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dradams

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    How do you think the University of South Florida medical school compares to the other med schools in Florida or how does its reputation stack up in general compared to other schools?
     

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      As far as I know, it's a relatively new school. UF is the most highly regarded school in Florida and I would think Miami is second, esp. with Jackson Memorial as their teaching hospital. USF would have to be 3...Just my opinion though.
       

      MEDicated

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        i actually disagree with facted......i do think UF is probably regarded as the best school in FL, although i don't think USF is far behind. They have the same #'s practically and USF has good outlets for medicine in Tampa...level I trauma, tampa general, etc. anyhow, i would say miami comes in 3rd place...especially considering the expenses you would pay to attend it as a private institution. but hey, i think all schools would give you a good education and i'd be happy to be at any of them.
         
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          I don't really know for sure, and I might be biased because I'm from S. Florida, but Miami has a much bigger name in the state than does USF. I don't know if tha'ts because it's been around much longer, but Miami is highly regarded in South Florida and USF is almost unheard of. Perahps the opposite can be said in Tampa...I don't know. I would agree with your friend though and choose UM over USF if money weren't an issue. Although, correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't USF now full tuition instate and out of state? It's no longer fully public (it takes out of staters beginning this year).
           

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            Originally posted by dradams
            What about Florida State's med school (the newest one)? How do you think a new school like that compares to others, especially the others in Florida?

            Not very well. It is barely getting by right now. They're working on it, but it's nowhere near the others yet. They have one building for the medical school. They actually almost lost or actually did lose their accredation last year when it was decided that they didn't have enough resources to run a medical school. That has since been cleared up, but it's a brand new school and reputation isn't high right now and I don't know what kind of training you get there. Perhaps there is someone on here who actually was in their first class who can comment further.
             

            meanderson

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              Originally posted by facted
              Not very well. It is barely getting by right now. They're working on it, but it's nowhere near the others yet. They have one building for the medical school. They actually almost lost or actually did lose their accredation last year when it was decided that they didn't have enough resources to run a medical school. That has since been cleared up, but it's a brand new school and reputation isn't high right now and I don't know what kind of training you get there. Perhaps there is someone on here who actually was in their first class who can comment further.

              Are the students not going to be able to do decent clinical rotations? If they can, FSU grads won't have any problems in the match. They may not match as well as top 20 grads, but I would be surprised if there will be a big difference between say....USF's match list and FSU's first few matches.

              Concerning USF.....I've heard(don't know how accurate it is), that they will accept some out of staters. But this doesn't mean in staters don't get instate tuition. Even if USF were to become private, there are still many private schools that get some $$$ from the state and have different tuition rates for in-state vs. out of state.
               

              MEDicated

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                USF is still relatively new....so im wondering how long ago your friend chose UM over USF dradams. i believe it's the 2nd or 3rd youngest med school in our country (30 yrs)....not sure. what i'm trying to say is that USF is much better today than it was 10-15 yrs ago.

                the only comparison i can quantify b/w UM and USF is that USF has a more difficult admissions process. the GPA and MCAT scores are higher at USF. It's interesting that they're going to accept some out of state applicants this year, but that doesnt change the fact that they're public and will still be cheaper for in-state residents than miami.

                then again, i have received interviews at USF and UF, but not miami. im just realizing that i don't know anything anymore and that this process is ridiculous. right when you believe you're starting to understand things, it all changes.

                basically, i think USF will get a bigger name eventually, but you're right.....if you travel out in the midwest and mention the two medical schools, i would tend to think more people would recognize miami. then again, more people in cali would recognize "univ of florida" over a school like "davidson." does that mean it's better.....nope.
                 

                Pegasus7

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                  Hey. I'm from South Florida too and I've been attending UF as an undergrad. If you are judging based on reputation alone, UF or UM come in first depending on who you ask. Either side will give you compelling reasons as to why their school is superior. USF is generally regarded at a lower level than either of those. The most common reason I hear for this is that they are relatively new and don't have the huge resources and facilities that UF and UM have. Again, I speak from rumor and I have never seen USF. Florida State gets no respect around here. It is a small school and the medical school (last I heard which was 4-5 months ago), was being housed in an old building while their new building was being constructed. It's up and coming, so you can expect a lot of the difficulties that come with that. Of the four, FSU is the only one I would not want to attend.

