Why go to the best schools?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ashasnarf, Mar 10, 2002.

  1. ashasnarf

    ashasnarf Member

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    I have spoken to many residents at the hospital where I work and even those of them that went to IVY med schools tell me to go where I will be happiest, and where I think I can do the best. The truth is that if you want to do something competitive like ENT, Ortho, DERM, Neuro etc, you will have to have top grades,scores, AOA status etc. If you graduate in the middle of your class from Yale or Harvard, your chances of getting into these specialties will be compromised, even though there may be exceptions. I recently spoke to a chairman of a program and he told me that they get 400 applications, interview maybe 20-30, and accept only 4 people. I asked him how they decide who to interview and he told me that they use AOA (medical honor society) to screen out applications. So if you went to a really good school and did not do that well then you would be out of luck,except if other components of your profile were so great that they deserved a second look. He told me that this is the way most residency programs operate. If this is true then would'nt it make more sense to go where you felt you could do really well, and not have to compete against fellow classmates. I know that competition exists at all schools, but on average should you try to go to the school that is less cutthroat and had a cooperative non-competitive atmosphere. I wonde rwhat you all think !! Thanks!!
     
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  3. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Interesting point.
     
  4. dlc

    dlc Senior Member

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    I have heard pretty much the same thing. I really want to go to a certain top school but I have been told by current doctors to be thankful I got into my state school, where it would be less competitive and I could probably do better. One neurosurgeon really tried to convince me of how important grades are over school and how where you go to med school doesn't matter, saying how he went to a non-ranked med school, was able to do well and get AOA status, and got into one of the top neurosurgery residencies in the country. After our discussion, I was pretty much convinced I should just stay at home (where it would be cheaper as well) then try to get myself into this top school. Yet, I still kind of have a desire to keep trying for this top school...I need more convincing. Anybody?
     
  5. sundevil1

    sundevil1 Senior Member

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    Well, I always think that you should go where you are happiest. If you want a competitive residency then you have push yourself and make sure you do really well during your clinical years and on your boards. This criteria doesn't change between competitive and non-competitive schools, so go where you will be happy. And anybody who thinks that they will have an easy time in med school because they don't go to a top school is very wrong. There are bright people in every school and you will have to work hard wherever you go if you want to be at the top of your class. For the most part, the people who make it into to med school are the best of the best anyway, so you will be challenged.
     
  6. nyskindr

    nyskindr Senior Member

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    In general it is true that how you do in medical school rather than the school you go to will matter most when applying to residency programs.However I would not use places like Harvard as an example.I have seen a recent match list from Columbia,and almost the entire class went to top programs with around a dozen doing ortho at very prestigious places.I do think that contacts at the VERY best schools will open doors,but once you get out of this elite it wont matter all that much.As far as derm goes I agree an average student at an Ivy League school will have a lot of trouble getting it.
     
  7. well, still, nobody's gonna give up going to an Awesome school and opt for their crappier state school just because they Think they might not make it.

    "well i got into Harvard and Hopkins, but i think i'll stick with my state school here in Wyoming because i can truly succeed here...."

    But the tuition situation Does play a Very big role.
     
  8. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus

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    I dunno. I think that the reputation of your school can make all the difference if you're trying to get into a very competitive residency. They drilled that into us about a million times at Duke. I don't doubt that you could get into the specialty of your choice going to ANY school, and normally I'm not the guy on hear emphasizing rankings, but I do think that going to a top 10 school opens doors to you that would be closed to people going to other schools...
     
  9. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by brandonite:
    <strong>I dunno. I think that the reputation of your school can make all the difference if you're trying to get into a very competitive residency. They drilled that into us about a million times at Duke. I don't doubt that you could get into the specialty of your choice going to ANY school, and normally I'm not the guy on hear emphasizing rankings, but I do think that going to a top 10 school opens doors to you that would be closed to people going to other schools...</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">no that isnt true at all, even people from the worst rank schools get into top residencies.....if that were true, then all of the students at Duke, Columbia, Yale etc would go into surgery, dermatology and other fields...and that does not happen...

    its the same with undergrad...go to the ivy league schools and for med school it will be a piece of cake...hogwash...there are tons of people from no name schools that have been accepted to impressive schools!
     
