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Wayne State vs. Duke University Medical School


Guest MedBound786

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Guest MedBound786

Hey guys;

 

I have been fortunate enough to have received the opportunity to go to either Wayne State or Duke University Medical school this fall. I am actually planning to return to Canada for Residency and I am specifically bent on pursuing Cardiac Surgery program at University of Toronto.

 

I am tempted towards Wayne due to costs and because of the convienience of getting to live in Windsor and going to med school in states. My question is, do you think residency programs in Canada and specifically U of T would care which American med school you're coming from? In other words, would applying as Duke graduate hold more weight since its ivy league and very research orientated.

 

Any comments or suggestions would be wonderful ! Moo, your insights would be greatly appreciated as well !

 

Thanks a million !!

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Guest VwDubber

duke is not one of the ivy league schools but given the two schools you listed, unless you have a significant other or some other factor that requires you to be close to the canadian border ... the choice is really simple: GO TO DUKE

 

congrats

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go to duke. Raleigh sucks (so does Detroit but you can live in Windsor and like half the class is Canadian at Wayne) but Duke is a fantastic program that will allow you to pursue research, and bolster your app.

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Guest ssc427

If you are planning to come back to Canada why would you go to the US at all? If you are gunning for such an ultra competitive residency then your chances are best if you went to UofT. Just look at CaRMS - 2/3 of the people in cards at UofT come from UofT. I assume you interviewed at UofT as well?

 

And you must be rich because Duke asks for the whole 250K shebang at once. I guess if you're ultra wealthy then it would be nice to have a different experience, but from a career/education point of view I don't think it would help you at all. In fact it might hurt you. UNLESS you want to stay in the US, in which case a Duke MD is gold.

 

I am currently waitlisted at Stanford and Harvard and accepted at Columbia. I also want to do a competitive specialty and practice in Canada. I used to think that the quality of education was better at places like Stanford and Harvard until I had my Ontario interviews. I was happier with Western and Ottawa than with any other school north or south. My conclusion is that I will only go south if I don't get anything in Canada.

 

Mind you, if I was richy-rich I'd consider begging to get off the waitlist at Stanford and go there because it's soooooooooo pretty.

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Actually, I wouldn't say it would HURT you. Canada is so socialistic that the name wouldn't help you as much as it would in the US. I mean, Martha Piper's daughter (the President of UBC) is a surgical resident at UBC right now after obtaining her MD at Harvard. (Of course it probably also helps that she is the daughter of the President of UBC.)

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Guest ssc427

No - but if you do your MD at UofT and get to know the cards you will have a leg up on someone in the US who doesn't. Similarly, at most schools in Canada there are provisions for you to go do an elective at another school so this would help you over a US trained MD who can't do this.

 

I emailed the radiology & rad onc residency programs at UBC to specifically ask about doing my MD at Harvard then coming back up to train with them and they said it would not hurt me per se, but did suggest I come up to do an elective with them. This language to me suggests that there's definately no advantage for me to get an expensive Harvard MD over a regular Canadian one.

 

But hey - if your parents are loaded why not do something different for 4 years? It's also kind to your fellow Canadians to open up a spot for them (assuming you have both options).

 

That being said, I remember moo that you got interviews in anesthesia from the US which suggests that if you're a good student you'll still be competitive for a tough residency.

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No I agree with you. I think you should go to med school in the country in which you eventually would want to practice. But know that doors are not closed for you should you decide to go back to Canada after doing med school in the US (like they would be if you went to school in the caribs or Aus or Ireland). If you are sure you want to do academics and are convinced the US is the best place for that then by all means, going to a US school is probably better for you. I know people who went down to the US with me for med school (declining Canadian offers) who are extremely academic and have decided to stay here. From my experience, going to the US is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage (with the exception of $$$).

 

Bottom line: go to school in the country in which you would like to practice. But know that going to school in the US will not close doors for you. Many people change their minds about things (as did I) during the course of med school and it's nice to know you always have the option of going back.

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Guest MedBound786

Thanks a lot you guys for your helpful comments. While I understand now that going to a U.S school has no distinct advantage or disadvantage, my main question is whether the name of the U.S school (and the prestige that comes with it) or its ranking factor into your residency application in CaRMS and with U of T program directors?

 

No matter what U.S med school I go to, I definately plan on doing Cardiac electives at U of T. Both wayne and Duke allow this for their students. In addition, I also plan on doing cardiac related research during med school. But I am just wondering if Duke's name would be an additional advantage on my CaRMS application?

 

Thanks.

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Duke might carry an advantage at UT and McGill and maybe UBC. The other Canadian schools are too ignorant of US medical schools to know that Duke is a research powerhouse. Regardless, I think you should go to Duke to keep your options open.

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Guest ssc427

All other factors being equal do you really think UofT would favor someone who went to Duke over UofT, or any Canadian school for that matter? I strongly doubt it.

