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Quick! Mayo vs. Vandy

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Noodleface, May 13, 2008.

  1. Noodleface

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    I just got a voicemail saying I'm off the Mayo waitlist so I'm guessing this decision needs to be made quick. Help! I was all set to go to Vandy and now I could really use some advice. You guys are always so helpful! I haven't thought much about the pros/cons for Mayo since I didn't think I'd get in, so if you can add anything, please let me know! (Also I got some financial help from Vanderbilt so Mayo will actually be more expensive)

    Mayo
    Pros: Amazing hospital and people
    Cons: So cold and not much to do there, more expensive

    Vanderbilt
    Pros: Highest student satisfaction?, good match list, cheaper
    Cons: Not as good clinical opportunities?

    Does anyone know if you get lots of patient contact at Mayo? I heard since there are mostly wealthy patients there, med students don't get to do as much.

    Also, I want to do research and I really like Vandy's Emphasis program. Mayo is also pretty supportive of research, right?

    Does anyone know which has a better match list? I know it doesn't guarantee that I'll do as well as those students, but I'm kinda curious.

    Sorry it's long and everyone is probably tired of these threads, but I don't want to make a rash decision. Any advice/info about the schools would be appreciated! :oops:
     
  2. 87138

    87138 Guest

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    Doesn't Mayo give all of their students a sizable scholarship or grant?
     
  3. Monica Lewinsky

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    If you are concerned with having a social life, Mayo is probably not an ideal school given the tiny class size and the city of Rochester.

    You really can't go wrong with either, so go to the place you feel like you'll be happier at.
     
  4. Noodleface

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    Yeah, but it will still be like $10,000/year (?) more than Vanderbilt. And I assume people off the waitlist don't get offered anything extra, but if anyone has heard of this happening, I'd like to know!
     
  5. pntgrd

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    Vandy hands down!
     
  6. Orbo

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    IMO, one would have to be crazy to not want to go to Mayo.
     
  7. Noodleface

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    Why?

    I'm so sleepy and neurotic, I need facts! ;)
     
  8. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Except that Vandy is also a great school.

    OP, what a wonderful decision to get to stress over. I think you win, either way.
     
  9. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"
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    Probably the biggest reason not to go to Mayo is because of its class size. Not that that's a bad thing, but some people prefer to have more classmates.
     
  10. OldBlue

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    IMO elective flexibility is an attractive feature. In that respect both schools appear to be accomodating, although their curricula differ slightly...

    From the MSAR:

    Mayo: Aside from a "...3-week return to the classroom...The remainder of the 4th year is fully elective..."

    Vandy: "The curriculum offers a productive blend of elective courses throughout all 4 years of the program."


    Best of luck with your decision.
     
  11. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    Mayo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mayo = :love:
     
  12. The Doctor

    The Doctor EMH Mark I
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    I would totally vote hands down for Vandy here. It's a great hospital, great school, in a great city and climate.
     
  13. drosenb3

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    My dad is on faculty at Vandy, and we just finsihed talking about how they have too few patients for the med students. (They recently cut ties with the baptist hospitals.) Mayo is not much better clinically, but is far superior in terms of research. Plus Vandy is loosing their head of cardiology to be dean of medicine at NW, and the current dean is going to Ohio.

    It pains me to say it because I'm from Nashville and a huge Dores fan, but I would choose Mayo.
     
  14. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    you sound like you want vandy more...plus its cheaper....go vandy
     
  15. pntgrd

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    Vandy has the happiest students, do amazingly on boards, is cheaper, and in a much nicer warmer location than Mayo. It is clear Vandy is the better choice, unless you really want a tiny class size.
     
  16. flip26

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    Can you explain the Mayo is "more expensive" comment? That seems counter to just about everything I have read about Mayo and Vandy when it comes to finaid...maybe since you just got accepted you have not received any of the Mayo finaid - in that case, you really owe it to yourself to get their finaid offer in hand before making a decision.
     
