drgweeds

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
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Medical Student
Awesome.

1. How busy is your schedule as an M1? Have you had ample time for research/hobbies?
2. Related: How difficult is it to find research relevant to your specialty of interest.
3. How close is your class? Do you all study together/share notes etc.
4. How do most people go about finding housing?
5. Favorite thing about GW so far? Least favorite?

1) The schedule is very very busy. Since we have a condensed preclinical curriculum, I find that I am staying busy with studying and keeping up with material. With that said, for me, it's not too busy to the point that I can't participate in other things. I am happily enjoying conducting research (benchtop), being involved in clubs, and about to start IM volleyball. Having time to put toward other things really depends on what your personal capabilities are and what expectations you have for yourself and the medical school experience. I know people who just make med school their only focus and others that dedicate just enough time to it so that they do well, then use what's ever left to pursue other things.

2) If you are a med student, people want to do research with you. Depending on what specific field you are interested in, it can be hit or miss with doing research with specific investigators. I was able to establish a relationship with my mentor very quickly. If something you are looking for is very niche, then it may take a bit longer.

3) My class is very social and for the most part, we are close. You'll see that students will break out into their smaller groups, but in general everyone here is very collaborative. We actually have a test tomorrow and everyone is posting their study guides on our FB group. Our social chairs do a great job of scheduling outings. We kind of have a reputation too of being a fun class. Can't guarantee that future classes will be as close, but it seems like admissions knows what its doing when they're building a cohort

4) craiglist is your friend. some find roommates online within the FB group, but ultimately will use mr. Craig to find rentals. Zillow worsk too (that's what I used)

5) Favorite thing is definitely my class and the relationships I have with the administration and faculty. I wake up everyday excited to learn medicine and so far have not experienced overwhelming stress. Least favorite would be the facilities. Its a bit aged and the library can use some updates.
 

drgweeds

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
195
308
81
Status
Medical Student
What do you wish you knew before starting at GW? What advice would you have for incoming M1’s?
I wish I knew how to study a bunch of material really quickly. Still figuring this out. My advice to you is to have fun before coming here and make sure to bring an iron. Also figure out how to stay organized. Buy a calendar or a notebook or whatever.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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It's a beautiful day in the nation's capital and I'm looking to spread the joy. 1st-year medical student here, so AMA!
can you talk at all about financial aid at GW? I've heard they don't really give much, but the average indebtedness on MSAR was lower than I expected
 
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drgweeds

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
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Medical Student
can you talk at all about financial aid at GW? I've heard they don't really give much, but the average indebtedness on MSAR was lower than I expected
I actually found that GW was generous with aid. I know many students that received help. Additionally, there are a ton of scholarship opportunities once you matriculate.
 
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Feb 14, 2019
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I actually found that GW was generous with aid. I know many students that received help. Additionally, there are a ton of scholarship opportunities once you matriculate.
By scholarships: do you mean outside scholarships that schools list on their financial aid pages to help their students apply to? Most med students I have talked to imply that these are usually really specific and not a lot of money. Or do you mean GW has specific scholarships that really help?
 
Jul 7, 2018
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I wish I knew how to study a bunch of material really quickly. Still figuring this out. My advice to you is to have fun before coming here and make sure to bring an iron. Also figure out how to stay organized. Buy a calendar or a notebook or whatever.
I saw somewhere that GW uses NBME subject exams for their finals. Do you find this as a positive? And for midterms and quizzes, do they try to keep it related to STEP material or do you get random small details a PhD may find important but isn’t as clinically relevant?
 

drgweeds

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
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Medical Student
By scholarships: do you mean outside scholarships that schools list on their financial aid pages to help their students apply to? Most med students I have talked to imply that these are usually really specific and not a lot of money. Or do you mean GW has specific scholarships that really help?
Both exist. They forward announcements from outside scholarships and then open up scholarships that you become eligible as you progress.
 
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drgweeds

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
195
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Medical Student
I saw somewhere that GW uses NBME subject exams for their finals. Do you find this as a positive? And for midterms and quizzes, do they try to keep it related to STEP material or do you get random small details a PhD may find important but isn’t as clinically relevant?
This is a good question. I would not say that the NBME exams are used as final exams. Yes, they do occur at the end of the block, but they are not meant to be used as an in house assessment of the class. They are graded, but really they should be used as a tool to see how you would do with board-style questions. I would say each regular exam we take is its own "final" exam. I find both types of exams very helpful.

