Jun 18, 2019
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Hi, everyone! I'm super excited to be accepted at these three schools, and now I'm trying to decide between them. I'm a North Carolina resident. Right now, I'm interested in derm, ophtho, or an IM subspeciality like allergy or rheum. Of course, this could always change, but I want to set myself up for success in whatever I choose to pursue. I don't see myself pursuing an academic career in the future. I'm trying to find the best fit while also balancing cost.

UVA (~200k COA)
Pros
  • Within driving distance of family
  • Lots of outdoor activities and great scenery
  • Nice weather/ mild winter
  • 1.5 yr preclinical
  • Students can take exams on their own time during the weekend
  • Focus on refugee health
  • P/F unranked (but still has AOA)
  • Non-mandatory, recorded lectures

Cons
  • Charlottesville is somewhat isolated from other major cities, and I might get bored. I'm not a huge fan of college towns in general.
  • Smaller hospital system
  • Required core rotations in rural southwest Virginia


CWRU (~255k COA)
Pros
  • Cleveland is a very low COL city. I like professional sports too so that's a plus.
  • Tons of research opportunities
  • Variety of clinical sites and rotations (CC, UH, MetroHealth, VA) and diverse patient population
  • 16-weeks of research built into the curriculum
  • Case-based learning
  • Beautiful medical education building
  • P/F Unranked preclinical
  • No AOA
  • Admissions team was super awesome. They really made me like the school.
  • Less frequent exams. Curriculum seems self-directed with lots of free time.

Cons
  • Cleveland was okay but had a really different vibe than living in the Sun Belt, so I'd have to adjust to that
  • Weather: cloudy, grey skies all the time and really snowy, cold winters that last months
  • Early morning mandatory group sessions
  • A bit too far to drive home, so I would have to fly home to see family
  • No recorded lectures (not sure how big of a deal this is? students said they don't rely on them anyway)
  • 2 yr preclinical. Wouldn't start core rotations until 3rd year.
  • Most expensive option

UNC-Chapel Hill (~160k COA)
Pros
  • Alma mater, so I already know my way around Chapel Hill, which might make the initial adjustment easier
  • Classes are non-mandatory from 8-12, which means more free time
  • Recorded lectures
  • Cheapest option
  • 1.5 yr P/F preclinical; not sure if ranked or not
  • Closest to family (2 hrs from home)
  • Great weather and beautiful scenery. Few hours from the beach and mountains.
  • 4 yr longitudinal medical Spanish program. Super excited about this because Spanish is my 2nd language.

Cons
  • VERY primary care focused. I know matching comes down to my work ethic, but it might be harder to find opportunities/support in the specialties I'm interested in?
  • Lots of traveling around for clinical weeks and rotations
  • again, I'm not a huge fan of college towns
  • Have a "been there, done that" feeling about Chapel Hill

Summary: I like CWRU the most as a school. It feels like the best fit for my goals, and I vibed best with the school's culture. But it's also the most expensive, and I'm not sure it's worth the debt if I can accomplish the same thing at my other options for less. UNC is closest to my support system, has the best weather and familiarity. It's also the cheapest for me as an IS resident. I'm just worried I could be missing out on better research or clinical opportunities elsewhere. UVA is a nice in-between, but I don't feel as strongly about UVA as I do the other two schools.

Thanks!
 
Jun 18, 2020
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For UVA- you can avoid the southwest Virginia rotations if you choose the INOVA campus for clinical. They do all their core rotations right outside D.C.. INOVA is a huge hospital and level 1 trauma center (alongside UVA's hospital).
 
Jun 18, 2019
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For UVA- you can avoid the southwest Virginia rotations if you choose the INOVA campus for clinical. They do all their core rotations right outside D.C.. INOVA is a huge hospital and level 1 trauma center (alongside UVA's hospital).
I'm assigned to the Charlottesville campus for clinical, so I have to do the rural ones unless I switch with someone. It's not a huge con for me though. At least it would be only a few weeks.
 

Banco

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Reputation wise they are effectively equal - all very highly regarded; rankings are similar, PD ratings are similar, all have lots of research funding. Seems like UNC would be the best fit for you and the cheapest. According to the UNC match lists, they match plenty into competitive specialties. Here you can filter by specialty, and there is a healthy amount of derm/surgical subspecialties/academic-IM: Residency Placements | Office of Student Affairs

So while you still have to put in the work if you want to match those fields (this is true anywhere), it does seem like there is a good pipeline at UNC. With regards to research, UNC gets a huge amount of NIH funding: Top 50 NIH-Funded Institutions of 2020 (#16 in the country).

I don't think you have to worry about the "primary care focus" if that's not what you want to pursue. Seeing as this is your only real potential con for UNC, it would be hard to justify 100k more at CWRU.
 
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Jun 18, 2019
143
365
Reputation wise they are effectively equal - all very highly regarded; rankings are similar, PD ratings are similar, all have lots of research funding. Seems like UNC would be the best fit for you and the cheapest. According to the UNC match lists, they match plenty into competitive specialties. Here you can filter by specialty, and there is a healthy amount of derm/surgical subspecialties/academic-IM: Residency Placements | Office of Student Affairs

So while you still have to put in the work if you want to match those fields (this is true anywhere), it does seem like there is a good pipeline at UNC. With regards to research, UNC gets a huge amount of NIH funding: Top 50 NIH-Funded Institutions of 2020 (#16 in the country).

I don't think you have to worry about the "primary care focus" if that's not what you want to pursue. Seeing as this is your only real potential con for UNC, it would be hard to justify 100k more at CWRU.
Thanks! Yeah, the 100k extra cost is super hard to justify even though I really like Case.

In a weird turn of events, I just found out I received a substantial scholarship from SLU that would make tuition slightly less than UNC (~20k cheaper over 4 years). I actually withdrew from SLU a few days ago, but they called me with this news and told me to reconsider. I have to give them an answer by Monday. I’m leaning towards turning it down since it’s not that big of a price difference, and I’d rather stay closer to home.
 

Banco

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Thanks! Yeah, the 100k extra cost is super hard to justify even though I really like Case.

In a weird turn of events, I just found out I received a substantial scholarship from SLU that would make tuition slightly less than UNC (~20k cheaper over 4 years). I actually withdrew from SLU a few days ago, but they called me with this news and told me to reconsider. I have to give them an answer by Monday. I’m leaning towards turning it down since it’s not that big of a price difference, and I’d rather stay closer to home.

Yeah 20k is effectively nothing and while SLU is great, I think UNC is overall stronger than SLU.
 
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