A question for PIL students

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Nogpa, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. Nogpa

    Nogpa Member

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    I was wondering what PIL students at Drexel thought of the program?
    Are the lab experiences as organized and prevalent as those in IFM?
    Have you ever had trouble with group members not carrying their weight?
    Are there any opportunities for summer research, or is there simply no time?
    Are the facilitators active in their guidance of discussions and ideas?

    I'm really interested in the program, so any information at all would be terrific!


    Thanks in advance!

    BR
     
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  3. erudman

    erudman New Member

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    Nogpa,

    I am currently a first year in PIL at Drexel U. From my exposure, I have been for the most part very pleased with the program.

    The material you will learn over the first 2 years of med school is more or less the same at almost every school, in almost every program in the country. Differences exist in the approach to presenting the information. I feel that the case-based approach keeps most of us more interested and more involved in the material. That has its drawbacks, as its difficult to present every issue in every basic science as a clinical case.

    You are expected to spend some time learning and studying outside of class in any curriculum. In PIL, there is a bit more freedom in your decision of how to organize your time.

    A major benefit of PIL is our Primary Care Practicum program. We spend over a month working with a physician at the end of year one. What that means, is that over the first year of school we actually get enough preparation to work with a physician. (and from what I've heard, the experience usually kicks ass).

    PILs generally land on their feet much faster 3rd year, but from what I've heard in the course of about 6 months the IFM catches up.

    In the end, the decision is up to you. If you are coming here for an interview or a visit, I would be more than happy to discuss the matter with you further.

    e.
     
  4. Mylaina

    Mylaina Senior Member

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    Hey,

    I totally echo the sentiments of erudman who happens to be my classmate.

    One other thing I would like to mention about PIL. In group (which meets 3 times a week) we are supposed to give extensive feedback to members of the group (including yourself and the facilitator). When another student is not keeping up the slack-- he or she is given the chance to own up to it ("I'm sorry I was not prepared today, my toilet exploded in my apartment last night" or some kind of excuse" If it becomes a repeated problem and the students can't get the student to get working, part of the job of the facilitator to make sure we're all holding our own weight. Plus, our group grades count for 1/3 of our grade...

    PM me if anyone has any particular questions!
    Mylaina
     
  5. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    can you switch into pil if you applied for ifm? how many people are in each track? i think i would want to do ifm but am still a little undecided at this point. pil sounds way more interesting, but i'm concerned it won't be an effective way for me to learn the material.
    for how long has each program existed? how do the pil students do on step I? thanks :)
     
  6. Mylaina

    Mylaina Senior Member

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    If you check off the IFM or PIL block on the application, you are not accepted directly into either pathway. Once you are accepted, you are sent a small application (easy to fill out) with questions about what experiences you have had working in a group and why PIL will work for you.

    Once you are in PIL, you have 1 or 2 weeks to drop out into IFM (but like college- you are knee deep in material by that point and we don't start at the same place).

    This year
    PIL: 38
    IFM: 210 or so.

    The great thing about PIL is that whenever you see material that you've had before, you always remember a certain "case patient" that was associated with that material. Plus, with the small class, there is an intimate learning environment with the professors and each other. We work very hard to make sure we all do well.

    I don't know how to post a link to another thread, so I will copy what I wrote in another thread.

    "I am a PIL 1st year. I am prejudiced toward PIL!! We are given cases to start studying from (i.e. hyperthyroidism for endocrine system) and to identify with. Then we have Resource Sessions (like lectures) to teach us about the general subject (not just the case!!!!!!!) Most of our questions are answered in the resource sessions (as long as your group isn't crazy about assigning learning issues that are irrelevant which is learned quickly the first week of class). Plus, we have our own "Resource Room" which is like a library, but we can't take books out. So if you need any information, it is there or in the brains of our professors (who are always willing to answer questions) I love that every time I come across a subject I have done before, I think of Mr. Johnson or Ms. Li from group.

    Most PIL students are not in school longer or are studying less or more than IFM lecture students. Group is mandatory for PIL students, but resource sessions are not. Plus, in both pathways we can watch lectures on the internet.

    One great thing I have noticed about PIL is that we form a bit of a family. We are all intent on helping each other succeed and do well. Quite often, study guides/worksheets/tables/charts/concept maps are posted on the bulletin board in the PIL room. We have these "integrated science" topics that are generated by each groups that involve our cases and then some subject that is not a focus science (i.e. pathology or pharmacology during the Neuroscience blocK) and we get together and submit maps from each group for everyone to share from."

    PIL has been around for 12 years, and I assume that IFM has been around since the beginning of the school? But I'm not sure-- there has probably been some super modification as they've gone.

    Board scores are usually the same. There was one year where the PIL students didn't do as well. My opinion of board scores is this: All schools say they have this or that pass rate. A percent. You could be talking to a school that has a 99% pass rate with scores being just above passing and a school toting an 85% pass rate with everyone blowing the exam out of the water. Which one is better? Unfortunately, no school tells you what the ACTUAL scores of the students are. All you know is that a certain percent passes. I don't know what the scores of PIL vs. IFM are, but I know that they are very close to the same percents.

    PIL student tend to do better 3rd year (because we practice hypothesizing about what is wrong with the patient and what tests to do etc etc) from day one. But I think IFM catches up quickly.
     
  7. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    hey thanks :)
     
  8. Nogpa

    Nogpa Member

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    Thanks, that was great!! I've got a question about the PIL application: how long after you applied to PIL(post-acceptance) did you hear from them? I keep hoping to hear back, but no dice as of yet.

    Thanks,

    BR
     
  9. Mylaina

    Mylaina Senior Member

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    That's a funny story. Did you send your application directly to the PIL office? I think I sent mine to the wrong place! So I called the people in the PIL office (they are super nice!!!!!!!!!!) and asked them about it. They will tell you what is going on. They usually find out pretty quickly.

    If you need the number, PM me and I will give it to you.

    Also, one of the ladies in the PIL office has been out for a family problem, so they might be behind (as a possible excuse).

    Mylaina
     
  10. Nogpa

    Nogpa Member

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    Mylaina, I PMed you.
     

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