  10. chef

    chef Senior Member

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    If what ashasnarf saying is true, then i wonder how students from harvard, stanford (among others.. yale is p/f but they have aoa) manage to not get screened out and match into top programs.. harvard & stanford don't have aoa, stanford is all p/f,.. ??

    do students from harvard & stanford get automatic interviews or something? :confused:
     
  11. omores

    omores sleep deprived

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by WatchaMaCallit:
    <strong>no that isnt true at all, even people from the worst rank schools get into top residencies.....if that were true, then all of the students at Duke, Columbia, Yale etc would go into surgery, dermatology and other fields...and that does not happen...
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">There's a more likely reason why not everyone from Duke, Columbia, Yale, etc ends up in a competetive field: not everyone from Duke, Columbia, Yale etc is interested in those fields!

    But yes, your point is well taken: an MD from a top school is no more a guarantee of success than an MD from a more obscure school is a guarantee of failure.
     
  12. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior

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    I think one's med school plays a huge role in residency placement. I'm not elitist and God knows I did Ugrad at PodunkU, Podunk, U.S.A. But alot of med schools are elitist and I think residency programs might be even more so.

    Lots of people make it out of the proverbial ghetto and land some of the best programs in the country. However, the truth is that it is very hard to snap that derm at UCSF if one is not from a Top-Ten school. It certainly happens, but not as often as it should.

    Another thing is that I think one has to work harder in general at a non-top 20 school. These are usually A,B,C,D,F-graded; and the students are just as bright as those at top-ten schools. As a result, it might be more cut-throat at these places. This is intensified by the fact that the students are fully aware that come match day, they'll be up against students with the brand-name school advantage for the most coveted residency spots.

    What I'll say is that if one wants derm or neurosurgery or something as competitive, then one ought to give some thought to attending a school within the range of the "best" med school to which one is accepted. I know that sounds very shallow and actually is very shallow; but unfortunately, that's the way things are currently structured.
     
  13. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Original:
    <strong>I think one's med school plays a huge role in residency placement. I'm not elitist and God knows I did Ugrad at PodunkU, Podunk, U.S.A. But alot of med schools are elitist and I think residency programs might be even more so.

    Lots of people make it out of the proverbial ghetto and land some of the best programs in the country. However, the truth is that it is very hard to snap that derm at UCSF if one is not from a Top-Ten school. It certainly happens, but not as often as it should.

    Another thing is that I think one has to work harder in general at a non-top 20 school. These are usually A,B,C,D,F-graded; and the students are just as bright as those at top-ten schools. As a result, it might be more cut-throat at these places. This is intensified by the fact that the students are fully aware that come match day, they'll be up against students with the brand-name school advantage for the most coveted residency spots.

    What I'll say is that if one wants derm or neurosurgery or something as competitive, then one ought to give some thought to attending a school within the range of the "best" med school to which one is accepted. I know that sounds very shallow and actually is very shallow; but unfortunately, that's the way things are currently structured.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I agree with everyone above...however, to prove to you that exceptions do occur and that is the key point...I have a friend who had a 26 on his mcat got accepted to GWU...studied his ass off day and night. became the valedictorian of the school (yes they rank) and got also a HIGH HIGH GrADE on his USMLE...and he got placed in Derm at UCSF...his in SF right now!!!!

    and gWU is not even top 40! so it does happen, and it might not be as rare as you think...as long as you excel in ur respective class, then ur chances are good.....besides if that myth were true..then all the ivy leagues would have a monopoly on surgeons, derms and other top field...

    but one of the posters point is true...not everyone wants to go into their fiedlds...but u get my drift it is still possible...
     
