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Which specialty is best suited to your interests, abilities, and personality?
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Discussion in 'Allopathic Class Threads' started by Pharmacol90, 02.16.09.
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Thanks much everyone for posting your experiences.
As another 4th year, Id like to chime in about some of the things that have been said. Axe, I dont know what your deal is, but from my experience NJMS has given me everything I have needed to ensure a successful match. By your third year in medical school you should be able to take responsibility for your own experience. I didnt expect the school to baby me, set me up with mentors, or promise me that I would match, but I did expect them to have the right resources if I seeked them out. The same goes for the rotations at NJMS- The ones that I was interested in I had a great experience because I showed my interest to the right attendings and residents. Of course I had certain rotations that I bitched about and spent a lot wasted time sitting around, but that was only because I was too lazy or disinterested to fully immerse myself in the rotation. Maybe if you had such a terrible time in medical school it is because you picked the wrong career.
Also, after interviewing at many of the top programs in my specialty, I have heard from several program directors that they have always found their NJMS students to be more clinically experienced than students from most other programs in the country. The school presents many excellent opportunities but you are only going to get out what you put in to learning. And if you dont like working with the underserved, not going to school in Newark should have been a no-brainer. I dont think that everything about the school is great and I definitely think there are lots of things that can be improved, but I think that you are going to find that everywhere. It just comes down to determining if the school offers what you are looking for.
Anyway, if any prospective students have any questions about the school, Id be happy to offer my perspective.
Hi proud NJMS'ers,
Could you let me know some info on following activities at NJMS?
1) what kinds of student interest groups does NJMS have?
2) how many EC's a student typically takes on?
most importatly, 3) how competitive it is to volunteer at the free clinics?
4) are there any cultural activities students can attend?
Thanks so much
If you can name the specialty, we have an interest group for it. If you can think of an ethnicity, we have an interest group for it. If you can think of a religion, we have an interest group for it. There is also flag football, foosball, billiards, ultimate frisbee, lots of stuff. there are also classes in medical spanish, the business of medicine and others that you can complete to have on your transcript. If we don't already have it, you can start one.
It all depends on the student. Some do none, some do a lot, most are in the middle I'd guess, maybe a group or two.
Not at all. The more the merrier. Usually around exam time fewer people show up, then during lulls in the year lots of people show up. Clinic is Tue/Thur from about 5pm on. Students need to arrive signed in by 5:45. Each session starts with a short presentation of a medical topic by an upperclassman. While the talk is going on, the clinic moderators are dividing up everyone in attendance into group of 4-5 students. Each group is usually 1-2 MS1, 1-2 MS2, 1MS3, 1MS4. Moderators try to have at least 1 3rd or 4th year in each group to act as the de facto leader.
The groups are then assigned to 1 of the patients schedules to visit clinic that evening. If there are more groups than patients available, the remaining groups go into what are called teaching sessions. These sessions can have the 3rd/4th year teaching differentials, suturing, knot tying, blood draws, IV, chart reviewing, something academically related so it's not a waste of time. Teaching sessions usually have to go until about 8pm.
If your group gets a patient you will work them up as a group and then someone from the group will present the case to an attending. Depending on how many attending are available, which attendings are there, the timing of the group/pt interactions, you may spend a lot of time waiting to present. You'll usually finish with a patient encounter by 9-930 but I've been there until 10-130 some nights.
See the above answer to your first question. Almost every group has an event of some kind. Samosa sales, carribbean food night, you name it.
How exciting! Can't wait for Aug! Yay!
early match returns this year are very favorable:
Peds Neuro: I believe 2 of 2 matched, 1 into CHOP (which is a top program in the nation
Urology: 6 of 6 matched, including Cornell, Mt. Sinia, SUNY Downstate, Boston U, Temple, and NJMS
Optho: 2 of the 3 matched (the one who didn't has shocked all of us), one of them at NJMS, not sure the other
Hopefully this success carries over to the main match.
It was Mt Sinai for optho
You guys should be aware that there have been some changes in response to the match list last year so our school isn't ignoring what happened last year.
Historically our school has matched pretty well with ~99% of people matching. Its pretty similar to RWJs. It went down to 96-97% last year because of increasing competitiveness of certain specialties (psych and rads) and people not ranking enough places.
