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DrDre88

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Which should I pick?

University of Illinois (UIC)

OR

Universidad Central del Caribe (UCC, in Puerto Rico)

-UCC holds a couple of main attractions:
1. About $25-$30k cheaper PER YEAR-->approx. $120k less debt
2. Small class size-->Greater teacher access and lab space
3. Will get to really increase my Spanish fluency (which is already decent and don't want to lose)

-UIC advantages (IMO):
1. More prestige
2. In the U.S. mainland
3. Better residency matching

What would you all suggest and what other facets of the situation should I take into account?

MANY THANKS!!
 

DrDre88

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Oh, I also forgot to mention that UCC is U.S.-accredited by the LCME
 

metalgirl14

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I would personally go with UIC...
 

jboz

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I would personally go with UIC...
great informative post :thumbup:...

OP, you should write down what is the most important you in a school and rank it that way: location, cost of attendance, prestige, etc...

$120k is a hard thing to look past. So you should really think about it.

Btw OP, some people on this forum really do think Puerto Rico is a foreign country, so beware! lol
 

GodisGood12

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You will be at a great disadvantage going into residency from UCC. The quality of a U.S. Medical curriculum far surpasses UCC. Even though UCC is cheaper, it is not worth it by any means.

This is my opinion which of course is bias and may be wrong, but please consider that this is not about prestige but rather theyre just different types of medical training.
 

b-real

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You will be at a great disadvantage going into residency from UCC. The quality of a U.S. Medical curriculum far surpasses UCC. Even though UCC is cheaper, it is not worth it by any means.

This is my opinion which of course is bias and may be wrong, but please consider that this is not about prestige but rather theyre just different types of medical training.
UCC is an LCME-accredited, Puerto Rican school, not an offshore Caribbean school.
 

womp

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UCC is an LCME-accredited, Puerto Rican school, not an offshore Caribbean school.
Doesn't matter. They're LCME accredited because Puerto Rico is US territory, and LCME is responsible for accrediting all MD schools in US and Canada. The admission stats for UCC speak for themselves and your rotations will be in Spanish. UCC is not even remotely a major or flagship university in Puerto Rico; it's a tiny little private school founded in the 70s (about as old as other Caribbean offshore schools). If you feel this will help your future career goals then go for it. But it seems foolishly risky just for saving $120k if you have no intention of practicing in Puerto Rico when you get out.

And would your potential patients really care about LCME accreditation when they see you got your medical degree from the "Universidad Central del Caribe"? To them, you went to medical school in the Caribbean, and not even an English-speaking one. I don't have to know a word of Spanish to figure that out.
 

b-real

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Doesn't matter. They're LCME accredited because Puerto Rico is US territory, and LCME is responsible for accrediting all MD schools in US and Canada. The admission stats for UCC speak for themselves and your rotations will be in Spanish. UCC is not even remotely a major or flagship university in Puerto Rico; it's a tiny little private school founded in the 70s (about as old as other Caribbean offshore schools). If you feel this will help your future career goals then go for it. But it seems foolishly risky just for saving $120k if you have no intention of practicing in Puerto Rico when you get out.

And would your potential patients really care about LCME accreditation when they see you got your medical degree from the "Universidad Central del Caribe"? To them, you went to medical school in the Caribbean, and not even an English-speaking one. I don't have to know a word of Spanish to figure that out.
LCME accreditation isn't automatic. Yes, they have to be accredited b/c they're part of the USA, but they must still meet the same standards as every other allopathic school. Also, your patients aren't going to care where you went to med school. They see MD on your badge and they're satisfied.
 

GodisGood12

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The question is not about what the patients think, the question is it will be much more difficult getting into the residency you want from UCC. Is it possible to become a dermatologist from UCC, of course. How likely, not likely. Unless your set on practicing in spanish speaking countries, I really really think UCC is not the way to go. That doesn't mean I think UCC grads are incompetent or not real doctors (far from that).

However, I really do believe when its time for you to choose where you want to practice and what type of specialty, it will hinder you significantly.
 

womp

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LCME accreditation isn't automatic. Yes, they have to be accredited b/c they're part of the USA, but they must still meet the same standards as every other allopathic school. Also, your patients aren't going to care where you went to med school. They see MD on your badge and they're satisfied.
LOL

Same standards as every other allopathic school? The average matriculant MCAT at UCC is 20. You can't even get into a US osteopathic school with that kind of scores.

