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UMDNJ questions from incoming new students

Discussion in 'Allopathic Class Threads' started by Pharmacol90, Feb 16, 2009.

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  1. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    I wanted to create a thread where all new incoming Freshman can post questions and hopefully, some of you who have been at UMDNJ can answer.
    1) How are the on site West Market Street dorms?
    2) Do the dorms have their own Gym?
    3) How is the food at the cafeteria?
    4) Are parents allowed to attend the White Coat ceremony?
    5) Can any of you list the courses for 1st and 2nd year?

    Thanks so much! :D
  2. caliprincess

    caliprincess

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    Check out The Heinrich Maneuver put together by the NJMS orientation committee. It will answer a majority of your questions. Here is a quick response though to your concerns:

    1) 180 W. Market is convenient, but very expensive. Some students have problems with the management staff. The apartments are really nice though.

    2) There is NO gym in the apartment complex. There is a rinky-dink gym in the Medical Science Building, but you are better off buying your own membership somewhere.

    3) The food at the cafeteria isn't that bad...good variety. I don't eat there that much though.

    4) You can bring anyone you want to the white coat ceremony. The more the merrier.

    5) 1st year courses: Human Anatomy & Development/HAD (gross anatomy and embryology), Molecular and Genetic Medicine/MGM (biochem, molec bio, and genetics), Integrated Structure & Function/ISF (cell bio, physio, histo), Mind, Brain & Behavior/MBB (neuroscience, behavioral science, neuranat), Physician's CORE (doctoring course).

    2nd year courses: Immune & Host Response (immuno, microbio, parasitology), Disease, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics (drugs and patho), Biostatistics, Physician's CORE.

    PM me if you have any other questions. Congrats on your acceptance!
  3. cpants

    cpants Member

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    Congrats. NJMS is a cool place. In general the students are pretty laid back and happy. Cali's analysis was pretty dead-on.

    To me, the dorm is kind of a low point of the school. It is very expensive, and there are a lot of little annoyances/hand-holding that can really get on your nerves. It is convenient for access to school, but sometimes you can feel trapped in Newark/med school world. I moved out after first year, and it was a great decision. My rent is less to live in an awesome neighborhood and really get away from school after-hours. Easy 25 minute drive to school. Northern NJ is very dense, and there are literally hundreds of towns/cities to live in within 30 minutes of school. To me it just wasn't worth it to live in the inner city for such an exorbitant rent.

    If you want to live in Newark, you should also check out some of the other living options which are only a few blocks from the school at much more reasonable rates. There are many gyms in Newark and the surrounding towns which are relatively inexpensive. I joined a 24-hr/day gym about 15 minutes away for 30/month.

    The cafeteria food is mediocre. Pretty much what you'd expect to find in any hospital caf. There's also a burger king in the caf.

    Anyway if you have any other questions feel free to PM.
  4. anya1207

    anya1207

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    if you are planning to live in 180 west market and want a studio or 1 bedroom, you should probably apply for housing asap so you can get on the waiting list.

    hi cali princess, see u in a week when we are back at school hehehe.
  5. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    Thanks so much for the info, folks! It's great to hear from you all.:D

    By the way, how's the social life? Do you folks have any safe places where students can hang out, assuming you even have any time to do so?

    I have heard about the Ironbound having great places to eat. How far is the Ironbound from UMDNJ?:soexcited::soexcited:
  6. caliprincess

    caliprincess

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    To Anya...I'm so late responding, but it's not like I don't see you every day ;-)

    Anyway, there is actually A LOT to do in Newark, contrary to popular belief. The NJ Devils (hockey) play at the Prudential Center and those games are a lot of fun. Seton Hall Men's Bball also plays there, and I believe the Prudential Center will be one of the sites for men's bball during March Madness this year. The Newark Museum has phenomenal exhibits and it is a beautiful place to visit. The restaurants downtown and in the Ironbound are wonderful and you can check out a lot of them during Newark Restaurant Week for a discount. The Ironbound is about 5 minutes away when you aren't stuck in traffic. Also, there are several bars that we frequent in the area and they give us some sweet student discounts.

    Outside of Newark, we tend to hang out in Hoboken or NYC. Trust me, Newark is not as terrible as people make it out to be. Yes it is an urban area with plenty of poverty. Yes there is crime. Yes it is expensive to live somewhere safe. Unfortunately, most of the people that say Newark is just a black hole that should be sucked out of existence have never lived here, driven through the city only once, or watch too much television. However, if you are smart about it and find the hidden gems of the city, you might actually grow to like it.
  7. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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  8. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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  9. Axe

    Axe Member

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    I am at NJMS so I can give all you prospective students the unvarnished truth on this place.

    -last year's match was a disaster with 10% of the class not matching into what they want or scrambling for prelim years because of not matching into categorical positions. Dont let the handful of people matching into MGH fool you. You're basically on your own if youre not AOA and/or a high step I which is a very small percentage of the class. off course this doesnt apply if youre applying for something noncompetitive such as medicine, peds, gsurgery or ob/gyn.

    No word from the administration on wtf happened or steps to rectify such a poor match. The goal of choosing a med school should be help put you in the best place for the next step which I think our school has fallen short.

    i will preface this by saying there were some real idiots in that class. One guy ranked only the top 5 psychiatry spots in the country. needless to say he did not match. The rest were good people who go shafted by not having their respective departments (ortho, Opto, etc.) not making calls on their behalf or just telling them not to apply with a substandard application. Advice/mentoring here is lacking.

    -the clinical skills center/mock patients is such a bunch of bs. I remember them selling this pretty heavily but this becomes such a pain in the ass in your all your years here and especially your 3rd. No real patient interaction occurs like this and its a complete sham exercise. This is geared toward an exam (step IICS) that 96% US students pass anyway. 96%!

    - our rotation sites are being invaded by DO students from NYCOM and now St Georges at our private hospital (Hackensack). congrats for getting into a US allopathic program, you're now rotating with some of the bottom of the barrel students imaginable on all the core rotations.

    - our tuition keeps going up such that for a state school its pretty damn expensive. 26k/year with a 10% increase/yr is f'n BS for state tuition. NJ is a joke state that's run as poorly as CA, MA, and NY but seems to surpass their ineptness . The politicians in this state have chronically looted the hospital (UH) of money or used it to give jobs to people in return for their patronage. There are so many dead wood bulletproof employees here that its ridiculous. Try interacting with the Fin Aid department for a case in point.

    -they make us take complete waste of time classes and electives all in the name of mighty humanism and some other rationale I cant fathom. The curriculum committee should he shot. List of stupid waste of time classes Ive taken here : Ethics, PMR/Public health, grief counseling, health behaviors and the list goes on. Somewhere in there is more deadwood employees being paid for work and we have to take their classes.

    - we lost our dean of students (a peds surgeon) who was actually a good student advocate and an asset to our school. He went as far as to make calls for people that didnt match and got them spots at programs. Really a good guy. Some moron sued him (an expelled student) and he left leaving us with no peds surg department. Now we're left with a replacement who I can tell does nothing except being a nice carebear to students. Pretty useless.

    -"good clinical experience" here means geting scutted out filling endless stupid paperwork and doing work that ancillary services should do. The hospital is chronically near bankruptcy so students are used to run services. Service>Education is not what you want in a school. I think the cafeteria also gouges us to help keep the lights running.

    - newark is a big city with nice pockets. The school and hospital is located in the worst part where you will come in contact with some of most vile dregs of humanity you will ever meet. the number of muggings in the past year have become ridiculous with some happening in the school parking lot. This is with a cop car that supposedly is supposed to patrol the lot. The only way to be safe in Newark is to drive away from it with your car doors locked.


    Would I come here again? Probably not. Its basically a bare bones no frills way to get an allopathic MD. Thats about it.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  10. FutureDoc4

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    I would not normally reply to this thread because its solely dealing with NJMS (but the thread is entitled UMDNJ, so I wanted to comment on my experience with the UMDNJ system). I wanted to let incoming students know (so they don't confuse things), that the above bad experience at NJMS does not reflect UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. I have had nothing but wonderful experiences at RWJMS. Like any medical school, there have been ups and downs, but I feel as though I am getting a top notch education here.

    May be someone from the School of Osteopathic (other UMDNJ school), could comment on their experience with the UMDNJ system so far? Or if other NJMS students feel the same way as the above poster?

    Frankly, I am shocked that 10% of students did not match from NJMS. We have had no issues coming from RWJMS (obviously the schools are very similar/different in many aspects). Wondering what's going on over there?
  11. beantownboss

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    Just out of curiosity, where did all this bad publicity stem from? I've only heard fantastic things about the school and its curriculum (more so the clinical).

    What class had the 10% non-match rate and why did that happen?

    Also, are you a NJ resident, born and raised?
  12. Axe

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    None of this stuff I posted is widely advertised to prospective applicants. Why would it be? Definitely not on the tours, luncheon for accepted students or anytime for that matter. But everything I posted is verifiable if you ask any nonBSing 4th year or recent grad.

