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Trying to decide where to go!!

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by frantic, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. frantic

    frantic Junior Member
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    I'm having the delimma that every pre-med dreams of. However, I'm going crazy. I'm trying to decide between a private school that I really want to go to (BU) that costs about 36,000 a year with very high living expenses, my state school (Buffalo) that is 13,000 a year with very low cost of living. Any advice that you could give would be very helpful. My instincts are telling me to stay debt free. It leads for a better quality of life after med school.
     
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    Congratulations on having such a nice but difficult decision.
    For me it would depend on my financial situation. If I had to borrow all the money I needed for tuition and living expenses I would opt for the cheaper school. If I had a working spouse or other source of income I would opt for the school I really want to go to even if it means sacrificing standard of living a little bit. If there were children involved, I would not sacrifice standard of living but go with the less expensive school. Go where you will enjoy yourself not where you will be miserable some of the time.
     
  4. kd

    kd Senior Member
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    I agree with the above poster. If saving the money is more important and you would still be happy at Buffalo, go there. OTOH, if you would only be utterly miserable in Buffalo, it's not worth it. I had a similar decision to make between Rochester and an in-state school. I loved everything about Rochester, but the money difference between there and the state school was substantial. I chose my state school because minimizing my debt was very important to me. Though I liked both schools, I would have chosen Rochester if money were no issue. So far, I definitely feel like I've made the right decision. I will confess that I occasionally regret not going to Rochester- for example, when I'm stressing over grades, I find myself longing for Rochester's pass-fail curriculum. On the whole, though, it wasn't worth the extra $60K in debt to me.
     
  5. TAP

    TAP Junior Member
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    Frantic, I am in a similar situation and believe that if you have the chance to go to a school like BU, don't worry about the debt. It's a better school than Buffalo and you will match better. Do not sacrafice for the cheaper school. You'll get what you pay for.
     
  6. Cassidy61

    Cassidy61 Senior Member
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    That advice of you get what you pay for is complete crap. There is a thing called the USMLE that evens out the playing field. While you may cut off some of your dreams (like doing derm at the best program in the nation), BU is not that much of a powerhouse to warrent all the extra dough. If it were between Buffalo and Hopkins, you might want to think it over. You also have to factor in cost of living in Boston vs. Buffalo. You are talking HUGE differences in the end result. I am at a state school and applying for ortho right now. Believe me, I am not hurting for interviews at great programs. What matters is not where you go (in the US), but how hard you work and what your scores are. Just my thoughts for you. Congrats on having choices.
     
  7. penelope

    penelope Member
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    You might also want to think about whether you want to stay in NY to practice, because if you do, going to Buffalo would make a lot of sense. I don't think NY residency programs would look less favorably on Buffalo than on BU. I don't know how prestigious BU is, but I agree with a previous poster that it's not Hopkins and won't necessarily give you an "edge" over your state school, especially if you want to stay in-state.

    But if you are totally in love with BU and truly feel you would be happier there, you could approach the school and explain your dilemma, and see if maybe they would be willing to make up part of the difference in cost. Someone at my school was in a similar situation and got them to up her grants a bit. I don't know anything about BU's aid policies, but it might be worth a try.

    penelope
     
  8. Mary the Med Student

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    I'm a BU student. I don't think the school is worth the extra money. The quality of the faculty is hit or miss during the pre-clinical years. With a few notable exceptions, BU administration doesn't give a crap. For example, when the Dean of the Medical School was told that med students 36 hours (aka Q4 call - 8am one day to 8pm the next) in the hospital during surgery rotation, he said, "Students still do that? I didn't know they stayed in house." !!! The third year experience is quite good, but you have to deal with the first two years of **** first.

    Furthermore, there are three feeder programs into BU - a masters program, an eight year program from the main campus and a seven year accelerated program. So the social scene is messed up because pre-formed cliques exist.

    Dude, go to Buffalo and avoid the debt.

    -Mary BUSM III
     
  9. UCLA2000

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    Call BU and tell them that they are your first choice school, and you really want to go there...however the money issue is a big factor. Tell them that you were admitted to your state school which is much cheaper, and ask them if they have any money available to help to even out the costs or something.
     
