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What's in a Name?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by CT, Dec 9, 2001.

  1. CT

    CT Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2000
    How much does a name really matter for things like residencies, etc? I'm wondering because I now have to make a decision between Creighton and Indiana University. I've been told IU is the bigger name and "better" school and this was one thing I wanted to think about in making my decision. My reasonong is that even if you were to pick a specialty where say research was important, as long as you were involved in something and could speak well about you experience, and did well overall wherever you went, then name wouldn't make that big of a difference unless we were talking Harvard or someone like that. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'd really appreceiate your feedback.
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  3. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    I guess if you're staying in the midwest, it might matter a very small amount...otherwise they both seem quite similiar in terms of stats and placement. Go where ever is cheaper.
  4. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A. 10+ Year Member

    not going to claim, as pre-med, that I know much about selection of individuals other than what I hear from med students. That said, Allopathic, Everyone would be a good place to put this.

    one anecdote: the only other pre-med math major here at USF was relating to me her older sister's (also a former math major, MS4 @ USF) dillema of being at big residencies and having nearly identical numbers with the other applicants coming from bigger name schools. SO she is recommending to her sister to go with the bigger name schools if at all possible, because you can't stand out by majoring in math @ med school ;)
  5. Sir William Osler

    Sir William Osler Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2001
    planet Earth
    if you want to get into some of the most competitive residencies, the more reputable the school, the better. Why? because most students will match at their medical school or a similar institution. If you're aiming for the top spots in derm, you want to go to a good school that has a good hospital for derm so you have good chance to either A)match at your own hospital or B)make good connections with top profs since you go to a great school with top profs so that you can get into a great program.

    But, obviously there are students from State U Med who match at top programs. Just not too many of them. Most will come from the top schools. But I guess this comes down to the argument of whether top school get top residences because of the school or because they admit the top students.

    I think all med schools here are great and no door will be completely shut no matter where you go to school.

    good luck!
  6. Ranger Bob

    Ranger Bob Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2001
    Cincinnati, OH
    This is an interesting question. I had the opportunity to pose a similar question to several fourth-year medical students I worked with last year. My question was, "When applying to competitive residency programs, would you rather be a top student (e.g., AOA, top 10%) at an average school, or a middle-of-the-road student at a top school?" They seemed to agree that they'd rather be a top student at an average school.

    I suspect that, like medical school adcoms, residency program directors find it difficult to adjust GPA or class ranking based on the prestige of the program the student is coming from. They tend to underadjust, which gives an advantage to those with high GPA's from average schools.

    Having said all of that, if I get an offer from Harvard, I'll be damn sure to take it, even if that means I become a small fish in a big pond.
  7. Sir William Osler

    Sir William Osler Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2001
    planet Earth
    To make another point:

    If you're interested in academic medicine or any type of research whether it be bench or clinical, the reputation of your medical school will matter. On grants, do you know that they ask about the places from which you were granted degrees? I was talking to one of the deans at WashU about this. I also believe that at least 75% of the reason one would attend a top school is the contacts that you will make. We all know by this point in life that connections do matter. If you know the top guy in Derm at your top-ranked med school, then even if you're not the top guy in your class, odds are he will get you into a top school just with a good recommendation. The other 25% of the reason you want to go to a good school has to do with partly the quality of the students and partly with the flexibility of most top school's curriculum's. If you go to a school like Yale or Stanford, they will allow you to do whatever you want (nearly), and usually fund it. Also, other students will be doing this and will have set a track for you to pursue. That makes it much easier. I would question whether LSU would offer the same opportuntiies (just picking on LSU :) since i'm a LA resident). Also, being with amazing people will make your experience more interesting. I know this firsthand after transferring in undergrad from a state U to a private U.

    BUt if you want to go into primary care, then there is very little reason to attend an expensive top school in my opinion at least. Also, if you wnat to do non-academic medicine, i would say go to the cheaper school or the one in the best location. just my 2 cents.

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