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GodisGood12

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Yes, I know...it's been most definitely done before in the past, and I've read all those threads extensively. But honestly, I want the opinion of current students, people who interviewed, matriculants, applicants, and hopefuls of today. Medical schools are changing drastically year by year, so I think this is worth revisiting, and I'm honestly stuck choosing between.

A few comments:

1. Money is not a factor between Loyola and UIC, simply because UIC tuition is deceiving (tuition does not account for $3000 in fees, tuition is $10,000 more for M2 and M3, UIC tuition is going up at least 10% cause of budget crisis...once you do the math tuition is equal if not perhaps in favor of loyola)

2. I know both these schools are not highly ranked, but can any of you say outright which is better in that standard, I've read such varying views. If possible also can someone discuss which perhaps better resources in terms of research, connections and which school residency directors regard in higher esteem?

3. Lastly, Curriculum. I like Loyola's condensed and block schedule, its very streamlined but I'm not sure how I feel about such frequent and long (3 hours) discussions after lectures. They're mandatory attendance and it sort've sounds like it might get old when I'd rather just use that time to study on my own. On the other hand, UIC is much more lecture heavy but they also have a pseudo-block schedule where your still taking several classes at once but the majority of lectures center around one (I sorta like that).. i.e. first two months are mostly biochem but also include physiology and anatomy. So any comments on that, which do you guys think is much better?

4. I know academically and in terms of large scheme, the difference between UIC and Loyola isn't much, but they really do have such different approaches to schooling and its been very hard for me to outright decide cause there aspects in each that I really like (Loyola facilities, Loyola atmosphere, UIC location and Med District's strong clinical teaching) and stuff I dislike (Loyola frequent discussions, Loyola Location, UIC facilities).


So please comment on any aspect or any knowledge on this topic because honestly I've considered all aspects and I'm looking for any outside influence even by people who've only heard a bit about each school.

Thanks.
 

BBender716

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This is exactly what I've narrowed it down to as well and you helped me make my decision. I was holding out just in case UIC's finances were significantly better, oops. Now Loyola is going to be my May 15th choice. I loved, LOVED the students at Loyola. Not to say UIC's weren't great as well. I just really felt that I fit more at Loyola. Also, the facilities are top notch and brand spakin' new.

As for the location, I actually like Loyola's location. Where the school is itself is pretty much on the outskirts of a not-so-nice nerighborhood, but it's right off 290 and all the students live in nice neighborhoods within 15 mins. UIC wasn't in my favorite location (medical district) and was too entrenched in the city for my liking.

The lecture and group discussion combo is something I look forward too. I'm a fan of studying with others (to an extent) so I'm not sure exactly if this will be too much or not enough (more doubtful, lol), but the biggest plus is the true block that Loyola has. Really really was looking for block scheduling at med school.

Looking like Loyola here I come :)
 

GodisGood12

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Thanks for the response. But a few things:


Loyola def has that whole nice amazing good people feel to it, its very bright and jolly there. But there is one gaping con which is its not very diverse, and usually people think diverse means percentage of African americans or nonwhites, but just in general UIC boats a lot of ethnicities, religions, experiences and that stuff matters to me cause I've gone to a a super diverse school and you just feel way more comfortable, you don't have to explain anything cause everyone is already knowledgeable. I got the feeling that everyone at Loyola was super nice and friendly but there wasnt much variety. I'm sure someone will comment on this lol.

I love Loyola's block but I think theyre over doing it with discussions, I really do. Unless its in a different format, I think it gets old discussing material with a bunch of people, it seems like its not efficient. As Im sure many Med students will tell you, everyone has their own pace, strategy, and ability to learn. To me being in so many discussions seems inefficient. I guess I sorta prefer studying on my own, its not a competitive thing but its more effective for me.

Location isnt that big of a deal for me, Its all Chicagoland.

When I left Loyola's interview, I was so convinced I loved it, but UIC has grown on me like crazzyy, especially how hands on and impressive their clinical years and clinical integration is.

Im still lost.
 

GodisGood12

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Any other opinions? Comments? Each school thread is loaded with applicants, surely some of you have strong opinions?

