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U. Florida vs. Wake Forest

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by VinDiesel, Jun 22, 2008.

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Wake Forest or U. Florida

  1. Wake Forest

    18 vote(s)
    51.4%
  2. U. Florida

    17 vote(s)
    48.6%
  1. VinDiesel

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    Hi, I am sorry to make one of these threads and I never thought I would, but I am really torn between these two schools and would really appreciate the opinions of others in making this decision. I really like both schools and need to make a decision within in next week and a half.
    To give you a little bit of background, I am not a Florida resident, but in that state I would most likely qualify for in-state tuition after one year. This would make UF a bit cheaper in the end.
    I am looking to eventually practice in the mid-Atlantic region, most likely not in the state of Florida.
    One thing I really like about UF is that they teach towards the Step 1 and Wake does not appear to do this as much.
    I am unsure what school has the better reputation.
    I like Winston-Salem more than Gainesville for quality of living, and its closer to family.
    People at UF seem more energetic about their school than at Wake, but this may not totally be the case.

    Again, any help would be much appreciated.
    Thank you.
     
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  3. dog0

    dog0 dough go.
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    I interviewed at both schools and went to undergrad at UF. I would go with Wake Forest. Much more reputable of a school and the students seemed a lot cooler than those at Florida. Gainesville is fun and is a top party school, but that doesn't really matter once you're in Medical School. Bernie Machen is desperately trying to improve the quality of education at UF, but I don't see it happening in the near future. WF is an excellent primary care school and there are plenty of research opportunities available. The only thing I didn't like about the school were the facilities, but Florida's aren't that impressive either ;P
     
  4. kypdurron5

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    I can't really help you because don't know anything about UF. However, I went on 7 or 8 interviews this past season and the students at Wake were some of the most upbeat and happy I encountered. I'm sure it just depends on what day of the week you go, and how much sleep they've had the night before >). I chose Wake over 3 other acceptances. I agree about step 1, the student guides did make a point about the school not officially teaching for step 1, but this doesn't mean students end up doing any worse- you'd have to find the hard numbers to make anything of this. Definitely get your financial aid packets before making a final decision. I was shocked how much financial aid I got from Wake, so you never know. If UF ends up being 10K+ cheaper that would make a difference to me, given that both schools have strong reputations. UF is probably more widely known because of their strong football program (sad, but true), but I haven't met anyone yet who hasn't heard of Wake Forest (however I do live in the east).
     
  5. wally47

    wally47 I drink your milkshake
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    I may be a little biased. This is a fairly tough decision. Both schools are reputable, and both schools could provide you with research opportunities. I would say they are both competitive programs but as a florida resident you can't beat the price for such a great education, not to mention living in gainesville will save you money too. At UF you will see diverse cases through the exposure of rotating in Gainesville and in Jacksonville. In the end your decision will likely be made from personal reasons.
     
  6. mdgator

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    I would disagree with a previous poster and say that the difference in reputation between these two schools is negligible. Wake is a great school...I was ecstatic to get in there, although I ultimately chose my (much) cheaper state school. However, UF is an extremely reputable public school, (speaking of both the med school and the university as a whole). UF would most definitely have been my # 1 choice, but I am biased...unfortunately, I applied late, and they didn't give me a second look; I ended up at FSU, where I'm very happy.

    Both schools will give you everything you need to succeed. I would call the locations similar...(relatively small towns in the south.) You would probably save money by going to UF, although maybe not enough to be a huge factor, if you're OOS. Shands Hospital is amazing; I wasn't as impressed by Wake's. Gainesville can get very hot during the summer...well, year-round, really. But there are a couple of nice beaches relatively close-by. UFCOM is on the undergrad campus, which is amazing when it comes to being involved with social activities, going to sports events (gotta love Gator football), and accessing the great facilities (such as the gyms) available to the students. Housing in Gainesville is very affordable, but it's not much higher in W.S. Both schools have pretty good research opportunities...I would guess UF is a little better in this dept, but that may just be b/c I know more about it.

