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Old 09-02-2008, 03:13 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,704 posts, read 12,265,320 times
Reputation: 4691

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I'm a first year pharmacy school at the Univ of Maryland pharmacy school in Baltimore City and this year everyone has to choose two one-week rotations, one in a hospital and one in a community/retail setting. For the hospital one, I put in my top choices as hospitals here downtown and ones in Baltimore, HOward, Harford and Carroll and Frederick Counties. I thought I could learn more in an urban or suburban setting.

However I have experience in retail pharmacy already so for the other one I'm choosing a rural area where I can experience a small town indepedent pharmacy. I also really think it could be a way to see a different way of life than I'm used to growing up in suburban areas. Its almost like a "trip abroad" to "America" (Montgomery County never felt like the real America to me, at least not Potomac). I'm choosing between Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

The Western Maryland locations are located in Cumberland or Garrett County and the Eastern Shore ones could either be in Easton, Salisbury, or Chestertown. I want to do a rural experience so I can get more in touch with real, ordinary people. I think this is very improtant for people in health-related fields. (I can also do this in inner city B'more where there are many good decent down to earth working class folks) but safety is a concern and I love small towns). Actually I heard that medical school students now are required to do a rotation in a rural area....good thing if you ask me...helps diminsh their elitism and snobbery, esp. those from Blue America...IMHO.

it should help me decide if I want to remain in the state of Maryland or move to a southern or western state. If I stay in Maryland I will definitely practice outside of Montgomery and PG Counties and probably also outside of Baltimore and Howard Counties. Nothing against these places but culturally, mentality and lifestyle wise, and sociopolitically I don't think its for me. One thing I really dont' like about MOntgomery County is the liberal politics and the elitism and snobbery that goes hand in hand with it. I am an educated person but I don't believe I'm better than a blue collar person.

Between Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore which one is better? Which is more simialar to the rural South? The rural Midwest? (where I lived in MoCo it was either the urban coasts or..everything else). Between the Eastern Shore and Cumberland/Garrett, which one better offers the idyllic small-town Main Street America? Is the weather in Cumberland unbearably cold in late October? Is the Eastern Shore warmer than Baltimore? What are the main differences between Western and Eastern Maryland? Which area is more accpeting of outsiders? (I'm Asian so it will be obvious I'm an outsider...and also my car has a license plate frame from Rockville.)
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:14 PM
 
17 posts, read 56,024 times
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"One thing I really dont' like about MOntgomery County is the liberal politics and the elitism and snobbery that goes hand in hand with it. I am an educated person but I don't believe I'm better than a blue collar person. ...."

Based on that statement, western Maryland wins hands down. We camp in Little Orleans almost every weekend Spring through Fall and love it there, the mountains, the scenery, the people. No traffic, and a slower pace of life.
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Cumberland
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Of course I would advocate for Cumberland. It has everything you are looking for in a small town, and no offense to the Eastern Shore, it is not flat! Seriously, the mountains offer a wonderful scenic backdrop to the city and live within it. Garrett County is nice too, but more farm rural than small town if that make sense.

The weather in Cumberland is on par with weather in Hagerstown and Frederick. A little cooler most of the time, but nothing like Garrett County. If you choose to go there expect winter weather weekly from late Oct. to early April. Also expect no one to slow down or take much mind of it since they are used to it up there.
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:27 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,704 posts, read 12,265,320 times
Reputation: 4691
I'm only been to western Maryland for the lake and never really experienced life there and it does sound appealing aside from the weather. The program there is Oct 20-24, or if they assign me in the spring its sometime in March.

Is is true that culturally Western Maryland is more Appalachian wheras the Eastern Shore is more Southern?
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:00 PM
 
1,054 posts, read 4,608,004 times
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I think you would find far more DC transplants living in places on the Eastern Shore than you would in Western Maryland. I think I'd say that Western Maryland would be more 'rural' than the Eastern Shore, culturally at least. I think some of the health problems affecting rural America might be more visible with the population in the mountains than in a town like Easton on the Eastern shore.
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
4,918 posts, read 8,028,403 times
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Western Maryland is definitely Appalachia. There are old shrinking coal towns, abandoned industrial sites, and hollers full of rotting trailers and empty-eyed hounds in cages. There are also streets of beautiful Victorian Houses, educated professional natives, and community pride, knowledge and spirit that isn't found in suburbia.

There are very few D.C. and Baltimore transplants compared to the rest of the state. The ones that do make the move and stick are normally more blue-collar and looking to assimilate into a more rural life style. Cumberland is great place to see where small urban America presses up against rural living and nature. There is nowhere else like it in the state.
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:08 AM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,704 posts, read 12,265,320 times
Reputation: 4691
Well I just put my preferences in yesterday....the #1 and 2 choices for both categories are in Salisbury and Easton....mainly because of my concerns regarding the weather but Alleghany and Garrett Counties also featured prominently, with Westminster, Columbia and Bel Air toward the end.

Both Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore sound like a great alternative to Montgomery County. Even in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, I feel people are a lot nicer, down to Earth than Montgomery County, especially Potomac and Bethesda. Like what the hell is wrong with Montgomery??? Especially southern MoCo?! I hear Howard County especially River Hill and Ellicott City also have that Northeast urban mentality though.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
5,613 posts, read 3,603,509 times
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Yes, I am resurrecting a 6-year-old thread. Since Tom Lennox is still a regular poster on CD, maybe he can update us on what choice he made, and how things turned out.

For anyone else considering something like this . . . it is worth remembering that Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore are definitely different from each other, and both of them are very different from Central Maryland. Western Maryland is Appalachian, and while I'm not sure I would classify the Eastern Shore as Southern, it's certainly more so than the rest of the state.

Personally, I think that Cumberland is one of Maryland's hidden jewels. Yes, it's an old industrial city that's fallen on some hard times; but it's also a remarkably beautiful place with lots of friendly people who call it home. What it needs is a chance at some economic growth, which I realize will be challenging given that its old manufacturing base has largely withered away, and is highly unlikely to return. Personally, I think that if the state's powers-that-be allowed fracking out there, Cumberland (as the region's hub city) would thrive again. I have nothing against the Eastern Shore (other than its flatness), but if I were making a choice like this, I'd grab Cumberland in a heartbeat.

Incidentally, the OP noted that he is Asian. So, it's worth noting that your odds of encountering Asians in Cumberland are just one notch higher than finding Big Foot. Seriously, they are very few and far between, with the minor exception of a little tiny bunch up at Frostburg State University (about 12 miles west, and uphill, from Cumberland). Then again, there are very few on the Eastern Shore either.

I'm not saying that Asian people would have any problems in these areas. My experiences in this regard are limited to visiting Western Maryland in the company of Asian friends, and these visits were incident-free. (Yeah, I know, that's not at all the same as if I myself were someone in a place where virtually no one else looked like me.) All I'm saying is that anyone who would be uncomfortable being in a place with almost no Asian people probably wouldn't like Western Maryland or the Eastern Shore.
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