As to your second question, I think the regular exams can be all over the place. Some questions may be very reflective of board questions, some of them won't. Different professors will submit different questions, some of which are for clinical completeness, which may or not be helpful if your mind is solely on step. I would say that I think it's great to be tested on a variety of things, especially since you aren't going to medical school just to learn how to pass step1. You are going to medical school to learn medicine.
 

subdermallight

2+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2016
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This is a good question. I would not say that the NBME exams are used as final exams. Yes, they do occur at the end of the block, but they are not meant to be used as an in house assessment of the class. They are graded, but really they should be used as a tool to see how you would do with board-style questions. I would say each regular exam we take is its own "final" exam. I find both types of exams very helpful.

As to your second question, I think the regular exams can be all over the place. Some questions may be very reflective of board questions, some of them won't. Different professors will submit different questions, some of which are for clinical completeness, which may or not be helpful if your mind is solely on step. I would say that I think it's great to be tested on a variety of things, especially since you aren't going to medical school just to learn how to pass step1. You are going to medical school to learn medicine.
In other schools I’ve heard students say that classes weren’t all that useful a decent amount of the time and they had to be mainly self-learners to score well on the tests. Do you find it’s like that GW to any significant degree? Do you like your professors and the way they teach?
 

drgweeds

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
195
308
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Medical Student
In other schools I’ve heard students say that classes weren’t all that useful a decent amount of the time and they had to be mainly self-learners to score well on the tests. Do you find it’s like that GW to any significant degree? Do you like your professors and the way they teach?
It really depends on who you are personally and what your optimal learning environment is. I think that in general, you need to be a good self-learner. Because we are in professional school, there is an expectation that we go out of our way to look up things that don't make sense. Lol I remember this year, we had one of our first lung lectures and the lecturer kept using the word "parenchyma" with the presumption that we have already encountered it before. Half of us were like wtf even is that. Some of us had to look it up while others kinda kept going until it was later clarified. Anyway, the point is that sometimes the material in lecture may be beyond where you are at personally, but you need to be resourceful enough to find help through other methods. My experience is that I mainly use the lecture and lecture slides to prepare for the exams. I think they are the best resource at GW. But I also supplement with some outside material when there are gaps or when I feel that lecturers didn't explain it well enough for me. I have been doing very well using this structure. However when it comes to the NBME, I kind of flip it.

As for liking the professors, I think GW has really great faculty. There is faculty here for everyone, meaning that you get a lot of different personalities. Right now we are in our cardio, pulm, renal block and the professors are awesome. The block directors right now are phenomenal and should be used as examples for curricula everywhere. Like every medical school, there are faculty members that are stellar lecturers and then there are members who you may personally not like the way they teach. With that said, I find that all of them are really excited to be with students, so going to lecture is never a terrible experience.
 

subdermallight

2+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2016
251
112
81
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Medical Student (Accepted)
It really depends on who you are personally and what your optimal learning environment is. I think that in general, you need to be a good self-learner. Because we are in professional school, there is an expectation that we go out of our way to look up things that don't make sense. Lol I remember this year, we had one of our first lung lectures and the lecturer kept using the word "parenchyma" with the presumption that we have already encountered it before. Half of us were like wtf even is that. Some of us had to look it up while others kinda kept going until it was later clarified. Anyway, the point is that sometimes the material in lecture may be beyond where you are at personally, but you need to be resourceful enough to find help through other methods. My experience is that I mainly use the lecture and lecture slides to prepare for the exams. I think they are the best resource at GW. But I also supplement with some outside material when there are gaps or when I feel that lecturers didn't explain it well enough for me. I have been doing very well using this structure. However when it comes to the NBME, I kind of flip it.

As for liking the professors, I think GW has really great faculty. There is faculty here for everyone, meaning that you get a lot of different personalities. Right now we are in our cardio, pulm, renal block and the professors are awesome. The block directors right now are phenomenal and should be used as examples for curricula everywhere. Like every medical school, there are faculty members that are stellar lecturers and then there are members who you may personally not like the way they teach. With that said, I find that all of them are really excited to be with students, so going to lecture is never a terrible experience.
Thanks for all the wonderful information, that makes a lot of sense. I got a follow-up question for you if you’ve got time. It seems you are really happy with the blocks and the systems-based curriculum. Given what you may have heard about traditional curriculum (anatomy all at once, etc.), would you personally make systems-based curriculum a significant deciding factor compared to a school that does traditional?

One school I’m deciding between does traditional and it seems like it sucks but I hear mixed things and people say it’s all the same anyway.. and not to make it important. But I am torn about this
 

drgweeds

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
195
308
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Medical Student
Thanks for all the wonderful information, that makes a lot of sense. I got a follow-up question for you if you’ve got time. It seems you are really happy with the blocks and the systems-based curriculum. Given what you may have heard about traditional curriculum (anatomy all at once, etc.), would you personally make systems-based curriculum a significant deciding factor compared to a school that does traditional?

