Schools in the title are the ones I’m currently considering and I am honestly quite torn between them all. There’s also University of Massachusetts (accepted), University of Vermont (haven’t heard back), and University of Arizona – Phoenix (deferred) but I’ve relegated those options to the bottom of my list for various reasons. The most important things to me in no particular order: - Personal happiness, location/social & night life - Relaxed atmosphere (P/F helps), emphasis on student wellness and work/life balance - Clinical Training/Opportunities (e.g. volunteering, research) - Reputation (Will the school get me where I want to go? How is the match list?) ***Cost is not a big concern*** Tulane (ACCEPTED) Pros: · Amazing location being in New Orleans, seems like a very fun and lively city · Very social student body with countless events throughout the year both sponsored by the med school (e.g. med school prom, social outings) and outside of school (e.g. festivals, parties, events) · P/F (but there are internal rankings) · Emphasis on teaching towards and preparing for Step 1 · Excellent match list with great diversity · Very chill atmosphere and happy student body with a strong emphasis on work/life balance. Faculty and administration actively encourage students to go out, volunteer, and be a part of the city. I strongly resonate with the culture here · Connected to strong undergraduate university, will be able to access gym, meal plan, libraries, and other amenities · Strong name recognition Cons: · Unsure of reputation in comparison to other schools · For some reason I didn’t get a great vibe on interview day, but I think that this was due to this being my 7th interview in a row and the facilities not being that pretty. Yea, the facilities seemed a bit run-down and ancient, notably the anatomy lab and library (but I could always just study on the undergrad campus or somewhere else) · Questionable research opportunities (I am not that interested in research but having it available is nice in case I decide to do some) · It’s in the South, maybe not as culturally diverse (please correct me if I’m wrong here) --> I’ve lived in the South for most of my life and it can be quite homogenous · Hospital situation and funding is a little questionable/concerning (is University Medical Center going to stay funded? How will this affect students?) · I’m very interested in EM and there is no home EM program here University of Maryland (ACCEPTED) Pros: · The school appears to be on the rise, highly ranked on US News (Research: #31, Primary Care: #21), well established residency programs · Tons of research funding and opportunities + massive new research building · Strong teaching hospital + Shock Trauma --> I’m very interested in EM so this seems like the place to be for that · Located on campus with many other health professional programs, interdisciplinary environment · Close proximity to Washington DC (~40 min by train) Cons: · Baltimore seems like a very rough city from what I’ve seen; I do not think I will be happy living here. Also it does not seem culturally diverse at all · NOT pass/fail and letter grades --> will make things much more stressful than they have to be · School is known to be notoriously stressful based on the culture I witnessed on interview day and comments I’ve heard and read from students. “Put in the work and you’ll do well here” atmosphere instead of a more relaxed one · Loose connection to undergraduate university, will not be able to access amenities Brown (WAITLISTED) Pros: · Most excited I’ve ever been for an interview invite, this school was a dream from the beginning of the application cycle. I didn’t even apply last cycle because I thought it would just be a donation · Ivy League reputation and great medical reputation (high residency director score) --> Absolutely absurd match list · Located very close to the Brown University campus + RISD art/design school so there will be many students in the area. Connected to strong undergraduate university, will be able to access gym, meal plan, libraries, and other amenities · The gym is insane (my student interviewer showed it to me on the computer during the interview), this is important to me · Very social and outgoing student body · Not too far from Boston (~1 hour), I have some family there · P/F, no internal ranking, and Friday tests (so free weekends) --> very, very chill environment with an emphasis on student wellness Cons: · Very cold northeastern location. I’m used to living in warm areas with no snow, so this will be a drastic change. I think I would be miserable with the extreme weather here · Providence isn’t as exciting as larger cities --> with Providence being small and not exciting to me and with it being cold and gloomy most of the year, I have to ask myself, would I be happy to spend 4 years here? I don’t think so. Jefferson (HIGH PRIORITY WAITLIST) Pros: · Amazing location in Center City Philadelphia, the medical campus, facilities, and hospitals are all ingrained in the city, providing a nice urban feel that I desire. Not too far from NYC as well · Speaking of the campus, I found it to be very nice · Very social and outgoing student body + emphasis on student wellness here · P/F (but students are ranked by 1/3rds) · Great residency director score and match list · Strong teaching and affiliate hospitals Cons: · Class size is very big; I don’t like the idea of being a small fish in a big pond when it comes to medical school. May make it difficult to access faculty and administration as well as opportunities · Questionable research opportunities · Not as highly ranked as some of my other options, if that matters · Cold (but I think being in Philly makes up for it) University of Miami (ALTERNATE LIST) Pros: · I currently live in the city in Brickell so the transition would be very smooth · Miami as a city would be a phenomenal place for me to live as a medical student --> year-round warm weather, amazing night life, beach, dating, and most importantly, family nearby. Most of my immediate family lives in South Florida and I have a brother who will be attending Miller a few years down the line · Currently working on some very high-impact, cutting edge research with one of the top people at Bascom Palmer. This will be an invaluable to me with regards to research in med school because I can just keep working in the same lab and churn out publications left and right (not very interested in Ophthalmology though; I’m not too sure how much weight research experience is given outside of specialty of interest) · Tons of research opportunities in general · The clinical training offered here is second to none: Jackson Memorial and all the various specialty hospitals like Bascom Palmer, Sylvester Cancer, Ryder Trauma, all centralized in a single health campus with all the hospitals at arms-length from one another --> I also hear that med students are given great mentorship and autonomy in the wards here · Awesome match list · In-State Tuition Cons: · Huge cultural disconnect because I’m not Hispanic nor do I speak Spanish --> This fact is pervasive everywhere I go on a day-to-day basis · Continuing from the above point, Spanish is essentially an unspoken requirement in medicine here. Most patients are Spanish speaking so it is going to add an additional layer of difficulty and stress for clinical education · NOT P/F, in fact they give you a score out of 100 for pre-clinical years, I believe you are also graded on a bell-curve so you are essentially competing with your classmates --> seems very stressful and competitive, although the students underplayed this on interview day · Curriculum will be undergoing some change when I matriculate, not sure how that will play out. Speaking of curriculum, it is NOT taught towards Step 1 which is concerning · Undergraduate campus is accessible but far away (with traffic) in Coral Gables, so I do not think I will make use of it as a med student · Will have to commute by metro to the medical campus from Brickell (not a huge con) Of my current acceptances, I’m a bit torn between Maryland and Tulane but leaning towards Tulane due to the happiness factor. I want to enjoy my time in medical school instead of just suffer through it. That being said, I’m pretty certain that Tulane will get me where I want to go and I will have the most fun along the way. But for my career, Maryland seems like it could open up some doors for me, especially in pursuing EM. I just don’t like Baltimore at all and I don’t want to endure 4 years in a stressful environment with letter grades when I have other options. Of my waitlist options, I started out preferring Brown but over the months I’ve realized that I would probably be happier at Jefferson or Miami because of weather and location, especially Miami because of the personal ties I have. I’m thinking I could send a letter of interest/intent to one of the schools I’m waitlisted at. Brown and Jefferson both seem to encourage this type of correspondence, but I wouldn’t want to send anything unless I am certain I want to matriculate there. Any thoughts or input is greatly appreciated!