Status
Not open for further replies.

BubbaChuck3

7+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2009
153
1
191
Status
Pre-Medical
I have had a lot of state school love during this process. I have been accepted to three great state schools, unfortunately I'm an OOSer for all three. I really enjoyed the schools when I visited (Although I loved UMich much more than the other 2). All things considered - academics, reputation, match lists, quality of life and location - which one would you pick? I am also interested in competitive residencies (or at least the option to match at one) and ideally I would like to end up in the north east coast, but this could change. What complicates this is that I have received a full tuition scholarship from University of Wisconsin and I received a full instate tuition scholarship from UNC. So I would pay the difference b/w OOS and IS the first year. I think that is about 15k. UMich gave out their scholarship offer today and I was not fortunate enough to receive it but they did say they will be giving out more scholarships in the end of April.

I also was not a fan of the doing my rotations all over the state as I would be have to do at UNC and UWisconsin but I did like these schools. I just had a sort of a love affair with UMich after I visited it. I am interested in knowing your choice and your reasoning for choosing.
 
Last edited:

JasonE

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2008
903
3
0
Status
unc for $/reputation combo. a full mich oos tuition will be deadly
 

Rach83

10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
533
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
How much is instate tuition at UNC?
ETA: n/m I just realized that 13k is the amount of scholarship, and not the difference between IS and OOS.
 
Last edited:
Oct 24, 2009
159
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I have been accepted to all three. I really enjoyed the schools when I visited (Although I loved UMich much more than the other 2). All things considered - academics, reputation, match lists, quality of life and location - which one would you pick? I am also interested in competitive residencies (or at least the option to match at one) and ideally I would like to end up in the north east coast, but this could change. What complicates this is that I have received a full tuition scholarship from University of Wisconsin and I received a full instate tuition scholarship from UNC. So I would pay the difference b/w OOS and IS the first year. I think that is about 15k. UMich gave out their scholarship offer today and I was not fortunate enough to receive it but they did say they will be giving out more scholarships in the end of April.

I also was not a fan of the doing my rotations all over the state as I would be have to do at UNC and UWisconsin but I did like these schools. I just had a sort of a love affair with UMich after I visited it. I am interested in knowing your choice and your reasoning for choosing.
I totally understand the love affair with Michigan!! My affair will probably last for the next four years ;)

But I know money is a huge deal, and with no scholarship from Michigan, it would be really hard for you to justify the financial burden of so many loans when you could essentially be loan free. I would say decide between Wisconsin and UNC temporarily so you can free up a spot for some waitlist people, and then wait until April/May to see if Michigan offers you more, then you'll just have to choose between two schools.
 

naijaboi

MS0
Nov 20, 2009
287
4
41
Boston, MA
Status
Medical Student
UNC for the same reasons as above. Plus it is a lot warmer than Ann Arbor. The Michigan name does not automatically open doors, you have to do it yourself. You clearly have what it takes, so I am sure that you will do the same for residencies.

Extra $100,000 in debt hardly seems worth it to pick Michigan over UNC. They are both top 20 schools.
 

Soapcat

7+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2010
38
0
141
Status
Pre-Medical
UNC for the same reasons as above. Plus it is a lot warmer than Ann Arbor. The Michigan name does not automatically open doors, you have to do it yourself. You clearly have what it takes, so I am sure that you will do the same for residencies.

Extra $100,000 in debt hardly seems worth it to pick Michigan over UNC. They are both top 20 schools.
:thumbup:
 

alibai3ah

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2008
1,422
1
91
Status
Pre-Medical
If you REALLY REALLY REALLY Love Michigan or REALLY HATE NC/Wisconsin = then go to Michigan

Otherwise, stick with the money.
 

drizzt3117

chick magnet
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2006
14,647
28
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I think you should go where you're going to be happy, if it's UM then go there. You're going to be most successful when you put yourself in position to succeed.
 

Appless

10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2009
5,091
1
0
Status
id go unc or uw mad. of those 3, I only interviewed at UW mad but it was pretty great there:). Umich may have the oh look at me "prestige" factor but 200k is ridic when you have the option to be what 50k in debt max or less? No school is worth that when both schools are still "top" schools if you are using rankings and prestige and such. Id go uw because of the free money assuming you liked it. People say go where youll be happiest, with the future of medicine and salaries so wildy uncertain, knowing i wont be crushed by debt will make me happiest over the ego boost of X school :).
 

