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SUNY Upstate or Buffalo

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Thanks Obongo

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I recently heard I'd been taken off the wait list at Upstate but only have five days to make a decision. I'm a Buffalo native who's never lived away from home. Here's my lists of pros and cons.

Buffalo


Pros:



-Apartment close to home/family. Have roommate situation figured out with a friend who I've known my entire life and two engineering majors. The price of the room is only $450 a month!

-Brand new state of the art building downtown. Connects to the subway as well which would make getting to campus manageable in winter traffic

-Ranked higher I assume (I couldn't find a ranking for SUNY Upstate can anyone confirm?)

-Know a handful of students entering this year as well as a few MS1s and MS2s

Con:

-I've never lived anywhere other than Buffalo

-Apartment is kind of far from campus (25 minute drive)


SUNY Upstate


Pros:


-I like the idea of moving to a new city and a fresh start

-P/F grading sounds nice. I am however worried it could discourage me from studying to my fullest potential and then that could be bad when it comes to step1. Should this be a serious concern?

-Liked the area better, especially with it being next to SU. A lot going on all the time. Some seriously good looking chicks too :rolleyes:

Cons:

-I have no housing situation at the moment, and moving in with randoms could end up bad. Living alone is also pricey too. It's a hassle finding a place..

-From what I can tell based on my online searches Buffalo seems to be the more reputable school


Thanks for your help!
 

duckdoc20

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First off congratulations, both are amazing schools! I think both schools are very similar in regards to ranking with Buffalo being slightly higher but not significantly. I'd keep in might that a lot of Buffalo's class matches to Buffalo residencies so if your looking to be in Buffalo long term that might be a deciding factor. Also depending on what your interested in one might stand out, for example if your looking to match into trauma upstate would be the clear choice. Good luck with your decision!
 
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CyrusHabs7695

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    I know for a bunch of schools a 'pass' is 80% or higher, so its not like all you need to do is study for an hour the night before the test and get a 65% to pass. So I wouldnt worry about that. Id pick Ub though, the new campus and resources with it are unreal


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    master_debater

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    Speaking as a student who has interviewed at both schools, and was subsequently accepted at Buff and HPA at Upstate, which is why you should decline upstate and give it to me haha jk. Personally however, I would choose Upstate over Buffalo.

    For one I found the systems based curriculum at Upstate to be better versus the traditional curriculum at Buffalo. Upstate is also pass fail, while I did find both schools to be pretty supportive and relaxed, I feel like having p/f will allow me to worry less on trying to get a super high grade, and focus more on understanding the material and focusing on the Step. Both schools are pretty equal in ranking, unless the school is a top 20 a slightly higher ranking is meaningless. The cities are also pretty similar and will provide you pretty much equal opportunities with the short amount of free time you will probably have to spend. In addition, tuition is pretty much equal. Everything is pretty much walking distance with regards to the clinical sites at Upstate from what I can tell, not too sure about UB. Also, while the new campus at UB is nice, the administration is not as receptive to the student body. I found the administration at Upstate to be really genuine and caring for their students.

    Moving into a new city is an adventure in its self, I would definitely go for the new experience. Moving in and finding a place at this point in time should not be difficult, I'm sure you could find a place in like a week's time.
     
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    s_tian

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    Are you me???

    Anyways, I agree with @master_debater’s analysis. Both schools are essentially equal in terms of reputation (looking at the match lists as well). Buffalo does keep a lot of people for residency so if you’re interested in staying, you’ll have an advantage there. They also have a research advantage. A lot of people haven’t found housing yet so it shouldn’t be too difficult, it is hard to beat Buffalo’s affordability but it’s not terribly expensive at Upstate.

    Personally I really liked the curriculum at upstate as said above, the exams are conducted on a block schedule versus every 2 weeks, and there are no required 4th year rotations so by the end of M3 you’ve experienced all the required specialities and can fully focus on your away rotations/electives.

    Either way they’re both great schools so it all comes down to where you’d rather spend the next 4 years!
     
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    Thanks Obongo

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    Thanks everyone! I decided to go with Buffalo. Good luck master_debater hope my acceptance transfers to you.
     
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    byunprime2

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    Congrats! I think Buffalo is a stellar choice :). I'm a bit late to the thread here, but I figured I'd chime in in case anyone needed this thread for future reference (I'd imagine Upstate vs Buffalo is probably a pretty common decision for NYers to have to make). Though I'm not attending either school, I would've been very happy to, and I certainly struggled a bit with ranking them relative to one another.

    Both programs are great in their own way. Buffalo has had a LOT of recent investment into both its medical school and the teaching hospitals surrounding it. I think their aim is to eventually be a regional rival to Rochester's impressive medical/research complex. Their facilities at the new medical school were absolutely beautiful, and the people there practically glowed with pride when they talked about their school (I think if you could transform the love of Buffalo and UB into human form, it would look like Mr. Rosso). Upstate has a smaller class size and the least competitive atmosphere that I encountered this past year. It wasn't what you got at e.g. higher ranked schools that were dominated by clearly type A students who claimed that they were "chill/collaborative/noncompetitive" but still gave off a detectable level of stress/desire to hyperachieve. Upstate students seemed genuinely happy with their lives, classmates, and school, which was perhaps best evidenced by the hordes of students who showed up to try to give us tours during interview day haha. Nowhere else did I have students openly claim to me that their final goal was to "work part time in family practice." If you want a personalized, truly noncompetitive experience, I think Upstate is one of the best choices out there.

    Some other thoughts:

    Preclinical grading (UB) vs P/F (Upstate) may be actually less of a differentiating factor than it would seem at face-value, depending on your strengths. According to UB students, having preclinical grades can be a good way to take some pressure off of the Step exam, since at P/F schools your entire preclinical performance is essentially based on how well you do on the boards. So a student who does well in classes but less well on standardized testing might actually come out better for it at a graded school. Step 1 still rules above all else, however, so my personal preference is still P/F.

    Upstate is unranked on US News only because they do not provide the magazine with sufficient data for ranking. The magazine does keep track of "residency director ratings" for both schools, however, and by this metric Upstate and Buffalo are equals (2.9/5.0)

    Buffalo probably has the slight edge in terms of their matching outcomes. However, this could be due in part to students at Upstate being less interested in competitive residencies. In 2018, both schools had a handful of people entering very competitive programs, but both also had a handful of people matching prelim positions without a PGY2 as well.
     
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