  14. Doctora Foxy

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    Watcha you just made my day! I have a 27, interviewed at GW last week, and want derm. Thank you for the esperanza! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  15. JJ4

    JJ4 Senior Member

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    Yea -- regarding that post about AOA. What if the school does not have AOA?? I know Mayo does not have AOA. So how are they screened?
     
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  17. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    Yo watcha,

    Tons of people have those stories. AND he had to work his friggin little ass off to get into that position in order to make it into UCSF Derm. Of course people from lower ranked / unranked schools will make it into top programs. But they are going to be at the top top top of their class!
     
  18. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Doctora Foxy:
    <strong>Watcha you just made my day! I have a 27, interviewed at GW last week, and want derm. Thank you for the esperanza! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">your more than welcome...as long as you work hard...ur bound to do well....
     
  19. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Scooby Doo:
    <strong>Yo watcha,

    Tons of people have those stories. AND he had to work his friggin little ass off to get into that position in order to make it into UCSF Derm. Of course people from lower ranked / unranked schools will make it into top programs. But they are going to be at the top top top of their class!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I hate to tell you this, but your going to break ur ass off regardless of where you go..its med school...it isnt high school.... :)
     
  20. UCLA2000

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    Why go to the best schools?

    ...because they're the best schools! There's obviously something 'better' about them. I want to be the best doctor that I can be so I'm going to go to the best school I get into.
     
  21. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by WatchaMaCallit:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Scooby Doo:
    <strong>Yo watcha,

    Tons of people have those stories. AND he had to work his friggin little ass off to get into that position in order to make it into UCSF Derm. Of course people from lower ranked / unranked schools will make it into top programs. But they are going to be at the top top top of their class!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I hate to tell you this, but your going to break ur ass off regardless of where you go..its med school...it isnt high school.... :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">No $hit watcha..your friend is an exception....he's the bomb...good for him.
     
  22. what's harder for a particular student--to be top top top at GW and get the SF Derm, or to be high enough at Harvard to get that same SF Derm?

    i think you see my point (although at the moment it escapes me...).
     
  23. none

    none 1K Member

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    I doubt too many residency programs screen solely based on AOA. Some top schools, like UCSD, don't even have it.
     
  24. Doctora Foxy

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    Can someone please elaborate on what AOA is?

    Foxy confundida otra vez :confused:
     
  25. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Doctora Foxy:
    <strong>Can someone please elaborate on what AOA is?

    Foxy confundida otra vez :confused: </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">apparently some schools have it and some don't. and it's used to rank people in some way. if you're good, you have AOA status. i think it's a club or some sort of honor society or something similar to differentiate yourself.
     
  26. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    It's an honor society - some top percentage of your class.
     
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  27. gizzdogg

    gizzdogg keeper of the three lions

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    I really don't understand something. I'm sure AOA is important to residency directors. But a lot of people here seem to be under the impression that residency directors are obsessed with class rank/AOA. Contrary to what others here believe, I can't see a director automatically choosing an AOA applicant from a middle tier school over a top ten school with average grades. Why can't i see this? We all know that the caliber of students at the top 10 schools is better (as collective groups- i know there are bright students everywhere). So I imagine it's much more difficult to stand out at top 10 schools. And i refuse to believe that this (caliber of students/reputation of school) isn't one of the most important factors for residency placement.

    I think the proof is in the match lists. At top 10 schools, the match lists are incredible--for the majorities of the student bodies. Obviously for these schools, many more people place at top programs than just the AOA (top 10%) members, or else the majority of students wouldn't match well.

    What do you all think? Bottom line: I'd go to a top 20 school over an average med school anyday, assuming happiness factors are equal. Why? Because I'd probably match better.
     
  28. and so you've just pointed out the obvious. that's why people apply to and go to top schools over and above their state schools, throwing monetary concerns to the wind and pointing their noses up high in the air.

