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Please Help me choose a School: HBCU vs State School

Discussion in 'Underrepresented in Healthcare' started by EMDO2018, May 17, 2014.

  1. EMDO2018

    EMDO2018 Banned Banned

    Oct 8, 2013
    I don't know
    I really don't know what to do. I'm trying to decide between 2 schools, one is an HBCU, one is a state school, both are MD. Here is a pro and con list I made

    State School:
    P/F grading
    on campus housing
    recorded lectures

    total debt 250k ( undergrad + med)

    In a medium sized city with not much to do
    large class size
    Not diverse only a few AAs

    In large city full of young professional African Americans with lots to do
    School has mostly AA professors, mentors, students
    small class size, felt more at home there

    total debt would be ~ 300k (undergrad + med)

    No on campus housing
    ABCF grading
    No recorded lectures
    School requires community health classes that take lots of time

    Some things I consider, I would like to have a small class size and having other AA students, professors, and mentors I feel like that school will have a more supportive environment. I’m also single and would like to live in a city where I can meet other young professionals and have things to do in my spare time.

    I am an independent studier and having a school with recorded lectures and Pass fail grading would make the first two years less stressful for me. I have problems getting apartments because of a past eviction on my credit report so on campus housing is a plus. Though, I can always rent rooms or basement apartments from people renting out rooms.

    Ultimately the cost would be
    state school= 250k, HBCU= 300k

    What would you guys do?
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
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  3. maybemed2013

    maybemed2013 2+ Year Member

    Sep 13, 2011
    I am so happy that you are deciding which M.D. school you want to attend.

    Honestly, I would go with the state school. But, I just prefer P/F grading, recorded lectures and, living in an environment that would not distract me from studying.

    Did you look into the clinical rotation sites?
    Step 1 and 2 scores?
    Match List?
  4. EMDO2018

    EMDO2018 Banned Banned

    Oct 8, 2013
    I don't know
    Both have great pass rates for steps 1 and 2. Step exams really depend on the individual effort of the student. State school has a systems based curriculum they instituted a couple years ago, HBCU has discipline based. Both have great teaching hospitals. Match list, comparable.
  5. Selah

    Selah 2+ Year Member

    May 8, 2010
    Medical school will be harder than any schooling you have done. I would strongly prefer P/F grading--that would be a deal breaker. Less stress over grades is very important to quality of life.
  6. Ebrithill

    Ebrithill 5+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2011
    same, i would go with the state school. the P/F failing is an important factor and i feel it leads to a more supportive and friendly environment. it's also cheaper. granted it doesn't have as many african americans in the class, but I think if you make it an important task, you can find support at your state school. plus its medicine, we all need to get used to being a minority :D.
    flowergurl likes this.
  7. dadaddadaBATMAN

    dadaddadaBATMAN 2+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2014
    Umbrella pulled out
    Normally I go for comfort over pretty much all other things.

    But for my learning style, this is a huge pro "recorded lectures" and this is a massive con "school requires community health classes that take lots of time."

    Disclaimer before the last paragraph: I am blindingly white. Like "dear god take a stake to that thing's heart because I don't think it's ever seen the sun" kind of white.

    Only you can decide the relative importance of minority status, city size, etc. But if it were me I'd remember that schools often have minority groups which you can probably get involved in. It also might give you some friends outside of medicine. Not sure how much time you'll have to enjoy the differences between a large city and a medium size one.

    Good luck with the choice! and congratulations!
  8. dadaddadaBATMAN

    dadaddadaBATMAN 2+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2014
    Umbrella pulled out
    I would be cautious in saying "med. school will be harder than any schooling you've ever done." Med. school is difficult, but some undergrad. engineering semesters are close to the difficulty of med. school (at least year 1) or even harder.

    As for pass/fail:
    It really shouldn't be that big a deal in your selection. Pre-meds are used to thinking about grades, so it's understandable how you all fixate on that crap (I did).

    But here's a secret: no one gives a damn about pre-clinical grades. Choosing based on P/F is a terrible idea when the only metric that matters first two years is Step 1 (slight exaggeration, but mostly true. Pre-C grades are important for AOA, and sometimes for class rank. But P/F won't help you there).

    I'm currently at a H/HP/P/LP/F medical school. It's not like my grades effect anyone else, there are just more letters to describe them. I'm not gonna take a knife to my friends all of a sudden because I get a HP instead of Honors. Wouldn't help anyway.

    If I were you, I'd look at differences in clinical rotations and the quality of those rotations: much bigger deal . You'll learn the same stuff the first two years regardless of the school. 3rd/4th year can change radically.
  9. joker2400

    joker2400 5+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2011
    This pretty much sums up my thoughts. Also, don't ignore that 50k price difference, by the time you get to paying it off it will cost you 75-150k.
  10. EMDO2018

    EMDO2018 Banned Banned

    Oct 8, 2013
    I don't know

    Thank you guys for all your help. I have decided where I am going for the next 4 years! State school!

    Now I just have to withdraw from the HBCU, I really liked the school so it wont be easy.
    ChemEngMD likes this.
  11. dadaddadaBATMAN

    dadaddadaBATMAN 2+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2014
    Umbrella pulled out
    Good luck!
  12. starstarie

    starstarie 7+ Year Member

    Oct 22, 2009
    Good choice. Only thing that really matters is p/f and the price haha

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