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Jun 26, 2019
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Hi all, I received a prematch to both Dell and McGovern (very thankful for that), but I am extremely unsure which school would be a better fit. I haven't narrowed down my interests to one specialty, but so far I'm interested in derm/GI/OBGYN.

Dell

Pros
  • True P/F (really excited about this)
  • Smaller class and strong mentorship
  • Flexible 3rd year for research, masters, etc.
  • Good STEP scores
  • I'm interested in health policy and administration
  • Early clerkships (beginning of MS2)
  • Enjoyed the environment during the interview day
  • More in-person things during COVID because of small class size (not sure if this matters anymore bc vaccine but students seemed happier than at other schools because of this)
Cons
  • No long-established student clubs/organizations/service
  • Clinical rotations don't seem great
  • Higher COL
  • New school so just seems riskier overall
  • Went to UT Austin for undergrad and I'm starting to get tired of living in Austin (I know unpopular opinion lol)
  • Fewer residencies

McGovern

Pros
  • Located in Texas Medical Center (more research opportunities and good clinical rotations)
  • More established
  • Strong match list
  • More residencies
  • Seems like the safe choice
  • New city
  • Good housing prices through UT health
Cons
  • Larger class size
  • A more traditional curriculum that seems kinda out of date
  • I've heard the environment is more competitive
  • Not true p/f
  • Didn't enjoy the interview day as much

Summary:

At the end of the day, what I want most from a medical school is the ability to pursue any specialty I am interested in and not be limited by a lack of X thing. Dell seems like the more enticing choice, but McGovern seems like the safer bet. I keep going back and forth between the two and was interested in what you all have to say about these two schools. Any input is appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Kracin

2+ Year Member
May 17, 2017
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  1. Medical Student
Congrats on your acceptances! I do not attend either school, but I do have friends that go to both. Here are some thoughts I have, though I really encourage you to reach out to a 2nd/3rd/4th year to try and confirm these or if someone on SDN cares to correct me. In my experience, first-years have really bad insight on their school and are waaay too overly positive.

UT Dell:
Do they have a derm residency? (I actually think they do)
Do they have a GI fellowship for their IM program? (I legit don't know)
Are you aware that the school grades clinicals on an honors/pass scale? There is no high pass.

Austin did not have an academic medicine scene until ~ 5 years ago. The lack of research is a HUGE con for competitive specialties. They have residencies, but I'd investigate what faculty are in there, and what research output you can achieve. This can be offset by using the 3rd year to go somewhere else and pump pubs but limits your ability to do something else with that time. Also - You can get great scores in clinics and just barely miss honors to end up with a 'pass'. Suddenly having a P/F preclinic, P/F step, and then ending up with 'P' on your transcripts seems scary.

McGovern:
Far more research
Very established residencies
Graded preclinics (which suck)
Boring / bland compared to Dell

I think you assessed McGovern pretty well. They are pretty traditional and unimaginative compared to Dell. You'll be another cog in the medical system, compared to Dell where you're encouraged to be unique. But they have the home-residency programs, the research, the connections, the TMC, the proximity to specialists. In my eyes, it really is a boring but safe option.

If you're set on pursuing X specialty, I would go McGovern. It is the safer bet, will surround you by the TMC, and give you the best chance at landing where you want to go. If you find out that Dell offers what you need residency and research-wise, and you want a more unique experience you can consider there. Either way, you cannot go wrong. I pick McGovern
 
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tulsajoe94

2+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2018
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  1. Medical Student
Just to point out some things I think are missing from this list:
  • Dell has grad student housing that (at least in recent year) has prioritized placing medical students. Not as cheap as McGovern but you can see it here: University Apartments Rates | University Housing and Dining | The University of Texas at Austin
  • STEP 1 scores probably won't matter for you, don't choose Dell for this.
  • I don't know much about competitive specialty research (not my vibe), but I know we have a plastic research group, an orthopedic research group, and involved derm mentors who offer research. Take a look at the match list for last year, you'll see cardiothoracic, ortho, rad onc, derm, neurosurg, optho, uro, etc. Maybe they had to work much harder at Dell than elsewhere, I'm not sure.
Do you get any financial aid information with prematching? I'd probably look at that too.
 
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Drsecondchance

2+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2018
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Honestly, it looks like Dell is what excites you. They'll get you where you need to go. Stop trying to pick based on how other people feel and go where you feel alive. That spark, along with good performance in classes/ boards/ rotations is what's going to set you apart. Don't go somewhere you feel bores you. Med school is hard enough already.
 
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