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Eventually

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First off, my apologies if this post is redundant or repetitive. I'm not posting this because I'm lazy, to the contrary I have spent hours and hours researching my question and have still not come to a conclusion.

The Question: Should I go to tOSU or USC?

I just got back from second-look at tOSU. Everytime I've been there I've always come away with the impression that everyone on the faculty is genuinely interested in the students and is vested in seeing them succeed. They have always given me the impression that the school is there for the students and not the other way around. The students have also been very nice and friendly.

Second-look was an elaborate two day affair with the faculty and deans showing up and speaking to everyone. Even the President of the University showed up and spoke to the accepted students!

In short, I've liked the curriculum, the cost of attendance, and come back with a warm fuzzy feeling on both occasions.

I've just been to USC once and the second-look is on the 23rd. Loved the doctor I interviewed with and the staff was really nice. I would love to be in L.A. but I doubt that's going to make much of a difference given the amount of time I'm going to be spending studying. The other issue is the cost of attendance. The living expenses are much higher than Columbus and the tuition is higher too - at tOSU everyone qualifies for in-state residence after their first year.

So why is USC still an option? USC has more name recognition (in my limited opinion) and, from what I've heard, the curriculum is more innovative, and the most important factor - it is attached to LA County. With an annual outpatient population of 1 million, and the sprawling LA metropolis, LA County offers a patient diversity that would be hard to match at any med school, let alone tOSU. I would really like to be exposed to as much and as diverse a clinical exposure as I can manage and USC is ideally positioned for that.

The other thing is that after M4, it would probably be easier to find a residence and stay in CA. I am pretty sure after M4 I am going to be moving from Columbus to some other larger metropolis/more diverse match.

Now the above is based on only one second-look and I haven't gone to USC yet. I may be completely turned off at USC or sign up on the spot over there. However I would greatly appreciate it if some wiser people out there can chime in and affect my decision!

Thank you much!
 

JJMrK

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Moving to School Specific Discussions.
 

JJMrK

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I received interviews at both and didn't bother going to my USC interview because of the high cost of attendance that you mentioned. I just could not see myself spending that much money on a medical education.
 

Jay Leno

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I went to 2nd look too (and we may have even met) but I would never base my decision on just on the 2nd look alone. You really have to look at the clinic sites, the curriculum, the match rate, as well as on private conversations with people that you trust to determine if a school is good fit for you. That being said, I think USC and OSU are both very closely ranked and would offer a smiliar level of education. You'll be fine coming out of OSU and getting a residency in CA (a lot of it depends on how you do on the USMLE and your clinical evaluation rather than medical school rankings). If it was my decision, I would go with whichever school is cheapest over the 4 years.
 

Eventually

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I went to 2nd look too (and we may have even met) but I would never base my decision on just on the 2nd look alone. You really have to look at the clinic sites, the curriculum, the match rate, as well as on private conversations with people that you trust to determine if a school is good fit for you. That being said, I think USC and OSU are both very closely ranked and would offer a smiliar level of education. You'll be fine coming out of OSU and getting a residency in CA (a lot of it depends on how you do on the USMLE and your clinical evaluation rather than medical school rankings). If it was my decision, I would go with whichever school is cheapest over the 4 years.
Thanks. You're right - I should talk to more people at USC than just their second look.
 
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Thanks. You're right - I should talk to more people at USC than just their second look.
Keck student here.
Cost is always an important issue.

However, our curriculum is really good. I also feel that student education is the number one priority hehe. Our schedule is good. There is time to enjoy LA.

Sorry, it is hard for me to just state random stuff about the school. I also don't know much about OSU. But if you have specific questions feel free to ask.
There is a recent a thread comparing USC to Oregon. It had some good info about USC.
 

guestdoc

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It sounds like you like OSU more, and more importantly, cost!! Between those two, the cost of attendance would seal it.

It's true that USC would give you a regional edge to the west coast, but I'd say that OSU could give you a regional edge in the east/midwest (compared to USC anyway). If you wanted a metropolis-type place for residency, they both could work.