    BUT what people are saying is that yes you and i mean you semendogg can be just average at a top 10 school, but you (ie the same caliber cumdogg) can be exceptional at a state school where most people aren't at your "level." you'd stand out more at the state school. but the school name/ gpa wouldn't carry as much weight. but i believe it would be better than being average at the top school (given you perform to the same level at state school and reach very top of class accordingly--if it's possible to compare and correlate "production" at different schools and objectively define the ensuing academic success). but that's just my opinion. i'd still choose the top school because i'd feel like i can also beat out most people at that school--even if i knew i was being naive--i'd still believe it. i don't think this makes any sense by the way (anything i've just typed).
     
  29. Doctora Foxy

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by A. Caveman:
    <strong>and so you've just pointed out the obvious. that's why people apply to and go to top schools over and above their state schools, throwing monetary concerns to the wind and pointing their noses up high in the air.

    BUT what people are saying is that yes you and i mean you semendogg can be just average at a top 10 school, but you (ie the same caliber cumdogg) can be exceptional at a state school where most people aren't at your "level." you'd stand out more at the state school. but the school name/ gpa wouldn't carry as much weight. but i believe it would be better than being average at the top school (given you perform to the same level at state school and reach very top of class accordingly--if it's possible to compare and correlate "production" at different schools and objectively define the ensuing academic success). but that's just my opinion. i'd still choose the top school because i'd feel like i can also beat out most people at that school--even if i knew i was being naive--i'd still believe it. i don't think this makes any sense by the way (anything i've just typed).</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">OK people, please don't get mad at me, but this is just my opinion. I'm relating this to undergrad choices. I didn't apply to any of my state schools, but after I was accepted at my current private undergrad, I had second thoughts and went to visit a state school. My family thought I could get As at my state school and only Bs at my private undergrad, yet I still went here for the better reputation. At first I did very poorly, but then learned how to study and did well. My feeling is that if you can get accepted to a top med school, you are most likely capable of doing well there. I also think if you do ok, you will still get noticed. I think my undergrad is helping me get interviews.
     
  30. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by UCLA2000:
    <strong>Why go to the best schools?

    ...because they're the best schools! There's obviously something 'better' about them. I want to be the best doctor that I can be so I'm going to go to the best school I get into.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">okay, you're really opening up a can of worms here. are you actually claiming that attending a higher-ranked (i.e. 'better') school will make you a more competent physician than attending somewhere that doesn't even clock in on the rankings?

    AOA: alpha omega alpha. it's basically the equivalent of phi beta kappa for med students. and yes, it matters for residency, but like everything else (school name included) it's not the be-all and end-all of how successful you'll be in securing the residency you want.

    watcha hit the nail on the head a few posts back. getting a good residency after med school is very very similar to getting into a good med school after college. the number one thing that matters is how well YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL perform while you are in school. that is the bottom line. the prestige of your school might give you a small edge if you are being compared with an applicant with similar credentials from a lesser-known school, but no one is going to cut you any extra slack if you're a mediocre student, regardless of where you go. that's a fact. the poorest students at harvard still graduate with a harvard MD, but they will struggle in trying to secure a good residency. it's the same as applying to med school from an elite college--going to a strong undergrad school isn't going to guarantee you anything. i went to a good school for undergrad but was an average student...and was soundly ignored the first time i applied to med school.

    you need to do well in med school, especially if you want a competitive residency. this fact doesn't change and it doesn't depend on where you go to school. there are superstars at every med school in the country.
     
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  31. Gainer

    Gainer Prefrontal Sclerosis

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    There is ONE real advantage of going to a "really good" medical school.

    A lot of whether you get into a residency or not depends on your recommendations from the person in charge of the rotation you took that pertains to the residency program. All the top people in the field meet at conferences several times a year, thus you DO want a recommendation from somebody who the residency program is familiar with or may even be friends with. This isn't to say state schools do not have these, but that they are more concentrated at the "top tier" schools.
    This isn't something that I came up with on my own or something I just think is true, I have had 2 people who are directly involved with choosing residencies tell me this same thing.
    But I think personal achievement at the school probably outweighs this, so it really matters if you can be a top student at the ultra competitive schools; if you can be then it is a very good idea to go to them.

