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SUNY Buffalo vs UVa

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by moonshined, Jan 14, 2014.


  1. SUNY Buffalo

  2. University of Virginia

  1. moonshined


    Jan 14, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
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  3. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    Well I don't know how good or bad these programs are but I can tell you this. Buffalo has some of the worse weather in the country. I'd call it America's version of Siberia though it is not cold all year round.

    You got about 5 months of it being extremely cold with very little sunlight.
    Expect to get Seasonal Affective Disorder and a vitamin D deficiency there. I'm not joking.

    Then expect about 5 months of extremely hot weather that is sticky and mosquito ridden with only about 2 months of decent weather.

    The one thing Buffalo has going for it are their buffalo wings that are the best I've ever had and for some reason no one's been able to make any as good outside of upstate NY. (IF only someone made a chain with wings as good as they are on Buffalo). Now as good as their wings are, and they kick ass, it's not good enough to make you want to move to a place with weather so morbid it'll make you depressed.
  4. eastcoastdr

    eastcoastdr 2+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2012
    I'm from Virginia so I'm biased...I love the town of Charlottesville. I think there is a lot of social life in Cville - first off you have tons of grad schools in the area (not to mention the huge undergrad) so theres definitely plenty of bars, restaurants, theatres, huge stadium which hosts pretty big names in entertainment, etc. I personally think downtown Cville is gorgeous! And aside from the college area, there's a lot of nice residential neighborhoods. Many of my friends settled there after graduating college. I think it's a great place especially if you have an SO or a family. Good school systems, cheap cost of living, easy to get around. And based on weather alone, I'd pick somewhere in the South! I don't know much about Buffalo though, so I can't speak about that.

    What about how well you "fit in" with the other residents? Psych is a difficult field emotionally and mentally... you def need to be a with a group residents that you can lean on for support or vent when you need it. At least thats how I feel. Honestly both programs sound pretty similar prestige-wise -both are pretty well recognized, well-rounded university programs.
  5. digitlnoize

    digitlnoize Rock God 10+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2007
    Agree with above. We have TONS of social activities here. The residents regularly get together, and we all have our own circles of friends too. Wineries and breweries are popular. Hiking, outdoor stuff. Sports aren't really our thing, but the University has them, more or less.

    I think UVA may offer more prestige in general, outside of NY at least. I know that in psych-land UVA is generally considered an average-ish program, but outside of psych we are very highly regarded and well known. Our residents get great jobs and fellowships. One of my friends is doing child at Harvard, for example.

    I'd strongly consider weather. I know I couldn't live in Buffalo, but that's just me. Consider the size city. Cville is a small town with no crime, little traffic, but a surprising amount of things to do. Buffalo is MUCH bigger, with all the the good and bad that goes with that. Also consider where you may want to end up. In the NE, may carry more weight, but I'm not sure. Elsewhere, I'd dare say that UVA wins the name recognition contest, but especially in the SE.
  6. MDchouette

    MDchouette 7+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2008
    I know nothing about Buffalo, but I'd agree with everything digitlnoize and eastcoastdr said. Charlottesville is a great city and does not lack a social life. There is a LOT to do there for a town of its size. It gets pretty good concerts, and DC is only 2.5 hours away by car if you need an occasional big city fix. Because it's a smaller town, I might be concerned about moving there if I were single, but I imagine the grad schools might make up for this. Digitlnoize can probably tell you more about this.

    You might consider getting in touch with some of the residents that you met at each program to suss out the differences in the social life in the two locations. As long as you phrase your questions appropriately (i.e. not "So just how boring is it to live in your town, anyway?"), I would think any resident you met would be happy to help you.

    Also question why you want the prestige. What do you think this will get you? A better fellowship/job? More research opportunities? Rather than thinking about prestige in general, I'd encourage you to think about what you want the prestige to get you, and then investigate those things--the kind of research projects residents do; where residents get jobs/fellowships; etc. One of the UVa chief residents from ~4 years ago just got named as the Associate Program Director at MGH/McLean after doing a CL fellowship at MGH. He is an exceptional guy, but I think it goes to show that the sky is the limit for a driven resident.

    Given that there doesn't seem to be an obvious answer on which program is more prestigious, seems like you may need to either go with your gut or figure out some other variables.
  7. Bartelby

    Bartelby 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    Just chiming in to say I went to UVa and was quite surprised when you said Charlottesville has no social life, although I see how you might think that if you are from a big city. As others have pointed out there is plenty to do with a wide range of restaurants, bars, the John Paul Jones arena (gets many major shows), UVa sports, many gyms which you can use for free (one of which has the largest hot tub in the South!), Shenandoah national park within an hour's drive, the Rivanna trail almost immediately accessible from anywhere on UVa's grounds, Washington DC 2.5 hours away, Virginia Beach/Dismal Swamp/Beachfront camping ~3 hours away, lots of Wineries, many historical sites, tons of well known guest speakers for free via UVa (think Nobel prize winners, big name academics, etc), a near unlimited number of clubs through UVa, and plenty more. As you can guess I was not disappointed at all with the opportunities outside of work! The mild winters are also quite nice v New York. If you are single looking for people older than typical graduate student range I think the dating pool would be more limited than Buffalo, although I think Charlottesville still has a lot to offer.

    For prestige I think UVa is better known as a general University / Medical School, but either program would be considered solid in psychiatry as far as I know.

    In summary I loved my time at UVa; it sounds like you may be leaning Buffalo and you probably wouldn't go wrong with either but I just wanted to let you know the social scene in Charlottesville may not be as dismal as you think!
  8. moonshined


    Jan 14, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014

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