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UCLA vs. UCSF

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by BeckyG, Jul 14, 2001.

  1. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I have a friend who was recently given the wonderful opportunity to choose between UCLA and UCSF for med school this fall. We have been debating the pros and cons of each school - while mindfully understanding that she cannot go wrong with either and that she is in the best of all possible positions. I am, of course, pro-UCSF, while she is leaning toward UCLA. So, with that in mind, I was wondering if anyone had specific thoughts on the following:

    1) differences in diversity of the two schools (e.g., ethinicity, age, experiences)

    2) differences in the patient populations seen during clinical rotations

    3) differences in educational opportunities

    4) difference in student attitudes (i.e., which school is more "laidback" and less competitive)

    5) and, most importantly, which is the better city ;)

    If possible, please don't send the "give me a break"-type responses. This is a serious inquiry for a person who is truly struggling with the decision -- and she is running out of time to decide. Thanks!

    -- Becky
     
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  3. MoeDaMan

    MoeDaMan Senior Member
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    BeckyG :D

    it is me again....has she lived in any of the two cities? has she lived in LA...I guess maybe it is because that you have lived in LA like me, we are dying to go to another city :D especially like SF...

    anyway, being a LA resident...I would opt for UCSF....based on a couple of reasons...

    anyway, I would opt for UCSF...I have heard that the UCLA Is extremely laid back though in terms of difficulty and pple actually still do well on the board exams!

    I personally think SF is by far more beautiful....name one beautiful thing LA has? :rolleyes:

    I dont know if cost is an issue, isnt it more expensive to live in SF? is she interested in research at all? if so SF has a better reputatioin...although ucla has a stellar reputation as well....

    1) I think the SF student body is more diverse and very liberal attitutes toward life

    2)that I dont know :D
    3) don't know either
    4) I think UCLA....I think SF curriculum is not easy...and by the way isnt SF ranked 4th in the nation? ucla is 10th....(of course and we all know that ranking isnt everything..
    5) SF hands down...

    incidently, SF is a greater prone earthquake area....every 50 years or so they are inclined to have a major earthquake....the last one has been delayed...

    but then again this is california...it is not like LA is a safe place....

    ps doesnt have LA have more pollution and population problems? if she has lived in Sf before I recommend coming to a new place in LA...if she has never lived in Sf, then I recommend going there and gaining new experiences...

    that is my opinion
     
  4. MoeDaMan

    MoeDaMan Senior Member
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    oh my gosh....

    I just reread my thing after I posted it :eek:

    talk about grammatical errors...YIKES

    I hope my secondaries don't come out like that...

    oh boy....after reading that post....it looked as if I am talking ESL classes....sheesh.... :rolleyes:
     
  5. HiKaren

    HiKaren Junior Member
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    Hi Becky,


    I've looked into this issue a lot, as well. From the many students and faculty I've spoken to at both schools, I've come to believe that UCSF is a better school when taking into account all the factors you mentioned. Even students at UCLA have told me to chose UCSF hands down if I am even considering a competitive residency. When applying for such a competitive specialty every little factor matters, including school reputation. What is making her lean towards UCLA? For me it is strictly a family issue. If it wasn't for this I would have a much easier time making the move form LA to SF. Truthfully, I think that a school is really what you make of it. Let us know what she finally decides to do and why. Good luck.
     
  6. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Well, I chose UCSF for a variety of reasons, some of which may not apply in your friend's case.
    Here go my replies:

    1) differences in diversity of the two schools (e.g., ethinicity, age, experiences): Both classes are very diverse, although UCSF tends to be more diverse in terms of age, experiences, and ethnicity. You'll find that the students at UCSF encompass an enormous range of experiences and talents, and truly come from all walks of life.

