2010-2011 Medical College of Wisconsin Application Thread

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I was accepted at University of Washington SOM and will be withdrawing from MCW - hopefully that will get some of you Wait List-ers seeing some kind of movement! Good Luck!

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Heh, well believe it or not, MCW is only $9K more/year than SUNY thanks to lower living expenses. Compared to BU, which is 25K more/year, that seems like a great deal. MCW is also ranked in between both, so it's kind of the middle of the road option in terms of cost & ranking, which is quite appealing. Sorry to hear you have to deal with the waitlists, but hopefully you hear back something positive sooner rather than later.

Med school rankings actually matter very little in the grand scheme. Cost and your own impressions of the school are infinitely more important.

Aside: Another reason why going into medicine is much better than going into law (where the USNEWS rankings are canon). Any profession where a large part of your career success is determined by a magazine editor deserves a certain amount of disdain.
 
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Med school rankings actually matter very little in the grand scheme. Cost and your own impressions of the school are infinitely more important.

Aside: Another reason why going into medicine is much better than going into law (where the USNEWS rankings are canon). Any profession where a large part of your career success is determined by a magazine editor deserves a certain amount of disdain.

+1 for the post
+1 for your thumbnail
 
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It varies. It seems to be more deferments in years where they accept less people off the waitlist.

For example, in 2008 the waitlist pretty much didn't move, but we had a *ton* of people get deferments and ended up with our class that started in 2009.

Sorry to keep probing -- but how many people is a "ton"? And did anyone come off from the second quartile? Even just the number of people you know since I realize there were probably more offers than people who accepted them.
 
Med school rankings actually matter very little in the grand scheme. Cost and your own impressions of the school are infinitely more important.

Aside: Another reason why going into medicine is much better than going into law (where the USNEWS rankings are canon). Any profession where a large part of your career success is determined by a magazine editor deserves a certain amount of disdain.

Yeah I figured USNews rankings are mostly irrelevant, but there's unfortunately not too much else to compare schools. My impression of almost any school I interviewed at was great, so (fortunately) my decision is harder since I liked them all! I think I'm throwing out one private school that is significantly more than my state schools and MCW because, as you say, the cost is far more important than any slight difference between the school. I have to say though, it's still hard to throw away.
 
I know they will give us more information on orientation and the white coat ceremony when the orientation website goes up, but I was just wondering, what do students usually wear to the white coat ceremony? Do women just wear dresses, or business attire? Thanks!
 
I know they will give us more information on orientation and the white coat ceremony when the orientation website goes up, but I was just wondering, what do students usually wear to the white coat ceremony? Do women just wear dresses, or business attire? Thanks!


Either one of those will be fine. The White Coat ceremony is pretty fun and low-key so you'll be good either way!
 
Yeah I figured USNews rankings are mostly irrelevant, but there's unfortunately not too much else to compare schools. My impression of almost any school I interviewed at was great, so (fortunately) my decision is harder since I liked them all! I think I'm throwing out one private school that is significantly more than my state schools and MCW because, as you say, the cost is far more important than any slight difference between the school. I have to say though, it's still hard to throw away.

My 2 cents (this advice is actually worth considerably less than that as it is coming from an overworked and under-sleep med student) is rule out any school that you had an immediately bad reaction to(I remember one school that had a warning out that students were getting stabbed on campus) or any school that is going to be significantly more $$$ than others. Beyond that, if staying close to family is important, pick the closest one, if you hate winter pick the warmest one. I guarantee you will be equally happy at the remaining schools and have equal career options coming out of school.
 
Sorry to keep probing -- but how many people is a "ton"? And did anyone come off from the second quartile? Even just the number of people you know since I realize there were probably more offers than people who accepted them.

I've heard of a good dozen people who got in from deferments my year. I doubt that's everyone. Other years may be more or less.

I also have no idea what quartile they were in on the waitlist.
 
Does anybody know of any 2BR/2BA apartments that are 1200 or less that have: gas range, underground parking, and non paper thin walls?

Does Serafino Square have a gas or electric range? What about Wilshire Manor?
 
