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Tufts vs Colorado....Struggling...

Discussion in 'Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2016)' started by UltimateforFun, 05.14.14.

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  1. UltimateforFun

    UltimateforFun Frisbee Fanatic 2+ Year Member

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    Hey guys,

    I am really struggling to decide on this one. Here are my thoughts:

    Colorado:
    PROS: IS, Cheaper, Close to home, Family support system, Beautiful state I am outdoorsy and I have missed my mountains and 300 days of sun a year, Great hospital and draws lots of patients since it is one of the few large hospital systems in the region, not competing with other medical students, Experience mountain medicine and rural aspects of helping the underserved, Put into "Colleges" like Hogwarts
    -Concerned because at second look I felt very young compared to other students and while I know we would all be working together to survive it was a feeling I couldn't explain/shake

    Tufts:
    PROS: Boston, East Coast~maintaining close connections with friends and sig other easier, Emphasis on community service, Family out here too, Primary care Urban, Student clinic for M1 and M2s for those without insurance, Integrated curriculum, Experience urban underserved, P/F
    -Concerned about the impact of being around other medical schools and whether it really impacts the experience, anyone know??

    I recognize what a blessing it is to have options and a medical school acceptance at all and I thank you all in advance for any advice or thoughts. If any of my assumptions or claims are misinformed please correct me so that I can ensure that I have all of the info.
     
    Atmosphere123 likes this.
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  3. trino

    trino 2+ Year Member

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    How much more expensive is Tufts? I know they have a ridiculous CoA. Personally I would go with Colorado if the cost is high for Tufts. You'll find friends in your class

    Edit: as for being around other medical schools. I would say it's actually a plus. I believe Boston is a large enough city that you'll see plenty of patient contact through Tufts. You can also easily do away rotations or research at other institutions. Maybe a med student in Boston can comment (this is one of those second look questions)
     
  4. hplssrmantcxox

    hplssrmantcxox 5+ Year Member

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    If I were you I would do Colorado. Go with the money.

    Tufts I heard has rotation sites across MA and not just their boston location, so I've heard you need a car?... I just remember hearing this because UMass has a similar program to Tufts and similar rotation sites. Not sure though, hopefully someone who actually goes there could answer that question lol. I don't think Tufts' high COA would trump Colorado, especially if you pay in state tuition. The majority of MA kids who have the choice of Tufts vs UMass choose UMass because both programs are very similar to each other (in ranking, in rotation sites, in curriculum, etc...) but UMass's tuition is loaddddds cheaper.

    Speaking as a MA resident, you definitely would need a car if you wanted to do mountain/ outdoorsy things outside of Boston.
     
  5. superdupercookie

    superdupercookie

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    I just looked at the difference in tuition.

    WOAH.

    i agree with hplssrmantc. Your description of CO also makes it seem like you would really flourish as a student there. Or, in other words, your pros for CO seem much more personal and meaningful than the ones you listed for Tufts. To me, it doesn't seem like your incentive to choose tufts outweighs that extra debt. I also have spent years on both coasts for school, and to me, having the support of my family nearby made a HUGE difference in my academic performance and happiness. just my 2 cents. Congrats!
     
  6. UltimateforFun

    UltimateforFun Frisbee Fanatic 2+ Year Member

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    I actually have a new(ish) car that makes the rotations less of a problem for me. You're right the tuition is a big difference but if that and the car were not a factor would you change your advice?


    Thank you cookie! Ya I honestly think I would flourish in either place. The outdoors thing in colorado is a big draw for me but it also doesn't necessarily impact my medical school experience and learning in that it would be something extra I would do. I guess I am just seeing more educational benefits from going to Tufts at this point but I don't know if that is accurate.


    I have looked at both schools' programs (obviously) and in my view they are similar. Both have a focus on primary care (one urban and one rural). The focus is less on research at these institutions than at other programs and their match lists are very similar, with CUSOM having more people stay in Colorado. Are their major differences that I am missing or anything?
     
  7. UltimateforFun

    UltimateforFun Frisbee Fanatic 2+ Year Member

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    For me the CoA would be roughly 30k-32k more a year. However, I am blessed in that this is less a factor for me than for many applicants.

    Ya I can definitely understand the benefits of being around other medical schools and being in a city full of other students. I have a car so away rotations are not a problem. I couldn't make it to the second look at Tufts which is why I am more uncertain about some of the details.

    In the case of medical school I feel like we will obviously all learn pretty much the same thing but I am trying to determine whether people think there are real tangible differences.
     
  8. trino

    trino 2+ Year Member

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    I think the differences that will impact you the most come with the environment. How much more comfortable do you feel at Tufts, how important are family and friends, do you want to practice on the east coast, and do you want to be in a city or not (already answered this). I think you could find friends where ever you go. We're all in this together after all.

