Yale vs. Michigan

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by JohnDoe, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. JohnDoe

    JohnDoe Junior Member
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    I'm presently deciding whether to go to Michigan or Yale. If you have insights--specific or general-- please share them. This thread could be informative even for those not choosing between these schools specifically.

    Yale and Michigan are very closely ranked, but have their respective costs/benefits.

    Some important factors for consideration include the following:

    1)Tuition (instate v. out of state)
    2)Curriculum
    3)Technological and other resources
    4)Prestige (state vs. ivy)
    5)Quality of life (college town vs. 2nd tier city)
    6)Matching Record
    7)Quality of Affiliated hospital (michigan's hospital is much better than Yale's. Will this significantly affect the quality of clinical education?)
    8)Other unique strengths/weaknesses
    9)Fuzzy/Anecdotal stuff


    One additional question:

    Does Yale's laxity in terms of academic assessment negatively affect average board scores? If so, how much does this matter?

    Thanks very much.
     
  2. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member
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    I'm a fourth year at Michigan so I'll just comment on what I know. Yale is obviously an amazing school but I don't know enough about its program to compare it to ours. As for the "prestige" thing - Yale definitely has the Ivy League name which will impress people, but in the medical world Michigan's reputation is at least as respected, if not more, depending on the field. Michigan just started a "new" curriculum this year, which boils down basically to a systems-based approach (lectures are not dramatically changed, more of a reshuffling of material) with dedicated blocks of clinical education (previously clinical education in the first two years was mixed in with regular basic science classes haphazardly). There will be more elective time during your third year so that you can explore other fields like Radiology, Derm, Anesthesiology, etc... early on to see if you might be interested instead of waiting until fourth year when you're months from applying to residency. Ann Arbor is a nice college town with enough to do - you're not going to find the same night life as a larger city but the nicer Detroit suburbs are less than an hour away. The clinical exposure at Michigan I feel is second to none. Like you mentioned, the hospital system here is amazing and extremely modern... pretty much everything is computerized and facilities are always expanding, with big names in almost every department, especially the surgical subspecialties and pediatrics. For the preclinical years - all lectures are videotaped and placed online via streaming video so you can review lectures or just watch them from home instead of coming to class. Most lecture handouts and notes are available on the web as well. The entire campus is wireless internet enabled so you can do your work from pretty much anywhere in the hospital or med school, even the undergrad campus. We do extremely well in the Match and place people across the country in very competitive specialties. I know people have posted in the past about how Michigan tends to retain its graduates but we placed many people on both coasts this year (only 1/5 stayed at Michigan) and most of those people had little if any ties to the coasts. I've noticed a long-running thread on this board about match lists and just want to say that you shouldn't measure the strength of a school by how many graduates they place at UCSF or MGH or Hopkins. It's very field dependent and as shocking as it may sound - MGH is not the best place to do every residency. Of course, it's hard to know at this stage of the game when you're about to start medical school, but unless you're applying to the field, you might not know that University of Iowa has one of the top orthopedic surgery programs in the country or that UAB is a great place for general surgery, etc... Many factors go into a person's choice for residency, including family, lifestyle, community vs. academic, etc. Bottom line is that graduating from Michigan will not hinder you in any way when it comes to match time. I will say that Michigan is still primarily churns out subspecialists... not too many people go into primary care so if you are dead-set on primary care, you might want to take that into consideration. Michigan also has a reputation for being competitive, which is more class dependent than anything. Some classes, for whatever reason, are very laid back, others more uptight. Regardless, the atmosphere is never malignant and during the pre-clinical years, it's irrelevant since M1 year is P/F and M2 year is H/HP/P/F without a curve, meaning anyone and everyone can get honors if they score above 94%. The M3 year is graded on a curve so only 15% of people get honors, 35% HP, 50% Pass and I think based on this people have come to believe that our M3 year is "brutal". Again, I have nothing to compare it to but you can definitely schedule your M3 year to be "easier" in fields you may not necessarily be interested in (i.e. rotating at a private community hospital vs. UM). In the past, people have commented that the paucity of honors given M3 year may negatively affect how program directors view our students' grades, which I can't speak to directly, except to say that the breakdown of how many people get H/HP/P for all the rotations is detailed in your Dean's Letter so people know how rigorous the clinical program is. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me. You can't go wrong with either school - you just have to figure out how you learn best since Michigan and Yale are pretty different in their educational philosophies.
     
