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May 12, 2012
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Hey,

I recently was accepted to UPenn and OHSU medical schools and I am having a tough time deciding. I know that UPenn is the more prestigious school, however I was born and raised on the west coast and therefore all of my family and support are out here.

I am not entirely sure what I want to go into, but let's assume I am ultimately looking for a job in something competitive like surgery at a large west coast institution like UCSF, UCLA, Stanford, UW, etc. I have heard different things from different doctors. One a family med doc at UCSF said "don't worry about it, go where you think you'll perform the best, they are both great schools." And the other, a neurologist at Stanford said UPenn without hesitating and said that I will be 10 steps ahead when applying for residencies if I go there--even if I don't perform as well.

What do ya'll think?
 

johnnydrama

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UPenn is probably the best medical school out there right now and while it's geographically further from the west coast residency programs, they have no problems getting their students anywhere they want to go.

OHSU is a great school, but it's definitely not in the same tier and will not provide the same opportunities.

Go to UPenn. It's easy to make new ties when you start medical school and Philly is a great town.
 

Knocked Up

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UPenn is probably the best medical school out there right now and while it's geographically further from the west coast residency programs, they have no problems getting their students anywhere they want to go.

OHSU is a great school, but it's definitely not in the same tier and will not provide the same opportunities.

Go to UPenn. It's easy to make new ties when you start medical school and Philly is a great town.
Mr. Drama;

Exactly what opportunities are you talking about. I don't know anything about the OP, but if he or she is like most of us out there all they want to do is graduate from medical school and practice clinical medicine. If he or she wanted a research job, then yeah I would say UPENN without a doubt. Who cares about "tiers" when the prereqs to match a specialty are Step 1 scores and 3rd year grades. Do people at OHSU not take the boards, do they not have 3rd year rotations? Are there not physicians at OHSU who could write excellent letters and allow the OP to conduct research with them?

I'm afraid you are caught too much in prestige here. Yeah UPENN is a great (best?) med school out there, but at what level. To me, it's for a level above just regular clinical medicine. He or she that attends UPENN will not come out of medical school with better clinical skills or more knowledge. Yes, the phone call or smoke might fill more rooms from the bigwigs at UPENN, but if the OP preforms exemplarily on the Steps (which they likely will because I'm guessing their MCAT score was high) then who cares? The advantages of attending an elite medical school do not resonate to the students, well except for the prestige of saying that you went there.

OP, follow the money. Whichever is cheaper by the long shot go there.
 

johnnydrama

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Even if you don't care about research, UPenn has a better reputation --> easier to match into top CA residencies.

Match list comparison is an art, not a science, but even with that caveat only a couple of places have match lists similar to UPenn and OHSU is not one of them.
 

johnnydrama

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And to be clear, I'm not being an arbitrary prestige w****. UPenn really will open doors if you have any interest in academia and won't hurt you for PP either.

Just look at the instantaneous response from the physician you asked for advice.
 
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If I were you, I would not even think. UPenn is a dream medical school for most people. It will open doors to any residency around US regardless if they are on the west or east coast. The only reason to even consider OHSU in your case is if you are an Oregon resident with a full ride. Otherwise, UPenn is the obvious choice.
 

dblue10

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And to be clear, I'm not being an arbitrary prestige w****. UPenn really will open doors if you have any interest in academia and won't hurt you for PP either.
Because of this, Penn, especially if the cost difference isn't huge.
 
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TheMightySmiter

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If you're looking to match in California in particular, not just the west coast, I would definitely go to Penn. Their match list is absurd, and I believe you will have a better shot at a competitive residency. OHSU is a great school, but it's not Penn caliber. If they are both similar costs, I would choose Penn in a heartbeat.
 

Northwesterly

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With the caveat that I'm on the OHSU waitlist, if you want
something competitive like surgery at a large west coast institution like UCSF, UCLA, Stanford, UW, etc.
then you're probably better off at Penn. If you are interested in family med, or want to practice in Oregon and would be happier here, then by all means choose OHSU. But Ortho/Rads/etc. in California or Washington? Definitely Penn.
 

music2doc

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Sounds like UPenn is your match. You seem to be someone who would benefit from the best-reputed med schools and UPenn matches that. OHSU is a great school, but UPenn sounds more like where you would want to go.
 
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You're comparing a great local school and a great national school. One will open doors to you in Oregon, the other will open every door to you...

OHSU is also ridiculously expensive with little hope at a scholarship...
 
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