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multiple acceptances...how do you choose?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by justpremed, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. justpremed

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    for those people lucky enough to have a choice...how do you choose???

    from what i've heard, things like curriculum, placement rates, and board scores don't actually matter that much...so it's seems like cost and location would be the most important factors, but what other things are people looking at to pick a school?
     
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  3. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    Cost is by far the most important for me, followed by curriculu and facilities,reputation and then location being one of the least important.
     
  4. iA-MD2013

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    Same here.
     
  5. flip26

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    a partial ditto...

    1) money - total indebtedness
    2) location (family, comfort)
    3) pass/fail and curricula differences
     
  6. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    I'm still trying to figure out the same question as the OP, only curriculum definitely matters to me (at least some) and I wouldn't write it off totally...(provided I have a pass-fail option at the end of the cycle). 8 hours of class per day with letter grades is a totally different scenario than 2 hours of class per day pass-fail. Cost is hugely important, too. All the schools that have accepted me have good locations so location isn't an issue for me.

    Basically, BUMP this thread to the top and other people share.
     
  7. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    I think total cost will be huge for like 95% of people. Location is actually more important than I thought it was going to be, and I really consider my interview day experience (the current students, other applicants, facilities, surrounding area, etc).
     
  8. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    wtf...which school is P/F with two hours of class???? TELL ME, haha
     
  9. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    UCLA is... Oh God, please let me in....:D
     
  10. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    2 hours a day?? thats crazy...it just seems like so little time to learn everything you need to.
     
  11. Karees

    Karees MS3
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    Just wanted to say I'm so proud of all of you that have a choice! Way to go guys!
     
  12. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    Well it is 2 hour of lecture and 2 hours of PBL every day. THen on some of the afternoons, there are labs, and other small group stuff going on... I am not sure exactly though... since UCLA does not sell itself at all, and does not give too much information about the curriculum structure...
     
  13. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Columbia. I think occasionally there are also labs and shadowing type activities. But the core schedule is (apparently) about 2 hours of classes per day (according to my friend who goes there). Although they're changing it this year, so who knows?

    But I guess Columbia has to let me in first. :xf::xf:
     
  14. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    I felt the same way about UNC...all the other schools used the interview day telling you info about the school and trying to recruit you there, but UNC didnt really. It was as if they had the mindset "you would be lucky to come here"


    which i guess makes sense for two top cheap state schools
     
  15. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    Still kind of an irritating attitude for a school to have. Could you imagine a student coming in to an interview with that attitude? :laugh: I'm sure there are some that do, and i doubt they are very successful. Damn double standards, and theres nothing we can do about it.
     
  16. 202781

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    I am gonna pick the place where I think I would have the best success.

    I think I would probably shoot myself in the face if I were to go somewhere that has a bunch of snow for like 5 months of the year.
    Also I am beginning to realize that the difference between being 200k and 300k in debt is not that much in the long run. I mean you work for like 35 years and you are prolly gonna earn 200k + per year. That means that you will earn 8 million dollars over your career (more or less) and that is not even including your significant others salary.

    I would rather be paying 25k more a year and live in SoCal than freeze my ass off and be miserable in North Dakota or Minnesota.
     
    #15 202781, Jan 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  17. Dr Lyss

    Dr Lyss Professional Student
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    I'm going to pin each acceptance letter to the wall and blindly throw darts. The one with the most hits wins :lol:



    just kiddinggggg
     
  18. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    I would pay extra to live in Minnesota, but Mayo does not like me.
     
  19. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    1) Location
    2) Cost


    I do not care too much about curriculum, since I do not know which I will fare best in....
     
  20. silverhorse84

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    Haha, I jokingly told my friend that if the two schools I was debating between played eachother in some sport, I'd choose based on who won! :p
     
  21. BluntSurgeon

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    Its pretty much the same with me--however if I do get a P/F curriculum option (come on UCLA..) that will most likely weigh in heavily in terms of where I go.
     
  22. 87138

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    My school has 2 hours of class. No one I know (at any school) actually learns in class. You learn on your own studying. So class blows through the main points, and it's your job to learn allllll the details on your own.

    What I can't understand is how anyone could spend more than 2 or so hours in class every day. What a waste of time that would be.
     
  23. stixx

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    I'd much rather have more lecture than more reading. But that's just me.
     
  24. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Where can you have the best shot at your best performance? In the end, it's only your performance (on boards, in coursework) that counts. If your school has a 100% board pass rate in previous years and you are the first person to fail, that board pass rate doesn't mean much to you. Where can you go that you will be happy every time you write that loan repayment check in the future? This will impact your practice more than anything.
     
  25. 87138

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    Come back to this post of yours and re-read it when you're in med school. You might get a chuckle.
     
  26. tdittyx2x3

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    The difference between 200k and 300k/year is one hundred thousand dollars. That is half of a decent house, which for most people is significant. Also, we shouldn't forget that 100k quickly grows with interest (a decade of interest, minimum).. unless its factored into the 200 vs 300, then it will be much more than 100k.