Rach83

10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
533
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
id go unc or uw mad. of those 3, I only interviewed at UW mad but it was pretty great there:). Umich may have the oh look at me "prestige" factor but 200k is ridic when you have the option to be what 50k in debt max or less? No school is worth that when both schools are still "top" schools if you are using rankings and prestige and such. Id go uw because of the free money assuming you liked it. People say go where youll be happiest, with the future of medicine and salaries so wildy uncertain, knowing i wont be crushed by debt will make me happiest over the ego boost of X school :).
I believe the difference between Umich and UNC would be ~80k. Probably 200k difference between Umich and UW. :eek:
 

SteinUmStein

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2009
1,948
140
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Edit: see post at end of thread.
 
Last edited:

naus

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2004
391
27
251
Status
$200k is nothing to sneeze at.. This is after-tax money and for the average person, a mortgage. Most households work for a lifetime to pay off that mortgage.

That UMich fleece ain't worth $200k.
 
OP
BubbaChuck3

BubbaChuck3

7+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2009
153
1
191
Status
Pre-Medical
id go unc or uw mad. of those 3, I only interviewed at UW mad but it was pretty great there:). Umich may have the oh look at me "prestige" factor but 200k is ridic when you have the option to be what 50k in debt max or less? No school is worth that when both schools are still "top" schools if you are using rankings and prestige and such. Id go uw because of the free money assuming you liked it. People say go where youll be happiest, with the future of medicine and salaries so wildy uncertain, knowing i wont be crushed by debt will make me happiest over the ego boost of X school :).
Unfortunately I wish the max would be 50k max at UNC or UWisconsin but the cost of living for any medschool alone will put me in the hole 70k. So basically a full tuition offer = 70k+ of debt. But I see what you are saying and everyone else basically. I just was trying to find a way to justify accruing the significant amount of debt for UMich. It's not looking like it can't be justified.
 
Last edited:

BlueElmo

10+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2006
14,411
23
251
Status
Medical Student
Silly UMich and their wiles... tempting people into absurd debt, and for what? I'll gladly 'Go Blue' as long as it's not from asphyxiation under mountains of crushing debt! :smuggrin:
Just root for OSU Buckeyes.:thumbup:
 

Bbon

5+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2009
305
3
91
Status
Medical Student
You went to UNC's second look, I'm guessing? If so, what'd you think? I definitely liked the school a lot more after that. Was pretty underwhelmed on the interview day, but looking back, it makes a lot of sense. There's no real reason to woo you before they've even accepted you, and most of the class is in-state, so the cost + reputation is enough of a draw to keep most interested at least until second look comes around.

I wouldn't worry too much about having to do your rotations at other hospitals. If you don't want to travel much, you can look into the locations closest to Chapel Hill (Raleigh- approx. 25 miles; Greensboro- approx. 50 miles). From what I understand, third year med students pretty much live at the hospital anyway.

For the other considerations, I don't know anything about Wisconsin, but I think in a lot of regards, the differences between UNC and Michigan aren't particularly outstanding. Both have limited class time with the bonus of recorded lectures, are similarly ranked with regional biases for residency, are state schools with above-average (but not huge) class sizes, and offer a decent amount of research opportunities, particularly summer between M1 and M2, with no required thesis. Michigan hospital is probably better and the Michigan name might have a little more weight, but doubt it merits the extra $100,000 or so.

You might want to consider if you prefer North Carolina or Michigan. Weather is definitely better in NC, and both are nice college towns with things to do. All-in-all, I'm basically in your position as an ISer at UNC, but with more of a regional bias.
 

drizzt3117

chick magnet
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2006
14,647
28
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I would go where you feel like you'll be happiest. My experience is that 4 years is a long time to be somewhere you don't want to be.
 

womp

7+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,143
60
171
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I would go where you feel like you'll be happiest. My experience is that 4 years is a long time to be somewhere you don't want to be.
This is vague advice. Many people can be happy with a variety of places. A lot depends upon expectations as well. UMich for the OP will have a mighty high bar of expectations to fulfill if the OP has to pay $150,000+ more to attend. Just because he thinks he might be happier at UMich now (given limited information), doesn't mean it will stay that way when he's an actual student there and each lecture is $400.

And contrary to your experience, my experience with college tells me 4 years is not a long time, even if you didn't particularly enjoy it. It goes by very quickly when you're busy. But $150,000 of extra debt plus interest is objective and can have an impact on future utility.
 

Rach83

10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
533
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
How much of a $$ difference would you guys need to pick the cheaper school you like less?
I was thinking of declining a school that is ~15k/yr less than others because I didn't like it as much (though similarly ranked). Based on everyone's responses to pick UNC (which is about 20k cheaper than Umich) it seems that most of you would pick the cheaper school....
 

metallica81788

Keeper of the Llamaworm
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2007
11,997
58
271
Status
Resident [Any Field]
It sounds like you really want Michigan, but just plan ahead in case you don't get one of those later scholarships.

