Skarl

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I am fortunate enough to have received offers from some of my top choices this cycle and would appreciate input from current applicants, medical students, and/or physicians about making a decision. To assist in this: my career interests include health policy, outcomes research, and public health. I can see myself specializing in a surgical subspecialty (e.g. Urology, ENT) or Emergency Medicine. I am a CA resident and would like to eventually practice here. To keep things consistent, I have listed 5 pros/2 cons for each school. No financial aid information available yet besides NYU’s free tuition; parents have offered to help pay but I still want to minimize costs.

UCSF

Pros
+ Excellent reputation both clinically and as a research powerhouse. Regarded as highly prestigious within medicine.
+ Close to family and serious SO. Strong support network nearby (family is in norcal, SO in socal and wants to attend dental school in CA.)
+ Having lived in the Bay Area for some years, I like SF as a city. Lots of things to do for fun and professional opportunities to work on public health and policy initiatives.
+ P/F clerkships. Ideal timing of new curriculum for my class as at this point, the kinks have been ironed out.
+ I feel like I would fit in well with the student body and the UCSF brand. I am a very traditionally successful student (high test scores and grades, no gap year went straight-in, did all the “right” activities and succeeded in them, raised by immigrant parents) and feel like there are lots of other students like me at UCSF.

Cons
- Very high COL and I have read that UCSF is not very generous with financial aid/does not offer merit aid.
- As a counter to my last pro point: private vs. public schools. I have always been a public-school, traditional student my whole life and have done well in these settings, but sometimes wonder if a different environment would help me grow more personally and professionally.

NYU

Pros
+ Probably makes the most sense financially with free tuition; physician mentors have told me to go with the cheapest option as these are all comparable schools.
+ The school feels like it has “momentum” with recent initiatives like the free tuition announcement and leadership’s philosophy. Feels like NYU, while not as traditionally strong as schools like Hopkins, UCSF, Harvard etc., is on the up and coming.
+ I liked NYC from my minimal time there. A change of environment may be good for me professionally and personally.
+ Admin seems supportive of students. Big fan of Dean Rivera and NYU’s leadership.
+ Clinical rotation sites are excellent. Bellevue, VA, Tisch all within walking distance of one another and subsidized student dorms.

Cons
- Would be hard on my relationship with SO with the substantial distance. Also, very far from family/support network.
- While still a T20, I can’t help feeling its reputation is not as strong as the likes of Hopkins, UCSF, which may be marginally important if I want to work in academic medicine.

Johns Hopkins

Pros
+ Strong within field and public prestige. A national leader in medicine.
+ Proximity to Washington D.C. aligns well with my career interests in health policy.
+ Very low COL. Of the student hosts I stayed with, my Hopkins host definitely had the best living situation for an affordable price.
+ #1 school of public health in the nation and I am potentially interested in an MPH so this would be a great opportunity.
+ Seems like there is more personal mentorship for medical students with the advising/colleges system and being at a private school.

Cons
- As compared to SF and NYC, I definitely did not like Baltimore as much. This feels like a significant con for me.
- Again: very far from family/SO and apparently not known for being generous with financial aid.
 
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hydrophobicmed

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I am fortunate enough to have received offers from some of my top choices this cycle and would appreciate input from current applicants, medical students, and/or physicians about making a decision. To assist in this: my career interests include health policy, outcomes research, and public health. I can see myself specializing in a surgical subspecialty (e.g. Urology, ENT) or Emergency Medicine. I am a CA resident and would like to eventually practice here. To keep things consistent, I have listed 5 pros/2 cons for each school. No financial aid information available yet besides NYU’s free tuition; parents have offered to help pay but I still want to minimize costs.

UCSF

Pros
+ Excellent reputation both clinically and as a research powerhouse. Regarded as highly prestigious within medicine.
+ Close to family and serious SO. Strong support network nearby (family is in norcal, SO in socal and wants to attend dental school in CA.)
+ Having lived in the Bay Area for some years, I like SF as a city. Lots of things to do for fun and professional opportunities to work on public health and policy initiatives.
+ P/F clerkships. Ideal timing of new curriculum for my class as at this point, the kinks have been ironed out.
+ I feel like I would fit in well with the student body and the UCSF brand. I am a very traditionally successful student (high test scores and grades, no gap year went straight-in, did all the “right” activities and succeeded in them, raised by immigrant parents) and feel like there are lots of other students like me at UCSF.

