Jul 21, 2019
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Hey everyone,

I've seen a couple threads on comparing these schools previously, but I wanted to get a new and fresh perspective on this if possible. I am between these two schools at the moment and I'm not sure that I have a "gut feeling" for one or the other yet. So far, I have heard/read that:

UTMB:
  • Established facilities and curriculum (P/F) for 2 years
  • More research opportunities
  • Outstanding STEP scores
  • Can live in an established location with certainty for all 4 years
  • Galveston: bad weather but can be fun
TAMU:
  • New, state of the art facilities
  • 18 month preclerkship meaning more clinical exposure for and time to study for STEP
  • Distributed areas to study in (but no certainty that you will live at the place of your choice)
  • Slight emphasis on rural medicine/primary care
  • Climbing STEP Scores

Can anyone confirm/deny any of these points? I'd love to get some perspective from those who attend/have attended these schools as well. Thank you!
 

Hzreio

2+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2019
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I am in the same boat as you. Leaning towards TAMU though because of possibility to rotate in Dallas/Houston, which exposes you to so much pathology. With STEP being p/f I'm not sure how much STEP averages impact my decision. Not sure about the fact that UTMB has more research opportunities. Also, I have been told by two Texas attendings that there are some minor cons to consider with UTMB. An ophthalmologist told me that Galveston seemed lacking in pathology (but that just may be a bias from a ophthalmic standpoint). I have also heard that TAMU's program is more established too. Idk if this is true or not but I've heard that UTMB faculty has a relatively high turnover rate due to undesirability living in that area. But I guess a pro of UTMB would be it's true P/f grading. Would love to hear input from other people though.
 

Deltasidearm

2+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2018
125
245
I have been accepted to both schools and will choose TAMU over UTMB.

Yes, A&M has the downside of being split between clinical and preclinical years in terms of location. However, that is only an issue in the inconvenience of moving. Having access to in-house rotations in Houston, Dallas, and BCS (regardless of wherever you are stationed) is a huge plus and helps for being considered for residencies at all of those sites. Additionally, having the name of A&M behind you could potentially help with connections and opportunities in the future (especially out of state, where A&M is more likely to be known).

Also, don't sleep on A&M's research opportunities. The hospitals in Dallas and Houston do a lot of research and BCS has access to the other colleges of A&M. For research and STEP in general, it's way more of an individual basis than a school basis anyway. If you are motivated then you will forge your own success at either school.
 
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illmaatic

2+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2018
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Hey everyone,

I've seen a couple threads on comparing these schools previously, but I wanted to get a new and fresh perspective on this if possible. I am between these two schools at the moment and I'm not sure that I have a "gut feeling" for one or the other yet. So far, I have heard/read that:

UTMB:
  • Established facilities and curriculum (P/F) for 2 years
  • More research opportunities
  • Outstanding STEP scores
  • Can live in an established location with certainty for all 4 years
  • Galveston: bad weather but can be fun
TAMU:
  • New, state of the art facilities
  • 18 month preclerkship meaning more clinical exposure for and time to study for STEP
  • Distributed areas to study in (but no certainty that you will live at the place of your choice)
  • Slight emphasis on rural medicine/primary care
  • Climbing STEP Scores

Can anyone confirm/deny any of these points? I'd love to get some perspective from those who attend/have attended these schools as well. Thank you!
By bad weather are you talking about hurricanes? Or something more
 

wysdoc

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I am in the same boat as you. Leaning towards TAMU though because of possibility to rotate in Dallas/Houston, which exposes you to so much pathology. With STEP being p/f I'm not sure how much STEP averages impact my decision. Not sure about the fact that UTMB has more research opportunities. Also, I have been told by two Texas attendings that there are some minor cons to consider with UTMB. An ophthalmologist told me that Galveston seemed lacking in pathology (but that just may be a bias from a ophthalmic standpoint). I have also heard that TAMU's program is more established too. Idk if this is true or not but I've heard that UTMB faculty has a relatively high turnover rate due to undesirability living in that area. But I guess a pro of UTMB would be it's true P/f grading. Would love to hear input from other people though.
Med school choice is a personal one and I won't tell y'all which one to choose.
I must correct the "most established program" part though, because UTMB was the FIRST med school in Texas.
I haven't seen high faculty turnover at UTMB.
Yes hurricanes are a weather factor not only in Galveston but in Houston.
 
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Deltasidearm

2+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2018
125
245
Med school choice is a personal one and I won't tell y'all which one to choose.
I can't agree more with this. Ultimately, you should choose the school which best fits with you and your priorities and preferences. Any medical school will train you to be a successful doctor so choose where you will be happiest studying, whatever that means to you.
 
