Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

USC vs. SUNY Downstate

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by baya, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. baya

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hey guys - I'm trying to decide between USC Keck and SUNY Downstate.

    Does anyone have any idea of the relative prestige of the two?

    SUNY Downstate doesn't participate in external rankings, so I can't tell that way, and residency match results that tell things like how many people got something in their top three are 1) hard to find and 2) seem to vary a lot year to year.

    Prestige isn't my only factor, of course - just the one I'm having the hardest time finding info about.

    So - anybody know anything about Downstate's reputation as compared to USC?

    Thanks!
    -Kate
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have known about USC--and known that it had a medical school--for as long as I can remember. I didn't know there was a "SUNY Downstate" medical school before I started coming to this board.

    Maybe that can at least give you a little insight into reputation of the two schools outside of New York (I am in Texas). Of course, USC has the public perception boost of a number 1 football team, and I am admittedly biased at this point in the process because I have decided to matriculate at USC.

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  4. finnpipette

    finnpipette Fallen from Grace
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    0
    what state do you have residency in? Where do you plan to practice after? What do you plan to practice after?

    If NY, NY, general - stay in NYC
    If CA, LA, specialty - go to USC
     
  5. baya

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Well, by registration time I will have been living in NY for almost a year, and so they'll probably give me residency here. USC is a private school, so residency doesn't matter.

    I don't know what I plan to practice - right now I want to keep my options open, and I'm trying to decide how best to do that.

    USC definitely is more "known" school among the general population, but within medicine, any ideas of their relative reputations? (I mean, I think a lot of USC's rep comes from football, which is dandy, but just doesn't interest me.)

    I'm also on Columbia's waitlist, but I'll cross that bridge if it's offered to me.

    -Kate
     
  6. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    USC ranks 32nd in NIH funding. SUNY Downstate ranks 139th.
     
  7. I would choose Downstate between the two unless you care about research funding.
     
  8. norouz1383!!!

    norouz1383!!! Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    r u serious about the question?

    i'd choose USC in a heartbeat, unless you have a sig. other or something very important attaching u to suny
     
  9. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    5,521
    Likes Received:
    1,572
    Status:
    Pre-Veterinary
    Pretty amazing, considering I only thought there was 111 medical schools.

    As to which I would go with, I'd vote for USC in a landslide. Suny Downstate isn't the same as a Mount Sinai or a NYU which has a name comparable to USC, even without the football team. I personally never knew the SUNY schools existed until after I was in medical school.
     
  10. baya

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Yeah I'm serious.

    The two big things pulling me to SUNY are
    1) tuition is half the price
    2) a very dear friend who would go to SUNY with me, but not to USC
     
  11. baya

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    So far, I think you're the only one who's suggested Downstate.
    But you applied to USC and called it "an amazing place", but didn't apply to Downstate? How come?

    Thanks for the feedback, btw!

    -Kate
     
  12. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, there are 126 medical schools in the United States, but of course NIH gives funding not just to medical schools, but all sorts of institutions that do medically-related research. In 2002, 2814 institutions received funding from NIH.

    Visit http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/award/trends/rnk02all1to100.htm and http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/award/trends/rnk02all101to500.htm to see where USC and downstate fall on the list for yourself.

    And to the OP, as you yourself stated, things other than reputation should play a role in your decision on where to go. Which school has a curriculum you like? Which school had the atmosphere you like? Spending half as much money and perhaps spending four years you otherwise wouldn't have with a significant other or good friend are good reasons to choose one school over another. You're the only one who can really know what decision is the best one for you.
     
  13. LoneCoyote

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    It seems like both schools have similar patient populations--urban, underserved-- and will give you good clinical experience. USC probably has the better name recognition, especially west of the Mississippi and in terms of research and specialties. If you think you want to do residency/ practice medicine in California someday, I'd definitely pick USC. If you want to stay in New York I'd pick Downstate. If you're completely undecided about what you want in the future I would pick based on where you'd be happier living for the next four years, NYC or Los Angeles.
     
  14. I thought I couldn't get into Downstate as a CA born and raised resident.
     
  15. CalBeE

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    2,062
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think both Upstate and Downstate are starting to accept more out-of-staters. I know someone who was accepted to Downstate (together with UCI and Einstein) as a CA resident.
     