My 2 cents (this advice is actually worth considerably less than that as it is coming from an overworked and under-sleep med student) is rule out any school that you had an immediately bad reaction to(I remember one school that had a warning out that students were getting stabbed on campus) or any school that is going to be significantly more $$$ than others. Beyond that, if staying close to family is important, pick the closest one, if you hate winter pick the warmest one. I guarantee you will be equally happy at the remaining schools and have equal career options coming out of school.

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. I was looking for somewhere warm, but apparently that's not in the cards (Boston is about the warmest I'll get, heh). Hopefully I'll hear back from MCW, I think I'd really like experiencing Wisconsin.
 
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Can any current students discuss their feelings regarding the Pathways? Do you like them or find them a burden?
 
Can any current students discuss their feelings regarding the Pathways? Do you like them or find them a burden?


I'm in the Physican Scientist Pathway and I've really enjoyed it so far. Basically it gave me protected time this year to find a mentor, read papers, write my summer research proposal, etc....which are all things I would have had to pile on top of class in another curriculum. It also provides a far bit of flexibility in that it's not like you have to do your pathway hours during the allotted time each week (ex. sometimes I'd just sit down and power through 5-6 hours of reading research papers and be done with almost all my requirements for the month, leaving Friday's open for studying/shadowing or whatever). Once a month we have required small group sessions which last two hours and are usually pretty worthwhile.

Basically I look at Pathways as an easy way to work on resume-building and spend time doing something in which I'm interested. More or less it's what you want to make of it. If you fight the program, than it'll probably be a waste of your time. However, I've found it to be really pretty easy to complete the requirements and not something that hangs over my head at all. Did that kinda answer your question?

Keep the questions coming folks. I know May 15th is looming large so good luck to everyone waiting for that day to come.
 
Thanks Justforkicks4, that did answer my question and is honestly what I was hoping to hear regarding the Physician Scientist program. I don't remember, but how long does the Pathway program last? The first one, two, three, or all four years? And there's a presentation of some sort at the end as well, correct?

And going way back to the financial aid discussion from a while ago--is MCW really that good about providing M3s and M4s with institutional aid to help offset Grad Plus loans? I know they don't offer much, if anything, to M1s but will they throw M2s a bone?
 
Thanks Justforkicks4, that did answer my question and is honestly what I was hoping to hear regarding the Physician Scientist program. I don't remember, but how long does the Pathway program last? The first one, two, three, or all four years? And there's a presentation of some sort at the end as well, correct?

And going way back to the financial aid discussion from a while ago--is MCW really that good about providing M3s and M4s with institutional aid to help offset Grad Plus loans? I know they don't offer much, if anything, to M1s but will they throw M2s a bone?

Pathways go from M1-M3 year. 1st semester M1 is just an introduction to all the Pathways and you aren't required to complete any hours. So basically I was responsible for completing 27 "noncore" hours (ie. hours on my own) from Jan 1st-May 15th. Each student will complete a "scholarly project" which can be a wide array of things....

http://www.mcw.edu/mseio/Pathways/PathwayDocuments.htm


For instance, in Master Clinician you might write a Case Report about an interesting patient population, for Urban/Community you might start an awareness program, for Physician Scientist you'll hopefully submit a manuscript or abstract...etc.

As for financial aid, older students might be able to chime in. I didn't get institutional aid this past year, but I'm sure there are students who did. You can always contact financial aid to see if they can give any more particulars about it. I've found that their office is really open to student questions.
 
They are constantly changing thing with the pathway program. There is almost no way to know that it will be like next year. It was very different for the M1s this year than it was last year. Also, starting with the current M1 class, it is a requirement for all four years. Current M2's can opt our during M4 year. Also, currently M1s will have to do some kind of project, which is optional for M2s. It is difficult to predict what it will be like for next year.

I am in the Master Clinician pathway, and I like it. It has been a good way to make connections in the field(s) that I am interested in. I have gotten a lot of shadowing and outside work in the last 2 years. Personally, I find the core sessions to be mostly pointless, but the non-core things are good.

In the future, this program could be excellent. It gives students a way to boost their CVs and get more experience on their own without interfering with actual class time (though it still gets in the way of studying). The problem is that there is no way to know when they will finally figure out the best way to run the program.
 