    :)
     
  32. Spyder007

    Spyder007 Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by sandflea:
    <strong>
     
  33. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Spyder007:
    No doubt you have to bust your chops no matter where you go, but at a top tier school, being mediocre is rarely a disadvantage. This is part of the draw of going to a top tier school. Though it's difficult to say whether or not you'll actually be "a better doctor" per se, you set yourself up nicely for being able to pursue the fields of your choice at the place of your choice.[/QB]</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">i'm not saying that going to a name-brand school may not ever help you out. sure, i realize that coming from a lesser-known school, you will have to work harder to get a top residency, and that being in the middle of the pack at a school that is totally *full* of superstars is definitely a compliment. but at the same time, i don't think the fact that you were accepted at a school like harvard (as an example) automatically guarantees that you will succeed there. you can't go in expecting that you'll be okay as long as you stay in the middle of the pack, because you don't know where you'll wind up, if it will even BE in the middle of the pack. at a school full of academic superstars, it may take everything you've got just to stay an 'average' student. so while you may have had amazing credentials to get yourself into that school in the first place, it doesn't guarantee you a top residency--you still need to be a good student during med school to get top residencies.

    besides, how many of us are actually qualified enough and knowledgeable about residency programs at this stage to make a really informed judgment about which residencies are strong and which are not, and to thus make a decision about whose match list is really better? i'm willing to bet many of us are basing these claims on the name of the school and what we know about its *other* programs, which isn't necessarily a good indicator of the strength of its specific residency programs. an example: dartmouth medical school, which is far from the worst med school in the country yet isn't nearly as prestigious as its undergrad college. yet people see 'dartmouth' and think, "ooh, ivy league!" some name-brand schools may actually have weaker programs in some areas than other hospitals that may not be as well-known and may not have the automatic 'prestige factor' to mr. joe average off the street. sure, overall, you can't go wrong with MGH, but it doesn't have the hands-down best programs in all areas of medicine. just something to consider.
     
  34. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus

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    At Duke, all 16 of the people that went into the "Super Match" (optho, derm, etc), got their top choice. I think some amazingly high percentage of their student body as a whole got their top choice as well. And these people try to match into the top programs in the country.

    I'm not saying that going to a top 10 school means that you'll get your top residency pick for sure. Nor am I saying that if you go into a low ranked school that it's impossible to get a good residency. Only that it does make a big difference...
     
  35. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    The question you really need to ask yourself is will these people who are getting top residency choices when they went to a TOP tier medical school.....WOULD they be getting the same placement at a lower ranked / unranked school?

    It's the person that determines where they go and what they get into. This is why you have these genuises at lower ranked schools who seem to break old stereotypes and get into top schools!

    Look at Jessica on this board. She went to a Cal State. Cal States are looked down upon (by many colleges) Yet she was able to interview at Harvard and get into almost every top UC school (she's still waiting on others). She made it happen.

    The thing about the top schools match lists being "insane" is b/c all those people who got into those schools were the friggin BOMB in college..and most likely they are not going to be changing their attitudes in med school. Does that clarify anything?

    If you do good now, you go to a "decent" med school...you'll still do good. If you do great now and go to a decent or great med school, you'll still prolly do great.
     
  36. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    sandflea,

    I dont think anybody is saying that going to a top school will guarantee you anything, but just by the averages that those schools match into, I'd say theres definitely somewhat of an advantage of going to a top med school.

    Of course, this can mean nothing if you do poorly on the boards or graduate near the bottom of your class. But, I'd say the average med student at a top school has a better chance at matching at a top residency program than an avg student at a lower tier school. Now if you are comparing a superstar med student at a lower tier school to an average med student at a top school, then all bets are off.

    We are just talking about averages here, not students on either end of the extreme.

