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Philly vs. Baltimore

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by yomama'sdoctor, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. yomama'sdoctor

    yomama'sdoctor 2+ Year Member

    Sep 11, 2006
    I may end up in either if these cities, and I can't go to revisit weekends unfortunately :(. So...does anyone have perspectives? I know Philly is supposed to be much better than the ****hole known as Baltimore (just quoting) but does the city REALLY matter when you're a busy med student?

    Philadelphia also has many more med students/grad schools/other schools/young people in general. As a med student, do philly-ites hang out with other people, or do people mostly just stick to their class? aka, should I consider this an important social factor or not?
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  3. Koch

    Koch 5+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    Dude, I am by no means a fan of the city of Philadelphia, but if all other things are equal, go to the Philly school. Baltimore sucks. But like I said, only if all other things are equal. I'm not condoning PCOM over Hopkins for the city.
  4. MiniNMD

    MiniNMD Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Baltimore is really not all that bad. I know SDN is infamous for Baltimore bashing but the city actually has some really great neighborhoods and people. Maybe Hopkins is not in the best location - but inner city hospitals rarely are. So that being said, there are plenty of things to like about Baltimore:

    The baseball team may suck, but the stadium is awesome and you can get cheap tickets really easily.

    Like I said - good neighborhoods and there are lots of restaurants / nightlife in these neighborhoods, you just have to take the time to explore and find that atmosphere that suits you - but to be honest, how much nightlife are you going to want in medical school anyway?

    Lots of different types of housing - row houses, apartment complexes, etc.

    Crime isn't as bad as people make it out to be and the hospitals have amazing security if you're worried about that.

    That's what I can offer now, I just wanted to defend Baltimore a bit - I don't know anything about Philly.
  5. LadyWolverine

    LadyWolverine 10+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Hiding in your closet
    I live in Baltimore. I hate it here. I do, however, love the school that I go to. I just really hate the city, especially where I live. There are nicer areas, but, of course, I couldn't afford to buy a house in those areas. So I'm stuck here, in this God-forsaken armpit of a city, for at least another 3 years.

    However, that said, I did also interview in Philadelphia. I hated it there, too. I think it was equally as bad as Baltimore. There are, of course, nice areas of Philly, just like there are nice areas of Baltimore - but there's no way I could have afforded a home in those places, either. I'm sure that, had I opted for the Philadelphia school, that I would have been equally unhappy with urban living.

    Either way you slice it, I think either city is a pretty crappy place to spend 4 years, compared to the other places I have lived in the US. If you could land a place to live in Federal Hill, Mount Vernon, or perhaps Canton, I'd say go for Baltimore. Honestly, I wish I'd known then what I know now - I would have bought a house in the suburbs and spent the 15-20 minutes commuting.

    Good luck.
  6. stiffany

    stiffany Hurry up and wait... 5+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Depends on the schools you're considering and whether you're an urban lover of sorts or someone who prefers the burbs/small towns like the poster above seems to. Hopkins versus Penn (which has numerous discussion threads), I'd go Penn based on my own biases and Philadelphia's University City versus Hopkin's local alone. Jefferson versus a Baltimore school other than Hopkins? Jefferson given its central local in Center City Philly. Temple? If you're comfy commuting to school via public transport every morning, Philadelphia. Drexel? I don't think it matters since you're going to be living in East Falls, an up and coming area but not right smack in the "Hip" downtown area. Same for PCOM which I vaguely remember being out towards the burbs (but possibly still in the city limits depending on where route 1 lands)? I still think you should base your opinion a lot on the schools in question first before worrying about the specific city unless comparing the two schools comes down to splitting hairs over narrow rank differences, level of hospital food yumminess, and silly stuff like that. Also, I'd imagine it'd be a lot easier to meet people outside of med school at a school with other graduate programs and a grad student program with social hours than a school with just a med school and undergrad. In general, most of the people you meet are going to come from your med school even though there's lots of people in Philly, with the occasional sprinkling of people from coffee shops, bars, and Sunday soccer games.
  7. LadyWolverine

    LadyWolverine 10+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Hiding in your closet
    I've gotta disagree with you here. My friend called me this morning to tell me that there had been a drive-by shooting, right in front of her house, at nine am. Who knew that gangbangers were such early risers? There were also 2 people shot a block away from her house on Thursday night. She lives less than a mile from the medical school. Did I mention that there's a crackhouse on the street behind her house?

