Tufts MBS vs. Cincinnati SMP vs. EVMS Medical Masters

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IADocWest

Hey everyone. I am having an extremely hard time choosing between Tufts MBS, Cincinnati SMP, and EVMS Medical Masters. They were my top 3 choices and I never expected to get into all three. I have been patrolling the boards for the last few weeks and it is making my decision even tougher. I would really appreciate your opinions on the schools. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each program? What one would you choose to attend and why? Does one stand out above the others?

Thanks
 

jslo85

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Hey everyone. I am having an extremely hard time choosing between Tufts MBS, Cincinnati SMP, and EVMS Medical Masters. They were my top 3 choices and I never expected to get into all three. I have been patrolling the boards for the last few weeks and it is making my decision even tougher. I would really appreciate your opinions on the schools. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each program? What one would you choose to attend and why? Does one stand out above the others?

Thanks
I don't think you can go wrong with any of the three. The main differences that I would go by is what you are really comfortable with or looking for.

(figures should be close but not exact, going off the top of my head from what I remember)

tuition:

EVMS: around 29K
UCinn: around 27K
Tufts: 31-32K?

class size:
EVMS: 22-24
UCinn: 22-24
Tufts: 70-80

medical classes offered:
EVMS: 7
UCinn: 3 (but they're core)
Tufts: 7

How established:
EVMS: 2001 (kinda unknown as top SMPs go outside of its area)
UCinn: 2006
Tufts: 2007

forgot what %s they boast from last year so not going to guess and look like a fool

Location:
EVMS: Norfolk (where is that????)
UCinn: Cinn. Ohio
Tufts: Boston (more expensive style of life maybe?)

EVMS and UCinn have a reputation as being some of the strongest linkage SMPs and offer the smallest class size which would make sense as well as having close interaction with the faculty. That said I'll let others who can offer actual testimonials having completed or are in the program ie. Dr. Midlife.
 

hung

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The other cost factor to consider is tuition as a medical student. EVMS is about 24k for instate and 48k for out of state. A previous med master student told me that if you enter the smp as an out of stater, you stay as an out of stater for tuition when you become a med student there. Cinci gives you instate after your first year of medical school if you are an out of stater. If you attend their smp and attend their med school, you might start first year with instate tuition. Tufts is a private school so tuition is same of instate and out of state, IIRC. In the long run, Cinci is the cheapest option for total tuition and cost of living.

P.S. Norfolk is in the south eastern tip of Virginia. The school is on the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Beach is 20-30 mins east of the school. Norfolk probably has the most moderate weather out of all the locations.
 
I

IADocWest

Thanks for breaking it down for me. It seems like the Cincinnati route would save me a large chunck of change in the long run. At this point I am slightly leaning towards Cincinnati, but I still can't make my decision. I wish I knew more about the areas the schools are located, the difference in their thesis requirements, and what the academic strengths are of each program? I also wish I knew more about the extracurricular activites each program offered like volunteer opportunites, shadowing opportunites, or anything of that nature? Im sure that I could be happy and successful at any of these schools, but I want to make the right choice that will most benefit me in the long run?
 
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Thanks for breaking it down for me. It seems like the Cincinnati route would save me a large chunck of change in the long run. At this point I am slightly leaning towards Cincinnati, but I still can't make my decision. I wish I knew more about the areas the schools are located, the difference in their thesis requirements, and what the academic strengths are of each program? I also wish I knew more about the extracurricular activites each program offered like volunteer opportunites, shadowing opportunites, or anything of that nature? Im sure that I could be happy and successful at any of these schools, but I want to make the right choice that will most benefit me in the long run?
Been out of it for a while but yeah Cincinnati is definitely awesome. I don't know anything about the other programs that you got accepted to (I'm going to assume that they all provide an equally excellent education) but one of the big reasons why I decided on Cincinnati was because the in-state thing and the tuition deal.

It's pretty easy to attain in-state residency status in Ohio if you stay here and live on loans for a year. That definitely helps with getting admitted (there are 5 state medical schools in OH that heavily favors in-staters, 6 if you count Ohio University, which is DO). Besides that, if you're in-state, you stand to save $60,000-$80,000 over 4 years. I'm not sure if you can get the same deal with EVMS or Tufts, but I feel that in the long run, you stand to save money by being in-state.