Good luck in your decision! Personally, the money would decide it in favor of OSU in this comparison. Columbus can get cold, but that's ok for me.
 

starl3tte

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I can't comment on USC since I don't know much about the school and was rejected pre-interview. However, I just wanted to bring up the issue of patient diversity. A lot of mid-west schools may actually have the edge over coastal schools in terms of "diversity" - maybe not so much diversity of patients' ethnicities/races, but diversity in conditions and illnesses seen. In many mid-western areas where the population can be sprawled out, people cannot visit hospitals as frequently, so when they finally do, you may see rare conditions or illnesses in very advanced stages. Not good for the patient, but perhaps interesting and useful from a medical standpoint. I don't know how much of this "diversity" comes into play at OSU, but I'm thinking that perhaps patients in more rural areas may get flown into OSU's med center, especially given the size of the med center. One resident that I work with (who went to MCW) once commented on seeing all sorts of weird farm accident victims as a medical student. He also felt that he was given a lot of hands-on clinical experience as a med student (more difficult to come by in California schools due to all the stringent liability issues, at least in the UC's), so he felt pretty comfortable in his first year of residency while many of his fellow residents were struggling. However, he did admit that he only had this edge for about the first 6 months of residency before everyone else caught up and they were all in the same boat.
 

pietachok

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I am sure Starl3tte meant well, but I think her assessments aren't quite right. I can't comment on OSU at all.

The primary teaching hospital is County which is one of the busiest trauma centers in the country & a major provider to one of (if not the) largest immigrant & underserved populations in the US.

They're not overwhelmed with farm accidents, but each & every type of bodily injury imaginable comes through, & I suspect people I've seen who've been chewed up by urban industrial equipment look similar to those chewed up by farm equipment.

LAC patient demographics mean seeing diseases in severities you don't see when people have preventative care, $, or insurance--too often they admit through the ER with a formerly easily treatable condition thats become unliveable. Yet there are private hospitals on campus that have some really respected treatment programs to which people travel for the specific expertise--some of the diseases they focus on are truly rare, with this being one of the only sites at which you will ever see more than one case...I would say for most of us, that comes into our experience when am instructor is unusually specialized to a topic and can provide more insight/experience than someone more generalized.

Lastly, we begin clinical experiences in the 1st year. It is my understanding that keck graduates students with good clinical skills & comfort...if there are legal issues limiting the education of students at other California schools, I don't think it's a problem faced here.
 

Eventually

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I am sure Starl3tte meant well, but I think her assessments aren't quite right. I can't comment on OSU at all.

The primary teaching hospital is County which is one of the busiest trauma centers in the country & a major provider to one of (if not the) largest immigrant & underserved populations in the US.

They're not overwhelmed with farm accidents, but each & every type of bodily injury imaginable comes through, & I suspect people I've seen who've been chewed up by urban industrial equipment look similar to those chewed up by farm equipment.

LAC patient demographics mean seeing diseases in severities you don't see when people have preventative care, $, or insurance--too often they admit through the ER with a formerly easily treatable condition thats become unliveable. Yet there are private hospitals on campus that have some really respected treatment programs to which people travel for the specific expertise--some of the diseases they focus on are truly rare, with this being one of the only sites at which you will ever see more than one case...I would say for most of us, that comes into our experience when am instructor is unusually specialized to a topic and can provide more insight/experience than someone more generalized.

Lastly, we begin clinical experiences in the 1st year. It is my understanding that keck graduates students with good clinical skills & comfort...if there are legal issues limiting the education of students at other California schools, I don't think it's a problem faced here.
At OSU, the emphasis was on using standardized patients to gain experience before interacting with a real patient. Does Keck also use standardized patients (actors). I do remember Keck talking about ptient interaction from almost week 1 but wasn't sure in what capacity.

During M1, I can't quite think that just standing in the back listening to an attending talk to a patient would be as effective for me as interacting with a standardized patient.
 

Emergency!

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I think ethnic diversity might be a greater at USC than at OSU, but I would imagine that they're pretty comparable in terms of disease diversity. I saw many things at OSU that I never thought I would see outside of a textbook. Patients come to OSU from all over the state (and even out of state), not just from inside Columbus.