They are constantly changing thing with the pathway program. There is almost no way to know that it will be like next year. It was very different for the M1s this year than it was last year. Also, starting with the current M1 class, it is a requirement for all four years. Current M2's can opt our during M4 year. Also, currently M1s will have to do some kind of project, which is optional for M2s. It is difficult to predict what it will be like for next year.

I am in the Master Clinician pathway, and I like it. It has been a good way to make connections in the field(s) that I am interested in. I have gotten a lot of shadowing and outside work in the last 2 years. Personally, I find the core sessions to be mostly pointless, but the non-core things are good.

In the future, this program could be excellent. It gives students a way to boost their CVs and get more experience on their own without interfering with actual class time (though it still gets in the way of studying). The problem is that there is no way to know when they will finally figure out the best way to run the program.

This isn't exactly right. This year for the M1s was pretty much the same as it was last year for us, with two differences: The first semester is all "introduction to pathways", which was structured much better this year than last year. You will learn about the different pathways during a variety of random sessions before you're required to pick one in November. The other difference is that students starting from the current M1s forward (including you guys) are going to be required to do a capstone type project at the end. Details on that are still iffy, because no one has done it.

Its also not "opt out" fourth year (for anyone), simply because its not even offered for M4s. Everyone is required to do pathways M1-M3, but no one (not us, not you, not the current M4s) is required to participate during M4. A handful of M4s on some specific rotations have the option of going to help run one or two core pathway sessions, but that's not the same as actually being in the pathway still.

In general, all the pathways are run the same: After you pick one in November, you will have a once a month 3-4hr "core" session that has random discussions related to your pathway material. You will also be required to do a cumulative total of 6 hrs/month of non-core activities. These can range from research related activities (Physician Scientist) to anything related to community service (Urban and Community Health) to anything you can vaguely connect to you becoming a better doctor someday (Master Clinician). By the end of M1 you will have needed to log ~27-30 hrs, but no one finds this too difficult (except maybe some Physician Scientist students, as those are the most restricted in what they can count for pathways).
 
This isn't exactly right. This year for the M1s was pretty much the same as it was last year for us, with two differences: The first semester is all "introduction to pathways", which was structured much better this year than last year. You will learn about the different pathways during a variety of random sessions before you're required to pick one in November. The other difference is that students starting from the current M1s forward (including you guys) are going to be required to do a capstone type project at the end. Details on that are still iffy, because no one has done it.

Its also not "opt out" fourth year (for anyone), simply because its not even offered for M4s. Everyone is required to do pathways M1-M3, but no one (not us, not you, not the current M4s) is required to participate during M4. A handful of M4s on some specific rotations have the option of going to help run one or two core pathway sessions, but that's not the same as actually being in the pathway still.

In general, all the pathways are run the same: After you pick one in November, you will have a once a month 3-4hr "core" session that has random discussions related to your pathway material. You will also be required to do a cumulative total of 6 hrs/month of non-core activities. These can range from research related activities (Physician Scientist) to anything related to community service (Urban and Community Health) to anything you can vaguely connect to you becoming a better doctor someday (Master Clinician). By the end of M1 you will have needed to log ~27-30 hrs, but no one finds this too difficult (except maybe some Physician Scientist students, as those are the most restricted in what they can count for pathways).

Not a current applicant, but just curious. I read about the pathways on the MCW website but got a bit confused. Does everyone choose a pathway or is it an optional program? Either way, the whole idea seems pretty cool.
 
I was wondering whether we were assigned mentors/ if there were any mentor opportunities to take advantage of during M1?
 
I was wondering whether we were assigned mentors/ if there were any mentor opportunities to take advantage of during M1?


Yup, we all have physician mentors this year (M1) and we're required to shadow in their office at least six times throughout the year. You get to choose in the sense that you request specialties and they try to match up. I'm interested in Peds so my mentor is a pediatric intensivist. The point of the program is to get you experience in taking histories/blood pressures etc. so they generally want you to work with primary care docs that can offer those opportunities. I believe some of my classmates do have surgeon mentors, but I'm not sure how common that is, given that there are fewer opportunities for taking hx/BPs. So, it's not guaranteed you'll be matched with a mentor of your primary specialty ranking, but I believe that they do take them into account when matching. It's a fun program and my mentor has been great.
 
Not a current applicant, but just curious. I read about the pathways on the MCW website but got a bit confused. Does everyone choose a pathway or is it an optional program? Either way, the whole idea seems pretty cool.