Asides from that, the educational quality here is nothing less than excellent. Don't let the number of courses fool you, the 3 core courses are spread out over 4 blocks, so you definitely get all the medical school experience that you would ever want. The location of the school is pretty good, it's close to the Cincinnati undergrad campus so it's relatively safe. As long as you don't go into a dark alley at 3:00 am, I don't think antyhing bad will happen.
 

jslo85

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Been out of it for a while but yeah Cincinnati is definitely awesome. I don't know anything about the other programs that you got accepted to (I'm going to assume that they all provide an equally excellent education) but one of the big reasons why I decided on Cincinnati was because the in-state thing and the tuition deal.

It's pretty easy to attain in-state residency status in Ohio if you stay here and live on loans for a year. That definitely helps with getting admitted (there are 5 state medical schools in OH that heavily favors in-staters, 6 if you count Ohio University, which is DO). Besides that, if you're in-state, you stand to save $60,000-$80,000 over 4 years. I'm not sure if you can get the same deal with EVMS or Tufts, but I feel that in the long run, you stand to save money by being in-state.

Asides from that, the educational quality here is nothing less than excellent. Don't let the number of courses fool you, the 3 core courses are spread out over 4 blocks, so you definitely get all the medical school experience that you would ever want. The location of the school is pretty good, it's close to the Cincinnati undergrad campus so it's relatively safe. As long as you don't go into a dark alley at 3:00 am, I don't think antyhing bad will happen.
Yeah thanks for adding very valid input Looking Glass into the UCinn program. I haven't attended any of these programs but I have friends in both UCinn and EVMS and I am personally slightly biased more towards smaller SMPs. One of my friends completed the EVMS program last cycle and is now going to attend VCU as an MS1 this fall and one of my other friends is at UCinn and claims it is the best SMP program out there so take from that what you will. I apologize if my figures that I cited were "misleading" but yes the 3 medical school courses at UCinn are core and are spread over the time that you are there and are definitely as intensive as any other SMPs that you are to find (from what I hear from my friend). The part of Tufts that you will be mainly located in as an SMP student will be in Boston's Chinatown. I don't think you can go wrong from any of these choices, they're all great programs but if you wanted more input, you can PM Dr. Midlife who is currently at EVMS and has gone through their SMP program as well as search the Tufts thread to find students currently in the program or who have successfully completed and are in medical school now.
 

BuckFMP

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I believe that both Cincy and EVMS have strong ties with the med school and a high number of SMP grads matriculate into the parent program. This does not appear to be the case with Tufts, which could make the app cycle more expensive (more skills) and risky (lower linkage).
If your goal is to just to get into an allo program, then the least risky path that meets any other needs (e.g., location) would make the most sense to me. If your goal is to get into Tufts or some other higher tier New England school, then Tufts may make the most sense.
 

mic2377

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I would absolutely choose EVMS or UC. I am at UC right now and it is a very good program. I am not sure why anyone would want to go to Tufts unless they liked being on the East Coast and paying $$$ to live in Boston.

If you are searching for mild weather, EVMS is the best. However, as noted, attending the SMP does not establish residency for med school tuition later, and non-resident tuition is not cheap.

I haven't heard alot about Tufts from current med students, Georgetown is better known for sure. I do know that the MS1 class here at UC has +/-2 people from Georgetown in the class, and according to them the classes that MS students take here at UC were significantly tougher than the classes at Georgetown.

Also, although UC seems to have "only" 3 med school classes, the core classes - biochem, physio, and histology - go throughout the whole year, and our embryology and neurophysiology courses are virtually identical to the med student classes (we just don't take them in the same classroom). Essentially, the curriculum is identical to the med students except MS students are -gross anatomy, +research thesis.

Of all the programs, it seems that EVMS has the highest # of accepted students from their SMP.

If you have any other UC questions, feel free to PM me.
 

drizzt3117

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Tufts is a new program so you probably won't have heard a lot about them. They have had very good results getting people into good schools though, from what I've seen. I think it's likely those people didn't need a SMP in the first place, though.
 

klmnop

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Tufts is a new program so you probably won't have heard a lot about them. They have had very good results getting people into good schools though, from what I've seen. I think it's likely those people didn't need a SMP in the first place, though.
As the administrator at Tufts informed me, because the program is young, and people often wait until the summer of completion to apply, they are just receiving results and currently the estimate is 85% success rate into some medical school. The list of schools can be seen on the Tufts MBS Thread. The difference between this and Cinci/EVMS, is that the majority do not end up going to Tufts, and the majority do not matriculate immediately after the program ends... however, often the trade off includes interviews/acceptances to a greater number of schools, many of which may be considered of better quality.

