ppushpak

2+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2016
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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!)
My friend who did it last year said she didn't find it that beneficial.

To play devil's advocate, if you are someone who has been out of school it may be a nice re-introduction to medical school caliber coursework. They also do provide you free housing and pay you a stipend. You get to meet some of your future classmates. It also may be a good way to get adjusted to the area if you are new to Virginia/Richmond.
 
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Jul 24, 2018
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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
Amazing response. Could you answer a few more questions?

1.) Do you do rotations with other health professions students (PA, NP, etc.)?
2.) How many of the required rotations will be done at MCV/Richmond vs outside of Richmond?
3.) Do you prefer staying in one place for rotations or doing rotations in different communities?
4.) Did you feel like you had enough time to do elective rotations / away rotations?
5.) What did you think about the scut work as an M3 / M4?
 
Feb 25, 2019
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Cold Storage. 10 minute walk up the hill to MCV. There's also a shuttle that runs q15min from an adjacent parking lot
I am thinking about living at Cold Storage. What are pros and cons you can share? I was told some apartments there are no windows in the bedrooms. Is it true for apartments at Cold Storage? Where do you do shopping for groceries? Do you normally walk to MCV? Do I need a car for the first 2 years ? Many thanks
 
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ppushpak

2+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2016
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Cold Storage: I didn't live there but I checked it out when I was looking for apartments a few years ago and I remember the units I looked at had some of the bedrooms without windows. Cold storage is a group of renovated factory buildings but relatively nice

Grocery Store: Farm Fresh is on like 24th and Main

Transportation: I don't know if you need a car for the first two years but Sanger Express runs from A Lot (16th St between Broad and Marshall) which is right next to Cold Storage/Cedar Broad. Takes about 7 minutes in peak hours to get to campus and runs frequently enough during 9-5.
 
Feb 25, 2019
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I would like to know if anyone has lived in the dorm on VCU main campus and takes the shuttle to MCV. Just want to know all the options. Thanks
 

thelonelyant

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Oct 21, 2015
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Reaally hoping for acceptances this week. For no particular reason other than it being another week closer to orientation, I think my hope is going to mostly die after this one
Imo this dance is over for us. Especially if your race or demos doesn't match up. If it does it's a stroke of luck.
 
Sep 28, 2017
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Do any current students have any insight as to how the AOA at VCU selects its students?

What kind of longitudinal leadership and community service opportunities are available for students, and are they easy to juggle with your courseload?
 
Sep 6, 2018
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Thinking I need to give up on this school. The Facebook keeps growing and it’s starting to get really sad to see people being accepted without me
 
Dec 17, 2018
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Thinking I need to give up on this school. The Facebook keeps growing and it’s starting to get really sad to see people being accepted without me
I’m sorry but how could you give up on May 20? There’s 2 more more months before the first day of classes and it is well know that this waitlist cycle is super super weird. Many of the big adcoms of sdn are saying in the waitlist thread they’re completely winging it and that a lot of movement will happen later in the cycle.
 
Jul 6, 2017
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Pre-Medical
Thinking I need to give up on this school. The Facebook keeps growing and it’s starting to get really sad to see people being accepted without me
Feel you on being disheartened, but try not to obsess over it - my happiest moments are thinking about other things. Pre-set yourself a date to withdrawal if you're going to do it that way, but I agree it's a little early. Try not to succumb to the cortisol =/
 
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Oct 7, 2018
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Feel you on being disheartened, but try not to obsess over it - my happiest moments are thinking about other things. Pre-set yourself a date to withdrawal if you're going to do it that way, but I agree it's a little early. Try not to succumb to the cortisol =/
I’m sorry but how could you give up on May 20? There’s 2 more more months before the first day of classes and it is well know that this waitlist cycle is super super weird. Many of the big adcoms of sdn are saying in the waitlist thread they’re completely winging it and that a lot of movement will happen later in the cycle.
People on reddit think that WL movement is mostly over? So nobody knows perhaps?
Balance is key. I have some hope, but I am not unrealistically expecting an acceptance. I am planning for the reapp. Goodluck fam.
 
Aug 7, 2018
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Thinking I need to give up on this school. The Facebook keeps growing and it’s starting to get really sad to see people being accepted without me
The Facebook group isn't only accepted applicants; there are tons of current students looking for subleasers and selling textbooks and whatnot, so the number of members doesn't necessarily reflect acceptances. Good luck, friend!!
 