Yup, the program is required M1-M3 year (referencing what Raryn said above). The program is very self-directed so you're encouraged to put in more than the required 30 hrs/semester but ultimately most everything you do is your decision.
 
Its also not "opt out" fourth year (for anyone), simply because its not even offered for M4s. Everyone is required to do pathways M1-M3, but no one (not us, not you, not the current M4s) is required to participate during M4. A

Raryn's right, nobody has to do it fourth year. (except, per the comments made during the intro to pathways first semester, people who somehow managed to fail a pass/fail course or who didn't complete their "scholarly project" on time.)
 
Yup, the program is required M1-M3 year (referencing what Raryn said above). The program is very self-directed so you're encouraged to put in more than the required 30 hrs/semester but ultimately most everything you do is your decision.

Ah, somehow 'required for all M1-M3s' didn't compute. Thanks kindly!
 
Has anyone been accepted off of the waitlist yet?
 
Guess I'm a little behind on my knowledge of the pathways program. But still, it really is what you make of it, and they can only improve on it from where it is now.
 
Hi guys, a question for you all, does MCW respond well to letters of interest?

I'm on the waitlist and I haven't sent one in yet, but I'm thinking I should..
 
Hi guys, a question for you all, does MCW respond well to letters of interest?

I'm on the waitlist and I haven't sent one in yet, but I'm thinking I should..

Showing genuine interest in something never hurts. May not necessarily get you what you want every time, but it can't hurt.
 
Hey guys-I'm in the first quartile for MCW's waitlist, but I'm also accepted at a couple of schools I'm still considering. When is MCW planning on releasing their financial aid packages? If everything worked out perfectly an acceptance would come from MCW soon after May 15, but the financial aid package would play a large portion in my decision. Can anyone shed some light on the financial aid progress as of right now?

Thanks!
 
They don't release financial aid packages until June, and they don't give M1s institutional loans or grants. From I've gathered here and from talking on the phone with the department, they disburse their aid to M3s and M4s (I'm unsure about M2s) as those years have accumulated the most debt.

As someone mentioned in this thread earlier (and was echoed by the financial aid officer I spoke to), you can expect the ~$42k in Stafford loans and the remaining difference between that and the cost of attendance (less your family's EFC) to come from Grad Plus loans. If you're a Wisconsin resident you do receive the ~$5k capitation credit.

For being "one of the more affordable private schools," the money situation's actually kind of depressing with only the hope (gamble?) of some remuneration at the end.
 
When I try to log into the online status page, it says:

Your user id is not active, Please contact the site administrator.


Guess that means rejected? :laugh: This is the last school I have left, I just want this process to be officially over already!!!
 
When I try to log into the online status page, it says:

Your user id is not active, Please contact the site administrator.


Guess that means rejected? :laugh: This is the last school I have left, I just want this process to be officially over already!!!

If you haven't interviewed yet, then you can assume it's a rejection. I crossed off any schools in that category myself.
 
If you haven't interviewed yet, then you can assume it's a rejection. I crossed off any schools in that category myself.

Oh, I know there's no chance of interview, I just want to get the official rejection already. If that makes sense :laugh:.
 
Oh, I know there's no chance of interview, I just want to get the official rejection already. If that makes sense :laugh:.

lol, interesting. I didn't even read most of those rejection letters; not like they are personalized or anything (which would have been cool).
 
How do people feel MCW prepares a person for Step 1?
 
How do people feel MCW prepares a person for Step 1?

From what I've seen so far in First Aid, our classes correlate pretty well. I read BRS Phys throughout the year and it's been a good outline of what we've learned.
 
Do medical students from other med schools (i.e. Uni of Wisconsin and possibly Caribbean students) rotate through any of the affiliated hospitals?

Also are they any other types of students that train at those hospitals (i.e PAs & nurses)?
 
Do medical students from other med schools (i.e. Uni of Wisconsin and possibly Caribbean students) rotate through any of the affiliated hospitals?

Also are they any other types of students that train at those hospitals (i.e PAs & nurses)?

I'm still an M1 so others could probably provide the most accurate answer. MCW doesn't have PA or nursing programs and during my interview day Mike Istwan identified that as a strength for med students here, in that we and the grad students are numero uno.

