JackFlack

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2014
7
24
11
Status
Pre-Medical
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.
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.
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
 

JackFlack

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2014
7
24
11
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you so [email protected] May I ask you are IS or OOS? Where did you stay when you're @ VCU? Do you need to buy books? Or everything is online? Many thanks!
I was OOS and lived in one of the aforementioned apartment buildings that had all-inclusive rent (utilities, parking, internet, tv...). Some people start out living by campus and then move elsewhere. I just preferred staying put for convenience and the fact that I hate moving. There are plenty of options by the hospital or within a 15-20 minute drive. Some of my friends bought houses, some have families. As far as books, there are lots of "required" resources but very few things you actually need to buy. There's a pdf version of virtually everything out there floating around and they tend to get passed around. Some people like hard copies of everything and there are commonly secondhand books being sold on class facebook groups if you want them. The few things that basically everybody shells out for regardless are Pathoma and sketchy during preclinical & UWorld Qbank and First Aid/Review books for Step (obviously stethoscope etc. too).
 

medschoolzombie

2+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2016
2,206
2,254
81
May I ask where you're going/ what you're doing? Wherever it is, best of luck to you! I know you are at least a one time reapplicant, so I hope the journey is finally over for you.
Thanks man! I'm over vcu putting me on a WL twice in a row lol. Plus I got a better offer than what VCU will be able to give me. Check my post history for deets
 
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Reactions: medicalone
Mar 20, 2019
1
1
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Long time lurker here, still keeping fingers crossed for that A. The DO school I've been accepted to is requiring a CTE by June 1st, and it has my stomach in knots because I REALLY don't want to give up my VCU waitlist spot. These different CTE deadlines don't seem fair, but I guess that is life. Does anyone have any advice?
 
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Reactions: Undercovernerd
Oct 19, 2018
253
154
41
Long time lurker here, still keeping fingers crossed for that A. The DO school I've been accepted to is requiring a CTE by June 1st, and it has my stomach in knots because I REALLY don't want to give up my VCU waitlist spot. These different CTE deadlines don't seem fair, but I guess that is life. Does anyone have any advice?
I have a CTE deadline of May 20th at my school and really hate the idea of pulling myself off the WLs, but I emailed the schools I am waitlisted at letting them know of the upcoming CTE deadline. I think that's really all you can do.
 
Mar 20, 2019
14
24
11
Status
Pre-Medical
Long time lurker here, still keeping fingers crossed for that A. The DO school I've been accepted to is requiring a CTE by June 1st, and it has my stomach in knots because I REALLY don't want to give up my VCU waitlist spot. These different CTE deadlines don't seem fair, but I guess that is life. Does anyone have any advice?
I don't think there is a need to withdraw the VCU WL spot, AMCAS and AACOMAS are two separate entities and do not communicate amongst each other. You should be fine to go ahead and select CTE for the DO school.
 

medschoolzombie

2+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2016
2,206
2,254
81
Long time lurker here, still keeping fingers crossed for that A. The DO school I've been accepted to is requiring a CTE by June 1st, and it has my stomach in knots because I REALLY don't want to give up my VCU waitlist spot. These different CTE deadlines don't seem fair, but I guess that is life. Does anyone have any advice?
I wouldn't give it up. MD schools can't see which DO schools you've CTEd and vice versa. If you do get in off of a WL past that date, that would be called poaching I believe which is apparently allowed starting this cycle
 
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I'mTheDoctor

2+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2016
80
170
131
Status
Pre-Medical
Long time lurker here, still keeping fingers crossed for that A. The DO school I've been accepted to is requiring a CTE by June 1st, and it has my stomach in knots because I REALLY don't want to give up my VCU waitlist spot. These different CTE deadlines don't seem fair, but I guess that is life. Does anyone have any advice?
I'm in a similar boat, but thankfully the DO school I've been accepted to has a very late CTE date. I'll keep positive thoughts for you to get that A before you have to make a decision. I agree, I wish there were more nationally recognized guidelines across the board but, thems the cards we are dealt with. Best of luck to you.
 
Jun 8, 2018
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31
What's the feel among applicants and students here about VCU versus EVMS?
I interviewed at both schools and felt much better about VCU than evms. There were a few things I definitely liked more about vcu such as 1.5 years pre clinical, more dedicated step 1 prep time, and what current students had to say about vcu. There was also a certain vibe I felt at evms that made me feel like it wasn’t the right school for me. Idk how to describe it but those are my feelings.
 
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Reactions: Talldoctor96
Jul 5, 2018
78
113
41
Status
Pre-Medical
Accepted on Monday! That's it, my cycle is done. This is the school I always wanted to go to. Do we get a follow up email after paying our deposit and filling out the matriculation form? Haven't received anything like that yet. Also anyone have that facebook group link?
 
Last edited:
Aug 29, 2018
58
43
21
Accepted on Monday! That's it, my cycle is done. This is the school I always wanted to go to. Do we get a follow up email after paying our deposit and filling out the matriculation form? Haven't received anything like that yet. Also anyone have that facebook group link?
Stats? IS/OOS?
 
May 1, 2019
4
13
11
Status
Pre-Medical
For the accepted applicants, I see they offer a 4-week summer program in June - is there any feedback about the value of doing this? Elsewhere on the Forum? (Struggling with the seach function, sorry!)