Sep 2, 2011
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Pre-Medical
Hi everyone,

I was recently accepted to these schools, and I'm having a difficult time choosing between the two. I ultimately want to pursue an MD/MBA. Here is the pro con list. I'm from Cali and I really don't want to leave the amazing sunshine here. I'm afraid of Wisconsin winters. Plus Irvine has a well-established joint MD/MBA. Though Madison has several strong pros in its favor as well. Would appreciate any and all advice!


UC Irvine (rank 42/66)

PROS:


1. Technology - iPAD, iMedED, Ultrasound initiative

2. CALIFORNIA - great weather

3. Great joint MD/MBA

4. Smaller class (104 students)

5. Great for emergency medicine/trauma

6. Spanish/diverse patients

CONS:

1. Not as high ranking (42/66)

2. MBA not from GREAT school

3. more expensive (48k tuition)

4. Not that good hospital for rotations


UW-Madison (rank 28/14)
PROS:



1. Better rankings (27/18), better MD for securing residency

2. Less expensive (33k tuition)

3. GREAT hospital/facilities(UW) for rotations.

4. Great out of state scholarship aid

5. Can still do MBA separately at UW


CONS:

1. No iPADS, less technology

2. No MD/MBA

3. COLD COLD COLD.

4. Bigger class (180 students)

 

Starry

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Cheaper ftw. For technology, remember that you're paying more tuition for it; why not just buy your own iPad with what you save?

The only other serious consideration would be the weather.

The MBA, in my opinion, shouldn't weigh very heavily in your decision. I've read on here about MD/MBAs saying it isn't really a big deal. Plus, MBAs are not super-valued unless it's from a fantastic school. So yeah.....
 

CyberMaxx

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I'll bite, though I don't have experience with either of these schools (also, I think this thread should go in the school-specific section). My understanding from what you have said is that you have to compare location and money. UCI allows you to stay in California while UWM has lower tuition and (I'm assuming) lower cost of living. I think you have to decide on an intellectual level whether you prefer to save money or live in a great location, and you have decide on an emotional level which school will make you happier ('fit' plus other intangibles).

I wouldn't worry about rank. Both are good schools and neither will limit your future options. Besides, why let USN&WR tell you how good a school is when you've actually been there yourself and scoped it out?

Congrats on the great acceptances, best of luck choosing! :luck:
 

sector9

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Moving thread to "School specific discussions"
 

Flashfan

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It seems to me that a CA resident that gets to stay in CA is also at an advantage to get CA residencies, and that is a plus if you want to practice in CA.
If I could get back to CA I would stay forever.
 

cooksgenes

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I am facing the same dilemma (kinda): UC Davis versus University of Wisconsin. I would add 2 more CONS into your list for UW: Letter grades for 2nd, 3rd and 4th year + rotations outside of Madison.

For me, before interview: I would totally choose UW over Davis because of better ranking and those PROS you listed, but during interview: I felt the stress among MS2s (who interviewed me) at UW, while UC Davis students seemed very happy. Now I feel Davis is a better fit, while UW might give me a better (but more challenging) future.
 
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I am inclined to say a ranking in the upper 20s and low 40s is not a huge difference in the big scope of things. Both are either considered impressive, or both are not impressive depending on who you talk to. It's not like we're comparing Cornell to like Creighton or whatever. Besides, being from CA, I am almost sure a large majority of people will say UCI >> UW just based on the fact that UW just doesn't carry as much weight to many people because they at least know what UCI is (from undergrad).

In short: after the top 10 or 20, the rankings are not so important and things like cost are more important in my opinion

Edit: If you're a CA resident I'm pretty sure tuition is not 48k
 
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OP
M
Sep 2, 2011
22
10
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Pre-Medical
Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies. I should clarify, I'm not a CA resident, just went to UCLA so I feel like i'm from Cali haha. UW is 16k cheaper each year than UCI, and may give a more substantial aid award (have yet to be seen). But yeah I agree, the ranking difference is marginal at best. I guess the biggest pro for UCI is the weather/lifestyle, and biggest pro for UW is cheaper/better. I just don't know how much I should be factoring weather/lifestyle into the equation when (1) madison is supposed to be super fun and (2) i'll be studying too much to notice the weather/cold too much...