    2) differences in the patient populations seen during clinical rotations: At both places, you can see a reasonably diverse patient population. LA is a much more segregated city (because it is spread out over a large area) than San Francisco. SF is located in a relatively small area (only a few miles in each direction), and therefore people are much closer together. At SF, you probably have a better variety of options that runs the whole gamut. You can do rotations at San Francisco General, Moffit-Long, Mt. Zion, V.A., California Pacific Medical Center, Kaiser, Fresno, and a variety of other community clinics throughout the Bay Area.

    3) differences in educational opportunities: UCSF will have a new curriculum starting this fall, which I'm excited about, but some people may have reservations because it is new. There will be considerable free time for independent study and extracurricular activities though. There are some great opportunities avaiable, such as the homeless clinic, student associations, and other other clubs. The faculty at UCSF is recognized world-wide for teaching, research, and patient care. For example, you get to hear lectures from and interact with people like Mike Bishop, Nobel Prize winner and chancellor of UCSF. You'll be amazed when you realize you are learning from the experts in their fields.

    4) difference in student attitudes (i.e., which school is more "laidback" and less competitive): UCLA is very, very laid back... a little too much for my taste. UCSF has the pass/fail system the first two years and then honors/pass/fail for the clinical rotations. The atmosphere is very collegial and collaborative at UCSF. People work hard because they are self-driven. UCSF is one of the most professional, yet relaxed, places I've ever been. Simply, a great atmosphere for learning to be a doctor.

    5) and, most importantly, which is the better city: SF has a very enlightened feel and it is an absolutely gorgeous city. The weather is better in LA, but in SF it neither gets too hot or too cold--the temp is almost always between 50 and 65 degrees. SF has much more culture, with a world-class opera and symphony, theaters, museums, art exhibits, street fairs, Shakespeare in Golden Gate Park, etc. But don't take my word for it--visit both places and ask around. :D

    Good luck to your friend in deciding between these two excellent options. I hope to her in the fall at UCSF!
     
  7. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member
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    Thanks for the thoughtful responses thus far, everyone! Please keep them coming.

    Moe, you are "da Man"! :D And just to answer your question, she has lived in LA and SF. Family in LA, friends in SF. Tough call. That's what's making this more difficult for her.

    Vader, even if she isn't there this Fall, I will see you! Are you starting this Fall as an M1? I am and am very excited about the new curriculum. Now, all we have to do is convince my friend. ;)

    Thanks again, everyone, and keep responding!

    -- Becky
     
  8. TwoSteveSquared

    TwoSteveSquared Senior Member
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    MoeDaMann Said:
    I personally think SF is by far more beautiful....name one beautiful thing LA has?

    Gotta disagree with that. Venice, Hermosa Beach, Malibu, Mulholland Hills, most of Sunset, 3rd Street Promenade, etc., etc., etc.... LA is the only city that you can live in for 22 years and still do something new every day. All BEAUTIFUL PLACES too. It's also very GREEN in lots of places, though most people tend to overlook that. Next time you take a drive on the freeway, look around at the lush hills to your side, and you'd realize how nice this place really is. It's also very unique because everything is spread out instead of concentrated in one spot.

    My roomate has been to 46 states, nearly every major/minor city in the country, including some in Alaska, and he says LA is among the most beautiful. Of course, SF isn't too shabby, so can't go wrong with either choice.

    --"To Live and Die in L.A."


    Of course by curriculum, pick the one that fits your learning type. UCLA is very laid back, not competitive at all (i.e. pass/fail all four years, no honors ever). Thus, you need to be self motivated. Also, I know med students here tend to be treated very well by faculty, and are given enormous leadership opportunities in community service programs city wide. I think community service is LA's strongest emphasis, they really want students who honestly love helping people (not just say they do). SF is a little more research oriented from what I hear, though, both schools do emphasize lots of community service and research. What ever you choose, you will be very very happy in for the next four years. You Lucky Girl!
    :p
     
  9. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Ah, so I was just preaching to the choir! :D Congrats on getting in! I actually already moved to SF to start a lab rotation over the summer (MSTP). But I'll see you in the fall when classes start. Did you get the packet about first week orientation, white coat ceremony, etc? I'm really excited! If you need help or advice in finding a place, let me know. Also, if there's anything I can do to convince your friend to come here, let me know. ;)

     
  10. LaRa CRoFt

    LaRa CRoFt Member
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    That's a tough decision she has to make. If I was lucky enough to have that choice I would go with UCSF because I went to undergrad in the Bay area and I absolutely loved it there. I also know what she feels because my friends are in SF while my family is in LA. But, either way she'll be going to a very reputable school and will be very happy. Let us know what she ends up deciding!
     
