Saint Louis University (SLU) vs. University of Missouri (Mizzou)?

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Which medical school do you think I should attend?

  • SLU

    Votes: 13 65.0%
  • Mizzou

    Votes: 7 35.0%

  • Total voters


Aspiring Jedi Knight
Nov 6, 2013
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I'm entirely aware that I might have a lopsided view of the two schools because I have no experience with SLU and a lot of experience, both good and bad, with Mizzou.

Also, I'd very much like to leave Missouri for a residency in the northeast (strong ties).

Saint Louis University

  • In St. Louis
    • Large city - lots to do in terms of activities
    • Urban under-served population
      • Presumably busier trauma – I could completely see myself going into EM
  • Large class that pulls students from across America - greater diversity in the student body
  • Seemed to be a great deal of support for students
    • true P/F - no internal ranking
    • serious concern for student health
    • very approachable professors - weekend office hours offered
    • seemed to have a good support system for residency matching
  • Residency matches across America
    • Students have matched into some of the residency programs that I may like to attend
  • Mostly traditional lecture-based learning (recorded, not mandatory, etc.)
  • A clean slate
  • Higher tuition (but this actually doesn't matter all that much to me because GI Bill)
  • Lower avg STEP score in comparison with Mizzou (on par with national average, I believe)
  • Fewer opportunities for research it seems, but I'm not 100% clear about this
  • Tenet kind of ran SLU Hospital into the ground (SLU Hospital was recently acquired by SSM though), a lot of good doctors left and a couple of programs crashed and burned in terms of national ranking in the last decade, including some that I might be interested in
  • Potentially more cons that I'm not aware of because I'm an undergrad at Mizzou and not SLU

University of Missouri

  • Cheaper tuition (but again, doesn't really matter all that much)
  • Consistently higher avg STEP (several points higher than national average)
  • Went here for undergrad so I'm friendly with several doctors in a specialty that I like and have worked as a student in their department for years
    • Many more opportunities for research?
    • Many more opportunities for networking?
  • PBL curriculum - they go all in and it honestly seems like it works, if the STEP scores are any indication
  • I'm more familiar with the area, the transition would not be as difficult and I've already have a bit of a life here
  • In Columbia, which is very much a college town
  • nearly 90% Missouri residents so very little in terms of student body diversity
  • Seems like there may not be as much support for the students
    • it's all peer to peer teaching
    • PBL does not have professors per se, there's no one to help when you need help?
    • much less structure - apparently students can use whatever textbook they like and no two students uses the same (or just about, anyways)
  • focuses very much on rural medicine and family medicine - two areas I will never have any interest in
    • mostly rural under-served population
  • Matches to residencies mostly in the midwest - true that it's probably all based on preference but how could I have a chance at the northeast if no one has ever heard of Mizzou before?
  • The terrible terrible press that Mizzou is now nationally known for...
    • subsequent 32 million budget deficit projected for next year and the indefinite hiring freeze
    • don't know if any of this will affect the medical school though
  • 10% - 20% chance I'll get lottery'ed and shipped out to Springfield, MO for my last two years - something I absolutely do not want at all. I've got a family and I can't just move willy-nilly. It's also at a hospital with a bad reputation for patient care and that's never had either residents or medical students before.

Tl;dr : I suppose it all comes down to curriculum and risk. PBL seems like a high risk, high reward scenario. Get through it and you're super prepared (with potentially great LORs). Get lost and fail out of med school. Also, the chance that I might be unwillingly shipped off to Springfield is far too high for my preference (0%).

I know that I'll be much happier living in St. Louis but I don't want to live happily for 4 years and then get stuck at a less desirable residency program for the next 3-5 years.

Opinions? Is this grass is greener on the other side syndrome (looking at SLU from Mizzou)? Or are they actually offering free cocaine on the other side of the fence?

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Full Member
Dec 12, 2016
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Would love some current student input! This is a great breakdown. The major tripping point for me with Mizzou is the chance that I could be lotteried out to Springfield! OP, which did you choose?