@cooksgenes: great to know someone in a very similar boat. So which one are you leaning towards right now, Davis? ehh I don't know if the state-wide rotations are too big of a negative besides the slight inconvenience, but yeah i get what you're saying
 
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cooksgenes

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@cooksgenes: great to know someone in a very similar boat. So which one are you leaning towards right now, Davis? ehh I don't know if the state-wide rotations are too big of a negative besides the slight inconvenience, but yeah i get what you're saying
I did not think that was too big of a deal either... but I read on SDN here some Cali people, who attended UW SMPH, had horrible experiences outside of Madison... Besides, because of letter grades and different teaching/grading styles among rotation sites/ instructors, it's indeed a big factor to consider... Personally, I am sick of this whole GPA thing - people would go crazy over the A's. I totally understand why the MS2s who interviewed me were very stressed out :oops:

In term of costs, UW SMPH is definitely cheaper even for OOS students.
Specifically, in Madison, it's 56k for OOS inc. tuition fees + everything else (46k for IS). Plus I heard UWSMPH is very generous to OOS people - they are willing to drop the OOS difference... At the same time, I will have to pay 60k at Davis (I am a California resident).

However, I know fit and happiness are way more important - so I am leaning towards Davis right now :)

P/S: I am a Bruin as well, c/o 2012
 
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solitarius

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Grades. I heard Irvine has grades for all four years, so Wisconsin has the edge in that regard.

Lifestyle. It depends how you define high-quality lifestyle. Irvine is a boring campus located in the expensive, but boring area called Orange County. How in the world is this a great lifestyle for a medical student? Meanwhile, Wisconsin is one of the top party schools in the country with a very active social life on campus. I'd give the edge to Wisconsin here.

The only edges I'd give to Irvine is the weather, ocean, and if you're dead-set on staying in California for residency.
 

pyrrion89

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Grades. I heard Irvine has grades for all four years, so Wisconsin has the edge in that regard.
Irvine is P/F for preclinical years, but it has a hidden ranking system (i.e., they keep track of your performance, use that to rank you by the end of the fourth year). That rank is reported when the Dean or whoever writes your letter of recommendation for your residency applications, not as a "2/100" but more like "performed at the top of his class", "performed in the top half of his class," or... "performed in a satisfactory manner."

Disclaimer: This is just based off my hazy memory of interview day at UCI talking to a med student there.

That being said, I'd still take UCI over UW just because it's in California, and I'd want to stay in California for residency compared to the Midwest, and being at UCI will make it easier to stay in California, while attending UW seems like you'd have to struggle to get your foot into a California residency slot.
 

Jennyfishy

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As a CA resident with no love from CA but an acceptance to uwsmph, I think two of the most important "pros" any CA school has over madison is the future investment in staying in CA for residency and the diversity of patients you will work with (if you know spanish, you may not have much use for it in badger territory).

However, it is also possible to land a residency in CA and come back (i know a few who did), even if it wont be easy :p.

The outside rotations thing seem variable and boil down to your own flexibility and willingness to let go of the fact that you wont receive all your clinical training in madison. If you can get in touch with current M3s, it may be worth your time to research it further and ask those questions. There are clearly some folks who dont like this concept, yet the students i talked to and the school insists it helps prepare their med students to be amaze-balls.

I am in love with the preceptorship and close mentoring uw-m offers, as the students seemed really close with the faculty who seemed genuinely invested in them.

