Pros/Cons of Umass Worcester GEP Program

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    I've decided on the Adult/Gero Primary Care track and would really appreciate some input regarding the program, campus, etc at Umass Worcester. I was also accepted at MGH, which was originally my first choice, but am now second guessing my decision. I'm really torn and can't seem to find any information from current and/or previous students regarding Umass. Both programs seem relatively similar... Any insight would be incredibly helpful, THANKS!

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  2. 49 Comments...

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    I'm in the exact same boat as you (although I haven't been accepted to UMass but I interviewed last week, should hear soon). I am new to the site so I can't PM you but feel free to send me a message if you want to talk about it sometime!
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    I'm new too and can't PM. I had my interview as well, and they implied I was already accepted. I felt it went well, but don't want to get too ahead of myself. I applied to Northeastern, MGH, and UMW. Originally, MGH was my first choice, and I honestly didn't expect to get into more than one school. After visiting UMW, I fell in love and really like program and staff. The one thing that I don't like is that we aren't granted a BSN at UMW. At MGH they do grant a BSN. I'm having such a hard time finding specific information and will probably just contact the schools. Do you remember if UMW places you for clinical rotations or if you have to find your own? At MGH they place you but I've heard it's a hit or miss.

    I think I'm intimidated by living in Boston for at least three years, especially where MGH doesn't really have a campus and is in an inconvenient location. But then again, maybe being in Boston will offer more opportunities... I really don't know, and I'm so much more stressed now than I was before.
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    Dizzy, are you living far from Boston now? I've lived in Boston for the past 9 years (went to undergrad here and then stayed after) and worried that I would be overwhelmed by city life when I first moved here, too. I'm originally from a very rural small town...only 3000 residents. But, in the end I fell in love with Boston. It's a good starter city as it's not too big and has decent public transportation. That said, I don't think that the campus in Charlestown is as inaccessible as you're fearing. It's an easy walk or bus ride from North Station in downtown Boston and there are also a few buses that go there from other parts of the city (Somerville, etc.).

    No matter where we end up I think there will be inconvenient aspects, especially when it comes to clinicals. UMW said that some of their clinicals are an hour or more from their campus (Springfield, etc.). I assume that this may be the case at MGH as well - while some clinicals will be at area hospitals, some may be outside of the city.
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    I'm close to Lawrence so I wouldn't want to commute and I like that the Worcester area is similar to where I live now. The cost of MGH plus boarding and living expenses is crazy compared to UMW, but I like that MGH offers a BSN once the program is completed... I'm excited I have choices and realize many are not as fortunated this time around, but really wish this was an easier decision like undergrad :P
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    I hear you! I was really impressed by the facilities at UMW and they are in the process of opening a brand new building, which is awesome. I know someone that has completed the program at UMW and another person that is currently in it and they've only had good things to say. But, I also have a friend at MGH and she loves it, too. I do wonder about the BSN vs. certificate, but I have a couple of friends that have graduated from similar programs and they haven't had a problem getting a job without the BSN after graduation...but none of them work in hospitals, either.

    Did UMW mention anything to you about scholarships? I'm wondering if students there cover everything with loans or if they also have some institutional money available on a merit or other basis.
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    Yea, I also thought UMW had great resources and I believe the building is finished! Plus side to a state school is more funding. I'm going the Adult-Gero primary care track and they have an awesome program for that from what I understand. I'm not sure if there is assistance/aid. But the cost for the first year is 30,000 the second is around 12,000 and the last year is 9,000 ish. And you are working part time as an RN the last two years so you have some sort of an income. I also like that they have sub-tracks like cardiology or oncology. Housing is cheap compared to Boston, and I asked about this at my interview with a current student. She told me they don't have official housing arrangements, but they do help medical students and NP students find housing. I guess a lot of time you room with students in the medical school. I like that there's a lot of integration with the medical students as well as other graduate students. From what I understand about MGH, you really only associate with your own class. UMW seems to have more of that "graduate" school feel which I like.

    Do you know if UMW places you in your clinical rotations or if you are responsible for finding them yourself??
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    I also liked the ability to sub-specialize and the affiliation with the medical school. I have close friends in the Worcester area so I would have a great support network if I ended up out there. I guess I am less worried about the lack of a campus at MGH since I have friends already in Boston from having lived here for so long. I am lucky in that the scholarship I was offered from MGH will make tuition there cheaper for me than UMW. But cost of living is way cheaper in the Worcester area, so I have a feeling it would end up evening out in the long run.

    I didn't specifically ask if UMW places you in your clinical rotations, but based on what they said at the session I went to on Thursday it sounds like they do. The presenter said that clinicals are based on relationships that the professors have with various organizations and they try to match you with rotations that are appropriate for your specialty as well as each student's abilities (she gave an example about how a student may be ready for something more challenging and they try to take that into consideration). It sounded like the clinicals change each year based on what the school is able to work out with the various hospitals, clinics, etc.
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    When did you find out about the MGH scholarship?? Was it with the acceptance email? If so I didn't get one, lol bummer. I don't have connections at either location, but I'm sure most students are in that position. What school are you leaning more towards??
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    They put a note in the acceptance letter and then sent me a separate email on Thursday. I was really surprised...definitely wasn't expecting it! The money factor is so tough - you hate to have it make or break a program, but it is definitely important if you already have student loans from undergrad and/or are supporting yourself financially, like me.

    I haven't heard anything for UMW, so at this point I'm going to MGH I hadn't researched MGH as much as I had some of the other schools, but the more I'm learning, the more I'm liking it (thankfully!!)

    It sounds like you are leaning more toward UMW. If the BSN is the biggest thing holding you back, I wouldn't worry about it (unless you are set on working in a hospital when you graduate - then you may want to look into it further). Having a BSN and MSN would be great, but many people graduate from non-BSN programs and do just fine.

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