Starting with our class the student affairs office has started reading and screening all the letters of recs to screen out any oddball comments that could be misconstrued negatively. Apparently, someone from last year got shafted by a bad letter so I thought this was pretty strong work by our school from preventing this from happening again. Our 3rd year evals also has an official section for comments for your deans letter and a separate section where the attending can give constructive feedback that you dont want in your official letter. This doesnt happen at other schools and its not something you appreciate until later on.
Lastly, they are going to disclose your class rank quartiles before you're 3rd year so people have a realistic idea of what they can apply for with their Step 1 scores.
Can anyone on this thread provide me some information on scholarships from NJMS?
1)When do the accepted students hear about scholarships from Offices of FA?
2) Also, how many students are granted full scholarship each year by NJMS vs RWJ?
3) Lastly, are these scholarships given out only to traditional applicants or 7 year BS/MD programmers as well?
1. In your acceptance letter if it's a humanism scholarship (full-ride)
2. NJMS = 7-10, idk about RWJ
Just to clarify: we're on quintiles
Very impressive so far.
Also, someone is headed to the National Cancer Institute for Radiation Oncology (they operate outside of the match).
Let me be clear on this as well: we DID NOT match anyone at MSKCC in the last 10 years (maybe ever). We matched someone at Cornell 4 years ago, which is an entirely different program, and is not even in the top half of radiation oncology programs.
Hey NJMS MSIII's and MSIV's. Do the interns and residents seem happy to you guys? You say there's a lot of scut work that you guys do, presumably because the residents are too overwhelmed? I heard interns only carry anywhere from 3-6 patients at a time?
The residents at UH are pretty good guys/gals and aren't any more overwhelmed than at other programs. The scut comes from the idiosyncrasies of the hospital (someone mentioned needing radiology approval for all studies) and the fact that the ancillary staff isn't particularly helpful. 3-6 patients per resident sounds right.
Would that someone be you Dr. J? Congrats if it is.
I'll relay the message
Interns happiness depends on service/location. I know some interns who were miserable because of the rotation but overall happy.
And while maybe on medicine the interns only carry 3-6 patients, but on GS (especially at Hack) the interns can carry MANY more
That's a fact. You GS people are crazy. I was speaking of medicine/peds interns.
Hey guys, I was wondering if any of you were considering living in the Society Hill Condos near the school.
Market Street seems so easy, but I was told at the accepted students luncheon that Society Hill allows dogs, and it would be so nice to be able to bring my dog with me. I've missed her a ton while I was away at college and she could always go and live back with my parents and younger siblings when I'm in third year.
But, I wonder if living in Society Hill would be isolating when most of the first and second years live in Market Street. Can any current students weigh in on this?
Many students live in Society Hill, even as early as their first year. It may seem like it could be isolating, however, most students know what's going on both in 180 and Society Hill, especially after you get to know one another. Further, Society Hill is much less expensive and arguably just as nice as the on campus housing.
I think the biggest concern that students have when moving to Society Hill is forking out the money to furnish their place (although some units are furnished, depending on the landlord) and security. 180 has 24 hour security at the door and they are very strict. Society Hill does employ visible 24 hour security patrol, but it is still open property, so you have to be aware of your surroundings accordingly. Some of my classmates that live there have indicated that they have had no problems, but again, be street smart.
Hopefully, a few other students can weigh in on the issue for you at some point.
I would not be concerned with Society Hill being isolating. Plenty of your classmates will be living there and it's just across the street from the school anyway.
My concern would be safety. I had classmates that were robbed at Society Hill. One in his driveway and another walking back from the Rutgers gym. I will say that most students don't have a problem with this, but it has happened.
Hey guys...for housing, what time frame did everyone put? The academic year option..so Aug to May (Academic Calendar says year ends June 3rd, but I don't want to pay for a whole month for 3 days)
Or, did people put academic year so they can keep the apartment from first to second year. What about if we want to do summer research?
Bump b/c I want to turn them in today
Caliprincess, Calbred, ThDrJojo, Anya, Elboldudo, and others,
Could you let me know if 2nd year teaching is by organ systems or traditional based?