    Also, I think a lot of the reason why med students from top schools get top residencies is simply due to the fact that many of the top residency programs are affiliated with these top med schools. Since many of these students do rotations with attendings who may be program directors of residencies, it might give them a slight advantage. I think some program directors favor med students whom they know personally, ESPECIALLY if the program director thinks that the med student will be a good match personality-wise at their institution. Since students from other schools probably dont know that particular program director, it might put them at a slight disadvantage compared to the known quantity that the program director knows from the affiliated school. Not to say that it cant be compensated for by having superior scores/grades/clinical recs however.

    I'm not saying that there arent good residency programs at lower tier schools, but again on average the best residency programs tend to be affiliated with 'top tier' med schools.
     
  37. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by baylor21:
    <strong>
    Of course, this can mean nothing if you do poorly on the boards or graduate near the bottom of your class.
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">right, and that was all i was really trying to say--that how you fare in getting a good residency is based a lot more on how you perform as an individual than the boost your school's name can provide....although of course the name of the school can matter. it's just that the name isn't everything.

    but you raise a very good point about the inbreeding that goes on with choosing residents. this seems to hold true for the majority of med schools--many students stay at their own 'home' hospital. but this may very well be out of choice. i think the assumption people make in looking at match lists is that every single med student out there is gunning for a prestigious residency at a name-brand school, when that certainly isn't the case, and that the number of students who DON'T wind up at a top residency is equivalent to the number that wanted one but didn't get it. i know that geographical location will be the number-one factor for me in choosing residencies to apply for (just like it has been the number-one factor in choosing a med school). it may very well be that students want to stay at the place where they've just spent the past four years of their lives and have undergone their training as a medical student.
     
  38. UCLA2000

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    I think it all boils down to this:
    If you go to any med school and don't work you're screwed. If you perform in the middle of your class at a top school then you'll most likely get a better residency than if you were in the middle at a bottom school.

    It is possible to get a kickass residency from a lower teir school, but you're going to have to work alot harder than if you were at a top school.

    Therefore there are certain advantages in going to a top school.
     
  39. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Very well put, UCLA.
     
  40. gobears

    gobears Senior Member

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    There ARE other reasons to go to a top tier school other than getting into residencies. Many years ago, it used to be the case that great school=great education, crap school=crap education. That's just not true anymore. These days, you're going to get everything you need to become a good doctor at ANY med school.

    However, the difference between top schools and crap schools is seen in your peers and faculty. Your friends aren't just your drinking buddies anymore. Your friends now are your peers in medicine. These are the people who you'll be working with and exchanging referrals with. I want to go to the best med school I can so that I can be surrounded by the best med students and the best faculty. There's a huge difference between top tier schools and low tier schools in this aspect.
     
  41. ChadS

    ChadS Junior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Scooby Doo:
    <strong>

    Look at Jessica on this board. She went to a Cal State. Cal States are looked down upon (by many colleges) Yet she was able to interview at Harvard and get into almost every top UC school (she's still waiting on others). She made it happen.

    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Didn't Jessica apply disadvantaged? I'm not questioning her credentials; she is certainly a stellar applicant. But if we took away the disadvantaged status, would she still have the same opportunities coming from a Cal State? I don't know.
     
  42. Doctora Foxy

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    just to stick up for my girl Jessica, I believe she has a 3.97 and a 37 mcat. I would say she is pretty deserving of those lovely acceptance letters regardless of status (and hey, she's jalbekt's mom's favorite!)
     
  43. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't think she applied disadvantaged. Could be wrong, though. She's just amazing applicant. 'Nuff said. :)

    I still think that going to a top school gives you an incredible advantage over a student who went to a lower ranked school residency time. Can you make up that disadvantage, or loose that advantage? Sure. It just makes things more difficult.

    Perhaps I just have a different viewpoint because the biggest regret I have about my choices so far in life is not going to a better undergrad school...
     
