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Top School vs. Top School vs. Top School

Discussion in 'Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2017)' started by Dare2Dream2050, May 12, 2014.

  1. Dare2Dream2050


    May 12, 2014
    I made a new account to post this because I know someone is going to rip me to pieces (*nervous laugh*...*hides under bed*)

    I just chose among the few schools I was accepted to and feel relieved and lucky to be going to med school. I know two people, literally TWO PEOPLE, who are choosing among several absolutely top notch schools (this was not my situation). It's down to the wire, and I keep listening to them list pros and cons ad nauseum. I have learned - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that choosing is.....impossible.

    So I thought for funzies I would post on SDN and let you all duke it out. If you were in this lucky beyond lucky situation, what would you do? Where would you go? Ignore this post if you want, but I feel like some people might be looking to distract themselves....this is SDN after all. And who knows, maybe some lucky duck will read this thread again one day because they will actually have this choice.......

    So here's the game. Assume cost of attendance is equal - no scholarships, no in state. Money is not a factor. Also suppose that this person is from no where in particular, so somehow not a single school is near their family or support system.

    Which school would you attend among UPenn, Johns Hopkins, UCSF, Yale, Harvard, Wash U, and UCLA. (This is the exact list ONE of my friends is considering, and the other has a similar list).

    Play along if you dare. GO!
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  3. darkjedi

    darkjedi how did this get here I am not good with computer Physician 7+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    There are so many factors to consider that it just isn't fair to pit these schools each other without knowing more detail. Different programs have different strengths, particularly if you have specific career goals in mind or specific specialties. Location is important too, west coast vs east coast vs gigantic city vs small city campus.
    Amygdarya likes this.
  4. Dare2Dream2050


    May 12, 2014
    Agreed except the question is not which school is best (that is impossible) but basically which would you go to given these options - if money and proximity to friends/ family is not a factor.

    So which and why - the why might be helpful for others in the future
  5. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2008
  6. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2009
  7. Dare2Dream2050


    May 12, 2014
    First to lose the game. Next?
  8. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    Actually no, as your question is quite a ridiculous one (which I'm guessing is the point).
  9. Dare2Dream2050


    May 12, 2014
    Ok....sorry. I guess the game idea makes premeds grouchy. Look - what a compilation of opinions would do is weigh the pros and cons of these schools without taking COA or very personal characteristics like family into account. Are these top schools just created equal unless money or family are taken into account? What really makes them unique? This is exactly what my two friends are grappling with and I thought it would be interesting to put it in one place.

    Humorless. All of you. But if anyone still wants to contribute then by all means.
  10. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    From a residency match perspective they are all in the same category (UCLA maybe lower though, maybe you meant Stanford?), besides maybe Harvard/Hopkins/Yale for name dropping potential.
  11. Narmerguy

    Narmerguy Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    I would pick based on what I'm interested in. All have great name reputations and great basic science research opportunities, but what about other resources? Off the top of my head:

    • Interested in MD/MBA, that would change which schools.
    • Interested in global/public health, some schools have very strong programs in that.
    • What type of curriculum are you interested in (P/F, 1.5 vs 2 year preclinical). PBL, mandatory lectures?
    • Interested in children's health, some schools have powerhouse children's hospitals.
    • Not sure what you want? Some schools are strong in a lot of different things such that you can be sure to find people great at it whatever you ultimately choose.
    • Where do you want to live? East coast, west coast, massive city (LA), smaller collegiate town (Boston), somewhere in between (Philly), etc.
    • Environment / culture on campus (do people seem stressed, friendly, supportive, laid back, easy to find mentors, easy to get involved in projects, flexible, etc).
    Lots of factors to choose from.
  12. Amygdarya

    Amygdarya 7+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Yeah, I agree with @darkjedi and @Narmerguy : choosing a school is not about which one is "objectively" best, but about which one is best for *you*, and that is highly dependent on individual preferences and aspirations.
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
    DermViser and darkjedi like this.
  13. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member


    If that's the case then it all comes down to:

    1. Where would you rather live?
    2. Best school for specific research opportunities?
    3. Best school for specific dual degree or certificate options?
    4. Which school has your favorite curriculum?
    5. Which school's students do you fit in with most?

    1-4 would probably be the most important and objective factors to consider.
    5 could also play a role based upon your interview and second look impressions.
  14. dbeast

    dbeast Neurorectal surgeon 7+ Year Member

    UCLA. It's 88 degrees and sunny today.
  15. Oso

    Oso 2+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Lame/ pointless thread.
    DermViser, darkjedi and snowys435 like this.
  16. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member

    Bout to be over 100 this week.
  17. FindMeOnTheLinks

    FindMeOnTheLinks 2+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    You forgot Stanford
  18. Espadaleader

    Espadaleader 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2010
    • If you want to match into an elite residency, have an elite reputation, and have unparalleled medical research and educational opportunities ALL of these schools (UPenn, Johns Hopkins, UCSF, Yale, Harvard, Wash U, and UCLA) do so.
    • All of these schools provide serious global health opportunities.
    • If you want to do MD/MBA and you're interested in healthcare management and quality improvement than your choices are objectively limited to HMS/HBS or Perelman/Whorton due to the strengths of their MBA programs. In terms of health policy research, Harvard is the national leader (HMS/Kennedey/HBS/Partners).
    • If you are URM, UCLA, Hopkins, HMS, and Penn are national leaders.
    • East coast bias: HMS, Hopkins, Yale, Penn
    • West coast bias: UCLA, UCSF
    • Mid-west bias: WashU
    • Heat/Weather bias: UCLA, UCSF
    • Dual degree: Harvard and Penn have the strongest dual degree programs as far as numbers are concerned Harvard (MPP/MPH/MBA) Penn (Literally every dual degree MBA/Health Policy/Bio ethics/Clinical research etc.) Yale has a solid MBA program MPH program. Hopkins has arguably the best MPH. WashU/UCLA/UCSF have solid dual degree programs.
    • Family/Children/Spouse/Other obligations: This is dependent on the individual. If you have a child and a spouse the best school for you may not even be on this list.
    • Education: Yale and HMS are reforming their curriculum. HMS is going to a 1 year system entering 2015. If I was applying this cycle, I probably would not have considered matriculating at HMS/Duke. The one year curriculum is an absolute deal breaker for me. Depends on the person.
    • Cost of living: HMS is a million times more expensive than Hopkins to live. Its unreal.
    • Car: Some cities you are encouraged to NOT buy a car until at least 3rd year (Penn, HMS). At other schools its kinda necessary (Hopkins, Yale).
    I made a similar decision table for the schools I was accepted to. Make a spreadsheet and load all of the schools and factors and see what you get.
    CJ21CJ likes this.
  19. trino

    trino 2+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2013
    Even though this thread serves no point, this is a great summary. Though I'm sure others will try to argue with it (whether they're right or wrong)
  20. wiloghby

    wiloghby Perpetually interviewing 5+ Year Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    If I were seriously interested in genetics research / gene therapy / pediatrics, I'd go to Penn.

    Otherwise I'd go to Harvard while dreaming about what could have been with UCSF.

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