And when you are on call in 3rd and 4th years, how many hours at a stretch do you have to be on call at the University hospital? Do you get q3 or q4?
Thanks a bunch you folks, NJMS is the best! So excited!
(Zakira, For 1st and 2nd years, the academic year is 10 months. But if you want to do summer research, then take it for 12 months)
I guess I'm chopped liver
Our so-called "jubilee" curriculum is a mix. It's primarily subject based, but for DPPT, they try to organize the information so you learn pharm and path for a given organ system at the same time. It's fine.
24hrs is supposed to be the max. I did 2 overnight calls in a row one time, though. Little known fact: it's not illegal for students to do this, only residents. Some rotations are q3, some are q4, and some don't have call at all. 4th year is highly variable from student to student.
Thanks Thesauce. Didn't mean to ignore your name... I guess I should have said 'all NJMS'ers' instead of any specific names. Didn't mean any disrespect and appreciate you taking your time to respond.
Thanks again. Now, I won't forget your name, saucy buddy.
All teaching is subject based. Often, you will have units on each system or group of systems within a given subject (eg CV unit within anatomy, path/pharm, histology).
Call is dependent on the rotation and the number of students on the rotation with you. For surgery and OB one student has to be on call each night, so more students equals less call. As far as hours go, on OB you will always get off by 730ish post call. Surgery can stretch longer. I know one student who had to stay until 3 post-call on surgery one day. Usually it will be 24-28 hours. Surgery and OB are the only core rotations which have overnight call. On the other rotations you will have call until 8 or 9pm and then go home.
Dude calm down. You clearly are a 7-yr which is not a good start b/c the 7 yrs around here have a reputation to be annoying and EXTREMELY type-A. Enjoy your "senior" year and try to be normal. Let's work on making friends and going to parties before planning your residency match rankings.
1) You will not hear anything from the FAO - they will eat you alive. Literally. Go look on a website.
2) Who cares? Why are you so competitive? If you didn't get one it doesn't matter. If you did it still doesn't matter.
3) You just gave it away. 7-yr. If you are special the school will seek you out and give you one - you can't obtain everything through annoying persistence.
I could have replied to all of your posts. But I thought this was the most ridiculous one. Feel fortunate.
But seriously you will have a good time here. Just relax.
I'm pretty sure there is only one real scholarship at NJMS, the humanism scholars program. It's a full ride. Roughly 5 students get it every year, and they are serious all stars who do extraordinary amounts of community service and leadership experience on top of being the cream of the academic crop. You would probably know it by now if you won.
There are grants and stuff from financial aid, but that kind of award is extremely limited. The bottom line is that almost all medical school financial aid is in the form of loans, subsidized and unsubsidized.
Yeah, I wouldn't hold your breath too much for scholarships. There are some though. Every year there is alumni scholarships that you apply for (end of each year, so no first years get them) that are rought 1000-1500 per year and as long as you High Pass or Honors all your courses, you are guarenteed them. The foundation of UMDNJ will also randomly give awards some times... during my second year, in like october I received a random $5,000 scholarship. So in my time here, with $190K in debt, I also received $8,500 in scholarships.
My wife, a fellow medical student, however, had better luck than me. She is a minority (hispanic) and her parents make no money (like, 25K a year no money), so she qualifies for Title IV funding. She has received about half of her funding through Grants/Scholarships that are need based, and then the other half of her funding through Loans for Disadvantaged Students, which I believe are all subsidized and all carry a 5% rate instead of the 6.8% rate of the Stafford loans. If eligible to apply for Title IV (you essentially have to just provide your parents financial information when filling out fafsa and send the financial aid office your parents 1040 and fill out a "family size" form that can be downloaded from the financial aid website which is currently down until monday).