    I guess if you have no bias based on location, this could be a very tough call, but for me personally, it would be a no-brainer. I would have gone to UF even if I'd been accepted to every medical school in the country. I just basically fell in love with the place during undergrad, and it was very difficult to leave.
     
  7. pandulce321

    pandulce321 Member
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    I think you should go with Wake, especially if you are not a Florida resident and you don't want to practice in Florida. I have heard some unpleasant things about UF med, especially after the whole scandal that took place this year.

    Additionally teaching to the boards is not a good thing! If you are studious during the first two years, you don't need someone teaching you only boards material. I know many students who go to schools that didn't emphasize boards material and they did phenomenal on their Step 1. First Aid will help you out a lot with what to focus on, and its a soft cover book available everywhere. In the end, you will be a more well-rounded doctor at a school that doesn't worry only about their ranking, and emphasizes the philosophy of the doctor you would like to become.
     
  8. wally47

    wally47 I drink your milkshake
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    Please support your generalizations. Just because UF has all of their tests on the computer and in the format of the USMLE doesn't mean that they "teach to the boards." Claiming that UF only teaches their students USMLE material is ridiculous, and insinuating that doctors from UF aren't well rounded and therefore don't emphasize a favorable philosophy is just plain ignorant. Have you ever thought that maybe students at UF are studious too?
     
  9. kypdurron5

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    Everyone posting in a thread like this is biased....there's no use getting angry over tainted opinions and generalizations. Some schools really do say "we teach for the tests." I've been to several of them. Wake Forest specifically said "we don't teach for them." So draw your own conclusions- there probably are differences in how well students do on the exams, and there are probably statistics on which school produces more skilled clinical vs. research physicians. Obviously we don't know what those numbers are, but the two schools do purport to take two very different strategies regarding standardized testing, and those should be acknowledged here. Also, he didn't say UF students aren't studious, he implied they don't need to be extra studious because everything they're taught is geared towards USMLE. If the material at Wake is more geared towards clinical skills or some other benchmark, students may have to be a little more studious and individually cover things that will be on step 1. It's all conjecture of course, but he wasn't insulting UF students.

    This sentence I agree with completely, however, it doesn't necessarily apply to Wake vs. UF- I think someone would have to attend both schools to truly weigh in on this. Just because one school is ranked higher than another doesn't necessarily mean they're sacrificing educational quality (in the name of standardized testing/research) to do it.
     
  10. pandulce321

    pandulce321 Member
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    I get my information from students that attend the school. Additionally, I never said UF med students don't study, I simply stated that maintaining good study habits the first two years of medical school will ensure a good USMLE score, and that testing specially to the boards is not necessary to do well.
     
  11. VinDiesel

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    Thank you for your input guys. I know the Florida people are most likely biased towards UF, and I would be too if I still lived in the state. If I lived in Florida, this would definitely be a no brainer.
    Fortunately today we found a really nice house in Winston-Salem that will make it easier to choose Wake. Wake seems like the more logical choice because it is so much closer to home and better for my significant other. I am fairly confident that my personal life would be better in Winston-Salem than Gainesville.

    Do you all think it is a bad idea to choose one school over another just for personal reasons not related to medical education? I believe that UF would provide a better education and it is really hard to turn it down, but Wake is just more convenient in my situation. Am I making a mistake here for my career in the long run? Sometimes I think that I should just choose the better school even if it would make life more difficult. I know Wake is great but I still feel that UF is a more dynamite medical school.

    Anyway, you all can see that I am still pretty torn!

    About UF....for those of you who interviewed there, I think you can agree that the school sells itself extremely well. I think that most schools should take a page out of their admissions book because UF seems to have it down to a science. Of the schools that I interviewed at, I was most impressed by UF, hands down.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your feedback thus far and please continue to voice your opinions...it is really helpful.
     
  12. ChemGrad08

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    Most decisions about where to attend med school are for personal rather than educational reasons. Especially if you include financial as a personal reason. Given that they are roughly equivalent in terms of education it seems like it's really a no-brainer and you should go where you'll be happiest.
     
  13. dog0

    dog0 dough go.
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    Wise decision. I completed my undergrad at UF and although I love(d) Gainesville, I and many other applicants, did not enjoy interviewing there. Repeatedly, they talked about their 'stellar' Board Scores, MCAT scores, and the numbers of Ivy-League undergraduates that choose their University. I interviewed at schools that are much better ranked and never once did they glorify their academic credentials. Instead, they focused on student life and things that make their program unique. I knew a lot of medical school students and even lived with a student who was accepted in their Juniors Honors Program (start medical school in their senior year of Undergraduate); we spoke frequently and the things he said about the University were not very positive. It's a great place to be, no denying that, but UF is too worried about their reputation, hence the Ex-Dean accepting a student who was REJECTED BY EVERY MEMBER OF THE COMITTEE, due to political influences (major contributor to the Republican Party). On top of that, the student supposably never even took the MCAT. I think that particular incident says a lot about the University.
     
  14. wally47

    wally47 I drink your milkshake
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    This has turned into another UF bashing thread. I do not want to further this discussion because the OP has made his/her decision but I must add the alternate opinion for all of those premeds who actually read threads and make decisions on where to apply to from them. I would just like to add my cents on two points that you made dog0. Firstly, on my interview all of the students were very nice and they were not selling their scores every chance they got. Like all schools, they informed the applicants of their averages and how they compared nationwide. My interview day, in particular, spent a lot of time focussing on the unique experience of shands gainesville/jacksonville. One thing I was surprised about, b/c of the information that I obtained from this site that indicated otherwise, was how friendly the students were to each other. They study together, have social events, and so on. Secondly, about the scandal. This incident does not speak for the entire school! You said it yourself, every member of the committee rejected the kid, and the dean who accepted the kid was removed of his dean title so I actually believe that this shows the integrity of the school.

    Congrats on your decision Vindiesel. You will love it in WS and you will be with your family/sig other which will provide you with an amazing support system.
     
  15. VinDiesel

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    Thank you all for your additional comments.
    To add on about the UF opinions...
    When I visited UF, I absolutely loved the place and I agree that they were not totally focused on their Step I scores. Their average is impressively high, and like any other school should, they sold that point during the interview day. Obviously this got my attention and was a huge draw for me.
    I did not find the students to be back stabbers or extremely comepetitive. The school as a whole seems very driven to succeed and I really liked that. The students I met seemed friendly....especially the class' social chair who was telling me about the party she was planning for that night after their test. Again, if I still lived in Florida, I would without a doubt be going to UF next year. This is still exteremly hard for me to choose one school over the other and I almost wish that I was a Florida resident.
    About the scandal....I agree that it is completely ridiculous, but it appears that UF has dealt with the situation appropriately and hopefully that will be the end of it. You will notice on UF's website that Dr. Kone is no longer dean of the medical school. Legally, I doubt that the school can rescind Mendelsohn's acceptance.
    Anyway, thank you all for your help. I hope that I will make a decision that I will not regret!
     
  16. dog0

    dog0 dough go.
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    I think that most applicants who receive interviews are well aware of the school's academic credentials. I interviewed at 9 different schools and with the exception of UF, academic statistics were never brought up. To some this may not be a big deal, but it seemed arrogant to me. They spent a lot of time telling me statistics USNewsWeek gave me in seconds :)
     
  17. dog0

    dog0 dough go.
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    I am not bashing UF. Gainesville is by far one of my favorite places in the world. But considering this is a subjective thread, and the OP expects responses to be very opiniated, I am entitled to my opinion. I went to school there for 4 years, did research through the College of Medicine for 3 years, personally know a few members of the staff, lived with a current medical school student, and know quite a few students who will be in the Class of 20012. It is hands down the best Medical School in Florida but to each their own.

    PS. You will miss on a NCAA Football Championship next year; oh well, maybe you'll get to meet the next Tim Duncan or Chris Paul at WAKE :p
     

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