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Stanford @ 40k/yr vs. Pitt @ 20k/yr

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Gabujabu, May 9, 2007.

  1. Gabujabu

    Gabujabu Senior Member
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    Hello everyone. I have been debating this issue for quite some time now. I really liked both schools when I visited, as they had friendly, down-to-earth students and excellent opportunities for research/clinical work. I am originally from the NE, so while Pitt would be closer to home for me, Cali would be a new experience, having lived in the east coast all my life. I am strongly interested in academic medicine at this time. Thank you very much!
     
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  3. y8507

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    stanford for sure
     
  4. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    I want to hear Doctor Detroit's input on this one.
     
  5. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology
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    Stanford. You will regret it if you don't.
     
  6. etf

    etf
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    hell, i'd pay 80k extra a year to go to stanford. and i don't even have the money - it would all be loans. but what else is money for?
     
  7. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    hopkins would let you be reasonably close to your family, and you get to enjoy warmer weather. add to the mix your interest in academic medicine, and it's a no-brainer.
     
  8. JohnMadden

    JohnMadden Political Refugee
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    Did I miss something? I thought we were talking about Pitt and Stanford...
     
  9. Gabujabu

    Gabujabu Senior Member
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    lol...they'd have to let me off the alternate list first
     
  10. Mr. Belding

    Mr. Belding The Dude abides
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    Is that a D.O. school?
     
  11. ExKitty Doctor

    ExKitty Doctor Junior Member
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    Stanford has one of the lowest, if not the lowest amounts of debt for students leaving med school. According to USNews at least. Its possible they are planning to help you out - have you talked to their fin aid office and asked what the deal is? That may be a good place to begin.
     
  12. Critical Mass

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    I'd take Pitt assuming that I liked the weather up there. Do you want to live/practice in the NE? If so, why move to the other side of the country? The training can't be so much better in Cali to merit that kind of cheddar.

    True, tuition is double, but cost of living at Stanford is also more than double Pittsburgh, PA. So my take on it when you factor in living cost (indicator of total debt), it's more like 40K vs. 80K or a difference of 160K over 4 years. I'm not even factoring the cost to go back home.

    Oh I guess this is pre-allo where I'm supposed to talk about the all-important USN rankings because God writes them in consultation with the Surgeon General. What is Pitt? 15-20ish? Stanford isn't likely in the top 5, and I fail to see significant differences between 5 and 20. Your matching ability is going to be at least 90% dependent on your work effort and not where you go to school, and even so, I'm sure that Pitt has their fair share of rockstar matches.

    Don't get me wrong, I would consider Stanford given the diversity of the student population, the matching ability of the grads, the California girls, and the overall likability of the region.

    I just think that I'd prefer to save the cash for a rainy day given the declining nature of physician compensation. If you really want to do academic medicine, your pay will suck relative to private practice; and you can enter academia from a foreign medical school.
     
  13. silverlining1

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    Indeed. I believe there are many opportunities to reduce debt such as being a teaching assistant or applying for the Med Scholars program (I'm just an undergrad here, so I am no expert on this).

    What differences did you see between the schools aside from location, rank, and cost?
     
  14. chaldobruin

    chaldobruin Member
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    no brainer: Stanford. They have so many ways to reduce debt for students its remarkable.. average debt of the 2005 grads was $66,000. Plus this is STANFORD we're talking about.. think of the prestige associated with that name, look at how incredible their match list is, how beautiful the campus/Palo Alto is, sheesh this is an easy decision!
     
  15. EndSong

    EndSong Senior Member
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    Stanford hands down. Have you seen their school? Beautiful! Have you seen how happy their students are? Plus great weather, close to San Francisco, you can surf if you go to Stanford!
     
  16. Old ortho

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    I agreed with you.

    There was a survey given to 1,200 residency program directors of which 793 responded (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...bmed_docsum ).
    The Ophthamology program directors ranked the relative importance of academic criteria for selecting residents as follows:

    1) Grades in required clerkships
    2) Number of honors grades
    3) Class rank
    3) AOA honorary membership
    5) Senior specialty elective grades
    6) USMLE Step 2 score
    7) USMLE Step 1 score
    8) Academic awards in medical school
    9) Med school's reputation
    10) Other senior elective grades
    11) Published research
    12) Grades in preclinical courses

    Interestingly, the medical school's reputation is ranked much lower than grades and board scores. Also there is no mention of state residency. It seems that whether you can match successfully depends mostly on your academic performance, rather than where you are from.
     
  17. WitchDoctor

    WitchDoctor magical healer to be
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    i would chose Stanford because I think living in northern Cali will make me much happier than living in western Pennsylvania. :)
     
  18. uvce

    uvce Member
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    This seems to date back to 1999, perhaps things have changed quite a lot, now that many schools are P/F with no formal grading?
     
  19. Thayer

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    STANFORD.

    I shadowed a Stanford reconstructive plastic surgeon during an off term. The academics and research opportunities are amazing. It is gorgeous in the spring and summer and the campus is beautiful. If I had the GPA I would have totally applied there and it would have been my first choice.
     
  20. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    prolly not.

    many/most/almost all p/f schools use more than two ranks in the clinical years, i.e. pseudo-grades. yale and stanford are noted for being "true" p/f all four years, but i tell you what: i asked my stanford interviewer about the clinical years, and he suggested in passing that faculty talk about student performance and that this has some impact on how they promote the students to residencies (maybe dean's letter or they communicate informally with residency directors--dunno). he was vague about details, and i didn't pursue the topic since it seemed to be inside information that i probably shouldn't know about. nothing like that has been mentioned on sdn about stanford, so take it for what it's worth.

    regardless, stanford is the closest thing to a vacation resort that med school can be, and you're just effin nuts if you turn them down. i truly regret having been given the opportunity to interview there, because it made the rejection sting so much stronger knowing what i'll be missing. don't be stupid.
     
