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Undergraduate University?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by TexanGal, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. TexanGal

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    Okay. Here's the deal. And I'm really, really starting to freak out about it.

    I applied to TWO schools for my undergraduate- UTA (a branch of UTAustin in Arlington) & Columbia University. I only applied to two because 1) my parents were making me go to the one 8 miles away (UTA) because it's cheaper & close to home and 2) the only reason I applied to Columbia was for the satisfaction of getting in, even though I knew there was no chance in hell my parents were going to let me move from Texas to NYC. SO ANYWAYS. Right now I'm attending UTA- and I'm very disappointed.

    My dream school is Columbia, and I'd kill to go there for medical school. I really would. But I'm so afraid that there's no chance in hell I'll be accepted because I go to UTA, a not very famous university.

    So my question is... what do you think? Should I transfer to UT which is definately more known, or stick with UTA? My major concern is simply that going to UTA, even with a high GPA once I apply to med school, will be a major factor in my not being accepted into some of the top medical schools I'm aiming for. So many kids from UTA get into UTSouthwestern because it's our neighbor and state school... but I really want to get out of Texas. I guess I'll take any medical school I can get, but I just want your opinions :) Thanks guys. :oops:
     
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  3. stiffany

    stiffany Hurry up and wait...

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    Depends. If you're comfortable with your parents cutting the cord if you go out of state for med school, then do what you need to do to get into a top school. I don't necessarily think that you have no shot coming from UTA, but if you're unhappy and there's nothing you can do to become happier about it, I would switch. I wouldn't make this switch to appease future med schools, but instead because generally happiness correlates to GPA and the happier you are about your situation, the better grades you're likely to make, the better impressions professors are likely to have of you, and the better you'll be able to become involved in meaningful activities. That being said, if your parents are footing the bill, this is something you need to discuss with them before you go forward. To not do so could be seen as a bit dishonest, which will only further make your move difficult since they'll likely worry about you further from home (Not that Arlington and Austin are exactly far....this coming from someone who went 1700 miles away from home for college instead of going to Baylor to the disappointment of her own family who wasn't footing the bill...)

    Good luck! :luck:
     
  4. TexanGal

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    Thanks for the advice :) I would definately let my parents know of my intentions beforehand... and I do think I could potentially be happier at UTA. I wouldn't have to worry about cooking, cleaning, housing... and could focus more on my studies. My main worry is, again, that medical schools won't think much of my education coming from UTA. I'm not trying to denounce UTA or anything, but it's definately not as prestigous as so many other schools I could have gone to.
     
  5. TexanGal

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    I'd love to hear anybody elses thoughts. Am I just overreacting? I'm just wondering if location of undergraduate study plays a minor role, or a significent role, in medical school admissions.
     
  6. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member

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    Your state of residence plays a bigger role than your actual undergraduate institution.

    This is actually in the FAQ, so maybe it's got what you're looking for?

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=369789
     
  7. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days...

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    Columbia is hard to get into no matter where you go.

    Do awesome in your school, do awesome on your MCAT, get good LORs, going to have to do something extraordinary in your extracurrics/research/volunteering (would have to regardless of where you went for undergrad), and apply early.

    That is worth more than where you went to college. And then in your interview talk a good game.
     
  8. Critical Mass

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    Trust me, the dean of admissions at Columbia will invite you over to his house for tea if you get a 45 on the MCAT.

    Do your undergrad at a school where you can learn the best.

    Also, now is not the time to start thinking about medical school. Many hurdles are in front of you.
     
  9. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member

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    lol yea such as does she actually want to be a doctor?
     
  10. TexanGal

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    Thanks guys :)

    I know people change their minds during undergrad, and sometimes even in the process of medical school itself. I'm not saying that's not going to happen with me... because you never know. But I've already had about 120 hours of clinical experience where I've seen sooo many things that I probably wouldn't have seen until I start truly shadowing doctors... and I do love it, and I really do think it's what I want to do. That's why I'm already researching the process so that I'm on top of my game. :oops: But I guess we'll see!
     
  11. MDAdam

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    Why are you set on Columbia?
     
  12. V05

    V05

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    Your undergraduate institution will probably matter a little bit. If you are a stellar applicant, it won't matter too much as suggested by the above posts. Good grades, MCAT, and activities will get you to the interviews and by that stage, it is the interview that matters the most. Depending on the interviewer, your undergrad school MAY matter- some interviewers are just more snobby than others and they may frown upon less known schools.

    Your medical school WILL MATTER lots for your residency. Therefore, choosing a good medical school is very important. However, as I am sure you have learned, you need to apply to more than a couple of schools. Set your sight on multiple top schools, not just Columbia.
     
  13. waterplove

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    Please elaborate on this. Define a good medical school. Are US News Rankings what determine a good medical school for a good residency?
     
  14. MahlerROCKS

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    What about Barnard?
     
  15. munnabhai

    munnabhai Junior Member

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    IMHO, the class choices and research opportunities are the primary differences between the two institutions. Also remember that maintaining a high GPA at UTA/UTD/UNT is a lot easier than at UT (not to say that it is impossible). Since a lot of people say that an applicant with a higher GPA with an easier major is better off than an applicant with hard classes and a subsequently lower GPA, I think this would apply to the undergrad institution to some extent.

    You need to evaluate your priorities before such a decision. I suggest talking to the Health Professions Office at UTA and asking how many previous applicants have made it to Cornell/Columbia from UTA. Also, financial issues come into play. UT can be stingy with financial aid :p but otherwise I would not discourage you from transferring at all :luck: .
     
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  17. V05

    V05

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    US News rankings are a good start, but it is generally the reputation of a school amongst the medical community that matters. This will matter for competitive fields such as radiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurosurgery, etc. A residency director will choose his or her candidates based on many factors, but a part of it will depend on where you went to medical school. Obviously, it makes the residency look better when they can boast people from Harvard, Hopkins, Baylor, UCSF, etc. rather than New York Medical College or Howard (it's an ego thing- I think everyone should be judged on his/her own merit, but believe me, your medical school reputation will do lots for you).

    Generally, top 25 ranked on US News are very reputable. However, some schools not ranked in top 25 (i.e. USC) are also considered reputable. Some schools are more recognized regionally (South, East Coast, etc.). The best way to determine whether the school will serve you well for residency is too look at their match list. If their graduates can match into competitive specialties, then it's a reputable school.

    If you plan to be a private practitioner in a non-competitive field such as family medicine or psychiatry, the above will probably not really matter.
     
  18. tonytazboy

    tonytazboy New Member

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    as a canadian going to a US school...i find that the US stresses much more on MCAT (i wish i knew that earlier) in comparison to the reputation of the canadian undergrad institution...however, i do believe that the undergrad institution i attended made some difference as well but not as much as the mcat....dunno if this applies to the States
     
  19. gotmeds?

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    This is strictly anecdotal, but I think Columbia is more hung up on big name undergrad institutions than a lot of other med schools. When I interviewed there, they had a list with everyone's name and their undergrad institution posted on the door. The only non-ivies I saw listed were UCLA and UC Berkeley.
     
  20. docmode

    docmode Member

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    Very true .
     

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