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Aug 18, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
Pitt Pros:
  • Huge support system. Family is close by (1-2 hrs away) and I went here for undergrad.
  • Already in research lab/ have a great head start in terms of shadowing, LOR's, etc.
  • Prestige - it moved up to #8 on PD list. (maybe because I'm from the area, but does UPMC/ Pitt SOM have a brand name like Duke does?)
  • UPMC
Pitt Cons:
  • Landscape wise - I know the whole area/ no new restaurants or other things to see + do. Also, I hate the hills
  • No extra time to pursue another degree or extensive research to make self more competitive for residency
  • Heard students do poorly on STEP 1
Duke Pros:
  • Brand/ Prestige - Ranks higher on US News (12 vs Pitt being 14)
  • 3rd year is open to become more competitive for residency (ie. MPH from UNC)
  • New location/ very cool vibes
  • Great Match list - 65% of students match into IVY hospitals
Duke Cons:
  • I heard M1 is very intensive because it condenses all of the normal 2 year pre-clerkship curriculum
  • Far from home
Thank you for your help + time.
 

Banco

5+ Year Member
May 28, 2014
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Don't worry about prestige, both are huge names. UPMC is a major hospital system - very well known. Go where you would like more if you get off the Duke wait list.

It's nice to have family nearby btw, but it's also nice to go somewhere new for 4 years. You won't be constricted come residency application time at either of these places.
 
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Mar 2, 2021
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At the end of the day, I think you will really feel happy with the choice to attend Pitt especially considering how much of a support system you will have as well as the prestige of the school itself. Hear me when I say that school is on the come up and come residency match you will be very excited to see where it takes you. Unless you are die hard about performing a lot of research Duke wouldn't make much sense in this decision and there is absolutely no reason to spend more money and travel farther distances solely based off perceived prestige. As far as the MS1 curriculum, my experience talking with students has made me realize that a lot of them almost feel burned out after their first year and it is a huge learning curve. It is definitely a big decision if that is something you want to do, then great, if not, then I would pick the more comfortable option. Pitt will get you where you are trying to go in a manner that I think you will ultimately be more grateful for. Just as well, I think you'll make a great MD
 
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Aug 18, 2020
16
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  1. Pre-Medical
At the end of the day, I think you will really feel happy with the choice to attend Pitt especially considering how much of a support system you will have as well as the prestige of the school itself. Hear me when I say that school is on the come up and come residency match you will be very excited to see where it takes you. Unless you are die hard about performing a lot of research Duke wouldn't make much sense in this decision and there is absolutely no reason to spend more money and travel farther distances solely based off perceived prestige. As far as the MS1 curriculum, my experience talking with students has made me realize that a lot of them almost feel burned out after their first year and it is a huge learning curve. It is definitely a big decision if that is something you want to do, then great, if not, then I would pick the more comfortable option. Pitt will get you where you are trying to go in a manner that I think you will ultimately be more grateful for. Just as well, I think you'll make a great MD
Thank you so much for your response and time! Means a lot
 
Sep 17, 2020
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I say this as someone on Pitt's WL, so this does me no good at all, but I'd go with Pitt. You've got the prestige (a two spot difference is just not significant) and the support system and the connections. Pitt seems the obvious choice.
 
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chemtime

2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2017
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Both are top-tier medical schools that will get you wherever you want. Have to echo the above, the 2-spot USNWR difference has no meaning whatsoever. Main advantage either place will provide is to their home residencies, and both places have stellar home programs. It's nice to explore a new place, but a nearby support system is also something that shouldn't be undervalued.

It would be a toss-up for me. Either way, you're ending up at an incredible medical school. Congrats, future doctor!
 
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Aug 18, 2020
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Also was between 'em so I'll give my 2 cents, +1 for Pitt. Not that these few spots matter much but since you were concerned about it, the PD rankings are higher anyways for Pitt (8 vs 13 for Duke) and are more relevant than USNWR.

Between PREP, longitudinal research, and summer programs, not sure if I'd call their research a con or non-extensive either. They pump out pubs like it's nothing. UPMC is a behemoth, and as someone who's visited both, each has their positives but Pittsburgh is a much more fun city with more to do. Pitt has no shortage of top-tier matches either; a lot are UPMC, but UPMC also has top residency programs. Not to mention, Pitt has no AOA; though Duke is in the process of revising their selection factors I think. Also get the vibe that Pitt is extremely receptive to students' "happiness," for lack of a better term.

