7+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2012
Resident [Any Field]
I'm fortunate enough to have acceptances at both schools, but I'd like to solicit some feedback from SDN before I make any firm decisions. I'm OOS at both, so the price tag is very steep either way (88k/yr @ Wayne, 78k/yr @ Cooper). I don't know what sort of medicine I'd like to practice -- if I had to decide, I'd say EM or EM/IM (maybe CC), but I'm considering taking a year off and doing research; I haven't ruled out academic medicine. I would like to match somewhere in the PNW (where I'm from) or California, where I have some family.

  • Large, established school
  • Good opportunities for research in the area
  • Excellent, hands-on clinical training, with very diverse pathologies
  • Big student body means tons of interest groups, clubs, and organizations for whatever
  • The curriculum is a bit antiquated in first year - the impression I got from the students on the tour was that there was a lot of material presented, of varying quality and relevance to the boards. They seemed quite stressed.
  • The large student body and school felt a bit impersonal
  • 10k/yr more than Cooper
  • Possibility of 3rd/4th year clerkships at a smaller hospital without quality residents (Oakwood, St. John's, Providence)
  • Brand new facilities
  • Extremely responsive and invested faculty
  • Early, meaningful clinical exposure and experience (the "week on the wards" and longitudinal clerkship are definitely more than just lipservice to the "early clinical exposure" buzzwords you hear so often)
  • The students were all really happy and I felt quite good there
  • The curriculum is both a pro and a con. 6 hours of lecture per week means a minimum of seat time, and there's a lot of focus on PBL (in the form of ALGs, "active learning groups")
  • Cooper Hospital was a branch campus for UMDNJ before starting Cooper Med, so as a teaching hospital it is quite experienced. Apparently, the learning and didactic experience there is quite good (the dermatologist my family sees did her residency and fellowship there)
  • Close to Philly
  • 10k/yr less than Wayne
  • Brand new school. First class won't graduate until 2016, and the "name" is very poorly known outside of NJ and the immediate area.
  • Unproven board prep curriculum
  • Unproven clinical curriculum (although, for both of the above, two cohorts of students will have gone through them by the time I get there)
  • Significantly less access to research. There are associations with the Coriell Research Institute and the University of the Sciences, but the school is just now hiring research faculty. Apparently, though, 30/50 first year students did "some sort of research activity," as per our tour guide, so there certainly are opportunities
  • If I wanted to do a year off for research or something, there is no established program in place for this. Same with organized summer research through the school.
  • I'm not sure how much PBL I really want to do. Having done some PBL during my M.S. (and reading experiences from others on here), it can feel a bit like the blind leading the blind, where you stumble around until you hit on the lesson for the day. I know that PBL is definitely variable, and I haven't heard any complaints about Cooper specifically, but it certainly has the possibility to be less efficient than a more traditional curriculum.
Right now, I guess I'm leaning towards Wayne because it's the more established school, and the conventional wisdom is to go to one if you have the option. Cooper, though, is certainly appealing, and 40k + interest cheaper over 4 years.


The Red Viper
Aug 17, 2013
Probably Wayne, but wait until you get Financial Aid offers.
Aug 8, 2013
Medical Student
Wayne, go for established...also, consider the fact that there are many areas near Wayne that could really use some med-student volunteerism. Plus, Michigan is an amazing state with some quality people ;)


Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus
5+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2012
Medical Student

Did you attend second look day for Wayne State? If so, we might have met. Check out the link below to compare hospital sizes and specialties offered. Wayne State has around 570 newly accepted residents, and Cooper 69. Of course, finances should play a large role in your decision, but just hoping to provide another data point...
Last edited: