Just graduated from VCU. I can only speak based on my experience because I know some things have changed since I've gone through it...... for instance, there is now a structured ultrasound experience in the curriculum that we did not have and as mentioned previously, they have moved to P/F for preclinical (which I can see as a positive and a negative). There will no doubt be changes between now and when you are there so I would try not to fixate on minor things.I'm only a current applicant, but some of the things I personally like about the school are: P/F curriculum, low tuition/COA, and no mandatory attendance. Maybe you could ask some M2's on Facebook about what they enjoy about the school.
Major positives: the city itself (Richmond is a good small to midsize city with a diverse patient population, relative affordability, and access to a lot of stuff), preclinical attendance being mostly optional (I believe still the case), medical education building is relatively new and nice, the Veterans Hospital is one of the best in the country with major transplants, legit research goes on in some areas. (some love working at VA's and some do not enjoy it, I'm one of the former), food carts by the hospital are a nice lunch option despite there being limited choices in the hospital itself (they are currently opening a panera), standardized patient encounters are pretty good and they now do a nice simulation prep/practice session to get you ready for Step 2CS, M4 schedules are pretty good/flexible/chill (plenty of Step prep and vacation time, and only need 7 blocks of clinical rotations).
Negatives: During my time there was a good bit of turnover within administration (dean, curric office, etc.) that caused some mild turbulence but I don't think it was a huge deal in the end and they seem more stable at the moment; despite structured feedback systems by class reps it didn't usually seem like the higher-ups were very responsive to concerns/complaints and were always quick to dangle the "professionalism misconduct" threat over students to get what they wanted (although I can understand how annoying medical students can be); the hospital is pretty old by modern standards and could use a lot of renovation, with little natural light and team rooms that can be crowded (there is a new outpatient facility that should be nice, and the critical care hospital is actually fine); Clinical grades are inherently subjective outside of the shelf exams and there are some occasions where I found my grade being signicantly impacted by feedback from a person who I only spent 1 day with and interacted with only briefly (the feedback system has changed and I don't know what it will be when you get there, but many people were annoyed with the new way they started doing it that requires you to send frequent evaluation requests to residents and attendings through an online system); and one of the biggest problems I felt was the de-emphasis of research ---- there are exceptions and I know some people had great mentors ---- in a place that has a great deal of diverse pathology and significant data at their fingertips (especially when including the VA system). If you want to do something competitive (as I did) it can be tougher than at other bigger name programs and you may have to find the extra motivation to seek out projects or outside mentors to make yourself a strong candidate. Having said that, however, we did just have an excellent match that was probably one of the best ever for the school. Basically all but 1 or 2 out of ~220 matched post-SOAP, and a lot in competitive fields.
Clinical rotations are very much a mixed bag so I hesitate to list this as a negative in general. As an example, I loved my Family Medicine rotation where I was sent to a rural solo practice for a month and had a great experience; but some people were less pleased and had a totally different experience. I found my Ob/Gyn rotation to be mostly miserable with very tense team rooms and stressed residents that didn't lead to a positive learning environment. Some people really enjoyed Ob/Gyn but most of them I found had done it at INOVA (which is no longer an option for 3rd years) or did L&D nights as opposed to days. Some surgery teams are better (Surg Onc) than others and in the end, a great deal depends on who you click with and what you enjoy. Medical school is challenging in the sense that you're constantly low man on the totem pole, fighting feelings of incompetence, and feeling like you always need to catch up. This is going to be the case anywhere. I think people overestimate the warm fuzzy feeling they get from one or two people when they interview or visit a place. Certainly as a preclinical student, you'll get out what you put in and you'll basically learn the same thing everywhere to prepare you for Step 1.
I think most people find it easier to tease out the bad things and looking at my comments it's true for me as well. Still, VCU is a pretty solid school with some great professors and opportunities. You shouldn't really have a hard time doing anything you want if you come in with the right attitude and put the legwork in. One of my biggest complaints about medical school is how limited your exposure is to specialties during rotations, as you only interact with a limited number of docs/team members and see primarily the academic setting. Don't get too jaded by a bad clinical experience if you think you may still like the field. Seek out more opportunities and talk to the attendings to help get a more accurate impression of what your career options might be down the road. Best of luck