Do you really like Michigan 100k+ more than UNC or UW? I would personall pick UNC in your situation, because it would offer a great school at a fairly bargain price.

But I am all about doing your dream school, so maybe you should go with Michigan if it is your dream school.
 

drizzt3117

chick magnet
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2006
14,647
28
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
This is vague advice. Many people can be happy with a variety of places. A lot depends upon expectations as well. UMich for the OP will have a mighty high bar of expectations to fulfill if the OP has to pay $150,000+ more to attend. Just because he thinks he might be happier at UMich now (given limited information), doesn't mean it will stay that way when he's an actual student there and each lecture is $400.

And contrary to your experience, my experience with college tells me 4 years is not a long time, even if you didn't particularly enjoy it. It goes by very quickly when you're busy. But $150,000 of extra debt plus interest is objective and can have an impact on future utility.
I go to one of the schools that the OP got a scholarship at, and I'd still advise them to go to UM if that's where they really feel they're the best fit. I'm very happy with my med school experience, but I made my choice of where to go to school after careful consideration, I'm sure one of the reasons I've bern successful is being somewhere I really WANT to be. Med school is hard even if you have all your ducks in a row. If you go to the cheaper (and somewhat less reputable) school and do worse because it's not the best situation for you, you might be costing yourself the ability to do things you really want in your future career.
 
OP
BubbaChuck3

BubbaChuck3

7+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2009
153
1
191
Status
Pre-Medical
You went to UNC's second look, I'm guessing? If so, what'd you think? I definitely liked the school a lot more after that. Was pretty underwhelmed on the interview day, but looking back, it makes a lot of sense. There's no real reason to woo you before they've even accepted you, and most of the class is in-state, so the cost + reputation is enough of a draw to keep most interested at least until second look comes around.

I wouldn't worry too much about having to do your rotations at other hospitals. If you don't want to travel much, you can look into the locations closest to Chapel Hill (Raleigh- approx. 25 miles; Greensboro- approx. 50 miles). From what I understand, third year med students pretty much live at the hospital anyway.

For the other considerations, I don't know anything about Wisconsin, but I think in a lot of regards, the differences between UNC and Michigan aren't particularly outstanding. Both have limited class time with the bonus of recorded lectures, are similarly ranked with regional biases for residency, are state schools with above-average (but not huge) class sizes, and offer a decent amount of research opportunities, particularly summer between M1 and M2, with no required thesis. Michigan hospital is probably better and the Michigan name might have a little more weight, but doubt it merits the extra $100,000 or so.

You might want to consider if you prefer North Carolina or Michigan. Weather is definitely better in NC, and both are nice college towns with things to do. All-in-all, I'm basically in your position as an ISer at UNC, but with more of a regional bias.
Thanks for the advice I will take it into consideration. I was always under the impression that Michigan although it would not open doors for you. It will at least get you to the door so you can knock it down yourself. I know this doesn't say the whole story but the Michigan match list compared to the other two schools are not really comparable in my opinion.Michgan's match list UNC's Match list and Wisconsin asked us not to distribute their matchlist, but it is comparable to UNC. Like I said I liked all the 3 schools. I just had somewhat of a love affair with UMich.

Also, unfortunately I did not make it to UNC second look and I am kicking myself now for that. I guess I kind of always assumed I was going to UMich but now thinking of all the money I'll owe makes me pause. Plus Umich and UWisconsin both will be paying for my way to their respective second looks so there was more incentive for me to sign up for their second looks.
 
Last edited:

drizzt3117

chick magnet
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2006
14,647
28
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for the advice I will take it into consideration. I was always under the impression that Michigan although it would not open doors for you. It will at least get you to the door so you can knock it down yourself. I know this doesn't say the whole story but the Michigan match list compared to the other two schools are not really comparable in my opinion.Michgan's match list UNC's Match list and Wisconsin asked us not to distribute their matchlist, but it is comparable to UNC. Like I said I liked all the 3 schools. I just had somewhat of a love affair with UMich.

