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Pritzker vs. WashU

Discussion in 'Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2017)' started by ldiam, May 17, 2014.

Pritzker vs. WashU in STL

Poll closed May 20, 2014.
  1. Pritzker

  2. WashU

  1. ldiam

    ldiam 2+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2014
    Central West End
    Hi all,

    I'm kind of stuck with this decision. I've spent the last two days comparing everything possible between these two schools (Pritzker and WashU in St. Louis) and, no matter what I do, I can't seem to make a definitive decision. Thus, because I have 72 hours to choose a school, I decided to come ask the experts (you!) for advice. As far as my feelings about each school go:

    + Cost (about $10,000 cheaper a year, ~$40K overall)
    + Global Health opportunities (specifically within the S&D program)
    + P/F
    + Size
    - Location (not sure how I feel about Hyde Park)

    + Pediatrics program (high ranked, etc.)
    + MPH possibility
    + Further from home/Newer experiences
    ? Location (don't feel like I know enough about STL to consider this a +/-)
    ? Some global health opportunities, but I get the impression that it's not as extensive as Pritzker? Any insights here?
    ? Not P/F in second year
    - Cost

    I had awesome experiences at both schools on my interview day and, unfortunately, wasn't able to attend revisit for either as I am abroad (and wasn't accepted to WashU in time). I'm sure I'll be happy with either choice (kind of obviously, because coming up with negatives for either school was extremely difficult), but any input would be SO appreciated. Thank you!
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  3. TheThirdLevel

    TheThirdLevel 7+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    I'd say Pritzker. Chicago is a great city too (not that St. Louis isn't). It's cheaper, it's a great school, P/F is big. The location isn't the worst either. Don't go too far south and you'll be fine.
  4. HinduHammer

    HinduHammer We Do Not Sow 2+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    I am a native st louisan and washu alum. Stl is a decent but small city. If location is a big factor for you, Chicago has more to offer. I work near washu med school also, the med school is big and gorgeous and everything but I'm sure you knew that. Those kids are always studying though so not sure how much you'll get to enjoy either city. Fwiw I'd pick pritzker a. Bc I'm done with st louis and Chicago has so much to offer b. Cost and c. Pass fail. Just my two cents.
  5. PD2014


    May 16, 2014
  6. trino

    trino 2+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2013
    Also vote pritzker if you're fine with a big city
  7. smpbound

    smpbound 2+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    why do you say that about Hyde Park? Is there something that Hyde Park has too much of which you dislike?
  8. ranson

    ranson 2+ Year Member

    Mar 2, 2011
    Both are really great schools. Although WashU is ranked slightly higher, both schools have nearly identical reputations and going to Pritzker over WashU or vice versa will have no impact on where you match, even location because both are midwest schools.

    Location: I feel that Pritzker is in a better location because it's in Chicago and only 20 mins to downtown. Although St. Louis is a great city, you really can't compare it to what Chicago has to offer.

    Cost: You shouldn't put too much stock into cost because 40k is not a deal breaker and won't put you in too much debt If it was 100 or 200k, then cost should play a bigger role.

    Environment: I think that Pritzker would be less stressful of an environment as it is a true P/F for both years
    ldiam and DermViser like this.
  9. MilkIsGood

    MilkIsGood 7+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    Hyde Park isnt really a con. Nice quiet place to live and study in during the weekday, close enough to fun for the weekends.
  10. CrunchyTeddy

    CrunchyTeddy 2+ Year Member

    Oct 8, 2013
    Pritzker! Sounds like you are in favor of it :)
  11. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    No question - Pritzker.
  12. ttothemac

    ttothemac Gunner... the soccer fan kind 5+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2011
    Pritzker IMO

    But seriously every city has a neighborhood called Hyde Park... Boston, Chicago, LA, London, KC
  13. cyberchicken001

    cyberchicken001 5+ Year Member

    Jun 2, 2011
    There's also a New Hyde Park in New York :)
  14. MrMe123

    MrMe123 2+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2013
    I don't know much about WashU, but I've worked at UChicago Hospital and I think the hospital is beautiful and some great research is happening there. The MD/PhDs I've talked to (who have done the first half of the MD and are into the PhD) are in love with the place and their experiences.

    Also, I've lived in Hyde Park. I was studying full time for MCAT and working full time so I couldn't EVER explore, but even the area itself is quiet and VERY pretty and residential. If you ever want to go out to the city the transport system is only second to NYC imo. The campus/surrounding area is a bit of a bubble.
  15. Cyberdyne 101

    Cyberdyne 101 It's a dry heat Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2013
    Under the Bay Bridge
    Wow, those are like the most selective schools in the nation, so first of all, congratulations!
    I would go with Pritzker. It doesn't have an MPH program but I'm sure you can get that degree at another institution. It has a small class size, it's p/f, and there's more to do in Chicago.
  16. wvwvwv

    wvwvwv 2+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    I'm in the same situation, I hope OP doesn't mind me using this thread :D I didn't want to create a whole new one since the discussion will be similar. I got off the Pritzker waitlist today and suddenly have a decision to make!
    I'm interested in care of underserved populations, which seem to be covered by both schools by nature of their locations. In terms of curriculum, residency placement, and general opportunities, there doesn't seem to be large differences between the two (correct me if I'm wrong)! So I'm down to:

