Which Med school?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:08 am

ram wrote:My daughter is a Junior at Univ of Wisconsin, Madison and will graduate with a major in Biology and minor in Global Health in Dec 2013. By the end of her 5th semester, she has completed 95% of the credits required to graduate and has a GPA of 4.0. Earlier today we learnt that she got MCAT score of 37 (max 45).
Wow! congrats, she is probably smart to be an Endodontist and make some REAL money. ;)
1) I would like to ask the audience here as to which med schools she should target. She will certainly apply to UW-Madison which has a mean MCAT of 31 for the accepted candidates and 20% of Wisconsinites who apply are accepted as compared to 1.3 % of candidates from out of state.
The one that will incur the LEAST amount of student loans. UW-Madison (along with all the big 10 schools) is a great choice.

If she wants a warmer climate, Medical College in Richmond VA is worth a look. Nice area, safe, lots of teaching hospitals.


I think we hashed it out many times here in the past and the bottom line was that the 'big name overpriced schools' were just that, overpriced.

YMMV
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:09 am

SteveinVanvcouverWA wrote:I agree about applying to 20+ schools. I was cocky because my grades were good so applied to only a few med schools and was accepted at just one. Then when I was on the interview trail I met a young woman who applied to 22 med schools and was rejected by all so far but Harvard. Go figure. The interviews can be very subjective and fickle, so applying to more schools increases her chances of interviewing with someone who just happens to have her same interests.
In my opinion any med school admission committee that doesn't accept her is run by idjits.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:11 am

ks289 wrote: Why not Harvard, Columbia P&S, Cornell, or Penn also?
Because they are overpriced.

Some great medical schools offer a small handfull of full ride merit scholarships as I am sure you are aware. My good friend got one at WashU/St. Louis and I believe Vanderbilt offers a few of these too (less than 10 per year).
That would certainly take care of the overpricedness. If she can get a full ride somewhere, it would be hard to pass up, don't you think.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

ks289
Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ks289 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:44 am

Jerilynn wrote:
ks289 wrote: Why not Harvard, Columbia P&S, Cornell, or Penn also?
Because they are overpriced.

Some great medical schools offer a small handfull of full ride merit scholarships as I am sure you are aware. My good friend got one at WashU/St. Louis and I believe Vanderbilt offers a few of these too (less than 10 per year).
That would certainly take care of the overpricedness. If she can get a full ride somewhere, it would be hard to pass up, don't you think.
I guess we know which you prefer!
Look, some in state options are great and much cheaper than the vast majority of private med schools out there. Some are not great and not much cheaper.
Look at the cost for some state med schools like UVA (great school) , which is about $65,000 per year for in state residents.
Isn't the fact of the matter that most med schools are going to be "overpriced" for those who do not qualify for need based aid, so don't be dumping on just Harvard for being overpriced :wink:

protagonist
Posts: 5487
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Which Med school?

Post by protagonist » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:46 am

ks289 wrote: Look, some in state options are great and much cheaper than the vast majority of private med schools out there. Some are not great and not much cheaper.:
I disagree with this statement about some being "not great". Though possibly true re: liberal arts colleges, medical education is so standardized in North America (US and Canada) that the difference in educational quality between high and low ranked schools disappears in the face of the differences in student motivation within any given school. While Harvard may have more Nobel prize winners, being a famous researcher does not make one a great clinician or a fantastic teacher, and some of the state schools, often connected to large public hospitals, often offer the best clinical experience.

I went to Tulane Univ Med School, and when I was there (late 1970s) it was consistently ranked as one of the top twenty in the country. We shared our major teaching hospital (Charity Hospital, New Orleans) with LSU Med School, consistently ranked in the bottom twenty. We also occasionally shared clinical rotations with LSU students. As far as I could tell, our education was not significantly better than theirs, nor were our students significantly better (remember, even the lowest ranking schools are very competitive, so on the whole, wherever you go, you will be surrounded by bright and highly motivated students). Their training was somewhat more"primary care" oriented whereas ours was a bit more "specialty" oriented (state schools like candidates interested in primary care since most states have shortages of primary care docs), and on that basis, one might choose a school based on career goal.

Both schools offered far more "hands-on" cinical experience (day-to-day operation of Charity Hospital in New Orleans was pretty much run by the housestaff) than did places like Harvard. I did a rotation at Boston Children's Hospital (Harvard's flagship pediatric hospital), and it was a wonderful experience...we saw some amazing rare pathology...but I was astounded at how little the students were allowed to do...we were not even permitted to start IVs! When I did my internship at Royal Victoria Hospital (McGill Univ.'s teaching hospital in Montreal), I was running codes for 2d and 3d year ER residents who rarely saw gunshot wounds, stabbings, etc. and lacked my experience. There was so much trauma at Charity that first year med students would stay up all night in the ER sewing up wounds, and 4th year medical students were performing surgeries that only a lucky 3d year surgical resident might be permitted to do at Mass General .