  17. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats
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    I don't understand how losing our head of cardiology and our dean will affect us. Cardiology is huge here and losing a department head will not be a big deal since there are so many other faculty. The resources being put into that deparment are huge since the school and medical center want the department to be one of the top in the country. The loss of the dean isn't going to hurt us anyway, he stated to us that his job was essentially over here, and that he wanted to take one last project as CEO (a much more 'business' job) at Ohio State's medical center.

    As for "not having enough patients," I don't know what service your father is on, but Vanderbilt as a whole has been eating up the Nashville hospital market share this decade, expanding its facilities and the number of admissions while other city hospitals such as Baptist, Centennial, and St. Thomas have remained constant in the number of patients served. Since Vanderbilt doesn't have a huge class (104 a year), there is never too many students on a particular service (e.g. only 26 3rd years doing ped/obgyn at a time...do the math). Since Vanderbilt is the only tertiary and quaternary care center for a large radius, you get to see a lot of the rarer stuff. I've seen a patient who drove six hours to get care here.
     
  18. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats
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    It is possible that the OP got a full ride to Vandy...give him the benefit of the doubt in terms of finaid.
     
  19. Noodleface

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    I did get the full ride scholarship from Vandy, and I just talked to Mayo and they said they gave me enough to actually make the tuition about $4000 per year. I'm so grateful to be in this position but now I really don't know what to do.

    Thanks for all the advice so far! Also, I'm a her, not a him, haha. But thanks QM, your advice always helps me.
     
  20. SCRdoc

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    Vandy. Sounds like you'll be happier there. Good luck.
     
  21. jjmack

    jjmack Senior Member
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    that is wrong. Mayo is better clincially (not sure how much that is better for med students), but vandy is better at research.
     
  22. flip26

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    Yeah, but not too many of those at Vandy, right? Most of what I have read on SDN is Vandy people bemoaning the poor finaid, so correct me if I have the wrong impression. And it seems like everybody accepted to Mayo gets a huge discount if not a full ride, hence my question to the OP.

    And the OP has cleared it up in a subsequent post, indicating they "just" talked to Mayo and got the finaid offer which was really the crux of my post.
     
  23. JonnyQuestMD

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    -
     
    #23 JonnyQuestMD, May 14, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  24. dr midnight

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  25. sc71football

    sc71football New Dad
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    I had to make the same decision, but unfortunately (or fortunately) I did not get anything from Vandy in the form of Financial Aid, so the decision was easy for me. I also liked Mayo a little better. The new curriculum with 2 weeks off every 6 weeks for "selective" periods is really amazing. Everyone that I talked to there loved it and said that they had a lot of free time in the evenings because of the way that the year is organized. About the comment of patients not allowing students to do anything, I would not be so sure about that. I do not personally know, but everyone that I have talked to has said that opposite is true, that the patients are very receptive to the med students. Either way, you will get a great education. However, my vote is clearly Mayo (a little biased I guess)
     
  26. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    My kneejerk reaction is to say Mayo because it's almost always the cheaper option since they're loose with finaid.

    but if you have a full-ride to Vandy, I'd go there. Mayo is a great school, but don't make the mistake of confusing the reputation of the medical school with that of its residency programs. It's still a strong program, but the Mayo name recognition largely comes from its treatment, not its medical education.

    Small class size could be an issue, but also location is a problem. Aside from having pretty bad winters, Rochester is a dump. Yes, there's a Blockbuster, and yes there's an indy bookstore, etc. but as a whole, the town doesn't have much going for it. You're close to Minneapolis, which is one of the country's most underappreciated cities, but it's still 1:30 away so you ain't going there every night.

    Again, two great schools and you'll do well at each, but unless you have some Minnesota connection, I'd go to Vandy if it's cheaper.

    Incidentally, I was in exactly the same position as you're in right now, this time last year. Except the two schools weren't as good. And neither offered me financial aid.
     
  27. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    These surveys are years out of date. Look up a school you know well and you'll see them talking about campuses that don't exist, curriculums that went away five years ago, etc. I would not put any stock into these.
     
  28. flip26

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    The minimal difference in cost would not cause me to choose Vandy - it is negligible. I would choose the school you most want to attend - kind of nice not to have money get in the way.

    Sounds like a sweet choice to me...I am not sure I believe that all of the "differences" people are citing in this thread are really that material to your decision.
     
