OHSU vs. Tulane vs. UAMS

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Schweitzer80

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Mar 17, 2011
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    I've been lucky enough to receive acceptance offers from these three schools, but I'm having trouble choosing a program. I felt like OHSU's environment was great (I love Portland!), but it lacked updated technology (fancy simulation center for med students, computerized testing center, etc). Tulane, on the other hand, had nice facilities (new medical education building in what was once the Murphy Oil building), but the threat of hurricanes has me spooked. Can someone shed some light on the situation? All comments welcome.

    Thanks!
     
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    FireTop

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      Give us a little more about what you are looking for and we can do our best to see what may be the best fit. (ie. what state you are in, if you're thinking of specializing, possibility of academic medicine, diversity preferences of city, what state you want to practice in eventually)
       

      Schweitzer80

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      Mar 17, 2011
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        I'm a California native, but I'm definitely excited about living in a new region. I've done a lot of research on various neuropathologies (cancers, cerebrovascular disorders, trauma etc.), so I'm leaning towards a career in neurosurgery. I'm entering medical school with an open mind, but I'm confident I'll stay on track for neurosurgery/neurocritical care.

        Does that help?
         

        jheritage

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        Feb 19, 2011
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          Is UAMS in there simply because you got accepted or do you really want advice on if you should go??? It's my state school, so I'll apply... but (and I could be completely wrong here) I'm not really sure if it offers anything in comparison to ANYWHERE else...
           

          Schweitzer80

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          Mar 17, 2011
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            UAMS is in the mix because:

            1. I have family in Arkansas

            2. The price is nice

            3. I really liked the clinical skills center (I could tell the institution's focus is on educating great clinicians)
             

            kcin

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            Jun 14, 2010
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              As you're a California native, make sure you're aware that you'll be inside most of the late fall-early spring if you attend OHSU. It really puts a damper on outdoor activities. I'm sure you could find something though.

              Portland is pretty good overall. Traffic isn't too bad most of the time, people are pretty nice, there is a lot of variety in restaurants and food carts, etc. The tax situation in Oregon/Multnomah county (triple income tax! fed, state, county) sucks, but I guess that won't be a concern unless you end up in a residency here. There's no sales tax, so it's not too shabby if you're unemployed.
               

              Thom1986

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                make sure you're aware that you'll be inside most of the late fall-early spring if you attend OHSU. It really puts a damper on outdoor activities.

                I have to chip in and say this is pretty far from true. Unless your outdoor activity is sunbathing, you will find an incredible amount of outdoor activity year-round, it is something Portland is well known for and there is a culture here built around enjoying and caring for the outdoors. Running, Biking, Hiking and other things like windsurfing are popular for the entire year (snows an average of 2 days a year and the rest of the time the worst you are going to see is some rain), while some of the best ski/snowshoe/mountaineering/snowhiking in the US is about an hour away in the winter months (though Portland itself remains fairly warm). There is also Forest Park, the largest city park in the US and exactly what it sounds like- a forest- sitting right next to downtown for your hiking/mountain biking/running pleasure- it is a gift you will not find in any other city. They also sell amazing rainjackets here :). Sorry if you already know this or live in PDX- just couldn't let it go unsaid.

                PS- I am also deciding on OHSU right now, good luck!
                 

                Schweitzer80

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                  is there a noticeable price difference from one school to the next? Is money even a concern for you?

                  I know that medical school is an investment, but money is definitely a concern. As a California resident, OHSU and Tulane will probably be comparable in price. If I decided to attend UAMS, I'd save myself around $20,000 a year. That said, cost is not the most important factor. I weigh the quality of the education and the "fit" of the city more.


                  Thanks for the info on PDX, Thom1986! I've been to Portland a few times and I think it's an amazing city. What other programs are you checking out? Where are you from?
                   
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                  Shoeby

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                    OHSU is known to train some of the best medical students who are fully prepared for their first day of residency. I can tell you from experience working with OHSU residents in the ER at Legacy Emanuel that there is a noticeable difference between residents who did medical school at OHSU and students who trained elsewhere. OHSU is very big on early clinical exposure and it really shows.

                    I agree with the poster above; Portland has tons of outdoor activities to pursue throughout the year. I like distance running and there are some great trails throughout Forest Park (which is essentially apart of downtown Portland). Having grown up here and lived here practically all my life (inner city Portland, not some crappy suburb of Portland), there are some things you should know. It rains ... A LOT. Sometimes it rains all year; last year we did not have a summer at all, it just rained right on through. If you're from sunny southern California (which I'm happy to say I am moving to!) you better be prepared to purchase a Northface fleece and rain coat and/or a heavier Columbia sportswear rain coat and be wearing them all year. Also, we consider people who use umbrellas weird. Be ready to be damp, cold, or both at any moment of the day.