Nora Taylor

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Apr 6, 2016
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is it safe to lose hope now as IS ?
 

mariposas905

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Mar 14, 2017
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I mean IS people are going to get in between now and August 3rd. You could be the next person, you could be the last person. We just dont know.
Maybe, but IS movement is definitely slower than usual this year. I thought more offers from the WL would be made with the new traffic rules, but it looks like the opposite is happening :shrug:
 

I'mTheDoctor

2+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2016
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Do we think OOS movement has crawled to a close? I’m really keeping my fingers crossed VCU pulls through for me. I can’t imagine leaving Virginia. :bigtears:
 

mariposas905

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Mar 14, 2017
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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.
Did any of the school you were WL'ed at let you know a decision before your CTE deadline?
 
Oct 19, 2018
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Not officially. But said that their waitlists weren’t moving so I had to take myself off of them
 
Nov 27, 2017
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I think it's safe to say the bulk of waitlist movement is over with. There will probably be some trickling here and there but I think the weeks of more than 3 people reporting acceptance off the IS waitlist are done. Good luck everyone
 

jpvn2015

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Mar 22, 2015
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Especially for those without an acceptance, we just have to be proactive about our futures! Can't let a minor set-back deter us at this point. Think about all those hours in the library, the research, etc. It'll all work out in the end, so let's make it happen!
 
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Oct 7, 2018
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Especially for those without an acceptance, we just have to be proactive about our futures! Can't let a minor set-back deter us at this point. Think about all those hours in the library, the research, etc. It'll all work out in the end, so let's make it happen!
Yeah fam do your best to be positive! Good!

I am working on my reapp as we speak. I think I will be slightly on edge until the current cycle is over (is this normal?), but at least I am being productive (just in case things don't work out).
 
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Mar 12, 2018
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Hey has anyone had any luck with their transcript information updating in the applicant portal? I had my university send mine close to a month ago and this change still has not been reflected in the portal.
 
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GetThatAcetoned

2+ Year Member
May 18, 2017
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Hey has anyone had any luck with their transcript information updating in the applicant portal? I had my university send mine close to a month ago and this change still has not been reflected in the portal.
One of the transcripts that I sent used a service that provided me a receipt once it had been opened by the recipient. I received the receipt awhile ago, but my portal hasn't been updated so just because they haven't updated it doesn't mean that they haven't received them.
 

GetThatAcetoned

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May 18, 2017
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Can any current students talk about what takes place during orientation? It appears that it's going to last 2 weeks, but will class start prior to the end of that? Also, is each day a full day of stuff or is it just kind of spread throughout the two weeks? Other than the key things like the white coat ceremony there isn't much information about what is going to be going on. The reason I ask is I'm going to possibly be in the process of moving out of my apartment (I already live in Richmond) during the first week of orientation due to the way leases line up and am trying to plan accordingly.
 
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NeuroticButCute

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Apr 26, 2017
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Hey has anyone had any luck with their transcript information updating in the applicant portal? I had my university send mine close to a month ago and this change still has not been reflected in the portal.
Same here. I emailed Gail Steele and she said she had received all of mine, so I guess that they just aren't updating the portal much for people who have been accepted.
 
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Oct 7, 2018
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Hi long time lurker here... Got off the waitlist last night, OOS! Was being proactive about reapplying and retook my MCAT two weeks ago... talk about irony. Super pumped and good luck to everyone on here!
Congratulations :)

Does anyone mind sharing how they felt after their MMI? I welcome a PM. I have a LizzyM that's ~68 and am wondering if the interview is why I'm
WLed

It’s definitely moving, I got off the list today!
LM 68, OOS
 
May 29, 2019
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Congratulations :)

Does anyone mind sharing how they felt after their MMI? I welcome a PM. I have a LizzyM that's ~68 and am wondering if the interview is why I'm
WLed

I feel like it’s so hard for me to know with MMI. Personally I’m not a fan of them because it’s hard to really connect with the interviewer in such a short time (and sometimes they are purposefully distant). Also I felt like I varied wildly on how I did. For example, I thought I crushed it at a school that I eventually was rejected to and I felt like mine at VCU wasn’t my very best but still okay. I wouldn’t put all the weight on any one thing and just assume the more balanced you are in all things, the better. But that’s just my thoughts!
 
Oct 7, 2018
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I feel like it’s so hard for me to know with MMI. Personally I’m not a fan of them because it’s hard to really connect with the interviewer in such a short time (and sometimes they are purposefully distant). Also I felt like I varied wildly on how I did. For example, I thought I crushed it at a school that I eventually was rejected to and I felt like mine at VCU wasn’t my very best but still okay. I wouldn’t put all the weight on any one thing and just assume the more balanced you are in all things, the better. But that’s just my thoughts!
Thanks so much for getting back to me!!

Yeah I felt good about my MMI overall at VCU but I could've done slightly better. Sounds like we had a similar feeling. I also felt ok and got an R post-MMI at another school lol. Are we twins? XD
 
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