Tulane probably did make me a bit more competitive for residency programs than I may have been had I graduated LSU, and I bet Harvard would have made me even more so. But I doubt that the "pedigree advantage" was anywhere near great enough to justify additional costs (I paid in-state tuition at Tulane), I am sure that none of the three produced consistently better doctors, and a student who distinguishes him/herself at ANY school will make the interview stage, at which point "pedigree" becomes nearly meaningless.

ks289
Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ks289 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:53 am

protagonist wrote:
ks289 wrote: Look, some in state options are great and much cheaper than the vast majority of private med schools out there. Some are not great and not much cheaper.:
I disagree with this statement about some being "not great". Though possibly true re: liberal arts colleges, medical education is so standardized in North America (US and Canada) that the difference in educational quality between high and low ranked schools disappears in the face of the differences in student motivation within any given school. While Harvard may have more Nobel prize winners, being a famous researcher does not make one a great clinician or a fantastic teacher, and some of the state schools, often connected to large public hospitals, often offer the best clinical experience.

I went to Tulane Univ Med School, and when I was there (late 1970s) it was consistently ranked as one of the top twenty in the country. We shared our major teaching hospital (Charity Hospital, New Orleans) with LSU Med School, consistently ranked in the bottom twenty. We also occasionally shared clinical rotations with LSU students. As far as I could tell, our education was not significantly better than theirs, nor were our students significantly better (remember, even the lowest ranking schools are very competitive, so on the whole, wherever you go, you will be surrounded by bright and highly motivated students). Their training was somewhat more"primary care" oriented whereas ours was a bit more "specialty" oriented (state schools like candidates interested in primary care since most states have shortages of primary care docs), and on that basis, one might choose a school based on career goal.

Both schools offered far more "hands-on" cinical experience (day-to-day operation of Charity Hospital in New Orleans was pretty much run by the housestaff) than did places like Harvard. I did a rotation at Boston Children's Hospital (Harvard's flagship pediatric hospital), and it was a wonderful experience...we saw some amazing rare pathology...but I was astounded at how little the students were allowed to do...we were not even permitted to start IVs! When I did my internship at Royal Victoria Hospital (McGill Univ.'s teaching hospital in Montreal), I was running codes for 2d and 3d year ER residents who rarely saw gunshot wounds, stabbings, etc. and lacked my experience. There was so much trauma at Charity that first year med students would stay up all night in the ER sewing up wounds, and 4th year medical students were performing surgeries that only a lucky 3d year surgical resident might be permitted to do at Mass General .

Tulane probably did make me a bit more competitive for residency programs than I may have been had I graduated LSU, and I bet Harvard would have made me even more so. But I doubt that the "pedigree advantage" was anywhere near great enough to justify additional costs (I paid in-state tuition at Tulane), I am sure that none of the three produced consistently better doctors, and a student who distinguishes him/herself at ANY school will make the interview stage, at which point "pedigree" becomes nearly meaningless.
Ok, maybe all med schools are great :sharebeer

protagonist
Posts: 5487
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Which Med school?

Post by protagonist » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:10 am

ks289 wrote:
protagonist wrote:
ks289 wrote: Look, some in state options are great and much cheaper than the vast majority of private med schools out there. Some are not great and not much cheaper.:
I disagree with this statement about some being "not great". Though possibly true re: liberal arts colleges, medical education is so standardized in North America (US and Canada) that the difference in educational quality between high and low ranked schools disappears in the face of the differences in student motivation within any given school. While Harvard may have more Nobel prize winners, being a famous researcher does not make one a great clinician or a fantastic teacher, and some of the state schools, often connected to large public hospitals, often offer the best clinical experience.

I went to Tulane Univ Med School, and when I was there (late 1970s) it was consistently ranked as one of the top twenty in the country. We shared our major teaching hospital (Charity Hospital, New Orleans) with LSU Med School, consistently ranked in the bottom twenty. We also occasionally shared clinical rotations with LSU students. As far as I could tell, our education was not significantly better than theirs, nor were our students significantly better (remember, even the lowest ranking schools are very competitive, so on the whole, wherever you go, you will be surrounded by bright and highly motivated students). Their training was somewhat more"primary care" oriented whereas ours was a bit more "specialty" oriented (state schools like candidates interested in primary care since most states have shortages of primary care docs), and on that basis, one might choose a school based on career goal.

Both schools offered far more "hands-on" cinical experience (day-to-day operation of Charity Hospital in New Orleans was pretty much run by the housestaff) than did places like Harvard. I did a rotation at Boston Children's Hospital (Harvard's flagship pediatric hospital), and it was a wonderful experience...we saw some amazing rare pathology...but I was astounded at how little the students were allowed to do...we were not even permitted to start IVs! When I did my internship at Royal Victoria Hospital (McGill Univ.'s teaching hospital in Montreal), I was running codes for 2d and 3d year ER residents who rarely saw gunshot wounds, stabbings, etc. and lacked my experience. There was so much trauma at Charity that first year med students would stay up all night in the ER sewing up wounds, and 4th year medical students were performing surgeries that only a lucky 3d year surgical resident might be permitted to do at Mass General .

Tulane probably did make me a bit more competitive for residency programs than I may have been had I graduated LSU, and I bet Harvard would have made me even more so. But I doubt that the "pedigree advantage" was anywhere near great enough to justify additional costs (I paid in-state tuition at Tulane), I am sure that none of the three produced consistently better doctors, and a student who distinguishes him/herself at ANY school will make the interview stage, at which point "pedigree" becomes nearly meaningless.
Ok, maybe all med schools are great :sharebeer
Or at least about the same in overall quality. All have good professors, bad professors, great clinicians, terrible clinicians. All have smart and motivated students. I do think ones in large cities with big hospitals/trauma centers or at least with access to a large amount of varied pathology probably have an edge re: clinical training. Residents and fellows I know who trained in smaller, more rural hospitals did not get the same clinical experience. That said, they get it all in residency anyway.