    You probably wont have any interaction with a 4th or 3rd year except some token shill they manage to get to tell you how fantastic the clinical experience is here. Its all baloney. The people that know most about this place and can give you an honest appraisal are all busy doing our rotations, going on interviews, or just want to stay the f away from Newark because we're done with this place.

    As for your specific qs:

    the disaster match list was the class that just graduated (the current PGY1s). The match list sucked because 1) no one will give a rats ass about you when it really counts 2) there's no mechanisms in place to prevent stupid people from doing stupid things. Don't look for mentoring or faculty interested in your future because you wont find it. People that manage to do well do so inspite of this place and not because of it.

    Our clinical sites are being diluted by NYCOM and St. Georges students and it plainly sucks. After interacting with quite a few of them, you wonder if they ever studied or took Step 1 before hitting the wards or took a basic PE/doctoring class. Seriously did you bust your ass to get into a US allopathic school so you can end up with the same clinical experience as these guys? I remember one time having to go through the differences between auscultation and percussion on peds rounds because a few of them didnt know the difference between the two. This was midway in my 3rd year. Having to listen to these guys present patients or cases is painful and makes you look bad by association.

    The only way to avoid these people is to do your rotations at UH where you'll do 4-5x amount of work, get scutted out because the nurses dont want to do any work in an aging decrepit hospital, and interact with a scumbag patient population. Pretty awesome tradeoff.

    I dont see how being born or raised in NJ is relevant. I'm a NJ resident now but was previously a CA resident. Its ridiculously easy to establish residency in NJ because more people try to leave the state then wanting to come here. But the instate tuition is still ridiculously high because NJ is bankrupt. There's no way that i would want to practice medicine in this state or raise a family here. It's also disturbing how many people that lived here for awhile just accept the culture of corruption endemic at all levels of govt here. All the while getting chiseled with fees and taxes.

    Its my observation that most people are committed to coming here because they have no other choices or they got full free ride. There are also an annoying high number of people that got accepted straight from high school that come here. Some of most dysfunctional/odd/annoying people you'll meet in the class. But if you're deciding between Robert Wood and NJMS like I was at the time, do yourself a favor and go to RWJ. They probably have their own unique set of problems like losing Cooper/Camden as a rotation site but it cant be as bad as it is here.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  13. calbredj

    calbredj

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    I can pretty much agree with most of what the above poster has said about umdnj-njms.

    The curriculum has been revamped heavily several times since 2004 and it still is chock full of bull**** and waste of time classes. Thankfully they changed the biggest b.s. class (physician's core) into pass/fail and they got rid of the DO running it thank god.

    The admin is less than worthless when it comes to following up on requests for help/assistance with clinical rotations & residency applications.

    We have gone through 3 deans of students in the last 4 years. The last one, the peds surgeon I did not hear too many good things about but I never had to deal with him. He resigned in disgrace amid a lawsuit alleging unethical behavior or something, he's gone.

    Feedback on classes/modules falls on deaf ears mostly, as does the ridiculous increases in tuition. We students have to pay for all the rampant corruption that has made our hospital/school a laughingstock. Google the UMDNJ scandal sometime. We just got rid of a federally mandated auditor last year, it's pathetic.

    Several of our better rotation sites are being diluted with students from NYCOM, Touro, and St. Georges. I don't know if it's a money issue (UMDNJ won't pony up the dough) or if the hospitals are freezing us out. Either way we students suffer. You'll have the same experience whether IMG or DO students are there with you but to lose spots in our own neighborhood, that's unbelievable.

    Last year's class was a rough one. They had a large portion (6%) not even make it to the clinical years, and then another 10% of that didn't match initially. If you also look at the match list, many students chose to stay in house in programs we are terrible in (gen surg, peds). When I say terrible I do not necessarily mean you'll get no good experience but the experience will be terrible. From what I've heard, this can be directly attributed to many students not knowing how to rank their programs properly. This is a result of no feedback/support from the school.

    To answer someone else's Q. I am a lifelong NJ resident who grew up in Newark, attended k-12 here, went to TCNJ, and then came back to Newark for med school. Newark has come A LONG, LONG WAY in the last 10 years. There are still plenty of bad spots but it is a world apart from what it was. The recent increase in crime can largely be attributed to the crappy economy, which hits an already economically depressed city.

    Why did I go here? Like the above poster said, it was cheap.

    However, there are a surprising number of OOS students here for a state school (10% of each class almost)
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  14. premed1836

    premed1836

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    Thank G-d I'm not going to NJMS. I recently interviewed at both RWJ and NJMS (was accepted to RWJ). I got the feeling that RWJ students were happier and were better cared for. My RWJ interviewer told me that RWJ wants to separate itself from NJMS because NJMS is in such a crappy financial state while RWJ is not. The RWJ facilities are so much nicer, cleaner, and newer. Additionally, the RWJ class next year is only going to be around 105 students compared to NJMS with around 170, I believe. Because of its smaller class size, RWJ students will be better cared for and advised than the NJMS students.
  15. johncalvin

    johncalvin

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    Not sure about the OP's intention, but I think it's okay for RWJ students to chime in as well.

    As for NJMS: Which clinical sites, exactly, are being diluted by DO and IMG students?
  16. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    Hi All,

    Somehow your information about the quality of 2009 residency matching at NJMS does not seem to fit with the match list posted on UMDNJ's official website when reviewed either by States or by Specialty.

    http://njms.umdnj.edu/education/prospective/view_admissions.cfm


    State Hospital Specialty # of NJMS Students


    AZ St Josephs Hospital-AZ Neurological Surgery 1



    CA Davis Grant Medical Center Family Medicine 1
    UC San Diego Med Ctr-CA Internal Medicine 1
    UC San Francisco-CA Family Medicine 1



    CO St Anthony North Hospital Family Medicine 1
    U Colorado SOM-Denver Radiation Oncology 1



    CT Hartford Hospital-CT Radiology-Diagnostic 1
    U Connecticut Hlth Ctr Pediatrics 1
    U Connecticut Hlth Ctr Psychiatry 1
    Yale-New Haven Hosp-CT Anesthesiology 1
    Yale-New Haven Hosp-CT Pathology/Comb-Anat & Clin 1
    Yale-New Haven Hosp-CT Pediatrics 1



    DC Childrens Natl Med Ctr-DC Pediatrics-Primary 1
    George Washington Univ-DC Psychiatry 1
    George Washington Univ-DC Radiology-Diagnostic 1
    Howard Univ Hosp-DC Dermatology 1



    FL Jackson Memorial Hosp-FL Obstetrics-Gynecology 1
    Jackson Memorial Hosp-FL Pediatrics 1
    Mt Sinai Med Ctr-Miami-FL General Surgery 1



    IL Northwestern McGaw/RIC-IL Phys Medicine & Rehab 1
    Univ of Chicago Med Ctr-IL General Surgery 1



    MA Boston Univ Med Ctr-MA Internal Medicine 1
    Childrens Hosp Boston-MA Neurological Surgery 1
    Harvard Longwood Psych-MA Psychiatry 1
    Massachusetts Gen Hosp Anesthesiology 1



    MD U Maryland Med Ctr Ortho Surgery/Research 1



    MI U Michigan Hosps-Ann Arbor Neurology/UM 1
    WSU/Detroit Med Ctr-MI General Surgery 1



    MN U Minnesota Med School Neurological Surgery 1



    NC Duke Univ Med Ctr-NC Internal Medicine 1
    U North Carolina Hospitals General Surgery 1



    NH Dartmouth-Hitchcock Med Ctr-NH Psychiatry 1



    State Hospital Specialty # of NJMS Students



    NJ Hunterdon Medical Ctr-NJ Family Medicine 3
    Morristown Mem Hosp-NJ General Surgery 1
    Morristown Mem Hosp-NJ Radiology-Diagnostic 1
    Morristown Mem Hosp-NJ Surgery-Preliminary 1
    Newark Beth Israel Med Ctr-NJ Emergency Medicine 1
    Newark Beth Israel Med Ctr-NJ Radiology-Diagnostic 1
    St Josephs Reg Med Ctr-NJ Orthopaedic Surgery 1
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Anesthesiology 2
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark General Surgery 2
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Internal Medicine 6
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Medicine-Pediatrics 1
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Medicine-Preliminary 1
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Obstetrics-Gynecology 2
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Orthopaedic Surgery 1
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Pediatrics 4
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Phys Medicine & Rehab 3
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Psychiatry 2
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Radiology-Diagnostic 2
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Surgery-Preliminary 2
    UMDNJ-New Jersey Med-Newark Urology 1
    UMDNJ-R W Johnson-Piscataway Anesthesiology 1
    UMDNJ-R W Johnson-Piscataway General Surgery 1
    UMDNJ-R W Johnson-Piscataway Internal Medicine 3
    UMDNJ-R W Johnson-Piscataway Orthopaedic Surgery 1
    UMDNJ-R W Johnson-Piscataway Phys Medicine & Rehab 1
    UMDNJ-R W Johnson-Piscataway Radiology-Diagnostic 1