                  In regards to USF, this is the first year they are accepting out of state applications. However, I do not believe this changes the tuition for state residents.
                   
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                  mlw03

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                    ok, so i have a theory as to a contributing factor in why usf may not get the "respect" that um and uf do. SPORTS. um and uf get constant state and national exposure for their sports teams, while usf sports do not. you hear a name often enough and it begins to stick.

                    as for usf being on a lower tier than um... well, IF this is so, and i think that's a big if, then i'd really like to know why. their mcat and gpa are slightly higher and neither one of them is us news ranked. both have large public hospitals for their teaching facilities. some may say miami is a better place to live than tampa, but that has nothing to do with the schools.

                    as for uf being given more respect among floridians... well, this is probably true, for reasons given earlier regarding usf's newness, and uf's research. i think because of that uf may get the more competitive in-state students, but looking at their match lists and mcat/gpa scores there is no reason to think either is appreciably better than the other. each has their advantages and disadvantages, but i don't see a convincing case for either's outright supremacy.
                     

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                      mlw: not sure where you got your information, but Jackson Memorial is a much more highly regarded hospital than any of the Tampa hospitals. There are some numbers on that on the USnews hopsitals site if you want to take a look.

                      Anyway, Miami is ranked on the USnews 2003 too (#56). Florida is #43. USF is not in the top 67 (they only rank 1-67).

                      In addition, UM's research, though not at the top of any chart, is far above USF's (about triple).

                      In general, I just think Miami carries a much better name outside the state of florida than does USF. I'm not sure you can argue against that (and I don't think it's just the football...)
                       

                      maswe12

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                        All Florida med schools are relatively young (none more than 60 yrs old). And probably all are "up and coming" on the national scene. That being said, USF certainly has the weakest name recognition of the three. I didnt know it was a good school until after I applied to schools. Not having a good sports team has a small effect, but USF doesnt have the big name hospital (i.e. Shands or Jackson) or a big institution (UF, UM to a lesser degree) behind it. That being said, the name recognition of a med school isnt going to change the education you get there---and from what I hear USF offers a great medical education. I think UF attracts most of the top FL applicants, but I cant see how anyone would turn down USF in favor of UM. Its cheaper, your patients speak english, and you still get the urban clinical training. I wasnt all that impressed with Miami when I was there. The clinical experience seemed great but some of the students seemed flaky. Also I heard more about what they do at night in Miami than what the school offered. Maybe I just had a bad tourguide--but after my interview I was under the impression that UF was in a totally different league than UM. I think USF is too--I wish I would have applied there.
                         

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                          Originally posted by maswe12
                          but I cant see how anyone would turn down USF in favor of UM. Its cheaper, your patients speak english

                          Are you assuming that your ideal medical practice will only accept english speakers? Working in an ER for a while, I can tell you that you're in for a HUGE suprise...I would actually say that going to school somewhere where you get more diverse patients is actually a positive.
                           

                          drlexygoat

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                            A note on FSU...

                            I think they're REALLY hurting this year. They've got a few things working against them, in my opinion. First, they start in MAY, which can prohbit students from attending if they need summer classes. Secondly, they require biochem 2! What's up with that? That's pretty much unheard of right now at most medical schools. Lastly, they're still working on their final accredidation, I believe. I'm sure they'll get it, eventually, though.

                            I actually turned down my interview at FSU just because I was a little squeamish at attending such a new school.

                            I've got an invite at USF soon (any pearls of wisdom, anyone?) . I've got an accepatnce to UM and I know it'll be hard to decide if I get into USF. I've heard everyone's getting waitlisted at USF at this point anyway, though.

                            This is a good discussion on this thread- keep it up.
                             

                            maswe12

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                              Originally posted by facted
                              Are you assuming that your ideal medical practice will only accept english speakers? Working in an ER for a while, I can tell you that you're in for a HUGE suprise...I would actually say that going to school somewhere where you get more diverse patients is actually a positive.


                              I understand that you will see many different types of people and you need training in a diverse an environment. BUT I personally want to learn at a hospital where english is the primary language (among patients) and where there is a sampling of patients with diverse backgrounds.
                               

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                                Originally posted by maswe12
                                I understand that you will see many different types of people and you need training in a diverse an environment. BUT I personally want to learn at a hospital where english is the primary language (among patients) and where there is a sampling of patients with diverse backgrounds.

