Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rock, Paper, Scissors?

I’m not the fastest decision-maker.  This isn’t the best fault for a prospective doctor to have, but I have no desire to work in the ER.  Last week I finally decided to go to Stony Brook instead of Syracuse.  It took me another couple days to figure out which housing complex I wanted to live in at the school.  Then I had to do my FAFSA application, which wasn’t too decision-heavy, but still took some deliberation.  And the very next day I get a call from the University of Rochester, saying that they now had a space for me to attend medical school there.  Cursed decisions!

The U of R versus Stony Brook debate is still very close in my mind.  Here are the main factors I’m considering:

U of R

+     Possibility of living at home, thus decreasing my exorbitant debt.
+     Even if I don’t live at home, having certain conveniences nearby.
+     A much better academic reputation (36th best research in the nation, 21st best primary care.)
+     Better psychiatry and neurology programs.
+     Slightly better curriculum.
  • 37,000 a year, resulting in 128,000 in debts by the end of med school.

  • The singles branch is pretty sparse.  There are less than 50 young single adults around.

Stony Brook

+     Tuition is “only” 19,000
+     Close proximity to NYC for entertainment.
+     A comparable singles branch, but close to NYC singles wards.
  • Good reputation, but barely in top 50.

I need to make this decision pretty quick, so chime in if you have any particular expertise, or if you’re just opinionated.


Catherine Elizabeth said...

I was looking forward to having you nearby, but I think U of R looks like it has more +'s.

lindsay said...

I will admit from the beginning, that I'm biased because I figure if you stay in Rochacha I'll have more access to the car. . . But it seemed that the majority of your pluses for Stonybrook were because of the entertainment possibilities of NYC, but if you're in medical school won't you be really busy studying? Which makes me think that U of R is a more prudent choice. Though, there is the tuition to figure in . . .

too_intensified said...

and as for those debts, you'll be paying both of them off for what seems like forever anyway, so you might as well go to the better school. Are mom and dad giving you the CRV?

Emily said...

How much does housing cost? I think that could make the numbers seem less disparite. I think you are overestimating the "closeness" of NYC singles and entertainment: how often would you really make the journey, which will take time and money? MAYBE once or twice a semester, tops. Why not decide to go down on semester breaks or for special concerts?

Pay no attention to Lindsays' car threats, she will only be around for 2 months.

Academic reputation does not matter to me: I am a firm believer that the student is the most important variable in an education. It may, however, matter to other people/schools, although it is my impression that an MD is an MD and patients don't care (certainly not your patients). It might matter if you were thinking of going into academia, but it shouldn't.

Free food is a huge draw.

Why aganize over this now? It seems that another school might throw a wrench in your plans next week?

ellie o said...


Additional questions: 1)does the apparent better program and reputation of Rochester translate into any real anticipated benefit to you (i.e. higher compensation, more babes etc)? 2) Does saving a considerable amount of money in tuition matter to you (how important is the financial aspect of this?

Depending how you answer those two questions, you will have your choice made for you.

good luck.

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