Thanks.
 

womp

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Loyola def has that whole nice amazing good people feel to it, its very bright and jolly there. But there is one gaping con which is its not very diverse, and usually people think diverse means percentage of African americans or nonwhites, but just in general UIC boats a lot of ethnicities, religions, experiences and that stuff matters to me cause I've gone to a a super diverse school and you just feel way more comfortable, you don't have to explain anything cause everyone is already knowledgeable. I got the feeling that everyone at Loyola was super nice and friendly but there wasnt much variety. I'm sure someone will comment on this lol.

I love Loyola's block but I think theyre over doing it with discussions, I really do. Unless its in a different format, I think it gets old discussing material with a bunch of people, it seems like its not efficient. As Im sure many Med students will tell you, everyone has their own pace, strategy, and ability to learn. To me being in so many discussions seems inefficient. I guess I sorta prefer studying on my own, its not a competitive thing but its more effective for me.

Location isnt that big of a deal for me, Its all Chicagoland.

When I left Loyola's interview, I was so convinced I loved it, but UIC has grown on me like crazzyy, especially how hands on and impressive their clinical years and clinical integration is.

Im still lost.
I think the long discussions will grate on you over time, particularly if you're more of an independent student in undergrad. Most of the small group discussions are asinine especially if you're a non-traditional who has a few years of real world perspective. My SO goes to UChicago and they have quite a bit of small group discussions, and my SO feels like wanting to strangle some of the people in them most of the time. It gets even worse for medical ethics or economics discussions. Some of the people in the groups don't do any of the readings and have no idea what's going on, and most of the ideas offered in the discussions are all too hackneyed, cliched and not at all diverse (not surprising since most med students come from sheltered middle to upper middle class backgrounds). And UChicago is supposed to have a smart bunch. I'd imagine Loyola would be similar. I think you'd be disappointed if you expected intense, thoughtful Socratic discussions going on in those precious hours.
 

RevivedPreMed

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You say they are similar with rankings and academics so you need to choose based off of where you'd feel more comfortable. I wouldn't be too worried about diversity because even if everyone is of two races, everyone comes from different backgrounds and upbringings. We are all diverse (but it's a small world after all...hahaha I had to).

I don't know anything about Loyola so I can't really judge between the two.

You'll get a similar education at both schools so I'd go with your gut. Which school made you feel warm and tingly? haha
 
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UIC no doubt. Simply because I will be going there. :) haha just kidding ... kind of.

Plus, three hour discussions?? That really does seem like a turnoff especially if you are an independent studier. I say this because I, myself, am an independent studier and find that I get little out of discussions.

Go with your gut - either way, you will win.
 

MU BIOM

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I am an M1 at Loyola right now and I wanted to make sure there was no confusion about discussion sessions. The only 3 hour discussions sessions we have are part of the Patient Centered Medicine course and we only have them once per week - the calendar lists 3 times per week because only 1/3 of the class has PCM on a given day. Also, in my experience the sessions VERY rarely reach 3 hours and mine normally ends in 2.

There are small group sessions for the science curriculum but those are normally 1.5 to 2 hours but their attendance is not seriously monitored. Also, the intent of these sessions is to work through problems and there are facilitators in all of the rooms to keep groups from getting stuck. The vast majority of the class makes all of the sessions but it is not uncommon to be missing a member or two of a small group.

Average hours in small group is probably 5 per week.
 

BBender716

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I am an M1 at Loyola right now and I wanted to make sure there was no confusion about discussion sessions. The only 3 hour discussions sessions we have are part of the Patient Centered Medicine course and we only have them once per week - the calendar lists 3 times per week because only 1/3 of the class has PCM on a given day. Also, in my experience the sessions VERY rarely reach 3 hours and mine normally ends in 2.

There are small group sessions for the science curriculum but those are normally 1.5 to 2 hours but their attendance is not seriously monitored. Also, the intent of these sessions is to work through problems and there are facilitators in all of the rooms to keep groups from getting stuck. The vast majority of the class makes all of the sessions but it is not uncommon to be missing a member or two of a small group.