From what I understand, Cinci/EVMS are designed to bring you to and keep you at a level such that you will accepted into their (or nearby) program. Tufts is designed to push you too a level that makes you competitive at dozens of schools, Tufts itself just being one of them.
 

drizzt3117

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From what I understand, Cinci/EVMS are designed to bring you to and keep you at a level such that you will accepted into their (or nearby) program. Tufts is designed to push you too a level that makes you competitive at dozens of schools, Tufts itself just being one of them.
Honestly, this is my view on these things. I think anyone who will be a competitive candidate for schools with a better "reputation" than EVMS/Cincinnati is probably going to be competitive for those schools whether or not they do a SMP. These are candidates who probably have GPAs just slightly below the line that's acceptable (3.4-3.5) with MCATs in the low/mid 30s that simply didn't get into med school because they applied late or didn't have great ECs or any number of different reasons, most of which a SMP won't help them with and may hurt them a lot.

I think SMPs are helpful for students who have a low GPA that is difficult to repair (3.1-3.2 or lower) with a good MCAT, who is clearly smart enough to get into med school and can prove themselves to adcoms that they're capable. This type of student may be able to do well in med school, but it's unlikely that they'll gain admission to mid/top tier schools due to their inherent disadvantage that they're starting at a much lower GPA than most applicants unless there are very special extenuating circumstances.

As someone who evaluates students for my school's admissions committee, I'd rather see a ~3.5/33 student improve themselves in other ways rather than doing a 1 year SMP. Showing me that they're "capable of succeeding in med school" isn't something that will make me choose them over the thousands of 3.8/32+ students that are applying, the vast majority of which will succeed just fine in med school. I've been on record saying that I think MPHs, MSs, etc, are better choices for people in this situation. Other people evaluating applicants disagree, but all I'm saying is how I would view it in this situation.
 

klmnop

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These are candidates who probably have GPAs just slightly below the line that's acceptable (3.4-3.5) with MCATs in the low/mid 30s that simply didn't get into med school because they applied late or didn't have great ECs or any number of different reasons, most of which a SMP won't help them with and may hurt them a lot.
So I have a 30Q with 3.3/3.2sci with AMCAS processing complete by 10/2... no interviews. Great Recs.. I believe, and great EC's. I have been leaning toward SMP but you are suggesting otherwise. Any specific thoughts.
 

jslo85

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So I have a 30Q with 3.3/3.2sci with AMCAS processing complete by 10/2... no interviews. Great Recs.. I believe, and great EC's. I have been leaning toward SMP but you are suggesting otherwise. Any specific thoughts.
What Drizzt's trying to say imo is if you're on the bottom edge of the competitive range (3.4-3.5) then an SMP is not something he would suggest as you have a higher GPA than a B+ because of a) the cost of an SMP (22-55K generalizing between SMPs like UCinn and Gtown) and b) you would have to achieve all As in the SMP to really show "improvement" which is not only hard to do as you're curved against the MS1s in medical school courses but it actually wouldn't help that much as you're saying you're not a B+ student but an A- student (again rough generalization).

The risks of taking the SMP outweigh the advantages by far because of the money and if you do receive a GPA in the SMP of a 3.3-3.2, you're no better off than when you started and possibly in an even worse situation.

That said, I'm just making an assumption on what he's trying to say but I feel the same way as him on those ranges concerning whether or not to do an SMP so I'm putting my thoughts out there. In your specific case, you'd have to look at the complete package that you're offering. You could do an SMP, I think it will definitely help if you achieve a 3.8+ but at the same time, if you calculate your units and learn that you can boost your stats by .2 in either category while obtaining more LOR and more E.C. maybe a publication or so, or better MCAT score it would reflect positively as well. You're just outside the bottom range of the competitive GPA and possibly making other areas of your application be outstanding would gain you more looks.
 

drizzt3117

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I think jslo summed it up pretty well, although personally if I were you, I'd probably do a SMP because you're not competitive at 3.3/30.

The people I think shouldn't be doing a SMP are the ones that are like 3.5/32 that applied late, and are probably good enough to get into med school without one. Those people, who do well at a program like Tufts, are probably going to be the ones getting mid tier acceptances, but they would be getting the same acceptances if they did a MS or MPH, improved their MCAT, did better ECs, etc, without the risk of a SMP.

