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UW Rural Med vs. MCW 3 year

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Doctor Dream

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Hey everyone, I'm deciding between the rural medicine program (WARM) at UW, and MCW's 3 year campus in Central Wisconsin and would love SDN's input. My main focuses are saving money, and going to a school where I'll be happy and prepared for my future in medicine. I really like primary care and could see myself doing FM, IM or maybe an IM fellowship, but am keeping an open mind. After I finally become a doc I want to practice in Central WI where I'm from. Anyway, here's the pros and cons of each.

MCW-CW
Pros:
-3 year program, save time and money
-Could live at home and save $$$
-Love the hospital it's attached to
-Strongly support the school's mission
-I am an extremely strong candidate for one of two full-tuition scholarships (150K) from a local hospital. Only 25 people will even qualify for these. Can only apply once I matriculate here though.
-It feels like this program will help me do exactly what I want with my medical career at this point in time.
-I could potentially graduate with no debt.

Cons:
-3 year program means hardly any breaks
-3 year also means not competitive for many specialties, and I have limited options should I change my mind about primary care.
-Many courses are distance ed, meaning we watch a live video feed of a lecture at MCW in Milwaukee.
-Would like to move away from central WI at some point.


UW-WARM
Pros:
-Stronger program than MCW-CW in many ways
-Madison is the sh**, can get out of Central WI for a while.
-Residency options are more open
-If money were not a factor, I would probably choose here.

Cons:
-Significantly more expensive than living at home and going to MCW, also would pass up a really good chance for full tuition scholarship.
-Move away from family (although only a couple hours away)

Both programs are awesome, but MCW has the edge in my mind because it's way cheaper and still fits me well. If I end up not liking primary care though, I'll be stuck, which is why I'm still considering UW. Plus UW is a dream school for me so it's hard to say no. I wanted to hear SDN's thoughts before I made my decision. Thanks everyone!

TL;DR - MCW is way cheaper and I could potentially graduate with no debt, but limits my residency options. UW is a bigger name in a great city but costs a lot more.
 
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Thanks for the reply! Since I'd be living at home, MCW would be about 70k cheaper.
"My main focuses are saving money, and going to a school where I'll be happy and prepared for my future in medicine."

Looks like MCW will save you money.
You might be happier in Madison.
Both schools will prepare you for medicine.

"It feels like this program will help me do exactly what I want with my medical career at this point in time"- about MCW

Your career goals might change though!

It seems like the only thing keeping you out of Madison is $$$$. This is a bigger issue if you stick with primary care.

I'd go with UW because if you fall in love with something other than primary care you'd have a lot of regret.

Even without scholarships, UW is still much less expensive than many of the private medical schools out there.
 

benegesserit4

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I would vote UW-WARM. MCW's CW campus is really nice and the program is well organized, but they haven't graduated a class yet so who knows how they will match and how PDs view 3-year programs? There's limited opportunity for research if you decide you want to enter a more competitive program. I'm not sure if CWs cohorts have taken the boards yet, but there is also the uncertainty of how students would perform on boards with the condensed curriculum.
On the other hand the WARM program is well-established with students consistently matching in strong programs (you can look at the WARM-specific match lists on OASIS if you have your Madison student account set up). I actually know some WARM faculty really well and they say the students love it, get great training, are successful in matching, etc. Just personal preference but I would go with the more established program with a better track record.
However it would be up to you to decide whether you're ready to take on additional debt, especially if you get the MCW scholarship.
Good luck!
 

Orthosurg1

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OP-- let us know what you decided! I'm going to be in the WARM program this year and I'm really excited :)
 

Doctor Dream

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Thanks for the great advice everyone! I took what you both said in to consideration but decided to go against the grain on this one. MCW CW it is! UW is absolutely amazing though, and I hope I get some love there for my residency app!
 
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