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Jul 24, 2002
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Hi guys, I was hoping someone can give me more information about the school, curriculum, grading, clinical years, if there is any competition and the overall hapiness of students. Any info will help. Thanx.


MD/MBA candidate c/o 2008
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15+ Year Member
May 11, 2002
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  1. Medical Student
I received this information about BU from a listserve:

1. BU's Dean's letter. Had a chat with the Dean of Students today. She tells me that BU does indeed calculate a class rank for students for its own purposes. The ranking system takes into account preclinical grades, clinical grades, extracurriculars, research, evaluations, etc. There is no set 'formula' - each is given different weight according to the strengths of the candidates. Based on this overall class rank, students are grouped into several different categories. Each category is given an adjective, ranging from 'very good' to 'most outstanding' that is used in the Dean's letter. Residency programs are only told what % of students falls into the 'most outstanding' category - they are not told how many categories there are, or how many students are in each one, or what class rank a given adjective corresponds to. Overall, I was pretty impressed. Other thoughts on this system?

2. AAMC suggested Dean's letter. My dean contrasted this with the template that the AAMC via ERAS is pressuring medical schools to use for their Dean's letter. I'll spare you some of the details, but the most egregious part comes in the appendices that the AAMC wants schools to provide. They desire three sets of graphs - one for preclinical grades, one for clinical grades, and one for personal attributes (hard work, enthusiasm, citizenship, etc). For each of these categories, they want to see a distribution of grades in the area, and what you scored. For example, in clinical sciences, the graph would show how many people got honors, high pass, pass, fail in medicine and then a big arrow pointing to what you got. This would be repeated for all the clinical rotations. My dean was particularly appalled at trying to do this for areas such as citizenship. How do you quantify this? Then - it gets better. Schools are supposed to combine the above three categories into one big category (ie. class rank), again with a listing of how many are in each category and a big fat arrow pointing at where you are. My dean was very concerned about trying to explicitly compare how enthusiastic you are with how good you are in biochem. She sees BU's approach as providing flexibility, and deemphasizing class rank overall, while the AAMC's making the problem worse. That's all.
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