 

And even if it gave you slight advantage, is this really worth a quarter millions dollars? I'd say no.

 

I would email residency directors for the program you want and ask them. That's what I did. And as I said above, in my case it seemed like a spiffy US degree would not help me at all. Don't take important life advise entirely from an internet forum.

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I meant, Duke might carry an advantage over Wayne State, not necessarily other Canadian schools. But I think name of school doesn't really play that much of a role in carms apps, in either way. I think the OP is only considering WSU and Duke, not any other Canadian school.

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Guest siobhansiobhan

ssc -

 

read the original post 'fortunate enough', and comparing two u.s. schools. your posts are pretty aggressive, and exude the social privilege of having lots of options. i like these boards, especially the am forums, because it's filled with people struggling to get a chance, and sharing quite knowledgeable info. these internet forums often give a lot *more* than what a school will give! and the posts are generally quite accurate, or at least are followed up. your posts certainly prompt useful qualifications of statements, and elaboration of points. however, my visceral reaction to your tone tells me that there is something about a condescension - 'don't rely on these boards', 'moo, you who have just taken the trek back to canada, cannot possibly know more than me, just networking, the way I can and do with surgery heads'. your points are good, but this arrogance leaks through, and i want to call that, because each person contributes and can have great impact on group culture. i don't want these boards getting arrogant and dismissive.

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Guest ssc427

I'm sorry I come across that way. Your interpretation of what I said is not what I mean to convey at all.

 

All I meant was moo is the only person on this board who has done exactly what the OP wants to do - gone to the US and returned to Canada. So moo is porbably the best person to comment on this process. ***But*** it's also important for the OP to contact the program he/she is interested in because each one is different and they might have a different take on things.

 

I have assumed through all of my comments that the OP also interviewed in Canada, specifically at UofT. I think this is justified because if you've been accepted to Duke which is 4 times harder to get into than Canadian schools than I'd be shocked if you got snubbed by Canada (but I know it has happened before) - that's why I asked where the OP interviewed in Canada.

 

Under this assumption I stick by my original thoughts which are why consider the US at all if you KNOW you want to do residency in Canada.

 

I'm very sorry if I sound arrogant. I will consider my comments more carefully in the future.

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Guest siobhansiobhan

Hearing the reasoning you used to deduce duke interview = likelihood of canadian interviews allows your comments to stand as more sensitive - i.e. coming from a place of understanding. and, this last message sounds very gentle given that you were also responding to a criticism.

 

i guess we're all in agreement - better to attend med school in the place one wants to practice, if the place one wants to practice is the u.s. or canada, or europe, etc. .... i have known many people, including in my family, who left where they were from to be educated elsewhere (i.e. to go to med school in england, and return home again to jamaica and practice...)

 

then, of course, given that there is so much movement between u.s. and canada, having choices could mean allowing for setting (as you were saying with stanford).

 

then, there are those who find opportunity in the states that is not present in the canadian playing field. i'm in that category. especially coming from ontario, especially since the 'social-focus' school, Mac, changed policies on how to determine eligible to interview. looking at a lens of social/political/advocacy thrust in medical schools, i find that across tiers (very widely) places such as johns hopkins and meharry offer something that i don't think is offered in canada. canadian med schools haven't truly addressed representation of minorities/disadvantaged in medicine, and without that physical presence, there may not be much of a push to teach medicine with a nuanced approach from that angle. That angle would likely make a person u.s.-bound, even in the upper tiers.

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Guest konverse

my $0.02 are these...

if you decide to move to the states, invest all the time energy dollaz contacts etc in obtaining your medical education, then to me it doesn't make sense to come back to canada immediately. what's the big rush in coming back here to practice? at least do your residency there or something. how do you all know what you're gonna feel like doing after four years? someone said it good earlier -- do your schooling in the country where u want to practice. but remember this... canada is your home people... and it ain't going anywhere.

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Guest MedBound786

Hey guys;

 

I appreciate all your input.

 

Here's a reservation I have about Duke: Duke's curriculum is completely unlike other U.S and Canadian med schools. Clerkship in the second year and full third year devoted to Research. When applying for residency in Canada where residency directors may not fully understand Duke's curriculum, do you think they would feel secure about its graduates? Also, if I did electives in Canada in my second year of Duke, do you think my Canadian attending supervisors would feel that I may be too immature for clerkship by traditional standards?

 

Sorry about being so nitty gritty about things; your comments are helping me a lot.

 

Thanks again.

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Guest ssc427

MedBound786,

 

Considering that you have stated that your goal is the cards program at UofT there are two important bits of information missing which should help you make your decision:

 

1. Have you interviewed at UofT or elsewhere in Canada?

 

2. Do you have 250,000 US$ available to be deposited in the escrow account?

 

If the answer is no to both 1 and 2 then this is a scary option. Of course - go to Duke anyways. There are always to find the money via lines of credit/loans but then I would imagine that you would need to stay in the US for residency and practice for a few years in order to pay these off.

