier when I was at UCF. The facilities are new, all the faculty are on board to bend over backward for the students, the Dean is awesome, and every student I talked to is loving their experience. And yes, it is a lot cheaper which is a bonus... So ya... choose what you will but I loved UCF. Choosing USF is not a bad choice however and that is not what I am saying. Basically I just wanted to say don't get hung up on the reputation jazz that everyone keeps floating out there. It is silliness in my opinion. Cheers.

I totally agree with this...d whole argument of reputation vs cheaper school is only relevant for me if one of the schools in question is in top 10/15, even then, it's only the 9th most important factors for program directors when choosing med students....the 9th position is not significant enough for me to forfeit the X amount of dollars i'll be saving in going to the less reputable/new school esp in this current economic climate....i think every premeds that do not have the luxury of rich parents/full scholarship should seriously think abt d debt they'll be incurring before choosing a school purely based on emotion...just being a physician is already a respectable occupation with prestige in the society...I dont see d need to pay exorbitant amount for the 'name' if u just want to go into clinical medicine as opposed to academia....this argument shouldn't be misconstrued to mean that reputation n prestige of schools have no bearing on ur career, it just that it should be viewed in the context of everything else....

I hope to be having this same argument in my head this time next year.

nice one!
 

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Given current direction of UCF and all things happening around UCF, I can only imagine school would rank higher in a few years if not similar. Also, I totally agree that unless it's Harvard/JH, I think it will come down to your board score for your residency. You should go where you will be more comfortable.
 

WhizoMD

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IMO established vs new and reputable vs non-reputable are two completely different arguments. As far as reputation goes I'd say it's a wash at this point, neither school is or will ever be a top 20.

For established vs. new, established is generally the better option.
True, you can match into any specialty regardless of the school you attend, but that isn't saying much about the path you have to take to match. The paved road is usually easier than the one under construction.
 

seeohme

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"As far as reputation goes I'd say it's a wash at this point, neither school is or will ever be a top 20"
OUCH.
 
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