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Northwestern (Feinberg) vs. LSU new orleans

Discussion in 'Help Me Decide: X vs Y Medical School' started by UrbExFanatic, May 1, 2017.

  1. UrbExFanatic

    2+ Year Member

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    This is obviously a bit late, but really want some outside opinions!

    I am mostly wondering if picking LSU over Feinberg would close any doors for me in terms of residency match or future opportunities. I've heard mixed reviews- some say its more about the student, others say a top-20 name holds a lot of weight. For background, I'm a pretty hardworker and I tend to be pretty resourceful. I don't think I want to go into primary care- probably a more competitive specialty.

    Northwestern:
    This is an amazing school but overall the city and winter seem really daunting to me. I did undergrad in the NE and the winter there was really, really hard on me and interfered with academic performance, etc.
    + amazing research and support for scholarly project
    + great faculty
    + awesome diversity resources and support networks
    + condensed curriculum

    - COA would be about $130,000 more
    - Chicago COA gives me anxiety - $1200-1400 is average rent for living close to school
    - I'm worried the winter will be hard and I won't be happy
    - more competitive than LSU
    - far from family and S.O.

    LSU:
    + cheap COA + 1/3 tuition scholarship (full tuition is abuot 32k so it's significant!)
    + close to family - since I went to boarding school and away from college, this is important to me!
    + new Orleans is awesome

    - I'm worried there isn't as much support for research, even tho they recently implemented a new honors program for research which looks awesome
    - I'm worried I'll be at a disadvantage for residency match
    - curriculum is 2 years
    - seems to be pretty disorganized
    - i'm worried about the student body. I love my nola friends, but this is a state school, and Lousiana is a .. well.. interesting state.

    If I'm being honest, my gut says go with LSU because it's so much more comfortable for me and so much cheaper. But it feels very difficult to let go of a top-20 school with such great resources and support networks for this reason. Any thoughts or input would be appreciated!
     
  2. Lamar1307

    Joined:
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    Medical Student (Accepted)
    Cutting this decision pretty close eh? The pros you listed for NW seem to be all related to your career goals. While the pros for LSU appear more personal besides the obvious difference in $$$. I would say go where you think you will be the happiest. The happier you are the more likely you will kick butt in class and step 1.

    However, if you are going for one of the most competitive specialties like derm then research opportunities are definitely something that you should consider a YUGE plus for Northwestern. Chicago is an awesome city also and you could always decide to live in an area that is less busy once you get to know the city better. Just try to make sure that you aren't choosing LSU because you are scared to venture somewhere new! Good luck with your decision!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    UrbExFanatic

    2+ Year Member

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    Haha yes, very close. Thank you so much Lamar1307!! I think you totally nailed it with personal vs. career reasons.

    Any other thoughts much appreciated.
     
  4. deev04

    Joined:
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    I think it depends what you mean by "closed doors." Middle and low-tier medical schools still match people to all the most competitive specialties. People from less prestigious schools just don't match as often to the Harvard/UCSF/JH residencies in these specialties. So going to LSU will not close any doors to you in terms of specialty (as long as you have the scores/research/grades) and you won't be pigeonholed into primary care. But, if your goal is to match into top tier academia, the path from LSU will be harder. NW is a Top20 school and NW would give you an edge (prestige, research opportunities, networking) for this tier of academia. But the tippity top is ridiculously competitive (even for non-competitive specialties), so there are no guarantees even if you go to a top school.

    You might also not be super interested in getting into a Top 5/10 ranked residency. If you were looking to stay in the south near family/SO, prestige probably matters less. There are plenty of top academic residencies in the SE (Emory, Vandy, UNC, Tulane, UVa) that will care less about academic prestige than say Harvard/UCSF/NW.

    Being happy during medical school is important and 130k is a lot of money. Unless you definitely want to go into top tier academia, NW might not be worth it.
     

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