Average hours in small group is probably 5 per week.
Thank you MU BIOM, good to know. :)
 

GodisGood12

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I think the long discussions will grate on you over time, particularly if you're more of an independent student in undergrad. Most of the small group discussions are asinine especially if you're a non-traditional who has a few years of real world perspective. My SO goes to UChicago and they have quite a bit of small group discussions, and my SO feels like wanting to strangle some of the people in them most of the time. It gets even worse for medical ethics or economics discussions. Some of the people in the groups don't do any of the readings and have no idea what's going on, and most of the ideas offered in the discussions are all too hackneyed, cliched and not at all diverse (not surprising since most med students come from sheltered middle to upper middle class backgrounds). And UChicago is supposed to have a smart bunch. I'd imagine Loyola would be similar. I think you'd be disappointed if you expected intense, thoughtful Socratic discussions going on in those precious hours.
Ya I just see it getting old really really fast, Loyola curriculum is great and Im sure the people are amazing, but I just can't handle a bunch of discussions even if it was intellectual, Id rather just get to the point and study. So this is a big Con for me. Thanks for the reply. I just sorta wish UIC's research and clinic exposure also had Loyola's atmosphere and facilities. That would be the best school ever.

You say they are similar with rankings and academics so you need to choose based off of where you'd feel more comfortable. I wouldn't be too worried about diversity because even if everyone is of two races, everyone comes from different backgrounds and upbringings. We are all diverse (but it's a small world after all...hahaha I had to).

I don't know anything about Loyola so I can't really judge between the two.

You'll get a similar education at both schools so I'd go with your gut. Which school made you feel warm and tingly? haha
Thanks for the post. Loyola was my first interview so I was blown away and I really liked it, so I guess I felt warm there, but logic tells me the better fit might be UIC. Its kinda like I felt great at Loyola but I feel like the right choice is UIC, that doesnt make any sense at all does it, lol. Right now they are neck and neck, anyone have any ideas if one is ranked higher or has a better reputation? I know UIC is ranked higher in NIH funding.

I am an M1 at Loyola right now and I wanted to make sure there was no confusion about discussion sessions. The only 3 hour discussions sessions we have are part of the Patient Centered Medicine course and we only have them once per week - the calendar lists 3 times per week because only 1/3 of the class has PCM on a given day. Also, in my experience the sessions VERY rarely reach 3 hours and mine normally ends in 2.

There are small group sessions for the science curriculum but those are normally 1.5 to 2 hours but their attendance is not seriously monitored. Also, the intent of these sessions is to work through problems and there are facilitators in all of the rooms to keep groups from getting stuck. The vast majority of the class makes all of the sessions but it is not uncommon to be missing a member or two of a small group.

Average hours in small group is probably 5 per week.
Thanks so much for the reply, I appreciate it. Im still not excited about group problem solving, Im sure it works for many, but for me Im not so sure. Do you feel like those 5 hours spent doing those discussions are more efficient or worthwhile than independent study? Can you comment about what youve heard about M3 and M4? Thanks.
 

GodisGood12

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Im visiting UIC's first look, but I'm not free to go to Loyola's. Honestly, I remember my interview at Loyola really well, it was my first so I soaked it all in and really researched a lot about the school.

And as everyone knows, everyone was so friendly and super happy. But I was reading another UIC vs. Loyola thread and someone sorta made me skeptical about using happiness as a factor in going to a medical school. It is medical school after all, its gonna be tough regardless. I feel like UIC doesn't baby you which makes you tougher for M2 and M3, while Loyola sorta takes you by the hand. I actually prefer the first method, UIC is really visceral and gritty, I like that. But If you dig through other threads I guess UIC is known to have a sizable portion of the class size who sorta aren't happy at all, is that true?. On the other hand, I kinda felt like Loyola was kinda sugar coated.

What do I know, I really welcome anyone to correct my perceptions and observations. Id love to hear people make bold statements clearly advocating one school over the other.
 

benicar

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A few issues that have come to mind...

