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Apr 20, 2019
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I’m deciding between UChicago and Penn (and technically UCSF, but it’s way more expensive and I don’t wanna be on the west coast). I feel SO fortunate to have these options but am completely torn. I’m potentially interested in derm or psych, but am undecided (though i don’t envision pursuing most of the surg subspecialties). I’m from CT and hope to match somewhere along the east coast-- NY or Boston.

Penn (COA $225,000)
+ loved my interview day- it was my first choice after interviewing, though in hindsight I didn’t actually meet many students
+ 1.5 year innovative curriculum, learning teams
+ Philadelphia weather > chicago weather
+ Prestige (I know this is a dumb question but how much of a difference will this really make if I end up deciding to do, for example, derm)
+ close to NYC, have some friends there
-- I got sort of a fratty/broey vibe from current students/other admits. Can anyone at Penn speak to whether this is the vibe of their class? It’s possible I just met a small sliver of students since it’s much bigger than Pritzker.
- Also got more of a gunner vibe compared to Pritzker. My host was nice but when I arrived she spent the first 45mins talking about the minutiae of Penn’s match list. People I met seemed to talk about stuff like that a lot (their match list is dope though!)
- Administration seemed a bit less supportive/involved then Pritzker’s
- Chicago>Philly (though Penn’s neighborhood>/=Hyde park)
- A bit more expensive (*though Penn said they may be able to fully match UChicago’s scholarship*)

UChicago (COA $200,000)
++ Super genuine, tight-knit, down-to-earth student body and supportive administration
+ Got more of the warm, fuzzy feeling during revisit than I did at Penn
+ Strong in psych (more popular than at Penn, at least per capita)
+ Social justice vibes
+ Many of my closest friends live in Chicago (though they don’t live in Hyde park. I’m not sure how often I’ll realistically be able to see them— how easy is it to get to downtown Chicago from Hyde park without a car? Can any current students speak to this? Also, in general, how much should I really be factoring in how many outside friends I have in the city I go to med school in? Will I even have enough time to see them?).
+ $25,000 cheaper (though Penn said they *may* be able to match)
+ Got a slightly better vibe at Pritzker from the students at revisit than I did at Penn. But again, maybe I just didn’t meet enough people at Penn since it was such a big crowd?
- less “prestigious” (??)
- Hyde park
- Chicago weather
- 2 year preclinical curriculum. I’m generally indecisive (hence this thread!) and envision needing a good bit of time to decide on a speciality. Can anyone speak to how much of an impact a 2 year preclinical curriculum would have on this process?
- I know I CAN match in NY/Boston from Pritzker, but I feel like it would be nice to have a community of at least some of my med school friends in whichever city I end up in, and far fewer people end up on the east coast from Pritzker compared to Penn (is this a myopic premed concern? I can't tell lol).

Thank you all for your help!!! I so appreciate it.
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