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UCI vs NYU, I need to decide by tomorrow

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kocb, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. kocb

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    I need to decide between UCI and NYU by tomorrow. I was accepted by NYU off the waitlist and they need a response in the next couple of days. What are people's thoughts about the two schools? Thanks.
     
  2. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    Most would say NYU is the better school, but I would still pick UCI because its going to be alot cheaper.
     
  3. ihatescience

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    I would choose UCI. NYU is a great school but it's hard to beat CA and in-state tuition...!
     
  4. remo

    remo Senior Member
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    It all depends on where you want to live (i.e. big city vs. beach/suburbs). I also think getting back to CA for residency will be harder if you go to NYU. It really depends on where you want live both now and during residency.
     
  5. loganhayes

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    NYU for sure. Great school, great network, awesome location (the school itself, not just the city).
    Even if you want to go back to CA, NYU is still a more prestigious school than UCI. But if you care about beaches and all South Cal lifestyle, UCI is the way to go. But no other cities can beat NYC for their varieties and quality of food (among others). I like to eat, so I'll pick NYC in a heartbeat. Go NYU!
     
  6. neurofreak

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    if UCI is cheaper, then UCI

    if they come out to the same, then it all comes down to the city vs. suburban aspect
     
  7. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Well, what are you looking for in a school, OP?

    (I'd do NYU all the way, myself)
     
  8. blargh

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    california is a pretty damn great state to live in... and uci is CHEAP.
     
  9. alwaysaangel

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    Hey,

    Current MSI at UCI here. This is a compilation of a bunch of stuff people have asked over a while but it should give you some good info for your decision.

    My first year of med school has been about as pleasant as a year of med school could be. They eased us into it (only 1 class to start, anatomy doesn't start til' Thanksgiving), lots of social activities, FABULOUS classmates, friendly admin, plenty of extracurricular opportunities. Class 8-12 most days - PLENTY of free time. Ocean 10 minutes away, plenty of shopping opportunities, a state park 10 minutes south of campus, close to LA and SD. No block exams - which can be good and bad. Means you have a test most weeks but no scary massive cramming. 3 months of summer before second year. A USMLE step I prep course right on campus at the end of 2nd year (apparently these are really rare). I honestly believe that it doesn't get any better than this (but I'm biased ).

    If you guys have any questions let me know, we are putting together a survival guide for you guys about classes, profs, places to live, places to eat, things to do, so you will have plenty of resources this summer. But if you have any burning questions just PM me or better yet, post here so others can see the answers, I'll check this thread from time to time.


    Here's some questions someone asked me through email a while back about UCI.

    Quote:
    What is the overall focus of the school? Is it more geared toward producing good primary care doctors, or is it big on research, or something in between?
    The residency programs here in primary care are some of the top in the country - so this does bleed into the medical school 3rd and 4th year a bit. But there is also a heavy research presence here. We have 8 people in every class who are MD/PhD, and also a lot of opportunities for research. I'd say as of right now its somewhere in the middle between emphasizing research and primary care. Its certainly not a research powerhouse quite like Harvard or UCSF but its definitely up there.
    Quote:
    -What is the curriculum like at UCI? Is it a traditional curriculum? Does it include aspects of problem-based learning? Any unique features?
    Its traditional, but not as traditional as places like UCSD. UCSD is VERY traditional with class 8-5. Here at UCI 1st years have lecture 8-12 every weekday. And about once a week we have a clinical class which is small group. There isn't a lot of problem-based learning in the strictest sense (where you have a case before you really understand the basic sciences behind it). There may be second year - but I'm not there yet
    Second year is a bit tougher, right now they are 8-5 because of path labs. But after Christmas it will tame down so they can start studying for their boards.
    I'd say the clinical training is awesome, while not unique. Once a week you work with 5 other students and a doctor on standardized patients. Its more for interviewing skills than problem based learning. Although you are learning basic symptoms and diagnoses. At the same time every 3rd week or so instead of meeting with your group and a doctor you go with one other student to a community doctor and interview real patients in their practice. Thats pretty cool.
    Quote:
    -What is the clinical training like? (The Patient-Doctor course sounds great- really comprehensive. My aunt mentioned that she liked that she got to train in three different hospitals for her core areas and had a lot of freedom with her elective rotations.)
    The patient doctor course I described above. I don't know a lot about rotations yet since I'm not there but I have heard there is a ton of flexibility. Most are done at UCI medical center by default but there are tons of other hospitals in the area that you can choose from.
    Quote:
    -What community service activities are students involved in? (For example, from being an undergrad at UCLA, I know that they have a Mobile Clinic (provides basic medical care to the homeless in the area once a week) that they are really proud of. )
    We have a lot of programs like this.
    Flying Samaritans drive down to Mexico once a month to a clinic we built there to do a free clinic. Thats an awesome program.
    We are in the process of opening a fully running free clinic. It will open Jan 2008, and should be fully funded and functional by the time you guys get here next Fall. Its in Santa Ana and has a ton of potential because the need there is so high. It will be relatively small and once a week at first but we hope to help it grow overtime.
    There is already a referral clinic once a month in Santa Ana called Clinica Carino. It is done at a soup kitchen in Santa Ana.
    Quote:
    -Is there anything else that I haven't asked about which you really like about UCI?
    The social life here is ridiculous if you like that sort of thing. Don't get me wrong - my class is really smart but they go out a lot. So if you love having a night life - this is the place for you there is always something to do. The administration here is incredibly open and supportive - I have regular chats about life with the med ed office people, admission office receptionists etc. Its just a super friendly atmosphere.

