PLFSOM (scholarship) vs Long SOM

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Dr. Games

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2+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2019
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I had been sitting on my acceptance PLFSOM for a few months, but I got accepted to Long SOM off the WL just a few days ago and now I'm quite torn. I'm from the DFW metroplex, and my number 1 was UTSW; I don't bring that up to look down on these 2 schools, I was impressed by both, but just to note that I'm still on the waitlist for UTSW and there's still a hope to land up there. I'm not sure what specialty I want to pursue, but I am leaning towards PM&R or neurology currently, and I want to be able to place at a competitive residency. For the time being here are my pros and cons for both schools:

- Scholarship (15k/year) which equates to roughly 75% of tuition
- Really liked their curriculum style (very clinically oriented)
- Smaller class size, and more opportunities for meaningful leadership and connections with faculty
- Very friendly/supportive vibe (from what I could tell during interviews)
- El Paso area includes a lot of unique learning opportunities, including emphasis on learning Spanish, exposure to patients from the border
- Research included as part of SARP program, so more opportunities
- El Paso is about a 10 hour drive from home so will be less connected to family
- Research, while included as part of the SARP program and opportunities are more available, is relatively limited in terms of what you can do
- Medical area/center not as robust as San Antonio's
- Prestige is low (USNews had them between 90-120, and even more importantly the average residency PD rating is at 131/5.1 (2.8/2.3)

Long SOM
- Greater prestige (USNews had them at 67, residency PD ranking at 81/6.1, but word of mouth seems that most are able to match competitively)
- South Texas Medical Center is more robust
- Potential for research is greater (more facilities and greater scale)
- Closer to home (only about 4 hours away) so can stay in touch with family more
- Similar curriculum to PLFSOM but slightly accelerated (completes in 1.67 years as opposed to 2)
- Like PLFSOM, Very friendly/supportive vibe (from what I could tell during interviews)
- No scholarship so will likely have to take out loans to the tune of roughly 100k (I have saved up 50k during pre-med)
- Larger class size, less opportunities for meaningful leadership/connections with faculty
- While the potential for research is greater, the opportunities may be more limited due to not having it as part of a program (though I'm sure if I'm proactive I'll have some opportunities either way)

There's a lot to love about both of these schools, and I'm really unsure right now which is a better option/fit.

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Either school will help you land a great PMR or neurology residency. I was really impressed by both schools and I would take the $ if I was in your shoes.
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