Cons
- Very high COL and I have read that UCSF is not very generous with financial aid/does not offer merit aid.
- As a counter to my last pro point: private vs. public schools. I have always been a public-school, traditional student my whole life and have done well in these settings, but sometimes wonder if a different environment would help me grow more personally and professionally.

NYU

Pros
+ Probably makes the most sense financially with free tuition; physician mentors have told me to go with the cheapest option as these are all comparable schools.
+ The school feels like it has “momentum” with recent initiatives like the free tuition announcement and leadership’s philosophy. Feels like NYU, while not as traditionally strong as schools like Hopkins, UCSF, Harvard etc., is on the up and coming.
+ I liked NYC from my minimal time there. A change of environment may be good for me professionally and personally.
+ Admin seems supportive of students. Big fan of Dean Rivera and NYU’s leadership.
+ Clinical rotation sites are excellent. Bellevue, VA, Tisch all within walking distance of one another and subsidized student dorms.

Cons
- Would be hard on my relationship with SO with the substantial distance. Also, very far from family/support network.
- While still a T20, I can’t help feeling its reputation is not as strong as the likes of Hopkins, UCSF, which may be marginally important if I want to work in academic medicine.

Johns Hopkins

Pros
+ Strong within field and public prestige. A national leader in medicine.
+ Proximity to Washington D.C. aligns well with my career interests in health policy.
+ Very low COL. Of the student hosts I stayed with, my Hopkins host definitely had the best living situation for an affordable price.
+ #1 school of public health in the nation and I am potentially interested in an MPH so this would be a great opportunity.
+ Seems like there is more personal mentorship for medical students with the advising/colleges system and being at a private school.

Cons
- As compared to SF and NYC, I definitely did not like Baltimore as much. This feels like a significant con for me.
- Again: very far from family/SO and apparently not known for being generous with financial aid.
Congrats on your acceptances. I am luckily in your situation as well. UCSF, Hopkins and Penn (not officially yet from Penn). High stats but very non traditional. also I have lived in NY for a good chunk of my life. I decided against Hopkins because my SO just refuses to entertain the thought of living in Baltimore. I was thrilled to get accepted at UCSF as an OOS. Before that, I didn't even entertain the idea of moving to the west coast before the cycle began. However, after my interview at SF, I was so convinced that I would have a good time there. In your situation, if you have all your support system there, it's kind of a no brainer to pick UCSF. I am still a bit anxious and on the fence of UCSF because I am afraid I won't like living in SF after many years in NYC. Well, for you, you already know you like SF!

NYU is a terrific school but I personally don't like the east village that much and it's so so expensive there now, much more so than SF. I don't know whether you heard that during the interview, Dr. Wofsy mentioned that they were almost there for free tuition (they already got 300 million), it will start either this year or next year. So do take that into consideration.

Happy deciding! It's so hard.. to make that decision!
 
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Seihai

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It looks like your real choice will be between UCSF and NYU. Your cons for Hopkins are a perfectly reasonable justification for not considering a school.

It's really up to you to weigh how much you value your relationship with your SO in the upcoming years or potentially more financial security (and the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive or necessarily in competition). I would personally go with NYU because the promise of free tuition is too valuable and would theoretically make for greater financial security later in life. If you can go LDL for 4 years, then you could try to match back to CA (and it seems many from NYU match back to CA). The prestige points you mention are marginal at best and insignificant at worst.
 

Luckyone1023

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Congrats on your choices. I'd say that the order in which you've listed these programs is very telling of your personal preference...go where you'll best realize your full potential!
 