    The one thing that some don't like is that its in Orange County. Its not the most cultured place in the world. I mean its really nice. You could walk down the street at 2am with your wallet in the air and be totally safe. But it doesn't have a lot of nice little hole in the wall cheap lunch type places. Its mostly chain restaurants, and stores. I know I miss Berkeley food.

    There are also a ton of electives you can do when you're here. Medical Spanish class, a program called U-Teach where you go with a pregnant woman to all her prenatal visits and her birth, a great way to get involved in OB/gyn, the Free clinic is an elective with lectures on health disparities and culturally sensitive healthcare, Health Policy class, etc.

    Faculty quality - Most of our faculty are AWESOME! The director of Biochem/MCB and most of the lecturers are good, but of course you get the occasional professor who's dull or who's english skills aren't so good. It comes with being in sciences. Our anatomy professor and embryology professor are awesome. They're totally concerned with their student's well beings and I've heard our anatomy professor can often be found helping students in the lab on a Saturday at midnight before the test. Our embryology professor is amusing and makes lectures a lot of fun. Immunology professor isn't necessarily fun but he's clear, and concise. Our genetics class is a variety of professors who specialize in each topic. Basically I'd say at least 90% of our professors are the best I've had in my life. Plus they all really care - if you fail a test you'll get an email from the professor, the dean and some 2nd year tutors all checking if you need help. The faculty here definitely care about their students.

    Clinical affiliates- Not in 3rd year yet so I don't really know - we rotate at UCIMC and a variety of locations around Orange County.

    opportunities to go abroad - Hopefully someone else can comment on this - I don't have any interest to go abroad so I don't really know about all the opportunities. I know a group of students goes to Chiapas every year and does medical work down there.

    Sensitivity to student input - the med ed office here is very sensitive to student input. In fact most of the testing styles/schedules here are based on votes from the previous class. Also, they are very responsive to students concerns about lecturers. We evaluate every professor we have, and the dean has an open lunch every month to talk to students about other major issues. Many of the electives here exist because students wanted them and we really do have a huge say in our educations.

    I love studying medicine at UCI. My classmates are amazing, the faculty and administration are SOO supportive. The cooperative atmosphere is incredible. The week before an exam you receive at least 10 study guides from different classmates. We share everything and all work together to do well. Its an incredible environment to study in and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
     
  10. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    Having lived in NYC I can say the 6 months of snow and rain followed by 6 months of humidity and heat gets old very quickly for someone used to Socal sun. Not having a car also sucks, having to shop at food emporium with its rip off prices also sucks, and quite a number of other things also suck.
     
  11. midas888

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    Another vote for UCI. I'm staring at my finaid packages, and can only imagine the day that I'll have paid off these loans.

    Plus UCI is a great school, and I've heard great things from their students. Sure, NYU might be ranked better, but happiness doesn't come with ranking.
     
  12. thejonqproject

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    if money isn't an issue for you... nyu. i don't really feel like typing an entire essay on why...but cmon man... irvine? the city is owned by the irvine group- housing is MANDATED there to be certain colors, every resturant etc etc is a franchised industry. if you like that ( certain people feel safe i guess and i can't really blame them ) ...then go for it.

    i grew up in orange county and it is defiantly time to try some things out, but thats just how I am.
     
