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wherethelightis

MGH vs. Vanderbilt for Medical SLP

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Hi all! I'm currently deciding between these two schools and was wondering if anyone had any insight into which program would be better for someone wanting to go into medical speech pathology (unfortunately, I can't attend the accepted student days).

Additionally, I was fortunate enough to receive a full scholarship to MGH, but I only received a 25% scholarship to Vanderbilt. Based on which program would be better for my goals, I may try to see if I can negotiate more money from Vanderbilt. Does anyone have experience in this area?

Thanks in advance for your help! :)

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I don't know about these schools specifically, but I've talked to a number of medical SLPs and every one of them has said to choose a program based on which will save you the most money because employers will not care which school you went to. School reputation or name recognition will count more if you intend to go on to do a PhD program. I hope this helps!

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1 hour ago, Dianamite said:

You received a full scholarship to MGH - roughly $115, 000 - and you're questioning whether you should go? Really? Personally, I would be immensely grateful to have received any scholarship money at all. 

 I am beyond grateful, I don't know why you would assume that I'm not. I wouldn't go to Vanderbilt unless I could get my scholarship money up. Rent and overall cost of living are astronomical in Boston and Vanderbilt is a cheaper program, so if I could negotiate a higher scholarship the costs would end up being similar. I'm trying to figure out which program is better for my career goals so I can decide if negotiating a scholarship is even worth the effort. I'm just trying to thoroughly explore my options so that I can make the best overall decision for my future–professionally and financially. 

Edited by wherethelightis

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Hi!

I'd say it doesn't matter what school you go to. I would think the best way to work in the medical field is to secure a CF position in whatever setting you would like to continue, which I do not think is impacted by the school you attend. What do you mean by medical; outpatient or inpatient, or SNF? Snf positions are not too difficult to obtain. Outpatient is a little harder. Inpatient is more difficult to break into because its mostly slps with experience treating medically fragile patients. Usually by having worked per diem in the hospital they are able to get a full time position.

Basically, the school doesn't matter. Finding a hospital willing to hire CFYs so you get the necessary experience and mentorship does. Networking I think is also a big factor if you want to work inpatient right out of school.

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5 hours ago, Paslp said:

Hi!

I'd say it doesn't matter what school you go to. I would think the best way to work in the medical field is to secure a CF position in whatever setting you would like to continue, which I do not think is impacted by the school you attend. What do you mean by medical; outpatient or inpatient, or SNF? Snf positions are not too difficult to obtain. Outpatient is a little harder. Inpatient is more difficult to break into because its mostly slps with experience treating medically fragile patients. Usually by having worked per diem in the hospital they are able to get a full time position.

Basically, the school doesn't matter. Finding a hospital willing to hire CFYs so you get the necessary experience and mentorship does. Networking I think is also a big factor if you want to work inpatient right out of school.

Thank you for your helpful response! I'm an out-of-field applicant, so it can be tough to find support/information.  I am leaning towards outpatient or inpatient, but that may change once I begin coursework. I plan on taking as much medical coursework and getting as many medical placements as I can, but I know I'm limited by the structure of the program so that worries me. Would this be enough to be considered for a CFY in a hospital?

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It all really depends on where you are interested in looking. I've heard that it's best to just ask various hospitals/clinics if they are willing to hire cfy slps when the time comes. I met a cfy slp at an outpatient rehab center and she told me she got the position after meeting an administrator at a presentation and she went to a program more focused on school therapy.

Some cfy positions you have to apply for like grad school, but those are super competitive and require things like recommendation letters, statement of purpose, etc. 

Once you start a program you can speak with professors and see if they are in contact with any places that take cfys. Getting one in a medical setting is competitive so I'd say keep your eyes open! 

Btw, do the schools you're interested in provide stats for how many students get placed in the medical setting after graduation? If not I would definitely call and ask.  

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Congrats on your acceptances (and funding)! Personally, I don't think cost is everything... but it's definitely a significant factor. Does Vanderbilt have a specialty or unique placement opportunity that you wouldn't be able to get at MGH? (Voice comes to mind, but it's a bad example since both schools have a voice track haha). I'd seriously consider that component. I also think it's worth considering where you want to put down roots when you're out of school. For example, I live in Seattle and plan to keep doing so after grad school, so I looked at the places I want to work in this area, and most of the SLPs are UW grads. Staying here to make connections was important to me, so maybe that's a factor for you to consider as well? Lastly, I'd add up the tuition + fees (including books and materials) + living expenses (rent, car, public transportation fares, etc.) and see what you'd really be paying per year. (Go look at actual apartments on CL or wherever that you'd theoretically be renting and see what they cost.)

Congrats again, and best of luck with your decision!

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7 hours ago, Paslp said:

It all really depends on where you are interested in looking. I've heard that it's best to just ask various hospitals/clinics if they are willing to hire cfy slps when the time comes. I met a cfy slp at an outpatient rehab center and she told me she got the position after meeting an administrator at a presentation and she went to a program more focused on school therapy.

Some cfy positions you have to apply for like grad school, but those are super competitive and require things like recommendation letters, statement of purpose, etc. 

Once you start a program you can speak with professors and see if they are in contact with any places that take cfys. Getting one in a medical setting is competitive so I'd say keep your eyes open! 

Btw, do the schools you're interested in provide stats for how many students get placed in the medical setting after graduation? If not I would definitely call and ask.  

Awesome, thanks so much! I'm definitely going to call and ask about stats for medical placements after graduation :)

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2 hours ago, SopranoSLP said:

Congrats on your acceptances (and funding)! Personally, I don't think cost is everything... but it's definitely a significant factor. Does Vanderbilt have a specialty or unique placement opportunity that you wouldn't be able to get at MGH? (Voice comes to mind, but it's a bad example since both schools have a voice track haha). I'd seriously consider that component. I also think it's worth considering where you want to put down roots when you're out of school. For example, I live in Seattle and plan to keep doing so after grad school, so I looked at the places I want to work in this area, and most of the SLPs are UW grads. Staying here to make connections was important to me, so maybe that's a factor for you to consider as well? Lastly, I'd add up the tuition + fees (including books and materials) + living expenses (rent, car, public transportation fares, etc.) and see what you'd really be paying per year. (Go look at actual apartments on CL or wherever that you'd theoretically be renting and see what they cost.)

Congrats again, and best of luck with your decision!

Great advice, thanks so much! Congrats on your acceptance as well! :)

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On 3/17/2018 at 11:30 PM, wherethelightis said:

Thank you for your helpful response! I'm an out-of-field applicant, so it can be tough to find support/information.  I am leaning towards outpatient or inpatient, but that may change once I begin coursework. I plan on taking as much medical coursework and getting as many medical placements as I can, but I know I'm limited by the structure of the program so that worries me. Would this be enough to be considered for a CFY in a hospital?

Hey, wherethelightis! If you have any specific questions about Vanderbilt's program, I might be able to help answer them. I'm a second year student in the MS-SLP program who has a strong interest in medical speech pathology. I just got hired on at the Nashville VA Medical Center for my CF experience. Let me know if I can be of assistance!

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Pulling up a reallllyyyy old thread but curious as to which school you ended up choosing! I was lucky to receive scholarships at both of these schools, so I am in a similar position. 

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