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UCLA PRIME vs. UC Davis SOM

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Which school would you attend if given the opportunity?

  • UCLA PRIME at DGSOM - 5 year dual degree program (MD/Masters)

    Votes: 24 54.5%
  • UC Davis School of Medicine

    Votes: 20 45.5%

  • Total voters
    44

uclaordavis

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Hello All,
I have been fortunate enough to gain acceptance to two of my top choices for my medical education and I am having a difficult time making the decision.

UC Davis is much closer to home (Gilroy) and my entire support network. The cost of living is much more reasonable and I liked the environment at this school.

UCLA has a much higher ranking (#6 vs. # 37 in primary care etc.) offers the dual degree program, and will provide rotations at some of the best hospitals in the country. I also liked the feeling i got from this program.

My main concern is being away from everyone I care about for 5 years in LA. But I also don't want to pass up the opportunity to attend a top 10 institution because of this. I am afraid that by passing up on UCLA I would be hindering myself when it comes time to match for residency (preferably in norcal).

The purpose of this poll and thread is to gauge the general consensus about where students would likely attend if given the opportunity.

Thank you in advance for your help.
 

sss1219

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UCLA undergrad here, worked on multiple outreach internships with the PRIME students. They were VERY happy and the programs they led were super cool and engaging, they really made their program sound like a blast. They're also a very tight nit group, so I wouldn't worry too much about losing your support network because you will be undoubtely gaining more friends if you move to LA. Cost of living will be a big issue though - COL in the Westwood/Culver City/Santa Monica area is something you definitely need to consider. Residency-wise I'm sure both will help you to stay in CA, but if you're interested in those higher programs (especially UCSF/Stanford) then I think the UCLA connections/name will be pretty invaluable.
 
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neekzg

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UCLA is a great and 'prestigious' school but Davis is a very strong program as well and going there will absolutely not exclude you from matching at a competitive residency in NorCal. If anything, your connections you can build in NorCal in Davis/Bay Area would go farther than the relative prestige boost of UCLA.

Even though UCLA is a higher ranked school, I would not second guess picking the school where you are more comfortable and have better support. However, if there are opportunities you know you would like to take advantage of at UCLA and feel like it was overall a good fit as well, that would be important to consider. PRIME can link you up with a lot of unique opportunities and provide insight and skills into working with underserved populations. You should decide whether that component is going to be useful for your future plans.
 
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neekzg

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UCLA undergrad here, worked on multiple outreach internships with the PRIME students. They were VERY happy and the programs they led were super cool and engaging, they really made their program sound like a blast. They're also a very tight nit group, so I wouldn't worry too much about losing your support network because you will be undoubtely gaining more friends if you move to LA. Cost of living will be a big issue though - COL in the Westwood/Culver City/Santa Monica area is something you definitely need to consider. Residency-wise I'm sure both will help you to stay in CA, but if you're interested in those higher programs (especially UCSF/Stanford) then I think the UCLA connections/name will be pretty invaluable.

Agreed on both of these points. I guess I should revise my statement to say that although going to Davis won't keep you out of competitive programs, going to UCLA might help for the tip-top programs at SF/Stanford.

Also--would you like the opportunity to live in LA for a while? That could be something to consider as well if you plan on being back at home after school. To be honest, I don't see 5 years as a huge amount of time and in the end it isn't so far from NorCal that you can't go home if you have a bit of free time or need to tend to a happening/emergency back home.
 
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sss1219

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Agreed on both of these points. I guess I should revise my statement to say that although going to Davis won't keep you out of competitive programs, going to UCLA might help for the tip-top programs at SF/Stanford.

Also--would you like the opportunity to live in LA for a while? That could be something to consider as well if you plan on being back at home after school. To be honest, I don't see 5 years as a huge amount of time and in the end it isn't so far from NorCal that you can't go home if you have a bit of free time or need to tend to a happening/emergency back home.

Yup! Totally agree with neekzg - if you're okay with the cost of living, it really sounds like about going wherever you feel you would be happier. If you think you'd like the beaches and sunshine in LA, definitely go for it - I have no doubt that you'll find a new group of friends and you'll be sure to have the time to visit home often. If you'd rather not risk it and stay close by to everyone, then stay in Davis.

Also - I think one of the biggest things to consider is if whether you want to do the extra year of PRIME or not. It's a very competitive program and it's great that you got it, but make sure you weigh its importance in your decision adequately. E.g. look into what opportunities you get with it and that you also may lose out on by committing to it (I'm not too read-up on it, but for example you may not have as many opportunities to do summer research or something). May want to consider asking a current PRIME student on their thoughts about it!
 
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uclaordavis

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Hey everyone, thank you so much for your prompt and thoughtful responses. You addressed many of my main concerns, I have not spent very much time in LA but being from the Bay Area I have an inherent biased against it for some reason. I really loved the PRIME program but am not sure how passionate I am about pursuing an extra degree. If I were to go this route I would likely go with an MBA.