  16. Doh, I wish someone would have told me that in August. Could have spent that money I wasted on Drexel, Temple, Loyola, etc.
     
  17. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    3
    i wanted to say that very same thing. even wrote the reply but deleted cause i thought i may be wrong. :( great point! :)

    after looking at the ranks, i have to point out that i did notice that smaller institutions had less funding. now that makes sense obviously. but some of those places are amazing and very prestegious. yet people still use these rankings to choose where to go. so stupid. now i have a totally new outlook. i think everyone needs to realize that these rankings arent that meaningful when saying if a school is good or not.

    ...i think a better indicator would be the ratio of nih funding to the number of faculty researchers or to intitution focus and resources. something like that would make much more sense.

    so, although i might of gone with usc at first, now i say choose where YOU LIKE and where you will be MORE HAPPY.
     
  18. CalBeE

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    2,062
    Likes Received:
    1
    That's actually the argument brought forth to US News by Stanford Medical School...I guess it's also political cause if NIH funding/research is used, Harvard's ranking may drop and Stanford should supposedly hit top 5.

    US News use Funding/researcher for the Engineering school ranking, so why they didn't do so for medical school rather puzzles me...I guess they could be doing it in favor of Harvard.
     
  19. KarateGirl

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've never really understood how NIH funding and research $$ correlates with the quality of education. If you're planning on going into research, then it's obvious, but if you want to be a clinical physician, what difference does it make?
     
  20. BaseballFan

    BaseballFan Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
    I interviewed and was accepted at both SUNY-Downstate and USC. I am a California resident.

    I would have chosen USC over SUNY for a few reasons:

    1) Better facilities/resources...just as an example, the computers in the med library at SUNY were still running Windows 98 and the internet connection was terrible. Library at USC was much better.

    2) Better reputation...USC is a school on the rise in rankings, funding, etc.

    3) Better weather in Los Angeles

    4) Student body at USC seemed happier and more relaxed.

    5) Curriculum at USC fit my style of learning better than SUNY.

    6) Had amazing discussion with my faculty interviewer at USC. Interviewer at SUNY seemed disinterested in speaking to me.

    Both had lots of clinical contact and diverse patient population.
    Both are not in the greatest neighborhoods.

    Make sure to make your own decision in the end, but these were my impressions from my visits.

    Good Luck!
     
  21. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    0
    where do you think you'll be happiest? what's important to you? is it having friends and family around you, and being able to do residency in NYC? or is it ranking and better internet connections at school as the previous poster said?

    This is four years of your life....decide where you're going to be happiest, and remember, med school is what YOU make of it!
     
  22. BerkeleyPremed

    BerkeleyPremed Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    946
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would go with USC in a heartbeat. Keck does excellent medical research and USC as a whole has been climbing UP on the rankings over the years (both for undergrad and medical school). USC is in Los Angeles so you'll get to have clinical experience working with a diverse patient population and USC-Keck does have a LARGE prestige boost over Downstate. If you were comparing USC to NYU, I would say that it's a closer call and I would probably give the advantage to NYU...especially if you want a residency in NY. However, this one really isn't a close call...USC wins by a landslide. No contest...
     
  23. dabenxiong

    dabenxiong Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2002
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hi BerkeleyPremed,

    Would you still pick USC over NYU if the person wants to later practice in CA. How does Davis and Irvine fit in the picture? Thanks.
     
  24. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    5,521
    Likes Received:
    1,572
    Status:
    Pre-Veterinary
    82% of our current fourth years are staying in state and 105 out of 162 will be staying in Southern California.

    Assuming that there are 1.2 residency spots in california per med student (pulled number out of a**) and other schools have similar percentages, and there are 800 medical school spots in california, there would be 960 residency positions. 656 would be filled by California Graduates. 304 would be left to fight among the people who went out of state to the Columbias, Dukes, NYUs, NYMC, etc, etc. Simple enough, if you want to be sure you can practice in California you need to stay in California.
     