Also, unfortunately I did not make it to UNC second look and I am kicking myself now for that. I guess I kind of always assumed I was going to UMich but now thinking of all the money I'll owe makes me pause. Plus Umich and UWisconsin both will be paying for my way to their respective second looks so there was more incentive for me to sign up for their second looks.
Honestly, the reason I was recommending you attend UM had to do with fit and not prestige. There is really very little difference in terms of national reputation between these three schools. The difference in match lists has much more to do with preference than anything else. In any case, UM's list, while nice, isn't a list like Harvard's where you're seeing every third person matching into a top 5 program in the field. There's a few people matching into top programs in their respective fields, just like UW and UNCs, and a somewhat higher amount of people going into competitive specialties, which is likely due to preference. There are a LOT of people at traditionally relatively more primary care-oriented schools that have wanted to be family doctors or pediatricians their whole lives.

You're probably going to get a few more people going into specialties at UM than at UNC/UW but that's simply preference, not because they couldn't match into something more competitive, and it's certainly not to the same degree as an Ivy (When I look at Dartmouth's match list a few years ago something like 60 out of 70 people went into a non-primary care specialty)

Generally in PDs eyes there's going to be Harvard, Hopkins, UCSF, and maybe Penn, and then the top 25. East Coast PDs will probably favor Columbia, Cornell, Yale over UCLA, Stanford, UCSD, and vice versa, Midwestern PDs will probably favor U Chicago, UM, Wash U, but besides that, IMO you won't get big differences going to other schools that are in the top 25. That shouldn't be the reason you decide you want to go to UM over the other schools, it should be because you think the environment is a better fit for you.
 

naus

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2004
391
27
251
Status
I was always under the impression that Michigan although it would not open doors for you. It will at least get you to the door so you can knock it down yourself. I know this doesn't say the whole story but the Michigan match list compared to the other two schools are not really comparable in my opinion.Michgan's match list UNC's Match list and Wisconsin asked us not to distribute their matchlist, but it is comparable to UNC. Like I said I liked all the 3 schools. I just had somewhat of a love affair with UMich.
U-M has a pretty big class size for a top 15 school. And to be honest our match list isn't that amazing relative to its ranking. UChicago's match list puts us to shame (10% of their class got into Harvard), and they are ranked lower. You also have to consider that the average entering MCAT at Michigan is 35-36, which is much higher than UW and UNC. Higher MCAT tends to correlate to higher board schools and better residencies. I believe our average Step 1 score is somewhere around 237-239, which is very high, but it also means it's harder to differentiate yourself among your class when the class average is pulling a 99. So the fact that Michigan has a marginally (and I emphasize marginally) better match list than UW and UNC isn't really that surprising.
 

SteinUmStein

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2009
1,948
140
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
U-M has a pretty big class size for a top 15 school. And to be honest our match list isn't that amazing relative to its ranking. UChicago's match list puts us to shame, and they are ranked lower. You also have to consider that the average entering MCAT at Michigan is 35-36, which is much higher than UW and UNC. Higher MCAT tends to correlate to higher board schools and better residencies. I believe our average Step 1 score is somewhere around 237-239. Very high, but it also means it's harder to differentiate yourself among your class. So the fact that Michigan has a marginally (and I emphasize marginally) better match list than UW and UNC isn't really that surprising.
Did UMich just run out of money this year? I've been talking to several stellar applicants I met on the interview trail this year with stats well above Michigan's averages and good research/EC's who got nothing from Michigan. Maybe the state's economic situation is pulling it down? I dunno, it just seems weird because I always heard they gave out plenty of merit aid. :confused:
 

naus

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2004
391
27
251
Status
Did UMich just run out of money this year? I've been talking to several stellar applicants I met on the interview trail this year with stats well above Michigan's averages and good research/EC's who got nothing from Michigan. Maybe the state's economic situation is pulling it down? I dunno, it just seems weird because I always heard they gave out plenty of merit aid. :confused:
Yeah, I was always under the impression we had $4 million or so per class. $1.6 million for this year seemed really low. At least with all of Michigan state's problems U-M offers some money. I read somewhere that neighboring Illinois is thinking of hiking tuition up by 18% for UIC and SIU? It's pretty pathetic how everyone else but politicians and administrators pay for bad governance.
 

SteinUmStein

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2009
1,948
140
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yeah, I was always under the impression we had $4 million or so per class. $1.6 million for this year seemed really low. At least with all of Michigan state's problems U-M offers some money. I read somewhere that neighboring Illinois is thinking of hiking tuition up by 18% for UIC and SIU? It's pretty pathetic how everyone else but politicians and administrators pay for bad governance.
I don't think politicians even begin to understand how much impact a few measly million dollars of difference in aid to a state medical school (which for a state budget is negligible) has on the quality of medical students, and thus future doctors in the state. Especially with the potential drop in physician salaries, financial aid is becoming a bigger factor in school selection every year.
 

drizzt3117

chick magnet
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2006
14,647
28
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I think UM figures they'll be just fine either way and they will, there's not going to be a shortage of people who will go there no matter what it costs.
 

