venomouspinetree

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Hey everyone, I'm in a good but difficult situation. Trying to weigh my pros and cons of both of these great schools and would love any additional insight.


UC Davis
Pros
  • True P/F for M1 and M2.
  • Love the feel/culture of the school and student population.
  • From all my experiences and from what I've heard, the staff seem to bend over backwards for the students and anything they need.
  • My support system is near Sacramento.
Cons
  • Lower step 1 averages
  • Match list seems to be good, but slightly concerned with the small number of students matching in competitive specialties. Pretty hard to determine if its because its a primary care based school and thats where students want to go or if its the low step scores hindering their ability.
  • As of now I am interested in one of the more competitive specialties, so my concern is that the curriculum/resources would be less stellar compared to Irvine.


UC Irvine
Pros
  • High step 1 average score/ Good match list. (from what I can tell)
  • I like the area of Irvine better than Sac.
  • Also vibed really well with the students and the culture.
  • I get the impression I would have a better chance of matching a competitive specialty if I attend UCI compared to UCD. (One of the things I would like to hear if people agree or not.)
Cons
  • H/P/F for M2 and an internal ranking compared to UCD True P/F for m1 and m2.
  • Away from support system.

Summary: Mostly concerned about UCD ability provide resources/opportunities to the same level as UCI for staying competitive for certain specialties and weighing that against moving away from my support system. Absolutely loved both schools so I know there is no wrong answer, but wanted some other opinions.
 

Drekan311

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@Cookiess is the solid go-to for advices regarding UCI!

I was in your position just before the April 30th deadline and i did extensive research on both schools but my situation is largely different from yours. My entire support network is in Socal which favors UCI. For the most part, matching into competitive residency depends mostly on your personal performance in my opinion. I think both UCI and UCD have adequate resources to help you perform well but like you said, the lower step 1 score at UCD is a cause of concern but that could potentially be due to the primary care focus. Now, both schools have students matched into competitive residency but I noticed the significant difference in location preference. If you would like to practice in Norcal, maybe UCD is better since they have stronger networks there and vice versa for UCI.

The H/P/F grading at UCI isn't too big of a deal really because it seems that program directors care more about Step 1 and their learned knowledge of the quality of your medical school. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

All and all, UCI and UCD are relatively on the same par but definitely have different feel and focus. I don't see why you can't match into competitive residency at UCD! you should have a fair chance at both schools.

I think to make a decision you should look at other factors such as: financial aid, family, support network, Cost of Attendance etc... and research opportunities if you are interested! Academic wise i think both schools are fairly similar!
 

grateful_phys

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I think matching into a competitive speciality will work at either. I have lots of friends who matched into surgery and ortho from davis this year.. your step score is really up to you also vs the school. I don’t think Davis will hold you back.
 
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MDhopeful324

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I think matching into a competitive speciality will work at either. I have lots of friends who matched into surgery and ortho from davis this year.. your step score is really up to you also vs the school. I don’t think Davis will hold you back.

I agree with this 100%.
The reported low step avg and match list were of concern to me as well, but after speaking to current medical students and graduates I noticed that both could be attributed to the students. Most of them want to say in NorCal (usually within the UC Davis system) and go into family or internal medicine which explains the match list. That isn't to say that you can't match into something competitive or outside that area (although you do have a better shot of matching in Cali from UCD). I know plenty of people who have done that. As for the step 1 scores, that is dependent on you. Going to one school over another isn't going to guarantee you a higher score. A superstar will be a superstar regardless of where they go. As for resources, its a UC school. They have plenty.

Good luck! :)
 
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