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melimi

hey, if anyone is BUSM-I, i would really like some advice, tips and tricks about the school. will probably attend in the fall, but i would REALLY like to know more about the curriculum.
 

Brainman

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Hi. I am a first year at BU. The following link should answer most of your questions:

http://www.bumc.bu.edu/www/busm/osa/Redbook_2004.pdf

The link is to a packet they handed out during orientation. This is last years version, but I don't think it will change much for this coming year. Overall, first year is busy, but managable. I have really enjoyed my first year so far. I would be happy to answer any specific questions you may have about BU that the packet doesn't answer, just let me know. Congratulations on your acceptance and I hope you enjoy BU as much as I have.

One Note - It may take me a little while to respond to any questions, because I leave for spring break today. However I will answer them as soon as I get back.
 
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melimi

yeah, i read the redbook before interviewing, and it looks pretty damn helpful
the thing is, i want a straight up answer to questions like:
is it a really hard curriculum?
do u hate most of your classmates?
are some of your profs a-holes?
that sort of thing
cuz i interviewed at MSSM the other day and bumped into a friend of mine from pre-med years at BU, and i asked him if it was easier than undergrad, and he said it was, so thats kind of impressive
anyways, it would be really kewl if u could just give me a heads up about the bad things about the school
even tho i'm there every day, i dont really see med students that much
thanx again
 

Brainman

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Sorry about the last post I didn't know you knew so much about BU already and that you went to BU for undergrad. Here are my specific opinions about the questions you asked.

Curriculum: I would have to say that I really enjoy the way that BU lays out the classes. We first go through about 1.5 years of the traditional style classes (eg. gross anatomy, biochemistry, etc.) and then have half a year of a class called biology of disease. This class covers the pathophysiology through an organ-based approach (eg. Neurology, GI, etc.). I really like this setup because you effectively review all the information you need to do from your basic science years twice (once in a traditional style class and once in a organs based class). There is also only one class per semester that is problem-based. I find this to be a real plus, because while some problem based learning is helpful, but schools that have nearly all problem based learning tend to have a lot of problems (eg. they poorly cover all the information they are suppose to in the first two years). Now for the answer to the more important question: How difficult is it? Well I also went to BU undergrad so I will compare it to that. In undergrad I rarely studied more than two nights for any one exam. Now I have to say that I study twice as much right before the exam as I had to in undergrad, but I also keep up with the material as the class goes along. You cover a crazy amount of material in the first two years and if you don't keep up in class it is very difficult to catch up. However, since I have kept up with the material I have not had that much of a different life than undergrad socially. I still go out two nights a week (a cut back from three a week in undergrad.) and find time to play three different intermural sports as well as a number of other activities outside of school. So don't worry, there is a lot of work, but it won't be a problem for you if you keep up with it.

Do I like my classmates?: I really love my class. Everyone seems to get along really well and they are always coming up with more things to do as a class. We have 7 intermural teams right now just made up of med students and it is a lot of fun. The majority of the class likes to study in groups to so it makes getting the work done a lot easier. We also have had quite a few events where we got a large part of the class out to a bar, which is always a very fun night.

Whats the deal with Professors?: After what I have seen so far I would have to say that BU has an outstanding faculty. I have had far better attendance to my med school classes than I ever did in undergrad and his is really only due to the fact that I enjoy going to the lectures and find them helpful in learning the material. The one exception is the public health class we are taking now, which I find to be really boring. However, there are quite a few people in the classe that really enjoy it and some of the faculty that teach the course are extremely well know, such as Dr. Annas. You have probably heard of him. He is a professor of health law at the school of public health and a professor of law at the law school and frequently writes for the New England Journal of Medicine. In particular the faculty that teach the Gross Anatomy Class are outstanding. That was simply the best class I have ever taken.

General note about Clinical Exposure First Year: The first semester of first year there is a course in how to interview patients and students in a group of about 8 go to see a patient with one physician. Each week a different student interviews the patient and then after the interview the group with the physician go over and discuss what was done well in the interview and what could be improved. I really enjoyed this class, but class as a whole was divided between liking and disliking this class. However second semester first year you get paired with one physician and get to shadow them and do small tasks during your time with them (such as interviewing, taking vitals, ect.). You can ask to be set up with a specific specialty and the school will try to fulfill the request or you can setup your own and definitely get what you want. I set mine up with a neurosurgeon and absolutely love it. I get to scrub into most the operations with him and really look forward to going to see him every week. You technically have to meet with your physician about twice a month, but a lot of people do it more than that because they enjoy it so much.


Potentially Bad Things: There are two potentially bad things that you may dislike about BU. 1) We spend a lot of time in class. More than most other schools. However, I really enjoy the lectures and actually find this to be a benefit. Your not required to attend class and can just study on your own, but I highly recommend the attend. Also there are a lot of reviews offered which increase the amount of time in classes, but these are optional and only there to help. They don't cover any new material in them, but it is a really go way to review and keep up with material (Reveiws are really big for Histology, once a week I think). 2) BUSM can be very difficult to get to. I am sure you already know this because you work there, but there is virtually no parking and public transportion leaves a lot to be desired. However, BU is trying to improve on this problem by running a shuttle between campuses that has extended its route this year (you probably already know about it, but if not I take it every day and I find it very helpful).


Sorry this was so long. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
 

Mephisto

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Brainman said:
2) BUSM can be very difficult to get to. I am sure you already know this because you work there, but there is virtually no parking and public transportion leaves a lot to be desired. However, BU is trying to improve on this problem by running a shuttle between campuses that has extended its route this year (you probably already know about it, but if not I take it every day and I find it very helpful).


Sorry this was so long. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
I thought the silver line runs right to BU. That should make things a lot easier than they were pre-silverline. Plus, it's only a fifteen minute walk from Back Bay and Prudential center. Everyone could use the exercise anyways. So, I don't think that location is a big drawback, contrary to what a lot of people think. I should say, I don't go to BU, but I know Boston very well and I have a family memeber on staff at BMC.
 
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melimi

sweet, thats some good stuff
the 2 dislikes i wont mind, cuz i already take the BUS there every morning (it stops right in front of my gym), and that thing is the shiznit
and as for a lot of time in class, at one point i got used to 24hrs in lecture per week during undergrad (even tho it was 16 creds/semestr), so i wont mind that either; plus if i find lectures boring, i usually just take it as study time
the clinical exposure at BU is incredible, a lot of schools wont even show u real patients until 3rd year, so interviewing first year is amazing
i didnt know about the shadowing second semester, but that sounds like a lot of fun; i actually havent done any shadowing, but it would be mad sweet to get hooked up w/ a BMC neurologist
u've been really helpful, i think im prob gonna end up at BU; hopefully ill be rejected from MSSM and itll make the decision easier