User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:38 pm

ks289 wrote:
Jerilynn wrote:
ks289 wrote: Why not Harvard, Columbia P&S, Cornell, or Penn also?
Because they are overpriced.

Some great medical schools offer a small handfull of full ride merit scholarships as I am sure you are aware. My good friend got one at WashU/St. Louis and I believe Vanderbilt offers a few of these too (less than 10 per year).
That would certainly take care of the overpricedness. If she can get a full ride somewhere, it would be hard to pass up, don't you think.
I guess we know which you prefer!
Look, some in state options are great and much cheaper than the vast majority of private med schools out there. Some are not great and not much cheaper.
Look at the cost for some state med schools like UVA (great school) , which is about $65,000 per year for in state residents.
Isn't the fact of the matter that most med schools are going to be "overpriced" for those who do not qualify for need based aid, so don't be dumping on just Harvard for being overpriced :wink:
Good point. But I wasn't dumping on JUST Harvard, I was dumping on ALL the private schools. ;)

We have had this discussion here many times, but maybe it should be re-hashed for all the new people. I guess the bottom line was that the people who went to the private schools thought, in hindsight, that they made a wise choice and the people that attended state schools thought, in hindsight, that they made a wise choice. This is not surprising.

We also pretty much agreed that there is no good reliable rating system that really matters and that it's virtually impossible to determine which schools are great, good, bad and terrible. [if this is incorrect, pls tell me where to find a reliable rating system]

That said, in my opinion, I think it's foolish for a student to attend a private school, the cost benefit analysis is poor. But, this is only my opinion and it's just as valid/non-valid as anyone else's. Don't you think?
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:43 pm

ks289 wrote:
Ok, maybe all med schools are great :sharebeer
More likely, they ALL have some students that become great physicians, some that become mediocre ones and some that become terrible physicians.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:03 am

I am closely following the conversation and am happy to hear different views. At the appropriate time I will let you all know where she applied and where she got accepted/rejected.
Ram

Gleevec
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:25 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Gleevec » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:37 am

The most important question is what she wants to do afterwards, which is an unfair question and she may not know (or if she knows she may change completely)

If she wants to do a competitive residency (derm, plastics, etc) or if she definitely wants to do academics, then going to the biggest name/highest ranked place is definitely worth it. These kinds of schools also tend to have more international exposure due to their reach/name.

If she wants to do a less competitive field, then she should go to the cheapest/decent school which UW definitely is.

My 0.02

travellight
Posts: 2781
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Which Med school?

Post by travellight » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:02 pm

I agree, Gleevec. It is about competition. A great student will turn out to be a great physician at a name school or a public school. For the most competitive jobs and residencies though, the name will be a boost if you performed well over a less prestigious school where you also performed well.

xram
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:36 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by xram » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:19 pm

Don't know if still the same but about 7 years ago everybody that attended Mayo Med school received either a 100% scholarship (if from Minnesota, Florida, or Arizona) or a 50% scholarship if from other states .


http://www.mayo.edu/financial-aid/medic ... holarships

http://www.healthbeatblog.com/2008/09/free-tuition-fo/


Mayo med school also had the best financial aid guy in the history of the world.....David Dahlen :)

Good luck

Xram
Last edited by xram on Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
VTI, VBR, VTWV, SCHH, VXUS, VEA, VWO, VSS, FM, VNQI, VBTLX, VFITX, SCHP, VWITX, IBONDS, EEBONDS, EF(EverBank), UTAH-529

2stepsbehind
Posts: 890
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:03 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by 2stepsbehind » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:25 pm

Question to the OP:
If your daughter gets a scholarship somewhere or otherwise chooses a less expensive school, do you plan to give her the money you would have spent for her education?

User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Jerilynn » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:04 pm

Gleevec wrote:The most important question is what she wants to do afterwards, which is an unfair question and she may not know (or if she knows she may change completely)

If she wants to do a competitive residency (derm, plastics, etc) or if she definitely wants to do academics, then going to the biggest name/highest ranked place is definitely worth it. These kinds of schools also tend to have more international exposure due to their reach/name.

If she wants to do a less competitive field, then she should go to the cheapest/decent school which UW definitely is.

My 0.02
Pls point us to the web site which show what names are the *biggest*. Also, what ranking entity is the most accurate and what is their criteria for ranking?

Thanks.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:51 pm

2stepsbehind wrote:Question to the OP:
If your daughter gets a scholarship somewhere or otherwise chooses a less expensive school, do you plan to give her the money you would have spent for her education?
"Yes". And she knows this from day 1. She also knows that the balance has to be spent 'sensibly' . Down payment on the first house qualifies, a reliable new car such as Accord, Camry etc qualifies. A fast red sports car does not qualify.
Ram

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:52 pm

Gleevec wrote:The most important question is what she wants to do afterwards, which is an unfair question and she may not know (or if she knows she may change completely)

If she wants to do a competitive residency (derm, plastics, etc) or if she definitely wants to do academics, then going to the biggest name/highest ranked place is definitely worth it. These kinds of schools also tend to have more international exposure due to their reach/name.

