Relocation question

I will begin my post-bac course at Loyola University Chicago in the fall of this year. It will take me 2 years to complete going at night.

My wife and I would like to stay in Chicago for my years in med school and hopefully for residency. I know this is a pie in the sky wish, but I was wondering what everyone thinks my chances are of getting accepted to a med school (I will likely have 4 options with my GPA in Chicago) and following school being able to get a residency in the same city.

Is this something that is even possible? Common?

Any thoughts appreciated.

Hi Don,

Well a lot will have to do with how you do during your postbac and your MCAT. Do well with your GPA and MCAT, and your chances will of course be better.

Being in a major city like Chicago, you do have more medical schools. I would make a list of the med schools (don’t discount Osteopathic schools) in and around Chicago, and then research. There will most likely be some schools that will be harder to get into, and more geared towards trad students and there may be some that are more liberal and like nontrads.

I would concentrate more on what you can do now…your postbac classes, and worry about applying for med school later. is it possible? Of course it is, it is just going to take work and perserverance. Worse comes to worse and you are accepted to a medical school not in Chicago (which is still a plus because you ARE accepted!!), you can always work to do your residency in Chicago.

I am envious that you have so many schools to apply to. We only have one. So, I am hoping to stay and counting on relocating.

Moving was not something I was keen on so I could stay near my husband (who was willing to move for me, but I didn’t want to have to move him from his job that he loved). I applied to 6 schools total-- 5 local, 1 in the city near where my in-laws live (either was I would have been with family). Five interviews with 5 acceptances-- 4 local, 1 away. Went to my local state school. It can be done. However, you must be a strong applicant to be that selective.

Tara-Just curious, I noticed your signature says your residency is in IA. Did your husband move with you for that, or is he waiting for you to settle in a location as an attending?

My husband moved with me to Iowa. I chose to stay in Maryland for my required internal medicine internship that is part of the neurology residency (you can split it up like that) because my husband was due to retire from the Army at the same time that I finished my internship. Then he followed me to Iowa for my residency. Let me know if that does not make sense (some of the intricacies of medical education are not always obvious).

There are not many places for him to work in the entire country outside of DC, so he commutes two weeks a month to New Mexico. He could do a different job here, but he makes far more to keep doing a job he loves by commuting.

As for my upcoming attending time, I had an Air Force Health Professions Scholarship for med school, so I will be going back on active duty when I complete my residency (I’ll find out this fall/winter where I am heading to). My husband is excited to be heading back “into” the military and moving around the world. If we stay stateside, he’ll keep the job he has; if we go overseas, which we hope, he’ll figure it out when he gets there.

Fire away any questions you have…I was there once too

Wow, Tara…you’ve got one supportive spouse there!

Thanks for the answers. I am pretty confident of getting my application strong enough to get into med school in Chicago.

My main concern is the residency (which of course depends on the field I choose). Being a big city, I am sure Chicago will have more options that others.

Oh well, I guess I will cross that bridge when I get there.

With residency, a lot will also depend on the competitiveness of the specialty. Some specialities (i.e. ophtho, ortho, ENT) you pretty much have to be willing to go anywhere. Other specialties (i.e. neuro, medicine) you can pretty much stay in Chicago.

As a native Chicagoan (and Loyola grad), I can say that Chicago offers a lot of options. You are in a good location for a variety of opportunities. Granted, you will have to be a strong applicant, but it is a lot easier to stay in a city with multiple medical schools than stay in a city with one (my situation now)…