  10. Mary the Med Student

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    Be careful about what they say, tho. A friend of mine decided to go to BU (over Tufts) due to a money offer. Then, three months later, the scholarship money was withdrawn.

    -Mary
     
  11. Ken Young

    Ken Young Member
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    I have a similar decision to make....I have to choose between Dartmouth and Boston University. BU is only about 7 grand more than Darmouth so money isn't really the issue. I think that the preclinical years at Dartmouth will be better since the class size is small and the professors are very accessible, but I'm worried that the clinical years will not be so since it isn't in a urban setting. I also worry that I will never be able to get away from medicine and medical students at Dartmouth since it is so isolated. Mary, if you could comment on this, I would greatly appreciate it! Your first hand input means alot. Thanks. <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
     
  12. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member
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    I have to disagree with TAP...when I was deciding the same thing every, and I do mean EVERY doctor i spoke to told me to save myself the heartache of unwanted debt by going to my state school...bufallo is actuall a great school from what I'v heard and I wouldn't sweat it...My friend had the same problem--he was in our stae school and flew all the way out to colorado to interview, etc and when he came back, he was in shock...for nearly doub;le the price, it was 9 to a cadaver, the students were more siked about mointain biking and skiing than getting their hands wet, and none could justify the pricetag of the school with cold data...now if you want to do some really specialized stuff, maybe a better school will put you over the top but BU is not crazy good--i had to decide between an ivy and my state and i turned it down because of the dual degree (MD/MBA) here and due to the fact that i don't want to be a pediatric hand surgeon or anything like that! that's my 2 cents
     
  13. Mary the Med Student

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    Well, I think the smaller class size at Dartmouth would be nice. Our classes were 160 people usually. Sometimes classes were bigger - for example, we take pathology with the BU Dental School. So then we had 200+ people in the same class. Some classes are smaller - like integrated problems and introduction to clinical medicine.

    I don't think that your clinical experience will suffer. Dartmouth is the major med center for the region (right?) so you should see most everything. Anyway, third and fourth year clerkships aren't about zebras (rare diseases) they are about common complaints, which are everywhere.

    In terms of being able to get away from med students, that could be more difficult. BUT even in Boston you are constantly seeing your classmates. I spent so much time at the med school going to class and studying that I never got away anyway. I had a hard time finding the time to leave the region immediately around the med school. I'm not sure it would be much worse in Dartmouth.

    So there you go...
    Mary
     
  14. Ken Young

    Ken Young Member
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    Thanks Mary! Fishtolive, where are you doing the MD/MBA dual degree? I'm interested in that as well.
     
  15. Goofy

    Goofy Senior Member
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  16. james72681

    james72681 Junior Member
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    Cost is an important factor, especially 7 yrs down the road when you want to have a mortgage, wife/husband, and kids to support. And those of you who say you'll make half a million doing thoracic surgery anyways so cost shouldn't matter, realize that that half million is 15 years down the road, and you may change your mind. That said, when I graduated from high school and got accepted to princeton but went to my state school instead, everyone said I was stupid. But I didn't have any loans when I graduated and I also and got into Hopkins and Duke Med. People called me even more stupid when I didn't go to Hopkins or Duke, but to Baylor, which is only about oh..25000 cheaper yearly. But now I'm doing well at Baylor and I couldn't have gotten a better training anywhere else, and when I graduate, I have enough money saved up to put my down payment on that BMW I always wanted. So its a matter of what you want. If you want to be a good doctor, you can do it at any school. If research is your thing, rankings may matter, but for basic MD training, it really doesn't.
     
  17. notstudying

    notstudying Senior Member
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    I think the issue with Colorado is that it is really cheap if you are a Colorado resident, but ridiculous if you aren't (like 50K/yr!). So you may not be getting the "benefits" of a private school tuition.
     
  18. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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  19. merlin

    merlin Senior Member
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    Did you say you actually had an acceptance to BU. If so, congratulations, I am eagerly awaiting a decision. But I was told (more than once) that they don't send out the initial set of acceptances until Feb. 15th or so.
     
  20. Scooby Doo

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