If she wants to do a less competitive field, then she should go to the cheapest/decent school which UW definitely is.

My 0.02
Completely agree. As you have said the future is difficult to predict. If she ends up in a high cost 'brand name' school it will be to cover the possibility that she might want to go into academics, research etc.
Ram

Gleevec
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:25 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Gleevec » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:58 pm

Jerilynn wrote:
Gleevec wrote:The most important question is what she wants to do afterwards, which is an unfair question and she may not know (or if she knows she may change completely)

If she wants to do a competitive residency (derm, plastics, etc) or if she definitely wants to do academics, then going to the biggest name/highest ranked place is definitely worth it. These kinds of schools also tend to have more international exposure due to their reach/name.

If she wants to do a less competitive field, then she should go to the cheapest/decent school which UW definitely is.

My 0.02
Pls point us to the web site which show what names are the *biggest*. Also, what ranking entity is the most accurate and what is their criteria for ranking?

Thanks.
Probably US News Research ranking. Not perfect but nothing better.

2stepsbehind
Posts: 890
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:03 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by 2stepsbehind » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:40 pm

ram wrote:
2stepsbehind wrote:Question to the OP:
If your daughter gets a scholarship somewhere or otherwise chooses a less expensive school, do you plan to give her the money you would have spent for her education?
"Yes". And she knows this from day 1. She also knows that the balance has to be spent 'sensibly' . Down payment on the first house qualifies, a reliable new car such as Accord, Camry etc qualifies. A fast red sports car does not qualify.
Well I applaud you for this. That said, I wouldn't begrudge your daughter, having obtained significant scholarships for both medical school and undergrad, wanting to splurge a little on a mini cooper convertible/miata etc. She'll have worked hard; let her have her fun!

User avatar
PoeticalDeportment
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:44 am
Location: Amundsen's Tent

Re: Which Med school?

Post by PoeticalDeportment » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:22 pm

Some medical schools very clearly make a student more competitive for the match, which she will participate in when applying for a residency. It is true, that you can become just as good of a doctor from a state medical school as you can from any of the top schools - but that doesn't mean you will have your pick of where you do your residency - you may have to be "geographically flexible". In the National Residency Match Program, you basically are stuck going wherever you match. Top candidates from average schools can usually secure very good residency positions (wherever they pick) - but so can average students from top schools.

Just because she is 4.0 and 37 MCAT in college doesn't mean that she will perform as well in medical school. Medical school measures and tests different things than an undergraduate education. People who are very "book smart" often don't perform as well in medical school if they are less "street smart." Even if you are very, very smart, betting on being in the top of your medical school is pretty risky - no matter who you are. Choosing to go to a strong, top-tier medical school is her opportunity to really leverage her undergraduate success.

I would have been very upset if I had to go live in a city for several years of my life that I didn't like because it was the only place I could get a residency position. I went to medical school and completed a residency/fellowship at great places in expensive cities (and many here would scorn them for that very reason). The result - I have a great job at a practice in my ideal location. We interview very few applicants from the local residency program who aren't related to someone in the group. My family is able to live on a fraction of what I make - the loans are disappearing. I might feel differently if I had gone into family practice, pediatrics, or internal medicine - if she is really interested in primary care, the economics of a cheaper school become more compelling. As it is, I shudder to think that I came close to passing up on the experiences I had for the opportunity to save $100k by attending a state school.

User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Jerilynn » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:52 am

Gleevec wrote:
Probably US News Research ranking. Not perfect but nothing better.
GIGO

Do they ever state their criteria for their rankings?
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Jerilynn » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:58 am

PoeticalDeportment wrote:Some medical schools very clearly make a student more competitive for the match, which she will participate in when applying for a residency
.

Which ones and by how much? I assume it matters depending on which residency you want to go to and where, yes?
Top candidates from average schools can usually secure very good residency positions (wherever they pick) - but so can average students from top schools.
How does a potential med student know which schools are the 'average' ones?
Just because she is 4.0 and 37 MCAT in college doesn't mean that she will perform as well in medical school. Medical school measures and tests different things than an undergraduate education.


Very true, but I'll betcha a pizza that she does just fine in med school.

Choosing to go to a strong, top-tier medical school is her opportunity to really leverage her undergraduate success.
How does one find out which school are 'strong top-tier' ones?
I would have been very upset if I had to go live in a city for several years of my life that I didn't like because it was the only place I could get a residency position. I went to medical school and completed a residency/fellowship at great places in expensive cities (and many here would scorn them for that very reason). The result - I have a great job at a practice in my ideal location. We interview very few applicants from the local residency program who aren't related to someone in the group. My family is able to live on a fraction of what I make - the loans are disappearing. I might feel differently if I had gone into family practice, pediatrics, or internal medicine - if she is really interested in primary care, the economics of a cheaper school become more compelling. As it is, I shudder to think that I came close to passing up on the experiences I had for the opportunity to save $100k by attending a state school.
Grats. What kinda specialist are you? (and don't say 'a good one', that's my line) :)
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

protagonist
Posts: 5487
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Which Med school?

