UTMB vs PLFSOM

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candycanegal

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Is anybody ranking these two programs against each other and have insight for me? I am struggling because UTMB makes higher step scores but I liked aspects of El Paso more. UTMB also admits people with higher MCAT scores, which could mean those people just perform higher on step due to internal factors/their own studying.

I also don’t really like all the PBLs. I am introverted and wondering if that would be unnecessary stress to have 4 times a week.

Thanks in advance for any help.


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Both schools were super friendly, with very supportive student bodies and faculty. In my opinion, UTMB does have slightly better clinical opportunity with some of their available rotations (Houston area), while El Paso has more of a rural, primary care focus with a mission of promoting border health. UTMB also had a good number of interesting electives to supplement the stuff you'll learn in med school (space medicine, for example). With that being said, El Paso also has an amazing clinical skills center which blew me away. If cost/distance isn't an issue, I'd go with where I felt more at home. The only caveat being, if you are pretty dead-set on a competitive specialty, then I'd lean UTMB as they seem to have a fairly decent number of home programs.
 
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I'm in a similar boat! UTMB seems to have more opportunities but i like the curriculum and schedule more at El Paso, and I just left with a better feeling than I did UTMB.
 
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UTMB because residency directors value reputation, all things being equal

The difference in residency director assessment score (according to US news) is negligible (2.5 for PLFSOM vs 2.7 for UTMB). That difference can easily be made up with a LOR, step score, research, etc. There may be reasons to pick UTMB first (such as you feel the school is a better fit for your personality) but residency director assessment isn't really one of them.

If you are really opposed to the PBL, you should probably not choose UTMB. You should also consider clinical rotations and cost of living.
 
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The difference in residency director assessment score (according to US news) is negligible (2.5 for PLFSOM vs 2.7 for UTMB). That difference can easily be made up with a LOR, step score, research, etc. There may be reasons to pick UTMB first (such as you feel the school is a better fit for your personality) but residency director assessment isn't really one of them.

If you are really opposed to the PBL, you should probably not choose UTMB. You should also consider clinical rotations and cost of living.

Based on the points you made
1.LOR: UTMB, this program preceeded Baylor and UTSW and it still commands a great deal of respect for its pioneering efforts/legacy
2.UTMB higher step scores : it's a decisive factor for residencies
3.UTMB faculty conduct research and you'll have more opportunities
4.Residency directors are going to have a say in how you're ranked for match

Ultimately, choose the school that'll help you better in your future goals
 
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Based on the points you made
1.LOR: UTMB, this program preceeded Baylor and UTSW and it still commands a great deal of respect for its pioneering efforts/legacy
2.UTMB higher step scores : it's a decisive factor for residencies
3.UTMB faculty conduct research and you'll have more opportunities
4.Residency directors are going to have a say in how you're ranked for match

Ultimately, choose the school that'll help you more in your future goals

1. Lukewarm letter from Harvard < awesome letter from any other school. Point being, go where you will thrive because what's in your letter matters as much as the writer. Again, if all things are equal, sure, UTMB would be better, but all things are rarely equal, especially if you pick a school you will be less happy at.

2. Higher step scores are not any assurance that any individual will have a higher score. However, I will say I think that 1st-time pass rates say something really important about the curriculum because 1st-time pass rates mean that the curriculum has a universal boost for different learner types. UTMB is actually probably the top choice here because they pretty consistently have 100% 1st-time pass rates, which is amazing. That said, miserable student at UTMB will likely not do as well as a happy student at another school. Also, much like MCAT scores, above a certain point, step scores fall off the importance factor for a lot of residences. A really good example is PM&R. Just visit the PM&R forums and see how important personality becomes once you hit the avg PM&R step score. A miserable candidate with a high step score is not going to fare well on the interview trail.

3. This is true, but it is also research specific, so it depends on what you are interested in. Everyone at El Paso completes a research project, but you can graduate from UTMB without doing one. El Paso has no shortage of research and they have a massive new facility coming online that is going to greatly expand their research opportunities. Still, statistically, UTMB does have more research opportunities.

4. True, but with such a menial difference in residency program director ratings between the two schools, the chances of it playing significantly into the process are not great, especially if the OP goes somewhere that they are unhappy for 4 years.

At the end of the day, going someplace you don't like because you think some small differences in metrics will help you get to where you are going is silly. Even if you were talking about a powerhouse school like Mayo, if you are going to be miserable there because of something in their curriculum vs being happy somewhere else, seems like a bad decision, but to each his own.
 
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1. Lukewarm letter from Harvard < awesome letter from any other school. Point being, go where you will thrive because what's in your letter matters as much as the writer. Again, if all things are equal, sure, UTMB would be better, but all things are rarely equal, especially if you pick a school you will be less happy at.

2. Higher step scores are not any assurance that any individual will have a higher score. However, I will say I think that 1st-time pass rates say something really important about the curriculum because 1st-time pass rates mean that the curriculum has a universal boost for different learner types. UTMB is actually probably the top choice here because they pretty consistently have 100% 1st-time pass rates, which is amazing. That said, miserable student at UTMB will likely not do as well as a happy student at another school. Also, much like MCAT scores, above a certain point, step scores fall off the importance factor for a lot of residences. A really good example is PM&R. Just visit the PM&R forums and see how important personality becomes once you hit the avg PM&R step score. A miserable candidate with a high step score is not going to fare well on the interview trail.