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May 16, 2020
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740
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Im conflicted with choosing between the two as well. Regardless, they are both very good schools. I'm leaning towards UTMB just because of their Board Exam averages & its more established (something I value). Also, living on the island could be a breath of fresh air for me. But, like everyone said its really a personal choice cause no matter what you will get a great medical education. I also like the more "chill" vibe I got from UTMB. I am going to (safely) travel to all the campuses I interviewed at and see if I could see myself living there or just you know... like it? Anyways, goodluck on your choice! both are phenomenal schools!
 
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morristhecat

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Apr 27, 2018
5
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Currently in practice in a non-primary care field. I was between these exact schools 10 years ago and picked TAMU. At the time, UTMB was 2 years post-Ike and was still a mess. I do not regret my decision at all, the connections and resources TAMU provided has helped me immeasurably. It never held me back and I remember my time there fondly. I think TAMU is hands down the best med school in Texas.
 
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Jul 21, 2019
44
78
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I have been accepted to both schools and will choose TAMU over UTMB.

Yes, A&M has the downside of being split between clinical and preclinical years in terms of location. However, that is only an issue in the inconvenience of moving. Having access to in-house rotations in Houston, Dallas, and BCS (regardless of wherever you are stationed) is a huge plus and helps for being considered for residencies at all of those sites. Additionally, having the name of A&M behind you could potentially help with connections and opportunities in the future (especially out of state, where A&M is more likely to be known).

Also, don't sleep on A&M's research opportunities. The hospitals in Dallas and Houston do a lot of research and BCS has access to the other colleges of A&M. For research and STEP in general, it's way more of an individual basis than a school basis anyway. If you are motivated then you will forge your own success at either school.
Thanks for this! What do you think about the 18 month pre-clerkship at TAMU vs 2 years of pre-clerkship at UTMB? I've heard the early clinical exposure can help with Board exams. Would that also mean that the information is more condensed than at UTMB?
 
Jul 21, 2019
44
78
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
I have been accepted to both schools and will choose TAMU over UTMB.

Yes, A&M has the downside of being split between clinical and preclinical years in terms of location. However, that is only an issue in the inconvenience of moving. Having access to in-house rotations in Houston, Dallas, and BCS (regardless of wherever you are stationed) is a huge plus and helps for being considered for residencies at all of those sites. Additionally, having the name of A&M behind you could potentially help with connections and opportunities in the future (especially out of state, where A&M is more likely to be known).

Also, don't sleep on A&M's research opportunities. The hospitals in Dallas and Houston do a lot of research and BCS has access to the other colleges of A&M. For research and STEP in general, it's way more of an individual basis than a school basis anyway. If you are motivated then you will forge your own success at either school.
I really am excited at the prospect of learning with newer facilities and rotating in Houston (especially at Houston Methodist). I don't think of moving as an inconvenience (more exciting than anything I think). I have heard that TAMU emphasizes rural medicine/primary care but I don't think of that as a restriction on specializing in something else. And yes to the forging your own success! Completely agree :)
 
Feb 27, 2020
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I really am excited at the prospect of learning with newer facilities and rotating in Houston (especially at Houston Methodist). I don't think of moving as an inconvenience (more exciting than anything I think). I have heard that TAMU emphasizes rural medicine/primary care but I don't think of that as a restriction on specializing in something else. And yes to the forging your own success! Completely agree :)
From what I've heard from students in the class, the Houston rotation sites are NOT in TMC, unless you are in the enmed program. The non enmed students that are in Houston rotate at Willowbrook Methodist location.
 
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SunBakedTrash

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Sep 8, 2019
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Maybe no longer relevant, but Isn’t UTMB pretty much a medical center for Texas prisons? I don’t know about their medical school but I looked into pathology residency programs there around 2009. They were discussing that a lot of its resources and residency programs were distributed to other area hospitals at the time of the hurricane and that they weren’t sure volume, faculty or patients would come back to pre-hurricane levels since Houston’s hospitals were so close and Galveston was already losing population prior to the hurricane. They had even discussed closing it down and diverting funds to other new UT schools. I passed on it, maybe this is old news. Good luck!
 

wysdoc

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Maybe no longer relevant, but Isn’t UTMB pretty much a medical center for Texas prisons? I don’t know about their medical school but I looked into pathology residency programs there around 2009. They were discussing that a lot of its resources and residency programs were distributed to other area hospitals at the time of the hurricane and that they weren’t sure volume, faculty or patients would come back to pre-hurricane levels since Houston’s hospitals were so close and Galveston was already losing population prior to the hurricane. They had even discussed closing it down and diverting funds to other new UT schools. I passed on it, maybe this is old news. Good luck!
Old news, yo. Students do spend some time seeing patients in the Texas Department of Correction. They are an underserved population, and they are actually pretty grateful to be seen. No missed appointments either!
UTMB is in Galveston to stay and they have a new hospital and new education building since Hurricane Ike, lots of community clinics in satellite locations closeby.
 
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nontrad1997

2+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2017
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Is TAMU losing the Temple clinical campus affecting anyone's decisions? I am also trying to decide between TAMU and UTMB.
 
