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Tufts v. BU

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gooseHC, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. gooseHC

    gooseHC Senior Member
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    I've been to both schools and I find them pretty similar. Both are pretty expensive and both are associated with solid Boston Hospitals, both offer early clinical experience. I really can't decide which one offers a better program. From Tufts people, I hear that Tufts is better and from BU people I hear that BU is better, but I can't really differentiate between them..anyone see any glaring differences/advantages among these two??
     
  2. jrazz

    jrazz Member
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    Hey Goose:

    All I know about Tufts is pretty much based on reputation. A friend of mine went there, loved it, and is now doing his residency at MGH in anesthesiology. As far as BU goes, I got my MPH from there. A lot of my classmates were med students. They all seemed nice. I really like studying at BU Med Center (the MPH program uses the same facilities). It was a nice atmosphere. I guess the schools are pretty equal, right down to the location and cost. However, if I had the choice, I would go to Tufts. Mostly because I would just want to study somewhere different - already did the BU thing, and based on MANY conversations I have had with local physicians, Tufts seems to have the better reputation. I realized that I rambled - I hope that I helped. Honestly, I think either school is fine and you can't beat the opportunity to study in Boston hospitals. Good luck in your choice!!!!
     
  3. otter

    otter Senior Member
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    Tufts is #1 choice at this point and I went to Tufts, so I might be a bit biased here.

    Tufts has a higher reputation than BU (don't listen to US News). Tufts' location is much better; it is right next to Chinatown, whereas BU is way over towards the south end. Tufts offers all kinds of unique dual-degree opportunities. Also just dealing with the admissions people, you get the sense that Tufts is a much more welcoming place. BU's admissions keeps you in the dark and their receptionist was rude. Maybe I am bitter, because BU took my $100 check and cashed it so that they can reject me.

    I guess the only two bad things I can think of at Tufts are that I've not heard many nice things about its primary teaching hospital (couple of people told me they make you do a lot of grunt work and work long hours) and that the daily class schedules run very long.
     
  4. Doctora Foxy

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    I have not visited Tufts, but I DO feel it has a better reputation. I have heard that BU students are very cut throat. Pretty soon Katie will drop by and tell you how wonderful Tufts is, and hopefully the search function will come back soon, because I bet this has been discussed before. You are in an enviable situation!

    And the website seems to be down right now, but there is a horrific diary od 3rd year at Tufts online by a graduate. Have you read it? If so, take it with a grain of salt. Here is the site in case it starts to work: <a href="http://upalumni.org:8888/medschool/" target="_blank">http://upalumni.org:8888/medschool/</a>

    p.s. Go to Tufts so I can go to BU! I'll be your best friend if you do.... :p
     
  5. I have visited both and know them quite well. I think the answer as to which is better depends heavily on your point of view. Let me try to clarify:
    1. Academics (MS 1 & 2): The differences are quite minimal. Both remain quite didactic in their pedagogy and have long days. BU starts clinical a bit earlier, I believe, but Tufts has a more well developed dr-pt society class. The dept of family medicine (which typically has a hand in these classes) is stronger and less apt to dissolve at BUSM. Tufts may have a slight edge in how students are treated (i.e., how 'nice' everyone is) and BUSM has an edge in incorporating topics like functional anatomy into the curriculum.

    2. Clinical years: If you are interested in primary care, emergency medicine, geriatrics, or pathology, there is little doubt that the clinical experiences and resources at BMC are much better. BMC is a level I trauma center that receives over 70% of the trauma cases in the city, has the Mallory Pathology center, runs the Geriatric home visits program (in which all 4th yrs must take part) and has a strong tie not only to the community health centers, but also to providing care for those who are uninsured and underinsured. Tufts has the advantage in certain internal medicine specialties (such as cardiology, nephrology, and the like). Surgery is good at both institutions, but for different reasons. The principal teaching hospitals are also quite different in the populations they serve and thus in the types of cases one will see during clerkships.

    3. All other: Price, call them equal. Neighborhoods: I personally dislike the crowding and smell of Chinatown and I wouldn't live there. BUSM isn't is a terribly fantastic neighborhood either, but few med schools are. Finances: BU appears to have slightly more low-interest loans, but they'll both cost you about $40,000 a year. The administration at both schools seems to be similar-- financial aid offices and registrars are not known for being "user-friendly" anyway. On another note, the USMLE pass rate at BU was about 99% this year while Tufts was lower (I don't remember the exact figure).

    In the end, both are really strong schools. I've been to an ivy league school, so I have something to base my thoughts on and I am convinced that for med school almost any school in the top 50 or so offers a similar education. It should come down to where you feel most comfortable, how you perceive the students, availability of faculty, etc. You can check out the match placements to develop a sense of where students typically go. You are indeed fortunate to have 2 solid choices, either of which will provide you with excellent credentials going forward. Go with your intuition, revisit if you can. Good luck.
     