Post by protagonist » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:09 am

PoeticalDeportment wrote: I would have been very upset if I had to go live in a city for several years of my life that I didn't like because it was the only place I could get a residency position.
So you would have turned down Yale because you would have had to live in New Haven? You would have turned down Hopkins because you would have had to live in Baltimore? Duke because you would have had to live in Durham? You are making a good argument for not choosing a school based on its prestige, rather on location.

PoeticalDeportment wrote: I went to medical school and completed a residency/fellowship at great places in expensive cities (and many here would scorn them for that very reason).
I don't think anybody has scorned schools in great places or expensive cities. The only controversy expressed here, I think, is whether the competitive edge (or educational opportunity) of a highly-ranked private school is great enough to justify its cost. Many state schools are highly-ranked and also in desirable locations.
PoeticalDeportment wrote:The result - I have a great job at a practice in my ideal location. We interview very few applicants from the local residency program who aren't related to someone in the group.
There are state schools located in desirable locations as well, and very well respected private schools in not-so-desirable ones. What makes you think they are less inclined to preferentially interview applicants from their schools? Certainly, at least in my limited experience, a school is most inclined to eventually hire from its own housestaff pool than from outside because they know the ability, personality and work ethic of the applicants. Again, you are making an argument for choosing a school based on location, not on prestige.
PoeticalDeportment wrote: As it is, I shudder to think that I came close to passing up on the experiences I had for the opportunity to save $100k by attending a state school.
Can you document a relationship between tuition paid and value of "experiences"? In my field, some of the most respected departments are UCSF, UCSD, U Wisc, UNC, U MIch, U Wash......

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:53 pm

Update- My daughter has been accepted at Univ of Minnesota Med school, Minneapolis. Today was the first day that med schools sent out their acceptances.
She has also interviewed at Case Western - Cleveland, Univ of Wisconsin - Madison (her current school) and Vanderbilt University. (decision awaited).
Interviews are scheduled at Johns Hopkins, Emory and Northwestern.
Ram

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Which Med school?

Post by gkaplan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:02 pm

Congratulations, Ram, to you and, especially, your daughter.
Gordon

lightheir
Posts: 2304
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Which Med school?

Post by lightheir » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:27 am

Jerilynn wrote:
Gleevec wrote:The most important question is what she wants to do afterwards, which is an unfair question and she may not know (or if she knows she may change completely)

If she wants to do a competitive residency (derm, plastics, etc) or if she definitely wants to do academics, then going to the biggest name/highest ranked place is definitely worth it. These kinds of schools also tend to have more international exposure due to their reach/name.

If she wants to do a less competitive field, then she should go to the cheapest/decent school which UW definitely is.

My 0.02
Pls point us to the web site which show what names are the *biggest*. Also, what ranking entity is the most accurate and what is their criteria for ranking?

Thanks.
You've asked this question several times before, and I think you very well know the answer.

No, there isn't a perfect list that everyone agrees upon. There similarly is no such perfect list for undergraduate colleges. Nobody would be able to objectively, and scientifically tell you Harvard is better than Yale or pricenton.

However, there are generally agreed upon 'tiers' of schools. It is pretty well agreed upon that even at the med school level, going to Harvard Medical School will be more stringent on entry criteria than SUNY Buffalo.

Even if your education is equal at SUNY Buffalo (which is a perfectly good med school) have no doubt that when you hit the residency interview trail, given two candidates ranked equally in their class, the nod will go to the one from the higher tiered school. Whether this consideration is worth the financial difference is only up to you to say.

Between tiers, it's a big gray zone and everyone knows it. Even the boundaries of the tiers are gray. Same as in college, high school, dental schools, and all jobs.

Furthermore, being accepted to a higher tiered medical school does not mean you are a better person. Everyone also knows this. It just means you had enough talent in the areas relevant to getting into medical school to do well in admissions (which ironically doesn't even necessarily correlate with how good a doctor you ultimately will become, let alone what type of person you become.)

But to imply that there is no diference between medical schools in the eyes of employers and especially residency directors, is simply not true. It's not the end-all-be-all, but it's real, and everyone knows it, including yourself.

ndayev6
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:51 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ndayev6 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:36 am

I agree with many of the posters above.

I would also add that if your daughter has a strong desire to remain in the midwest for residency or beyond that she favor midwest medical schools. The same goes for the west coast and east coast. There are clearly people that match into residencies/fellowships from different geographical regions within the US, but there is definitely a regional bias. This is in large part due to the fact that residencies that are in similar geographical regions tend to have more experience with graduates from close medical schools and may personally know the letter writers from those schools.

Without dragging the conversation into a ranking fight I would include the following schools as very highly respected (in no particular order):

Midwest: Washington University in St. Louis, University of Michigan, Univ Chicago, Vanderbilt

East Coast: Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Penn, Yale, U Pitt, NYU, Cornell, Columbia, UNC, Duke

West Coast: I can't really comment on.

Assuming your daughter has the opportunity to choose a medical school from a group I would caution against choosing one based solely on academic reputation. The only instance in which I think doing so is appropriate is if she is certain she would like to pursue a competitive field and/or she is certain she would like to be an academician at the administrative level. I would agree with other posters that she could match into a competitive residency from any medical school. However, it is clearly easier to do so if she is applying from a more "prestigious" school. If she can find a "prestigious program" that she finds attractive in other aspects than perfect.

