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Quinnipiac vs Yale

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Hi everyone.


I have quite the dilemma, though it is a good one to have. I've been accepted into several really good PA programs, but have whittled down my list to two: Quinnipiac and Yale. While I personally believe that Quinnipiac has an all-around better program (in terms of facilities, preparation of students for their clinical year, leadership and community service emphasis and opportunities, and the friendly vibe I received from the faculty, staff, students to one another and to myself) than Yale's, I'm facing some pressure from my mother to attend Yale because of their name. I went to a rather prestigious undergrad institution, so she's trying to make it seem like I "deserve" and "need" to have Yale on my resume. While I know I could attend the Yale program and succeed in almost all of the ways that I want, I just feel more at home at Quinnipiac, I'd get out 4 months earlier (which is 1/3 year of salary I'd be losing that I could put toward loans), and the students I've met at Quinnipiac just seemed more excited than those at Yale.


The hard part is that I owe my mother a lot. She (along with my father, though he's not putting any pressure on me) has put a roof over my head for 19 years (don't worry, i'm not 19 years old) and has provided much emotional and financial support. She doesn't really ask me for anything and this seems like something that would really make her happy. Given her age (62) at my graduation from PA school and the amount of time it'll take me to get out of debt from PA school, I'm not sure how many other opportunities I'll have to make her happy.


Essentially, my question comes down to this: is the Quinnipiac name/reputation (ranked 5th) only well-known in Connecticut, only in the Northeast, or is it well-known across the nation? I know the Yale name is internationally known. But I think that name/reputation may only matter for the 1st job you get out of school, at which point the letter of rec from previous employers/preceptors probably play a bigger role, but please correct me if I'm wrong.


Would any Yale or Quinnipiac grads care to comment on this? And any other PAs in general who can speak to the reputation of these 2 amazing programs by referencing any interactions they've had with their grads?


Thanks so much!! This is easily the biggest (and probably happiest) decision I've had to make my entire life, so any guidance is super appreciated.

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I am a current applicant myself, but I feel compelled to respond. A few of my family members and close friends are graduates of Ivy League schools, and over the course of the past few years I have had the opportunity to work closely with 10+ PAs on a regular basis, so I believe that I can provide some valuable insight. 


With that said, I can say with confidence that the most important things I've learned from all of them are:


1) Go where you'll be happy.


2) Big names and high rankings are nice, but ultimately it is what you bring to the table, and more importantly who you are, and how you treat people that truly matter.


My brother graduated from the #1 school for undergrad in the world. After years of working, he applied to a few business schools on a whim and got into and ultimately graduated from the #2 business school in the country. Yet still, if you asked anyone close to him, they would all agree that he is one of the kindest, most hard working, and most humble people that they have ever met, and that is why he has been so successful in life. None of that is the result of where he chose to go to school. It is so much more important who you are and what you bring to the table than where you go to school. 


Also, I have worked with several PAs, including one graduate of QU, and although he was absolutely awesome, the best PA I have ever worked with didn't graduate from a top 50 program. She is the best because of how well she listens to her patients, her kindness and patience, her vast clinical knowledge of her specific field, her sharp physical exam skills, and the years of experience under her belt.


Quinnipiac has a higher rank, Yale has a better name. Either of those factors will add a little boost to your success, but ultimately it is you that will determine your success, and look what you've already accomplished. I think you've more than proven (to yourself and to your family) how much you can achieve. Let that sink in, and go with your gut. You can't make this decision for anyone else, and your parents will be proud of you no matter where you go. Go where you'll be the happiest. 


Lastly, congratulations! You literally cannot go wrong either way, and I wish you the best of luck :) 

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I have the fortune of working with many Quinnipiac and Yale PA grads.  While the perspectives on reputation and things of that nature vary from one person to the other, there seems to be 2 main differences between the programs that everyone agrees on:


1.  The set-up of the curriculum.  In Yale, classes tend to go laterally by "system" blocks.  I.e., when you learn about the structures of the heart, you learn about cardiac medications, cardiac diseases, cardiac physical exams, etc.  In Quinnipiac, it tends to be a more vertical "pyramid" buildup.  You begin with the foundational medical sciences like micro, anatomy, diagnostic methods, etc (you even do gram stains and things like that in Micro), then you go through the specific areas of medicine afterwards.


2.  The teaching style.  Quinnipiac is a very classroom-intensive program.  Everything that will be on the test is drilled into you in the classroom and activities.  Expect to be in classes well into the evenings.  But you know that if it's not taught in class, you wont be tested on it.  Yale is more self-directed study (this is an exaggeration, but imagine being told "Here's a textbook.  Study it, you'll be tested on it").  

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