                                That's fine, but I think you're jumping to conclusions by saying that English is not hte main language at Jackson and that you'll get the "samplin gof patients with diverse backgrounds" at Tampa. Perhaps you will, but as far as I know, Tampa isn't the most diverse city in the world.
                                 

                                maswe12

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                                  Originally posted by facted
                                  That's fine, but I think you're jumping to conclusions by saying that English is not hte main language at Jackson and that you'll get the "samplin gof patients with diverse backgrounds" at Tampa. Perhaps you will, but as far as I know, Tampa isn't the most diverse city in the world.

                                  To be perfectly honest, I dont know much about Tampa, although I always thought it also had a sizable hispanic population. Part of what makes Jackson so great is that is serves an indigent patient base---which in that part of Miami will mean a significant amount of the immigrants from Haiti, Cuba etc. Its a pure assumption though the majority of the patients will not speak english. Maybe someone that goes to UM can help us out.
                                   

                                  drlexygoat

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                                    Originally posted by maswe12
                                    To be perfectly honest, I dont know much about Tampa, although I always thought it also had a sizable hispanic population. Part of what makes Jackson so great is that is serves an indigent patient base---which in that part of Miami will mean a significant amount of the immigrants from Haiti, Cuba etc. Its a pure assumption though the majority of the patients will not speak english. Maybe someone that goes to UM can help us out.

                                    I'm from Tampa and it's true that there is a sizable hispanic population. Moreso, there is an even larger African American population in Tampa.

                                    You should see a pretty broad background at any major Tampa hospital. However, NO hospital in Tampa has even close to the number of patients as Jackson Memorial.
                                     
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                                    MEDicated

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                                      Originally posted by facted
                                      mlw:

                                      Anyway, Miami is ranked on the USnews 2003 too (#56). Florida is #43. USF is not in the top 67 (they only rank 1-67).

                                      In addition, UM's research, though not at the top of any chart, is far above USF's (about triple).



                                      ok.....not sure why i find myself defending USF (maybe it's a sign of where i should go), but i just wanted to list some #'s

                                      1) According to the National Science Foundation, USF ranks 29th in the country in "medical research and development expenditures" in the most recent study: UF = 41, Miami = 44.
                                      so to say that miami is 3 times as strong in research is far-fetched. although im still puzzled how USF is ahead of UF....so that study is questionable.

                                      2) Admissions; USF = Avg MCAT = 30.1, GPA = 3.70 1750 applicants, 100 seats.

                                      Miami = Avg MCAT = 29.2, GPA = 3.60, 2,100 applicants, 148 seats.


                                      Ultimately, i think a lot of these "rankings" and "studies" are very subjective. they try to be objective and make it all mathematical, but why denote a certain area a certain percentage of the rank. As much as we look at US News for rankings, i think it's kinda BS.
                                      USF and miami could be equivalent, but i don't believe miami is better than south florida.
                                       

                                      MEDicated

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                                        WHile NIH funding is very important, it is only part of the total equation. USF garnered $255 million in research funding last year....so the $30 million they got from NIH was only a small percentage.
                                         

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                                          Originally posted by MEDicated
                                          WHile NIH funding is very important, it is only part of the total equation. USF garnered $255 million in research funding last year....so the $30 million they got from NIH was only a small percentage.

                                          Could you give a link for that #?

                                          According to this link, 87 million dollars in funding went to the USF college of medicine in 2002-2003.

                                          http://www.research.usf.edu/vpfr/publications/FY02-03/USF_FY02-03_grants.pdf

                                          From this link, Miami school of medicine had 243 million in the same time period.

                                          http://www.med.miami.edu/research/
                                           

                                          MedNole

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                                            Just to clear up some stuff...
                                            FSU's new building will be complete this Fall, so there is no need to worry about being in the old facilities. The new $63 million biomedical sciences building will be the nicest facility in the state for 1st and 2nd year students.
                                            Also, our 3rd and 4th year rotations are in your choice of Pensacola, Orlando, Tallahassee, Sarasota, and by the time you guys get here, Jacksonville and Ft. Myers will be up and running. So, there is definitely a lot of choices with where you can spend your last two years of med school.
                                            FSU has the highest level of accredidation that a new medical school can receive, and we will (undoubtedly) receive full accredidation next year when we are first eligible for it.
                                            Let me give you a little advice, from someone who was recently in you guys' shoes. Make sure your choice of medical school is based on the right reason. While reputation is an important thing to consider, you also need to choose a place and situation that fits you best. Medical school is much more than going to classes and graduating....it's living your life for the next four years. I won't go into all the reasons, but I (and many of my classmates) chose FSU over the other "prestigious" in state schools, and I guarantee that not a single one of us regret it. We have much smaller classes, where students aren't competitive, and there is a "family feeling" between students, faculty, and admin. I love this place and I'm so glad I ended up here. Plus the girls are hotter than anywhere else I've ever been.
                                            (All this coming from a lifetime gator who did his undergrad at UF and still bleeds orange and blue).
                                            Also, reputation among pre-meds is not what determines a school's worth or prestige. If you know someone who can tell you the average USMLE scores from the state school's this past year (including FSU), you might be very surprised.
                                             