  29. dr midnight

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    This survey is current updated May 14th not the end all survey just help if you sitting on the fence.
     
  30. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Yeah, they pulled that one before. the most recent surveys they've input there may have been updated May 14th, but the vast majority of the surveys are years old.

    Seriously, look up a med school you know a lot about and check it out. One talked about the drag of grades for the first two years, which they got rid of close to five years ago. Another talked about a curriculum that's three years old.

    Bad data is worse than no data sometimes.
     
  31. FemalesCANTDriv

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    Go to Vandy... small class size means you get tired of people really quickly. It's not like you make a whole lot of other friends in med school so don't limit yourself to like 40 something people. Go to Vandy.
     
  32. patzan

    patzan Waiting for March 20th
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    I don't know what severance there was with Baptist, as we only send one medical student over there each OB/Gyn rotation. That won't affect that rotation at all. Also, Vandy has two huge advantages over Mayo when it comes to clinical rotations: 1) Peds hospital. Mayo has none. 2) VA. Mayo has none. Mayo is more of a stand-off hospital for med students, while the VA is the ideal place for med student learning.


    I think the most important thing for you to think about is how much social life is important to you.
     
  33. bretticus

    bretticus Neuroradiology fellow
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    Sounds like a great decision you have to make :)

    All I can say is I loved Vandy undergrad for four years, and i loved my first year in med school. All things being financially equal, the only thing I can say is Minnesota is cold. :p Anyway, how did you feel about second look? Many of the people you met (if you came) will be there, so think about whether they were people you'd want to be around for four years.

    I have to agree with the others about the dean leaving -- we rarely see him anyway, and it's not like they aren't going to find someone great to replace him. I certainly don't think anyone could complain about cardiology -- half of the group that split from St. Thomas came here. I was under the impression that that department was up-and-coming...

    We all hope you come here :D
     
  34. owenmichael

    owenmichael Senior Member
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    Mayo:
    - 6 weeks of class, 2 weeks to do whatever research/volunteering/traveling you want (this occurs throughout the year, 2 weeks off every 6 weeks) = stress free school, stress free classmates... and awesome opportunities outside the classroom
    - 240 average on the boards last year
    - Cheap school, cheap to live in Roch
    - Tons of opps to publish... alot of 1st and 2nd years have already submitted manuscripts...dedicated 3 month research quarter which you are required to publish
    - 10,000 bucks to pursue any other degree, full-ride and auto-admission to ASU Law School to complete a law degree in two years
    - $5000 travel budget to use your first to years of med school

    The patient thing is complete BS. I assure you we have greater patient contact (real patient contact, not shadowing) than 95% of schools out there. During second year you have mini rotations every morning in surgery, IM, and pediatrics where you see your own patients and are taught one on one by physicians who LOVE to teach and are GOOD at it. First year, alot of students use selectives to work in a department. Patients are EXTREMELY receptive to students here because they realize it's a big academic institution.

    The med schools reputation (to a lay person) is not as big as a Harvard, JHU etc.... but I can tell you that many 4th years that recently matched insisted that coming from Mayo made them stand out during interviews (for many reasons)


    Vandy is a great program too. And definately a better location than Rochester. But I know they have a very traditional curriculum.

    Both schools are great, you can't go wrong, figure out what you want. I ABSOULTELY love Mayo, my diverse classmates, and we have MORE than our fair share of good times here. Oh, and I wasn't very enthused about coming to Roch but have no regrets.
     
  35. Maxprime

    Maxprime Higgs chaser
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    No one ever wants to hear this - but it comes down to how you felt in your visits to either school. Aside from location & atmosphere, there isn't much (that matters) to use as criteria.
     
  36. bretticus

    bretticus Neuroradiology fellow
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    I'm sure Mayo is a great school too, but I believe you're wrong about our curriculum. They overhauled it last year, and this was the first year with the new one. It is quite different than the previous 8-5 lecture format.
     
  37. caffeineaholic

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    Congrats on having such good options to pick between!

