Which school?

  • UCSF

    Votes: 32 36.8%
  • Mayo

    Votes: 55 63.2%

  • Total voters
    87
  • Poll closed .
Sep 27, 2018
5
10
Hi all, I still can't believe I am even making this post- very shocked and fortunate to be deciding between my two dream schools and between 2 amazing programs. I need to decide within the next few days and could really use a sanity check since I am really torn between both. Not set on any specialties and interested in global health and community health, but not particularly interested in academic medicine.

Mayo MN:
Pros-
  • will be significantly cheaper (~20k COA over the 4 years), also lower cost of living in Rochester so hopefully that means nicer housing for cheaper rent
  • much smaller class size, which I like
  • more individualized attention/possibly more opportunities to explore different fields and decide on a specialty
  • I love how flexible the program is, especially with the Selectives built into the curriculum, seems like there'd be a lot of opportunities to shape the curriculum to my interests/goals. There would also be opportunities to maybe explore health policy / get an MPH at other top programs and explore my interests in global health by doing Selectives abroad.
  • my favorite interview day. I had amazing interactions w/ students and faculty, felt very family-like and students all seem happy! Also have had really positive interactions w/ the incoming class, I'd love to be a part of a talented, welcoming group!
  • I feel that Mayo's philosophy and mission fits well w/ my desire to work in addressing healthcare disparities and my interests/goals in general.
Cons-
  • have only ever lived in the West Coast, so would be completely new to the area and have to rebuild a support network. I do have some extended family in the Twin Cities though
  • possibly less diverse patient population compared to UCSF? Not too sure about this, also not sure about opportunities to work w/ the underserved and would have to look into it more. Feel free to chime in about this!
UCSF:
Pros-
  • went to undergrad nearby and have also worked w/ UCSF-affiliated clinics and faculty in the past, so I am already familiar w/ the school and would have a support network and mentors in fields I'm interested in
  • probably a more diverse patient population in SF, more opportunities to work with underserved populations and in community health/primary care
  • 2nd favorite interview day, felt like I fit in well w/ students and had great conversations w/ faculty
  • I LOVE the incoming class, based off our interactions, there is a wide diversity of backgrounds that I could learn so much from and people seem very chill and friendly
  • I like the 1.5 preclinical, curriculum, and clinical training
Cons-
  • way more expensive, would be ~200k in debt for total COA
  • biggest con for me is that extremely high cost of living and rent prices of SF. Housing and rent was a big stressor for me during undergrad and my gap years, and I'd prefer not to go through that all over again
  • 5 yrs of living in the Bay, some change would be nice. While I loved visiting SF on the weekends and my spare time, don't particularly want to live there for the next few years sorry :shrug:
  • bigger class size so might be harder to find mentors and less individualized attention(?)

I would love to hear perspectives from current or incoming students at either school. Thank you for the advice!
 
Last edited:
Feb 3, 2020
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Medical Student
Congrats on the great options. I'd vote Mayo. You mentioned not wanting money to be a stressor, which I think is completely reasonable. Med school is stressful enough without having to worry about finances. Both schools will open up any option in medicine that you could want, so why not get those doors opened for basically free?
 

TheDataKing

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May 16, 2018
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If Mayo is 20k for 4 years and UCSF is >200k, I'd choose Mayo, especially since you'd prefer to get out of the Bay Area. Mayo will match you wherever you want into whatever specialty you want. Congrats on the excellent options!
 
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Wolvvs

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Jun 12, 2017
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The only reason I could see you choosing UCSF given the financials would be if the winter/cold stresses you out to the point of being unable to function. If you've only ever lived in CA (you said west coast so not sure), don't underestimate this; the average January high temperature in Rochester is 24F, and almost half the year has an average daily low temp below freezing.

They're both great schools, but there's nothing UCSF will do for you that's worth $180K+, unless by attending Mayo you would risk having a poor performance.
 
Sep 27, 2018
5
10
thanks for all the advice so far. I suppose the only reason I'm hesitant to take UCSF out of the running is the familiarity with the school being a big plus for me and an existing support network there. A few people I've talked to said I shouldn't worry so much about finances as I'll be able to pay it off later / seek resources for help paying it off, but yes finances are definitely still a big concern.

@Wolvvs I'm not from CA, but the cold/snow isn't a huge dealbreaker for me since I'm from an area in the West Coast that does get snow in the winters (nowhere near MN level though) so it hopefully won't be too bad haha
 
D

deleted688779

thanks for all the advice so far. I suppose the only reason I'm hesitant to take UCSF out of the running is the familiarity with the school being a big plus for me and an existing support network there. A few people I've talked to said I shouldn't worry so much about finances as I'll be able to pay it off later / seek resources for help paying it off, but yes finances are definitely still a big concern.

@Wolvvs I'm not from CA, but the cold/snow isn't a huge dealbreaker for me since I'm from an area in the West Coast that does get snow in the winters (nowhere near MN level though) so it hopefully won't be too bad haha
I'm a big supporter of going where your support network is, to me that's family. In your case, are they family or friends/co-workers? Without making assumptions about your case, it is hard to stay in the SF area as a young professional, especially if they do not have family in the area. Cost of living, competitiveness, etc make it so. Speaking from my own experience, I thought my friends were going to here with me forever, many of them even had jobs in the area, but a few years later the majority of them moved away either due to cost or they found a better opportunity elsewhere without the competition/stressors. What's left of my support network is basically my family. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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Klyx

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May 25, 2012
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The main issue seems to be whether higher prestige is worth $180K, which would be a yes for me.

Regarding location, often the "X or Y" threads compare schools at similarly populated places, so it doesn't factor much in the decision-making process, but here you are comparing SF and Rochester. SF will give you more diverse cuisines, more things to do, significantly better weather, and a bigger dating pool.
 

Skittsie13

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Mar 14, 2009
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Your pro/cons list seems very weighted towards Mayo, and the price difference sells it for Mayo imo
 

blurb_123

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Aug 18, 2017
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The main issue seems to be whether higher prestige is worth $180K, which would be a yes for me.

Regarding location, often the "X or Y" threads compare schools at similarly populated places, so it doesn't factor much in the decision-making process, but here you are comparing SF and Rochester. SF will give you more diverse cuisines, more things to do, significantly better weather, and a bigger dating pool.
The main issue is prestige? You can’t be serious.
 

syn1

5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2015
82
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Medical Student
UCSF for sure (I'm not biased at all :rolleyes:) if you want to maximize chances of staying in CA. Not that you'll have a bad chance with Mayo, but the in-state reputation and UCSF's preference for its own students (esp. in IM, but at least 1 home match in every specialty and multiple CA matches) might tip the scales. Sure, money is a huge factor, but as a CA resident with similar parameters, the weather, social support, and community is totally worth it.

Either way, if you decide on Mayo, you give a huge opportunity to anyone on UCSF's waitlist ;)
 
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