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Penn State vs. MSUCOM vs. MCW (WL) vs. MSUCHM (WL)


New Member
May 8, 2020
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi Everyone, I have been accepted to Penn St and MSUCOM (DO) and I include my waitlist schools, MCW (Milwaukee) and MSUCHM (MD), to the extent I get accepted. I am a Michigan resident and would prefer to stay near family although I am willing to leave the area if it were beneficial to my education and career (and then attempt to match back in Michigan). I will use medical school to explore my interests so I would like to keep all specialty options open, although if I had to choose right now, I would do IM with a competitive fellowship such as cardio or gastro. I realize (generally) MD > DO but I understand Michigan to be a more ‘DO friendly’ state, so it basically comes down to how much more beneficial is it to leave the state for an MD degree given my goals? Maybe an easy way to do this is to simply ask you to rank these four schools, considering my career objectives and location as the two primary inputs.

Penn St
Seems to match in to many specialties​
Culture appeared to be a good fit​
Research is easy to obtain​
8 hour drive from home​
Semi-rural area, personal activities may be limited​

15 minutes from home, close to family / support​
Lower COA than OOS MD schools (by $20k / year), but I will be getting some support​
Strong network of hospitals with affiliated residency programs​
DO degree limits specialty/career options​
Obtaining research will be more difficult​
MCW – Milwaukee
Good match results, appears to match well in MI​
P.D. ratings are the highest of the four schools​
I liked the area and people, 15 minutes from downtown Milwaukee​
6 hours from home​
Clerkships don’t start until M3​

2 hours from home​
Lower COA than OOS schools (by $15k / year), but I will be getting support​
Early clinical experiences​
Match results don’t seem to be quite as diverse, more of a primary care slant​
Multiple clerkship locations, unknown where you will be in year 3/4​

Thank you for sharing your insight!

Zen Arcade

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2015
  1. Medical Student
1. MSUCHM is the highest ranked and less expensive, so that should be #1 if they come through.
2. MCW -Milwaukee - match list and network of hospitals
3. Penn State - Research
4. MSUCOM - 80k + interest = 110k saved. That's hard to pass up.

MSUCHM is definitely not the highest ranked... It’s generally looked at as a lower tier school due to its primary care focus and limited research- although it is a bit cheaper so that’s an important consideration. If you are gunning for something more competitive and you get in, MCW has the most NIH/research, great match list, and is ranked the highest based on USNews and PD rankings.


New Member
May 8, 2020
  1. Pre-Medical
Thank you for the replies. The MI schools are getting routed in the voting and I'm a little surprised how many more votes Penn State has over MCW and MSUCHM. I'm not necessarily surprised by the order, just the magnitude. It would be valuable to hear the reasoning behind these votes if you can provide it so I have more information to make a good decision. Thanks!
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