  13. neuro20

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    I don't think money should be an issue when choosing a medical school. There is always the option of scholarships and loans. Even if you do take out some loans you will be able to pay them back within a couple of years working as a physician. However, the medical degree you get will stay with you for the remainder of your life. You should also consider how important reputation of your school is to you. NYU is a recognizable name worldwide and New York City is much more cultured and diverse in comparison to Orange County. I also think that the clinical training in New York will be much more varied and superior in that regard. With regard to weather, New York will be colder than California, but if you have attended an Ivy League School on the East Coast then you have already adjusted to it anyways. Besides, medical school is tough no matter where you go and you will be spending the vast majority of your time indoors in classes or in the library studying. It also seems like you have a liking for NYU since you decided to remain on their waitlist whereas UCI offered you an acceptance months ago. Good luck with your decision.
     
  14. kocb

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    Thanks for all the responses so far. I still can't make up my mind, I'm going to sleep on it.
     
  15. TehDoc

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    NYU seems like a better choice.
     
  16. twistry

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    i made the same choice. a few points:

    • it seems like a hassle for uci's hospital to be 20 minutes away in orange, whereas you could find similar patient diversity right next to nyu at bellevue

    • california is nice and all, but irvine's reputation seemed limiting in terms of where you could go afterwards. nyu would open up many more options outside of california, but it also has enough name recognition to get you back into california if you want (at a level that is comparable or maybe even better than irvine).

    • the different in cost of attendance between a UC and the typical private med school is really only ~ $15k/yr or less. so if you aren't super worried about money, that shouldn't be a huge issue.
     
  17. blargh

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    where are people getting this 15k/year less thing? it's costing me ~60k/year with living expenses for aecom (nyu is also in nyc, so i imagine it's pretty expensive too), and a uc would probably be 35-40k/year with living expenses. that's still a pretty huge difference.
     
  18. twistry

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    just going by estimated budgets for each school, uci is $44k for verano and $48 for palo verde, and nyu is $58-59k
     
  19. alwaysaangel

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    Its not inconvenient at all. Most schools you go to many different hospitals in the area anyway. I'm not sure why premeds think you go to a single hospital or area for their rotations. Almost every school you rotate at several hospitals in a 20-30 mile radius. UCI is no different. 1st and 2nd years don't need to go to the med center unless they want to shadow someone and then its not a big deal. And 3rd/4th year you pretty much stop coming to the main campus - most people just move to the cheaper area of orange or nearby. You really don't notice it at all.

    We have NO problems matching well both instate and out of state, if anyone would like to take a look you can PM me - but looking at match lists is kind of dumb - it says more about the people in a particular class than the school. Whats going to determine your match is your board scores, AOA, and your evaluations for rotations (both home and away). I've never EVER heard a 4th year be like..."gee so and so didn't match me cuz I just went to UCI." But I do love the premed perception that somehow residency directors look at rankings the same way premeds do.

    You may or may not get on campus housing. I would assume that UCI will be 50k/year (thats what it is for me). Many people get a 5k grant if parental income is under like 80k or 100k (not sure which).

    However, because we have long school years our max Stafford is 48k. So I will go into my 3rd year with 0 Grad Plus loans. Which is a huge difference in the amount of interest I'm wracking up. Right before 4th year you will unfortunately max out on those for lifetime amounts and will have to take out some Grad Pluses - but 3 years of 2% less interest actually adds up quite a bit.

    But 10k/year difference is 40k+interest...thats a lot of money. Then take into account moving across the country, moving back across the country when you want to come back to Cali for residency. It adds up.

    Now to each his own and the OP will make his own choice just as you did. Its just that these particular points aren't very accurate/applicable.
     
    #19 alwaysaangel, Jun 4, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
  20. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    Disagree. The ranking difference between NYU and UCI is negligible. For residency its not going to be whether you were at UCI or NYU that gets you the interview.
     
  21. inkare

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    Congrats on your choices. I'm accepted to NYU and on the waitlist for UCI, so I might have to make the same decision soon. One thing you should keep in mind about So Cal is that you will need a car, and in NYC, you don't. I estimate that to be about 10K a year difference (typical lease, insurance, rising gas prices, and maintenance). So if I were to make this decision I would consider that as well.
     
  22. alwaysaangel

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    Yeah but thats different if you already have a car or buy used. I had a car coming in. Pay about $100/month in gas (maybe getting toward $150), do all my own maintenance (even if you don't this is maybe 1k/year if something bad happens), and pay about 500/year in insurance. So thats like just over 3k if we put it at the higher estimates. I don't know too many people in my class who are leasing a car because yeah - thats expensive and not very smart because then you're basically paying your loans to lease a car and paying interest on interest.
     