SteinUmStein

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2009
1,948
140
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I think UM figures they'll be just fine either way and they will, there's not going to be a shortage of people who will go there no matter what it costs.
Yeah, I can see how that would be the case. Honestly, I think the formula of "create an awesome school and they will come regardless of cost" may be wearing out as physician salaries drop and as pre-meds become more wary of taking out absurd levels of debt. At one point $200k+ in debt was feasible, but I think those days are quickly coming to an end.
 

drizzt3117

chick magnet
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2006
14,647
28
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yeah, I can see how that would be the case. Honestly, I think the formula of "create an awesome school and they will come regardless of cost" may be wearing out as physician salaries drop and as pre-meds become more wary of taking out absurd levels of debt. At one point $200k+ in debt was feasible, but I think those days are quickly coming to an end.
It's actually pretty amusing to me that this discussion is still going on. I've been involved with the actual economics of health care for nearly a decade (before I decided to pursue a career in medicine I was consulting for health care companies, doing my part to drive down physician salaries) and although reimbursements per procedure may have dropped marginally over that period of time, actual take home pay has increased substantially (definitely above COLA)

I'm less than concerned about the upcoming changes in health care. With 38 million new patients being brought into the fold, a trillion more dollars to be spent on health care, and little or no chance that new residency positions will be created in any sort of timely manner, (The AAMC can increase the amount of med student seats all they want, the real bottleneck is the amount of seats in residency training programs. While this will make it harder to get residencies, the people really hurt by this are FMGs and DO students) where do you think all this money is going to go?

Be worried about it if you want, though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DSM_302.0

SteinUmStein

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2009
1,948
140
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
It's actually pretty amusing to me that this discussion is still going on. I've been involved with the actual economics of health care for nearly a decade (before I decided to pursue a career in medicine I was consulting for health care companies, doing my part to drive down physician salaries) and although reimbursements per procedure may have dropped marginally over that period of time, actual take home pay has increased substantially (definitely above COLA)

I'm less than concerned about the upcoming changes in health care. With 38 million new patients being brought into the fold, a trillion more dollars to be spent on health care, and little or no chance that new residency positions will be created in any sort of timely manner, (The AAMC can increase the amount of med student seats all they want, the real bottleneck is the amount of seats in residency training programs. While this will make it harder to get residencies, the people really hurt by this are FMGs and DO students) where do you think all this money is going to go?

Be worried about it if you want, though.
You have excellent points. Though I'm not sure how concern about debt load can ever really backfire on someone.

I suppose if they went to a "lesser" school for money reasons and then couldn't get into the residency/career they wanted specifically because of the difference in school reputation... I suppose it is possible to be too concerned about one's debt. Seems strange, though. :laugh:
 
OP
BubbaChuck3

BubbaChuck3

7+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2009
153
1
191
Status
Pre-Medical
Average medical school debt the last 5 years. 2008 23% of med students had debt over 200k. Outstanding.

 

drizzt3117

chick magnet
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2006
14,647
28
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You have excellent points. Though I'm not sure how concern about debt load can ever really backfire on someone.

I suppose if they went to a "lesser" school for money reasons and then couldn't get into the residency/career they wanted specifically because of the difference in school reputation... I suppose it is possible to be too concerned about one's debt. Seems strange, though. :laugh:
I just think that people should go where they're going to be comfortable and happy. Med school is hard enough that putting yourself in a less than optimal situation isn't going to do you any favors. Having a low debt load if all else is equal is a good thing and fiscally responsible but the most important thing IMO is to put yourself in a situation where you're going to succeed. That might mean being close to family, that might mean being in an environment where you feel like you have support from the administration or a "culture" that's more consistent with how you are, it might mean being in a place with good weather. In any case, IMO fit is the most important thing when it comes to your medical education. Everyone on SDN talks about cost being the end-all be-all and I just don't agree.

A few months ago we had a dinner hosted by the family medicine interest group, where a young family medicine attending who had actually went to UM OOS was talking about how he had been an attending for four years and had already paid off 2/3 of his debt with his wife being a stay at home mom, owning a house, three cars, and having two kids in private schools. The whole point was that going into family medicine isn't going to make it impossible to pay of your debt but I thought it was instructive. This isn't necessarily applicable to everyone. My mid-sized Midwestern town has relatively high physician salaries and relatively low cost of living, and you certainly wouldn't be able to do this living in Manhattan, but it's still a pretty good example. If he'd been in, for example, anesthesia, he'd probably have been able to pay off all his debt and have a good chunk of money in the bank already, our hospital parking lot is full of physicians driving BMWs, Lexuses, and Mercedes' who have million dollar houses, and these are academic physicians. Doctors like to whine about how much they're being squeezed but the reality is just a little bit different. Granted, even in specialties like radiology, people are working more hours now, ~50 instead of the 30 or whatever they were working 10 years ago, but they're also making more money.
 

