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  • If you had 3 options for medical school...

    which would you choose and why?

    1) full-tuition and monthly stipend to good ranked school

    2) full-tuition to great ranked school

    3) half-tuition (or less) to school in location of your dreams (for me the beach)

     

    I've loved tropical beaches, ever since I was a kid. Being on one and having the opportunity to go to medical school near one is priceless to me (i.e. happiness). I also don't give too much weight to rankings (however many people have told me they are important). At the same time, not worrying about finances and having resources for me to learn well, develop my skills using surgical skills facilities, and contribute to medical outcomes through research is important to me as well, and these coincide with the higher ranked options.

    So if you were in this position, I would love to hear your thought process weighing ranking, finances, and location, considering your insight on post medical school, residency, and for some of you, post working life.

    I know many will say you would go to the cheapest school; in this case could you please share how that outweighs the other two factors.

     

    Disclaimer: I do not have all these options, and there is a 99.5% chance I will not. But given the 0.5% chance I do, I will only have 24 hours to decide. Your insight will also help make my final decision regardless of which options I have in the end.

  • #2




     

     

    Disclaimer: I do not have all these options, and there is a 99.5% chance I will not. But given the 0.5% chance I do, I will only have 24 hours to decide. Your insight will also help make my final decision regardless of which options I have in the end.
    Click to expand...


    Not to be a jerk, but is that true?

    I've been on faculty at 2 med schools. Full scholarships are very rare and generally not offered with a time frame like this.

    Is this a military thing?

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    • #3
      If I could get into any school I wanted and all I had to do was pay sticker price, I'd take that option.

      Assuming, I'm otherwise the same person, having an extra 300~500K of debt would be no problem to pay off over the course of a career.

      A lot of it depends on the financial situation you have going into medical school. I had zero debt going in.  If I already had a lot of other educational and other debt, that would greatly influence my response.

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      • #4
        @MPMD That's what I read based off a google search. Not sure how true it is exactly.

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        • #5
          I'd take 1. I wouldn't run up $200K in debt to live near a beach for four years.
          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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          • #6
            Easiest decision ever.

            1.  Take the money and run.

            Your 32-year-old self (assuming your average age applicant) will thank you once you are done with residency and are debt free.  Also, getting into residency is really about how well you do in school and boards.

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            • #7
              #2 --  monthly stipend is nice, but great school can matter if you decide on a competitive residency or academic track which highly values pedigrees

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              • #8
                Granted that they are all on a pass/fail curriculum that decision is super easy. Number two for sure. Number 1 might be more attractive to me if none of them were a pass/ fail curriculum. There is something psychologically easier about being in the top of your class with less effort. I personally would rather be a big fish in a smaller pond and get AOA. Can match into basically any specialty with AOA on your resume.

                 

                The only other thing to consider is if you want to live in an area for the rest of your life it is usually easier to match near an area where you go to school. I am going to deal with that issue, but I dont think 200k in debt is worth living by the beach for four years. I actually like that I go to school in the hood, it makes it a lot easier to stay in and study. If I went to school where I could recreate in nature easily it would be way more miserable to study.

                 

                 

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                • #9
                  Also, I am mind blown that somebody actually has these options and I'd love to know the stats of the candidate. They must have a Nobel prize, started an orphanage in Africa, and rocked a 99th percentile MCAT.

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                  • #10
                    Dude. Medical school is about learning how to take care of people and trying to cram a seemingly impossible amount of information into your head over 4 years. In your first two years it's about studying your butt off and doing well on your boards. On rotations it's about showing up early and staying late, learning how to take care of patients while getting along with people. To allow a dream location near the beach factor into your decision so heavily, or at all to a significant degree, makes me think you have misplaced priorities. #1 or #2. It's also more likely, as you indicated, that these options aren't even realistic. Probably best to entertain a decision when things are known, which shouldn't be in a forced, cinematic 24 hour window.

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                    • #11
                      Of the options you listed, I'd probably rank it #2 --> #1 --> #3. Especially if you're going for plastics, I think going to a top-ranked school will put you in a great position to match (and it's free tuition to boot). When you look at the match lists of the top-ranked schools, it's pretty much only top-rated residency programs. Not sure if they select or self-select people out of the competitive specialties, though.

                      -WSP

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for your comments so far.

                        First I need to say that it's really not about the beach. It's about your dream location. For The White Coat Investor it may be a nearby mountain range he could hike with his family any weekend after exams or any morning he wanted (w/ no airfare or expensive travel). For someone who sells sculptures in their spare time, it could be a renown art studio they have access to at the nearby undergrad institution (anytime, for no additional charge). I understand what the priority is in medical school. I had the same academic (non-clinical) priority in undergrad and it helped me have a chance to consider this decision. However I also learned that having something I could do for work/life balance helped my quality of life and by extension, my grades improved.

                        There was a post on this forum a ways back (and I think there was a POF post but can't find it) about how it's common to say "Things will get better when..." for each stage in medicine. I'm considering avoiding this mindset entirely with option 3. A part of me shares AR 's viewpoint; you all have taught me to live keeping debt to a minimum, max out retirement accounts, buy a $5000 car cash when I need one, invest in safer and automatic longer term investments, prioritize debt payoff etc, so $200,000 isn't too concerning over the span of a career. Or maybe I'm just naive.

                        And I know, the 24 hour window sounds ridiculous, and I've already had shots fired at me twice for mentioning it  For the scholarship, students have an expenses paid trip back to the school for revisit weekend, and interview again. Only a very select few from that group are chosen. The school has the same program for their law school as well, and I read that once students hear back they have to decide within a day. Not sure if it's the same for the med school.

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                        • #13
                          how good is each school, and what rank? is the great school harvard? is the good school a place i’ve heard of? is the place near the beach an md or do school? etc. and what do you want to be when you grow up? that impacts decision-making more than the beach, etc.

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                          • #14




                            how good is each school, and what rank? is the great school harvard? is the good school a place i’ve heard of? is the place near the beach an md or do school? etc. and what do you want to be when you grow up? that impacts decision-making more than the beach, etc.
                            Click to expand...


                            just for this post, "good" school is ranked top 25 and "great" schools are in the top 10. school near the beach is md. I want to do reconstructive surgery when I grow up.

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                            • #15
                              I'd do #1.  Top-25 vs top-10 isn't a huge difference in the end, maybe only for the absolute top programs, if at all.  I went to a below average school near the beach.  Top candidates were still able to match into competitive specialties, in my less-competitive specialty my school's reputation maybe held me back from having a chance at a top-5 program but not a top-15 program.  In the end I still matched and can likely go on to do anything that a top med school graduate can.  Living near the beach for med school is rather pointless, I can probably count on one hand how often I went to the beach in the first 3 years as I was always studying, and it paid off in the end.  Not that you won't have free time outside of studying, but when you do you likely won't always want to spend it at the beach (it can get old) and it's certainly not worth paying half-tuition for.  If you like the beach, go during your school breaks or during residency.

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