As far as housing, I have lived in 180 W market for all 4 years. This is the first time they give you an option to specify the length of your contract. Previously you signed up and it was a full year contract that you could break after you last final. I think that allowed more flexibility than making you specify before you even show up. What if you wanted only academic calendar but then get nice research and need to stay? they going to kick you out? What if you original planned on staying but instead decided to go do stuff abroad over the summer (and some students do) and don't want to pay ~3K when you won't be living in the room? That being said, there are some advantages and disadvantages in 180 vs Society Hill... most have already been listed, and in retrospect, Society Hill might have been better for us (myself and my wife, who are forced into a 2bdroom at 180 and thus pay $1800 a month in rent), but our place is one of the nicest configs for 180 (don't believe them when they say all the rooms are the same... whoever designed this place didn't bring a tape measure with them... plus, there are sides in the shade and sides in the sun which does effect the ridiculasly high utility bills. Plus, views differ (we have the manhatten skyline out our window, which makes the $1800 a little more bareable. Plus, our living room in the double is like twice the size of my living room that I had in a triple first year (although that utility bill was cheaper, two of the 3 bedrooms had small closest, the other one had a double closet). I was in 803 first year (which is an end unit on the side closer to the hospital overlooking the courtyard) and now currently in 1122 which is a double on the wing adjacent to Norfolk street overlooking downtown newark. While you can't really request rooms or even general areas, just know in 180 your rooms will be different based on which appartment number you get (but all the same # are the same... so 1322, which friends of ours live in, is the same layout as 1122...).
Oh yeah, btw... There is a possibility (although small if my schedule goes as planned) that I will be your Surgical Resident, since we had match yesterday and I matched here (first choice)... but your 3rd and 4th year, which is when you do rotations, I plan on being in the lab doing research... it was a nice though though
All in all, 35 students (of the 165 in the match from our school) are staying at NJMS, including 3 (sorta 4) of the 7 surgery interns (a prelim who was an NJMS grad of 2009 also matched here, thats why the sorta).
Overall, the match went well for us. Dean Johnson claimed 100% match rate, but what he really was claiming was 100% placement rate... I know of a few people who scrambled, but apparently everyone who scrambled atleast go something... I also know people who undermatched (got an intern year position but failed to get the specialty they wanted such as Derm or Radiology) which goes as a match in the stats, but really wasn't what the student wanted. I feel some of their tactics this year was just to push up their numbers and not necessarily in the best interest of the students.
Thanks folks! I checked with Dr Heinrich. He said the reviews for scholarships are just getting underway. Got selected for Phi Beta Kappa last week. So, I am glad.
Won't keep high hopes for the scholarship...but definitely worth a try. Wish me lots of luck.
Thanks for the info on 180 W. So, I am going to hope we get the side facing Manhattan as you DrJoJo. Would be good to meet up and introduce myself to you all folks. You all have been incredibly helpful. Greatly appreciate all your advice. By the way, Congrats for the surgery residency. Way to go!
Q for the 3rd/4th years at NJMS:
Do you feel that the rank/prestige of NJMS negatively affects your matching into competitive residencies? I know one of the posters said something about GSurgery being a + for NJMS students, but what about the other semi-competitive and competitive specialties?
Is there a feeling of "Oh, if I got the same board scores and same clinical grades, but if I had come from Hopkins, then I definitely would have gotten in to program X"
Congrats on PBK and I wish you luck! Even if you don't get a scholarship initially, there are a couple of alumni scholarships that you could get while you are a student. They send stuff out about them throughout the school year.
As you (and others) have alluded to: it's specific not only to the specialty but to the individual residency program as well. Therefore, there isn't an easy answer to your question, but I have some thoughts:
You cannot match in radonc at Harvard without being from a top school or MD/PhD no matter how well you do. Can you match at MD Anderson (the higher ranked institution) from NJMS?...Yes, we had a recent graduate do it. So the individual program (and individual program director) matters more than the "caliber" of program.
Another example: we have a very well respected neurosurgeon at NJMS which has led to us getting people into UCSF, The Barrow, and Brigham&Women's in recent years. Overall, I think we've had a perfect neurosurgery match rate for the last 3 years (8 people).
When school prestige plays a factor, it'll be in cases like you mentioned: Hopkins/Harvard vs. NJMS. It wouldn't be an issue for say, NJMS vs. Jefferson or GW or RWJ (i.e. no one from those schools is going to match radonc at Harvard, either).
To sum up: there are programs that will "blacklist" NJMS for being a middle-tier school. However, these programs will "blacklist" all middle-tier schools. If you went to a top-ranked school, you'd have a shot at those particular programs, but not many of us had this choice and I don't think you're giving up much by choosing NJMS.