                                            mlw03

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                                              i'm not quite sure why this has gotten people so riled up. the reality is that all 3 of the established state schools are pretty good. each has some advantages (cost, location, research, etc), so for those of us fortunate enough to get into more than one, deciding between them is a nice problem to have. so it's a matter of deciding which schools' advantages suit you best. just the fact that their admissions stats are so similar is pretty indicative that they're all pretty much in the same ballpark.

                                              i don't know much about fsu, so i won't comment beyond saying that it's important to note that their mission statement says their goal is to train primary care docs for underserved areas, and it does seem that the program is set up that way. so if you wanna be a neurosurgeon i'd stay away from fsu, but if you wanna be a pediatrician i'm sure you'd be in good shape up in tally. too bad the nole suck!!! :laugh: (j/k... sorta)

                                              if there are any CURRENT student at any of these schools who regret their decision to go where they went, would you mind sharing yours reasons why? hopefully no one will chime up for this, but if so it could be very helpful to some of us.
                                               
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                                              meanderson

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                                                Originally posted by mlw03

                                                i don't know much about fsu, so i won't comment beyond saying that it's important to note that their mission statement says their goal is to train primary care docs for underserved areas, and it does seem that the program is set up that way.

                                                There are a number of schools across the country which have such a mission statement. The bottom line is that the school cannot prevent any graduate from matching in anesthesiology, surgery, emergency medicine, radiology, etc. The advisors may recommend certain things, but who cares? They aren't the ones who submit your eras application.

                                                If you are set on derm or ortho you may have more trouble coming from a school like FSU, but for most semi-competitive specialties the reality of the situation is that any good allopathic graduate will match somewhere. Just pointing out that anyone who goes to schools like FSU aren't required to do FP, IM, or obgyn.
                                                 

                                                sabrinafair84

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                                                  If you ask anyone in Florida they will say that UF is definitely the best one, hands down. Pretty much everyone in Florida wants to go to UF for medical school except those that can't stand Gainesville as a town (very podunk). A good friend of mine goes to USF and when I interviewed there in late February she asked me why I was even interviewing there if I had been accepted to UF. "Don't you know that everyone at USF just wants to go to UF?", she asked me.
                                                  Having said that, I think that USF would probably be second in the state, maybe tied with Miami. USF actually might be a little ahead in fact, just because Miami is private and expensive for in-staters. I would not go to FSU. As someone said before, it gets no respect here.
                                                  Oh yeah, and when I interviewed in February at USF they were still interviewing for spots in the class. I think they had something like 40 spots left then. I know I was surprised because I thought it was a lot so late in the interviewing season. And even if you don't get in right after your interview-- they let you know a week and a half later-- USF has a lot of waitlist movement. Just be prepared to be called in June for a spot when classes start in August, as happened to my friend.
                                                   

                                                  mlw03

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                                                    damn good point. in the spirit of productive discussion, how about the grading policies? uf has 5 tiers, usf has 4 tiers. not a significant different IMO. also, what about usf's re-taking of tests? they just briefly mentioned it on my interivew, but i think it's a neat idea that would encourage collaboration (analogous to what doctors do in practice).

                                                    Originally posted by zinjanthropus
                                                    the last post is not at all true and this thread is growing a bit silly. for those of us chosing between the florida medical schools, it would be useful to discuss some tangible differences between the programs instead of misguided and undergraduate perceptions of the reputation of that institute.
                                                     

                                                    davika0

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                                                      I just thought I'd throw my knowledge in for people who are still interviewing at USF:

                                                      USF had only filled 89 of 115 spots as of last week. Mr. Larkin said they are using a new scoring paradigm and filling the class EXTREMELY slowly, only accepting an average of 4 candidates per interview day and there are only 4 left, so they won't even fill the class by the end of their interview season.