                    Second: if you are from a diverse community, be ready for a big change. Although Portland is very liberal and progressive, you will never find any place in Portland where you can get lost in someone else's culture (ie you won't be able to find a place like SFO's Chinatown where everyone speaks mandarian and you are the only native English speaker for several blocks).

                    Third: (sorry this developed somewhat into a list) We do have great beer and in the summer time it can be a lot of fun with the different brewfests going on the waterfront downtown. There is a new brewery going in on every block it feels like. Also, food here is relatively cheap and delicious especially from the explosion of food carts that have come about over the last 2-3 years.

                    TL;DR version: Portland is rainy, cold, not very diverse, but has great outdoor activities if you are prepared to get a wet and muddy and very good food and beer!

                    OHSU: Good school and really prepares students for their first day of residency despite their archaic ways
                     

                    byurazorhog

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                      I suspect some of the posters in this thread so far haven't even placed their feet in Arkansas. OP, what was your first impression of the state and UAMS when you visited for your interview? Little Rock can be a lot different from the rest of the state, which is mostly rural until you go up to the northwest corner where the main campus of the UofA is located, which is a rapidly expanding metro area. Football is a religion down there and it's always fun come football season. The Razorbacks even plays a few games a year in Little Rock to galvanize their fan base and allow people who otherwise live quite far from Fayetteville to come watch the team. Little Rock is somewhat grittier compared to NWArkansas but if you come from southern cal, you won't be shocked. If you're interested in outdoor activities, Arkansas will not disappoint you and it won't be raining year round there for sure. There are plenty of state parks, rivers to entertain every possible outdoor interest.

                      In regards to the UAMS itself, it is a solid school. Depending on the geographic locations where you'd like to do your residency, it may or may not be a good choice. Regional bias will come into play. Many of the students will not want to go west or east but there are always a few who do and are able to match into their choices. Arkansas Children's is a great hospital. In fact there was an excellent NBC documentary done a few years ago titled "Heroes of Children's Hospital" that was filmed at Arkansas Children's. You may like to check it out. It may help you decide:

                      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35063448/ns/dateline_nbc-health_stories/

                      The cost of living in Little Rock will be quite cheaper than at in Portland. I can't speak to the expenses in New Orleans. Since your family is in Arkansas, there's another extra benefit. Being close to family who can provided emotional support when the time gets tough in med school can be invaluable. I think of that when I waver in deciding whether to stay in Portland for med school.

                      I wish you the best of luck in your future. $20000/year is a huge amount. UAMS docs are not all inferior docs! It's mostly up to you what kind of doctor you can be.
                       

                      Schweitzer80

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                      Mar 17, 2011
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                      1. Pre-Medical
                        I suspect some of the posters in this thread so far haven't even placed their feet in Arkansas. OP, what was your first impression of the state and UAMS when you visited for your interview? Little Rock can be a lot different from the rest of the state, which is mostly rural until you go up to the northwest corner where the main campus of the UofA is located, which is a rapidly expanding metro area. Football is a religion down there and it's always fun come football season. The Razorbacks even plays a few games a year in Little Rock to galvanize their fan base and allow people who otherwise live quite far from Fayetteville to come watch the team. Little Rock is somewhat grittier compared to NWArkansas but if you come from southern cal, you won't be shocked. If you're interested in outdoor activities, Arkansas will not disappoint you and it won't be raining year round there for sure. There are plenty of state parks, rivers to entertain every possible outdoor interest.

                        In regards to the UAMS itself, it is a solid school. Depending on the geographic locations where you'd like to do your residency, it may or may not be a good choice. Regional bias will come into play. Many of the students will not want to go west or east but there are always a few who do and are able to match into their choices. Arkansas Children's is a great hospital. In fact there was an excellent NBC documentary done a few years ago titled "Heroes of Children's Hospital" that was filmed at Arkansas Children's. You may like to check it out. It may help you decide:

                        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35063448/ns/dateline_nbc-health_stories/

                        The cost of living in Little Rock will be quite cheaper than at in Portland. I can't speak to the expenses in New Orleans. Since your family is in Arkansas, there's another extra benefit. Being close to family who can provided emotional support when the time gets tough in med school can be invaluable. I think of that when I waver in deciding whether to stay in Portland for med school.

                        I wish you the best of luck in your future. $20000/year is a huge amount. UAMS docs are not all inferior docs! It's mostly up to you what kind of doctor you can be.

