ThePanchoVilla

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I'm interested in doing BME/biophysics research eventually; anyone have thoughts about choosing one over the other? Thanks!!
 

dmblue

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Does Baylor even offer a PhD in BME?

Northwestern is way better for BME. It's a top 10 program.
 

BasilFawlty

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Does Baylor even offer a PhD in BME?

Northwestern is way better for BME. It's a top 10 program.
I think their BME program is tied to Rice, which is also top-10.

But, place-wise, Chicago seems awesome, not sure about Houston...
 

Kickback

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I have a feeling this would be one of those decisions that boils down to where you want to live for the next 8 years of your life.
 
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This would only be helpful if you had picked up on the same vibe and weren't sure whether or not to trust it without independent verification, but when I was at NW I really got the feeling that all the students there were fairly miserable (or at least had been for a while & then got over it). I don't know if this is because of the city and the difficult living arrangments that usually arise from trying to live in a city on a student-sized stipend, or if it's something about the program itself, but I wasn't the only one who picked up on it in my interview group. (We later talked about it when we met up again at another school.) At my interview day someone asked, "Are you guys happy?" during the student panel, and after a beat or two someone answered, "Well, Chicago's really great." It was kind of unusual actually.

But if you didn't get this feeling, don't worry about it at all. And I didn't interview at Baylor so I can't say how NW compared to there, unfortunately. Good luck making a decision!
 

gbwillner

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I'm interested in doing BME/biophysics research eventually; anyone have thoughts about choosing one over the other? Thanks!!
I was accepted to both programs as well and liked both. I was not from TX or IL. Ultimately I chose BCM. The main factors were the quality of the graduate training (in genetics/overall) and affordibility of the city. I loved Chicago, but I was able to buy a townhouse in Houston.
I also feel the clinical training is much better at BCM, with access to ~5 hospitals, including services that are almost exclusively resident/med student run.
Either way, you can't go wrong.
 

dmblue

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This would only be helpful if you had picked up on the same vibe and weren't sure whether or not to trust it without independent verification, but when I was at NW I really got the feeling that all the students there were fairly miserable (or at least had been for a while & then got over it). I don't know if this is because of the city and the difficult living arrangments that usually arise from trying to live in a city on a student-sized stipend, or if it's something about the program itself, but I wasn't the only one who picked up on it in my interview group. (We later talked about it when we met up again at another school.) At my interview day someone asked, "Are you guys happy?" during the student panel, and after a beat or two someone answered, "Well, Chicago's really great." It was kind of unusual actually.

But if you didn't get this feeling, don't worry about it at all. And I didn't interview at Baylor so I can't say how NW compared to there, unfortunately. Good luck making a decision!
Not sure where you got that vibe from. I have the opposite impression
 
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Not sure where you got that vibe from. I have the opposite impression
Fascinating to see how subjective the impression of a program is!

This goes to say that you'll have to just go with your gut feeling. Objectively, both programs are great and you can't go wrong. As Kickback said, this will boil down to which city you will be happiest (or least miserable :D) in for the next eight years.

Personally, that would be Houston for me. There you go, another subjective opinion ;)
 

Shifty B

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I agree with the other posts above that you should probably choose based on where you want to live for 8 years.

On that note, I'll say that in my opinion affordability of a city is not brought up nearly enough. You're going to be living in a place for most of a decade on a really modest salary. LA, NY, Chicago, are all fun cities. They have great cultural and social opportunities, but the cost of living near your medical school can be egregious. If $1200 of your $1900 a month goes directly to rent/utilities, that's going to put a serious damper on your lifestyle.

You have to weigh whether you think you can tolerate the additional cost for the benefits. Also, try to consider how you're going to feel about your living situation when you're 30 years old.
 

dmblue

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I agree with the other posts above that you should probably choose based on where you want to live for 8 years.

On that note, I'll say that in my opinion affordability of a city is not brought up nearly enough. You're going to be living in a place for most of a decade on a really modest salary. LA, NY, Chicago, are all fun cities. They have great cultural and social opportunities, but the cost of living near your medical school can be egregious. If $1200 of your $1900 a month goes directly to rent/utilities, that's going to put a serious damper on your lifestyle.

You have to weigh whether you think you can tolerate the additional cost for the benefits. Also, try to consider how you're going to feel about your living situation when you're 30 years old.
more like 1100 of 2000 (2250-250for tax), but yeah
 

flashback

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if you feel that all things are equal research-wise.... its probably time to think very carefully about and research Baylor's financial situation. It's pretty staggering. During my interview, it was very surprising to see how many people were oblivious to what has been going on with them over the last couple of years. As to what effect it will have on students, that's questionable. It doesn't seem like the quality of the program has dropped substantially, but keep in mind, you're going to be stuck with them for the next 8 years. Further, if you're someone who cares about rankings, you'll see they dropped substantially last year and will almost undoubtedly be taking a hit this year as well. In all likelihood, they are on the rebound. But seeing as the rice merger fell through, the next few years will probably not be smooth sailing.
 
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Neuronix

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My question would be: what is the difference in cost between the areas where you can walk to school (say 20 mins or less). I hate commuting. The prices in Houston right around TCM seemed really high. This may offset the price difference between Chicago and Houston. Then again it may not. I really don't know.
 

dmblue

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Prices are normally 900-1200+ near Northwestern. You can go a little cheaper in a couple buildings or by living 10 minutes away walking, or you can go much higher if you you have other resources.
 

bd4727

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if you feel that all things are equal research-wise.... its probably time to think very carefully about and research Baylor's financial situation. It's pretty staggering. During my interview, it was very surprising to see how many people were oblivious to what has been going on with them over the last couple of years. As to what effect it will have on students, that's questionable. It doesn't seem like the quality of the program has dropped substantially, but keep in mind, you're going to be stuck with them for the next 8 years. Further, if you're someone who cares about rankings, you'll see they dropped substantially last year and will almost undoubtedly be taking a hit this year as well. In all likelihood, they are on the rebound. But seeing as the rice merger fell through, the next few years will probably not be smooth sailing.
They dropped last year bc they stopped including funding from people who have a primary appointment at MD Anderson, but are BCM faculty also.

It is a completely legal thing to report (and most multi-institutional medical schools do this) but there was some strife among other Texas medical schools toward BCM for this, so in an effort to be friendly to neighbors they didn't include those funds. And as we all know, research money is the majority category in USNews research med school rank.

To the OP: I was in a similar situation as you were. PM me if you want to discuss it more, but there is a major difference in the way these 2 programs are structured (rotations before PhD at BCM), which is a fairly big difference to consider when looking at MSTPs, IMO.