                                                      As someone choosing between these 3 FL schools and private out of state schools (Wake & Emory), I'm interested if anyone that has made this decision in the past has anything to say about it, i.e. was out of state private worth it? Do people who stayed in state ever regret it?

                                                      Also - since we've pretty much concluded these places are very similar, maybe someone could comment on some other factors, like the city. Ever since I got into UM I've been trying to find someone who enjoys the city and have failed. I also don't see any redeeming qualities about Gainesville, seems kinda just an undergraduate party mecca, can someone tell me otherwise? For me it seems Tampa is the best of the 3 but USFs facilities are so spread out that I worry about the commutes. I'd appreciate any local knowledge, especially from people who have spent time in more than one of them.
                                                       

                                                      mlw03

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                                                        well, i can talk a little bit about tampa stuff since i grew up there. the traffic sucks - there's no way around it. the city has grown way faster than road construction can keep up. as for the usf facilities being spread out, the VA and moffitt are on the med school campus, so that's easy, and there's also the usf physician's clinics on site. tgh is a decent little drive from the main campus, at least 20 minutes even with favorable traffic. some of the stuff on the pinellas county side of the bay are a good 45 minute drive.

                                                        i can also confirm that, in my opinion, your assessment of gainesville is pretty much right on.


                                                        Originally posted by davika0

                                                        Also - since we've pretty much concluded these places are very similar, maybe someone could comment on some other factors, like the city. Ever since I got into UM I've been trying to find someone who enjoys the city and have failed. I also don't see any redeeming qualities about Gainesville, seems kinda just an undergraduate party mecca, can someone tell me otherwise? For me it seems Tampa is the best of the 3 but USFs facilities are so spread out that I worry about the commutes. I'd appreciate any local knowledge, especially from people who have spent time in more than one of them.
                                                         

                                                        maswe12

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                                                          How bad is Gainesville to live in? It seems so isolated...esp since i've lived in Philly for the past 5 yrs but every one Ive talked to seems to like it. Is there any sort of oasis from the undergrads there? Are there bars/areas where grad students congregate?
                                                           

                                                          zinjanthropus

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                                                            I second MLW's comments. I grew up in Tampa and still visit regularly. Overall, I think the city is a nice place. I would prefer to live in South Tampa or Seminole Heights but that makes the commute to USF kinda crapphy (275 and fowler suck). However, it would pay-off if you did your rotations at TGH or in St. Pete.

                                                            There is plenty to do in the city; bars are cheap and open late, real estate is relatively inexpensive both to rent and buy, and there are 3 pro-sports teams. In addition, beaches are close by and weather is favorable. Overall, the city is designed decently with nice public spaces and areas like Ybor, Channelside, and Hyde Park being attractive.

                                                            If you consider cost and quality, I think Tampa does pretty well in comparison to the more homogenous and predictable Gainesville. I currently live in a college town (Ann Arbor) and I don't think I could handle moving to an even smaller college town during medical school that is certainly characterized by typical college bars, parties, etc. This could be appealing for some people, but just not for me at this point of my life.

                                                            Miami was unexpectedly attractive to me. I spent the entire weekend of my interview exploring the city with my wife and we were impressed by most areas and suprised to find that much of the city is relatively clean (e.g. north miami near FIU, coral gables, bricknell, the groves). In addition, having 4 pro sports teams and plenty of bars-resturaunts are also attractive commodities. However, the nightlife is sooo much more expensive than in Tampa's Ybor city, making it to much of a hassle for me to want to deal with. However, the Jackson campus is awesome - I was very impressed with the hospital, research centers, and medical school proximity to each other. I think that this would make a great atmosphere for a student. The traffic, of course, seemed to be even worse than Tampa, but I suppose the metro rail could alleviate this a bit. Overall, the cost factor doesn't compare to Tampa (both in terms of the city and in terms of Miami's tuition) but the quality factor is pretty high.
                                                             

                                                            sabrinafair84

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                                                              I'm sorry if my last post seemed troll-like. :( I shouldn't have dissed on FSU like that at all. I guess it's that Gator spirit getting to me (who knows where it came from?).