I think once you start getting Lizzy M scores above 65, doing a SMP starts to lose bang for the buck.
 

RogueUnicorn

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unless most of that lizzy m score is from one's mcat
 

drizzt3117

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That's true to a certain degree. I think the cutoff for GPA is probably around 3.35-3.4. Above that point, I think the risk/reward ratio for SMPs becomes tenuous.
 
I

IADocWest

Thanks for all your posts. I think I am starting to get closer to making a decision. At the start of all of this, I was leaning towards Tufts based on the fact that I thought the program would give me the best chance of getting into one of my home state schools or a school one of my family members is at, but the fact is that I really just want to get in somewhere. Another thing about Tufts is that the class size keeps getting larger and it is really expensive to live in Boston. So now I think have it narrowed down to Cincinnati and EVMS, but my mind keeps changing the more I think about it.

Does anybody know how being an out of state student at EVMS would affect my chances of getting accepted to their medical school now that it is a public school? I am worried that the linkage to their medical school won't be as strong for out of state students and that the chances at getting in anywhere else would be smaller than if I did Cincinnati or Tufts.
 

RogueUnicorn

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That's true to a certain degree. I think the cutoff for GPA is probably around 3.35-3.4. Above that point, I think the risk/reward ratio for SMPs becomes tenuous.
i agree, but more based on cost. with a 3.4, provided one doesn't have an abnormally high # of credits, it's possible to pull it up to a 3.5 with a full year of 4.0 postbac work, which should be easily mitigated with a high enough mcat
 
I

IADocWest

My cumulative GPA is about 3.5 and my science GPA is about a 3.33. My MCAT was 29R. I know I can increase this score seeing that I had been averaging a 39 on the practice exams, but took the MCAT the day after getting out of the hospital. I have 4 1/2 years research experience because I got my first lab position my senior year of high school. I applied to SMP programs because a medical school admissions adviser from a school I was waitlisted at suggested I apply to them. It seems from previous posts like you would advise me not to do an SMP, but it is hard not to listen to an adviser from one of your favorite medical schools. I know it is a pretty big risk, but I feel it is worth it. The adviser told me that she thinks SMPs are worth the risk for the experience and that the medical students she knows who participated in SMPs have "dominated" medical school and have been at the top of their classes. Also, I don't think completing a postbac year at my undergrad school would be very useful. I have taken so many credits and so many upper level science courses that a full year with a 4.0 wouldn't increase my gpa much. I am actually excited to be in an SMP
 

drizzt3117

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I'll lay it out for you straight. If you retook the MCAT and got a 35, you'd be in good shape for a lot of med schools. If I was reading your app, and you got a 3.8 at Tufts, I wouldn't give you any more or less points assuming you got a good MCAT score. If you had the same MCAT, then yes, it might change you from being non-competitive to competitive, but the SMP isn't going to change your MCAT score.

Let's say that you DIDN'T do well in the SMP yet got a 35 on the MCAT, then IMO you'd go from being a maybe a viable candidate to a non-viable candidate.

Therefore you have high risk, and no potential return, at least IMO. No matter how well you did in the SMP, it wouldn't change how I'd evaluate your application assuming that you had viable stats for my school (Lizzy M average ~71-72) Sure, a SMP shows that you're capable of succeeding in med school. That said, I could pick up a random 3.8/34 kid's app from a table without looking and chances are, they'd succeed just fine in med school, and DIDN'T have a low GPA or low MCAT score that they had to overcome.

This is just my opinion but I can't imagine there aren't other people evaluating applicants that feel the same way. Certain schools (as we've mentioned) however, are very SMP friendly, however, the vast majority of them aren't top tier schools. There are certainly some mid tier schools, though, like BU, GT, Tufts, that take SMP students, however, the percentage of students in those programs that get into their home SMPs aren't all that high.
 

