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Jul 26, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
Vanderbilt
Pros:
- More flexibility built into the curriculum
- (slightly I think?) More research opportunities
- Urban environment
- Prestige
Cons:
- Jam packed first year
- Possibly too heavy of a research focus for my taste
- Less of a focus on the underserved (my passion)

UNC
Pros:
- Absolutely love the area
- 4 year medical Spanish program
- More of a focus on the underserved
- Not everyone is from an Ivy League lol
Cons:
- Less prestige (I think??)
- Fewer research opportunities
- Less people are from OOS, May make it harder to connect as one of the few non-Carolinians

Summary: All in all I love both of these programs. I’m leaning toward UNC pretty hard, I just have a good feeling about them, but I can’t shake thinking about Vandy. I’m OOS so the COA is pretty similar (haven’t heard about financial aid yet/assuming I won’t get any from Vandy) so that’s not a huge factor. My biggest hang up with UNC is that I’m leaning towards EM and Ortho as potential specialties and I don’t know if going to Vandy would set me up better for a non-primary care residency. They rank pretty similarly in research 18 (Vandy) vs 23 (UNC) but the big difference is on the primary care rankings 31 (Vandy) vs 1 (UNC). Prestige honestly isn’t a big factor at all to me, but I wonder if I’m underselling it’s importance in the residency process? I also really want to focus on caring for the underserved, specially Spanish speaking populations. Would love to hear thoughts!
Update: Their second looks are on the same day which doesn’t help at all🙃
 
Last edited:
Jul 17, 2019
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I would say barring a large price difference, go to UNC. It seems like that’s where your heart is and it’s definitely a good enough school to match into those residencies as long as you work hard (same as Vandy tbh).
 
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Banco

5+ Year Member
May 28, 2014
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Vandy is indeed a bit more prestigious but UNC also has a great reputation. Match lists are hard to read but both seem to match into Ortho in good amounts. Vandy likely does have more research and a stronger home ortho department.

But more importantly, based on your passions, goals, and what you write, you should go to UNC. You will be happier there and successful career wise.
 
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Jul 31, 2020
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You'll be fine at either school. Regardless of US News rankings, Vanderbilt has stronger overall biomedical research and it is very strongly integrated into the curriculum (which seems like it could be either a pro or con to you?) UNC, however, is leaps and bounds above Vanderbilt in primary care. This is one of those few situations in which the US News rankings do it justice.

I voted Vanderbilt, in part, because they have an incredibly strong record of matching people into ortho. This was something that was made very clear during the interview day when I was there. Having said that, you certainly won't have trouble matching coming from UNC.

Vanderbilt is a school I was also very strongly considering and one of the things that was also clear is their focus on the mental health and wellbeing of students. I felt this far more strongly at Vanderbilt than anywhere else I interviewed. This is worth taking into consideration.

Ultimately, it seems like you should determine whether you want an urban or suburban environment, as well as a research-heavy vs less research-heavy curriculum.

Nashville is a much larger and far more diverse city (with a pretty big and rapidly growing Spanish-speaking population, in addition to a student clinic that serves predominantly Hispanic populations), so I honestly don't think you'll have an issue being able to serve underserved populations.
 
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Sep 10, 2020
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It seems to me like you’re drawn more to UNC and are only hung up on Vandy because of its prestige. Go with the school where the opportunities (serving underserved, Spanish program) match what you want to do. And go where you think you’ll be happier/less stressed. If you’re happier and involved in activities that interest you I think your standardized test scores will be better and your residency application will be stronger.

based on what you wrote, it seems like you want to go to UNC more though. Go with your gut. Visit both places first though.
 
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