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kokito91

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Apr 23, 2012
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Hello SDNers!

Longtime lurker here, looking for some help in my decision.

I am deciding between University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and University of Alabama at Birmingham, I have been accepted to both regular MD programs starting this fall but CANNOT even begin to lean towards one over the other.

Interview days showed me Iowa was calm and everyone was really very nice, but my student hosts were very busy studying so I was sort of bored. Birmingham on my interview day was very fun, one of the most fun of all my interviews. However, I am pretty sure my experiences just stemmed from the chances of who I was staying with and I do not want to use these chance experiences to make my whole decision.

If anyone has any personal experiences with either school or any information that might help me decide, please post and let me know! Especially because I have never lived in the south or midwest.

If you were in my shoes, where would you decide to go and why?

(bkgrnd info = grew up in the east coats and went to high school and college in socal, looking for some kind of surgical career/academic physician future)
 

KinasePro

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I'd probably go with Carver. They have some outstanding residency programs, and Iowa city is actually a decent town. Weather will be rough, though. Plus, cornfields for days.

UAB also has an excellent reputation in medicine, so you win either way.
 
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kokito91

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Thanks for your input! I am not sure if I plan on staying there for residency, I was actually thinking of going back East or West for the future. Knowing that, you would still pick Carver?
 

KinasePro

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Thanks for your input! I am not sure if I plan on staying there for residency, I was actually thinking of going back East or West for the future. Knowing that, you would still pick Carver?

Doing well at either program will let you match outside the region. They're both solid and can send students all over.

But you'll probably be able to match better within the region of your medical school, and depending on how well you do in school or how competitive of a specialty you pursue, you may actually need to depend in those local connections in the match.

So if you have no intention of staying at Iowa after med school, not even at one of their baller-ass surgical programs, then I might actually vote for UAB. They're very well-known in the SE and mid-atlantic regions and may give you better regional options down the road.
 

Knocked Up

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I'd pick UAB, only because I have no idea where Iowa is. Is Iowa a state? Are there actually more people there than domestic animals? I doubt I could find it on a map...
 

kokito91

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Haha yes, Iowa is a state! The school is actually in Iowa city which is a small college town, from what I saw in Interviews.

Thanks to both of you for your help!

One more thing, recently, one of the physicians has told me that going to school in the South makes it much harder to go anywhere else in residency. Has anyone else heard this? He was the only one that told me this but it was enough to freak me out.
 

Sephiroth

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If you are thinking west coast or northeast, I'd lean toward Iowa cuz I think it's rep is a bit better. Also consider cost difference or is there is a particular specialty you really think you want which one may have a better program in.
 

flatearth22

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Haha yes, Iowa is a state! The school is actually in Iowa city which is a small college town, from what I saw in Interviews.

Thanks to both of you for your help!

One more thing, recently, one of the physicians has told me that going to school in the South makes it much harder to go anywhere else in residency. Has anyone else heard this? He was the only one that told me this but it was enough to freak me out.

First time I'm hearing that. I know that the West Coast residencies really prefer their own but I've never heard of programs not preferring people from specific parts of the country. The transition from East Coast/SoCal to the Midwest seems easier than to the Deep South, IMO...I would go with Carver.
 

kokito91

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Their costs are about the same and I have no idea yet what specialty I would go into so neither of those things has helped me.

Thank you all for your input! I have about 7 more days to make a decision and still don't feel like I'm positive :(
 

western1

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I'd pick UAB, only because I have no idea where Iowa is. Is Iowa a state? Are there actually more people there than domestic animals? I doubt I could find it on a map...

I thought the same thing... I think Iowa is actually located just north of Maine along the Borjan mountain range straights. Unfortunately, due to the weather and elevation it is hard to reach the school without a hang glider. But luckily there's a large manufacturer nearby.

I doubt there's a lot of domestic animals though.. Probably more of a fishing society than nomadic.
 
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