For 3 & 4th year clinical rotations, I have a choice to make: stay in the city I live in, or move our schools satellite site in the state capitol. In hopes of making the decision easier I went up there today to check it out. However, I'm now just more confused about what I should do.
The advantages of going: way more hands on experience (as in getting to be first assist in all surgeries, delivering babies myself, etc.), working directly with attendings, a special focus on leadership, nice on-call rooms, tuition incentives, cheaper housing, free meals & parking, and getting to be in a small close knit cohort of students with administrations who deeply care about us and our experience. Plus, it is only an hour drive away so coming back is an option. Oh! And we found a gluten free bakery/restaurant.
The disadvantages: The satellite site is new, small, and clam. It is not an official academic hospital, and the ER is a level 2 rather than the level 1 here. They see a little less trauma and don't seem as busy overall. We also wont have the formal lectures, though they do teleconference or make us come in to the main campus for some of them. The city has a lot less unique funk; there is also a smaller young activist community and basically no Jewish or queer community. With so few student there, no residents and interns, and no already established outside community, it seems somewhat isolating. Also, not all the doctors know what to do with students, but that has already improved a lot since this first class started last May. I will have to do a 4 week elective in non-clinical leadership on top of the 4 weeks I already have to do for my MPH, reducing my elective time to 16 weeks total.
Students at both sites seem generally happy with their experience and are learning a lot. Either location will afford me solid training and the chance to become a good doctor. It is unclear whether one will be more advantageous than the other for residency applications. Seemingly, both decisions are good which makes it even more difficult to choose.