My final thought is that it is always easier to "downgrade" in the future if so desired as compared to "upgrading." What I would suggest is that if there remains a significant amount of uncertainty with regards to her career paths that she should aim high to keep doors open. If she then decides in the future that she wants to pursue a less competitive specialty and/or private practice, (the academia gods are scorning me), then she can break the cycle and apply accordingly.

User avatar
zebrafish
Posts: 531
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:28 pm
Location: Inside the tank

Re: Which Med school?

Post by zebrafish » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:10 pm

ram wrote:Update- My daughter has been accepted at Univ of Minnesota Med school, Minneapolis. Today was the first day that med schools sent out their acceptances.
She has also interviewed at Case Western - Cleveland, Univ of Wisconsin - Madison (her current school) and Vanderbilt University. (decision awaited).
Interviews are scheduled at Johns Hopkins, Emory and Northwestern.
Congratulations. I hope you get even more good news!

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:00 pm

Thanks everybody. She will continue to interview at the more prestigious schools. I agree that it is easier to downgrade than to upgrade. She has (as yet) not received interview calls from Harvard or Duke. She wants to keep open the option of becoming an academician and so remains interested in the higher rated schools. Lightier - your insight is appreciated.
Ram

kerrigjl
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 2:08 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Which Med school?

Post by kerrigjl » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:58 pm

ram wrote:
ks289 wrote:Congratulations!
She will have an excellent chance at having several great choices for medical school. You can go right down the list as far as applying since as other posters mentioned the number of slots is so limited and admissions very unpredictable.

Why not Harvard, Columbia P&S, Cornell, or Penn also? You may find a good fit at any one of these places during the interview process. Is there a northeast bias going on? :happy

If cost is a concern obviously your instate will cost a bit less (tuition and other total living costs for Wisconsin is currently at $46,000/year vs $60,000-70,000/year for privates).
Some great medical schools offer a small handfull of full ride merit scholarships as I am sure you are aware. My good friend got one at WashU/St. Louis and I believe Vanderbilt offers a few of these too (less than 10 per year).

Good luck!
Thanks,
I believe Wash U has some scholarships specifically for women. She will apply to Vandy and Wash U.
WUSTL also caps student loans at $20k per year.

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:17 pm

She has also been accepted at Univ of Wisconsin, Madison. (In state)
Ram

User avatar
Munir
Posts: 2480
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:39 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Munir » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:00 am

All the medical schools being mentioned probably offer a good basic medical education. The main difference is cost. I wonder if individual anecdotes about one school or another are of help at all.

Residency specialty programs is where the real training occurs and decisions about choosing one are more difficult. Large big-name hospitals may or may not be the best. High quality second-tier programs could offer more individual training and a resident gets to do more hands-on experience instead of just tagging along with the professor on rounds.

travellight
Posts: 2781
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Which Med school?

Post by travellight » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:18 pm

Ram- I am curious as to whether you have any second thoughts about not going for the prestige undergrad choice such as Hopkins. The sure validation of going with the less expensive but less prestige choice is if she does get into Hopkins med school after choosing UW undergrad. That will be a great learning point for those of us grappling with the same pathway choices.

If she does not get into Hopkins med school (and let's just theorize that she would prefer to to go Hopkins med school than UW med school), one has to wonder if her odds of getting in would have been better if she had gone to Hopkins undergrad. The data point then would be what the ratio is of accepting their own undergrads versus outside undergrads. I am interested in your thoughts on this.

travellight
Posts: 2781
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Which Med school?

Post by travellight » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:21 pm

btw, congratulations! Her performance has been stellar. I think the only reasons she would not get in would not be performance based.

User avatar
smiley
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:24 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by smiley » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:22 pm

First off, congratulations Ram! I'm sure your daughter will see many more acceptances in the weeks to come.
I was lucky enough to graduate from a med school where my late father was faculty, and was honored to actually receive my degree from him.
You must be very proud!

I do have a question about an academic medical career and choice of schools.
It has been said on this thread and elsewhere that the choice of an academic career factors into picking a top tier/Ivy school.
These are certainly some of the more expensive schools, and academic medicine jobs are surely the lowest paying.
If one were interested in bench research, the MD/PhD route would make more sense. If a clinical academic route were desired, one would think that a school like U of Wisconsin would want to fill their faculty with their own brightest.
I could see where graduating from an Ivy would better position one for an ultra-competitive specialty such as Derm.

Any Academicians here care to comment....

Again, I wish your daughter continued success!

:happy

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:22 pm

travellight wrote:Ram- I am curious as to whether you have any second thoughts about not going for the prestige undergrad choice such as Hopkins. The sure validation of going with the less expensive but less prestige choice is if she does get into Hopkins med school after choosing UW undergrad. That will be a great learning point for those of us grappling with the same pathway choices.