  21. JackofAllTrades

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    That low for research? Now I don't know much, but I know that research is very important for residency applications (especially for something competitive like ophth&*(#$). But where you went to school is more important than research? Conventional wisdom is that published research is much more important than school reputation (whatever that means).
     
  22. Critical Mass

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    Indeed this is pre-allo where we are supposed to bow down to the big names.

    If you do awesome on your step 1 (again, completely in your own hands), you will get the love that you want coming out of Pitt.

    You'll see what I mean a year or so from now.

    :luck:

    Editing to add that I'd like to know what you guys mean by Stanford's ability to reduce debt. The OP isn't using it as an arguing point, but if the cost difference (again, with specific reference to cost of living) was minimized, I'd take Stanford given the climate, ladies, and city.
     
  23. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    prestige isn't my god here. in fact, i suspect that the op will get better clinical training at pitt than stanford. i have zero doubt that both schools would open the same doors.

    if we ignore the ta/ra opportunities at stanford (which we really shouldn't, since they pay like 12k per quarter or something utterly ridiculous like that), the question becomes does the op want to pay 80k extra in federal loans for this:

    "Palo Alto, CA, gets 17 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. Snowfall is 0 inches. The average US city gets 25 inches of snow per year. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is 56.

    On average, there are 261 sunny days per year in Palo Alto, CA. The July high is around 78 degrees. The January low is 39. Our comfort index, which is based on humidity during the hot months, is a 52 out of 100, where higher is more comfortable. The US average on the comfort index is 44."

    or save 80k for this:

    "Pittsburgh, PA, gets 36 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. Snowfall is 29 inches. The average US city gets 25 inches of snow per year. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is 146.

    On average, there are 160 sunny days per year in Pittsburgh, PA. The July high is around 84 degrees. The January low is 24. Our comfort index, which is based on humidity during the hot months, is a 48 out of 100, where higher is more comfortable. The US average on the comfort index is 44."

    i don't even need to mention that sf is 30 miles away, since the answer has already become obvious.

    edit: also, stanford has like the lowest clinical requirements of any med school (i think it's only one month for surgery?!?). fourth year can be a vacation.
     
  24. Critical Mass

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    DD, I think that we're preaching to the wrong choir.

    They always thump the magazine over here.
     
  25. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    besides their ridiculously well-paid ta/ra opportunities, they do have subsidized housing. i think it's something like 700 per month for a room in a townhouse-style apartment. not quite as cheap as pittsburgh, but it makes living there do-able.
     
  26. Gabujabu

    Gabujabu Senior Member
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    These were some of the differences:
    Grading: H/P/F at Pitt, P/F at Stanford all 4 years
    Curricullum: PBL at Pitt, more lecture based at Stanford
    Research: Summer Research/PSTP/CSTP programs at Pitt, Med/Traveling Scholars, TA/RAship, Summer Research at Stanford
    Clinical: UPMC system, Stanford system
     
  27. silverlining1

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    Given those differences, what do you prefer? It seems to me like the biggest differences are in the grading system and curriculum. Do you have a strong preference in those domains?

    DD, I loved your description of the Palo Alto weather :) Quite on the dot.
     
  28. dance123

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    my friend went to Pitt and really loved it, and she's very successful now! she's also an east coast girl...
     
  29. powerbooki

    powerbooki Member
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    Look a little further. Down the road you will likely have kids right? And medicine is only ONE of the many many fields your kids can go into. Stanford is outstanding in many many fields: all engineering fields, business, law, medicine, computer science... Stanford also tend to have a stronger alumni body (including those Nobel winners). Pitt is probably most known for medicine. Don't you think you can give your kids an arm when they are ready to go to a top school for whatever major (including premed) they choose?
     
  30. Critical Mass

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    This post vexes me much. Are you saying that you should choose a school based on legacy status for children?

    At my school, they don't even have resident tuition priveleges for kids of alumni much less any help with the adcom.

    Either way, our children won't want to be doctors anymore. Physician compensation will probably mirror that of veterinarians by then, and we'll be working for drug companies or giving our lawyers botox treatments.
     
  31. powerbooki

    powerbooki Member
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    This is a very low priority issue when it comes to choosing a school, only considered when all others (including gut feeling) do not differentiate the two schools. Since I have seen family/alumni questions on some of the secondaries I have filled out, I can't help thinking that it must help somewhat. Otherwise, why even bother putting these questions on secondaries? Stanford is outstanding in so many fields (even some sports) besides medicine. I have seen that sometimes for parents, the urge to see their kids succeed can be stronger than to see themselves succeed. Again, this is a low priority, and I am probably digging in an unnecessary direction. If all others equal, it really doesn't hurt 20 years down the road you find out you can give your kids an arm starting their college education at Stanford.
     
  32. Gabujabu

    Gabujabu Senior Member
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    I actually went to this kind of a college for ugrad, one that many parents want their kids to go to. However, I do not plan on donating any money to it (even if that would hypothetically help my children get in, being a good alumni & everything; besides, why donate to a multi-billion $ university, it's like writing a check to Bill Gates?). I do not agree with these kinds of preferences, even if I would stand to benefit from them in the future. This is not even a minor factor for me.
     

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