  11. HiKaren

    HiKaren Junior Member
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    Hey Vader,
    How did you find your place? What's it like? Is it close to campus? Do you have any suggestions for me? I don't think I will have a chance to look until August. Do you think it will be that hard to find something decent and close that late?
    thanks, karen
     
  12. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    I looked on the UCSF housing web site: http://stu-housing-mac17.ucsf.edu/cho/

    The place I got is a couple of miles away from campus, but very nice w/ hardwood floors, separate kitchen, dining room, living room, two big bedrooms, etc. Definitely one of the nicer places I saw. You might want something a little closer to school though. I'd recommend starting with the UCSF site and then maybe check out other ones such as:
    sfgate.com
    craigslist.org

    These were pretty helpful in searching. You could also check the Chronicle for listings, or go through a rental agency, which will charge money for their service.

    The housing market has gotten much better due to the decline of dot-coms. However, you should still give yourself about a month to look. It shouldn't be too hard to find a good place that is fairly close to campus within that timeframe.

    One thing I'd definitely recommend is to be prepared. That means have a rental application filled out ahead of time, bring copies of a recent credit report, and maybe proof of financial support (i.e. finacial aid letter). This definitely made us look responsible when we were searching for places. Also, be prepared to write a check for the security deposit and first-month's rent.

    If you need any help or need a place to hang while searching, let me know. Good luck! :D
     
  13. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member
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    Hey Vader,

    I tried emailing you or sending a private message, but couldn't. I am definitely excited about the packet we got in the mail a few days ago.. camping trips, white coat ceremony, etc! I will be in SF the first full week of August and my apartment is very close to campus (on Parnassus), so if you're around let me know. It would be nice to meet some people before classes start. My email address is: [email protected]

    Karen (aka JohnJacobJingleheimerS), I sent you a private message re: housing in SF, etc. As I mentioned in the message, I used the UCSF housing list and found a couple of open houses listed in the chronicle -- I flew up from LA on a saturday morning and found exactly what I wanted that day. Best to go looking on the weekends -- more open houses and lessors have more time to show places.

    See you both in Sept at the latest! :)
    Take care,
    Becky
     
  14. MoeDaMan

    MoeDaMan Senior Member
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    HEy Becky :D

    u DA girl ;) listen, so your going to UCSF and your friend has the option of going to UCSF? why won't you both go to ucsf and be roomates?? sounds like a no brainer to me :D just kiddin...

    no but honestly, that would be so cool to go with someone you already know? and you guys seem really close? I personally think it would be fun....especially since ucsf and sf are a great place to be.....

    tell us where she ends up going....good luck and have a great summer!!!
     
  15. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member
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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all your input -- your responses were very important and helpful.

    I thought I'd let you all know the final verdict... UCLA! My friend agonized over this decision, but when it came down to it, being close to family was very important to her. I think it's safe to say that if her family were not in LA, she would have gone to UCSF. In any event, I think she made the right decision for her and that she'll have a wonderful experience at UCLA. And, as we've all recognized in these posts, UCLA and UCSF are very comparable in terms of education and recognition level.

    Take care everyone and thanks again!

    -- Becky
     
  16. MoeDaMan

    MoeDaMan Senior Member
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    hey Becky :D

    glad she finally chose one. Tell her I sent her a Bruin WElcome hug ;)
     
  17. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Congratulations on your friend making her decision. That might help someone who was waitlisted at UCSF. :D
     

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