That being said, it's about what you seek. However, if that's a new location, something fresh, etc., and you liked their vibe, then you should choose what'll make you more happy as a whole. Congrats!
Thank you so much for your reply. One follow up question for you. If I’ve lived here my entire life and will at the end be here for 26 years, will other top residency directors use that against me? Like for med school admissions, they always are concerned about whether I’d actually go there if accepted. Basically will my lifetime of living in PGH hold me back in any way come residency applications? Thank you!
 
Aug 18, 2020
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Both are top-tier medical schools that will get you wherever you want. Have to echo the above, the 2-spot USNWR difference has no meaning whatsoever. Main advantage either place will provide is to their home residencies, and both places have stellar home programs. It's nice to explore a new place, but a nearby support system is also something that shouldn't be undervalued.

It would be a toss-up for me. Either way, you're ending up at an incredible medical school. Congrats, future doctor!
Thank you!!
 

Banco

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May 28, 2014
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Thank you so much for your reply. One follow up question for you. If I’ve lived here my entire life and will at the end be here for 26 years, will other top residency directors use that against me? Like for med school admissions, they always are concerned about whether I’d actually go there if accepted. Basically will my lifetime of living in PGH hold me back in any way come residency applications? Thank you!
In my experience there is some regional bias for residencies but not necessarily at the “top” programs. They get applications from all over. It just so happens that there is always self selection involved. It might have an effect for smaller programs far away - a community program in California might ask “why would be come here.” UCLA likely won’t ask that, because they know they’re the ****. But you will have to make it clear during interviews that you are totally willing to come there. Lastly, you have a large advantage going to Pitt as UPMC has a lot of top residencies to begin with - in this case your life in Pittsburgh will help.
 

Rheopecty

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Apr 9, 2020
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This doesn't bode well for me on the Pitt WL, but I recommend Pitt for you.

The cons you listed aren't significant enough to pass a Pitt A on: Step 1 will go P/F and Pitt prides itself on insanely diverse UPMC rotations and high Step 2 CK anyways. If you are bored in Pitt, then take a weekend trip to CLE or CBUS. You don't really need an extra degree with medicine and students get their research done through the DSRP/LRP.
 
Aug 18, 2020
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This doesn't bode well for me on the Pitt WL, but I recommend Pitt for you.

The cons you listed aren't significant enough to pass a Pitt A on: Step 1 will go P/F and Pitt prides itself on insanely diverse UPMC rotations and high Step 2 CK anyways. If you are bored in Pitt, then take a weekend trip to CLE or CBUS. You don't really need an extra degree with medicine and students get their research done through the DSRP/LRP.
Thank you so much for your message - it makes a lot of sense to me. I wish you the best.
 
Aug 18, 2020
16
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In my experience there is some regional bias for residencies but not necessarily at the “top” programs. They get applications from all over. It just so happens that there is always self selection involved. It might have an effect for smaller programs far away - a community program in California might ask “why would be come here.” UCLA likely won’t ask that, because they know they’re the ****. But you will have to make it clear during interviews that you are totally willing to come there. Lastly, you have a large advantage going to Pitt as UPMC has a lot of top residencies to begin with - in this case your life in Pittsburgh will help.
That does make a lot of sense. I'm concerned that I won't be able to properly convince those residency directors that I'll be totally open to come to their program. Thank you
 

Banco

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May 28, 2014
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That does make a lot of sense. I'm concerned that I won't be able to properly convince those residency directors that I'll be totally open to come to their program. Thank you
I really don’t think you have to worry about this if you’re coming from a big name.

For example, I’ve literally done all my schooling in the NE and lived there my whole life, but I got some interviews on the other side of the country for residency. I have no connections, sent no letters of interest etc. Sometimes the game is unpredictable.
 
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Aug 18, 2020
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I really don’t think you have to worry about this if you’re coming from a big name.

For example, I’ve literally done all my schooling in the NE and lived there my whole life, but I got some interviews on the other side of the country for residency. I have no connections, sent no letters of interest etc. Sometimes the game is unpredictable
Thank you so much! Your so right about this whole application game having no rhyme nor riddle. Your advice and personal experience really helped me! Thank you
 
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