  3. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    I'll try to answer your questions...

    Some important factors for consideration include the following:

    1)Tuition (instate v. out of state)

    From what I understand about the UM instaters (which I am not), they save $40k over four years. If you are taking loans, most schools told us that you pay $3 for every $1 borrowed, so it isa difference of $120k. Is the difference large enough to justify a small house.....you can decide.

    2)Curriculum

    Our new curriculum is awesome. I'm all about the systems based stuff. ALthough I'm the test class, we have few problems (embryology isn't taught in the best way, but that is about it). P/F first year is great. Having flex time on quizzes on the weekends is great too.

    3)Technological and other resources

    As an engineer and coming from a premier engineering school, I can say that our resources are better than I could have ever imagined. If you ever have a problem, a person is on staff to fix it. ALl the computers are up to date and they keep up with the latest OS. We wanted a program for student use, so they bought it. All of our computers are selling for roughly $1500 right now......considering they are a year or so old, that's pretty nice.

    4)Prestige (state vs. ivy)

    I didn't know Yale had a med school till I started. I guess you can tell people you are a Yale grad, that might be cool. In medical circles, I get the feeling that Michigan is much more of a jaugernaut.

    5)Quality of life (college town vs. 2nd tier city)

    Can't speak on new haven, so its hard to compare.

    6)Matching Record

    There is a thread going on right now with everyone posting match lists. It's hard to compare since students self select based on interest and performance. I would never want to do Derm or Urology, although they are amongst the most competitive residencies. I think both will put you in a good position.

    7)Quality of Affiliated hospital (michigan's hospital is much better than Yale's. Will this significantly affect the quality of clinical education?)

    Can't speak on that. Supposedly residency directors are big fans of our grads, whatever that means....

    8)Other unique strengths/weaknesses

    I could go on and on, but I'm sort of sick, and I'm tired. Come to the second look and you can consider if this is really the place for you.

    9)Fuzzy/Anecdotal stuff


    One additional question:

    Does Yale's laxity in terms of academic assessment negatively affect average board scores? If so, how much does this matter?

    I don't know about board scores. But I know several UM departments don't look at Yale grads because they feel it is too focused on the Step 1 board scores when looking at their applications. As one dean said, "if you can't find someone in the department who likes you, then you have bigger problems." Nevertheless, yalies place pretty well, so others like them....
     
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  4. pdiddy

    pdiddy Member
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    i think you will get a great education at either... a few things to consider:
    the hospital at U of M is amazing (having just visited it recently for residency interviews) but you need to focus on the medical school, and as a medical student you have a very limited role in patient care, and the hospital you rotate in should not be your biggest concern (save that for residency), is the med school supportive? good advising? good mentoring? etc, i am sure both UMich and Yale are, but i would not focus on the hospital.

    medical school is expensive, there is no getting around it, i would not base your decision on $$, this is a long road, and being unhappy but saving some money vs being happy and having a larger debt is a hard decision, but i personally would choose being happy. you have to decide.

    match list: i think you can get into any residency program if you do well at either school, but if you look at yale's list their students are spread out all over the country at the top places (UCSF, UWash, UPenn, Harvard, Duke etc) and although there are a large number of derm applicants, overall they seem to have a diverse specialty class. the people who i met from yale on the interview trail where very nice and well rounded, as where the UMich applicants. however, my sense of the UMich applicants i met is that many are from the midwest and many plan to stay in the midwest, which is a great part of the country, but not where i want to settle down. having visited both cities, ann arbor is a more expensive version of new haven. but both are large college towns, good sports, art museums, small bars and restaurants...i imagine the advantage is that new haven is between boston and NYC, but ann arbor is next to detroit...

    i would not worry about it, as it is a great choice to have, much like the other post on jhu vs harvard, you cannot go wrong. i have friends at yale med, and they absolutely love it, small class size, amazing research, and they have done very well. good luck.
     