3. This is true, but it is also research specific, so it depends on what you are interested in. Everyone at El Paso completes a research project, but you can graduate from UTMB without doing one. El Paso has no shortage of research and they have a massive new facility coming online that is going to greatly expand their research opportunities. Still, statistically, UTMB does have more research opportunities.

4. True, but with such a menial difference in residency program director ratings between the two schools, the chances of it playing significantly into the process are not great, especially if the OP goes somewhere that they are unhappy for 4 years.

At the end of the day, going someplace you don't like because you think some small differences in metrics will help you get to where you are going is silly. Even if you were talking about a powerhouse school like Mayo, if you are going to be miserable there because of something in their curriculum vs being happy somewhere else, seems like a bad decision, but to each his own.

When giving input on these issues, it's best to be objective and leave the subjective part to the people actually making the decision. Most of what you're saying is subjective. Non sequitur
 
When giving input on these issues, it's best to be objective and leave the subjective part to the people actually making the decision. Most of what you're saying is subjective. Non sequitur

Without you being specific, I will simply have to disagree. Everything I said is standard fare consensus fare consensus for SDN. Clearly, you have a problem with PLFSOM, which is unfortunate that you are allowing your own bias to promote bad advice. I suppose it will be up to the OP to decide whose opinion to weigh more heavily, the new account with 7 posts (all of which are pretty much bashing PLSFOM) or mine.

If you are residency director/attending physician/etc, I suggest you apply for account verification so that users can evaluate your advice appropriately.
 
Without you being specific, I will simply have to disagree. Everything I said is standard fare consensus fare consensus for SDN. Clearly, you have a problem with PLFSOM, which is unfortunate that you are allowing your own bias to promote bad advice. I suppose it will be up to the OP to decide whose opinion to weigh more heavily, the new account with 7 posts (all of which are pretty much bashing PLSFOM) or mine.

If you are residency director/attending physician/etc, I suggest you apply for account verification so that users can evaluate your advice appropriately.

Lol, you want to get personal and it's unnecessary. I have no reason to bash any school. Giving an opinion re: schools, just like you. I am a Texas resident. Let's not digress from the purpose of the thread. Keep it on topic. OP does not have to weigh either your opinion or mine.
They're smart enough if they're having to make this decision. Sorry OP. Please read the specific thread for both schools from the beginning and you'll find a lot of information, if you haven't already.
 
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Lol, you want to get personal and it's unnecessary. I have no reason to bash any school. Giving an opinion re: schools, just like you. I am a Texas resident. Let's not digress from the purpose of the thread. Keep it on topic. OP does not have to weigh either your opinion or mine.
They're smart enough if they're having to make this decision. Sorry OP. Please read the specific thread for both schools from the beginning and you'll find a lot of information, if you haven't already.

You say you don't but you've been on SDN for literally a month and every single post you have made has been in some way directed at steering people away from PLFSOM. And yes, believe it or not, there is some value in weighing the opinions of long-standing, active members of the community vs those who have recently joined, sorry if you feel that is subjective as well. Regardless, I am keeping this thread on track by pointing out your posting history, just so that the OP is aware you were bashing PLFSOM in another thread as well, as that info seems relevant in weighing your opinion (which, you are certainly entitled to, no one is disputing that). Sorry if you feel that is personal, but it's not.
 
You say you don't but you've been on SDN for literally a month and every single post you have made has been in some way directed at steering people away from PLFSOM. And yes, believe it or not, there is some value in weighing the opinions of long-standing, active members of the community vs those who have recently joined, sorry if you feel that is subjective as well. Regardless, I am keeping this thread on track by pointing out your posting history, just so that the OP is aware you were bashing PLFSOM in another thread as well, as that info seems relevant in weighing your opinion (which, you are certainly entitled to, no one is disputing that). Sorry if you feel that is personal, but it's not.

This is an emotional post that is not helping OP. Not sure why you desperately want your opinion weighed 'more' because you've been on SDN for a couple of years. I have actually been on SDN for a decade. Yep, right from the beginning but this account was created a month ago.

Show me one sentence where I 'bashed' PLFSOM. Just one
 
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OP, try the survey route that another person used for the Texas schools to cut out distractions. The upside is people can vote anonymously and let you know their opinion of each school. Downside is you won't know why they voted for one over the other.
 
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Wow this got intense but personally I decided to put PLFSOM first! They gave me a great scholarship but also they really sold themselves to me - Galveston is small but expensive, I'm into primary care, and I hate UTMB's schedule and step prep time
 
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Wow this got intense but personally I decided to put PLFSOM first! They gave me a great scholarship but also they really sold themselves to me - Galveston is small but expensive, I'm into primary care, and I hate UTMB's schedule and step prep time

The nice thing is, all of the TX programs are great, so you can't really go wrong if you go with your gut. Best of luck to you!
 
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