    +full tuition scholarship
    ? the required research project, not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I'm interested in the projects students have done, but I'm worried about the time commitment?
    -the day of my interview it was -10 degrees! I'm not a big fan of cold and I don't know much about Chicago

    -would leave med school with ~$150k in loans to repay
    +went to WUSTL undergrad, so have already existing relationships with some med students and faculty and I love StL

    Any current students (from either school) who want to share some experiences or insights? :D thanks everyone!
  17. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Full tuition scholarship AND true pass/fail preclinicals!? You'd be out of your mind to turn that down.
  18. seeinghowitgoes

    seeinghowitgoes 5+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2012
  19. Coltsbcs

    Coltsbcs 2+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2010
    So Cal
    Third! Not mention at Uchicago you are, walking distance to the lake, 20 minutes away from downtown chicago, magnificent mile, lollapalooza!
  20. MilkIsGood

    MilkIsGood 7+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    The required project is easy to finish. You can start it the summer after 1st year and continue on with that project. Or start a new project after you take step 1. We get 5-6 weeks off to do our "research" after step 1, which is a nice break. Finish the project up in 4th year if needed.

    I also hate the cold, but you get used to it. I would assume St Louis to be cold as well
  21. byaaaaaaah23

    byaaaaaaah23 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2011
    Yeah, this sounds like an amazing opportunity! Definitely pick Chicago.
  22. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member

    Pritzker for both of you guys.
  23. ace12345

    ace12345 2+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2012
    Pritzker absolutely smashing WashU. This is fairly impressive considering their similarities as research institutions. Any real reason - other than Chicago being awesome - that one would be so heavily favored over the other?
  24. snowflakes

    snowflakes 2+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Probably because the first person on this thread said Pritzker was $40k cheaper for him, and the second person making the same decision on this thread said he had a full tuition scholarship to Pritzker.
    rfenzo likes this.
  25. ranson

    ranson 2+ Year Member

    Mar 2, 2011
    In addition to the location and being cheaper, another reason is probably the true p/f.
  26. plumazul

    plumazul ☮, ♥, & ♫ 5+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Did you inform WashU of your scholarship?
  27. wvwvwv

    wvwvwv 2+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Yea, they're giving me a little already (hence only 150k of debt v 200k+) and they said they couldn't do anything more for me.

    haha StL is slightly less cold :p Thanks for the info! is the research project required to be with a UChicago faculty? If I wanted to spend my summer with family/etc, could I do research at another school?
  28. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-3 Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    You got accepted off the waitlist at Pritzker but they offered you a full tuition scholarship? Can you explain? That doesn't seem to compute for me.
  29. wvwvwv

    wvwvwv 2+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    That's exactly what happened, I don't have any other info for you...I imagine they had offered it to someone else and that person had turned them down?
  30. snowflakes

    snowflakes 2+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    This happens not that uncommonly. Especially if the school you're attending when they pull you off the waitlist is similarly ranked or ranked higher. Think of scholarships of recruitment tools. To effectively recruit him away from WashU, where he was already set, they offered him enough money to make the choice a no brainer.
    plumazul likes this.
  31. ace12345

    ace12345 2+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2012
    Missed that part. Yeah Pritzker is an easy choice.
  32. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-3 Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    I understand the value of scholarships as incentives, but it seems odd that they want an applicant badly enough to offer a scholarship but not badly enough to accept outright vs initial waitlisting.
  33. snowflakes

    snowflakes 2+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Yes, it's odd and I doubt we applicants can do much more than speculate. I'm guessing it's because the pool you're being compared to has changed. Then, they compared you to all the applicants, and were being conservative with their acceptances. Now, they need to fill the last few gaps in their seat, and want to pick the best fits from those that chose to remain on the waitlist to round out their class. Maybe they have more specific criteria in mind now than they did when first handing out acceptances--like they want more humanities majors or non-trads or heavy basic-science research people, etc--and you fit them! Plus they know there's a very substantial chance you won't attend if you're already matriculating at an equally good/higher ranked school. Just my best guess. Maybe someone more involved with admissions has a more informative answer.

    I've seen people on here saying they've gotten scholarships off the waitlist from numerous schools including UChicago, WashU, and Baylor.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  34. ace12345

    ace12345 2+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2012
    Gotta lock in the class! Presumably, a top student that was originally offered the scholarship chose to attend elsewhere. Better to give it to someone that was on the waitlist and therefore still on the fence decision-wise than someone that is already definitely matriculating. Even though they were on the waitlist, they're part of the class now and are just as important as anyone else that matriculates. Best to get them in and end the waitlist craziness. At least this is my take on it.

    EDIT: I would also assume that they want to fill remaining positions with - in their opinion - the best possible students. If the OP is already signed on with WashU, they're clearly a pretty strong student, and some incentive might be needed to come over to Pritzker.
    snowflakes likes this.
  35. snowflakes

    snowflakes 2+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Oh that makes sense! Scholarships are incentives to attend, and the ones who most need an incentive to attend are the ones on the waitlist, set to matriculate at an equally good school.
    rfenzo likes this.
  36. MilkIsGood

    MilkIsGood 7+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    The research project for S&D has to be with UC faculty. There are also some meetings during that 5 weeks so you supposedly have to be on campus, but many ppl go on vacation and stuff during this time. You can do research at another school the summer after 1st year, and UC might actually give you funding for that.

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