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UCLA vs. Stanford, please help

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by calbear888, May 14, 2002.

  1. calbear888

    calbear888 New Member

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    Hi, I've been accepted to both Stanford and UCLA, and I'm having a tough time choosing. Costwise, both schools will be about the same since my family qualifies for financial grants at Stanford.

    Academically, I think I'd choose UCLA because of its strengths in a wide range of programs, its top medical centers.

    From some of the negatives I'm read about stanford in this forum (ie, riding on its name, outdated cirriculum, run down facilities, etc) I'm less inclined to go.

    But my Girlfriend is going to UCSF, which means we can be close by. This is important to both of us.

    Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Tom
     
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  3. none

    none 1K Member
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    Stanford, the girlfriend will mean more than the academics.
     
  4. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member
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    Not to offend anyone, but I think that many attack Stanford because they got rejected by Stanford. Stanford doesn't fool around like other schools, and they reject a crap-load of people pre-interview.

    Anyway, both schools are top notch. I would choose Stanford, however. Who cares that it's library is "run-down"? Research at Stanford is limitless, you can test out of classes, you can take elective courses in ANYTHING outside the medical school, you can TA classes in the undergrad and get paid $12,000 for it toward you tuition, lectures are video taped so you don't necessarily need to attend lectures, and Stanford is universally known. Of course, there are other things, but I don't have the time to include them.
     
  5. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member
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    I guess this all depends on how serious you are...

    Keep in mind that SF and Stanford are close but not that close in that it will still be a bit of a trip to visit each other.

    If things are super serious, then I would consider Stanford. But is it worth incurring $80k in debt and attending a school that it sounds like isn't your top choice??

    UCLA is an amazing place that I wish I could go to -- alas, the UCs gave me the shaft -- plus, UCLA just got that $200M donation from Geffen which is sure to make things a lot more pleasant around there.

    **See the Stanford Med link "Second Thoughts about Stanford" that's lurking around here somewhere -- there have been posts the last couple of days. . . **
     
  6. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member
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    Here is the link I was talking about:

    <a href="http://forums.studentdoctor.net/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=012086" target="_blank">Second Thoughts About Stanford</a>

    Granted this isn't a comparison of LA/Stanford, but it's a VERY comprehensive look into the pros and cons of SU. . . :)
     
  7. none

    none 1K Member
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    The OP said that costwise both were the same. That's a VERY important point!
     
  8. rajneel1

    rajneel1 Senior Member
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    i agree with jmejia. it sounds like you are leaning toward ucla which is fine. good luck. but remember that your debt at ucla and stanford will probably be the same. and just because they got $200M doesn't mean that the med students will benefit. let's think things through. you will also probably get the same education whether you went to stanford or ucla...remember how there are about 120 accredited medical schools? also stanford is private....big plus in my eyes. have you been to a UC? maybe your decision should be based on curriculum, opportunities available, feel for the school, location, debt, and your personality. ucla might fit you better.
     
  9. bomback

    bomback Senior Member
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    Well I would pick UCLA because it's in LA, you are surrounded by fine women, and the students are down to earth. But since you have a girlfriend none of these help u out.
    The decision is really yours and I don't think you should base it on anything that anyone says on these boards. Most comments are biased and you are the one that needs to determine how important your girlfriend is to you, and if being closer to her makes you happy.
     
  10. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member
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    Stanford all the way !!!
     
  11. dr. momo

    dr. momo Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by The Fly:
    <strong>
    Keep in mind that SF and Stanford are close but not that close in that it will still be a bit of a trip to visit each other.

    If things are super serious, then I would consider Stanford. But is it worth incurring $80k in debt and attending a school that it sounds like isn't your top choice??

    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">sf and stanford are not very far apart compared to sf and la. it's a 30 minute car-ride as opposed to 5-6 hours, and if you don't have a car you can take the caltrain, which only takes about an hour.

    also, if i recall correctly, the average debt for stanford med grads is about $68K, which is pretty close to that of a UC school. stanford has an amazing financial aid program, and as jmejia mentioned, you can have an even lower debt if you choose to ta.

    i'm sure you'll be happy at either place. :)
     
  12. strokchik

    strokchik Member
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    Definitely Stanford, for the best of both worlds.
     
  13. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel
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    Stanford, Stanford, Stanford.

    Better reputation, near an amazing city, near your girlfriend (what's an hour? geez), tons of opportunities, and the same amount of debt (if you TA).

    Where's the choice?
     
  14. RetroMan

    RetroMan Member
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    Tom:

    When did you interview? I have the feeling I know who you are. If you are the same guy I talked to, you know what I told you. Go to Stanford all the way! As the previous posters said, you will be in a great school plus you will be close to your girlfriend. You will be able to spend all the weekends together if you plan accordingly.

    By the way, I'll be there.

    Take care,
    RetroMan
     
  15. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    It really depends on what you are looking for in your med school experience, which you were kind of vague about in your initial post.

    It sounds like you are probably leaning towards UCLA. In that case, go with your gut instinct. It would be silly to choose Stanford just because of your girlfriend. You might be really happy right now, but let's face it -- things change, and you guys may end up breaking up maybe 6 months from now. I'm not trying to be negative but just realistic. You'd be pretty bitter if you were at a school you didn't really like in the first place, for a girl you ended up breaking up with.

    That being said, I know a couple of Stanford med students who had significant others in the city and commuted between the two locations regularly. With the videotaped classes and the 5-year plan (to decelerate basic sciences if you so desire), it's really easy to go between Palo Alto and San Francisco. However, if things are meant to work out between you and this girl, the distance between SF and LA isn't exactly insurmountable, and you should be able to see each other on a good number of weekends.

    Anyways, if you are really interested in research or academic medicine, or in any sort of long-term projects outside the usual med school curriculum (getting a master's, doing volunteer projects, etc.), I would say go with Stanford. However, if you're sort of uncertain about that kind of stuff right now, and you felt more comfortable with UCLA when you visited the two campuses, go with UCLA. Also, UCLA probably has the edge in clinical training, but I don't think going to Stanford would hurt you in any way.
     
  16. barb

    barb Senior Member
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    Stanford all the way! Near your girlfriend, great school and great reputation! (also, I'm on the waitlist at UCLA and I could really use your spot! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  17. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by lilycat:
    <strong> It sounds like you are probably leaning towards UCLA. In that case, go with your gut instinct. It would be silly to choose Stanford just because of your girlfriend. You might be really happy right now, but let's face it -- things change, and you guys may end up breaking up maybe 6 months from now. I'm not trying to be negative but just realistic. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">This is an excellent and very honest point. . .

    I moved in with the girl who's now my ex-girlfriend a year ago after we graduated. We had lived together for nearly a year at school and so it didn't seem like a major deal -- however, as lilycat suggested, times and circumstances change and we ended up breaking up. Although I didn't pick a medical school based on where she wanted to be, I ended up in Boston where I would have been in NYC.

    I don't hold her responsible but I wonder everyday how much happier I would be with all of my friends in New York as opposed to Boston, which was the city of compromise for the two of us. Of course, medical school is an even bigger decision. . .

    I'd say (and this is me being totally honest and open) that unless you're ready to slip a ring on her finger (e.g. that level of seriousness) then, as crazy or counter intuitive as it sounds, you shouldn't use the relationship as a guide to picking a medical school.

    Of course, that's a really hard realization to implement and abide by.

    Good luck. :)
     
  18. Ceez

    Ceez Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by barb:
    <strong>Stanford all the way! Near your girlfriend, great school and great reputation! (also, I'm on the waitlist at UCLA and I could really use your spot! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">ditto
     

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