UCONN VS UPITT- 180 Degrees


Full Member
10+ Year Member
May 3, 2007
  1. Pre-Medical
    After second look at UPITT I was decided on going there. The school is definitely a power house in the mid-atlantic region. The hospital is large and world renown, and the Wiser Center (Simulation Center) is one of the best and largest in the US. There were things that I didn't like. For instance, the Honors/Pass/Fail with a class of 147 students, the mandatory scholarly project (iffy), and the pace and degree of drinking that most of the students were doing (which is more personal preference). In the end, the ranking, prestige, and name I felt, would help me place into any residency I chose (assuming that I was successful on the Boards).

    Then I went to that little school in the Northeast...UCONN. Entering the John Dempsey Hospital, I quickly thought...small, but cozy. I was kind of attracted to smaller class size (80 students), true pass/fail system, and comfort of a rural area (i.e. Farmington, CT). However, it would difficult to solely base my decision on these factors, since I will undoubtedly end up in a city for my residency.

    So, how did the second look weekend gear me more towards UCONN?

    1st - The admissions committee really hand picks its students based on multiple factors, creating an extraordinary dynamic that you can see even during the second look weekend.

    2nd - The program is small and really allows students to take part in forming their education, even in the context of reorganizing specific parts of their 3rd and 4th year curriculum to fit your overall goals.

    3rd- They can provide a fifth year of research free with stipend to get an MPH, MS, or MBA. This I already new, but what I didn't realize was the goal that the school had in producing medical professionals that would get involved with Health Policy, physicians who would really change the future of the profession (Doctors, Professors, and Staff all seemed very enthustiastic about this).

    4th- The affiliated hospitals- St. Francis Hospital was amazing. The size, doctors, holistic care, and health policy emphasis were amazing. One thing that caught my attention since I want to be a surgeon was hearing the chief of the surgical department say, "our surgeons are expected to get the job done, but also care for the sentimental and spiritual." She wasn't even Catholic, although the hospital is. Hartford Hospital, although we did not visit, was said to be "ten times better." Accordingly, UCONN's ranking doesn't say anything. (note: The general assembly in CT is one of the best in the country, emphasizing much of their attention to health care policy, and as such, it is in the process of constructing a new hospital owned by UCONN).

    5th - They have a growing program in Integrated Medicine, which I think really shows the steps that UCONN takes to keep up with the world.

    6th - The student continuity program- involves working with a primary care preceptor once a week for about three years, either in pediatrics, internal medicine, or family medicine. The benefit to this, is that students are conducting physicals and even giving shots during their first semester. I even had students tell me that they were allowed to participate in minor surgeries during their first year (something that wouldn't happen so openly at a "big name" school that has a lot of "well respected and renown" surgeons)

    7th- The Clinical Skills Practice course is great, just as it is in other programs like Brown. At first I believed that this and the last factor were things that pushed" primary care, but I must say, I was wrong. UCONN will teach you how to be a doctor by the end of your first year, in your communication and confidence with patients (pivotal during your clerkships).

    8th- Support from faculty. Yes, I have been told that the curriculum is very hard, but I was also told that the faculty takes all the steps necessary to see you through. I was even told by one student during a difficult time in their family was not doing so well. Certain members of the faculty and admissions provided that student with private tutoring (Themselves), without their asking for it.

    9th- The students, for some reason, everyone only enthustiastic, but genuinely nice. (Again, admissions really spends alot of time in choosing that 2.7% of students that get accepted)

    10th - Hartford City, Farmington, and other areas. Close to NY, Boston, RI, Vermont,...it's great. Hartford may be the poorest city in the US-based strictly on "childhood poverty," but the downtown area where you will spend most of your time, go to the clubs, bars, theaters, and the rest of the fun stuff, is really nice. There are alot of farmer's markets in the outskirts of hartford county, which is great if you watch what you eat. Having the nice apartment with a deck and fireplace at farmington and the opportunity to travel to the city during your free time is definitely the "best of both worlds."

    11th- Potential- UCONN is making big moves, the state itself is very wealthy, the opportunity to network and get involved or into many areas of medicine is def there. Many of these opportunites arise as you participate in UCONN programs within the community and medical associations (e.g. Urban Service Track, AMA, AMSA, SNMA etc..)

    12th- If accepted, you can apply for residency after the first year, and tuition is very low. (note: most people who come from economically disadvantaged families and are accepted are usually given a good amount of assistance).

    Does ranking matter?

    The consensus is that if you strictly want to go into academia then...YES.

    Clinicians and potentially part-time instructors, consider going to a place that can provide you with the best opportunity to become not only the best technically skilled physician, but also the best counselor and friend that patients and colleagues would like to have...

    = 70% to 30%
    = Heart VS Brain
    = Best education for me Or Professional advancement.

    These choices are not easy, but no doubt, the factors that we all have to choose from.

    Goodluck everyone!
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    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    Jul 23, 2007
    1. Medical Student
      Why do you keep starting threads about this instead of just adding onto the ones you've already started?

      Farmington is not rural. It's markedly suburban. Go down to Chester or up to the NW corner if you want to see CT rural. You are an out of stater so I will let it slide.

      Anyway, you seem a little hung up on the potential career advancement you would get if you attended PITT and I don't think that's something you'd just let go of if you went to UConn (or you wouldn't have several threads about the two). If you honestly feel that being at UConn would put you at a disadvantage, it might be uncomfortable for you to be there. If you don't typically score well on standardized tests, like the MCAT and the boards, you might want more of a "powerhouse," as you say, to give you a little extra boost.

      As all of my friends and family have told me about my choices, it is ultimately up to you.


      Behold the mighty echidna
      10+ Year Member
      7+ Year Member
      Oct 19, 2004
      Seattle, WA
      1. Resident [Any Field]
        It sounds like you want permission to go to the lower ranked school. If that's where you think you would be happy and do well, then I think you should go there. This is your life, and U.S. News, etc. shouldn't be the determining factor (at least IMHO). U Conn is a perfectly good school.

        In a way, it sounds like a nice dilemma to have. Either way, you'll be going to a quality school that has aspects that you like about it.


        Full Member
        10+ Year Member
        May 3, 2007
        1. Pre-Medical
          You are both right...thanks...

          Oh and surfstarj, I meant no offense in starting multiple threads and labeling UCONN 'rural.'

          Ultimately, I felt that putting the facts that made UCONN in my mind, as an equally good medical program when comparting it to UPITT, was important. I thought that the other pre-meds, perhaps choosing where to apply this upcoming fall should consider those factors and UCONN.
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