I don't believe U of W/Carribean students rotate through here regularly, but I'm sure there are occasional students who do away roatations at Children's since it's such a well-recognized hospital. Again, from my limited experience in the hospitals/clinics I've only seen MCW students, but maybe Raryn/cubssox can give you a better idea. Good question though!
 
Do medical students from other med schools (i.e. Uni of Wisconsin and possibly Caribbean students) rotate through any of the affiliated hospitals?

Also are they any other types of students that train at those hospitals (i.e PAs & nurses)?
My class doesn't start clinicals until July so I'm not 100% sure, but I think the answer is mostly no. I mean, much like every other medical school, our hospitals do allow some students from other schools to do away rotations here, but thats only for things like fourth year electives. UW students do rotate at hospitals in Milwaukee, but as far as I know they contract with different hospitals than MCW does.

As for other students... In my shadowing experience I've seen a couple pharmacy interns and what appeared to be some social work students, but I haven't come across any nursing or PA students yet. I have no idea if they're around at all, but if they are I haven't heard anyone talking about them.
 
Do medical students from other med schools (i.e. Uni of Wisconsin and possibly Caribbean students) rotate through any of the affiliated hospitals?

Also are they any other types of students that train at those hospitals (i.e PAs & nurses)?

There are a couple of nursing programs in MKE. One nursing college (Columbia St. Mary's) has there own rather nice hospital downtown where you might do rotations. As for other med students, you might see the rara avis such as a student doing an audition rotation. Never have seen or heard of a Carib student here (pretty sure they are limited to training in FL and NY, NJ), and UWs clinical rotations are totally separate from ours. If you are worried about faculty time being spent other students, don't. Nursing students are taught by nurses and PAs by their own faculty. Plus there is something like 1300 faculty at MCW and like 800 students. Most of the time you'll be on a team consisting on 1 or 2 M3s, an M4, intern, couple of sr residents, a fellow (if doing a consult service) and an attending.
 
hey all,

these are all REALLY minor questions but I thought i would ask since i've been wondering about them.

1) Do students have to pay for parking on campus?

2) And is there indoor parking available on campus?

3) Around when will we get orientation info and our new mcw emails?

I'm stoked to start in august! Well as much as I can be for med school :laugh:
 
hey all,

these are all REALLY minor questions but I thought i would ask since i've been wondering about them.

1) Do students have to pay for parking on campus?

2) And is there indoor parking available on campus?

3) Around when will we get orientation info and our new mcw emails?

I'm stoked to start in august! Well as much as I can be for med school :laugh:

1) No
2) No for m1 and m2 yrs
3) No idea.
 
hey all,

these are all REALLY minor questions but I thought i would ask since i've been wondering about them.

1) Do students have to pay for parking on campus?

2) And is there indoor parking available on campus?

3) Around when will we get orientation info and our new mcw emails?

I'm stoked to start in august! Well as much as I can be for med school :laugh:

1. No
2. No. During M1-M2 you have to park in Lot C, which is actually a 5+ minute walk from the auditoriums
3. I received orientation information on June 9 two years ago. I'd expect it to be around the same time for you, give or take.
 
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I'm still an M1 so others could probably provide the most accurate answer. MCW doesn't have PA or nursing programs and during my interview day Mike Istwan identified that as a strength for med students here, in that we and the grad students are numero uno.

I don't believe U of W/Carribean students rotate through here regularly, but I'm sure there are occasional students who do away roatations at Children's since it's such a well-recognized hospital. Again, from my limited experience in the hospitals/clinics I've only seen MCW students, but maybe Raryn/cubssox can give you a better idea. Good question though!

I've seen a few people rotate through the hospital from other schools, most on audition, most of them UWM students. I did meet one student that was rotating through Childrens from Sackler in Tel Aviv, Israel, but they have their own programs, so it might have been a special circumstance.

I also met 1 PA that was rotating through, but she was following the PA that works with a doc I shadow. Haven't seen any nurse or pharmacy students yet.
 
Ahh I'm so nervous for post May 15th. :eek:

Do you think they will start calling on the Monday or the Tuesday?!?

*fingers crossed for my fellow waitlisters!!!* :xf:
 
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