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any stanford undergrad students?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by yg1786, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. yg1786

    yg1786 Member
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    hey guys

    im a high school senior and i just got accepted to stanford. though im ecstatic about getting in, i also got into Northwestern's 7 Yr ba/md program. i wanted to kno wut you guys thought about stanford, especially the rigor of the science courses and the element of weeding out done at Stanford for premeds. Do many students typically get into top med schools (for instance as high as Northwestern's med school). also, tell me about the social life and your overall perception of the school. this is gonna be a tough decision and any input would be helpful

    thanx
     
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  3. frick

    frick Senior Member
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    If you're dead-set on doing getting a MD, go the Northwestern route -- you won't end up regretting it when you realize you don't have to fly around the country interviewing during your senior year. As far as I know, it would only be to your advantage to go to Stanford if you wanted to eventually apply MSTP (since a whoooole lot of research is taking place there which you could become involved in).

    I personally don't think Stanford's all that great... I know a guy who ended up going there after HS (not to generalize Stanford students or anything, but he worked so hard/was so stressed out all the time that he turned into what I like to call a 'personality leech' -- he effectively lost all semblances of himself and hung out around very outgoing people to fill in the gap) and likes it, but that's also because he's totally obsessed with status and prestige. The first thing I heard from him once he got there was that he had become friends with a congresswoman's son... go figure.
     
  4. Kazema

    Kazema In a kingdom by the sea
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    I don't know much about Stanford but I agree with Frick. If you're sure you want to be a doctor go with Northwestern's program. I have a friend there who's younger than me and is now finishing up his first year in medical school. He'd been accepted to Princeton but he chose Northwestern's 7 year program without hesitation because he knew that he was going the MD route. Meanwhile I have the MCAT, a long application process, and (hopefully!) lots of flying around the country for interviews to look forward to.

    The only reason I can think of that choosing Stanford would be better would be if you want an MD/PhD.
     
  5. tonyjerry

    tonyjerry Member
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    hey, dont just think about 7 or 8 years down the road. undergrad is a whole experience and you should take into account where you want to live your life for the next 3 or 4 years. i go to northwestern and i love it but it doesnt compare to stanford. campus, education, students, social life, weather, everything i can think of is better in palo alto. if youre qualified and hard working enough to have gotten into the hpme program i guarentee that youll be outstanding at stanford (which has much more grade inflation) and be able to make it into a top program for grad school. if youre really into northwesterns med school and want to save that extra year then hpme is a great opportunity.
     
  6. grumbo

    grumbo Member
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    Hmmm... I'm not sure what's up with people encouraging you not to go to Stanford. It's a great place. I can't tell you about the Northwestern program, but I can tell you about Stanford. I graduated in '99, took a year off, and now I'm headed to med school in the fall.

    Stanford is going to give you tons of opportunities to do pretty much anything you want. Research, clubs, volunteer opportunities....you name it and it's generally available (and you can usually get funding for most projects). One of my biggest problems was trying to limit all of the things I was involved in. You can choose E.C.'s you you will really enjoy and still look good to med school admissions committees.

    You'll love the weather out there. I moved to Palo Alto from Colorado, so I ended up wearing shorts year round. It's a short drive to SF and all the social stuff up there, or head down the coast to Monterey for a weekend. While snow is great, I enjoyed my 4 year vacation from snow boots and digging out my car.

    I have to say one of the best things about Stanford is that about 90% of the students live on campus (a combination of dorms, houses, and apartments), which gives the students a closer feel. When everyone is spread out throughout a town, you don't get the same group dynamic you get from living on campus. Still, you sometimes tend to forget that there's an outside world, which is why we sometimes call Stanford the "bubble".

    As far as classes go, most premeds either major in Biology or Human Biology. The bio classes are pretty straight forward - science, science, and more science (this is where most of the hard cord premeds go). The Hum Bio track is more flexible. You still take all of the core bio classes, but about half of the major is up to you to design. I chose to focus on the history and ethics of medicine, but other's did things like molecular biology, genetics, social impacts on whatever, etc. The core classes are fairly hard, but they will definitely prepare you for the MCAT.