  25. BerkeleyPremed

    BerkeleyPremed Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    946
    Likes Received:
    1
    If I was sure I wanted to practice in CA, I would probably pick USC over NYU even though NYU Medical is ranked higher and is slightly more prestigious. I would also pick USC over UC-Davis and UC-Irvine simply because of the "Trojan family" alumni network as well as the added benefits of much more research funding in case you want to do some lab work there. If you've been admitted to all of these medical schools, congratulations!!! I hope you enjoy medical school and I wish you best of luck in your medical career! Congrats again fellow Cal Bear!
     
  26. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are actually 2,292 residency spots in California, so more than enough opportunity for you to go there from schools outside the state.

    If you want to practice in California, I definitely wouldn't say you have to go to school in California. However, with the choice being between USC and SUNY-downtown, I would think the USC folks would have an advantage with California residency directors, just because they'd be more familiar with the medical training applicants from USC had received.
     
  27. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    3
    who believes the trojan family alumni network?? im kinda skeptical.
     
  28. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    3
    how many believe in the trojan family alumni network?? im kinda skeptical.
     
  29. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Judging by the number of USC flags I saw flying outside homes in Southern California after the Rose Bowl this year, I'd have to say people feel some pretty strong ties to USC. In the medical profession, I am not sure exactly how much alumni networking could help, but it certainly can't hurt!
     
  30. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    5,521
    Likes Received:
    1,572
    Status:
    Pre-Veterinary
    And now that I added it up, there are 1100 med school spots in California, with 800 of those filled by californians and 1100 californians ending up at out of state medical schools.
     
  31. baya

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    okay, so I'm hearing the following from folks

    1) if I want research, definitely USC. (I'm not feeling pulled to research now, but who knows?)

    2) if I want to be in California when I'm done, USC is a better bet, although I could probably get a Cali residency from SUNY if I wanted - but my options might be more limited in terms of specialty and location, etc. (Very likely I'll want to be there for residency. Cali weather is better, and some of my friends and all of my family is there.)

    3) both are good for clinical experience. (big plus)

    4) Most people say "USC, of course!"

    So I'm feeling that maybe I should go to USC, and try to see if my friend will go too. (She also got into both places.)

    What about the $$$$$? The difference in tuition is about $18,000/year = $72,000 total, before interest -> could be $100,000 total. (That's assuming I can get NY residency.)

    Is going to USC over SUNY Downstate worth $100,000?

    Thanks for everyone's opinions!

    -Kate
     
  32. baya

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Interesting. Everyone else from the West Coast seems to not have heard of SUNY Downstate before applying to med schools.

    Since you have a different take on it, I'm very curious to hear how you found out about Downstate and what you heard about it to get such a good impression. Tell more?
     
  33. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    0
    if the cost difference isn't $100,000, then i'd try to convince your friend to go to usc with you........
     
  34. baya

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    It's definitely at least $72,000 difference in tuition.

    And I don't know how long it will take to pay off the extra, so I don't know how much interest will add up in the mean time.

    I don't know whether I could get scholarships /grants at USC to defray that.

    I know that Downstate says their average graduating student's debt is a little under $90,000, total.

    Compared to people from private schools who talk about taking out $250,000, that sounds good.

    Then again, AAMC says average private school indebtedness was only $124,000 in 2002. How can that be? Are scholarships much more common at the private schools? Rich parents? What gives?
     
  35. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah, i don't get that either....i know i'll have no other source of financial support than financial aid=loans (most likely....)
     
  36. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Any time an individual school, AMCAS, or anyone else talks about average indebtedness, it is very misleading. The average does include the rich students who just pay everything without loans, the students who get merit scholarships from a school, and the students who do the NHSC or military scholarships that pay full tuition plus stipends in return for future service. These all unrealistically lower the average debt that is presented to just regular folk considering the school who are not planning to do money-for-service scholarships and don't qualify for merit or minority scholarships at schools.
     
  37. ny skindoc

    ny skindoc Senior Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2002
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    11
    If Downstate would truly save you 100K of debt and you are very familiar with its neighborhood and feel you can deal with it,then I would give it very serious consideration.
    While pre meds have not heard of it,its a school well known to residency programs. Its match lists are respectable. http://sls.downstate.edu/studentaffairs/match/2003.html Otherwise I agree go with USC.
     

Share This Page