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OK I don't want to whine but... HELP! UW or Harvard?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tg78, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. tg78

    tg78 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 21, 2001
    I desperately need advice. This application cycle has gone better for me than I ever could have expected. I have been accepted to both my state school (and a very good state school at that-Univ of Washington) and to Harvard (never, ever would have guessed this with my 30 MCAT and 3.47 GPA). Now I have to choose. I have family in both Seattle and Boston so that is not a big factor. I would rather live in Seattle but like the Harvard curriculum and medical community much better. I know the big H name would open a lot of opportunities but the cost and potential debt is a little overwhelming. I want to go into Primary Care so would it be hard to pay off the big debt (I should say that I have some resources to pay for school so the big debt for me would not equal $200k)? And since UW is actually ranked #1 in primary care, would I get as good (or even beter) prep there as at Harvard?

    I know I am incredibly fortunate to be in the position to choose from 2 fantastic schools but it is a hard decision. I would greatly, greatly appreciate some advice...
     
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  3. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 4, 2000
    I would go to the UW. Seattle's a great city, in the beautiful pacific northwest, you get in-state tuition, and since you want to go into primary care, you can't go wrong with the UW.
     
  4. leorl

    leorl Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 2, 2001
    You know, sometimes name can be more important than ranking. tough choice. i'd go with H.
     
    breakintheroof likes this.
  5. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 6, 2001
    Tg, congratulations! What was your special aspect that got you into both schools considering a slightly below average gpa, etc. Please share!!! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  6. tg78

    tg78 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 21, 2001
    Thanks for the advice so far. Please keep it coming, I am still feeling stumped.

    As for the question about why I got in to both schools with less than perfect numbers, I think it was a combination of 2 years off after college that were filled with interesting service (and travel) experiences, a great (and unique) essay and good interviews. Schools are looking for interesting, compassionate and honest people, not just academic superstars.
     
  7. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I don't know anything about Harvard's curriculum and I did not apply there. But what made UW one of my top choices is the opportunities for rural clerkships. Both RUOP (rural summer program between 1st and 2nd year) and WRITE (6 month clerkship at a rural site) are arguably the best rural medicine programs available. The choice of clerkship sites (within 5 very large states - WY,WA,AK,MT,ID) is also unbeatable if you are into rural primary care. The Seattle hospitals are top-notch as well.

    I understand your dilemma, however. It would be wonderful to have the Harvard name behind you. I think your education at UW will be excellent however.

    Congratulations and best of luck deciding...
     
  8. mma

    mma Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Dec 6, 2001
    Houston, TX
    tg78,

    Congratulations!

    I sent you a PM.

    mma
     
  9. docuw

    docuw Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 6, 2001
    USA
    UW is an ok school, but has great Rural and Underserved Opportunities. Plus, the difference in cost could make a decision easy for alot of folks. I dont think the Harvard name would pull any extra clout in the long run. Especially since you are going into Primary Care. Harvard might help with Neuro or Psych or some other such programs, but UW is far and away the best for Primary Care. My advice: Stay is Sea-town.
     
  10. Mr.D

    Mr.D insipidus maximus 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I think that if you'e ABSOLUTELY certain you want to do primary care, financially (and possibly academically barring the rankings) it would be better for you to stay in Washington. If you want to specialize in something competitive then the big H would probably be better, even though UW does pretty well with their matches.
     
  11. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by tg78:
    <strong>I desperately need advice. This application cycle has gone better for me than I ever could have expected. I have been accepted to both my state school (and a very good state school at that-Univ of Washington) and to Harvard (never, ever would have guessed this with my 30 MCAT and 3.47 GPA). Now I have to choose. I have family in both Seattle and Boston so that is not a big factor. I would rather live in Seattle but like the Harvard curriculum and medical community much better. I know the big H name would open a lot of opportunities but the cost and potential debt is a little overwhelming. I want to go into Primary Care so would it be hard to pay off the big debt (I should say that I have some resources to pay for school so the big debt for me would not equal $200k)? And since UW is actually ranked #1 in primary care, would I get as good (or even beter) prep there as at Harvard?

    I know I am incredibly fortunate to be in the position to choose from 2 fantastic schools but it is a hard decision. I would greatly, greatly appreciate some advice...</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">The vocal posters all seem to agree that a school's reputation isn't all that important, but seriously... Harvard is Harvard. I realize that UW ain't bad, but I'd still go to Harvard... Okay, on second thought, I'm biased here. I guess I would choose UCLA over Harvard, but that's only because I LOVE UCLA. (got rejected, though) <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />
     
  12. lyle

    lyle Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 2, 2002
    new york city
    tg78...who did you interview with at harvard?

    just wondering...
     
  13. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 29, 2001
    holy...

    Congratulations !!

    I would definitely go with Harvard !
     
  14. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 2, 2002
    S. California
    don't forget that UW ain't just an "okay" school. top10

    if it was any other school but the big H, i'd go to UW in a second if i were you (in my position, it'd be UCLA), but it is... the big H, #1 school in the country.

    one thing you should consider. where do you want to practice? if you want to practice in the pacific northwest/west coast, then i wouldn't hesitate to go to U-W. if perhaps on the east side of the country, then the harvard name would carry greater weight.
     
  15. intraining

    intraining Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 6, 2002
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by docuw:
    <strong>UW is an ok school, but has great Rural and Underserved Opportunities. Plus, the difference in cost could make a decision easy for alot of folks. I dont think the Harvard name would pull any extra clout in the long run. Especially since you are going into Primary Care. Harvard might help with Neuro or Psych or some other such programs, but UW is far and away the best for Primary Care. My advice: Stay is Sea-town.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">The UW is an OK school? Are you a student there?
     
  16. reesie0726

    reesie0726 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Dec 23, 2001
    arlington, tx
    I agree with Samoa. If you are definitely sure that you want to do primary care go to UW. If not go to Harvard. Just that name will open up many doors for you. #1 school in the country, wow. Coming out of Harvard, you will have many options available to you. Although, I think that you really can't go wrong with either choice.
     
  17. shimmer118

    shimmer118 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 30, 2001
    San Francisco
    If I were you (and I wish I was, LOL! :D ) I would choose Harvard, because the type of curriculum is really important to me. UW and Harvard are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of how they teach (as you know: UW is HEAVY lecture, Harvard is all PBL and small-groups). I prefer H's style and not UW's style.
    Money may be an issue, but if you go to Harvard I really don't think you'll have much of a problem paying off the debt...

    You said it yourself: you like Harvard's curriculum and medical community much better. That will make you a happier medical student in the long run, IMHO. What school "fit" you the best when you interviewed? Go with that gut feeling, and you won't choose incorrectly.

    Good luck!
     
  18. tg78

    tg78 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 21, 2001
    Thanks everyone for your advice! You all have good points... I don't know what I will choose yet but am leaning towards harvard. I just think if I went to UW I would always wonder "what if" I had taken harvard up on their offer.

    For whoever asked, at harvard I interviewed with Dr Dienstag and some older doc over at the beth isreal (I can't remember his name at the moment).

    Thanks again guys...
     
  19. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Congratulations on your decision. I think you made the right choice (as if there was a wrong choice in this wonderful opportunity). There are few things worse than feeling regret. Cheers and good luck at HMS.
     
  20. alee_25

    alee_25 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 3, 2002
    tg78

    i sent you a private message with a question. thanks in advance
     

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