  5. chef

    chef Senior Member
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    both are outstanding medschools. if you work equally hard in both you will match at any place you desire 4 yrs later. best of luck to you



    i'll just list some stuff i know, and you decide what u like more

    Yale
    P/F (but has AOA so u get ranked)
    100 class size
    more college feel w/ the dorm style living
    33/100 come from yale & harvard ugrad, many more from other ivy
    25% of students dont need any loans
    yale "system"
    3rd year is relatively less intense than other schools & "easy" - i heard q6
    research required
    brand new huge bldg for research, class, etc


    Michigan
    2-4th yr H/HP/P/F
    170 class size
    ~50% from MI
    3rd yr is q4, quite intense training
    hospital is more modern & HUGE
    new CV center, 3 new research bldgs
    research required
     
  6. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    :smuggrin: This is the best freakin emoticon of all. I love it. At any rate, I think that you should go to Yale if you want to become a dermatologist. Otherwise, come to Michigan. Pretty simple, eh?
     
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  7. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member
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    To clear up chef's posting and the general perception about Michigan's M3 year, it is NOT Q4 x 12 months. In fact, I would say that only a few months max are spent on Q4 in-house call. Family medicine, psychiatry, neurology are pretty much call free and weekend-duty free - pretty much 8-5, often less depending what hospital / site you rotate at. Pediatrics is half outpatient (again, no call, no weekends), and the inpatient half is more like Q6. Same goes for OB/GYN - again, with your mileage varying depending where you do your rotation. Point being, if you're totally not interested in a particular field, you can preference a location where the hours are more "cush" as opposed to staying at UM to get strong letters of recommendation and roughing it a bit more. Internal medicine is three months long, one of which can be an outpatient month, again no call and no weekends. One month is a VA month, call is more like Q6. Third month is usually Q4 at UM doing a general or subspecialty month or off-site. Surgery again is Q4-Q6, with some places even allowing home call. You have a surgery specialty elective month which is no call unless you really want to... Again, the M3 year is your most difficult year as it is in every medical school, but I don't think it's excessively brutal - most people think it's quite manageable after the initial adjustment takes place.
     
  8. VCMM414

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    Yes, Yale's system does hurt its average board scores a bit. Yale's avg Step I score usually hovers right around the national mean, so it is definitely lower than similarly ranked schools. However, this may not matter much, since Yalies do match well. If anything, Yale's reputation more than makes up for their relatively lacking USMLE scores.
     
  9. JohnDoe

    JohnDoe Junior Member
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    Thanks everyone for your insights. If anyone has further comments, I'm definitely listening. I noticed that predominantly michigan students are replying. Do any Yalies or people totally outside of the michigan/yale mix have anything to say?
     
  10. azzarah

    azzarah sleepy!
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    I loooooved yale when i interviewed there....I totally like the "Yale system" they've got over there~ :)
     
  11. surge

    surge Medicinski Znanstvenik
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    I think what you really need to consider is the difference created by the Yale System. It's always hard to describe it to people that haven't tried it, but I cannot overemphasize what difference it will make in your educational experience. There is little doubt that you will become a good physician coming from either place and able to match well, but how you spend 4 years and what you get out of it besides the names of the branches of the trigeminal (which are the same at UMich and YSM) is what makes the difference.
    On that note, I want to correct someone's claim that people at YSM are ranked. This is not true, if for no other reason than the fact that there are no grades (this is different form P/F - our tests are annonymous). You are actually elected into AOA by the professors - which may or may not be a good thing - based on your percieved performance. (Also, last year Step 1 average at YSM was 225 whereas the national average is 216 - but it probably doesn't matter as people match extremely well anyway)

    Definitely consider the differences in overall experience, intelectual pursuits, daily life and interactions with classmates when making your decision, but be careful because YSM is not for everyone. Good luck.
     
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  12. the_equalizer

    the_equalizer Senior Member
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    SURGE- what do you mean elected to AOA? Based on what, classroom performance or clinical work? Because if its classroom performance then the only way they could guage that is how many q's you ask in class. Is that what they do at your school?
     

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