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USC (Keck) vs. OHSU

I am writing this for a friend who got into OHSU and USC (Keck) school of medicine.

She is wondering which school is "better" and since she has been admitted to both she is wondering if people could compare/contrast the two schools. I have helped all I can...but since I have not interviewed at OHSU (yet) I can only say the positives to USC
 

RySerr21

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She's been to both schools, seen both programs, the students and how they interact, the curriculums, etc. Both are great programs. I think its time for her to make a grown up decision! Tell her to email students from both schools and start talking to them about what they like and dislike. Is one significantly cheaper than the other? Weather differences? Shes gonna get a great edcuation eitehr way. Tell her to go where she is happiest. Only she can answer that question.
 
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searun

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The financial aid at both schools sucks equally. The attitude is enjoy your loans and your ramen noodles. That said, Portland is cheaper than LA and the flyfishing is certainly better.
 
She's been to both schools, seen both programs, the students and how they interact, the curriculums, etc. Both are great programs. I think its time for her to make a grown up decision! Tell her to email students from both schools and start talking to them about what they like and dislike. Is one significantly cheaper than the other? Weather differences? Shes gonna get a great edcuation eitehr way. Tell her to go where she is happiest. Only she can answer that question.

So let me get this right...you are telling her to make her OWN decision by asking the opinions of others.

Hmmm sounds familiar...
 

wepio

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I don't know what school's better, but I used to live in Portland and I loved the city. I'm probably in the minority here, but I figure since they're both really good schools, pick the one that has a better location. Me personally, if I had multiple acceptances, I'd start with where I'd like to live assuming the caliber of the schools were similar, and then afterwards, factor in the loan. But then again, I'm in the minority when it comes to these types of things.
 

qmcat

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The doctor I shadow said that OHSU is good if you want to go into primary care or go into residency in something along the lines of Internal med, Peds, or FP. I haven't seen OHSU's match list, so I'm not sure exactly.

But, he said it's harder to match into some competitive residencies/programs from OHSU (he told me this cuz I was planning on surgery after med school).

So, I guess depending on what you want to end up doing, USC might give you a bigger boost for programs outside of primary care. Again, I'm not sure cuz this is just based on what my shadowing doc said.
 

qmcat

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i also heard from a friend who is a med student at usc that they work you like a dog during your clinical years, especially if you rotate through LAC+USC. because at LAC+USC there are so many patients and not enough doctors that you end up having to do a lot of work. but, this might be a positive since you end up having a lot of experience.

just wanted to present both sides.
 

Decicco

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i also heard from a friend who is a med student at usc that they work you like a dog during your clinical years, especially if you rotate through LAC+USC. because at LAC+USC there are so many patients and not enough doctors that you end up having to do a lot of work. but, this might be a positive since you end up having a lot of experience.

just wanted to present both sides.

Yea, you get lots of hands on experience. Residencies like that, just hope you don't get burned out.
 
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scottyT

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LA is crowded, dirty and depressing.

But I thought that was the appeal?!?!?

LAC-USC-Medical-Center.jpg


How many cases of plague and malaria will you get in Portland?

Hopefully I will have to make this choice also.
 

Decicco

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The picture above is the old LA county hospital. They have a brand new one now (that looks amazing), and the above hospital will likely become office space, I think.

The NEW LAC+USC hospital:
p01_500.jpg


The hospital is so big that some doctors take segways to get around. You can see the old hospital in the top left.
 
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alibai3ah

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Who would want to live in Portland when you could enjoy the glamor of LA life and the Hollywood scene?
I would choose USC.

Um USC is in central LA aka the crapppiest part of that city. Trust me its far from glamour. Although westwood (UCLA's location) and other parts of the city are in close proximity....... And if she wants to do residency in california, maybe it might be easier going with a cali med school. If i were her i would go to california.
 
My interview at OHSU went really well...I might have to make the same decision between OHSU and USC soon.

(Although who knows with OHSU, I think most ppl are put on the waitlist and ranked or something before they are accepted...something crazy)
 

efitzpat

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At USC you get tons of experience and patient contact early early on. The new hospital is awesome - computers in every room, every room is private (I think? Maybe most rooms?) They are very responsive to students needs. Its expensive but there are perks living in So Cal. Most people don't live by the school. I go to the undergrad campus, and I've never had a problem with safety (most incidents happen at 2am when people are walkiing home alone).

I was just tlaking to my doctor (who went to SC and teaches there now). He says go for it, but not if its going to cost a zillion dollars. Cost is definitely something to consider. Then he ta lked for 10 minutes about all of the above.