Thanks, DrJoJo and Cali!
Are the lectures recorded and available for download to iPod? And the scribe notes as well?
Yes to the former. You could email the scribe notes (word documents) to yourself and open them on your iphone, but I don't know how you'd download them exactly.
This is my first post on SDN. Just returned from the UMDNJ Parents' Orientation day. Have a couple of questions I am still left with. Thought one of you might be able to answer.
The student who took us on a tour this morning, mentioned that every student has to go through a set number of rotations in 3rd year. However, in the 4th year, your rotations are based on a 'lottery'... She said that she had a #8 on the lottery in 3rd year which she traded for a #120. And therefore, in the 4th year, she got a higher priority #, thus giving her an edge in selection of rotations in her 4th year.
1) I don't understand this lottery system for rotations. Could one of you shed some light on this issue?
2) Could anyone post a link for recommended text books from last year? I would like to purchase them on line (usedbooks.com etc). I don't want to wait till July/Aug as then everyone else will be hunting on line for the same textbooks and deals may be tough to come by.
By the way, 180W Market Street apartments look excellent!
I hear the Gym is entirely closed on Sundays. This doesn't make sense at all since most kids get some downtime to work out on Sundays. Hope the UMDNJ management fixes this problem. Med schools should encourage healthy habits amongst their own students first and foremost... this would mean keeping the Gym open all days to allow their students to practice healthy habits all 7 days a week.
In any case, I need your thoughts/explanations on the above mentioned 'lottery' system please. This issue is far more crucial than the Gym issue.
Look forward to your responses.
The lottery is no big deal. You pull a number out of a hat at the beginning of 3rd year that determines your priority in selecting:
1. Your 3rd year req'd rotations
2. Your 3rd year electives
3. Your 4th year req'd rotations
4. Your 4th year electives
You only get 2-2 week electives in 3rd year so that priority is less meaningful. There are positives and negatives to all 3rd year tracks, so that's no biggie either IMO. It's good to have priority in 4th year electives, but if you're really interested in something, they'll get you in.
As for books, get Lippencott's biochem, brs biochem, big Moore anatomy, first aid for usmle step 1, and high yield embryology. I don't recommend any others. Good luck!
Thanks for the info on the lottery. I have one more question.
May I ask you for more details on the text books? What is brs biochem? Who is the author for first aid to usmle step 1 and high yield embryology.
I will check on Amazon but just want to ensure I order the right texts.
Yea what's the best books for mgm? The class we're taking first...ugh
Best way to study? Never taken biochem before and I'm a bit nervous
For Biochem, buy the newest editions of these books:
For anatomy, buy these:
Overall, a great book for the shelf exams and essential for Step 1 (good to look at and annotate from day 1):
More books will not help you. I would definitely suggest getting a set of the Kaplan step 1 books which are great for the shelf exams and can give you a good overview of the material. They'll probably have a few sets for sale in the AMSA room in the lounge.
In biochem, you'll mainly be tested off the class notes. In anatomy, you'll mainly be tested off Moore's anatomy and your dissected cadavers. By the way, don't bother reading the white text in Moore. Just memorize the pictures and the blue boxes.
How do u get scribe notes? Use them for every class or are some more text based?
You sign up for them and pay a fee. They'll talk to you about them at orientation. Scribe notes are important for every class. With the exception of anatomy, which isn't lecture-based, you'll mainly be tested off of lecture material which is (supposed to be) recorded in the scribe notes.
Thanks bro, so for mgm, what'd you do? Read the **** out of scribe notes and supplement with the books you mentioned?
What I found worked best for me was to take the slides that they give you and go through the audio recorded lectures and write EVERYTHING that they say on the slides. Then I just went through what I wrote down as many times as I could before the exam. I have a pretty good verbal memory, but couldn't pay attention during lectures, so I found this approach worked best for me. This method got me honors in all but 1 course (which was not a lecture-based course) during my first 2yrs.
For MGM, I didn't use the books, which hurt me a bit when I got to the shelf. The people that did the best on the shelf used BRS and Lippencott's throughout the course. Overall they're nice book to have for reference and for step 1/shelf exams, but the lecture slides will be more important for acing the class exams.
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