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Wash U or Duke

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by BME02, May 8, 2002.

  1. BME02

    BME02 Member 7+ Year Member

    54
    1
    Nov 4, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    I am having a really, really tough time deciding between Duke and Wash U for MSTP. Both school have the same stipend, similar cost of living. Both have about the same med school rank. Wash U is a bit better for neuro which is my interest now, but who knows in the future. I like the 2nd year clinicals at Duke, but I also want to get the in depth education you get at Wash U. Everyone says if you want to do research go to Wash U, but I feel that the same applies to Duke. I could really use some advise from current students at both schools. How did you decide to go where you went? Thanks ahead of time.

    BME02
     
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  3. energy_girl

    energy_girl 10+ Year Member

    207
    0
    Aug 13, 2001
    global community
    BME '02:

    First of all, congratulations on having a wonderful choice! Both Wash U and Duke are great schools, and as I'm sure others have told you by now, you really can't go wrong with either one.

    Second of all, as a first-year MST student at Wash U, I'll try to cut the recruitment pitch to a minimum. I was faced with the same choice last year--ultimately, I was deciding with Cornell, Duke and Wash U. I'm not sure if I can really tell you the impressions I got from the schools. I suppose I tell you some obvious things, but I'm sure you already know which programs are strong in their research programs and what the medical school is like. For me, overall, it came down to the gut feeling I had about the school. All of these top schools, and certainly all the schools you mentioned, will give you a great education. Since you are the one who will be making the most of it and you are the one who will be living in that city and with the same people for 7-8 years, though, you have be sure that the environment the school provides is your ideal environment.

    For me, it came down to making sure I had the right environment. I was dazzled by Manhattan and Cornell's PBL, and really impressed by Duke's 1-year-pre-clinical and Sal Pizzo. I was also very impressed by Yale's P/F system, and hardly could avoid being in awe of names like Hopkins or Harvard. But when it came down to making the decision of where to spend all these important years of my life and where I wanted to start my career, I knew I had to choose a place that gave the most support, had people I could "click" with, and had an environment that I felt comfortable in. For me, Wash U was the perfect place. I thought St. Louis might not be the best place to live, coming from the west coast myself, but it really is not bad at all. The school itself is fantastic, my classmates are wonderful, and I am very happy I made the choice I did.

    That said, perhaps the choice will be different for you. I certainly hope you come to Wash U., but of course, for each person, the fit may be different. So I advise you, as probably everybody else does (sorry if this is just really repetitious to you, as I know you've been on this board for a while receiving as well as giving advice), to look around, ask lots of questions of students-and most importantly, ask yourself if this is where you belong. Go for revisits if you can. Talk to more students if possible.

    Let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck with your decision!

    --energy_girl
     
  4. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    1,903
    5
    Jul 27, 2001
    If the schools are so similiar...just go by location. Which is closer to your family? Which has better weather? Which has a lower cost of living?
     
  5. LilMissDrDoolittle

    LilMissDrDoolittle Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    100
    0
    Oct 18, 2001
    Los Angeles
    What a choice..... congrats!

    Wash U is arguably the best MST Program in the country. I think it is nice to have such a large class to go through everything you are going through. I think what really distinguishes Wash U is the strong MSTP community and I think that is very important. The research at Wash U speaks for itself.

    I think Duke offers a unique one year clinical exposure before. Of course, the research there is excellent too

    Honestly, you can't go wrong with either but I would go with Wash U for MSTP. I believe Wash U is on a completely different level as far as research and training physician-scientists. I think one prob Wash U has in recruiting acceptees is St Louis but Durham is certainly no better. In fact, I think city wise, St Louis definitely has the edge.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
     
  6. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior 7+ Year Member

    1,823
    3
    Sep 2, 2001
    lilmissDrdolittle and energy-girl are absolutely right about WashU. It is argueably the best MST program in the nation. The research is spectacular man! WashU's raison d'etre is research & the training of physician scientists. Duke is also awesome; and you get the certainly unique opportunity to have essentially completed your clinical(med school) training prior to entering the lab. Like all the previous posters said, follow your gut; and make the most of whereever you choose. Good luck man!
     
