Penn State vs Rush

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New Member
Jun 30, 2023
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Hi! I feel extremely lucky to be in this position, and am really torn between these two schools as the PTE deadline approaches. I'd appreciate any insight!

- Top 20 hospital + affiliated with Cook County - so many opportunities to explore specialties and learn from diverse patients
- I'm eager to live in a big city and explore during my early twenties! Chicago would be amazing, I love the diversity of the city (having diverse food/communities is important to me), and would allow my partner to move with me to find work in the city too
- Solid match list with a good amount of matches in competitive specialties that I'm interested in (eg; optho, ENT)
- Northwestern/UChicago are nearby if I want to do rotations there or if I want to network/do research
- School seems to have a lot of support for students/student groups and there's a lot of opportunities to work in the community
- Got along with a lot of the M1s and feel happy with the diversity in the student class

- I'm from the East Coast and feel the brand name of Rush isn't as strong as Penn State (unsure if this is regional bias/perception speaking)
- Rush's match list leans towards the midwest/west coast, and I want to eventually end up practicing back in the east coast (although I wouldn't mind doing residency somewhere else and moving back to the east coast later)
- Chicago is far away from all my family and friends and it's quite cold/new
- Felt the admin were a bit snarky when I interviewed
- Research opportunities don't seem as strong as I would like

Penn State:
- Well-established brand name and school, which may help with matching well down the line
- Strong match list with lots of prestigious matches, more places I was familiar with compared to Rush's match list
- 1.5 hour drive from CHOP/UPenn/Hopkins, so there's opportunities to rotate at some great institutions
- Better weather and closer to family
- Lots of humanities-focused student opportunities, which I find cool
- More NIH funding than Rush and seems to have slightly better research opportunities
- I do enjoy the beautiful nature around the school, although I'm unsure if I'd love it 24/7

- Hershey, PA is really not my ideal place to spend my early twenties, especially as someone who values a lot of diverse communities/food/culture around me - this is a big con for me
- Would have to drive and bring my car, and partner and I would have to be long distance - we don't mind LDR but this might be an adjustment at first
- Hospital in Hershey is a lot smaller than Rush's hospital + Cook County, worried about not being exposed to as many diverse patients as I could in Chicago + I might need to drive far for rotations (unsure about this, would love any input from current students! :))
- Although CHOP/UPenn/Hopkins are sort of close, they're still a long drive away
- Seems more primary care focused, and I don't think I want to do primary care at the moment

I believe both schools are P/F pre-clinical and don't do internal rankings, which is great!

Thank you so much for reading through this! I tried to be thorough and list as many qualities as I could, but I'm eager to gather feedback and I really appreciate your time!

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