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Jul 21, 2019
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Is TAMU losing the Temple clinical campus affecting anyone's decisions? I am also trying to decide between TAMU and UTMB.
If you make up your mind, please share your decision and rationale if you're open to doing that! I'm still in between (very slightly leaning toward UTMB (I think)).
 
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May 16, 2020
298
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Is anyone using anatomy as a factor into their decision? I know its a somewhat small factor in the grand scheme of things, but at this point (for me) any difference matters cause I like both schools.

A&M and UTMB seem to have slightly different ways of learning anatomy. Personally, I think I like UTMB's more cause of the full body dissection and each member gets to be involved. I believe A&M has the component where some parts of the anatomy lab, your group members, will explain what they learn to you about the topic that day and then all group members grades rely on how well they understand the material and explain it to each other. Does that factor into any of yalls decision? I personally like to learn the material myself rather than learn from another member (purely cause I am very hands-on and like to be there dissecting). Someone, please correct me if I got this wrong about A&M. I apologize if I explained it incorrectly.
 

morristhecat

2+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2018
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Is anyone using anatomy as a factor into their decision? I know its a somewhat small factor in the grand scheme of things, but at this point (for me) any difference matters cause I like both schools.

A&M and UTMB seem to have slightly different ways of learning anatomy. Personally, I think I like UTMB's more cause of the full body dissection and each member gets to be involved. I believe A&M has the component where some parts of the anatomy lab, your group members, will explain what they learn to you about the topic that day and then all group members grades rely on how well they understand the material and explain it to each other. Does that factor into any of yalls decision? I personally like to learn the material myself rather than learn from another member (purely cause I am very hands-on and like to be there dissecting). Someone, please correct me if I got this wrong about A&M. I apologize if I explained it incorrectly.
Yeah but you get a day off with A&M. When you get back, it’s already dissected. Trust me, dissecting that cadaver is not going to be as fun or educational as it sounds when you are elbow deep in fat five hours in, eyes searing from formaldehyde, while your friend is at home sipping tea and catching up on coursework.
 
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Deltasidearm

2+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2018
125
245
Is anyone using anatomy as a factor into their decision? I know its a somewhat small factor in the grand scheme of things, but at this point (for me) any difference matters cause I like both schools.

A&M and UTMB seem to have slightly different ways of learning anatomy. Personally, I think I like UTMB's more cause of the full body dissection and each member gets to be involved. I believe A&M has the component where some parts of the anatomy lab, your group members, will explain what they learn to you about the topic that day and then all group members grades rely on how well they understand the material and explain it to each other. Does that factor into any of yalls decision? I personally like to learn the material myself rather than learn from another member (purely cause I am very hands-on and like to be there dissecting). Someone, please correct me if I got this wrong about A&M. I apologize if I explained it incorrectly.
Also, to add on to @morristhecat, the peer teaching is likely to be more focused and faster than when you're doing the dissection (read: more time efficient) and it is not like you cannot go into the lab after the dissections are done to see the anatomy in person while being taught. Personally, I'm all for teaching others since it's the best way for me to review and you can always learn the anatomy yourself if your group members suck.
 
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morristhecat

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Apr 27, 2018
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Med school isn’t drinking from a firehose. That analogy makes no sense. Medical school is more like eating 10 pancakes each day. It’s not that fun to eat that much and you get sick of pancakes after a couple of weeks in but it’s doable. The problem is when you procrastinate for 2 weeks then need to eat 140 pancakes right before your exam. That is when you run into problems.

You have to learn time management and prioritization if you haven’t already. Sitting all day in “mandatory” classes and taking 5 hours to trace out the thoracoacromial artery in gross lab is not using your time effectively. Cramming powerpoints at home with lectures on 2.5x speed is an efficient use of time. I know everyone’s different but these are the kind of things that mattered to me as a med student.
 
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nontrad1997

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Just wanted to see if anyone choosing between these two has come to decision yet...I am still deciding and have my UTMB preview day soon.
 
May 16, 2020
298
740
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Just wanted to see if anyone choosing between these two has come to decision yet...I am still deciding and have my UTMB preview day soon.
Went to preview day and loved it! The showcase the PBL and how it works with the medical students at each group. The tour of the hospitals and buildings were also really cool. I think I’m 100% going to UTMB now cause of the full ride they gave me. I seriously think that’s the only scholarship I’m going to receive, so That’s what was the dealbreaker for to me choose UTMB.
 
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Jul 21, 2019
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Months later, I just want to say they're both still outstanding schools and I can't say that I have nailed down a choice for sure yet. I will say that I've taken a couple trips to College Station and have been admitted to the MD+ program and, as crazy as it sounds, I am starting to feel some attachment to BCS! Like I've heard from many ppl's advice, you can't go wrong with either choice. But at the same time, I do think your connection with the school/city does weigh in here!
 
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