Wake Forest vs MCG

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New Member
Feb 29, 2024
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Hi, would really appreciate any thoughts people might have!

Some background, I'm currently most interested in family medicine/pediatrics but know that it's entirely possible my mind changes in the future. I'm fortunate enough to have full financial support from my parents, so won't have to take out any loans. As a student, I'm not interested in research to the point where one program's reputation in it can sway me in one direction or the other. Please let me know if there's anything else I should add about myself!
  • Wake Forest
    • Pros
      • Fairly close to home
      • More diverse specialties, might want to explore
      • Winston-Salem seems like a nice city
      • Strong match list
      • Good school/life balance according to students
      • Rotations in Charlotte
      • Early clinical experience
      • 9 week summer break after first year
    • Cons
      • Expensive (~60k/year, scholarships tbd)
      • Further from home (5hr drive)
      • More expensive cost of living (still not too bad)
  • Pros
    • Strong family medicine
    • 3+ program (finish MD in 3 years and have 1 year for a masters/more research/residency prep)
    • Cheaper (~30k/year)
    • Closer to home (2hr drive)
    • Good match list with lots of family med
    • Maybe increases chances of working in Atlanta in the future?
  • Cons
    • Not enthusiastic about Augusta
    • Little control over which campus placed in (Augusta, Savannah, Athens)
    • Chance of frequent relocation during rotations in rural GA
    • Lesser reputation (how important is that?)
    • Fast paced and less school/life balance because of 3 year program
    • Longest break is 2 weeks

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I guess this would come down to whether you want to do an accelerated path with less comfort (faster schedule, more rigorous) vs maybe a little more laid back (I mean, as far as medical school goes lol) but possibly more expensive. I don't know much about Wake, have you looked into scholarships or collaborated with any current students?

If I had to choose with the information given, I'd probably opt for Wake Forest just because relocation and I would like to be able to have some down time.
Depends on how important finances are to you imo. You sound more excited about Wake Forest, but it’s significantly more expensive. WF is probably marginally more prestigious than MCG, but especially because you’re considering FM or Peds and you aren’t into research too much, that really shouldn’t matter. I would go with the cheaper option at MCG personally unless you get a good financial aid package from WF later. Good luck and congrats on the acceptances!
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If finances truly don’t matter, I’d choose Wake in the case you decide on a competitive specialty down the road. Not saying MCG couldn’t get you there, but I think Wake has more national prestige than MCG (but both can certainly match well in any specialty). Congrats!

If you’re truly passionate about peds and need research ideas down the road, look into peds onc projects - super rewarding and interesting research.
I’m graduating from Wake in May, and I have so many good things to say about the program, Winston-Salem, etc. I’d recommend it to anyone, especially if the price isn’t a problem for you.

With that said, if you’re interested in primary care, there is no added benefit for your parents paying an extra $120k. So, I would do MCG. If you were trying for derm or ortho or something, I would probably say Wake, despite the cost difference.

I think that the odds of switching from wanting primary care to wanting a surgical subspecialty are pretty low. Even if that happened, MCG is a still decent school and you could still match into anything from there.
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