In the end, it'll boil down to which school you see yourself growing the most and being happiest at. Your goal is to be the best physician you can be, and for some in your shoes, it will be uci. For others, uwmsph. Good luck and congrats :)
 

alpinism

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Nov 6, 2011
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Hi everyone,

I was recently accepted to these schools, and I'm having a difficult time choosing between the two. I ultimately want to pursue an MD/MBA. Here is the pro con list. I'm from Cali and I really don't want to leave the amazing sunshine here. I'm afraid of Wisconsin winters. Plus Irvine has a well-established joint MD/MBA. Though Madison has several strong pros in its favor as well. Would appreciate any and all advice!


UC Irvine (rank 42/66)

PROS:


1. Technology - iPAD, iMedED, Ultrasound initiative

2. CALIFORNIA - great weather

3. Great joint MD/MBA

4. Smaller class (104 students)

5. Great for emergency medicine/trauma

6. Spanish/diverse patients

CONS:

1. Not as high ranking (42/66)

2. MBA not from GREAT school

3. more expensive (48k tuition)

4. Not that good hospital for rotations


UW-Madison (rank 28/14)
PROS:

1. Better rankings (27/18), better MD for securing residency

2. Less expensive (33k tuition)

3. GREAT hospital/facilities(UW) for rotations.

4. Great out of state scholarship aid

5. Can still do MBA separately at UW

CONS:

1. No iPADS, less technology

2. No MD/MBA

3. COLD COLD COLD.

4. Bigger class (180 students)
I wouldn't call UCI great for EM/trauma…

Unless they changed things since 2010 surgery runs the traumas.

USC and Harbor-UCLA are much stronger programs in SoCal.

I would also highly suggest getting your MBA at a good business school (not UCI or UW). Either take a year off between M2/M3 or wait till after med school.

All in all you'll have a slightly better chance of matching in CA if you go to UCI. However, UW has a stronger national reputation and would give you a better chance of matching at top programs in any state.

Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies. I should clarify, I'm not a CA resident, just went to UCLA so I feel like i'm from Cali haha. UW is 16k cheaper each year than UCI, and may give a more substantial aid award (have yet to be seen). But yeah I agree, the ranking difference is marginal at best. I guess the biggest pro for UCI is the weather/lifestyle, and biggest pro for UW is cheaper/better. I just don't know how much I should be factoring weather/lifestyle into the equation when (1) madison is supposed to be super fun and (2) i'll be studying too much to notice the weather/cold too much...

@cooksgenes: great to know someone in a very similar boat. So which one are you leaning towards right now, Davis? ehh I don't know if the state-wide rotations are too big of a negative besides the slight inconvenience, but yeah i get what you're saying
Depends on how important weather is in your day to day life. Do you like doing a ton of outdoor activities (running, hiking, surfing, sailing, etc…) that require good weather or is it mostly a convenience issue?
 
OP
M
Sep 2, 2011
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Pre-Medical
Great posts guys.

I recognize the importance of getting an MBA from a top business school, so I guess that's another notch against UCI. Na, I don't really enjoy outdoor activities, but like to go to the gym and stay very fit - so mostly a convenience issue. **** having to put on seven wool sweaters just to get my gym on.

ALSO - I would really love to secure a residency in either CA or like hip places on the east coast (Boston, NY, whatever), so you're right - UCI would give me a slight edge. But i suppose step 1 scores and rotation grades mean a lot more for getting top notch **** anyway.

@cooksgenes: where did you get our Madison fees from? I specifically remember them saying OOS tuition is 33k + other fees or whatever. 56? whaaaat
 
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cooksgenes

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Great posts guys.

I recognize the importance of getting an MBA from a top business school, so I guess that's another notch against UCI. Na, I don't really enjoy outdoor activities, but like to go to the gym and stay very fit - so mostly a convenience issue. **** having to put on seven wool sweaters just to get my gym on.

ALSO - I would really love to secure a residency in either CA or like hip places on the east coast (Boston, NY, whatever), so you're right - UCI would give me a slight edge. But i suppose step 1 scores and rotation grades mean a lot more for getting top notch **** anyway.