  23. inkare

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    Yeah it really makes a difference depending on your own personal preference. I still have my old car in LA, but if I were to come to UCI, I would lease a new car. The mentality in SoCal is really different than many other areas in the country. People like to drive new cars there !!

    Your insurance is probably only for liability, if you were to get full coverage insurance, it would be more like $150-$200 a month, also depending on your gender (guys pay more) and age (25+ pay less).

    I guess the estimate I gave was for my own personal case, which is leasing a new car ($300-$350/month) gas ($150-$200/ month, I'd be probably be going to LA often, maybe every week), and Insurance ($150 -$200). Thats like $600-$800 a month for a car, which can range anywhere from 7k-10k a year.

    If you have a car or buy a cheap used car, it will definitely reduce the cost for transportation.
     
  24. alwaysaangel

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    Well yeah, I was just trying to clarify for anyone reading and panicking that they were going to be spending 10k/year on car in OC. Be careful about quoting someone else 10k/year for their car costs just because thats what you would want - you're going to freak people out. MOST of my classmates have old cars - we're not doctors yet. And yes Irvine is a wealthy area and there are lots of nice cars - but I don't think anyone in my class believes that means we need nice cars. I mean I grew up in SoCal my whole life and unless you're already rich - no one really believes you HAVE to have a new car...

    And most of us don't have liability because by the time we pay for liability for a year we could pay for our cars all over again!
     
  25. inkare

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    Sorry, my bad, it really does depend on the person. You can get away with relatively cheap transportation in So Cal. My family is in So Cal too, and I've lived there. Most of my friends, those going to med school, or any other professional school or even undergrad, they all leased their cars, many of them paying close to 1k/month. They are not rich and some of them work to pay off their cars (the rich ones buy their car cash). This is what I find the mentality is in LA/SoCal. Thats why I would want to drive a not too expensive car, but a new one.

    On another note, UCI is a great school, and if I were to become fortunate enough to have to make this decision, it would be really hard for me not to choose it. I've actually been living in NYC for 2 years now, and I would definitely recommend it to people who haven't lived here. But since my family lives in LA, I would like to be close to them during med school which is why It would be a hard decision for me.
     
  26. alwaysaangel

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    Thats actually pretty impressive - I have no idea how people would pull that off with loans in med school or undergrad - it would pretty much be impossible, unless they're taking out private loans which just seems non fiscally responsible. I don't think I've ever met someone who is leasing while living on loans (must just be differences in circles of friends :p). The only people in my class who have nice cars either worked before and had money or mommy and daddy paid for it or are MD/PhD and they had enough stipend to cover it.

    Well either way if you do have to make the choice - the mentality isn't really that at UCI - so maybe if you were here a month or so with your old car you would change your mind. If you couldn't change your mind about that then you might have to decide against UCI - the loans they give you here work out to about 1900/month if you plan ahead to cover for summer (living off campus) after you pay 800-900 in rent no way could you also pull of that much of a car payment.
     
  27. kocb

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    I think I am going to choose UCI
     
  28. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    Good call.
     
  29. thejonqproject

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    to each their own.
     
  30. kocb

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    I am actually choosing NYU, a made a premature decision about UCI, but after thinking about it more and more I feel NYU will be a better fit for me. Thanks everyone for the thoughts.
     
  31. jelly476

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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go to UCI! I need that NYU space:D:D:D
     
  32. thejonqproject

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    good call.
     
  33. wammabamma

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    wow...you just flip flopped on a life changing decision within 8 hours. "I'm going to UCI!"...4 hrs pass...4 more hours pass "NO wait...I"m going to NYU!!!" i hope for you that you have a firm handle on this big decision you're making.
     
  34. Pinkertinkle

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    Epic fail
     
  35. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    yay! NYU is totally awesome and right by the river and beautiful!! I'm glad youre going to NYC. whooo hoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!
     
  36. kocb

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    I was flip flopping the entire time I was making a decision because both schools have so much to offer. I finally sat down and made a list about what I like about the schools and the NYU was much longer.
     
  37. inkare

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    Yeah, NYU has a lot of attractive features. I actually just got their 2008 match list, they do AMAZING ! I'll try to post it on the match list thread, i might have to type it up first tho.
     
  38. Daydreamer2008

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    I hope that long list outweighs the extra $80,000 you will be paying at NYU:eek:
     

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