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URGENT: UTMB vs. SLU

veryconfused2020

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
6
1
1
  1. Pre-Medical
Hello all! I have to make a decision pretty soon here and was hoping to get some third party insight if at all possible! I would like to preface by saying that the two are pretty similar in their curriculum (lecture with some PBL). The biggest difference here is in tuition (UTMB being 100k+ cheaper). However, I am much more familiar with the St. Louis area and have established a pretty solid support system (and am only a 4 hour drive from home) which I would have to build at UTMB. In short, UTMB is slightly outside of my comfort zone as I am not sure how I will like the island life as well as being further from my support system. It does not seem to be a bad school at all though and I am wondering if the tuition difference is worth the leap of faith here?

UTMB

Pros
  • I do have some extended family here that are nearby, and have one or two acquaintances that would be attending
  • One of the biggest pros here would be the tuition, being almost 100k+ cheaper when all is said and done
  • Their curriculum seems pretty manageable- they have half day schedules so I would be done with all class required things by 12pm on most days, and the exams are based on NBME (good amount of free time to pursue shadowing, service, etc)
  • They seem to have a decent number of research opportunities, not that I am super interested in research but would be open to trying it
  • While usually I would take this as a con, the bigger class size of 230 actually comforts me in a way knowing I'd have more peers to get to know since I won't know many people on the island outside of that
  • While Galveston itself isn't a super great location imo, it is about an hour away from Houston which as a pretty sweet medical center and some more things to do there I would assume
  • The match list does seem pretty solid but it might be important to note it is a bigger class size and I would most likely have a P/F Step 1 score so I am not sure how I would be affected
Cons
  • Although classes are P/F as M1 and M2, the class is ranked by quartile (25% pre-clinical and 75% clinical)
  • Not that I am hell-bent on being in the city, but I do definitely like the city vibe more than the island vibe as I am not sure there is really much to do in Galveston
  • As of now, I would probably prefer to complete residency near home in Chicago and I am a little afraid of not making it out of Texas to be able to do this should I choose to attend (the match list has a lot of TX matches)
  • Weather: I grew up around Chicago and went to school in St. Louis so I am not used to the sometimes VERY hot weather (also the occasional hurricane season here)

SLU

Pros
  • I went to Saint Louis University for my undergrad (the med school is literally right down the street) so I am very familiar with the area, places to study, service orgs, people, etc. and even know a good number of med students at the school, side note I do not know too many people personally at UTMB
  • my SO is matriculating here in the fall and my brother is in STL as well
  • True P/F M1 and M2, class is ranked only by the clinical years
  • They have a 1.5 year pre-clinical curriculum
  • They have a pretty solid match-list every year (I think and been told so anyway), only a handful do not match and most are pretty happy with their placement
  • While SLU itself doesn't do too much research, there are research opportunities via WashU which is very close by
  • Weather is really not bad at all
  • They recently built a much-needed brand new hospital that seems pretty cool
Cons
  • While St. Louis is a neat place, I've exhausted a lot in my time at undergrad and it would be nice to have a little change in scenery (I would even be studying in the exact same library) not sure if the Galveston scenery is necessarily the change I was looking for though haha
  • Other facilities (aside from the new hospital) are more outdated
  • Students don't seem as passionate or excited about being SLU med students, everything is pretty neutral and gives off a "gets the job done" vibe
  • ---
    Ultimately, I think I would have an easier time adjusting to SLU med and that UTMB would be a bigger adjustment for me. I am not too sure how both are considered based on name/reputation but I believe they rank similar enough? I am also not super confident in what specialty I am looking to do. Essentially, not that I am well-off but my family and I could make it work for SLU tuition-wise, I am wondering if the move to UTMB would still be worth the money saved though. Thank you again so much in advance and I really appreciate any opinions/advice that come to mind!
 
Last edited:

Kracin

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 17, 2017
527
1,236
126
  1. Medical Student
Schools are pretty equal in terms of reputation / outcomes.

What you're really weighing is the 100K vs. you being in St Louis. If I were you, I'd opt for SLU given brother + SO + already comfortable. Another way to consider it is it's 25K/yr for the location. Think of how 25K will feel in the future when you're making 200K+ per year.

You can't go wrong either way. It really is that balance between $$ and comfort - to which I think SLU is worth it
 
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