 

 

If the answer is yes to both 1 and 2 have you asked the cards residency dudes at UofT what they suggest you do? I'd be curious to hear what they say. The thing is, you can hang onto 1 American acceptance and 1 Canadian acceptance throughout the summer. This isn't really nice because there are others waiting for your spot. But you can hold your Duke acceptance beyond May 15th and wait and see what you get in Canada. If you get somewhere like UofT or another Canadian school then spend some time talking with different residency & clerkship directors about your options. There are two further questions you need to answer:

3. Will Duke allow you to do electives in second year in Canada?

4. Will Canadian schools allow you to do electives up here in considering that you will only be in second year?

Moo might know about 3 & 4. I know that some American schools allow you to do your 4th year electives elswhere.

 

 

If the answer is yes to 1 and no to 2 then wait and see what you get come May 15th-ish in Canada. I'd take anywhere in Canada over incurring that kind of debt.

 

 

If the answer is no to 1 but yes to 2 then your decision is already made.

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Guest siobhansiobhan

if the decision is between wayne and duke, and you are wondering which will be best for a specific uoft programme, and duke has some wild stuff going on -

 

as ssc says,

contact uoft, specific programme, and ask them what they think. benefits? you will know what they know of the two programmes, and of duke. and of wayne! for instance, duke may have the better name but wayne will do, and you've started making the connections that will be crucial. and so you get to be close to the border, which i believe was something to keep in mind for you, right? you'll know the score if you chat to them.

 

 

so, down to that phone-call!

 

and a hearty congrats on your acceptances.

 

now, i'm just remembering wayne state as the place that the national guard marched against anti-war protesters in the 60's. i think they have been pretty socially conscious since then - i seem to remember their literature hinting at that...how we all have different things that fire us up...

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That's kent state in Ohio.

 

Anyway, I think Duke will allow you to do electives in Canada, most likely in your 4th year. I believe most American schools have you finish all your core clerkships before allowing electives (unlike Canadian schools). Also the thing about starting clerkships early, well think of Duke like McMaster or Calgary, which are three year programs in Canada. The only difference is that Duke allows a full year of research whereas that whole year doesn't exist at the 3 year programs in Canada. But note that Duke's curriculum is extremely condensed the first year. You will learn what you need to learn, but I think even at a place like Mac or Calgary, the preclerkship years end like Feb-March of your 2nd year, whereas at Duke, they end somewhere in June at the end of your first year? Correct me if I'm wrong.

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First off, congrats at getting accepted at Duke! It is an amazing school, and I have friends who graduated from their program who are all phenomenal docs. Now, to address some of your concerns.

 

Remember why you applied to the US in the first place. If you're like me, then it was for opportunities. The US offers some of the best residency training programs in the world -- especially in CT surgery. They also have a lot more spots, which means you'll likely match. This is a big deal. If you think getting into medical school is tough, residency is on a completely different level. Given that, you definitely want to go to a 'name brand' school. Duke over Wayne any day (no offence to wayne folks, but duke is more recognizable :) ).

 

Also, who knows what you'll end up doing? Maybe you'll hate CT surgery in the end. Perhaps you won't like the hours. Or you'll realize that people aren't cracking chests as often anymore to do CABGs... That cardiologists have taken a large chunk of procedures away through coronary stenting. If that's the case, going to Duke will definitely open more doors for you to other residency programs.

 

Residency. Canada vs. USA. My take on this is if you go to the US, why bother going back to Canada? Seriously. You're going to spend 250k, why not get the benefits of it? Go to a residency in the US. Practice here and earn the $. If you must return to Canada (i.e. wife, kids, etc), then do NOT come to the US for medical school. It's a big waste of $. Seriously.

 

I think Canada and the US med grads have equivalent *medical* training. BUT I will say that there are so many more opportunities for US med students to 'supplement' their education. At Duke, given that they compress your two preclinical years in to one, you get a 'free year' to do research/community service/travel/etc. This is HUGE. For instance, if you can get a Howard Hughes 1-year research fellowship (available to any medical student going to a *US* medical school), this will pretty much guarantee you any residency spot. That is how prestigious this award is. Other things that my Duke friends seem to do is branch out to different fields.. like combined JD (law) and MD, MPH/MD, MBA/MD.

 

Sigh. These are just my opinions... Ultimately, when it comes down to it, you have to think about costs. Can you afford 250k? After you factor in interest, and your low salary for many years (CT Surg is 7-8 years), that's a lot of $.

 

PS - one thing about duke that I didn't like: Durham is no where near the melting pot that Toronto is. Not even close. Accents are cool though.

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