Appless

10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2009
5,091
1
0
Status
I just think that people should go where they're going to be comfortable and happy. Med school is hard enough that putting yourself in a less than optimal situation isn't going to do you any favors. Having a low debt load if all else is equal is a good thing and fiscally responsible but the most important thing IMO is to put yourself in a situation where you're going to succeed. That might mean being close to family, that might mean being in an environment where you feel like you have support from the administration or a "culture" that's more consistent with how you are, it might mean being in a place with good weather. In any case, IMO fit is the most important thing when it comes to your medical education. Everyone on SDN talks about cost being the end-all be-all and I just don't agree.

A few months ago we had a dinner hosted by the family medicine interest group, where a young family medicine attending who had actually went to UM OOS was talking about how he had been an attending for four years and had already paid off 2/3 of his debt with his wife being a stay at home mom, owning a house, three cars, and having two kids in private schools. The whole point was that going into family medicine isn't going to make it impossible to pay of your debt but I thought it was instructive. This isn't necessarily applicable to everyone. My mid-sized Midwestern town has relatively high physician salaries and relatively low cost of living, and you certainly wouldn't be able to do this living in Manhattan, but it's still a pretty good example. If he'd been in, for example, anesthesia, he'd probably have been able to pay off all his debt and have a good chunk of money in the bank already, our hospital parking lot is full of physicians driving BMWs, Lexuses, and Mercedes' who have million dollar houses, and these are academic physicians. Doctors like to whine about how much they're being squeezed but the reality is just a little bit different. Granted, even in specialties like radiology, people are working more hours now, ~50 instead of the 30 or whatever they were working 10 years ago, but they're also making more money.
I agree somewhat that money isnt the end all be all. But i dont see how anyone can just not factor it in or take a school like umich which will put them 150-200k+ more in debt after interest and all. Also that whole family med attending thing doesnt seem like it could be the norm in major cities. In WI sure probably possible, or in small areas like where i used to live in IL. But where i live in cali...a 150k yr salary doesnt take you very far when you consider 3k a month loan payments as well as increased taxes.

I do agree though you have to be happy. I was accepted at a few schools i just withdrew from as even if they gave me a full tuition scholarship (which wasnt happening but still), I wouldnt have attended as I just didnt like it there. But when im comparing the few schools im looking at now that i like for the most part, thats where i consider money to be a large factor. Also as sorta an aside drizz...i think you go to uw mad right? Do you have much info that you wouldnt mind sharing with me about how the 3rd and 4th yr are set up?
 

drizzt3117

chick magnet
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2006
14,647
28
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I agree somewhat that money isnt the end all be all. But i dont see how anyone can just not factor it in or take a school like umich which will put them 150-200k+ more in debt after interest and all. Also that whole family med attending thing doesnt seem like it could be the norm in major cities. In WI sure probably possible, or in small areas like where i used to live in IL. But where i live in cali...a 150k yr salary doesnt take you very far when you consider 3k a month loan payments as well as increased taxes.
Just depends on how you live and what you do. You also have to take into account what your potential earnings are with any given situation. Family medicine is pretty much the worst case scenario in terms of earning which is why I listed it, and it's still more than viable. Sure, if you choose to go into peds or family med, and really want to live in downtown San Francisco or Palo Alto or Newport Beach, you might run into financial problems, but there are plenty of places even in CA that you can do just fine. Most households even in CA earn far less than 150k and most people have student loan debt, much of it is substantial. There are plenty of options and as a physician you're going to be earning far above the national average even with significant amounts of debt. In my experience, every single salary survey or source listing income far underestimtaes what physicians are actually paid. I know this because I was working for the companies that actually paid them. This is a calculated strategy by the AMA and other physician groups, and actually a pretty brilliant one. If people don't think they really make that much money, they'll be much less likely to call for reimbursements to be decreased. Personally, I feel physician salaries are actually a small part of what makes health care so expensive in the US. In the end, administrative overhead from insurance companies and pharma/medical device make up a much larger percentage of where health care dollars are going.

I do agree though you have to be happy. I was accepted at a few schools i just withdrew from as even if they gave me a full tuition scholarship (which wasnt happening but still), I wouldnt have attended as I just didnt like it there. But when im comparing the few schools im looking at now that i like for the most part, thats where i consider money to be a large factor. Also as sorta an aside drizz...i think you go to uw mad right? Do you have much info that you wouldnt mind sharing with me about how the 3rd and 4th yr are set up?
It's sort of complicated, but I'll lay out the basics, as it may be relevant for this thread.

For 3rd year, you start by picking your grid, or what order you'd like your rotations to be in. The core 3rd year rotations are surgery, medicine, psych, peds, ob/gyn, and primary care. You can also choose to do neuroscience 3rd or 4th year (most people do it 3rd) and if you don't do neuroscience, you'll do radiology and anesthesia (most likely, you can do it 4th year also but most people who don't do neuro will do those) There are 40 possible grids to choose from, and you submit your top choices to a lottery, most people get one of their top 5, but honestly, the order isn't all that important.

After that, you choose your "top choice" which is a location in which you want to do one of the programs. Neuroscience, Psych, Surgery, and half of Medicine HAVE to be in Madison, so you can't do those away.

Finally, you do the location lottery, in which you choose which locations you want to do away rotations in. You have to do a minimum of 10-12 weeks (one 6 or 8 week rotation, plus half of medicine)

If you want to, you can definitely do all your rotations in Madison and Milwaukee. However, doing rotations at away sites, while annoying because you are away from your apartment/house in Madison, is also cool because a lot of the away sites have no residents, so med students get to do a lot more. It really depends what you're going into, but for a specialty like medicine, ob/gyn, etc... the away rotations are pretty key.

4th year, you get to do elective extramurals (3-4 months worth depending on how you set up your 3rd year schedule) which can be any number of different things. They can be away (audition) rotations at other schools, additional audition/specialty rotations at UW, additional sub-internships in whatever field you choose, global health rotations, research rotations, whatever. You'll do either anesthesia + radiology or neuroscience depending if you did them 3rd year, one sub-i, two preceptorships which are whatever field you choose at hospitals throughout the state, and you're required to do an additional 4-6 weeks of clinical work in the state. Most people choose to do a rotation in their field of choice at UW.

In general, I think their rotations are structured pretty well. Initially some people find it annoying that they can't do all their rotations at UW (unless they are a parent or are caring for a family member) but to be honest, CSC has a crazy amount of residents/fellows/attendings/PAs/nurses etc, and it's hard to actually do anything as a med student.
 
Last edited:
OP
BubbaChuck3

BubbaChuck3

7+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2009
153
1
191
Status
Pre-Medical
So I guess the consensus is UNC?
 
Jun 12, 2009
166
0
41
Status
BC3-

Just wait it out. You're not obligated to make a decision now. Go to the UMich second look and go with your gut. If you don't think youll be happy at UNC, then who are to tell you where you should go to school?
 

JasonE

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2008
903
3
0
Status
many who posted here who advocate the "go to your dream school" or "go where you will be happiest" need to consider that going to UNC doesnt mean the OP will be unhappy. maybe he likes UNC as well but just a little less. sacrificing a little for 200K seems like a win
 

Rach83

10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
533
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
many who posted here who advocate the "go to your dream school" or "go where you will be happiest" need to consider that going to UNC doesnt mean the OP will be unhappy. maybe he likes UNC as well but just a little less. sacrificing a little for 200K seems like a win
200k less is definitely the way to go but that difference only exists between UW and UMich. UNC is 80k less so it's not quite as obvious a decision as you make it out to be.
 

JasonE

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2008
903
3
0
Status
200k less is definitely the way to go but that difference only exists between UW and UMich. UNC is 80k less so it's not quite as obvious a decision as you make it out to be.
oh ok. just change UNC to UW then. i didnt follow the numbers through. 80K is still a lot though. plus there is the factor that if you go to a school that costs a lot more, you're probably going to have to live a lot stingier. its nice to be able to spend a little without having huge debt hanging over your head.
 
OP
BubbaChuck3

BubbaChuck3

7+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2009
153
1
191
Status
Pre-Medical
200k less is definitely the way to go but that difference only exists between UW and UMich. UNC is 80k less so it's not quite as obvious a decision as you make it out to be.
oh ok. just change UNC to UW then. i didnt follow the numbers through. 80K is still a lot though. plus there is the factor that if you go to a school that costs a lot more, you're probably going to have to live a lot stingier. its nice to be able to spend a little without having huge debt hanging over your head.
COA for each school:

U Mich = ~ $279,000 (before financial aid or potential scholarships)
UNC =~ $132,000 (includes full instate tuition scholarship= 64k)
UW = ~$101,000 ( includes full tuition scholarship = 136k)

This was actually good for me to do because I never added the full COA for each school until now.
 