    I think Vandy is a great school, but I've chosen Mayo since I really felt like I would get the optimal (from my perspective) medical education experience there. Take my opinions w/ a grain of salt since I'm incoming (vs. current) student at Mayo. 1st two years seem awesome for the reasons that owenmichael mentioned above. I love the flexibility for pursuing own interests & traveling, killer board scores, great research opportunities / publishing potential, and amazing access to faculty and other resources.

    One of main things that really convinced me is that I thought I'd get the best 3rd year clinical training at Mayo. I think that of the 4 years of med school, that 3rd year will influence me the most in shaping my views and opinions of the various medical areas and of medicine in general. I feel that Mayo's patient-centered focus is a real committment that manifests itself daily, which is attractive to me. Also, rotations sound like they'd be very good learning opportunities. People I've spoken to at other top med schools seem to mention how varying their rotation experiences can be, where most rotations include a lot of scutwork and where the amount of learning is hit or miss depending on whether the residents/attendings care about teaching at all. I think the small class size is a huge benefit here since the clinic so large in comparision to the amount of students so each student gets great clinical opportunities.

    Overall, the vibe i got from Mayo was that people seem very down to earth and nice, and that the environment seems to foster collaboration rather than competition. I felt like I would be able to learn the most and be the happiest in this type of environment.

    Do you have to decide by May 15 or do you get some extra time since you were pulled in off the waitlist?
     
  38. caffeineaholic

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    Congrats on having such good options to pick between!

    I think Vandy is a great school, but I thought that the medical education experience I would receive there would be fairly similar to that at almost all of the other schools I was accepted at. Although there were some variations in curriculum, most of the schools started to blend together after a while. I think that's true for most med schools in general, which is why cost and location typically come into play as significant factors in decision-making.

    I've chosen Mayo since I really felt like I would get the optimal (from my perspective) medical education experience there. Take my opinions w/ a grain of salt since I'm incoming (vs. current) student at Mayo. 1st two years seem awesome for the reasons that owenmichael mentioned above. I love the flexibility for pursuing own interests & traveling, killer board scores, great research opportunities / publishing potential, and amazing access to faculty and other resources.

    One of main things that really convinced me is that I thought I'd get the best 3rd year clinical training at Mayo. I think that of the 4 years of med school, that 3rd year will influence me the most in shaping my views and opinions of the various medical areas and of medicine in general. I feel that Mayo's patient-centered focus is a real committment that manifests itself daily, which is attractive to me. Also, rotations sound like they'd be very good learning opportunities. People I've spoken to at other top med schools seem to mention how varying their rotation experiences can be, where most rotations include a lot of scutwork and where the amount of learning is hit or miss depending on whether the residents/attendings care about teaching at all. I think the small class size is a huge benefit here since the clinic so large in comparision to the amount of students so each student gets great clinical opportunities.

    Overall, the vibe i got from Mayo was that people seem very down to earth and nice, and that the environment seems to foster collaboration rather than competition.

    Do you have to decide by May 15 or do you get some extra time since you were pulled in off the waitlist?
     
  39. patzan

    patzan Waiting for March 20th
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    Well, it's May 15th. Let us know what you've decided. I think it just comes down to where you want to live and, of course, the Benjamins.
     
  40. Noodleface

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    They actually are giving me 2 weeks to think. But I want to decide by the end of tomorrow (after I talk to this guy from Mayo) for the sake of the people waiting and just because I want to move on. I was supposed to go apartment hunting in Nashville next week!

    Thanks so much for all the advice everyone!
     
  41. Phoenix.

    Phoenix. Emdee Jaydee
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    Good luck with your decision, Noodleface. I really don't think you could go wrong either way. Since they're both such great schools, and money isn't an issue, I'm guessing in the end it will come down to quality of life (i.e., where you'd be a better fit), or perhaps just your gut feeling. These are all such difficult decisions to make, and I really don't envy your position. Then again, I take that back. I DO envy it! :) Oh, and thanks for thinking of those of us still in the trenches. Good luck!
     
  42. hra87

    hra87 Junior Member
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    Vanderbilt for the $$$ and the ladies ;)

    Edit: Actually, the latter part might not be relevant, now that I think about it. Still...$$$.
     

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