    I think you have to weight this against the debt you'll come out with. Give points to each side and see who wins. That being said, unless you absolutely need your SO and support system, my vote would be with Colorado. I think you'll find that there are enough people your age in the class (unless you're super young)
     
  9. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

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    I really like CO, and it is a very well regarded public school. I would take it hands down
     
  10. barthelona

    barthelona

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    Boston>>>Aurora
     
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  11. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

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    Aurora=Denver, Denver=Awesome
     
  12. barthelona

    barthelona

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    Denver's awesome, but Aurora is an eastern suburb 30 minutes away from Denver and is pretty much a dump.
     
    Last edited: 05.14.14
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  13. Espadaleader

    Espadaleader 5+ Year Member

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    OP! You're so proud of your home state. My vote is for CO. Good luck on your decision tomorrow.
     
    UltimateforFun likes this.
  14. MedWonk

    MedWonk 高飛車 5+ Year Member

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    Definitely CO. Take the money and run.
     
  15. GoPelicans

    GoPelicans 2+ Year Member

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    IMO Colorado, it's a good school and very affordable. The location kind of sucks, but med school is only 4 years, and personally I would much rather save $120K than waste it at a mid tier like Tufts. Some schools are worth going into debt to attend - Tufts is definitely not one of those schools.
     
  16. SN12357

    SN12357 2+ Year Member

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    Have you lived in Boston before? If so you know this already, but having a car in Boston is a gigantic pain in the ass, parking is inconvenient and/or expensive, our cars get beat to **** between the weather and bad drivers, and we have some of the highest (if not THE highest) insurance rates in the country. Rush hour lasts approximately from 6:30am until 10am and 3pm until 7:30pm. Also the housing rental market is awful and getting worse so being a student in this city means getting squeezed more and more every year into ****tier and ****tier housing for more money.

    Honestly I'd go with CO in your situation no question. Tufts and Boston aren't worth the extra cost unless you're one of those people who MUST live in a major city or go crazy.
     
  17. UltimateforFun

    UltimateforFun Frisbee Fanatic 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you guys for all of your opinions! It seems that a lot of people's advice depends on the money but I am thinking that moving to a new city and experiencing something totally new might be worth it to me. I just can't shake the fact that it felt weird at Colorado on second look but 120k is a ridiculous amount of money ugh
     
  18. hplssrmantcxox

    hplssrmantcxox 5+ Year Member

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    I would definitely not change my advice. Tuition costs aside, CO is slightly better ranked and it sounds like you would have a fanastic support system and outdoor sports opportunities if you went to CO. Living in Boston my entire life and throughout college, I would have to agree that having a car in the city is a b****, Especially in winter. Rent here is ridiculous and not worth the extra cost of living (at least $800-1000+/month if you live with roommates, $1500+ if you have a 1 BR or studio) in addition to the giant tuition price tag. You would have to pay for parking too, another huge hassle and money sink, and find limited spaces for your car. There's also basically two seasons in Boston : winter and summer. The only time I ever really enjoy living in Boston is summer /late spring/early fall. Winter literally drags on forever and there's never enough sunlight lol. Spring lasts maybe two weeks to a month or is just completely filled with rain and some snow, and fall is pretty cold by mid late Oct.

    No matter where you go, you'll find classmates you click with! Maybe it seemed like older people were at second look at CO because everyone else who's coming from undergrad and is younger had finals or something to take when second look happened and couldn't attend as a result. I couldn't attend my own second look because of a final exam.

    Also, anecdotally, as a person coming from MA, Harvard overshadows BU which overshadows Tufts in terms of "prestige" if that really matters to you. I personally think BMC and the Harvard partners hospitals are way nicer compared to Tufts facilities, but whatever. If some rotation sites are similar to UMass like I've heard, it's basically scattered across suburban western MA too, where there's literally nothing to do and some sites like Baystate are at least a 2 hour drive from Boston.

    Maybe think of it this way - $120k can be a down payment for a home. Or a few nice cars. You could spend that money on flights to visit your SO and friends more often, since that's a factor you mentioned too. I just cannot fathom spending that much more money on a school that's ranked lower and has crappier weather for what feels like 2/3-3/4 of the year. Being able to experience mountain medicine at CO would be amazing compared to living through four Boston winters and being trapped in the city for most of that time.
     
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  19. barthelona

    barthelona

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    OP, if you look at the recent posts on the Colorado thread you'll see some of the common complaints from students about the curriculum. It's something to take into consideration.
     
  20. Medstart108

    Medstart108 2+ Year Member

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    Where do you want to end up? If you want to end up on the East Coast go to Tufts if you want to end up on the West Coast go to Colorado.
     
  21. DressageDoc

    DressageDoc

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    Glad I'm not the only one still struggling - I'm in a similar situation with UMASS and Jefferson as lifetime MA resident with family split in eastern MA and California. I'm looking to head west eventually so if that's in the cards for you I'm a little jealous of the cheaper / western / IS option! But I agree on the "see new places while you can" sentiment, and I have the same close-knit family in MA, however am absolutely a city person...plus my CoA difference would actually be <=$100K, and I'm getting very mixed opinions on how much is enough to forgo the setting I'd rather be in.