One school I’m deciding between does traditional and it seems like it sucks but I hear mixed things and people say it’s all the same anyway.. and not to make it important. But I am torn about this

Sure. Yeah, I would say that I'm pretty content with the curriculum structure, which is essentially an organ-based block curriculum with integrated disciplines (e.g. pulmonary covers, physiology, pharm, histology, micro/immuno, anatomy, pathology, clinical) There certainly can be modifications, and actually, the administration has been very receptive to incorporating student feedback and student voice into future planning, but I don't have very much to complain about.

When I was in your shoes, I didn't think that the curriculum break down was very important at all. Like it wasn't a priority since I figured we would all learn everything either way, plus there were more important factors to me such as extra-curricular opportunities for enrichment. I think my perspective has changed a bit. I do not think I personally would have done well in a curriculum that doesn't group things together in a way that is relevant. I can't imagine learning all of the human anatomy without any context of normal physiology and abnormal pathology. I think it would be very meaningless. Having things grouped in organ systems allows you to make connections, which promotes learning and retainment. For example, one thing I loved about the organ-systems approach is learning about basic cardiac physiology. Then building on the microanatomy to understand the cardiac tissue a bit more. Then learning about ischemia and infarctions and what that would look like on histology and in the clinic. Then finally actually going into the lab and visualizing the tissue, holding it in your hands, and appreciating the structures, elasticity or compliance of the tissue, and finally getting an orientation of the organ. Its really wild actually, and I don't think you can get that experience without an integrated curriculum that's grouped into systems.

Luckily for me, most of the programs I applied to used this approach, but if I could go back, I would have put more emphasis on the curriculum. Then again, it all depends on what you like and what you think would be best. Some people could care less. At the end of the day, it's just 2 years - I happen to love mine so far... Just make sure that you can do well on the boards.
 
Dec 17, 2018
7
27
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Curious, anything about GW you didn’t like as much?
Honestly, no. Interview day was great. Interview was laid back and I really enjoyed the conversation topics. I also really liked the students and faculty I met. And the facility is amazing. I suppose if I had to find something - the program I ended up accepting is ranked a bit higher, but that's maybe a sliver of importance to me. I primarily gave up my seat because it made sense geographically for me to be on the West Coast due to a number of personal factors.
 
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Jan 28, 2019
9
19
11
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Pre-Medical
Does anybody know how GW is about deferral requests? Couldn't find any information on their website.

Would they let you defer after getting accepted from the alternate list?
 
Feb 14, 2019
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Does anybody know how GW is about deferral requests? Couldn't find any information on their website.

Would they let you defer after getting accepted from the alternate list?
many schools do not accept deferrals off the waitlist because that really defeats the point of the waitlist (to try to fill the class)
 
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Anonymoose_65

2+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2015
34
36
61
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Does anyone know if there has been any WL movement yet or when it will start?
I believe that, technically, anyone who has not been accepted or rejected has been deferred a decision.
They recently sent out a request for updated information and a letter of interest, due by April 2nd. Anyone who hasn't submitted a letter of interest by then is automatically rejected. It seems like a way to get an early start on this "Choose Your Medical School" process.

Sometime after April 2nd, we should see more straight-up acceptances, rejections, and a ranked waitlist as they will have a better idea of what they are dealing with.
 
Mar 13, 2018
90
133
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Medical Student (Accepted)
I believe that, technically, anyone who has not been accepted or rejected has been deferred a decision.
They recently sent out a request for updated information and a letter of interest, due by April 2nd. Anyone who hasn't submitted a letter of interest by then is automatically rejected. It seems like a way to get an early start on this "Choose Your Medical School" process.

Sometime after April 2nd, we should see more straight-up acceptances, rejections, and a ranked waitlist as they will have a better idea of what they are dealing with.

GW’s waitlist is not ranked.
 
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subdermallight

2+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2016
251
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Sure. Yeah, I would say that I'm pretty content with the curriculum structure, which is essentially an organ-based block curriculum with integrated disciplines (e.g. pulmonary covers, physiology, pharm, histology, micro/immuno, anatomy, pathology, clinical) There certainly can be modifications, and actually, the administration has been very receptive to incorporating student feedback and student voice into future planning, but I don't have very much to complain about.

When I was in your shoes, I didn't think that the curriculum break down was very important at all. Like it wasn't a priority since I figured we would all learn everything either way, plus there were more important factors to me such as extra-curricular opportunities for enrichment. I think my perspective has changed a bit. I do not think I personally would have done well in a curriculum that doesn't group things together in a way that is relevant. I can't imagine learning all of the human anatomy without any context of normal physiology and abnormal pathology. I think it would be very meaningless. Having things grouped in organ systems allows you to make connections, which promotes learning and retainment. For example, one thing I loved about the organ-systems approach is learning about basic cardiac physiology. Then building on the microanatomy to understand the cardiac tissue a bit more. Then learning about ischemia and infarctions and what that would look like on histology and in the clinic. Then finally actually going into the lab and visualizing the tissue, holding it in your hands, and appreciating the structures, elasticity or compliance of the tissue, and finally getting an orientation of the organ. Its really wild actually, and I don't think you can get that experience without an integrated curriculum that's grouped into systems.

