Feb 21, 2021
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Hello everyone, I was hoping that I could get some advice on choosing which medical school to attend. I have been accepted to two medical schools: UT Southwestern and UNC, and I need help figuring out which I will attend.

Some background information: Current Texas resident, I attended East Carolina University (ECU) for my undergrad and was a student athlete on full scholarship. I have no current scholarships for either school, however I am receiving financial aid for both. UTSW is significantly cheaper tuition wise and I have family all in Texas. I have connections in NC due to attending ECU. Plus, I can apply for NC residency after my 1st year of medical school at UNC and then go on to pay instate tuition. I want to be a surgeon and I am interested in Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, and Cardiology. I am a very hard working student and believe I could excel in either's curriculum.

Is UNC more prestigious than UTSW?

Does it really matter where I attend medical school, in terms of finding a good residency program?

Should I choose my medical school based on the area I want to settle in?

Should I attend the school that is known more for surgery or the field that I am interested in?

I understand medical school is very difficult, should I attend the medical school that i am closer to my support system and family?

Should I be more focused on attending the medical school with less debt because both schools or around the same rankings, in Research & Surgery?

Does the prestige of a school matter more now because Step 1 is pass/fail?

I just want to make sure that I am choosing the best school for me and making the best decision for my future. Any kind of advice or answer to my questions would be extremely appreciated! I am having a really hard time deciding on where to go.
 
Jun 5, 2020
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I'd go to UTSW in your situation. Both are great schools but since you are from Texas I think it makes for a fairly easy decision. Cheaper, family ties. I think UTSW is probably the best or one of the best of the UT's.
 

Kracin

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Is UNC more prestigious than UTSW? - No. If anything, UTSW has better-connected residency programs.

Does it really matter where I attend medical school, in terms of finding a good residency program? Yes. But in this case, there's no difference.

Should I choose my medical school based on the area I want to settle in? Tons of people move around for residency. If you know you for sure want to settle in NC, then UNC is probably better. If you know for sure you want to settle in Texas, UTSW is probably better. Otherwise it doesn't matter.

Should I attend the school that is known more for surgery or the field that I am interested in? It doesn't matter. Both schools have similar reputations. You can look at faculty in each department's that you could do research with, as well as the match lists if you're really concerned.

I understand medical school is very difficult, should I attend the medical school that i am closer to my support system and family? You have family in Texas. I'm sure you have friends from undergrad going to the triangle. You'll be fine either way.

Should I be more focused on attending the medical school with less debt because both schools or around the same rankings, in Research & Surgery? Yes, also how much debt will you take on?

Does the prestige of a school matter more now because Step 1 is pass/fail? Yes. But again, these schools are practically identical.

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You need a broader feel for which school you want to go to. Instead of agonizing about which one has the "better reputation" or which one "has more research" you really need to step back and consider what your lived experience at each school would be. They're very similar. You need to think about the price difference, the grading scheme for each school, whether you want to continue carving your place in NC or if you want to return and give TX a try as an adult, as well as a general thought about whether you'd be a happier student in TX or NC. Then you come to a decision based on what you personally think is more valuable. You're not going to find an answer about which one would set you up better, because there is no real answer.

I personally vote UTSW because of the $$$ and the crazy amount of research available.
 
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GoSpursGo

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I agree with above, both schools are very good but UTSW is much cheaper. I don't think you'll go wrong giving yourself less debt (and thus being more open to additional options in your career down the road).
 

Banco

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If you're interested in general surgery, you should go to UTSW. It has an amazing, top tier surgery program.


Even if not, UTSW is the move here. Both are highly regarded schools, but UTSW is cheaper for you.
 
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