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blurb_123

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When I interviewed, the 300 million definitely wasn't confirmed. Maybe something changed, but there would surely be some kind of press release if they already secured the donation.
 

hydrophobicmed

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When I interviewed, the 300 million definitely wasn't confirmed. Maybe something changed, but there would surely be some kind of press release if they already secured the donation.
I interviewed in Nov. He sounded very sure about it. Secured as legally binding yet? Not so sure. He said press release wouldn’t come out until after April 30. Well, people should read this whatever way they want. At the end of the day, you can take the bet. Either way, it’s a good option. I left the interview knowing for sure that I would get accepted because Dean Wofsy said to me “I hope you can come here” so I also believe his words that UCSF would go tuition free.
 
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hydrophobicmed

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interesting. Hopkins gets 1.8billion and here we all are paying full tuition
All those top schools have the money to do it. It’s about the stipulation of those funds. You can have 1.8 billion but the fund is clearly earmarked for facilities and etc. Then it can’t go into free tuition. Again it’s about how the school prioritizes their money. Therefore I think UCSF is going that way.
 

TempuraOreos

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Congratulations on having these awesome choices; I was in a similar situation last year in terms of choices. I think the fact that the most important people and things that matter to you are attached to Cali is telling of where you are already leaning. I would wait to see how the financial situation shakes out because that may sway your decision but right now it looks like UCSF is the move.
 
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If tuition really is going to be free at UCSF at some point, UCSF is the way to go. Your whole family is there, you seem to already like the area.
 

hydrophobicmed

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Lol. I understand that you're going to UCSF and you're trying to justify your decision by counteracting any minutiae of evidence that contradicts your decision. (I interviewed there recently as well). However, the STEP 1 score at UCSF is below that of other top tier schools on a yearly basis. That has to say something about the quality of education. I agree that persistence and determination can allow you to overcome that though
yes, I am going to UCSF, but I also believe that choosing a school based on STEP is completely a wrong approach. I believe I can probably score a 250+ from any medical school, because I think I can score a 250+ without even going to medical school. I self-studied the MCAT after having been out of school for over a decade and did just fine (100% tile), so no I am not justifying why I am going to a school that has a lower STEP, because it has nothing to do with the quality of the school. Just so you know, I turned down Hopkins for UCSF; therefore I really have no reason to justify why I picked a school with a lower STEP other than that I don't think it matters. I also withdrew from NYU pre-II because I found the school to be really sub-par, compared to all the other schools where I had the II's. I am only imparting my opinion here because I had to make the similar decisions.
 
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hydrophobicmed

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I mean, this user has asserted that Yale called them back after they withdrew to “make sure they really wanted to”, Penn offered them not only an acceptance three months before their decision date, but a 21st century scholarship as well, and says they apparently withdrew from Hopkins 10 minutes after their acceptance due to some weird racially tinged remarks about the city of Baltimore being too dangerous to live in. As well as constantly making disparaging statements about schools like Vanderbilt not being prestigious enough to guarantee a good match. Either this user is Jonny Kim 2.0 and is the best med school applicant in the history of time, or they’re not being honest. It’s just getting old.
Not that I am that eager to engage you after many exchanges already, but are you practicing evidence based analysis? Because most of your words are exaggeration. I didn’t withdraw from Hopkins 10 mins later lol. I didn’t say anything disparaging about Vanderbilt anywhere. So I don’t know how you came up with those conclusions.

If you care to dig a bit deeper, you will sure find out that I withdrew from Hopkins after I heard back from UCSF. Also I recommended OP take Vandy for free tuition over UCSF if finance is the most important thing. Also you said other schools? I sincerely don’t like NYU and I say it all the time. I will never go there because I withdrew already. And if anyone asks me whether they should go to Hopkins or NYU, I will always say Hopkins. Is that disparaging? I am not so sure.
 
