JD428

Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2004
25
0
Visit site
Status
(I posted this in a thread about NYU, then thought that maybe it deserved its own thread and discussion)

I think that UChicago is the ultimate example of the flaws in US News' rankings algorithm. The school is truly amazing, and other medical professionals recognize it as such (hence its high reputation scores).

Ironically, one of the things that makes the school so great is also what seems to most hurt it in the rankings: by making a committment to admit the "best students", not simply the students with the best scores, their selectivity rank falls (10.3 avg MCAT, pretty low for a top school).

I think the only part of the rankings worth paying attention to is the reputation score (and the price tag...) - the other numbers, especially those related to selectivity, can be influenced by cynical admissions committies intent on raising their school's "quality" (as defined by USNWR).
 

JD428

Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2004
25
0
Visit site
Status
Should have mentioned this: I'm trying to decide between UChicago and Vanderbilt (for MSTP). Any opinions?
 

exmike

NOR * CAL
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 19, 2003
4,206
11
42
Bay Area
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Well since you're MSTP, the NIH funding DOES have a impact on you, and I think Vandy has a much higher NIH funding value right? Its probably a good rough measure of the amount of research and research resources available there. Something to consider.
 
About the Ads

CalBeE

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2003
2,062
1
Visit site
Status
I was accepted to Vanderbilt but waitlisted at Pritzker.

My guts feeling is that Vanderbilt is a more "progressive" school. Even though both schools have relatively traditional curriculum, but Vanderbilt tries to improve the school by developing the emphasis curriculum and multiple joint-degree programs.

However, U of Chicago seems to have a better name-recognition in biological sciences. The researchers in my lab have heard of both schools, but U of Chicago seems to have an edge in terms of reputation.
 

Trekkie963

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2004
359
0
37
California
Visit site
Status
I don't know much about differences between the schools that might be specific to MSTP and research, but just as far as med schools go I would definitely choose Vanderbilt. Everyone there is really friendly and seems happy. Better weather, too!

I also like Vanderbilt's curriculum with its inter-disciplinary focus.
 

MacGyver

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2001
3,757
5
Visit site
Status
US News needs to use USMLE scores as part of their criteria. I bet they would be happy to do so, but the impression I get is that med schools refuse to release the data on their USMLE scores.
 

pekq

Gunner
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2004
360
2
NJ
Visit site
Status
I bet NYMC would be more than happy to provide their USMLE avg score. I got a feeling a lot of highly ranked schools wouldn't look too hot if they posted their USMLE average.

US News could probably get those data if they really wanted to. After all, lots of schools refuse to provide data and just get the shaft. US News can simply shaft those that refuse to provide USMLE avg by not ranking them.

On the subject:
Vandy is a bit better than UChicago and would probably be cheaper. Location-wise, UChicago wins big time.
 

elias514

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2003
529
2
Visit site
Status
I don't think that USMLE scores really matter that much at top medical schools. Students at these places don't have to annihilate Step 1 and 2 to land a top residency spot. Even so, the student bodies of top medical schools are comprised of extremely bright and talented individuals, including plenty of freakishly good test takers, so I'm not so sure of the statement that top medical schools would be hesitant to release scores due to substandard performance.
 

Newquagmire

15+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2002
1,272
3
JD428 said:
Should have mentioned this: I'm trying to decide between UChicago and Vanderbilt (for MSTP). Any opinions?
congrats! post in pre-mstp for more directed advice on research.

my two cents: both are good schools with very good reputations in the biological sciences. my feeling on uchic is that the medical school leaves a bit to be wanted for, but i don't know much about vandy's med program. things to consider: do they both have good labs doing things you are interested in pursuing a phd in? do you want to live in nashvegas or chicago?!

i would pick uchic, but i'm biased b/c i love the city. i have friends in nashville who are 100% satisfied and happy, but it's not for me.
 

pekq

Gunner
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2004
360
2
NJ
Visit site
Status
elias514 said:
I don't think that USMLE scores really matter that much at top medical schools. Students at these places don't have to annihilate Step 1 and 2 to land a top residency spot. Even so, the student bodies of top medical schools are comprised of extremely bright and talented individuals, including plenty of freakishly good test takers, so I'm not so sure of the statement that top medical schools would be hesitant to release scores due to substandard performance.
The USMLE definetly does matter. I remember there was some data about average USMLE score needed for different residencies. Many have also pointed out that board score is the most important part of your application. I am not saying top20 schools do poorly on USMLE. I believe that if USMLE average was revealed, everyone will see that the averages are actually a lot more similar than the US News ranking would suggest.
 
About the Ads