@cooksgenes: where did you get our Madison fees from? I specifically remember them saying OOS tuition is 33k + other fees or whatever. 56? whaaaat
It's on their website dude... I believe 33k is tuition only!
 

Jimsy

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Great posts guys.

I recognize the importance of getting an MBA from a top business school, so I guess that's another notch against UCI. Na, I don't really enjoy outdoor activities, but like to go to the gym and stay very fit - so mostly a convenience issue. **** having to put on seven wool sweaters just to get my gym on.

ALSO - I would really love to secure a residency in either CA or like hip places on the east coast (Boston, NY, whatever), so you're right - UCI would give me a slight edge. But i suppose step 1 scores and rotation grades mean a lot more for getting top notch **** anyway.

@cooksgenes: where did you get our Madison fees from? I specifically remember them saying OOS tuition is 33k + other fees or whatever. 56? whaaaat
Kobe Bryant works out at the UCI gym. I vote for UCI
 
OP
M
Sep 2, 2011
22
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Pre-Medical
Kobe? Damn that's a positive for UCI.

Thing is - I'm extremely wary about Irvine being boring as hell. I'm currently in Hanover, New Hampshire - literally the most boring location in the continental US. I am not okay with going somewhere equally as lame - but who's to say Madison is THAT much more fun, anyway? I wonder if there's anything to do besides drinking.
 
OP
M
Sep 2, 2011
22
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Yeah @cooksgenes, k you're talking about total. Well in that case - total UW is about 56k, while total at UCI nonresident would be 69k per year
 

cooksgenes

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Yeah @cooksgenes, k you're talking about total. Well in that case - total UW is about 56k, while total at UCI nonresident would be 69k per year
Yea, I was talking about the total amount... sorry for being unclear :p

At this point, I guess you should go with your gut (or where your heart belongs to). For me, I had that gut feeling for the campus, the medical center and students at Davis but not so much for the Sacramento area, whereas I absolutely loved Madison but was unsure abt the campus, the grading system and felt their students were a bit too stressed... So right now 80% it's gonna be Davis/California for me.

On that subject, what did you feel about the campus, the students at UCI vs UWSMPH? Where do you think you will enjoy the most because med school is really tough, and you will have to put up with so much **** for 4 years. Maybe that will give you a better idea of where you should go...
 
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kittykattat

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Kobe? Damn that's a positive for UCI.

Thing is - I'm extremely wary about Irvine being boring as hell. I'm currently in Hanover, New Hampshire - literally the most boring location in the continental US. I am not okay with going somewhere equally as lame - but who's to say Madison is THAT much more fun, anyway? I wonder if there's anything to do besides drinking.
Like anyone who has ever lived there... ever. haha there are a million things to do besides drink. great bike trails, two big lakes right on campus and any water sport you can think of (well not surfing- that one goes to UCI), top notch college athletics (grad/med students get first go at season football tickets, our basketball team is ranked #4 right now, hockey, etc.), one of the greatest densities of ethnically diverse restaurants in the country, the capital if you're into politics/rallies/all that fun stuff, also all the events on the cap square (farmers markets, concerts on the square, art fair on the square, taste of madison, etc.). You probably get the picture now :) And sorry if you already knew all this stuff, i just figured maybe no one at your interview told you based on the highlighted part above.

Anyway, it sounds like you are leaning towards UCI and I say go with your gut! Good luck in your decision!
 
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cooksgenes

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Like anyone who has ever lived there... ever. haha there are a million things to do besides drink. great bike trails, two big lakes right on campus and any water sport you can think of (well not surfing- that one goes to UCI), top notch college athletics (grad/med students get first go at season football tickets, our basketball team is ranked #4 right now, hockey, etc.), one of the greatest densities of ethnically diverse restaurants in the country, the capital if you're into politics/rallies/all that fun stuff, also all the events on the cap square (farmers markets, concerts on the square, art fair on the square, taste of madison, etc.). You probably get the picture now :) And sorry if you already knew all this stuff, i just figured maybe no one at your interview told you based on the highlighted part above.

