Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (OOS) vs. Eastern Virginia Medical School (OOS)


New Member
May 7, 2019
  1. Pre-Medical
    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM)):


    · Got in as an OOS applicant, and will be paying in-state tuition. If I come here, I’ll graduate debt free, with money left over.
    · Really loved the curriculum
    · True P/F
    · Dedicated period for Step 1 is 6-8 weeks
    · New building coming soon
    · 4 clinics that students can volunteer in
    · Students were friendly and I felt I would be able to fit in and find friends. They really encouraged me to attend.
    · Recorded lectures and non-mandatory attendance
    · Sunny weather year-round
    · Gym available

    · Very very far away from family and friends (7-8 hour plane ride away)
    · Anatomy is only prosections, no dissections
    · The anatomy professor (Prof. Gest, who used to teach at University of Michigan) is leaving this year and the school has a very new anatomy professor who is not experienced
    · There have been concerns raised on SDN about teaching quality
    · Unranked school
    · Average STEP: 226
    · Matches majority of students into Texas and primary care specialties (but have matched dermatology, vascular surgery, radiology, anesthesiology, etc.)
    · Match percentage varies widely per year (85%-99% in past three years)
    · School is only 10 years old
    · No anesthesiology or radiology home departments; pathology is in New Mexico
    · El Paso has a water shortage
    · City is isolated from other cities in Texas, which makes it harder to find research and mentorship opportunities
    · Weaker in research
    · No student housing

    Eastern Virginia Medical School:


    · School uses NBME exams rather than in-house exams
    · Average STEP: 236
    · Matches students across the US, and while a good number go into primary care, they match dermatology, radiology, and anesthesiology every year
    · Better weather than Maryland
    · P/F, but they’re still deciding whether/how ranking will be determined (they said there might be some sort of oral exam in MS3) – not sure if it will be true P/F
    · Dedicated period for Step 1 is ~8 weeks
    · Recorded lectures and non-mandatory attendance
    · New building coming soon
    · A wide variety of community service and clinical volunteering opportunities
    · Students were friendly and I felt I connected with admitted and current students during welcome weekend. They seemed enthusiastic about their school too!
    · 4-5 hour drive away from family and friends (Maryland is right next to Virginia)
    · Anatomy is all dissections
    · School is ranked 90 in research and 91-120 in primary care, but has been ranked as high as 44 in the past for primary care
    · School has been around for over 40 years
    · Student housing available

    · School has very little scholarship money available, and I’ll graduate with about ~$50K in debt
    · Less excited about traditional curriculum
    · Weaker in research
    · Recent blackface yearbook incident
    · No gym

    I am leaning towards matching a competitive specialty (dermatology, radiology, etc.), but would also be okay matching anesthesiology or internal medicine (with allergy/immunology as an end goal). Also considering psychiatry and PM&R. I want to prioritize keeping my options open, learning the fundamentals well, and receiving the best training possible. I am a Maryland resident, so I am OOS for both schools.

    I need to decide by this Friday. If anyone has additional information about Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso/could talk about their experience there, specifically the teaching quality and match quality, I’d really appreciate it! Similarly, if anyone could share about their experience at EVMS, I'd appreciate it too! TL;DR: Is it worth it to go into ~$50K debt for EVMS or should I go to PLFSOM and graduate debt-free? Thank you so much for your help! :)
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      Thank you so much @NotSoObvious ! I wasn't sure how much debt would be significant, so thanks for putting everything into perspective! Thank you so much for the recommendation! What would you consider a significant amount of debt?

      I’m not sure how you’re pulling off only 50k in debt with 350k total COA at EVMS, but the average amount of debt at graduation for a US med grad is ~180k. So IMO, anything under 100k is outstanding


      New Member
      May 7, 2019
      1. Pre-Medical
        Because I fortunately received a full-ride scholarship for undergrad, the money my parents saved for undergrad is going towards medical school. I've also saved up money from several jobs to help pay for medical school and have received a small outside scholarship for medical school as well. I realize I'm really fortunate, it's just a bit scary to have any amount of debt after finishing undergrad with no debt. It's great to hear that any amount under 100k is outstanding! :)
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