Georgetown SOM vs VCU SOM/MCV

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tennisguitar

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Hi everyone,

I know these threads are a bit overdone, but after a good amount of research, I couldn't find a thread that specifically compared these two schools. It would be great to hear from others regarding their experiences/feelings either visiting or attending these schools. I promise that I am not just seeking confirmation of an answer that I already have and that I am truly having an internal debate as to which school will better meet my goals.

I understand that this is medical school, and situational stress is inevitable, but I am hoping to attend a school where I will not constantly be stressed and not always have coursework on the back of my mind/feel guilty when I am not in the library. I am also somebody who values a strong social environment with people who are truly friendly, willing to help, and willing to have a good time when all is said and done. Obviously, I am looking to attend a place that will provide me with the knowledge base that I need to feel well-prepared for Board exams and the clinical skill set for residency training.

Georgetown

Positives

I really appreciated the spirit of Cura Personalis and the relatively unique inclusion of more ethical education into the curriculum.

According to students I met at the interview, their clinical training in M3 and M4 is fantastic and sets them up nicely for later training.

I really like the more traditional/lecture-style curriculum that Georgetown offers.

Really impressive match lists year after year--though not particularly interested in Ortho, I can appreciate that 19 students in one class matching is almost unheard of.

Slightly smaller class.

Negatives

The grading system -- not so much that students are graded, but specifically that they are graded on a curve. Though I have come across students defending the school as not as competitive as their reputation makes it seem, I cannot imagine how such a grading system wouldn't harbor an ultra-competitive atmosphere.

Facilities -- clearly older (though sort of in an endearing way).

Cost of living/tuition -- goes without saying.


VCU

Positives

Facilities: The new $200 million medical school building is UNBELIEVABLE! - Maybe the most visually stunning and technologically superior medical education building in the entire country at the moment.

P/F Grading: Despite the fact that students are internally ranked into quartiles, the fact that students are generally striving for P vs. F as opposed to H and HP vs P, LP, and F just seems less intimidating. I imagine that this system would promote greater class harmony and cooperation.

For most students, all training takes place on site and at the local VA. For those students who choose to spend all four years in Richmond (the vast majority), they still have the option of completing their OB/Gyn rotation at the VCU campus in Northern Virginia, where they do 10-20x more deliveries/year.

Seems to be a really up and coming school, and I think that research is on the rise. Well-known in the state of Virginia for their trauma services. The highest ranked hospital in Virginia situated in an urban environment. A very high volume hospital.

More of a city feel than Georgetown, which despite being in D.C., is sort of like an isolated neighborhood.

Significantly less expensive.

Under the new curriculum, 1.5 years of pre-clinical training as opposed to the traditional 2 with students able to take Step 1 as early as February of M2.

Well-known, individualized Board prep with hardly any students needing additional resources (e.g. Kaplan, PR, etc).

Negatives

Moving VERY far away from a traditional curriculum with the introduction of TBL/PBL learning. My class would be the first to experience this curriculum shift, so there isn't really anyone with experience to look up to/seek advice. Part of this curriculum includes removing syllabi from learning and reintroducing text-books and journal articles.

Maybe not as great a name recognition as Georgetown, though I'm not sure how much this should matter.

Despite the famous Step 1 preparation at VCU, I'm not sure the students, on average, score as highly as those at Georgetown.


I appreciate any advice/input/discussion that may come from this and look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!

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Richmond is way cheaper than D.C.

and cleaner
 
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If I had to choose between them, I'd choose VCU (it's instate for me, so that's another huge plus).

Competing against other students at GT doesn't sound fun :thumbdown:
 
I personally really liked the Gtown neighborhood a lot. Almost went to the school for that reason alone. Personally, I wouldn't make facilities a big priority and I think I've read that elsewhere on here. I know gtown gets a lot of hate on here, but I thought it was a great school. I don't think the admin are going to hold your hand at every step like some other schools but not everyone likes that. That being said I've never been to Richmond or VCU.

Btw I like the username OP! Vamos rafa!
 
I'm an undergrad at VCU, I've found Richmond to be an affordable place for students to live. Although, some parts are shady surrounding the medical campus (Gilpin Court, Jackson Ward area) more so than the undergrad campus, VCU offers an escort service running from 6pm to 8am. But really you wont have much reason to be in those areas.

I work at MCV, so I do come into contact with a lot of med students and from what I've gathered from speaking to them is that they are really enjoying their experience.
 
I'm an undergrad at VCU, I've found Richmond to be an affordable place for students to live. Although, some parts are shady surrounding the medical campus (Gilpin Court, Jackson Ward area) more so than the undergrad campus, VCU offers an escort service running from 6pm to 8am. But really you wont have much reason to be in those areas.