    There is an excellent premed program office to help you from day one. If you talk with them from day one, you'll get about as much help as you want (advice on classes, letters of rec, practice interviews, etc.)

    The one negative would say about Stanford's premed environment is that it has a lot of gunners. There were quite a few premeds that were a little over the top with grades, and always needing to be the best, but I suppose you'd get that about anywhere you go.

    All in all, I loved my time at Stanford, and I was given every opportunity to learn and prepare for med school. Then again, just because it worked for me, doesn't mean it'll work for you. Try the admit weekend if you can. You'll get a feel for the students and the campus as a whole, which is invaluable when making your decision. I'm sure NW is great too, and I'm sure you'll be happy either way you go.
     
  7. StanfordGirl

    StanfordGirl Member
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    Well, I was in your situation 5 years ago--I was accepted to Northwestern and another 7 year program and decided to turn down those offers and go to Stanford instead. I have never regretted it for a moment. The four years I spent at Stanford as an undergraduate and the one year I have spent at Stanford as a research assistant while applying to med school have truly been the greatest experiences of my life. The pre-med track at Stanford is totally manageable and is not terribly competitive (at least I didn't think it was). As Grumbo noted, we can't say it will be best for you, but it was best for us!!

    I'm trying to remember how I decided against the 7 year programs and it was a combination of wanting to be MSTP (which I will be next year--just haven't decided where yet) and, though it might sound shallow, I decided that I could do better than the BS/MD 7 year programs I was admitted to. I wanted to have a Stanford degree and to do med/PhD at Harvard or Yale or Penn or Stanford or UCSF. I felt that if I gave it my all I would be able to do that. It worked out just fine and I am so glad that I completed my undergrad degree at Stanford independent of my MD.

    This is just my experience, though. Grumbo's idea about going to admit weekend is a good one. Also talking to Ruby Mason, the Stanford pre-med advisor, is a good idea.

    Best of luck deciding!
     
  8. rager1

    rager1 Anatomy-be-gone
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    yg1786, Congrats!

    Definitely go to Admit Weekend (a.k.a. ProFro Weekend) and remember that Stanford students do very well in the medical school admissions process, so going there doesn't put you at a disadvantage, quite the contrary. I don't know Ruby Mason but I'm sure she's awesome. I would recommend that you talk to the other Stanford pre-med advisor, Melissa Salcido simply because she was the advisor I went to and she is incredibly nice and helpful.
    Both Melissa and Ruby are in the Undergraduate Advising Center in Sweet Hall. Check it out while you're on campus.
    You could probably get Melissa to show/give you the list of schools that Stanford students applied to last year(how many applied to a given school, how many got in, GPA highs and lows for the pool of applicants that were accepted) to give you an idea of how well Stanford pre-med graduates do. She could also probably put you in touch with Stanford graduates at various medical schools across the country since many of us volunteer to serve as contacts for Stanford students in the application process.
    I've talked to Stanford grads at every school I've been accepted to, and their feedback has been really helpful.

    Just FYI, I graduated from Stanford in 2003. It's an incredible place and going there, working hard, and taking advantage of the place will help you get into medical school--and most likely more than one. ;)
    People are generally very happy and are dedicated to their work both inside and outside the classroom; it's not at all cutthroat or gloomy. --but it is intense, simply because so many of the students are really passionate about their interests.

    College should be more than just a stepping stone for graduate school, and if you like what you see and hear when you visit Stanford, I would encourage you to matriculate there. I really can't convey how much I loved it. If you're an ably-equipped applicant capable of being accepted into a guaranteed M.D. program at 17 or 18, those same abilities will allow you to do quite well at Stanford. And honestly, chances are that as you learn more about the various medical schools, you'll want to apply to more than one program anyway.

    If you have any questions about Stanford or if you want contact information for people currently there (either faculty or staff who would be willing to answer your questions) PM me and I'll do what I can to help and get that info to you.