Anyway, it sounds like you are leaning towards UCI and I say go with your gut! Good luck in your decision!
Hi kittykat! I am having the same dilemma and trying to make a decision between UC Davis vs UWSMPH now. My biggest issue with UWSMPH is the grading system and how it makes the students stressed (as I could feel during my interview day PLUS I have a friend - a 3rd year MD/PHD student - who told me 2nd year was really tough and stressful to her). Can you please share with me your opinion on these things?
 

kittykattat

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Hi kittykat! I am having the same dilemma and trying to make a decision between UC Davis vs UWSMPH now. My biggest issue with UWSMPH is the grading system and how it makes the students stressed (as I could feel during my interview day PLUS I have a friend - a 3rd year MD/PHD student - who told me 2nd year was really tough and stressful to her). Can you please share with me your opinion on these things?
Hello! So I am actually not a med student yet (in my fourth yr of undergrad at UW madison - will probably be going to UW SMPH next year - maybe we will be classmates!). I would agree with you that my biggest worry is also the grading system (to back track a bit, for those of you who were worried about the away rotations for clinicals, I have heard nothing but great things about them so do not worry about those!). The way I see it, it shouldnt be too bad having strict letter grade second year because we will have had a whole year to figure out what kind of studying works best for us. Additionally, all of the second years I have talked to say the atmosphere and lack of competitiveness really do not change btwn first and second year - people still share all of their study guides and resources, you just have to put more individual study hours in because it is more important to get more questions right on each exam - pretty much a memorization contest, like step 1 lol.

Additionally, a student I spoke with on my interview day did say the M2 grading is a hot topic at curriculum committee meetings, and that a lot of people are trying to change it so that students dont have to put so much more time in second year than first year, so there is a teensy possiblity that could happen in the next year and a half, though im trying not to get my hopes up and you probably shouldnt either!

If you have any more questions I know a handful of M2s that I would be happy to throw specific questions at if you want to PM me them as they come up! Also good luck with your decision this year! I've never been to Davis so I cant really compare them, but for me, I think that the clinical training you receive at UW SMPH is really unparalleled by any other non-top 20 schools (I work at UW hospital and docs who get residents from UW and compare them to the ones they get from other schools are constantly telling me this when I say I'm still deciding where to go next year) that it would be worth a year of graded work to be able to impress prospective residency programs on away elective rotations fourth year :)
 
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Tots

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Kobe? Damn that's a positive for UCI.

Thing is - I'm extremely wary about Irvine being boring as hell. I'm currently in Hanover, New Hampshire - literally the most boring location in the continental US. I am not okay with going somewhere equally as lame - but who's to say Madison is THAT much more fun, anyway? I wonder if there's anything to do besides drinking.
Irvine may not be the most exciting place in the world but remember you have the rest of Southern California at your fingertips. You are half way between San Diego and LA. You have the mountains and the beach close by. For more excitement you are just a few minutes from Newport Beach and you not very far from Disneyland(I miss Disneyland :(). Irvine itself though is slightly dull and the traffic is absolutely horrible.
 
OP
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@cooksgenes: i definitely got a friendlier and chiller vibe from students at Madison than at Irvine. That being said - both sets of med students seemed uber chill..

I am worried about the difference between teaching hospitals though - the UW Hospital system seems comprehensive and impressive, whereas I don't know much about the UC Irvine med center. Can anyone comment on the UCI teaching hospital? Is it far away from the medical campus? Also, anyone know about the gym/fitness facilities at UCI?

@kittykattat haha thanks for describing the splendor of Madison! Wow, that does seem super exciting. Another point for Madison.

Jesus this is hard.