But I only know about USC.
 

aebvd97

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Seeing that I applied to neither of these schools, I can't provide much help. I would obviously consider the cost issue. It seems OHSU might be a little cheaper, and Portland would be cheaper to live in than LA. Also, though others might disagree (AKA every biased Californian), Portland most definitely trumps LA. It is one of the "greenest" cities, has amazing public transit, awesome neighorhoods, great outdoors scene, beautiful view of Mt. Hood...it rains a lot though.

Though OHSU has one of the main hospitals in Oregon, I still imagine the population is rather homogenous. Keck would certainly provide more diversity.

Also, I'm unsure about curriculum differences. Is one PBL-based, while the other is traditional? I don't know the answer, and am too lazy to look for this thread...but if your friend has a preference for one style over the other, that should also play a pretty large role.

So, because of loving my trips to Portland as compared to LA, I too have a bias. However, considering cost and prestige are pretty even, I would pick OHSU.
 

talbo

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the grading scale i think is quite different,

OHSU has 5 things for their grading system H, NH, S, M, F according to a friend
Keck I believe has 2 or 3, don't remember

they're both great schools but the grading system of OHSU will make me have 2nd thoughts if i were in her position. Like aebvd97 says, I think the patient pop at USC is a lot more diverse. USC is highly PBL based I am pretty sure and OHSU is more traditional with some small groups.
 

silverhorse84

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I'm pretty sure Keck is Pass/Fail. From what I heard they do rank you among your classmates, but that's kept secret until you apply to residency and then you can request the ranking be released to the programs. At least, that's how I understood it when my interviewer was explaining things.
 
Hi,

I'm a first-year at Keck so I can provide a bit of insight. We are stricly pass/fail (ie 70%=P, P=MD, none of this high honors/honors bs), and are not ranked against one another. The only score that is ever recorded is our cumulative exam and that is for Dean's recognition and AOA. Other than that, everyone is EXTREMELY collaborative and we get e-mails almost weekly from upper-classmen handing down study guides, notes, tips, flashcards, etc.

LA is definitely crowded, and USC is not in the best area. On the flip-side, we have a BRAND new hospital (we just moved in November) that serves a huge, extremely diverse population. We start interviewing patients (in the hospital) in our second week (of first year!), and start physical exams in January of our first year. As someone mentioned above, cases of TB (I've seen one already) and other random illnesses are common. Unfortunately for the patients, but fortunately for us, we see a lot of patients whose illnesses have progressed beyond the point most other students/physicians will ever see (due to lack of health insurance, large immigrant popn, etc).

Don't worry about the area though, because we have a very secure campus with tons of security guards. Alhambra is flanked by a lot of nice areas (like Pasadena) that are very nice and not very far, so most students choose to live there.

The curriculum is amazing...very clinically oriented (I guess it has to be since we see patients so soon) and in the 'system' or 'block' format (ie you learn everything about heme, then musculoskeletal, skin, repro, etc). Since we are a private school, we are pretty spoiled and get pretty much whatever we want (we just talked our dean into putting in a new flat screen with sattelite, new couches, new pool table, etc in our lounge). Plus the USC football games don't hurt.

Oh, and our board scores are in the top 3 in the country and our 4th-years are far more competent than most interns/early residents (probably because they already have their 'own' patients at this point). We are not only affiliated with LAC+USC, but also with Norris Cancer Hospital, University Hospital (ie where the rich people go), and many of our clinical instructors are affiliated with other hospitals in LA.

Financial aid and scholarships are available (I got one) but yeah, the school is pretty pricey. However, unless you are going somewhere in-state, it's on par with everywhere else.

Ok, so that's my plug. I absolutely love Keck, so lemme know if I can answer any of your questions.

Melissa

Wow that helped so much! I want to go to USC more than anything. I was just afraid that the cost of the school was not worth it. I guess you only have one life so you gotta do what makes you happy and not always worry about cost.
Thanks again Melissa...well....I guess I will se you next year! (probably)
 
Yeah...I realized that it is cold as crap over there. During my interviews I realized that I am a west coast kind of guy.
Also, I just felt really comfortable when I was at USC and think I would do well at that school
 

scottyT

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Yeah...I realized that it is cold as crap over there. During my interviews I realized that I am a west coast kind of guy.
Also, I just felt really comfortable when I was at USC and think I would do well at that school

Good for you that you figured that out. I felt really comfortable there also. The student body seemed to really want to be there and everyone seemed pretty mature. I like that people choose USC, they don't settle for USC. There's a tremendously different feel to a school with that dynamic.

..Plus I get a lot of mileage every time someone asks me "why USC?" I always grin and reply "because chicks dig the Keck."
 
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