    NY Beth Israel Med Ctr-NY Emergency Medicine 1
    Beth Israel Med Ctr-NY Radiology-Diagnostic 1
    Einstein/Montefiore Med Ctr-NY Anesthesiology 1
    Einstein/Montefiore Med Ctr-NY General Surgery 1
    Einstein/Montefiore Med Ctr-NY Internal Medicine 2
    Einstein/Montefiore Med Ctr-NY Medicine-Primary 1
    Jamaica Hosp Med Ctr-NY Family Medicine 1
    Long Island Jewish Med Ctr-NY Emergency Medicine 1
    Long Island Jewish Med Ctr-NY Phys Medicine & Rehab 1
    Long Island Jewish Med Ctr-NY Psychiatry 1
    Maimonides Med Ctr-NY Anesthesiology 1
    Maimonides Med Ctr-NY Emergency Medicine 1
    Maimonides Med Ctr-NY Transitional 1
    Mary Imogene Bassett-NY Transitional 1
    Mt Sinai Hospital-NY Emergency Medicine 1
    Mt Sinai Hospital-NY Otolaryngology 1
    Mt Sinai Hospital-NY Phys Medicine & Rehab 1
    Mt Sinai Hospital-NY Plastic Surgery 1 State Hospital Specialty # of NJMS Students



    NY New York University Ophthalmology 1
    NY Hosp Med Ctr Queens Emergency Medicine 1
    NY Methodist Hospital Internal Medicine 1
    NYP Hosp-Columbia Univ Med Ctr-NY Anesthesiology 1
    NYP Hosp-Columbia Univ Med Ctr-NY Pediatrics 1
    NYP Hosp-Weill Cornell Med Ctr-NY Anesthesiology 1
    NYP Hosp-Weill Cornell Med Ctr-NY Internal Medicine 2
    NYP Hosp-Weill Cornell Med Ctr-NY Pediatrics 1
    NYU School Of Medicine Emergency Medicine 1
    NYU School Of Medicine General Surgery 2
    NYU School Of Medicine Psychiatry 1
    St Lukes-Roosevelt-NY Internal Medicine 1
    St Lukes-Roosevelt-NY Psychiatry 2
    St Vincents Hospital-NY Phys Medicine & Rehab 1
    St Vincents Hospital-NY Psychiatry 1
    St. Vincent's MC Ophthalmology 1
    Staten Island U Hosp-NY Radiology-Diagnostic 1
    Stony Brook Teach Hosps-NY Anesthesiology 1
    Stony Brook Teach Hosps-NY General Surgery 1
    SUNY HSC Brooklyn-NY Urology 1
    U Rochester/Strong Mem-NY Internal Medicine 1
    U Rochester/Strong Mem-NY Medicine-Pediatrics 1
    Westchester Med Ctr-NY General Surgery 1
    Westchester Med Ctr-NY Neurological Surgery 1
    Westchester Med Ctr-NY Orthopaedic Surgery 1



    OH Ohio State Univ Med Ctr-OH Plastic Surgery-6 year 1
    University Hospitals Case Med Ctr-OH Anesthesiology 1
    University Hospitals Case Med Ctr-OH Orthopaedic Surgery 1



    PA Hosp of the Univ of PA Anesthesiology 1
    Hosp of the Univ of PA Emergency Medicine 2
    Hosp of the Univ of PA Phys Medicine & Rehab 2
    St Christophers Hosp-PA Pediatrics 3
    Temple Univ Hosp-PA Internal Medicine 2
    Thomas Jefferson Univ-PA Emergency Medicine 1
    Thomas Jefferson Univ-PA General Surgery 1
    Thomas Jefferson Univ-PA Internal Medicine 2
    Thomas Jefferson Univ-PA Orthopaedic Surgery 1
    UPMC Medical Education Prog-PA Phys Medicine & Rehab 1



    RI Brown U Int Med Res-RI Internal Medicine 1











    State Hospital Specialty # of NJMS Students



    TX Methodist Hospital-Houston-TX General Surgery 1
    U Texas Med Sch-Houston General Surgery 1
    U Texas SW Med Sch-Dallas Dermatology 1



    VT UVM/Fletcher Allen-VT Radiology-Diagnostic 1



    WA U Washington Affil Hosps Obstetrics-Gynecology 1
  17. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    Here are the total numbers of students matched by specialty.

    Specialty # of Students
    Anesthesiology - 12,
    Dermatology - 2,
    Emergency Medicine -10,
    Family Medicine -7,
    General Surgery -16,
    Internal Medicine- 26,
    Neurology- 1,
    Neurosurgery- 4,
    Obstetrics-Gynecology- 4,
    Ophthalmology- 2,
    Orthopaedic Surgery - 7,
    Otolaryngology --1,
    Pathology-1,
    Pediatrics -15,
    Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation- 11,
    Plastic Surgery -2 ,
    Psychiatry -11 ,
    Radiology-Diagnostic- 10,
    Radiation Oncology- 1,
    Surgery-Preliminary -3,
    Urology- 2

    Total number of matched students above - 148
    Out of a class of 170 students (based on NJMS posted class profile for 2009).

    So, ~12.9% did not get matched from this class then.
    Is it possible that these 12.9 % were the low performers of the class?

    Doesn't every med school have a strata of low performers? Or is the matching rate 100% for other schools? How about Mt Sinai, or NYU, or UofCT for example? What % of students do not get matched at all?
    I am curious.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  18. calbredj

    calbredj

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    You are missing the point. The diatribe was not meant to imply that students can't match. If you graduate from a US MD school and have a pulse, you will match somewhere. This is not an issue of "low performers" because even if you graduate dead last in your class, you are still a doctor.

    The gripes were with how lazy and apathetic the admin is at NJMS when it comes to the clinical stuff. You are not even in the school yet right? Even if you are a first or 2nd year, you have no idea what a crapfest it is until you experience it.

    As I pointed out earlier, a large number of the 2009 class ended up matchng in UMDNJ programs. Some are amazing (PM&R), while others are notorious for being awful/undesirable if you can go elsewhere (surg, peds).

    We have a myriad of problems with losing rotation sites (Hackensack) and having to share multiple sites (St. Michaels, Beth Israel) with other schools including Caribbean schools. The high turnover and constant firing/resignation of our admins does not help either. We've had 3 Deans of students and 3 presidents in the last 4 years. Hell even the dean of our medical school has been interim for over 5 years.

    The basic science education is fine, as it is at any US school. Even the clnical education is good, but it's eroding and the admin don't lift a finger to help students with the most important part of their education (the clinical years).
  19. premed1836

    premed1836

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    Hey, do you know how Robert Wood Johnson compares to NJMS?
  20. UDbiochem

    UDbiochem Senior Member

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    Wow can I just say that all prospective students should be talking to graduates, not these posters who are griping.

    I am a member of the class of 2009, the "stupid class" you are all talking about. Lots of folks did not match for a variety of reasons, some unrealistic goals I believe, others due to family reasons, etc. And the rest of us including myself matched in their top picks, I matched my first pick, thank you very much.

    The education at NJMS I believe is unmatched. I personally think I got the best education I would have received anywhere else. I did 90% of my rotations at UH where yes, there is a lot more work, but yes, if you work hard (and don't mind as much and stop griping), you just might get to do all the crazy procedures, IVs in little infants, central lines, chest tubes during Trauma, read your own xrays with the radiologist, do a paracentesis. If you want to go to other sites in New Jersey that will not be named and stand idly by and watch and read your books, don't go to UH. If you want to work hard, learn a lot of practical medicine, and with good advice and a little common sense, you are going to match from anywhere, but it is definitely possible at NJMS.

    And some of those "stupid" courses like ethics and palliative care/etc just may help you deal with some of the more difficult issues you will ever deal with in residency/your real job someday. As a PGY1 now, I can tell you, the medicine/procedures/hours are easy. It is the ethical situations and the dealing with people that is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

    and not all 170 people applied for the match, and some folks stayed behind a year for family reasons/research/etc. 1. Get your facts straight. 2. Stop complaining. Or....If you don't want to do the above, I suggest doing NJMS a favor and transfer to some Ivy or private school where you could be paying 70,000 a year instead of the great education which you so despise for 26,000.

    And please do all of us a favor and do not practice clinical medicine. Because I sure would not want you calling my mom or dad a scumbag. The folks in Newark are hurting, folks who did not have the same opportunities as you obviously. "Scumbags", "vile dregs of society"???? Reading your posts made me ill, and this was the first time I've gone to SDN in months. There were probably a hundred great med school applicants who would have loved to learn and serve in Newark, and you got their spot. Pathetic.
  21. Axe

    Axe Member

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    Please spare me your indignation. Most of my post was factual and I leave it to people to verify it and make an informed decision to come here. I like how you spin a >10% unmatch rate due to "family reasons". This is on par with most carribean schools which apparently our school has become. Who is BSing who? If it were me, I would have gone to RWJ or a school where I didn't end up with the same clinical education as DO and carribean students.