If she does not get into Hopkins med school (and let's just theorize that she would prefer to to go Hopkins med school than UW med school), one has to wonder if her odds of getting in would have been better if she had gone to Hopkins undergrad. The data point then would be what the ratio is of accepting their own undergrads versus outside undergrads. I am interested in your thoughts on this.
If she fails to get into Hopkins (or similar) school and ends up at UW Madison (or similar) school the possibility that she could have gotten into a prestigious med school had she gone to a prestigious undergrad school will always remain unanswered. On the contrary having gone to a state school if she manages to secure admission to a prestigious med school it will tend to support the usual recommendations of this forum. (however it would be an experiment with an n=1).
Going through 2 prestigious private schools (undergrad and medical) would have cost upwards of half a million dollars and was beyond my financial ability to support.(I have another child who I would have to match in terms of funding.) Therefore to do so she would have had to take significant loans (upward of 250K). By not going to a prestigious med school all she would be giving up would be an academic or research career. If she completes her medical education debt free (or almost debt free) I have no objection to her picking up a low paying academic or research career. On the contrary if she is debt ridden I would encourage her to give up low paying academic/research careers and get into (better paying) clinical practice. In that case most of us agree that there is hardly any benefit of a Harvard / Hopkins pedigree. Realize however that she will be about 30 years of age when she makes these decisions and the influence of my advice would have greatly diminished by then. (as it should).
But the above is my thought process. I am open to other people's opinions about whether it is appropriate or not.
Ram

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:50 pm

smiley wrote:First off, congratulations Ram! I'm sure your daughter will see many more acceptances in the weeks to come.
I was lucky enough to graduate from a med school where my late father was faculty, and was honored to actually receive my degree from him.
You must be very proud!

I do have a question about an academic medical career and choice of schools.
It has been said on this thread and elsewhere that the choice of an academic career factors into picking a top tier/Ivy school.
These are certainly some of the more expensive schools, and academic medicine jobs are surely the lowest paying.
If one were interested in bench research, the MD/PhD route would make more sense. If a clinical academic route were desired, one would think that a school like U of Wisconsin would want to fill their faculty with their own brightest.
I could see where graduating from an Ivy would better position one for an ultra-competitive specialty such as Derm.

Any Academicians here care to comment....

Again, I wish your daughter continued success!

:happy
Smiley, Thanks. I will let a full time academician give a better answer, but I think it is reasonable to say that the ROI is substantially worse for an academic/ research career as compared to clinical practice.

Regarding recruiting faculty the department chair at the place that I did fellowship was against recruiting too many people from the same university. He liked diversity of the thought process and ideally would recruit one faculty each from Harvard, Princeton, Yale , Stanford, Hopkins etc. I thought it made sense.
Ram

travellight
Posts: 2781
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Which Med school?

Post by travellight » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:21 pm

Great thought process, ram. I couldn't have analyzed it any better.

User avatar
zebrafish
Posts: 531
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:28 pm
Location: Inside the tank

Re: Which Med school?

Post by zebrafish » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:52 pm

smiley wrote:I do have a question about an academic medical career and choice of schools.
It has been said on this thread and elsewhere that the choice of an academic career factors into picking a top tier/Ivy school.
These are certainly some of the more expensive schools, and academic medicine jobs are surely the lowest paying.
If one were interested in bench research, the MD/PhD route would make more sense. If a clinical academic route were desired, one would think that a school like U of Wisconsin would want to fill their faculty with their own brightest.
I could see where graduating from an Ivy would better position one for an ultra-competitive specialty such as Derm.

Any Academicians here care to comment....
Academic salaries are definitely lower.

Graduates of my home institution for residency/fellowship had inside tracks to clinical series jobs and research jobs at that institution as they were known entity. HOWEVER, it is generally true that they were also given worse offers because they didn't frequently test the market and/or were not seen as a threat to leave (hence they were offered lower salaries and/or startups).

If you can afford it, going to a better school leaves more doors open longer. But staying at an institution after residency/fellowship tends to lead to lower pay.

travellight
Posts: 2781
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Which Med school?

Post by travellight » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:32 am

The first response on this post was yours, zebrafish, and I thought your advice was spot on.

Big Worm
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:20 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Big Worm » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:52 pm

Congratulations to your daughter.

I am a physician but I will spare you all the moaning and groaning that many of us feel because of the downward death spiral of medicine.

I strongly advise her to go to the cheapest medical school possible. STRONGLY.

I went to an incredibly average medical school. I stayed in academics for a few years after residency and fellowship NO PROBLEM.

GO CHEAP. I cannot emphasize this enough. Good luck to her.

protagonist
Posts: 5487
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Which Med school?

Post by protagonist » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:03 pm

I've been in both private practice and in hiring positions in an academic medical center, both of faculty and of residents and fellows.

My take is somewhere between that of big worm and zebrafish.

I don't think where you go to medical school makes much difference in terms of your career, though it may give you a slight (emphasizing the word "slight") edge when applying for residencies. The education you receive in medical school is very standardized, and what you get out of it is much more a function of what you put into it than where you go. What you put into it is a function of how happy you are, which is partly a function of your choice of where to go. The experience can be different....more high-powered institutions tend to attract more cut-throat/competitive people, are more academic and research-oriented (the faculty is often more research-oriented) , and may (but this is not necessarily so) offer the student less practical clinical experience. For the research oriented, a high powered academic place is certainly better. Also for the guy who sincerely believes that going to Harvard is going to impress more women in a bar, and truly cares.