Going to USC would probably give you an edge in terms of matching on the west coast (and make interviewing out there a whole lot cheaper), but we have quite a few students from the west coast and a decent number of them match out west each year.

You will have the opportunity at OSU for contact with real patients starting M1 (as well as the standardized patients).

Curriculum - OSU has the independent study pathway as an option, which is unique. I know people say that this choice doesn't factor into their decision because they wouldn't do ISP anyways, but I think having the choice is important. I started med school totally convinced that I was going to do IP and ended up doing ISP.

They are both good schools - I wouldn't make your decision based on perception of "diversity", though. You will see more than enough interesting patients at either school. Consider things like cost, potential debt load, etc. Ultimately, it may come down to a gut feeling.

Good luck with your decision.

(FWIW, I think there was an OSU vs USC thread on here quite awhie ago that you might find helpful. )
 
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I'd take the Trojans in a close one. Better weather, better city, better QB.
 

starl3tte

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Yes...please don't make a decision based on number of farm accident victims that you may potentially see as a medical student. I was just relaying an interesting story that a resident told me. The general sentiment of my post is one shared by most of the residents and attendings of one department that I work with. HOWEVER, these individuals also graduated from medical school and/or residency in the mid-west...so like all of us, they are biased and probably just love their program that much. :)
 
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At OSU, the emphasis was on using standardized patients to gain experience before interacting with a real patient. Does Keck also use standardized patients (actors). I do remember Keck talking about ptient interaction from almost week 1 but wasn't sure in what capacity.

During M1, I can't quite think that just standing in the back listening to an attending talk to a patient would be as effective for me as interacting with a standardized patient.
We use standardized patients and real patients. I personally think that standardized patients aren't all that effective for learning. Sure, they are great to try physical exams on (you know the person won't get mad at you if you take too long or something). And they are good to do a practice interview here and there. But the real learning comes from interacting with real patients which we start to do right away (3rd or 4th week). We do not listen to the attending interview the patient. We simply walk into the patient room and start talking to them. You take their medical history, social history and so forth. Then you go and check the chart to see how you did. You realize that people aren't always truthful and you need to ask questions in a certain manner to get a good reply.

I don't know anything about OSU, so I can't comment on what type of patients you will see. But County does have a lot of patients with rare conditions. Numerous times in lecture the professors have pointed out certain diseases that we will see in country that aren't seen elsewhere.

But I agree with what Emergency! said above "They are both good schools - I wouldn't make your decision based on perception of "diversity", though. You will see more than enough interesting patients at either school. Consider things like cost, potential debt load, etc. Ultimately, it may come down to a gut feeling."
 

pietachok

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At OSU, the emphasis was on using standardized patients to gain experience before interacting with a real patient. Does Keck also use standardized patients (actors). I do remember Keck talking about ptient interaction from almost week 1 but wasn't sure in what capacity.

During M1, I can't quite think that just standing in the back listening to an attending talk to a patient would be as effective for me as interacting with a standardized patient.
We see both standardized patients (SPs) and real patients beginning in the early weeks of school. 1st years see real patients almost every week on Tuesday mornings and SPs frequently on Thurdsay afternoons. The general idea is that a new skill (initially aspects of taking a patient history, social history, dealing w/ a difficult patient, and eventually elements of phyiscal exam) is taught with the SPs (or your practice with your 5 group-mates) and then you begin using those skills cummulatively as you see patients on Tuesdays. Some of the SPs are very impressive actors, but it isn't that similar to seeing a real patient--there are benefits to both scenarios, but I think seeing real patients is incredibly valuable. The interactions with the SPs, in my opinion, are more for an opporunity for you to get ideas from the instructor and the rest of your group on how to phrase things or act (e.g. when in the small groups you get a chance to get a specific instructor's opinion on showing emotion in front of a patient, or you realize a someone else has gentler/more comfortable wording for asking about sexual abuse). SPs are also used for clinical skills exams. A typical weekly interaction with real patients by the end of the year involves going to the hospital with your group, being assigned to a patient, interviewing them re their current illness, past/family medical history, etc. & taking blood pressure, doing a neuro & mental status exam, and trying to do an ophthalmologic exam.

errrrr...sorry at the lack of proof reading
 
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