Such a bummer getting waitlisted -- though I suspect there will be quite a bit of movement, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
I have mixed feelings about the exclusively PBL curriculum. Sitting in on class was pretty exciting - very small group of people working through a new case week after week as if they are actually seeing/treating the patient. It seems the dialogue and the practice of presenting the case will come in handy on the wards (and beyond). However, you really have to be on the ball every class period since failing to come prepared will affect the whole group. This is scary.
Yeah definitely have mixed feelings about PBL. I loved sitting in on the session and loved my PBL-like experiences in undergrad but I worry that I won't be as prepared for things like the USMLE. After talking to medical students elsewhere it just seems like PBL is amazing with synthesizing knowledge but maybe not the best for learning facts/a body of knowledge. That being said the JMP students I talked to reassured me that the school has been doing this for years and knows what they are doing. I also heard when I was at UCSF that they constantly monitor the clinical grades/USMLE scores of the JMP students vs. main campus students and they are not significantly different. I don't know how true this is, but it makes sense that they would do this.
The facility and classrooms leave a lot to be desired, but the prospect of doing research with a decorated faculty member is incredibly appealing -- especially since pretty much every field is open to us.
I vaguely remember that most grads go into primary care. Do you think this is due to self selection, or is this an implicit goal of the program?
I feel like it is probably a combination of both. I don't think they seek to solely train primary care physicians but I think it is a big part of their socio and humanistic aspects of medicine approach. That being said they seem to be supportive of students pursuing any field(they seem to be open to let you do research in w/e you want - wet lab or population stuff). I imagine that there is a lot of self selection in the student body since the program really highlights the social aspects of health + with the suitcase clinic and the fact it is in a school of public health.
The career choices of future grads is also concerning to me because even though my interests now align with primary care, what if I change my mind? It seems like graduates are able to do what they want though, even if most end up in primary care, and I imagine the clinical training at UCSF would not hold you back.
One of my bigger concerns is the cost. The yearly tuition is almost comparable to some private schools and it is 5 years so the costs really add. That combined with the lovely rapid increases in tuition at UC's and I am a little scared.
Haha...well see how everything looks when the dusts settles. Lots of decisions and things to consider. Good luck with your decision!
PS. We should definitely talk via PM and come up with a list of questions we want to ask current students/faculty
As a side note, I'm kinda creeped out that saying your name 3 times actually worked!