  44. D-

    D-

    Go to the school you'll be happiest at fool. If you want to be at an Ivy league school, great. If you want to have time to chase girls and party while you study your balls off, you can do that anywhere. Just dont expect to get into a great residency unless you are at a less competitive school. (like mine)--- :) BUT----If you know for 100% certainty where you want your residency.... THEN GO TO MED SCHOOL AT THAT CITY!!! ie, a stanford res, go to stanford, Houston-Houston, Harvard - harvard, Minneapolis-UofM whatever. Also, some practices recruit specifically from the schools they went to. So keep that in mind if there is a particular group you want to work with. Also when you interview at a school they will give you a list of where and what the students there matched in. I choose a school that has the highest % go into what you want to do.
     
  45. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by gobears:
    <strong>There ARE other reasons to go to a top tier school other than getting into residencies...

    However, the difference between top schools and crap schools is seen in your peers and faculty. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Thanx gobears for stating that! I actually looked up after the 2nd page to make sure this thread wasn't "will top schools get me better residencies?" because that is what the thread devolved into.

    I've probably stated this on another thread, but here goes: When I came to my state U, I knew that I'd have to take classes by the horns and dominate as well as do awesome on everything else to have a chance at getting into top med schools. Luckily, i was able to. What I did partially miss out on, though, is the intellectual motivation and aspirations that I know I would've been saturated with at a better school. No matter how you feel about your personal motivation, you ARE some analog of your closest friends. Luckily, I did find a few people that I really could party with, chill with AND have the discussions that I imagined college life to ential. This is sorta inevitable at such a large school. Yet at med school, I want to choose the option I passed up on after high school. Namely, choosing the school with the the outstanding faculty, best adminstration and brightest students I can surround myself with.

    Remember folks, you are choosing your experience for the next 4 years, NOT the 2-7 after it <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  46. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Doctora Foxy:
    <strong>just to stick up for my girl Jessica, I believe she has a 3.97 and a 37 mcat. I would say she is pretty deserving of those lovely acceptance letters regardless of status (and hey, she's jalbekt's mom's favorite!)</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">ahmm correction! I think she had a 38 MCAT.
     
  47. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Senior Member

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    To echo what Doctora Foxy said earlier and is a very valid point that has been lost...

    If you have been accepted by a top medical school, they obviously think you have the mettle and potential to be at the top of medicine. Otherwise, they would give that chance to somebody else. Having said that, once enrolled, it is all now up to the student to use every tool the top school has given them in getting the very best residencies. Perhaps the important difference between what makes school 'top' or not is the resources these schools provide for their students to utilize.

    Bottom line: Go to the top school, use their resources optimally, get the very best residencies.
     
  48. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    yeah, but med school isn't the same as college. the intellectual advantage you'd get by going to a better med school isn't nearly as great as that you'd get by going to a top college. any person off the street can get into college *somewhere*, so there can be a great disparity between the crappiest student and the best student. anyone can go to college, but only a select 'few' (relatively speaking) can get into med school. overall, med students *everywhere* are the cream of the crop in some respect (even those at the 'crappiest' schools), simply because morons don't successfully make it through weed-out pre-med courses, get a competitive score on the MCAT, and be one of the 16K who are offered acceptances. i'm not saying that the intellectual advantage may not be there--it's just not as great as that you'd get by going to a top college. there are going to be pros and cons to any med school out there.

    i also know that for me personally, different factors are weighing into my med school decisions than those that mattered to me for college. i'm sure it's the same for many other people. when i was choosing a college, i went for prestige and didn't care about location or finances (not that i'm rich--far from it--i just had a lot of scholarship money). now, it's the exact opposite: location and cost are the huge factors in my decision. i have personal and professional reasons for staying in the area i am now, and i've started turning down interviews at arguably-better schools that are not local because of this. it's no longer a choice of automatically going to the 'better' school, because i'm older now, have different priorities, and realize that any med school in the country will get me where i want to be.

    interesting discussion, though.
     
  49. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    I can agree with that sandflea.

    Take my alma mater Baylor University for example. Harvard is a much, much better school than Baylor for undergrad.

    As far as med school, Harvard is still probably better in most people's minds, but its not THAT much better than Baylor college of medicine in Houston.
     
