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May 6, 2019
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Need help deciding between Univ of Colorado (98k COA) versus UT Austin (55k COA)

I want to pursue a career in academic medicine and most likely a competitive specialty such as interventional radiology or something something surgical. I am leaning towards Colorado because I think it will provide a better opportunity to pursue these goals, but I'm wondering if it is worth 2x the cost of UT Austin Dell. Please help!

Univ of Colorado:
-Pros:
  • Loved the school, great interview day, got a great vibe from the students and faculty
  • Established school w/ great research options
  • Larger class size, more diverse
  • Denver is my favorite city in the US, huge skier & very outdoorsy
- Cons:
  • Expensive
UT Austin Dell:
-Pros:
  • Cheap, in-state tuiition
  • Closer to home in Dallas, TX
-Cons:
  • New school
  • Very community health focused
  • Condensed 1-yr preclinical curriculum
  • No recorded lectures = mandatory class attendance
  • Limited research, and much of the research is community medicine focused
  • Small class size, limited diversity
  • Limited number of home program residencies
  • Concerns about the quality and availability of rotations.
 

Skittsie13

10+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2009
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55k COA for in-state at Dell seems really high? That must be something like 30-35k for living expenses...? Austin is expensive but I don't think it's that expensive.
 

wysdoc

Volunteer Staff
5+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2016
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The Lone Star State
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Need help deciding between Univ of Colorado (98k COA) versus UT Austin (55k COA)

I want to pursue a career in academic medicine and most likely a competitive specialty such as interventional radiology or something something surgical. I am leaning towards Colorado because I think it will provide a better opportunity to pursue these goals, but I'm wondering if it is worth 2x the cost of UT Austin Dell. Please help!

Univ of Colorado:
-Pros:
  • Loved the school, great interview day, got a great vibe from the students and faculty
  • Established school w/ great research options
  • Larger class size, more diverse
  • Denver is my favorite city in the US, huge skier & very outdoorsy
- Cons:
  • Expensive
UT Austin Dell:
-Pros:
  • Cheap, in-state tuiition
  • Closer to home in Dallas, TX
-Cons:
  • New school
  • Very community health focused
  • Condensed 1-yr preclinical curriculum
  • No recorded lectures = mandatory class attendance
  • Limited research, and much of the research is community medicine focused
  • Small class size, limited diversity
  • Limited number of home program residencies
  • Concerns about the quality and availability of rotations.
Here's the Match list of Dell's first graduating class: Looking at it might help you decide. #46
I was surprised how few stayed in Austin, but that's probably because not many residency programs are in Austin so far.
Going to school at a place doesn't mean you have to do a residency there too, but you see it more with people who attended Harvard Med and stay for residencies at Mass General, for instance.

Cost of living in Austin, no joke, you will pay at least 1500/month for a 1BR apartment, if you can find one. Living a few miles from the med school will bring the price down.
 

tulsajoe94

2+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2018
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  1. Medical Student
I'm a Dell student and want to address some of these:

New school: true. Fun if you like making things happen, anxiety inducing if you like things prescheduled. We have students doing policy work in D.C., starting businesses, getting biomed tech patents, etc but you have to put in leg work. Our global health stuff is meh but will probably exist by the time you need it.

Condensed 1-yr preclins: unsure why this is a con. It isn't too overwhelming, they trim a lot of fat and you just pick it up during 2nd year clinicals. At least looking at current step scores (n=2), this isn't an issue. I think not having 2 years of lecture is WAY worth it now that I'm almost done with one year of lecture. Could not imagine how a drawn out a second year would be, yuck.

Community Health Focused: this is true, though I'd say it isn't really that prevalent in your curriculum. The institution and faculty value this, which gives you lots of opportunity for outreach *if you choose*.

No recorded lectures: lecture is not mandatory and ~1/5 of the class does not attend regularly. It just means you have to teach yourself, which you are never penalized for. You still have access to all the slides. Lecture is 6-8 hours a week. I personally like lecture, gives me a chance to see my friends and it is generally interactive.

Limited Research:
I don't know any 3rd or 4th years interested in competitive fields who couldn't get research. At least 2 MS1s are already doing cardiothoracic stuff and we just got a big email about plastics research w/ at least 8 faculty members involved. Dermatology has plenty of research as well. Rad Onc research exists, both financial access and therapeutic research. I don't know about Interventional Rads, but I'm sure it exists. I can give you a contact for a 4th year who matched rads if you want it. You have a full 3rd year to do this research and can do it at another institution if you feel so inclined (2 MS3s were in China before coronavirus, 1 at MD Anderson)

Small class size, limited diversity: can't argue this. I think most students here want a small class size, but would agree with you about diversity.

Limited number of home program residencies: Yup, got 'em again.

Concerns about the quality and availability of rotations: Maybe? This is vague.

I personally think you should go to Colorado because happiness is really important in med school and you love Denver, love skiing, and had a great interview day. You could do what you want to do at Dell, but from what you wrote I can't imagine you wouldn't be happier doing it in Colorado.
 
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