May 14, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
Hi all! I think I've narrowed my offers down to Indiana and Pitt, and I'm hoping some of you can help me pick! I was leaning towards Pitt until I received a scholarship offer from Indiana this past week.

- I'm broadly interested in pediatrics and psychiatry. Both Pitt and Indiana have excellent standalone children's hospitals, which was important to me.
- For residency, I will most likely be restricted to a narrow set of locations, due to my SO's career. Southern California is the best option, and I've heard it's hard to match there from OOS. If attending either school would be a leg up in that regard, that would be a huge plus.

Indiana--Indianapolis Campus
Pros:

  • 30k/year scholarship! It's tied for cheapest option with my (much lower ranked) state school. Total COA would be ~200k.
  • Would be just an hour away from my SO. Currently long-distance, so it'd be great to be closer.
  • Indianapolis was my top choice campus, so pretty happy with that. Coming from a smaller town, I'd like to try big city life.
Cons:
  • ~6 hours from home. No family or friends anywhere in the region, aside from my SO. I've never lived outside my hometown, so it'll be a bit of a shock.
  • Interview day wasn't bad but it was my least favorite. Part of this could be because it was my last interview and I was mentally done with interviewing, but there was at least one part of my interview day that was weird and uncomfortable.
  • Not a huge con, but I'm a little concerned about getting lost in the crowd with the huge class size. Maybe it wouldn't be that bad, with students being spread over all the regional campuses.
  • In general, I don't have anything bad to say about the school itself, it's clearly a quality institution...but I liked Pitt better in pretty much every way.
Pitt

Pros:

  • T20 ranking + better reputation than Indiana
  • Pretty close to home, and I'd have a great support system. My family comes up to Pittsburgh 2-3 times a month, as does my SO's family. I have a fair number of friends in the area and I'd also be close-ish to grandparents and other relatives.
  • Awesome clinical facilities. Western Psych is a big plus. Indiana probably has great facilities as well, but I didn't get to see much of them on my interview day, so kind of flying blind there.
  • I'm familiar with the city and really like it. I've spent a good bit of time on the Pitt campus and nearby neighborhoods, and I could totally see myself living there.
Cons:
  • Only ~5k/year of scholarship aid. I plan to try and negotiate the offer, but Pitt does not do merit aid, so I do not expect much success. Total COA would be ~300k.
  • Another four years of long-distance with my SO

Thoughts?
 
May 19, 2019
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  1. Medical Student
I never interviewed at Pitt but I did at Indiana and I will say with fully honesty that it seemed really meh and was my least favorite interview of the season. I felt it was really impersonal. If I were to be interested in doing peds tho I think i would definitely look into it. I think that the strength of Indiana is the huge amount of research opportunities in the Indianapolis campus but you got into Pitt! That place is teeming with all sorts of opportunities.

If I were in your shoes I would think deeply about how serious your SO and you are. It seems as though you would be happier in almost every way in Pitt ASIDE from the continuation of long distance. The 100k is fairly large but if you tackle debt aggressively its an extra half year of your life as an attending which to me is worth 4 years of happiness in med school. That being said, I think it really depends whether you'd find yourself "happier" in the city you like with your family nearish by or with your SO.
 
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Aug 10, 2019
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Look at the match lists and see how they do going west. I suspect you are going to readily see the huge advantage of Pitt’s residency placement success.
Combined with your other pro’s, it might be worth it even if they don’t sweeten their fin aide offer.
 
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