                                                              I would like to say that what my friend at USF said is absolutely true. Of course that was her opinion only and we didn't take a poll of the entire class or anything when I was there. I'm sure there are many people who love being at USF and picked it over UF. I know someone who did that because he liked the school and city better. Ditto with FSU. I guess my friend's first choice was UF however, and she was disappointed when she didn't get in.

                                                              Tampa is a good city, much better than Gainesville I think. There are a lot more things to do: better restaurants, better clubs, etc. Some of the roads are scary to me though because there's a lot of construction. Gainesville is a very small city with outrageous traffic problems because there are only 4 main roads. There isn't much to do here, but there are some people who like the atmosphere. Miami is the biggest of these cities and is pretty nice and lively. People there drive pretty crazy though, so watch out! I don't much like it, but then I've only been there once so I'm not an expert. I'm from Tallahassee and it is pretty small. It's a college town like Gainesville, but since it's also the capitol there's some non-college activity going on.
                                                               

                                                              zinjanthropus

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                                                                Hi Sabrina-

                                                                I think if your friend were to poll the entire USF class she would find that many of the students chose USF over UF. I understand what you mean about the general notion of superiority that UF carries in Florida, but I really do think it is just that...a notion; it is a great school and a great program....as are USF and Miami. I can't really comment on FSU because I don't know much about the program and they haven't spoken to me since I submitted my secondary!

                                                                It's true that the road construction in Tampa makes driving a little risky near the downtown interchange..horrible right now...but no worse than any other city I suppose.
                                                                 

                                                                gujuDoc

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                                                                  Hello I'm a premed at USF, and have lived in Florida my whole life.


                                                                  Here are some statistics:

                                                                  UF is number 43 in the USNEWS research rankings

                                                                  UM is number 56 is USNEWS research rankings


                                                                  USF is not even ranked

                                                                  Here is the differences, USF as someone pointed out is fairly new. They have a 92% USMLE passing rate and produce more clinical physicians than research physicians.


                                                                  however, if I got accepted at Miami or UF, I would go to one of those two over USF. USF's only plus is that they have a great variety in hospital facilities they use bw the VA, TGH, All children's, Moffit, Shriner's and the many others, you get a greater variety in what you see.
                                                                   

                                                                  zinjanthropus

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                                                                    Again, you can't say one thing is "USFs only plus"....it depends on what you are looking for...

                                                                    one reason I am considering USF over UF and Miami is that USF has the only accredited School of Public Health out of the three. In addition, they have a great anthropology department that has medical anthropologists connected to the local migrant farmer population. Furthermore, USF is cheap compared to Miami. Many people might not care about these factors.

                                                                    My point is simply that the advantages of a particular program are for an individual to figure out based on their own interests.
                                                                     

                                                                    shadow

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                                                                      My decision is coming down to UM vs. USF. I didn't much care for the atmosphere at UF med school (a bit childish, I thought) and I don't think I could handle Gainesville again, though it was a great place to be for undergrad.

                                                                      I think FSU will end up being a good med school (the faculty members seem very dedicated), but I don't think I'm up for all the bumps in the road or for living in Tallahassee.

                                                                      I am really torn between USF and Miami. I have friends at USF so I think I have a better feel for it than Miami. For me, the pros of USF are: tuition, a decent amount of early clinical training, a laid-back city. The cons are: lack of diversity, ugly facilities, and being "babied" by faculty (a common complaint). The pros of Miami are: lots of clinical experience from the very beginning (is this an accurate impression???), flexibility (classes online, faculty seem willing to accommodate whatever experiences the students want to have), Jackson--patient load, patient diversity, proximity to school, plenty of outreach experiences (rural FL, Keys, Haiti, etc.). The cons are: tuition and possibly the city.

                                                                      I think the biggest unknown for me is the lifestyle of both Miami and Tampa. I'm a pretty laidback, outdoorsy person and I think Tampa might suit me better. If anyone reading this has spent time in Miami, I'd love to hear your opinion. Are there relaxed places to hang out in Miami? Are there natural areas, parks, etc. to get away to? Are there places for students to live other than Brickell and South Beach? Not high rises? On the other hand, I enjoy diversity, and my impression of Tampa is that it's not very diverse. And I'm not sure how much there is to do there, nightlife or anytime. Anyone from Tampa have a comment?

                                                                      I plan to visit both places again before making my decision. I think it will probably come down to which place gives me a better feeling.

                                                                      Anyone else have the same questions/concerns?
                                                                       
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