    I get your heart bleeds for Newark and this is where we'll agree to disagree. Ive never taken care of more ingrates or treated like crap by the staff than my time at UH. I just loved getting cussed out and spit on by junkie sicklers in the ER or the illegal immigrants that come here with stage IV cancer and treat the place as a hotel staying months on end while we end up filling endless paperwork for them. Then i have the privellege of getting mugged while Im walking to my car in the parking lot. But yeah the great people of Newark are allowed to treat us like this because they're hurting. Outstanding. FYI, UH is kept alive on life support because none of the surrounding hospitals want to take care of these people. This is straight out of the mouth of a department chairman that is involved in the hospital's administration. I think its nothing more than a welfare jobs program for Newark but thats just my imo.

    Inspite of this, I busted my ass for every patient I have ever taken care of and treated them with respect and compassion despite my personal feelings that they were scumbags. To me Ive passed the ultimate test of professionalism and my clinical evals reflect this.

    Yes a good number of our class see you guys as the class that failed. A good number of people not matching into optho, ortho, rads, etc, scrambling for spots and ending up here for peds, IM and Gsurgery is hardly a successful match. I personally chalk it up to a nonresponsive/revolving door administration that cares little for our future and a general lack of interest by the faculty in providing advice and mentoring. Some of us have higher aspirations than ending up in FM, which is where you apparently ended up in. Nice bragging about getting your top pick :laugh:. Some of us dont care for the annoying primary care slant of the school's curriculum , which ironically turns more people off it.

    Most of my classmates are hardworking bright people and that was equally true with most of your class. We deserve way better than the corrupt administration that constantly loot the hospital and line their own pockets. I standby my opinion that people succeed despite this place and not because of it. I dont see this school changing for the better in the immediate future.

    Here's some other posts about how crappy our school is
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=5953472#post5953472
    I see you're a constant cheerleader and have drank the NJMS Koolaid so you'll probably disagree with whatever I say and label me as a "complainer".

    Enjoy you prospective applicants. My only intentions are to expose some of what really goes on at our school that you may not get a candid answer on so you can make an informed decision. I would have appreciated the same when I was in your shoes. This post has fired me up to share more of our dirty laundry.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  22. X.O.

    X.O.

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    Im a 4th year at NJMS and I guess I can weigh in with my perspective.

    There is some element of truth to some of the posts. Notably some of the 3rd years having to rotate through hospitals that have in the past been sites for NYCOM and St Georges such as Newark Beth Israel and Barnabas for Peds, IM, OB/GYN, and Surgery. It's always 1-2 people per rotation and I was one of those unfortunate few that had to do rotations there. It does suck because the attendings and the outside students are noticeably weaker, the residents are FMGs and you can be the only NJMS student there. On the plus side, you look like a rockstar compared to these guys because NJMS trains you well. You dont appreciate it until you're a 4th year.

    We were at one point going to lose Hack all together to a new private school like what's happening with Cooper and RWJ but that fell through. They are going to let carribean students rotate through there because of $$$$. But Hack is one of those places where students dont do anything and you catch up with your reading so its nonevent honestly.

    My advice is to try do everything at the VA and yes UH. UH will work you down to a nub on any service. Its basically a county hospital that treats all comers. On the plus side, there are outstanding clinicians who will teach and I think they grade you more leniently at UH if you are halfway enthusiastic. Its really a good education in the sense you learn by doing rather than observing. You're going to able to function as an intern on day 1. It's also a little sad to say this but people with little means or insurance will allow you to do more stuff on them as a medical student than private patients or some of the more big well known academic universities. You'll get to do alot of procedures and play a more meaningul role in the medical care of patients than you would elsewhere.

    the 10% figure seems kind of high to me. A more than usual number of thats year's class got held back and had to repeat years so maybe the numbers are skewed. I do know about 3 people who didnt match into rads, 2 for opto, and one for ortho. There are maybe more and I dont know what the real story is behind the people that had to scramble. You can do everything right from day 1 and still end up scrambling if you apply to something competitive. It happens even at harvard or Hopkins. A large number of that class also wanted to stay local for whatever reason hence the matches into Peds, IM and general surgery. IM and General surgery here is not the greatest or the worst but pretty decent and some of the best residents to work with 3rd year. Peds does suck here so you have to wonder wtf those people were smoking.


    Im pretty satisfied with my education here and Im applying to radiology where the chair of the department has given me good advice, even read and revised my PS, and wrote me a great letter. He's also a bigwig if anyone is interested in rads and was a big plus for me and everyone else applying to rads this year. A good chunk of this year's class is going for ROAD and surgical sub specialties, killed the boards (one guy at >270! and several >260) and I would bet we're going to have a banner year.

    Was it annoying and hard at times being here? Without a doubt but I think it was more the perpetual grind that is medical school than NJMS specifically. Honestly, who wouldn't want to kill themselves while on OB/GYN and having to look at diseased vaginas. One of fellow classmates even found a packet of ducksauce while doing a pelvic exam. Only in newark :p.

    Its unfortunate but most of the 4th and even the 3rd years at our school dont get to talk to prospective applicants and most of the 1st and 2nd years dont have any idea of the clinical side of the education at NJMS. I know I had zero contact while visiting NJMS. It's much more important than the number of people per cadaver and other questions that people get hung up on which dont matter when it comes time to apply for the match.

    Lastly, I implore you guys to be civil. Some of the tone of the messages are downright ugly and I assure you guys people at NJMS are not like this. I blame the weather.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  23. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    Thanks so much for your posts, UDBiochem and X.O.

    For an incoming NJMS student for the class of 2014 (GPA 4.0 and MCAT 39), I am trying to find out ALL perspectives regarding NJMS. I am not surprised that there are some gripers/whiners here. You will find them in ANY school. But I do appreciate your input since it gives me an understanding of the breadth of experiences.

    I also chatted with a friend who went through residency matching just this year and he explained to me that multiple factors play into where and when grads get residency... ....which is not always clear from just mentioning that 10% did not get placed.

    Here was his message to me -

    "A Dean's Letter (a fairly standardized profile ) is sent out by every single medical school for EVERY single student going through the match. There is no screening in terms of whether you do or do not get one, because you do. In a great many specialties, the issuing of invitations for interviews does not occur until Dean's letters are released through ERAS on November 1st.

    The other issue at play here is that most medical schools are focused on helping their students pursue their career goals, not worried about who goes where. There are some big reasons for this, most notably that medical schools know precisely how tenuous the match is and how there's really no reliable way for them to influence the outcomes.

    Really, despite all the advising possible about having a good assortment of reaches, matches and safeties, the final decisions are left to the students. You have to remember that the people going through the Match are in their mid to late 20's, there are life considerations that really, really, really different than those who are applying for college or med school. Many of my classmates during med school started long term relationships, got married, had kids, and lots of other major life events that had very big impacts on where they looked towards moving to for residency.

    The other thing is that for many of the "top" specialties, programs are only taking maybe 4 or 6 interns a year, if that. Some specialties may only be taking 2 applicants a year. I mean, there are only 5 ENT programs in the entire city of Chicago, and none of them take more than 4 interns a year, that's at most 20 spots in a highly competitive specialty in a city that most people would love to move to. Trying to be in the top 10 candidates for any one program is a difficult thing to do, even if you have great scores, and a great interview day. Even if you are in the upper echelon of applicants, if you have a crappy interview or rub someone the wrong way, your position in the program's rank list may suffer greatly.

    Further, the applicant is certainly responsible in some ways, especially when going towards a competitive specialty. There's a real tough balance between putting programs you absolutely don't want to go to versus giving yourself all the possible chances to match. It's a very, very tough call. Certainly you don't want to end up someplace you hate, but the fear of not matching can be immense.

    Really though, the big lesson is that you absolutely cannot make many conclusions from match lists, you don't know the desires of the students, you don't know how smartly they applied and what mattered to them in ranking their choices..."

    I am posting it here so that others who are in the midst of decision-making about where they wish to pursue MD should understand all factors that are in play.

    Thanks so much for your time.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  24. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    By the way, UDBiochem and XO, any chance I could approach you for off line if I have any further questions reg NJMS? Are you folks on Facebook? Could you IM me?

    If you do not wish to, I understand. I know how busy you must be.
    Best regards:)
  25. johncalvin

    johncalvin

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    Ditto, guys. Any further advice would be greatly appreciated. :thumbup:
  26. UDbiochem

    UDbiochem Senior Member

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    As I am a busy PGY1 at one of the most competitive programs in my specialty in the country, GO NJMS for teaching me what it has, I will try to answer private messages when possible.

    To Axe: I'm glad you have treated your patients with respect. I did not mean to offend by my post. I hope that you are successful matching into the ROAD of your choice. However, don't laugh or disrespect folks in your class going into other specialties which you deem as "easy" or "lesser", because believe me, there were a few of those in my class, and guess who I am not going to refer patients to in the future? Every specialty has very very very competitive programs. There were quite a few AOA members in my class who matched in family medicine/internal medicine/peds/etc by CHOICE.