    Congrats on your multiple acceptances! That's awesome.

    --Rager
     
  9. 411

    411 Member
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    Go to Stanford. The four years I have spent here have been amazing, and I wouldn't give it up for anything. And, as far as being competitive, I think there is a very cooperative environment here -- I can always ask people for help.

    We do pretty well for medical school admissions too. I am deciding between Harvard and UCSF -- and know of many other students in a similar position.

    I can't say what is best for you, but I can tell you that I do not often see undergrads here who are unhappy.

    411
     
  10. youngin

    youngin Senior Member
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    For the ppl who went to Stanford, why do you guys feel that Stanford students did so well in medical school admissions? Is it because most have very high GPA and MCAT scores or rather because the school has a lot of prestige attached? Just wanted to have an idea because I am in a somewhat similar position.
     
  11. TheFlash

    TheFlash Playtime Is Over
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    Can you opt out of the NU BA/MD program if you end up not feeling it? If so, you've got to remember that Northwestern is a top notch school as well, so it's not like going there would be any lesser a prestigious education. I agree that the Cardinal is nice, but if you can have a Northwestern MD on lock and still apply to other schools your senior year, what beats that?
     
  12. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    If you peruse this board a little, you will realize how much you are getting ahead by not having to agonize over MCATs and applications. Unless you are gunning for a top 10 med school, i dont think it is worth it to go to Stanford. I think that the NU 7 year program is pretty much the best one, and there is no gaurantee you'll get in a med school better than NU coming from Stanford.

    What if you joined some rowdy fraternity your first year at Stanford and ended up screwing up? What if your app was perfect but as luck and the randomness of the app process would have it, you end up a "mediocre" medical school.

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I would go to the NU program in a heartbeat. You'll save 10 years of your life and thousands of dollars not having to apply to medical school like us fools on this board.
     
  13. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    There have been discussions on this board in the past about the merits of combined BS/MD programs. I'd recommend you do a search and read people's thoughts on these. Yes, the guaranteed admission to medical school is very nice, but these programs (particularly the accelerated ones) do have their drawbacks.
     
  14. medstylee

    medstylee 1K Member
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    yeah - I know a couple of people here who've opted to do that. i also know people who've extended the program to 4years/4years and i've heard of someone deferring while getting an MBA at another school. it's pretty flexible, from what i understand.

    also, i doubt stanford would give you any significant edge for md/phd over northwestern undergrad. i'm sure there are just as many opportunities at nu for research participation as there are at stanford. i've been fortunate to have participated in 2 really unique research projects here at nu during the past 2 years that i doubt i would have encountered at any other school.

    i don't really know too much about stanford. but, overall, i think that northwestern hpme would leave you with more options. if you make the grades and pull off the mcat scores, i think you'll have an equal chance of being accepted at a top medical school coming from stanford or northwestern (if you decide to apply). i know plenty of students here at nu attending top med schools as well. also, if you attend hpme, you have the option of just sticking with northwestern (an awesome and unique med school) and not having to bother with all this mcat/application garbage.

    good luck with your decision - you're in an awesome position!
     
  15. evenstar

    evenstar sausage monkey
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    It's really neither of those, in my opinion. The great thing about Stanford, as others have alluded to, is that the institutional philosophy on education is to promote intellectual exploration. The University really encourages, and even provides the informational and financial resources for you to pursue outside interests in a multitude of disciplines. It's ridiculously easy to start a student group, to find a research position or to study abroad, for example. I believe the reason Stanford undergrads do well in the admission process is because they are given the opportunity (and, of course, they themselves have the drive) to demonstrate well-rounded interests, and, particularly, a desire to give back to the community. Stanford has excellent resources for locating service opportunities, and many, many students participate in some form of community service. The University also encourages independent learning and self-motivation in its students; this is evident in the flexibility students are afforded in designing their own curriculums and schedules (and even majors).