    Are research opportunities a big factor for you? I was hoping to jump in with a similar concern - in our cases, Colorado / UMASS have double or more the research funding over Tufts / Jefferson (probably explaining the rank differences), with a larger spread in my case, but the lower funded schools are immediate neighbors to several other med schools. Could this mean collaborations are possible (in my case, particularly with specific departments at UPenn and CHOP), or should we expect that making these connections are much more difficult than I'm imagining? And considering Tufts and both of my schools are either direct or distant neighbors of Top 10ers, will the patient populations we see be significantly different as more exotic / complicated cases go to Harvard / Penn? If so, that may be another plus for Colorado.
     
  22. byaaaaaaah23

    byaaaaaaah23 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    I wouldn't base your decision off the vibe you got from other prospective students at second look. Not all of them are going to end up being your classmates, and probably a ton of people who will end up going to Colorado weren't at second look.
     
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  23. MedWonk

    MedWonk 高飛車 5+ Year Member

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    Not to mention public transportation is slooooowwwww. Especially the green line.
     
  24. medflight2018

    medflight2018

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    UMASS is in a city. Worcester is the 2nd largest city in New England and the 127th largest in the country. Also, the population density is greater than Houston or San Diego. Of course, its not Boston, but Boston is literally 45 minutes east.
     
  25. DressageDoc

    DressageDoc

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    Probably should have mentioned it - but Philly in particular. I do appreciate those stats though - spent four years in Worcester already for undergrad and moved directly to Boston from graduation. No hard feelings and I wasn't miserable by any means, but I was hoping for the more eclectic big-city life for a while longer.
     
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  26. medflight2018

    medflight2018

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    .
     
    Last edited: 10.12.14
  27. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Even if both schools were the same price I'd still choose Colorado.

    Better location, more outdoors activities, easier to match out west, and a slightly better reputation than Tufts.
     
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  28. GoPelicans

    GoPelicans 2+ Year Member

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    I grew up in Worcester (lived there ~18 years), I couldn't wait to get out lol. AFAIK UMass requires students to have cars, probably because they know a bunch of stressed 20-somethings would drown themselves in Lake Quinsigamond if they couldn't get away once in a while.
     
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  29. MsTeacup

    MsTeacup 2+ Year Member

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    sounds like a lot of the people here like CO better because of the weather, the outdoor sports, and the mountain medicine. It seems more like a "coolness" thing... I don't know how important these factors are when you literally will be studying basically 24/7 anyways. Boston has other stuff to do than outdoor sports!
    I think P/F is very important for med school and it sounded like CO doesn't do P/F. + yes money is important and no one wants debts, there are many MANY options you can do to finance medical school. I do know people who finance their debts into 30 years. Granted you'll pay more interest, but would you care about that tiny monthly payment when you make a very comfortable living?
    Granted HMS/BU overshadows Tufts, I think that's more of a psychological and pride thing... I think Boston gets enough people that you'll see different patients at all 3, though those very rare cases probably still goes to Harvard, but how much do those add to a medical student's learning experience anyways?
    I think that if you are looking to settle down during/ right after medical school then you should go to CO, but if you think you want to explore a set of very diverse opportunities, then Tufts.
    GL making decisions
     
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  30. ftrsurg2018

    ftrsurg2018

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    So first off, a disclaimer that I know nothing about Tufts. I only wanted to clear up a couple of things about CU (where I will be attending next year if no wait-list movement occurs). Obviously, I'm biased. ;) I'm going to leave money alone.

    First, I'm sorry that you didn't meet many of us fellow non-trads/older students at CU's Second Look day. I felt like I only got to know my group, and ended up not meeting a lot of members of the class, so you may have just drawn a young-straw. :) I ended up meeting three other married people just at the breakfast, which helped me feel more comfortable. I'm sure you would find lovely people at either place.

    But second, to clarify, CU is P/F/H, where Honors is very rare and a serious achievement. The students I stayed with told me that it was >90% in the class, and that it was common for even the smartest students to only honor one or two classes. I consider this basically a P/F curriculum with some extra incentive. I also found CU to have a lot of really diverse opportunities in terms of Denver Health, Colorado Springs, and rotations all around the state as well as the beautiful hospitals on campus.

    Remember also that CU has a lot of research funding (more than Tufts), so there will be more opportunities for you in that sense. I chose CU because of a combination of factors, but that was a big one. That and Children's...oh man.

    I also just wanted to reiterate the point above - don't judge a school solely based on a weird second look experience. Especially one where we basically got split four ways and didn't really mesh after that. :) There are plenty of us who aren't fresh out of college!

    Good luck - and congratulations!!!
     
  31. bananasandapples

    bananasandapples

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    Hey UltimateforFun, do you mind sharing your final decision?
     

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