                        Thanks for your input, byurazorhog! I really liked UAMS when I visited. They had one of the most fun interview weekends (reception at the Clinton Library, etc.) and the clinical training facilities were pretty impressive. I'm a fan of bbq, so the grub in Little Rock did not disappoint either (Whole Hog was amazing) :D

                        I've got a brother in Fayetteville and he has a lot of great things to say about Arkansas. Overall it looks like a solid place to attend medical school, but, like you mentioned in your post, residencies tend to have a regional bias. I've still got some thinking to do, but your post is definitely helpful.

                        Are you headed to OHSU this summer? In your case, what tipped the scales in favor of Oregon?
                         

                        byurazorhog

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                          Thanks for your input, byurazorhog! I really liked UAMS when I visited. They had one of the most fun interview weekends (reception at the Clinton Library, etc.) and the clinical training facilities were pretty impressive. I'm a fan of bbq, so the grub in Little Rock did not disappoint either (Whole Hog was amazing) :D

                          I've got a brother in Fayetteville and he has a lot of great things to say about Arkansas. Overall it looks like a solid place to attend medical school, but, like you mentioned in your post, residencies tend to have a regional bias. I've still got some thinking to do, but your post is definitely helpful.

                          Are you headed to OHSU this summer? In your case, what tipped the scales in favor of Oregon?

                          My family is all in Portland so OHSU is my top choice. I used to live in Arkansas and loved it down there too. I know that if my situation were different and somehow I were an Arkansan, I would have no problem attending UAMS. If you have your eyes on some of the most competitive specialties, I recommend you peruse the UAMS thread on SDN as they will have more insight into where their previous students have been able to match. If you'd like to match into a program on the west coast or a decent residency anywhere, you won't go wrong with OHSU as the record there speaks for itself.
                           

                          CaliforniaAppli

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                            I felt like OHSU did lack a lot of diversity. Seemed to have a lot of rocker/ emo types around the city. Weather made it feel a bit gloomy too.

                            If it were me I would go for the cheaper tuition.
                            I am sure all these schools give quality medical education.
                            I believe OHSU has some problems in preparing students for step I? Or not giving enough time to students for studying? I think this was touched upon during my tour/ in the forums but I forgot.
                             

                            mjdelcambre

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                            Mar 17, 2011
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                              I know that medical school is an investment, but money is definitely a concern. As a California resident, OHSU and Tulane will probably be comparable in price. If I decided to attend UAMS, I'd save myself around $20,000 a year. That said, cost is not the most important factor. I weigh the quality of the education and the "fit" of the city more.


                              Thanks for the info on PDX, Thom1986! I've been to Portland a few times and I think it's an amazing city. What other programs are you checking out? Where are you from?

                              Actually, between UAMS and Tulane, it's a hair under 10 a year difference (unless you've got a scholarship to UAMS that wasn't mentioned).

                              Can't weigh in on OHSU (outside my region), but I was impressed with Tulane's facilities, and even more so with Arkansas's. I got the impression during interviews, etc., that research was more emphasized (and available in a wide variety of areas) at Arkansas than at Tulane, so I'd factor that into my calculations.

                              As has been previously mentioned, Tulane definitely offers a unique experience- large indigent population, chronic health conditions prevalent, infectious disease, etc. So it really depends on what you're looking for; if you're thinking research I'd say Arkansas, public health/policy I'd say Tulane.

                              Just my two cents. Congratulations on having so many good options.
                               

                              AGLAIA

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                                The tax situation in Oregon/Multnomah county (triple income tax! fed, state, county) sucks, but I guess that won't be a concern unless you end up in a residency here. There's no sales tax, so it's not too shabby if you're unemployed.

                                What'chu talking 'bout, Willis? There was a stop gap income tax for a couple of years, but that was a special situation and ended in 2005.

                                Oh yeah, and we get out plenty here. I do agree that you will want a good, layered, water-proof jacket (check the Columbia Outlet store), but once you come to realize that rain can't melt skin, you will go just about anywhere.
                                 

                                Thom1986

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                                  I know that medical school is an investment, but money is definitely a concern. As a California resident, OHSU and Tulane will probably be comparable in price. If I decided to attend UAMS, I'd save myself around $20,000 a year. That said, cost is not the most important factor. I weigh the quality of the education and the "fit" of the city more.


                                  Thanks for the info on PDX, Thom1986! I've been to Portland a few times and I think it's an amazing city. What other programs are you checking out? Where are you from?

                                  No prob. I am from Oregon and now live in Portland (if you couldn't tell hah). I am also checking out a couple of east coast programs that seem pretty nice- Rochester, NYU etc.
                                   
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