    I graduated from Stanford last year and will be returning to attend Stanford Medical School in the fall, mainly because of that same institutional philosophy. I'm looking forward to a flexible curriculum that will allow me to pursue outside interests like research, travel, and community involvement, and a non-competitive environment that's really conducive to learning the material--not learning which parts of the material is necessary to ace an exam! I would NOT, in a million years, have given up my Stanford experience for anything--not even if it meant I would have been spared the stress and anxiety of this application cycle. As has been mentioned, your undergraduate years are really a time to have fun, explore your interests and meet people. *Especially* if you already know what you want to do with your life, this is a great time to take some classes in a subject you've never been exposed to before and be a part of some student organizations. Of course, you can find ways to do this at any school, but I think it's pretty rare to find a place like Stanford, where the atmosphere is so open and encouraging. I have never, ever once thought that Stanford was competitive. People work hard, but not because they're gunners and want the highest grade, but just because they're passionate about what they do. (I know, it sounds cheesy, but it's true!)

    For yg1786 or anyone else out there considering Stanford for undergrad, definitely go to Admit Weekend. I know at a lot of other places, the atmosphere you see on admit days are quite different from how things really are at the school, but I definitely feel like my impression of Stanford from when I went to Admit Weekend matched up really well with how the school turned out to be when I went there. If you have any additional questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them, too. Best of luck with upcoming decisions and congrats on the acceptances!
     
  16. Deuteronomy

    Deuteronomy Member
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    hey yg1786

    dude, take NW and ruuuunnnn before they change their mind!!!
     
  17. looseygoosey

    looseygoosey Slacker
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    Hands down, its Stanford.

    Coming to Stanford for undergrad was the best decision i have ever made. The people are great, the social life is great, the academics are great, the athletics are superb, and the weather can't be beat.

    Northwestern is a great school, no doubt, but the connections and experiences that Stanford offers will undoubtedly carry with you for life. Congrats on being accepted in HPME. I know several Stanford seniors who faced the same choice back in high school and ALL except 1 are now going to med school at Harvard, Hopkins, or UCSF. The 1 discovered in her sophomore year that she had a passion for computer science and now has a awesome job.

    I wouldn't do HPME just because of the "institutional inbreeding" phenomena. Although the NW campuses are seperate, I would prefer to have my degrees from different institutions.

    Best of luck in your decision!
     
  18. Spitting Camel

    Spitting Camel Anteater for Life!
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    Do any of you Stanford guys know Philip Sayegh?

    He is a 4th year now...
     
  19. uncertainart

    uncertainart Junior Member

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    i just graduated from stanford this winter, and can empathize with your situation. as a high school senior 4 years ago, i was also accepted to northwestern hpme as well as stanford. after realizing that i would harbor serious regrets about not experiencing an amazing undergrad experience, i chose stanford. it has been my experience that my peers here are doing amazingly well in terms of admissions processes. for example, instead of feeling locked down to northwestern's program, i now get the opportunity to choose between stanford med and harvard med *am leaning towards stanford med due to the collegial atmosphere, incredible funding/research opps, intimate class size and atmosphere, new curriculum, creative "mini majors" within the organ based curriculum, and overall interdisciplinary collaboration. more importantly, you have to consider why nw is wooing you so strongly as a high school senior. most likely, if you work diligently in college, you are the type of student who could attend a top tier med school- and nw would like to get you before you have a chance to consider other school options. i personally know that the mentoring here has been phenomenal, as have been the great freshman/sophomore seminars in which you can personally make connections with teaching and research faculty. i had a great time undergrad, played a lot of music, and made close friends here who continue to inspire me. take advantage of all that stanford has to offer!
     
  20. my own experience tells me that you should choose northwestern. even if you go to stanford, do well, and do a lot of activities, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will get into a top program. (u will most likely get into med school SOMEWHERE). I have friends in similar positions who could have gone to these programs but opted out, and find their choice now is not comparable to the ones they had graduating high school.

    i strongly suggest you go to northwestern. you will have MUCH less stress and chicago's a much cooler place to be than palo alto, trust me. i just got back from palo alto recently on a trip to stanford, and the campus is extremely spread out (gorgeous, but spread out) and you have to take the train for like an hour and a half to get into the city (san francisco) if you want to go. the medical school would be the same deal, while NU's med school is in the best part of downtown chicago, with tons of stuff to do..

    so go nu, don't look back. if you go to stanford, you might kick yourself for it in the future.

    good luck dude.
     