  6. darkmatter

    darkmatter Senior Member
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    I was in a fortnate positionto decide beteen the two and while both schools were similar, there were certain differences that might be helpful in your choice.

    Tufts has a slightly stronger faculty because a number of them do clinical work at MGH. That is not to say that BU doesn't have gradutaes working at MGH... it's just that Tufts have slight more people associated with Mass General. There are some research labs in Tufts University that actually originated from Harvard Medical School (I know some of these professors personally). But you must bear in mind that BU has better resources and significantly better funding for research versus Tufts. Plus, BMC is a better equipped as compared to NEMC. Still, you can tell that Tufts hold a slight edge in terms of residency reputation. All in all it is quite difficult to rank one school ahead of the other.

    Perhaps the greatest issue status quo is tuition. Tufts increased their already high priced tuition this year. That, plus the fact that they made a big deal about financing medical school from the start of the interview led me to believe that they may have some trouble financially. I've compared both financial aid packages and I've found that BU has more internal funds outside of Direct Loans. Housing is slightly better at BU, because you can house at the Charles River Campus(i.e., more housing options).

    Tufts is still the happier place. It is not true that BU's students are unhappy, but it istrue that there seemed to be more competition amopngst BU students as compared to Tufts. Notions that Tufts students do not do as well in the Steps may have been triggered from the fact that they moved anatomy courses to the second year. I think it's just an overblown issue.
     
  7. panda01

    panda01 Member
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    Two points of clarification:
    1. Tufts moved anatomy to second semester, not second year. This is to facilitate the move to medical school, lets you get settled in, party more with your classmates, etc. and seems like a good idea. You make more friends when you don't stink of formaldehyde.
    2. Tufts' schedule is changing next year to 8:30 to 12:30 every day leaving all your afternoons free. So the didactic days really won't be that long.
    I was also really impressed by how friendly and happy the Tufts students were, and how community service and patient contact is built into the first two year curriculum. I talked to people my interview day that were first years and shadowing a doc (as part of the selectives class) and taking histories, seeing patients, etc.--really getting into it. That clinical focus is key for me.
    Caveat: I'm ridiculously biased because I had my Tufts interview last week and BU took my money and ran. I would say trust your gut--there's not going to be any one factor or disparity that will clinch it. It's just your intuition and where you'll be happy.
     
  8. cubsfan

    cubsfan Resident
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    Panda01 or others-
    Where did you get your info about Tufts? I had not heard anything about this.

    1. Tufts moved anatomy to second semester

    2. Tufts' schedule is changing next year to 8:30 to 12:30 every day leaving all your afternoons free. So the didactic days really won't be that long..
     
  9. panda recently interviewed at Tufts and I can verify as a first year med student there that his information is correct. First semester was pretty laid back due to the fact that they have anatomy second semester, and I really liked the adjustment period/down time. I don't have very much to add to this thread that hasn't been said, but so far I am generally pleased with the education I am receiving at Tufts. Interviewing class first semester and selectives (for the non-dual degree ppl) are great opportunities for patient contact during the first year, and most of the anatomy and immunology professors are awesome. Tufts also has PBL every Friday afternoon, in case anyone was wondering. The match list this year was also fantastic; with lots of specialty matches. The Physiology class still sucks and has the world's most BORING syllabus, but all schools have their weaknesses. Living in Posner Hall also sucks because of the cliquishness, prostitution rings on the street behind the dorm, and 20 people sharing an outrageously small kitchen. If you don't live in Posner though, you should be just fine. please feel free to post any more questions on here or PM me.

    BTW, Tufts' USMLE I pass rate was 98%, which is well above the average pass rate and not significantly different from BU.
     
  10. gooseHC

    gooseHC Senior Member
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    Thanks for the responses..I actually haven't been accepted to Tufts, but just interviewed there last week and was very impressed by the school. I felt pretty good about the interviews so I'm hoping I'll receive good news sometime in the coming weeks...
    but I was at BU so long ago that I can't remember some of the details of the school and I can't decide if my new love for Tufts is just because I've just seen it so recently or what..but I dont know. I will be lucky if I do get a choice and if I had the choice I think I'd be leaning to Tufts, but I'll cross that bridge if and when it comes...
     
  11. darkmatter

    darkmatter Senior Member
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    Oopsie, sorry guys, my mistake. I think the reason they have anatomy in the second semester is that they believe such is a logical approach, i.e. starting from molecules (biochemistry, etc.) then going up to the organismic level (anatomy). That's what's told in the orientation..

    You won't go wrong with either school. Also, Tufts' 5 year double degree MD/Bioethics' been cancelled (just in case you've opted for that program). Anyway, if you really like the school, I recommend writing a letter of interest to Tom Slavin, at least after getting the no-decision letter. If schools do know where you've been accepted at any time, then the value of these letters increase tremendously.
     

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