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hydrophobicmed

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Most schools only focus on retention and recruitment of individual students after they actually accept them, but I’m sure there’s a compelling reason why so many Ivy Leagues have broken all the rules for you. Unless this is all in your head too :thinking:
You can never engage without attacking someone..
 

hydrophobicmed

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As if your original reply wasn’t attacking me before you edited it lol. Anyway, I went and engaged and look, nothing happened and nobody changed their minds. I’ll take my own advice.

for the actual thread, UCSF sems like the best fit as long as it makes financial sense
I said “in your head” because i never did or said anything you said I did or said. Also you just said “many Ivy League schools broke rules”. Only Penn did that, so there’s your exaggeration... thanks trump.
 

walter_heisenberg

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As if your original reply wasn’t attacking me before you edited it lol. Anyway, I went and engaged and look, nothing happened and nobody changed their minds. I’ll take my own advice.

for the actual thread, UCSF seems like the best fit as long as it makes financial sense
Would you pay 200k at UCSF over free tuition at NYU though? Even if it is a good fit
 
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UCSF if its true they are going to go free tuition soon anyways.
Free tuition for all, or need-based debt-free tuition like Columbia that many do not differentiate and call free tuition?
 

DokterMom

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Would you pay 200k at UCSF over free tuition at NYU though? Even if it is a good fit
New York City is definitely not for everyone... Though I suppose that's covered under 'fit' --
 
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Just be aware, in reality, there is big income difference (~2x) between mature careers in those surgery specialties vs EM.

Until you have done it, you don’t realize how hard it is to give up Cali weather for relatively speaking, crap NY weather.
 
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Skarl

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Two important changes that complicate my decision:

1. Step 1 will become pass/fail, arguably increasing the importance of medical school prestige
2. NYU recently offered me a full cost of attendance scholarship

I wonder what people's thoughts are with this new information? Also, I will probably notify Hopkins/UCSF about the scholarship. Should I do this before or after initial financial aid packages are determined?
 

ciestar

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NYU unless UCSF can match.
 

Lawper

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Two important changes that complicate my decision:

1. Step 1 will become pass/fail, arguably increasing the importance of medical school prestige
2. NYU recently offered me a full cost of attendance scholarship

I wonder what people's thoughts are with this new information? Also, I will probably notify Hopkins/UCSF about the scholarship. Should I do this before or after initial financial aid packages are determined?
You literally can't go wrong with any option even with P/F Step 1. I'd go NYU because cost matters unless the other schools match. But the prestige stuff is the same since they're all top schools
 

TempuraOreos

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Two important changes that complicate my decision:

1. Step 1 will become pass/fail, arguably increasing the importance of medical school prestige
2. NYU recently offered me a full cost of attendance scholarship

I wonder what people's thoughts are with this new information? Also, I will probably notify Hopkins/UCSF about the scholarship. Should I do this before or after initial financial aid packages are determined?
I went through this last year with both schools. I was low income and OOS, but UCSF didn't match the Full CoA from NYU (they were the most expensive of my final choices actually). Hopkins did but that was after I talked to a financial advisor in person during second look. I think it's a good idea to send it to all the schools you're considering.
 
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Skarl

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I went through this last year with both schools. I was low income and OOS, but UCSF didn't match the Full CoA from NYU (they were the most expensive of my final choices actually). Hopkins did but that was after I talked to a financial advisor in person during second look. I think it's a good idea to send it to all the schools you're considering.
Thanks for your advice! Did you notify schools of the Full CoA before or after they determined your initial financial aid package?
 
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Luckyone1023

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For me, the draw of living in Manhattan for free in my twenties was a big factor in my decision

Being one of a limited number of students selected for full cost of attendance at NYU is at least as prestigious as attending UCSF or JHU so don’t worry about that

Not to mention NYU has stronger home programs than the others in some of the most competitive fields such as Derm, Plastics, and Ortho

I agree the right move is to try to leverage your offer at NYU for a better financial package at UCSF if that is the place you really want to go, then decide if the extra expense is worth it, but the cost of living expense alone in SF for four years is real money
 
Aug 29, 2019
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I would go debt free, but that's just me. I would choose NYU. There's a prestige difference between NYU and the other schools, but Step 1 being P/F is not enough of a reason to pass up on a free medical education at NYU, in my opinion.
 

TempuraOreos

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Thanks for your advice! Did you notify schools of the Full CoA before or after they determined your initial financial aid package?
Before they determined my initial financial aid package.

Once I got an acceptance offer from a school, I would call and/or forward my scholarship letter from NYU to their financial aid office.
 
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