  21. tonyjerry

    tonyjerry Member
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    in response to applying out of the program, just remember that if you do that youll be taking the mcats at the latest august of your junior year and applying as a junior. my friends who tried to apply to their state schools or the top programs, a lot are cali residents, did not get into any although they all had ridiculous gpas, mcats, research and ecs. i really think that committees look down on the fact that they are only about 20 years old and have only had 2 and a half years of undergrad under their belts at the time of the applications. also, all the hpmes hang out together and although im friends with some of them, they are all huge dorks.
     
  22. rager1

    rager1 Anatomy-be-gone
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    I highly doubt that you'll kick yourself for going to Stanford. And I'm sure you're aware that there's no reason for you to make your decision today or anytime especially soon.
    Just go to the Admit Weekend, relax, have a good time while there, and make sure you've jotted down all the questions you have prior to arriving so you don't forget to ask them.

    Then make your decision after you've had some to think about it.
    :)

    --Rager
     
  23. English Chick

    English Chick Senior Member
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    Going to Stanford for undergrad was one of the best things that ever happened to me - it's a marvelous place to be. I loved it so much that I'm starting medical school there in the fall. Stanford is tough to beat. :)

    More importantly, though, the world will (hopefully!) look really different to you in four years. Going to Stanford means you'll keep all your options open.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  24. hbocc11

    hbocc11 Junior Member
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    I also just graduated from Stanford this past year and had a truly amzing, unforgettable experience. I won't repeat what everyone else has said as to why its a great school but I had the greatest 4 years there. I think the NU program sounds like a great oppuruntity but I dont think you should go there just so you dont have to apply and do interviews down the road. They are stressful but at the same time, how do you know that in 3-4 years you will want to still be at NU? How do you know you will even want to be going into medicine? You are young, enjoy the time you have in front of you...make a decision that will make you happy now. College is not only a time for academics and preparation for med school, but a time for fun, personal growth and memories. You have plenty of hard work and studying ahead. :) Whatever school you choose, I am sure you will do great at...but check them both out as well as any other options you may have and go where you feel you fit best....
     
  25. johnnyMD

    johnnyMD Membership Revoked
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    tuff choice. cant go wrong either way.

    Are you ready to spend 7 years in evanston? I know quite a few BA/MDs who applied to other schools anyways, mostly due to their need to explore. If ur complacent with the idea of spending 7 yrs in the same environ, then NU isnt a bad choice.

    Have u checked out much of palo alto? very homogeneous, very white/asian, very wealthy, and seemingly very happy. the general physical appeal of the student body has been well documented.

    but if u attend stanford, i'm sure you'll get into a med school that is at least equivalent to NU (just maintain the right averages). you'll also have many more options available to you with a stanford degree.
     
  26. finnpipette

    finnpipette Fallen from Grace
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    I graduated from Stanford in '03 and it rocks. You basically have access to the best faculty, research, etc. you can study whatever the heck you want and have stanford pay for your crazy educational experiences and adventures. Your whole life is about medicine. why don't you take four years off to study what you want to and live a little, while taking care of your premed crap. Just my two cents. And don't worry, as long as you work, you'll do fine at stanford. The average mcat is 33. no sweat.
     