    And 99% of the folks who matched at UH did so by choice/high on the rank list. Because they were not going to see the same pathology anywhere else, because *gasp* they have family and can't leave the area, or *gasp* actually got a lot out of their NJMS education and wanted more. These are not excuses, these are real life choices. And I agree with XO, some of the best residents/smartest people I've ever worked with ANYWHERE were residents at UH in surgery and medicine.
  27. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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  28. Axe

    Axe Member

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    yeah I apologize too for some of the stuff I wrote and I wish you the best of luck with the rest of PGY1. I really have alot of respect for people that willingly choose to go into primary case.

    But I dont like the direction our school has been going and I know that alot of the 4th year class feel similarly as I do.
  29. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    Incoming students' luncheon is on Jan 8th. The letter says attire is 'business casual'. How formal should the attire be? Does this entail a tie?
  30. calbredj

    calbredj

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    Business casual is just that, casual in a business setting. i.e. slacks/collared shirts for men, ties optional. slacks, dress skirt/blouse for women. it will be a relaxed day. you'll get some njms swag, some boring speeches. you can take a tour too if you want.
  31. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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  32. caliprincess

    caliprincess

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    All I can say to ANY incoming student is to take every post with a grain of salt. No school is perfect, thus every school has it's pro's and con's. Although these negative posts were specifically about NJMS, I am sure you can find unhappy students at RWJ who would sing like a bird if given the opportunity.

    I think in a forum such as SDN, you will find people who are at the tips of the bell curve. On one end, some people are completely disgruntled with their experience and find the need to express every negative view without a shred of optimism. On the other, some students will act as though NJMS is all about rainbows and butterflies. Obviously, there is some sort of medium between these two.

    While I do respect students that try to give perspectives that encompass both the positive and negative aspects of our institution, I cannot bestow that same act of admiration to those who state vile things about our patients, make derogatory comments about their fellow classmates and administrators, and convey an attitude of superiority.

    Once you have been accepted to medical school, it is important that you choose a school among your selection that fits YOUR needs. Now, NJMS is absolutely a solid ground for you to begin your medical career, whether you want to be a great family physician or the chief of pediatric surgery at Sloan Kettering. However, are YOU a good fit for NJMS and will your goals be met here? That is something that you need to investigate yourself, and part of it is what you are doing now: talking to students.

    A few responses to the issues of the "unhappy" med students that should write for "Med School Hell" instead of posting on SDN:

    1) If you are going to have internal resentment for the patient population that our hospital serves in Newark, then attending an academic institution in an urban area is not for you. Stay out of East Oakland, Compton, North Philly, Camden, Harlem, Bed-Stuy, etc. If you would like to be in a cushy environment with "pleasant" patients, then go to school on the Upper East Side or West Palm Beach. The students that get the most out of their experience at NJMS choose to attend school here because they WANT to be in a community that NEEDS them. Further, if you take the time to remove your white coat and actually do meaningful work in the community, it gives you a better understanding of what these patients go through when they step out of the relative safety of this hospital and back into the chaos of their lives. (Side note: NJMS is known nationally for its dedication to community outreach and youth mentorship...that draws a lot of students here as well.) There are plenty of bad residents in Newark, but I promise you, there are many hardworking, respectable individuals that call Newark their home. To whomever stated that NJMS is in the worst part of Newark, that indicates that you have a very warped view of the Central Ward, since the area around NJMS is relatively safe. I'm sorry that you were mugged, as that must have been an awful experience. However, anything can happen anywhere and at any given time.

    2) The match results from last year were not up to par with our normal match lists, that is true. It was a combination of administrative failures and the stubbornness some students had about their own competitiveness as applicants. I believe that the administrative issues within Student Affairs have been resolved (IMO) and that members of the class of 2010 are much more realistic about their choices. People are not going to hold your hand through everything in medical school. Part of the responsibility for your success falls on your shoulders. However, it is important to receive adequate guidance from administration, I do agree. As another poster noted, if you do not start residency DIRECTLY after medical school, then you are considered an UNMATCHED applicant. So, if you decide to take a year (or a few) off to do research, enter another degree program (MBA/JD/MPH), decide to do a non-clinical career track, or pop out kids, you are listed as unmatched. This, along with the aforementioned problems contributed to our high unmatched rate for 2009.

    3) Rotation sites: I think the claims about rotation sites from others are the most valid arguments that they had. Ok, so some of our rotation sites like Hackensack, Beth Israel, Morristown, etc, are full of DO's and FMG's. Of course that will effect how much you do, what you will see, and how you learn. Very valid points. These concerns are things that we should continue to voice to our administration because UH and the VA just don't have enough room to accommodate all of the 3rd/4th year students on rotation. We need additional facilities that will allow us unhindered access to attendings, residents, and procedures without competing with outside students. Yet, to say that it doesn't really matter what happens at Hack because "it's a place to catch up on your reading" means that you are not doing your job as a student in his/her clinical years. 3rd and 4th year are the last two years that you will receive BROAD based training in various specialties to provide you with a solid clinical foundation prior to you starting your specific residency. Third year especially is not a time for you to slack off and be lazy in preparation for your clinical life. Or maybe that is my own view on how I would like to develop into the great physician that NJMS is shaping me to be.

    For the incoming students, please heed the advice that I have given you about school selection, regardless of where you decide to attend. Talk to as many students, alumni, attendings, PI's, etc at the respective institutions of your interest. It is so important to get the full picture, and remember, find the school that you will be most comfortable at.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  33. theWUbear

    theWUbear MS0

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    Indeed, stating that university heights is the worst part of Newark is blatantly false.

    I am not an incoming student, but I had a question about NJMS. Is there a medical spanish course for med students? Are there any other opportunities for students to learn medical spanish?
  34. caliprincess

    caliprincess

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    Yes we do. Every fall there is a non-credit elective called "Spanish in Medicine" that meets once a week. Students are separated into groups based on their level of fluency and it is very useful. In the spring, the "Medical Interpreter Training Program" is also offered for students who are fluent in a language and would like training in accurate medical interpretation. Hope this helps!
  35. jerseyfresh

    jerseyfresh

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    I'm really glad that there are some med students (not 4th years) that have time to stay up with this forum to refute most of the negativity portrayed by a select few. I find a few of the comments to be misleading.

    I understand a subpar match rate is a glaring negative to a school, however I believe the writer of the negative comments also wrote positively of NJMS previous year's "Great Matches" in older posts. I challenge you to find a trend of negative match rates at NJMS - because they don't exist over the past 5 years.

    Although the match statistics for the class of 09 are poor, their have been administrative changes for your graduating class. I don't know why our dean of students "left" but wouldn't a more likely cause of his departure less than a month away from the match results being released be due specifically to the poor match? Maybe the University thought that such a poor match was reason enough to make a change at the top? Either way, I'm happy with the level of advice and direction that is given to us from the administration. One anomaly should not signify a crash, but alerts those that something is wrong so that it may be changed for the better.

    Historically NJMS has been very strong in the eyes of residency programs across the nation, citing reasons of great clinical preparation, resiliency and compassion. That we came from a medical school that prepares us well for the future no matter what residency we choose. The students from the '09 class that scrambled for "easy/undesirable" general surgery spots should be commended and I congratulate them on actually finding a position. Perhaps it was those same qualities that helped those students to find the ever so rare spot. Also should we not any give credit to the administration for helping those that needed to scramble?

    A fourth year medical student should know that there are good programs and bad programs for residency. However, it seems that when you have an all too negative view on NJMS, you might also have a poor outlook on the residency programs here. Although not a top tier program in surgery, peds or internal medicine, I believe NJMS has very strong programs here. This is not the forum to bash residency programs especially if you have never been in the program yourself. We'll let the residents themselves anonymously answer the questions regarding their programs.

    Although our school's tuition has risen over the past two years, across the nation, the national average of state medical school tuition is rising at a higher rate than NJMS. Where 10 years ago NJMS was in the top 10 for in-state tuition cost as well as total tuition, today we're not even in the top 20. (AAMC) Also, it seems as if there is a lot of negativity toward the state of NJ. Fortunately, because the school is located within a 15 minute drive to NY, you actually don't have to live in New Jersey to attend school here. Although there are corrupt leaders here in NJ, I'm not sure where to find a state without corruption. I agree that the school's attempts at trying to encourage primary care fields here are almost futile, but I don't agree that the fault lay with the school itself and it would be a shame for them to give up. Perhaps the issues most inhibiting students from choosing primary care are those rooted in New Jersey itself. These are issues that we should be fighting for, not pushing people away from.