    The average physician makes less than 200k a year. I thought it was more like 150k? Not to mention that this number is before taxes, so chop those earnings in half either way. And what if we fall in love with pediatrics? Then we're looking at 60k after taxes, a drastically different story than "8 million over a lifetime."

    Also, I think its important to be careful when going into debt just for life's way of being crazily unpredictable. What if a student goes through four years of school and decides they don't like it? What if they get married and have kids? What if their parents need financial help? There's just an infinite number of "what-ifs", however slight chance they might be, to consider. Yes, a physician should have enough money to pay the extra debt, but they will probably want/need that 100k+ somewhere down the line. I'd be willing to guarantee it. Life is expensive.

    Sakondbest, I think you are right that if you truly believe you'll be a miserable (and therefore unproductive) student at school X, then you shouldn't go there... but all I'm sayin is look closely and see if school Y is truly worth the extra money. To be fair, I think there probably are a few good reasons to choose the more expensive school (proximity to family, etc). Personally, weather would not be one of those reasons for me.

    Btw, I'm not claiming to be some know-it-all here. I learned this lesson myself this year when deciding between schools. Good luck choosing everybody.
     
  27. 202781

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    A friend of mine said it best.

    Life is much like the game of LIFE. You go around in circles and at the end of it you are left with a little money and some LIFE points. Those LIFE points will be much more valuable to you in the end.


    ...especially if it is only 100k difference (which is not a whole lot)
     
  28. Narmerguy

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    Yes. Yes it is.
     
  29. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    how about student life. which place has the most interesting things to do on and off campus? as much as we think 'med schools med school,' there are differences. some places give students more opportunities to enjoy their time in learning and some dont care.

    which students seem laid back? are they happy with the area? sometimes the most interesting things about a school are what happens in the surrounding community - give it another look. student life could be completely different at both.
     
  30. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    I agree with the above post. "Fit" is important. But, to be fair, money is a more powerful motivator.

    The amount of time in class is directly proportional to the amount of time you are NOT available to study or live out other aspects of your life. Pretty sure the lower the free time, the higher the frequency of thoughts of suicide.

    Talk to students who go to that medical school. They will likely give you straight-up responses. Do not ask their opinion immediately before or after a big exam.
     
  31. fizzle

    fizzle New Member
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    See, the issue I have with seeing the whole med school process as solely self-dependent is that your classmates will play a large part in your own performance at the medical school. It's the same as in undergraduate, where the difference between higher and lower-ranked schools isn't necessarily the quality of education you receive but rather the drive, the motivation and the intellect that your classmates have. This allows for better networking and opportunities and, most importantly, the people you are around most of the time will influence how hard you yourself feel you need to work. So when your own performance is so linked to your classmates, I don't really know if it's something that can be isolated to you. If your school has a 100% board pass rate, then the student body is obviously going to be very driven, and this in turn may affect how much you study.
     
  32. tdittyx2x3

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    Here are a few aspects to consider in no particular order:

    Curricula
    Board pass rates and scores
    Impressions of the school at interview (ie: atmosphere)
    Reputation
    Location
    Cost

    Curricula - some argue that pre-meds have little clue which curriculum will work best for them and what they will want by the time they get to medical school, simply because they haven't been there yet. For example, a pre-med might appreciate that school X has more "clinical opportunities" in the first two years - a common selling point, but many med students talk about these shadowing experiences like a waste of precious study/relaxation time.

    Board pass rates and scores - some medical students argue that a student's score would be about the same at school X, Y, or Z. How many times have you heard "medical school is what you put into it"?

    Impressions of the school - How much truth are you really going to get at interview day? Was there any correlation between the admissions office at your undergrad and the quality of your friends in undergrad? If your tour guide is a total b*tch, does that mean a lot of the students will be? Everyone's school is "not competitive at all" and they all "go out and have fun after exams". From what medical students have told me, class personality varies from year to year. You can't predict a friendly/fun medical school class. Impressions are ok to take in, but they are only impressions and they aren't very dependable.

    Reputation - Supposedly meaningless to your career unless you are going into higher level academic work.

    Location and cost, location and cost, location and cost.
     
  33. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    Personally, I think Location is a dumb reason to pick a medical school.


    Human beings are adaptable creatures, and can thrive most anywhere. The only time I could see it being a factor is because of a fiance or spouse and maybe if you are really close to your family.

    So for me...COst, cost, cost, cost
     
  34. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    you miss the boat on a major point of consideration: some places, ie new york city are better than others ie every other place.
     
  35. Dr Lyss

    Dr Lyss Professional Student
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    ha spoken like a true new yorker
     
  36. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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  37. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    You can find the same thing in almost every other decent sized cities, just less of it. Besides its only 4 years, and you probably wont have a great deal of time to enjoy NYC anyways.
     