You both brought up something that is exactly what I was concerned about, my dream residency would be at either UCSF or Stanford in the future. And judging by your comments it looks like I would have a better chance at these prestigious residencies with a degree (or 2) from UCLA as opposed to UCD if all else was equal.

My support system is very small and consists of essentially an ex GF that I hope to rekindle things with (This is what is really holding me back from leaving), 2 brothers, and my grandmother.
 

sss1219

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Hey everyone, thank you so much for your prompt and thoughtful responses. You addressed many of my main concerns, I have not spent very much time in LA but being from the Bay Area I have an inherent biased against it for some reason. I really loved the PRIME program but am not sure how passionate I am about pursuing an extra degree. If I were to go this route I would likely go with an MBA.

You both brought up something that is exactly what I was concerned about, my dream residency would be at either UCSF or Stanford in the future. And judging by your comments it looks like I would have a better chance at these prestigious residencies with a degree (or 2) from UCLA as opposed to UCD if all else was equal.

My support system is very small and consists of essentially an ex GF that I hope to rekindle things with (This is what is really holding me back from leaving), 2 brothers, and my grandmother.

First step will be thinking long and hard about the PRIME vs standard MD vs. MD-MBA route (Look into whether you can switch out of PRIME or not, and also look into how easy it is to switch into dual degree programs at each school). Also, consider that moving to LA is a new opportunity/fresh slate! Wherever you end up, it's clear you have some great opportunities ahead of you. Good luck in your decision :)
 
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zedsdead

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Hey everyone, thank you so much for your prompt and thoughtful responses. You addressed many of my main concerns, I have not spent very much time in LA but being from the Bay Area I have an inherent biased against it for some reason. I really loved the PRIME program but am not sure how passionate I am about pursuing an extra degree. If I were to go this route I would likely go with an MBA.

You both brought up something that is exactly what I was concerned about, my dream residency would be at either UCSF or Stanford in the future. And judging by your comments it looks like I would have a better chance at these prestigious residencies with a degree (or 2) from UCLA as opposed to UCD if all else was equal.

My support system is very small and consists of essentially an ex GF that I hope to rekindle things with (This is what is really holding me back from leaving), 2 brothers, and my grandmother.

Don't have any advice about the schools, but please don't make this decision based on getting back together with your ex .........
 
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insaneinthemembrane27

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If i were given the opportunity, I would go where the environment was most comfortable. Both schools are incredible institutions. Look, at the end of the day... you MAY go to a higher ranking school, but that doesn't mean that you will have a meaningful time there. All schools teach the same material (they have to by the standard guidelines); all students take the boards; all students apply to the same residency programs... your shot at residency will not be compromised if you are coming from UCD vs. UCLA . So as long as you apply the same effort in UCD as you would have in UCLA, then I am certain of that fact. You have to think about where you will be the happiest for 4 years. I know friends who are picking Harvard or Hopkins over places like Miami or Michigan because of the status (even though they thought their interview day was tense and the people were uptight). In my humble opinion, I think they would have done just as well placing (if not better) at a place they were more happy. These are the most important years of your life, and you shouldn't allow something like the ranking of US News and World Reports influence your decision in one way or the other. Go where your heart tells you to go-- because if you don't, THAT is something you will always question... even if you are at the top of your class at the #6 institution in the country.
 
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huskygirl123

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Given the opportunity I would pick UCLA Prime hands down! I love The west side of LA and UCLA Med Center is amazing. Support system is important but also is important to be away from family for a while to grow into your own person. Congrats on two amazing acceptances!!!
 

uclaordavis

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Don't have any advice about the schools, but please don't make this decision based on getting back together with your ex .........
This is a fair assessment. I just think giving up on that part of my life would lead to unhappiness throughout medical school and in the future.
 

uclaordavis

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If i were given the opportunity, I would go where the environment was most comfortable. Both schools are incredible institutions. Look, at the end of the day... you MAY go to a higher ranking school, but that doesn't mean that you will have a meaningful time there. All schools teach the same material (they have to by the standard guidelines); all students take the boards; all students apply to the same residency programs... your shot at residency will not be compromised if you are coming from UCD vs. UCLA . So as long as you apply the same effort in UCD as you would have in UCLA, then I am certain of that fact. You have to think about where you will be the happiest for 4 years. I know friends who are picking Harvard or Hopkins over places like Miami or Michigan because of the status (even though they thought their interview day was tense and the people were uptight). In my humble opinion, I think they would have done just as well placing (if not better) at a place they were more happy. These are the most important years of your life, and you shouldn't allow something like the ranking of US News and World Reports influence your decision in one way or the other. Go where your heart tells you to go-- because if you don't, THAT is something you will always question... even if you are at the top of your class at the #6 institution in the country.
This was amazing, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, I truly appreciate it.
 
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