    New Jersey, however, gets a great reputation in the news and on TV - from the Sopranos and the Jersey Shore - I'm sure most of the country has something positive to say about residents of NJ. However, if you've ever lived here, you realize that its really not bad. Newark has its pearls and diamonds in the rough - in particular the art scene and the Ironbound section. The hospital/med school is pretty well secured, and aside from a few instances over the past few years that I've been here, I feel that the campus as well is not that bad. When compared to other medical campuses, the life of an impoverished city yields both positives and negatives. Unfortunately, in order to serve those in need and in turn to learn the pathology of the impoverished, the hospital's location might be in a relatively unsafe place. A proverbial double-edged sword which can be seen on campuses of many schools - too many to list. The Newark community needs us and we, in turn, need them and to them I am greatly thankful.

    I will not disagree with you that the school has its problems - we didn't have a gym on campus until this month, we have a high tuition although we're a state school, and we're losing some of our ground to the Carribean schools and the other schools mentioned above. However, at NJMS and UMDNJ as a whole, things are changing constantly. We have a Student Senate that works directly with the Deans in changing all aspects of medical education. We have a curriculum during 1st and 2nd year that has been changed so much since the class of 2009 that I'm sure they would appreciate how their input altered the experience to what it is today. We have great students that actually care about the community of Newark and we don't just put on a happy face when someone less fortunate comes to us for help. I don't think medicine is an act to be performed and then mocked at the end of the day and I can say that almost all of those that I interact with every day here at NJMS feel the same way.

    I feel that you should know the positives and negatives of a school before making a 4 year commitment to it. This school is not for those of you who are looking for an easy four years. NJMS will challenge you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Please use the advice that we're giving you with a grain of salt - experiences are all subjective - and don't let the complaints of a few ruin your view of NJMS as a whole.
  36. caliprincess

    caliprincess

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    :thumbup::thumbup: to the above post. :)
  37. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    Thanks Caliprincess and Jerseyfresh for taking the time from your busy schedules to post for the incoming students. Go NJMS! :)
  38. calbredj

    calbredj

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    I love that this poster is brand new and had a long, cliche riddled PR peice at the ready. No offense, but this post reeks of administrative sugarcoating. Seriously "New Jersey, however, gets a great reputation in the news and on TV - from the Sopranos and the Jersey Shore"??? Are you serious? Did you take this from an NJMS brochure somewhere?

    And no, I don't think the previous dean left because of a poor match, but rather more likely a result of the lawsuit that directly named him and the NJMS admin as guilty of harassment and unfair practices that lead to his dismissal. If UMDNJ actually fired based on performance, there would be very few people left in the hospital. There are teachers here who lost hospital positions for medical insurance fraud but were allowed to keep their faculty positions.

    No NJMS is not all bad. But please, you will be challenged "mentally, physically, and spiritually??" at any US MD school. The school is not terrible, not great. It is for the most part what you make of it, like all other med schools in this country. I can only speak as a 4th year that I am not happy with how the school has been run and how they have treated students, and many other feel the same. But medicine is a very conservative field that teaches you to keep down, stay quiet, and don't rock the boat or else your future can be taken away. Without these online forums all we would here are the whitewashed tales that schools love to trot out during interview season and on their website. I agree to listen to all sides and make you own decision.
  39. thedrjojo

    thedrjojo Counting down the days until I lose my freedom

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    Now, I will preface this with being the type of person Axe didn't think had a problem here (AOA, High Step 1).

    Let me just say straight out, our clinical experience is what you make of it, and if you do mostly UH (what I did), you will be A) never working with any med students except NJMS students, B) will have more responsibility and patient care than MOST medical schools out there C) will be WELL prepared for residency.

    I am currently applying for General Surgery. Anyone out there in this thread who is interested in General Surgery (which, unlike Axe had mentioned, is becoming much more competitve, particularly at academic centers) you will be a HIGHLY sought after candidate if you do your work in the department here. Dr. Deitch (chairman), Dr. Harrison (Surg Onc), Dr. Livingston (Trauma) are all very well known in the area and very well connected. Students here do more (in the OR) than any of the NY programs, more than RWJ (been told that from residents who graduated from these places). And these programs know it too, which is why our medical students do very well in getting into GSurg residencies. Surgical Subspecialties as well, as last year we matched 4 into Neurosurg, the year before that 3, every year we have atleast like 5-6 into Ortho, etc.

    No medical school is perfect. Places may claim to be perfect, but they are not. Your first two years will be spent doing the basic science stuff. The cirriculum is designed to be integrated, and it is hit or miss at times. Unlike Carribean schools, our professors do not teach to the USMLE exams. Just like at your undergrad the profs didn't teach to the MCAT or whatever test you are taking, these profs are PHD's in the fields and teach what they feel is important to know. Some things you get a good understanding of, and other things the board has as high yield was very much glossed over (for example, you will think from our lectures that the different types of lymphomas are super important, but you will learn for the tests, and more importantly clinically, there really isn't any difference in how you treat or work it up). But it is like that many places. I don't have numbers to support it, but the current class of 2010 did incredibly well on Step 1, I believe class average somewhere in the upper 220's, so with a national average of 221 (I believe), we were like a full Standard deviation above the average.

    During first two years, you do take a course entitled Physician's Core, which, has modules on History Taking, Physical Exam, Ethics, Cultural Competency. When us current 4th years took the course, it was run (ineffectively) through the department of Family Medicine by, as Axe pointed out, a DO. Now, you can be an elitist like Axe and think you are better than DO's because you are in a MD program, but I think that is bullsh!t and the reason that course was poor had nothing to do with her being a DO. Our hospital, our staff, is very much Internal Medicine dominated. So, the Family Med docs had no pull, no influence, and so no real participation with staff, and exam sessions suffered, speakers suffered, and the experience suffered. And students complained. And, now it is run by one IM doc and one Peds doc, both of whom are loved and respected by the student body, and now the course has better direction, better organization, and better focus. It still isn't perfect, but it has improved.

    My biggest complaint about third year is not rotating with DO's and with Caribbean students. In all of 3rd year, I spent 4 weeks with DO's/Caribbeans, and that was at Newark Beth Israel on my 2nd month of IM with 1 other NJMS student. Yes, Hackensack is going to be taking on Caribbean students, but smart NJMS students don't come to NJMS for the clinical experience at Hack. It is actually possible (cause I did it) to go through the entire 3rd year without even stepping foot inside Hackensack! And our administration is not happy about this change at Hack, and I have heard that they do not want our residents teaching those students, which means that even though they will be with us at Hack, they won't rotate with us or interfere with our education. Again, something to look into and be aware of, but, again, Hackensack is not the only, or even major part of NJMS.

    University Hospital, on the other hand, is why you should or should not come to NJMS. It is, a wonderfully dysfunctional hospital. You should all be warned about it, and those who want it should come and have a blast, and those that don't, well, RWJ has a private hospital as it's main hospital, and you might enjoy that better. Axe mentioned the word SCUT. many of you premeds might not know this term. I have heard it is an acronym for "Some common useless task", but basically its doing things that shouldn't really be a med student task and doesn't really do much for your education. SCUT is a part of UH, I will admit. But SCUT also is in the eye of the beholder. Of every hospital, place I have been, UH is the only place where you must get approval from Radiology for the test you want. Only place where the resident/medical student/attending needs to fill out a request form for the test, etc, that you want, and then physically go down to the radiology department, find an attending or resident (and it has to be a specific one assigned to that body area, Ie, Chest, Body(abd), Neuro) and get them to approve the test you want. I have, in my career as a medical student, probably requested atleast 50-75 CT of the abdomen and pelvis. SCUT right? Not really, since each of those patients, I had to understand the history (they want a minipresentation), know what information to give to get the test we want (ie, I have to know WHY we are getting the test) and prove to the radiologist the risk of the test is worth it (ie, know what the patient's kidney function is so the contrast doesn't put them into acute renal failure). Now, I have also then taken the request, went to the pharmacy, got the contrast, brought it to the floor, gave it to the patient, then an hour later taken that patient, by myself, down to the radiology department for the scan, and yes, didn't really learn anything there, but you know what, I really made a difference in the care of that patient, and that is why I went into all of this... it is nice that in the midst of all these exams, PIMPing (Put in my place... another term for use during your clinical years where the attendings just ask you question after question on the spot [ie what you see Dr. Cox doing on scrubs] and is the most nerve racking thing during med school and residency), call, etc, that you can feel useful and helpful. And, on occasion the residents recognize your effort (2 examples of this... During OBGyn, I was on call one saturday which the ER was just slammed. I spent the entire day and most of the night with the PGY2 just helping her get stuff done. She knew she was just using me and even mentioned she didn't get a chance to do much teaching. However, 2 days later, I was going to be scrubing a Csection with her and a chief resident. Every other Csection to this point was closed via staples. And stapling a wound loses its novelty after about halfway through the first time. This resident, however, specifically went to the chief before the case and asked to walk me through stitching the skin closed, and so I got to do it. Second example is during my subinternship in Surgical Oncology, July 1st is when the new interns begin, and I was on the team June 29th-July 24th or something like that. From day one with the new team I was basically the intern, doing all the SCUT type stuff, working my arse off, and near the end, it was the chief doing little cases (open Gastrostomy tube) with me instead of the interns, letting me close the fascia (which, you will learn in anatomy, is the real tensile strength of the abdominal wall and while skin protects against infection, the fascia prevents all your abdominal contents from bursting out of your belly).