RogueUnicorn

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My cumulative GPA is about 3.5 and my science GPA is about a 3.33. My MCAT was 29R. I know I can increase this score seeing that I had been averaging a 39 on the practice exams, but took the MCAT the day after getting out of the hospital. I have 4 1/2 years research experience because I got my first lab position my senior year of high school. I applied to SMP programs because a medical school admissions adviser from a school I was waitlisted at suggested I apply to them. It seems from previous posts like you would advise me not to do an SMP, but it is hard not to listen to an adviser from one of your favorite medical schools. I know it is a pretty big risk, but I feel it is worth it. The adviser told me that she thinks SMPs are worth the risk for the experience and that the medical students she knows who participated in SMPs have "dominated" medical school and have been at the top of their classes. Also, I don't think completing a postbac year at my undergrad school would be very useful. I have taken so many credits and so many upper level science courses that a full year with a 4.0 wouldn't increase my gpa much. I am actually excited to be in an SMP
could you tell us what this school is? just curious. pm works too
 
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Honestly, this is my view on these things. I think anyone who will be a competitive candidate for schools with a better "reputation" than EVMS/Cincinnati is probably going to be competitive for those schools whether or not they do a SMP. These are candidates who probably have GPAs just slightly below the line that's acceptable (3.4-3.5) with MCATs in the low/mid 30s that simply didn't get into med school because they applied late or didn't have great ECs or any number of different reasons, most of which a SMP won't help them with and may hurt them a lot.

I think SMPs are helpful for students who have a low GPA that is difficult to repair (3.1-3.2 or lower) with a good MCAT, who is clearly smart enough to get into med school and can prove themselves to adcoms that they're capable. This type of student may be able to do well in med school, but it's unlikely that they'll gain admission to mid/top tier schools due to their inherent disadvantage that they're starting at a much lower GPA than most applicants unless there are very special extenuating circumstances.

As someone who evaluates students for my school's admissions committee, I'd rather see a ~3.5/33 student improve themselves in other ways rather than doing a 1 year SMP. Showing me that they're "capable of succeeding in med school" isn't something that will make me choose them over the thousands of 3.8/32+ students that are applying, the vast majority of which will succeed just fine in med school. I've been on record saying that I think MPHs, MSs, etc, are better choices for people in this situation. Other people evaluating applicants disagree, but all I'm saying is how I would view it in this situation.
I have a hard time deciding whether to do MPH or Special Master's. I don't need to impove my GPA. It's 4.0. And MCAT is in upper 30thies. However, I have only 60 credits from US school, where I did all the prereqs. Getting 2nd bachelor's degree does not appeal to me as I am 35. I am wondering whether MPH or MS would compensate for my lack of US undergraduate degree and which route is best to take.
 

jslo85

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To my knowledge, the vast majority of medical school will not accept you without a bachelors degree but I'm probably wrong and there are a select few. I don't even know if an SMP will accept you without one (doing an SMP with your sGPA and MCAT is a terrible idea imo anyway). Why don't you just spend 2 years getting a degree instead of spending time doing an MPH?
 

drizzt3117

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It sounds like they got their degree from a foreign school? I'm not sure how a us school would look at that.
 
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Hey everyone. I have the same problem as IADocwest. I got into both tufts and cincy. I have no idea which to choose. I went to cincy yesterday to check out the school and I have to say the city is a dump. Outside of downtown and the university grounds, the whole town seems shady, to include newport, ky. I like the small class size of the program though, and the faculty are very approachable and helpful. I really don't want to spend potentially 5 years in ohio though.
I've never been to boston, don't know much about tufts except that the MD program is ranked 33rd in the country. I am definitely going to pursue an MPH during my gap year regardless of where I go, as I am applying in June 2011. It would be expensive but convenient to just continue on at tufts. I guess the only deterrent to tufts is the cost. Overall I would save about $15,000 going to cincy. As far as med school, I just want to get in somewhere. (although I would prefer not to stay in cincy for longer than I need to) Which school would help me cast a broader net for interviews/acceptances next year?

Stats: 3.15, 29M, 10 years healthcare/military experience
 

TiggidyTooth

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Hey everyone. I am having an extremely hard time choosing between Tufts MBS, Cincinnati SMP, and EVMS Medical Masters. They were my top 3 choices and I never expected to get into all three. I have been patrolling the boards for the last few weeks and it is making my decision even tougher. I would really appreciate your opinions on the schools. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each program? What one would you choose to attend and why? Does one stand out above the others?

Thanks
As a former medical master at EVMS and now about to graduate medical school I feel compelled to comment on our program. It's an excellent program but the rigors of it are intense to say the least. This was by far one of the most stressful year of my life but the rewards far surpass the pain. Our matriculation into medical school is around 75%. Basically, if you perform better then the average medical student you can feel confident that you will matriculate the next year. Few students go to other programs but it does happen. If you want to go to medical school in another state then I don't recommend this program. If you want as close to a gaurantee as you can get in this process and not have to go through a glide year then EVMS is an excellent choice.