Last edited:

JasonE

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2008
903
3
0
Status
COA for each school:

U Mich = ~ $279,000 (before financial aid or potential scholarships)
UNC =~ $132,000 (includes full instate tuition scholarship= 64k)
UW = ~$101,000 ( includes full tuition scholarship = 136k)

This was actually good for me to do because I never added the full COA for each school until now.
yea from that UNC stands out a lot (unless mich throws you some $)
 

Appless

10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2009
5,091
1
0
Status
COA for each school:

U Mich = ~ $279,000 (before financial aid or potential scholarships)
UNC =~ $132,000 (includes full instate tuition scholarship= 64k)
UW = ~$101,000 ( includes full tuition scholarship = 136k)

This was actually good for me to do because I never added the full COA for each school until now.
even if mich threw you some need based i cant imagine its going to come close to the other 2. Regardless if you like all 3 fairly equally id say the choice is easy. UNC or UW. If it was me id go UNC probably over UW.
 

metallica81788

Keeper of the Llamaworm
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2007
11,997
58
271
Status
Resident [Any Field]
COA for each school:

U Mich = ~ $279,000 (before financial aid or potential scholarships)
UNC =~ $132,000 (includes full instate tuition scholarship= 64k)
UW = ~$101,000 ( includes full tuition scholarship = 136k)

This was actually good for me to do because I never added the full COA for each school until now.
After that I would go UNC unless Michigan throws you ~130.
 

guestdoc

School Again X 2
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2008
287
2
141
Locked in, c/o 2013
Status
Medical Student
COA for each school:

U Mich = ~ $279,000 (before financial aid or potential scholarships)
UNC =~ $132,000 (includes full instate tuition scholarship= 64k)
UW = ~$101,000 ( includes full tuition scholarship = 136k)

This was actually good for me to do because I never added the full COA for each school until now.

With those numbers above, UNC wins. Unless you happen to like the cold. Let's say you really did like the cold, then UW wins.
 

Rach83

10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
533
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
COA for each school:

U Mich = ~ $279,000 (before financial aid or potential scholarships)
UNC =~ $132,000 (includes full instate tuition scholarship= 64k)
UW = ~$101,000 ( includes full tuition scholarship = 136k)

This was actually good for me to do because I never added the full COA for each school until now.
Thanks for writing it out, I only looked at tuition and fees and was thinking that UNC in-state was about 13k a year leaving you with 25k to pay a year (100k total) and Michigan was about 45k (180k total). How the heck is UMich so expensive (is cost of living really that bad)? :eek:
 

Bbon

5+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2009
305
3
91
Status
Medical Student
It's because he can presumably get classified as an IS resident after the first year in North Carolina. So he only pays $25,000 for all 4 years. That also explains why the cost difference is only about $30,000 between UNC and UW.
 

SteinUmStein

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2009
1,948
140
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for writing it out, I only looked at tuition and fees and was thinking that UNC in-state was about 13k a year leaving you with 25k to pay a year (100k total) and Michigan was about 45k (180k total). How the heck is UMich so expensive (is cost of living really that bad)? :eek:
Edit: see post at end of thread.
 
Last edited:

JasonE

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2008
903
3
0
Status
Not only is UMich OOS tuition obscene, the cost of living in Ann Arbor is actually not cheap at all. I was looking at apartments and condos in the area and it's not what you'd expect of a town of 100,000... definitely way inflated because of the university setting.
dude, you need to calm down. i understand you feel slighted because they didnt give you $, but their OOS tuition is on par with other schools. mich as a public school actually accepts OOS students (and a lot), thats more than you can say about most oos public schools. and i wouldnt be suprised if your newly found opionion would suddenly change if they were to give you a good chunk of $ some time in the future.

and aparments in ann arbor are not that expensive. you can get a 2 bedroom for sub 1000. compare that with most med schools and thats not bad at all.
 

SteinUmStein

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2009
1,948
140
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
dude, you need to calm down. i understand you feel slighted because they didnt give you $, but their OOS tuition is on par with other schools. mich as a public school actually accepts OOS students (and a lot), thats more than you can say about most oos public schools. and i wouldnt be suprised if your newly found opionion would suddenly change if they were to give you a good chunk of $ some time in the future.

and aparments in ann arbor are not that expensive. you can get a 2 bedroom for sub 1000. compare that with most med schools and thats not bad at all.
I'm calm. But thanks for your concern, I appreciate it. ;)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.