    The patient population is, well, most of the experience as well. If you are looking for well groomed, well cared for, and even people who care about their own health, then don't go to NJMS. About 70% of the patients you will care for have no health insurance, have no money, and have no idea or in some cases, interest in their health. I had no idea TB even still existed before I came here. This is one of the top centers in the country for seeing and dealing with HIV. You will probably be told 20-30 times during med school that the first pregnant woman to receive AZT happened at University Hospital. That doc is current the president of the Alumni Association. Remember how a few months ago (like 9 now, wow time flies) the big deal was the Washington D.C. has like 3% of its population with HIV? Well, we most likely (no published reports, but there is unpublished data to support it) destroy that number. The likelyhood a patient comes into our ER with HIV is greater than in subsahara africa if you listen to one IM doctor who has been here since the 80's. I have had some of the most rewarding and most frustrating patients at UH.

    NJMS is not for everyone. I came from Lafayette College, a rich, private college in whiteville, PA. It was definately culture shock for me. The city is getting cleaned up, Mayor Booker is to Newark what Gulliani was for Manhatten in the 90's. It wouldn't surprise me if he is governer of NJ in the next 10 years or so (doesn't affect us now).

    I lived in the dorms all 4 years. They, for all intensive purposes, are Dorms. They are too pricy, but oh so very convienent. Not family friendly, not furniture friendly (fire coded like a dorm, not an apartment)... Tutition sucks for a public school, but it is better than RWJ, and still better than many private schools, but they give you more aid. My debt from med school will be about $185K. But it is what it is.

    If you have any more questions, want some clarification, or anything, just PM me and I will try to respond. I wouldn't trade my experience here in Newark for anything, and I have been interviewing and talking with students from all the top medical schools in the country.

    As for last years match rate, I believe the number was 12 that didn't match, which, some were the student being stupid (a previous poster mentioned the student who ranked the top 5 psych programs... I know this guy, he actually only ranked 3 places for psych... but the main reason was his wife was a student in my class and pregnant at the time, so he only wanted those places, if not, he was going to wait and couples match with his wife... another student who didn't match was going into general surgery. I know for a fact the surgery residents here black balled her from this program because they couldn't stand working with her when she was a subintern. Her application wasn't strong, and she didn't match. It happens). The problem with last year was a poor scramble which in part led to the leaving of the dean of students (the Ped Surgeon). The scramble is being retooled and reformated so that in the future, no place will have this difficulties (because from what I heard, the scramble everywhere was bad). Our match rate is really no worse or different than other schools, and as was listed on the previous posts, we get great residencies. NJMS has set me up to essentially have my pick of which Surgery residency I want, or so it is seeming from my process thus far, but will have to see on match day.
  40. thedrjojo

    thedrjojo Counting down the days until I lose my freedom

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    And as for Dr. Cohen (former Dean), there is many things that went into his leaving. I have heard that he took much (too much) of the flack for the match, leading in part to his leaving. The lawsuit thing also probably weighed in too. I have also heard from reliable sources that he and the administration did not see eye to eye on the direction of the school (as some of you probably know, the class size was increasing, etc, and from what I have heard, he actually wanted to decrease class size and make us more competitive, which is a shame if this is a main contributer). I don't think there is any one thing, and I know there are many mixed feelings and emotions from our student body about his leaving, how he did it, and the administrations response to it.
  41. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    Thanks DrJoJo. I certainly hope to have mentors like you for the class of 2014.:D

    Could you let me know how to become an AOA member? Does it depend on your Step 1 scores or on recommendations from the docs you work with?

    Thanks so much for posting all your experiences. This is a wealth of information for me. It's good to know about the dorm and that you felt it's worth the dough for the convenience it provides. Just sent in the housing forms today. :thumbup:
  42. thedrjojo

    thedrjojo Counting down the days until I lose my freedom

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    AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha) is the phi beta kappa of medical schools, or national honor society to throw it back all the way to high school.

    To be eligible, you must be within the top 25% of the class. Then from that group, 1/6th of the class (so 18% of the class, or about 35 people from the class of 2010) may be elected based on scholarly achievement, leadership, character, and community service. You don't apply, and you don't even know you are being considered until you get notified that you got in... all sketchy, but something that residencies look very fondly on. I don't know how they determine top 25% of class in schools with pass/fail only options...

    And don't take my word on the housing. Mine was the first year of it available, and there are probably 5-10 of us still living in the building. Everyone else got out to better places. Not the ideal place for everyone, but it fit my needs while here...

    The class of 2011 is a good group, I know a lot of them and they should have a good amount of people to mentor for your incoming class, however most mentoring comes from the class above you, so namely 2013... of that group I don't know too much, they are all still too wet behind the ears to have established any reputations. The teaching I have done for them (during your first year biochem course [MGM] there are 2 sessions taught by 4th years) they seem like a nice group. My current intention (just to further show how strong I think the school is, but also to further show that I am biased), is to become a resident here, so when you are a 3rd year medical student, there is a chance I'd be your resident, and hope I am still as eager as I am currently to teach (unfortunately I may be doing research in the lab at that time so you might miss me ;) )
  43. anya1207

    anya1207

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    Many of the things I would like to say in response to the post by Axe have been said, so I won’t repeat. Many of the points made in posts by Axe have SOME truth in it. However, I don’t think Axe presented it fairly and it sounds like this person is very angry and so the truth has been skewed in the worst possible ways. I agree with posts by caliprincess and jerseyfresh.
    I just want prospective students to know that they should really come to NJMS and spend a day here and talk to students. I have seen many applicants shadow members of my class. As caliprincess mentioned, it’s best to talk to as many people as possible. Think about it: Someone like Axe has not ONE positive thing to say about his/her own school? That doesn’t sound right… Or how about someone who makes NJMS sound like a fun vacation in the Bahamas? That doesn’t sound right either… So basically, just get as many opinions as you can and be careful of those with ideas on either end of the spectrum. Spend the day at schools you are considering (this is how I decided between NJMS and RWJMS-I shadowed students at each school… Spending the day is really the best way to pick a school in my opinion!). It’s important to pick the right school for YOU and that you go somewhere YOU feel comfortable.
    The patients “Axe” speaks so badly about are the same patients that have given me hours of clinical experience during my first two years of medical school. I have friends at many other medical schools that are definitely not as advanced as I am in taking a history and doing a physical exam. I have had many great experiences with patients, and I am sorry Axe that you can’t say the same. I let every patient I interact with know how much he or she is helping ME. They are a necessary part in my training to becoming a great doctor, so I do find myself angry about the way the Axe speaks about the patients here. Of course you may encounter rude patients here and there, but I would say a majority of the patients are very grateful for the care they are receiving. And just as a side note to those who think “nice” areas have patients that are filled with rainbows and butterflies - I have volunteered in doctor’s offices and hospitals in “nice suburban” areas. Many times, the patients there refuse to be seen by medical students and even residents! So I am very grateful to be here at NJMS and having the experience of seeing many patients from day 1 of medical school.
    Unlike Axe, I would come to NJMS if I had to do this all over again. No school is perfect, but the administration is trying to make a lot of changes based on student input. I have a lot of pride in my school and I believe the people I call my peers are some of the brightest and the best. So far my experience at NJMS has been good. I have met some wonderful people who also believe in helping the underserved and improving the lives of some of NJ’s poorest people. Like I said, if I had to choose all over again, I would still choose NJMS.
  44. FutureDoc4

    FutureDoc4

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    You do realize, that RWJMS and NJMS are both public schools within the UMDNJ. Therefore, we have the same tuition:

    RWJMS and NJMS
    What is the current tuition?
    Tuition: (2009-2010)
    In State $26,227
    Out-of-State $41,039

    http://www.umdnj.edu/studentfinancialaid/app_process/stu_budgets.htm
    In case you want the link.


    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  45. Axe

    Axe Member

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    Dude could you toot your horn even more. I couldnt help but throw up a little in my mouth with the amount of self promotion in your post. Its great you want to become the next Caputo and want to become a lifer at this place. I for one cannot wait to get out. Why dont you just leave your name to let the incoming students fawn all over you as you left enough identifying info for anyone in our class to figure out.

    I love also how you pump up the GS program here and gloss over the malignant personalities. Why dont you also tell them the story of how Dr. D threw instruments in the OR with a student present then coached the person on what to say in the investigation. Rads just gives everyone a hard time here because they're all on a salary and not a PP run place like RWJ where they get paid for more that they do and the service they provide to referring clinicians. Some wonderful personalities in that department too where they even treat the attendings like crap when they come down to talk to them on studies.