  38. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    Personally, I'd say you have that backwards. Some people value things like clean air, personal space, low crime rates etc. haha...

    Personally, i really like where I chose, Kentucky, home of fast women and beautiful horses. Or did i get that backwards?:laugh:
     
  39. mkitty09

    mkitty09 crazy cat lady
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    for me, its all about location, location, location. no matter which school i'm going to end up at, i figure ill be in debt, so i might as well end up somewhere ill be happy even if its more expensive.
     
  40. chemolupusMD

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    sorry dude, but i think 100k is a WHOLE LOT of money. like someone pointed out before, 100k is half of a house (in some places). If you have ever worked for a long time you realize how much 100k is. I think cost is gonna be a major decision factor, but i am also looking at location as well.
     
  41. ButImLETired

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    I totally agree with Chubby. For me, geography was at the very bottom of the criteria list. I'm an adult and don't need to have my mommy within driving distance to keep it together, my friends from college are all scattered anyway, and I think I'd probably become a much better doctor for working with a population I'm not necessarily familiar with than if I just stayed home and hung around the place I'm most comfortable with. I figure I'll be spending most of my time on campus studying anyway, and on weekends people tend to gather at the same 3 or 4 bars (this happens even when you live in a huge city), so ultimately, geographic location is irrelevant.

    On the other hand, while geography doesn't really matter, I think some people are really freaked out by freezing cold rural places and some are really freaked out by major urban centers. You also don't want to become a shut-in because seeing cows makes you have a panic attack or you don't like rude New Yorkers.

    I think for me, cost was huge, and the campus/facilities were huge. Forget the city I'm in, I'm gonna be LIVING on that campus. Am I comfortable walking around there alone at night? How close are students' apartments and how expensive? Do the lecture halls feel claustrophobic? Is the hospital in disrepair? Is there a nice, airy library for me to study in for 10 hours straight? Obviously this is a matter of personal preference and plenty of people don't care for pretty campuses and safe neighborhoods, but it was one of my major criteria.
     
  42. Premed Worrier

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    If I am lucky enough to be faced with this choice, I am going with location and cost as main deciding factors. I feel with my personality and the way med. schools are set up that I am going to get the same knowledge anywhere and I will be able to adapt to minor irritations. But, outside of school I don't particularly want to be in a city, I want to be able to have the opportunity to relax if I have the time. Just my thoughts, maybe sub consciously I will choose a different way. I know that my interview days have definitely altered my thoughts about some schools quite significantly.
     
  43. Dr Lyss

    Dr Lyss Professional Student
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    wait your mom is not going to bake you cookies and do your laundry while you are in med school? how will you survive? :lol:
     
  44. ButImLETired

    ButImLETired Prodigal member
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    :( I wish. My mom doesn't bake me cookies anyway, and she'd probably yell at me if I told her I wanted her to do my laundry :oops:
     
  45. Dr Lyss

    Dr Lyss Professional Student
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    Location is important to me. It's not that I want to be near my family, I want to get away from them haha
     
  46. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    Oh Dartmouth... where are you... it is 2951 miles from my house... the farthest away I could get...:laugh:
     
  47. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Hmm...well, I applied to schools largely based on location, so I think I'd be happy wherever.

    You know the school comparison spreadsheet that was posted somewhere on SDN? Is there a way to adjust the relative value of each point of comparison? For me, location isn't a big deal. I'd be happy anywhere. Cost matters. Curriculum matters a lot. Good gym facilities are a nice bonus, but non-essential. Is there anyway I can change the spreadsheet to reflect this?

    :confused:
     
  48. Dr Lyss

    Dr Lyss Professional Student
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    haha thats very specific! Boston was a good 4 hrs from home and I loved it. If I go to Cornell I'll be about 45 min from home :( ... but I think I can still duck them.
     
  49. medhope31

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    From my the med students that I talked to on my interview days, they always say that the second looks/re-visits are the most important because you will get a sense of what your classmates will be like. These are the people you will have to hang out with and depend on during some of the hardest times in school and it is important that you feel comfortable.

    That will be the deciding factor for me.

    I already selected for geography, cirriculum when I was deciding on which schools to apply to.
     
  50. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    My parents would be very disappointed if I went to Dartmouth... that is if I can get in:(... But the only reason i checked was because I was wondering how far it was... since it is about an hour from Canada...
     
  51. 202781

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    am I the only one that thinks that the average STEP scores at a school matters?

    I mean... Come on. The matter a TON! I know that the scores will ultimately reflect how well you dedicate yourself, but I think that surrounding yourself with the highest caliber peers you can is always best. You will be able to learn more from "smarter" people which will likely elevate your "Game" to the next level.


    For instance if you want to learn to pick up chicks. I would rather be surrounded by people with a highe success rate than people who have an average or below average success rate. Your game will elevate and reflect the game of your peers.


    BOOM! What
     

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