  27. yg1786

    yg1786 Member
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    wow, so many responses! right now im too excited and thrilled about bout both choices to make a decision but ill definitely keep in thought all the things said. ive been getting some more acceptances back, and as the ivies come in tomorrow, i might have an even tougher decision. does anyone have any info on where stanford students go and how successful they are at top med schools or at getting kids into med school at all? does anyone have any contact info (i cant find the phone numbers for those pre-med advisors) from anyone that would have this info? Although going to Stanford would be an amazing experience, three years to really enjoy undergrad without having to worry about the application process would be wonderful. if it was any school but harvard, yale, princeton, or stanford, this would be a no-brainer. again, i want to ask stanford students, are there many people who start out as pre-med and who dont continue because they cant do well? although both places would be great and i really cant go wrong, i also want to kno the negative aspects of both. anyoen have anything to say? thanks for all the advice and ill let you all kno if i get some more big acceptances thatll make this even tougher :D
     
  28. Dr. Chiquita

    Dr. Chiquita Senior Member
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    I heard from my friend that he was advised against from this combined route in high school by a residency director at some sort of a conference. The reason being that residency directors prefer ones who went through the traditional route over these combined programs. I didn't ask why. Sorry.

    But this is totally my speculation. Maybe these kids slack off in college and don't push themselves academically as hard as the traditional premed therefore not being prepared as well for medical school phase? Maybe these kids enjoy their college years doing no extracurriculars and end up being compared to traditional MD graduates who have done alot more in terms of EC's? Who knows?

    But if I were you, I will go to Stanford. The reputation of undergrad does go far in the application process and Stanford definitely has that status. Maybe better connections and network after you go into real world? Giving you a chance to get into top 10 med schools instead of settling on NU (which certainly is one of the greatest schools to settle on, but still...)? I believe you will get into top med schools if you stick with your work ethic that made you successful in high school. MCAT/college is not all that different. GOOD LUCK!!!
     
  29. evenstar

    evenstar sausage monkey
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    Ruby Mason can be reached at (650) 723-2426, or via e-mail at [email protected]. The pre-med advisors keep a list of where Stanford students attend medical school, their average stats and all that good stuff. You may also want to check out the website of the Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC), which is located at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/undergrad/uac/about_us/services.html

    Last I heard, the acceptance rate for Stanford kids applying to med school was 80%, but don't quote me on that. And also bear in mind that whether an applicant gets accepted depends on a lot more than merely his/her performance in school or on the MCAT--the schools he/she applies to, the timeliness or tardiness of the application, the recommendations he/she secures, etc....these are all factors that influence the admission process!

    As for pre-meds who drop out, I'm sure you get this at every school, and, this is a generalization, but a lot of those who do drop out were never dead set on medicine as a profession and, more importantly, as a calling, to begin with. A lot of folks try out pre-med and decide it's not for them, which is cool, because college should be a time when you explore different areas and narrow down your interests. Anyway, if you've got a passion for medicine, trust me, you won't be "weeded out" by pre-med classes. Even if you get a couple of bad grades, it's not going to make or break you--I totally bombed OChem (multiple times, no less), but I made out alright. :)

    Bottom line, I would try not to let the potential stress of med school applications influence your decision--there's no need to burden yourself with anxiety this far in advance. As long as you don't slack unreasonably, you'll be fine. And the great, diverse, unique opportunities at a place like Stanford will really help you to distinguish yourself when it does come time to apply.
     
  30. raincrew

    raincrew Senior Member
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    go to stanford. i know quite a few kids who did combined programs that ended up regretting it. if you're smart enough to get into hpme, you'll probably be able to get into a better med school than northwestern when it comes time to apply. coming from stanford, as long as you have the grades and the mcat, you'll be fine. 3.8+ 34+ from any ivy-caliber school w/ some decent activities should get you into a "top ten", barring that you aren't socially inept or anything. good luck with your decision. you're certainly in an enviable position.
     
  31. ygreenst

    ygreenst Member
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    Just to add another perspective -- I graduated from Stanford in 2001 and did not get into med school. Now I'm doing a post bacc, and wishing I'd known more about the combined degree programs when I was in high school. Although I had a great time at Stanford and met really great people, I found the pre-med curriculum tough, and had a hard time in my classes the first two years (which is still haunting me). I did really well in high school, but the level of competition was nothing compared to the Stanford premed track. So if I were you, I'd go to Admit weekend. Check it out. But also strongly consider Northwester if you definitely know you wanna go into medicine.
     

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