    People will see what they want to see myself included. I love how Im getting bashed by some students here that havent even done 1 minute of a clinical rotation here. Sorry but doing student clinic or 1-2 hrs/wk on a 2nd year psych rotation doesnt count. Please go back to your preclinical MSB lecture hall bubble.


    if you're ridiculously in love with this place like some of the posters here, then you will ignore or whitewash alot of negatives of this place, which are numerous. If you have few choices and youre pretty much coming here, dont fret. Like I said its a bare bones way of graduating from an allopathic med school and youll get the basics as you would in any other accredited US med school. Somehow people here confuse the basics of a MD education as being a superior clinical education. Trust me you'll get it everywhere.

    Some people did not like Dr. Cohen but imo the guy was good for the school and for the med students here. Definitely better than his current replacement. I didnt know that he wanted to decrease the class size but its the kind of forward thinking stuff that our school would have benefited from. RWJ lose Camden Cooper and then immediately reduce their class size the next year so as to not dilute everyone elses experience. Our school would have increased the the class size 25% in the same situation because the school is out of money and dependent on our tuition and fees. Thats the kind of administration that runs the school now.

    Its easy to give another joe/ jane blow a scantron in the first two years but then you realize how oversubscribed the class is starting 3rd year when you get shipped to undesirable clinical sites.


    Someone thought it was odd I couldnt list one good thing about this place. Its close to Hobken and NYC. Its the only thing that made four years here bearable.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  46. thedrjojo

    thedrjojo Counting down the days until I lose my freedom

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    First off, my username should let anyone in our class know who I am...
    And I wouldn't mind being the next Caputo, he did match into Vascular Surgery at WashU this year (the best Vascular Fellowship out there) but personality wise I hope to be more like Chiarag (who matched CT at UCLA this year).

    I am very sorry for you that you feel so bitter. I don't think I was tooting my own horn, just trying to give some personal anedots of how the clinical experience is, instead of just blasting the place.

    I think you might be a little diluted, but why should they trust you that you will get it everywhere? You have only been a medical student here. Through your going around and seeing other places, how many have the student run clinic? I didn't utilize the clinic, mainly since I don't want to do primary care and would have rather had those 40 nights free than a month off of time. Do you know of other medical students that have done as many blood draws as us, as much during OB/GYN, as much autonomy as we do? I don't know what specialty you are going into, but in General Surgery (which our classmates and the class above us last year gave 3 of the 6 resident golden apples and 3 of the 6 attending golden apples, so it isn't just me who likes the place) I can assure you no one in NYC area gets a better med student exposure. Just Monday I was doing a second look at Cornell, they could have cared less about the medical students, do not let them even touch the patients, let alone do stuff in the OR. There was another second looker there from Stony Brook who, at the time had my same top 3 picks (which was Cornell, NYU, then NJMS... being there gave me a big change of heart) who was envious of what we get to do as a medical student in Surgery at NJMS. Then again, we also have like 20 students this year wanting to go into surgery, so something about our med student experience must be appealing to students. I also spent a month at NYU on an away rotation, and again, they had a good educational setup for the medical students at NYU on surgery, but I also saw them sitting around in the residents lounge reading a whole lot (at times while the other residents where searching me out to do procedures that 3rd years at NJMS get like I&D of an abscess)

    As for Dr. D, that is a story that I honest never heard, wouldn't entirely surprise me if it is true. In spending over 6 months in the program as a student, I have not found it to be malignant at all (maybe one of the Vascular attendings and one of the Trauma attendings, never service that I spent any time on). Dr. D I swear is bipolar, and my month just happened to be in his happy time, and both me and the other 4th year on the SubI found him to be great. This isn't the place to defend my residency decision, and I hope you find what it is you think you are looking for.

    And to FutureDoc4, I see I was indeed wrong about the cost difference at the two places. I appologize for misleading anyone out there if I did. If you look down at the fees and stuff, there is about a $1000 difference, but that is insignificant. I was under the impression we do have different tuition rates because, while we are both public schools under the umbrella of UMDNJ, that is essentially where our connection ends. Each year they have town hall type meetings with the students about tuition raises, and I know our first year our tuition only increased about 2% because about 150 students turned out for it, where as RWJ's was said to have gone up more because of a poor turnout. I never looked at the numbers to confirm any of this, and so it might have just changed to be identical or might have always been.

    And axe, I am sorry you couldn't find a mentor, or expected everything to be handed to you. I searched out my mentor, have found him to be very helpful, wants to sit down with me and go over my rank list before I submit, willing to make calls for me if I want, KNOWs people at many of the institutions I am applying for (Chair/PD at Cornell both told me to tell him and Dr. D hello, PD at NYU researched with him, Assistant PD at Einstein trained him, and Dr. Mosenthal... you get the point). Sorry to burst some peoples bubbles, but we are adults now, and need to take some personal responsibility. Stuff won't just be handed to you at NJMS... if you let it, your 3rd year clinical will be like any other place. But, you have a great opportunity coming here, and like anya, I would come back here to do it all over again.
  47. MFMbabe85

    MFMbabe85

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    .
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  48. Pharmacol90

    Pharmacol90

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    DrJoJo,

    Thanks for the info on AOA membership. I will definitely shoot for it.

    By the way, my current plans are to doc-shadow a local cardiologist during the Summer just to observe/understand doctor-patient interaction. Do you think it's better to do this at UH instead?

    You mentioned that 'You searched your mentor'. Did you identify your mentor during your rotations? Or was it through your clinic hours or volunteering?

    Greatly appreciate your advice.
  49. thedrjojo

    thedrjojo Counting down the days until I lose my freedom

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    Going with your local cardiologist is perfectly fine. One might argue against doing anything like that this summer, since you will have tons of exposure during first and second year, and it isn't til third year that it really makes a difference, but if it is something you know you will enjoy, then by all means, go for it. I remember doing nothing during my last summer of freedom (you get time off between 1st and 2nd year, however a good majority of individuals do something academic during that time, be it research, tutoring/teaching [thats what I did], medical missions, etc).

    The way I found my mentor was through my 3rd year clerkships sort of. The doc who is my mentor was one of my attendings during 3rd year on Surgery, and while there wasn't too much direct interaction between the two of us, I went in on many of his cases. This was in october/november. The following April/May, I emailed him explaining my situation and interest in Surgical Oncology (for which he is the chief) to which he was more than happy to meet with me, give me some information, set up an independent study to work with him again in 4th year (his specific team does not have a 4th year elective, although I know at least 3 of us spent time on that team this year and they are considering making it a permenant rotation instead of a "make your own" one), wrote me a great letter of recommendation, went over where I was applying to and gave me advice, was willing to work on interviewing with me but I never got a chance to go talk to him about it (my fault, not his), has already given me advice on my rank list, and once I am finished with interviews and need final setting of my rank list, has offered to go over it again and if need be, make some phone calls for me. For those of you about to start, all of these things are very helpful in getting into the residency of your choice, just as I am sure you know for getting into the medical school of your choice.

    I would say a decent amount of people go for a mentor in the way I arranged it, entirely on my own. There is however, a more administration based mentoring setup, where they have a list of attendings from most fields who have volunteered to be mentors, and through the deans office, you can be paired up. I am sure some are better than others... I know the other surgical oncologist at UH is involved with this and one of the 3 I mentioned above did that rotation because of him, not my guy...

    Other people who really know what they want to do get an even earlier start. One of my friends (currently a 3rd year) probably spent more time during the first two years on Cardiothorasic Surgery than he did in lecture... which is amazing considering he is Junior AOA (Of the 18% of the class that gets AOA, up to 25% of that, so roughly 8-10, can be elected during their 3rd year based on the first two years of grades... essentially these are the people that Honored everything). Another friend (also a 3rd year) spent even more time than that guy with Plastic Surgery. These take a highly motivated student to search out those in charge (but for CT surgery, I know the head of it, Dr. Sambol, is very approachable to medical students, and is always willing to take students around with him). I don't have as much familiarity with the nonsurgical stuff, but I am sure there are some similar examples
  50. X.O.

    X.O.

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    As far as mentors, I was paired with the chairman of ENT in my first two years as part of the formal mentoring program here. I dont know know how I got paired with this guy. Most of the competitive specialties here have pretty outstanding clinicians who are influential when it comes time for the match. We dont have a Rad onc program like RWJ if that matters to anyone but people have matched into amazing places (MD anderson and MSK/Cornell) the past few years. We also have the #1 PMR program in the nation.

    The rads chairman/PD takes an active interest in you as a 4th year applying for rads. It is kind of hard to get to know him prior to 4th year unless you want to read ER films at 6 in the morning with him.

    You guys shouldnt stress too much on what you want to do and finding mentors. Most people change their minds alot and end up in something radically different. Usually Ive noticed its how well people do well on Step I. We get 8 to as much as 10 weeks to study for Step 1 which is the high side. I know some of my friends got as little as 4-6 weeks to take it at other schools.


    Some other recent +'s

    they built a new gym at $29/month for students. I would've killed for something like this in my years here. Gyms in NJ are expensive :(

    there's some talk of changing to a P/F or H/P/F system for the first two years. I know they did change the physician core class to P/F.

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