University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) vs University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB)

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Sep 21, 2023
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Hello! I have been fortunate enough to be accepted at several medical schools, and am having difficulties deciding between these two schools. For some context, I am a Nebraska resident, but do have strong ties to Texas. I have been accepted at both UNMC and have a pre-match OOS offer at UTMB. For further context, I am married, and my wife and I are expecting our first child.

  • Home - I graduated high school here, and my family currently lives in Omaha
  • In-state tuition
  • Solid simulation center and significant resources for students
  • Good residency match and USMLE pass rates
  • Located in a large city
  • Seems to have a relaxed student culture
  • Safe area, and housing seems reasonably priced and easy to find

  • Seems to have a heavy emphasis on primary care (at this point I am more interested in entering a specialty) - may have fewer resources for students who want to specialize
  • The climate is not ideal for much of the year and for health reasons, the cold would be difficult for us

  • Cheap tuition - even the out-of-state cost is almost as low as UNMC's in-state tuition cost
  • Scholarly emphasis seems like a great opportunity and a good way to stand out in residency programs
  • Essentially all rotation sites are local, and would not likely need to move the family for clinical years
  • Significant support for specialization - advisors provided to assist you in choosing a specialty and networking/succeeding in matching from day 1
  • Better climate
  • True P/F curriculum with standardized retired USMLE questions on exams
  • The anatomy program seems incredibly solid and multifaceted - incorporating radiology and practicing procedures throughout
  • Unique research and clinical experiences only available at a few programs throughout the country\
  • From my interview day, the culture seems very collaborative and friendly

  • I have heard anecdotally that Galveston may not be an especially safe place for a young family with a newborn
  • Housing in areas that the internet has deemed "safer" is pricey and not very close to campus
  • Being out-of-state may limit the availability of some financial aid and loan types (though I am currently in contact with their financial aid office to find out whether this will actually be an issue or not)
  • Far from family

Summary: Overall, I think both schools seem like great options, and I think either one would be a solid pick for me. UNMC feels like a safe option close to home, with relatively few downsides aside from being primary-care-focused. UTMB on the other hand is far from family but seems like a great program with interesting resources that no other schools I interviewed with provide. Any and all thoughts, opinions, and advice are welcome, and I appreciate you taking the time to read my lengthy post.

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Congratulations on your new growing family. I would stay near family so you don't have to fret over holiday travel or emergency childcare coverage. If this is your first child, you can't imagine how much you will appreciate this.
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