Luckily for me, most of the programs I applied to used this approach, but if I could go back, I would have put more emphasis on the curriculum. Then again, it all depends on what you like and what you think would be best. Some people could care less. At the end of the day, it's just 2 years - I happen to love mine so far... Just make sure that you can do well on the boards.
Also how do you feel about the study spaces and the building/general facilities? I’m kind of blanking out from my interview.
 

drgweeds

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
195
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Medical Student
Also how do you feel about the study spaces and the building/general facilities? I’m kind of blanking out from my interview.
Personally, I'm fine with the study spaces, but if GW could set some money aside for renovations, I think the student body would throw a week-long festival. First-floor lecture room is okay, but I prefer tables rather than tiny swivel desks. The second floor has a continuous desk table set up, which is superior. Typically, the second floor is for second-year student lectures until they go bye bye for step studying. Right now first years have the 2nd floor to themselves, which was a game changer hahaha.
 
Jan 28, 2019
9
19
11
Status
Pre-Medical
many schools do not accept deferrals off the waitlist because that really defeats the point of the waitlist (to try to fill the class)
I figured but still curious how GW would handle these situations haha

Does anyone know of their general deferral policy though? No info on their website
 
May 24, 2018
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I figured but still curious how GW would handle these situations haha

Does anyone know of their general deferral policy though? No info on their website
Someone asked at an info session that I attended, and the representative made their stance sound very vague. For the obvious reasons, they try not to grant deferrals (makes the math harder the next year b/c you have to take the people who deferred into account, etc), but it wasn't a hard no. I think that this answer was in reply to anyone asking for a deferral (not specific to someone who was taken off the waitlist)
 
Aug 21, 2018
16
22
61
Status
Pre-Medical
I saw on last year's thread that some people on the alternate list spoke on the phone or in person with a member of the admissions committee to express interest-- does anyone have any information on this?
 

Zombiegirl

5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2013
91
81
121
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Medical Student (Accepted)
GW’s waitlist is not ranked.
I heard GWs waitlist is ranked “secretly” and won’t change much after you first get waitlisted. They keep it under close wraps so no one ever knows their ranking. At least, that’s what I’ve been told by a recently graduated student (who was involved in admissions) so idk.
 
Oct 17, 2018
11
21
11
If I'm an alternate and want to have my boss submit a letter of recommendation - what is the best way to go about it? Should I have them email medadmit? Should I upload the doc as an update? Is there a set protocol?
 

Harambe

2+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2016
98
170
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Pre-Medical
If I'm an alternate and want to have my boss submit a letter of recommendation - what is the best way to go about it? Should I have them email medadmit? Should I upload the doc as an update? Is there a set protocol?
I'm pretty sure all letters need to be sent through AMCAS, and I honestly don't think a letter of recommendation this late into the game will help / may be perceived as desperate. If you know anyone at GW though, I'd probably ask them to get their perspective
 

Anonymoose_65

2+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2015
34
36
61
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I heard GWs waitlist is ranked “secretly” and won’t change much after you first get waitlisted. They keep it under close wraps so no one ever knows their ranking. At least, that’s what I’ve been told by a recently graduated student (who was involved in admissions) so idk.
Maybe I'm thinking about this the wrong way but every wait list must be ranked, at least internally, right? It's not like they pull a name out of a hat. What are some of ways that schools approach their wait list?
I guess when applicants say "Ranked Wait List" it means that we told a number.
 
Jun 27, 2018
52
65
31
Maybe I'm thinking about this the wrong way but every wait list must be ranked, at least internally, right? It's not like they pull a name out of a hat. What are some of ways that schools approach their wait list?
I guess when applicants say "Ranked Wait List" it means that we told a number.
I mean with about 800ish of us on the waitlist, they have to have at least stratified us all into tiers.
 
Mar 13, 2019
33
61
31
Status
Medical Student
What are people (in my case, guys) wearing for second look? Did they specify any kind of dress code?
 

drgweeds

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
195
308
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Status
Medical Student
What are people (in my case, guys) wearing for second look? Did they specify any kind of dress code?
Dress business causal for the day and business for the reception. Or dress business for the whole day. The reception is fancy.
 
Jul 13, 2018
11
7
11
Any late February interviewers hear back yet or know when we might hear?
Yeah late Feb interview checking in. Heard the other week I got alt listed. Thought the interview went well because one of them lasted an hour, but that's what happens.