If the med schools in Puerto Rico had to follow the exact same LCME standards as the mainland, there would be no medical schools in Puerto Rico, and that would be a bad thing for a self-governing territory.

Your patients might not care about where you went to med school since they're already your patients, but most people I know who are signing up for their providers do make a cursory check of their providers' educational backgrounds and reviews. People are generally satisfied when they see nothing too shady. I would argue that outside of Puerto Rico, the "Universidad Central del Caribe" is a little more likely than the "University of Illinois" to trigger people's shadiness meter. :hungover:
 

DrDre88

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Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. It sounds like UIC is the better option (despite the heavier cost) due to the better residency options and greater patient trust later down the line.

I haven't decided where I want to practice medicine after residency, but I'd like to keep my options open.
 

RevivedPreMed

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Don't listen to anyone that says you can't get into residency from UCC. I know someone who went to the dominican republic for medical school (did not know any spanish so he had to work extra hard) and now is a super successful opthamologist who scored in the 99% on his medical boards.

With any school...it's what you make of it.

Honestly because they accept people with lower grades and lower MCATs, some of those people may not handle the load as well which is why the residency rates are lower than schools like Harvard that are chocked full with overachievers.

Just my opinion.
 

RevivedPreMed

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BTW I never said which school you should choose (because it depends entirely on what you want) but I don't think you should not choose UCC just because of residency.
 

womp

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Don't listen to anyone that says you can't get into residency from UCC. I know someone who went to the dominican republic for medical school (did not know any spanish so he had to work extra hard) and now is a super successful opthamologist who scored in the 99% on his medical boards.

With any school...it's what you make of it.

Just my opinion.
Yeah, and I know dozens of people from the Caribbean who are up to their necks in debt and retaking their boards for the 3rd time, praying for a family medicine spot someday.

Hey look, I can pull irrelevant anecdotes out of my ass too. By the way, that 99 score on the USMLE is not a percentile nor percentage.
 

RevivedPreMed

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Yeah, and I know dozens of med school graduates from India who are now super successful cardiologists in America and scored 270 on their boards.

Hey look, I can pull irrelevant anecdotes out of my ass too. By the way, that 99 score on the USMLE is not a percentile or percentage.
99 percentile*** I figured people would get that.
 

KeyzerSoze

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This is an April Fools joke, right?

Next up: Hopkins vs Stewart University, and Drexel vs Hollywood Upstairs Medical College.
 

GodisGood12

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BTW I never said which school you should choose (because it depends entirely on what you want) but I don't think you should not choose UCC just because of residency.
I respectfully disagree strongly. The whole point of medical school is to become a doctor, you can only become a doctor if you go through residency.

Now if we were discussing two U.S. M.D. schools and over analyzing residency matches I'd agree that were really over doing it, pretty much all M.D. schools in the U.S. match into virtually every speciality and region of the U.S (obviously there are differences, but relatively small compared to M.D. vs. Caribbean).

But seriously, people from UCC try to match 2, 3, 4 times and fail the boards considerably. Its soooo much more difficult, its a real dangerous path. Like I said early, the OP could go to UCC and become the best doctor in the world, its possible, but the majority of situations are very different. Most people struggle to get into U.S. residency, let a lone something somewhat competitive.

OP, how much would it suck if after all that hard work in Med School you had to worry about even being able to be a doctor in the U.S.? One of the nicest things about U.S. M.D. schools is once your in your chances of graduating and matching are super super high (around 99%). No price difference is worth going to UCC over UIC.
 

amine2086

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<------- This
 

michiganpsych08

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OP, how much would it suck if after all that hard work in Med School you had to worry about even being able to be a doctor in the U.S.? One of the nicest things about U.S. M.D. schools is once your in your chances of graduating and matching are super super high (around 99%). No price difference is worth going to UCC over UIC.
UCC is a US med school...NOT CARIBBEAN...carry on with the debate but please note its a US allopathic med school
 

GodisGood12

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UCC is a US med school...NOT CARIBBEAN...carry on with the debate but please note its a US allopathic med school
Both Womp and I agree that UCC is US Medical School simply for the fact that it is in puerto rico and thats fine. However its standards are simply no where near regular allopathic med schools. Yes, you are right you can call it a U.S. allopathic school but that doesn't fool residency directors. They really do treat it like a caribbean medical school and they are justified for doing so.
 

metallica81788

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You should still be able to work on your Spanish in Chicago, I don't see why not. Most large cities have large Spanish-speaking populations.
 
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