I agree that you don't "get what you pay for"....you can get just as good an education and probably have a similar career going to a less expensive school. Like I said, what you get is proportional to what you put in, Actually some of the most highly rated medical schools in the country are state schools. But "go cheap" should not be your only criterion, unless that is all you can afford, in which case it is very valid. The medical school experience is a very intense one. I would encourage the potential med student to seek out a program where he/she feels most comfortable and most likely to fit in and profit from the experience, academically as well as personally. Unless money was an object to me, as a parent, I would back off, and definitely be careful not to put my own ego into it.

Of course money matters, and you have to decide how much that is as a relative motivating factor (concerning the student as well if he/she is potentially faced with huge student debt). If you have to choose the cheapest school for practical reasons, in the long run, that won't hurt much, if at all.

I based most of my training decisions on where I wanted to live....tuitions were much lower back then and with generous student loans they were not as much of an issue. In retrospect, it was as good a criterion as any.

am
Posts: 2794
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:55 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by am » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:48 pm

+1 bigworm. Cheapest no question. But he will likely not listen to us if he is not in medicine himself. Med school is equivalent to where you went to high school for non doctors. But it is extremely costly. An expensive school may limit your specialty choices to the highest paid fields. High loans may significantly limit how you live your life and where/how you practice.

Not to mention that reimbursement is being cut for highly paid fields. Right now radiology is under attack. The next one will be your specialty. Not to mention all the non doctors gaining more practice autonomy through legislation.... Ok will stop now. Good luck to her. Hope she is doing it it for the right reasons- because she likes it and not for money, prestige, to please her parents, to prove how tough and smart she is, etc.

User avatar
zebrafish
Posts: 531
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:28 pm
Location: Inside the tank

Re: Which Med school?

Post by zebrafish » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:09 pm

The experience can be different....more high-powered institutions tend to attract more cut-throat/competitive people, are more academic and research-oriented (the faculty is often more research-oriented) , and may (but this is not necessarily so) offer the student less practical clinical experience. For the research oriented, a high powered academic place is certainly better.

I agree that you don't "get what you pay for"....you can get just as good an education and probably have a similar career going to a less expensive school. Like I said, what you get is proportional to what you put in, Actually some of the most highly rated medical schools in the country are state schools. But "go cheap" should not be your only criterion, unless that is all you can afford, in which case it is very valid. The medical school experience is a very intense one. I would encourage the potential med student to seek out a program where he/she feels most comfortable and most likely to fit in and profit from the experience, academically as well as personally. Unless money was an object to me, as a parent, I would back off, and definitely be careful not to put my own ego into it.


I agree with all of this. Don't make a purely economic decision (cheapest) or a purely status-based decision (best reputation at any cost). Your daughter will do the best where she feels most comfortable and happy. I also agree that your opinion should take a back seat to hers as long as the thought process is sound. There are many bitter and unhappy doctors out there, for sure. Making sound choices at each step in the process will lessen the chances that she ends up in this category. I think the sky is not falling.

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:09 pm

She has been accepted at Case Western, Cleveland. She has interviewed at Vanderbilt, Emory and John Hopkins and their decision is awaited.
Ram

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Which Med school?

Post by ram » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:22 pm

Now she has one more decision to make. UW Madison is offering her full tuition scholarship for four years. She only needs to pay for room, board, car etc (anticipated cost $70,000 over four years). She has been accepted at Northwestern, Chicago. (No scholarship, anticipated cost 280,000). I asked her to calculate the difference and compound it at 6 to 10 % over 40 yrs. The results were impressive.
Ram

User avatar
bottomfisher
Posts: 399
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Which Med school?

Post by bottomfisher » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:43 pm

I'm still voting for the state school; especially since the scholarship has been thrown into the mix now. I don't know the reputation of UW Madison; but I feel the potential of most medical schools is what the prospective student puts into their education and training. Motivated, responsible medical students will do just fine in medical school, residency, and professional practice whether they obtained their training at a state school or other more prestigious school.

livesoft
Posts: 63066
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Which Med school?

Post by livesoft » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:03 am

For folks who like to reminisce, here is the thread ram started 5 years ago about choosing an undergraduate institution:
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 11&t=43726
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

travellight
Posts: 2781
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Which Med school?

Post by travellight » Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:08 am

Congratulations to you and your daughter, ram! That is fantastic. I would go with the full scholarship.

User avatar
Ruprecht
Posts: 533
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:34 pm
Location: a very nice cardboard box
Contact:

Re: Which Med school?

Post by Ruprecht » Wed Dec 25, 2013 6:36 am

There is some value in attending a "big name" private school - i.e. Mayo, Harvard, etc. Whether that added value is "worth it" for the cost is a different question, and largely depends on individual goals.

However, there will be no added value at all in attending a "middle tier" private school. If the choice is between the most prestigious state school versus a "middle tier" (like Vanderbilt or Emory) private school, then I would strongly recommend attending the state school unless scholarship money makes the prices equivalent. By 'most prestigious state school', I mean that most state schools have a very well-known hierarchy within the state. I would bet she is already aware of this, if not she needs to find out ASAP. If the decision were between the least prestigious state school vs a middle tier private school, then that's more difficult.

I'm not familiar with Wisconsin - is UW Madison the more or less prestigious med school in the state?

Post Reply