  50. Sir William Osler

    Sir William Osler Senior Member

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    baylor, i dont think your logic works here. baylor med is affiliated with Rice University if I am remember correctly. And, I would say that Rice is to Harvard undergrad as Baylor med is to Harvard med. Not to say anything about your logic, but just defending a badass uni that never gets respect (i.e. Rice).

    cheers
     
  51. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member

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    Geez, guess I have been missing quite the little debate here.

    Thanks for those of you who stuck up for me :)
    Its nice to have pals here on SDN.

    Original - just to claify, it was a 37, but a 38 would have been nice too :D

    I have to throw in my $.02 here, go to a top school if you have the choice and you will be happy there. Go to the highest ranked school that fits you the best, hands down. But don't go to a top 10 JUST BECAUSE of the name. like sandflea said, cost is a big factor too... a state school can get you to the same place as an ivy for a lot less $$. Loan paybacks are going to hit hard a few years down the road, and if you want to buy a house and have a decent car, tuition is a factor too.

    I do have a rationale for all of this, having come from a Cal State made the road to med school a lot "bumpier", and I think that going to a lower ranked school would have the same effect when it comes to residencies. I can't tell you how much people doubt your intelligence, comptetence, EVERYTHING based on the school you go to. I actually had an interviewer ask me something to the effect of "how, as a CSU student, could I see myself prepared for succeess in the [ivy] environment...?" :rolleyes: I worked very hard (as I am sure that we all do) in undergrad, and I am proud to have a 3.97 GPA, but do you know what I hear when I tell people about it "yeah, well, its a Cal State 3.97, so that is really like a 3.3 or less at any "real" school."

    I was very surprised to get interviews at some of the schools I applied to, before I even started this whole mess I was dreaming of getting an INTERVIEW at UCI... I thought that maybe, if I could just land an interview, I could convince them that I was capable of handling med school, despite my undergrad institution.

    Yes, I did apply disadvantaged (financially), but I think that the interviews/
    acceptances I have are because of my merits and my life experiences, not the fact that I have a dirt poor family (not to mention that I am one of the few who finished high school and the first in my entire, extended family to go to college.) I have an excellent academic record, a ton of volunteer work, leadership experience (founded a chapter of AMSA at our school), state level awards (was selected out of over 370K students attending the CSUs for an achievement award), and I was in nursing school before, so I have almost 4 years of clinical experience, including direct patient care. I don't think that I got noticed because of any pity parties for my "disadvantaged" status, and if someone applies disadvantaged and it helps their cause, more power to them. I almost wish I didn't apply disadantaged just so I wouldn't feel the NEED to explain my personal circumstances to someone who thinks disadvantaged means someone is going to stamp accepted on your app "just because."

    The bottom line, in my humble opinion, is -- go where your gut tells you is the best fit. If you go to a lower ranked or "unknown" school, all of the same doors are still open to you, you just may have to work a little harder than the person who can ride on the reputation of their school... (though as others have pointed out, that reputation will take you only so far. It is still up to you to prove yourself.) Maybe people will doubt you, maybe the sailing will not be so smooth, but if you work hard (which I assume we will all be doing in med school, no matter where we go) you can still match in a top residency :) (my friends like to call me sappy)
     
  52. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    Sir will osler,

    Well youre right in the fact that Baylor undergrad is not affiliated with Baylor med, but neither is Rice. So although my logic is faulty in that respect, so is yours because Baylor med is not affiliated with Rice either. I just didnt want to go thru the time to explain why the undergrad is no longer affiliated with the med school, and it didnt seem that relevant to me.

    Rice and Baylor undergrad both have combo BS/MD programs with Baylor med (along with UT Pan American) if thats what you mean by affiliated. But there is no formal educational tie between Baylor and Rice other than that special combo program.

    I agree with your assessment of Rice/Baylor vs Harvard however. I was simply trying to echo sandflea's point about the level of disparity between med schools.
     

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