Research: No question UIC has more ongoing research programs/projects. Specifically, UIC has a strong basic science research program and infrastructure. Ergo, if you are thinking of being a physician-scientist who works in a lab, go to UIC. The only caveat being if you know of a specific lab or researcher at Loyola that is currently conducting research in your area of interest than the point is moot. In regards to clinical or translational research, UIC is again the stronger institution but again with the caveat that Loyola may have a strong clinical research program in a certain field/area you are interested in.

No difference in terms of residencies in my opinion. I've looked both schools (as well as Rush's) match lists from the past few years and they look roughly the same to me. What's roughly the same? That on the whole 1/3 of students get highly sought after placements at highly regarded academic institutions, 1/3 get solid placements at large academic medical centers and the remaining 1/3 are placed in smaller community hospitals and (or) in less competitive fields. The two variables I looked at and used to discriminate between the groups were the competitiveness of field itself and prestige of the institution. However it should be noted that these variables are not perfectly correlated with one another. Furthermore, how do you compare a surgical or derm residency at Loyola or UIC to an internal medicine residency at U of Michigan, UCSF or other top institution? That said, the eye test works but is imperfect.

You will often hear the following...
UIC has little in the way of guidance or support.
Loyola has a substantial amount of guidance and support.
I think that is a fair and accurate description but...

What can be hand holding to one person can be a guiding moment to another. And a milieu that cultivates self-motivation and self-reliance can also leave someone else feeling lost and frustrated.

Medical school is grueling and determining what environment will best facilitate one's success is a difficult process that requires some soul searching. Hope this helps.
 
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1. Money is not a factor between Loyola and UIC, simply because UIC tuition is deceiving (tuition does not account for $3000 in fees, tuition is $10,000 more for M2 and M3, UIC tuition is going up at least 10% cause of budget crisis...once you do the math tuition is equal if not perhaps in favor of loyola)
Just wondering where you got this info from? I checked the website and the Financial Aid booklet they gave at the interview and didn't see any mention of the $10,000 increase for M2/3 or the 10% overall increase. I also did some googling. If you could post the link/info that would be great! I've been on the cusp about UIC due to being "in-state" but with these increases that they seem to "hide" from us, it might be easier go where I want instead of worrying about $$$$. Thanks!!!
 

benicar

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Just wondering where you got this info from? I checked the website and the Financial Aid booklet they gave at the interview and didn't see any mention of the $10,000 increase for M2/3 or the 10% overall increase. I also did some googling. If you could post the link/info that would be great! I've been on the cusp about UIC due to being "in-state" but with these increases that they seem to "hide" from us, it might be easier go where I want instead of worrying about $$$$. Thanks!!!

M2 and M3 include a 10,000 summer tuition charge. Considering the state's budget problems I would say its a safe bet to count on tuition increases every year for the foreseeable future. Fee's are also a mechanism to circumvent tuition caps so they are likely to continue rising as well.

http://www.medicine.uic.edu/finaid/cost/COA/

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the total cost for M2 and M3.

The numbers below are the instate Cost of Attendance (COA) figures for the 2010-2011 year.

M1: $55,994
M2: $74,298
M3: $76,073
M4: $55,454
 
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M2 and M3 include a 10,000 summer tuition charge. Considering the state's budget problems I would say its a safe bet to count on tuition increases every year for the foreseeable future. Fee's are also a mechanism to circumvent tuition caps so they are likely to continue rising as well.

http://www.medicine.uic.edu/finaid/cost/COA/

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the total cost for M2 and M3.

The numbers below are the instate Cost of Attendance (COA) figures for the 2010-2011 year.

M1: $55,994
M2: $74,298
M3: $76,073
M4: $55,454
Thanks for the quick response. I had a brain fart there with not including the summer for M2 and M3. UIC is pretty sneaky with all this.
 

benicar

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http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/uiccomdeansletter/


Check out the comments on the signatures pages 1 through 5.

Whether or not the employee in question should have been let go, what is concerning is the consistency and tone of the comments from current and former students.

As someone debating UIC or Loyola it puts the concerns echoed by others over the years in context. Do any current students or others have any insight on these issues?
 
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