  7. brandonite

    brandonite Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    2,264
    3
    Oct 19, 2001
    Manitoba, Canada
    Exactly what everyone else has said. You can't go wrong with either one. I would choose WashU because it is much closer to my family, and I like the large MSTP class size... But either school is great.

    Do you know where you are off to yet, Original? Last time I talked to you, you weren't entirely sure...

    -Kris
     
  8. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior 7+ Year Member

    1,823
    3
    Sep 2, 2001
    Kris,
    I'll be going to Duke for sure. I pulled my file from WashU a few days ago.

    Stephen
     
  9. BME02

    BME02 Member 7+ Year Member

    54
    1
    Nov 4, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    Well thank you everyone for your opinions and well thoughtout responses. As you all said, I am extremely happy to be making this decision. As my grandmother used to say "Should this be the worst thing that happens to you." That is one of my favorite sayings.

    I am hoping that tomorrow when I try to call Pat at Duke and tell her I am not coming I can do it. It is tough to turn down a school like Duke. Again thank you everyone and if anyone else has more comments, keep them coming.

    Apparently every is signing with there real name.

    -Craig
     
  10. Detroit Mick

    Detroit Mick The Supinator 7+ Year Member

    250
    0
    Feb 3, 2002
    EL MI USA
    Duke. I think thier ciriculum is perfect for MSTP.

    Congrats either way! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  11. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    853
    20
    Oct 20, 2001
    Having a clinical year under your belt might be important for you as a future "physician"-scientist. Of course, one can argue that with MD/PhD, you are learning how to think and do research as a researcher. But during that one clinical year, your interest (i.e. on what topic or even what field of research) can change dramatically.
     
  12. brandonite

    brandonite Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    2,264
    3
    Oct 19, 2001
    Manitoba, Canada
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Thewonderer:
    <strong>Having a clinical year under your belt might be important for you as a future "physician"-scientist. Of course, one can argue that with MD/PhD, you are learning how to think and do research as a researcher. But during that one clinical year, your interest (i.e. on what topic or even what field of research) can change dramatically.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Yes, this, to me, is a serious advantage that Duke has. Right now, with me possibly starting my PhD in the fall, I am almost being expected to choose a future residency before I have even had a chance to do a single clerkship! With Duke, you have a better idea what is involved in each area of medicine before you choose a research supervisor and a topic. There are some really cool neurology and cardiology projects going on at the lab I will be at, but what if I do one of those, and then when I do my clerkship, find that a completely different area of medicine is better suited to me??
     
  13. BME02

    BME02 Member 7+ Year Member

    54
    1
    Nov 4, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    Well, just to let everyone know, I did decide to go to Wash U. I made this decision based on a couple of facts.

    1) I don't really agree with the compression of the basic sciences in to one year. As a Phy-Sci I am truly interested in learning the basic science "stuff". I think for MD's this is a great idea, but for me I just didn't think it makes sense.

    2) Wash U allows students to get some of the grad work out of the way early and then basically spend all of the PhD years in the lab. This and the rotations that can be done over the summer allow Wash U MD/PhD's to finish in 7-8 years, just like Duke students.

    3) I feel that by spacing out the first two years Wash U students can get more involved in things like the Sat. clinic, the Young Scientist program and a lot of other service and community groups. Additionally there is simply more time to screw around.

    4) Durham is cool and all, but I think that STL has a little bit more to offer (ie three sports teams to follow instead of 1)

    5) I think that the research faculty at Wash U are more receptive to collaborations and seek them out. I think this is the ideal situation for a PhD candidate to learn. It allows a more diverse training and more flexibility in mentorship.

    That is just a couple of the reasons. I am sure that I have more, but as it is 3 and I just got back from Star Wars (I am a dork) and have been enjoying grandpa's cough syrup, I will stop for now.
     
  14. Detroit Mick

    Detroit Mick The Supinator 7+ Year Member

    250
    0
    Feb 3, 2002
    EL MI USA
    BME02,

    Sounds like you made a good decision based on your future goals. Good luck at WashU.

    P.S. How was Star Wars. I can't wait to see it! :D :D :D
     
  15. BME02

    BME02 Member 7+ Year Member

    54
    1
    Nov 4, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    I thought Star Wars was good. I mean the acting is sub-par. There are a few good one liners and Yoda does some really cool stuff. It was much better that the first one.

    BME02
     

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