    Unfortunately, this is the norm for MANY Baltimore neighborhoods. The nice places do exist, but they are scattered - they are few and far between.

    I wouldn't say that I live in constant fear for my life here in Baltimore. But I would agree that I am on guard a lot of the time. Sometimes I feel terrified just walking down the street.
  8. seabreeze811

    seabreeze811 10+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2004

    May i ask which schools you are considering for philly and baltimore? because if it's hopkins, i'd totally recommend that you go to hopkins. i was a graduate from JH public health school last year and the school is amazing. their professors do an outstanding job of teaching and you really start to understand why the school is so highly ranked. we had some MD professors from the med school lecture as well and their lectures were awesome too. With that said, i highly recommend Johns Hopkins med. the med school is ranked #2! and the hospital is ranked #1! i really think in terms of clinical experience and medical education, hopkins can provide you with SO much and a wealth of other opportunities as well, i.e. research opportunities.

    Granted yes, Baltimore is not the greatest city in america (although their bus benches says it is) but if you're going to medical school you wont have time to do much anyways. the city isn't so safe, especially east baltimore where the school is located. the neighborhood around the school is a bit scary looking but hopkins has great security and there's always a baltimore police around the campus. after a while i even started parking in those "scary neighborhoods." i honestly didn't like the city at first either (esp since im from so cal), but after 4-5 months, i got used to it. for me, it was A LOT of getting used to.

    if you do decide to go to baltimore, PM me... i can recommend some apt buildings to live at or which areas of the city to live. I lived in mt. vernon/downtown baltimore so i highly recommend that area...esp my apt building!

    good luck!
  9. MiniNMD

    MiniNMD Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    I find that having grown up in Baltimore, I tend not to feel so terrified walking down the street. I live in a much safer city relative to Baltimore now and sometimes I'm terrified walking down the street here. So point being, I'm biased. Take what I said with that bias in mind.
  10. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Choose based on the better school.
  11. Eric Lindros

    Eric Lindros Guest

    Dec 1, 2006
    You can't even compare the two. Philly is about twice the size and twice as nice. Baltimore is absolutely terrible compared to Philly.

    But I would also say that Hopkins is better than any Philly school, and UMD is also better than any Philly school with the exception of Penn.
  12. y8507

    y8507 2+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    I got to a school in Philly and live near Bmore, and I have to say that Philly is about a million times better. But there are other factors you should consider, of course. I'd go to UMD over any Philly school except for Penn regardless of how much better Philly is.
  13. Dr Chooch

    Dr Chooch will row for toast 7+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2002
    in a microwave
    I've lived in both Baltimore and Philadelphia. There really isn't a comparison in my mind. Philly has more/better restaurants, better nightlife, better public transportation, nicer people, has a big park (Fairmount Park) right near downtown, a wider range of professional sports teams, more city pride, incredible history, is closer to more skiing/snowboarding, relatively close to beaches in NJ, and is overall a safer city. It is more expensive overall to live in Phila though, but you pay for what you get.
  14. VD-MD

    VD-MD MS1 2+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2006
    My criteria for determining which of two cities is better is by the number of Superbowls won:

    Baltimore: 2
    Philadelphia: 0

    Baltimore crushes Philly. But then again, that means Pittsburgh is the among the best places to live. I think I need to rethink my criteria...
  15. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    This would be excellent advice, if it weren't for the fact that (based on his previous posts) the OP is deciding between Hopkins and Penn.

    While I congratulate the OP on having such a tough decision to make, I think that it IS a tough decision.

    OP: The med students in Philadelphia do get together for certain events - for example, when the College of Physicians/Mutter museum put together a seminar or something. It's not impossible to meet up with students from different schools to do social events together, but it would take effort and planning on your part. It also depends on where you choose to live and where you choose to do most of your studying. I've run into Temple and Penn students studying in different coffeeshops in Philadelphia, but I wouldn't call those encounters the highlight of my social life. But, again, it depends on where you live. If you live in Rittenhouse Square or Center City, you'll run into more students from other schools than if you stick to just Penn's campus.

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