I work at MCV, so I do come into contact with a lot of med students and from what I've gathered from speaking to them is that they are really enjoying their experience.

Ever had jerk chicken at any Jamaican spot around downtown Richmond? It's well worth the risk of getting robbed.
 
Hi everyone,

I know these threads are a bit overdone, but after a good amount of research, I couldn't find a thread that specifically compared these two schools. It would be great to hear from others regarding their experiences/feelings either visiting or attending these schools. I promise that I am not just seeking confirmation of an answer that I already have and that I am truly having an internal debate as to which school will better meet my goals.

I understand that this is medical school, and situational stress is inevitable, but I am hoping to attend a school where I will not constantly be stressed and not always have coursework on the back of my mind/feel guilty when I am not in the library. I am also somebody who values a strong social environment with people who are truly friendly, willing to help, and willing to have a good time when all is said and done. Obviously, I am looking to attend a place that will provide me with the knowledge base that I need to feel well-prepared for Board exams and the clinical skill set for residency training.

Georgetown

Positives

I really appreciated the spirit of Cura Personalis and the relatively unique inclusion of more ethical education into the curriculum.

According to students I met at the interview, their clinical training in M3 and M4 is fantastic and sets them up nicely for later training.

I really like the more traditional/lecture-style curriculum that Georgetown offers.

Really impressive match lists year after year--though not particularly interested in Ortho, I can appreciate that 19 students in one class matching is almost unheard of.

Slightly smaller class.

Negatives

The grading system -- not so much that students are graded, but specifically that they are graded on a curve. Though I have come across students defending the school as not as competitive as their reputation makes it seem, I cannot imagine how such a grading system wouldn't harbor an ultra-competitive atmosphere.

Facilities -- clearly older (though sort of in an endearing way).

Cost of living/tuition -- goes without saying.


VCU

Positives

Facilities: The new $200 million medical school building is UNBELIEVABLE! - Maybe the most visually stunning and technologically superior medical education building in the entire country at the moment.

P/F Grading: Despite the fact that students are internally ranked into quartiles, the fact that students are generally striving for P vs. F as opposed to H and HP vs P, LP, and F just seems less intimidating. I imagine that this system would promote greater class harmony and cooperation.

For most students, all training takes place on site and at the local VA. For those students who choose to spend all four years in Richmond (the vast majority), they still have the option of completing their OB/Gyn rotation at the VCU campus in Northern Virginia, where they do 10-20x more deliveries/year.

Seems to be a really up and coming school, and I think that research is on the rise. Well-known in the state of Virginia for their trauma services. The highest ranked hospital in Virginia situated in an urban environment. A very high volume hospital.

More of a city feel than Georgetown, which despite being in D.C., is sort of like an isolated neighborhood.

Significantly less expensive.

Under the new curriculum, 1.5 years of pre-clinical training as opposed to the traditional 2 with students able to take Step 1 as early as February of M2.

Well-known, individualized Board prep with hardly any students needing additional resources (e.g. Kaplan, PR, etc).

Negatives

Moving VERY far away from a traditional curriculum with the introduction of TBL/PBL learning. My class would be the first to experience this curriculum shift, so there isn't really anyone with experience to look up to/seek advice. Part of this curriculum includes removing syllabi from learning and reintroducing text-books and journal articles.

Maybe not as great a name recognition as Georgetown, though I'm not sure how much this should matter.

Despite the famous Step 1 preparation at VCU, I'm not sure the students, on average, score as highly as those at Georgetown.


I appreciate any advice/input/discussion that may come from this and look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!


Based solely upon your pro/con analysis, MCV/VCU is the winner by far. You just seem to like it better. If I were picking personally, I would probably still have gone with MCV over GT. It's cheaper, its trauma and EM programs -- especially on the international front -- are simply unheard of. (I recently spoke with a U-Pittsburgh student who wants to do residency here instead of at his home institution because of our program's support of global health programs and the fact that our Chief of Trauma Surgery is a huge player in the trauma world of Latin and South America.)

BTW, you may think that the ethics integration thing is cool now, but once it becomes part of your curriculum, you'll think less of it. Ethics at every school where I know people is sort of that joke/annoying class that everyone just sorta attends b/c it's required. It's annoying and, honestly, if you have some commonsense and healthcare experience, most of it is relatively logical/easy to reason out. The ethics on Step 1 you'll have to study closer to Step 1 anyway as, from what I hear on SDN, it's different from what is usually taught in ethics class.
 
waaay back in the day i was a student there

now things seem to have changed drastically in terms of curriculum but the hospital is still the same old hospital. If you have questions about the clinical education or how it is perceived send me a PM. I have done well for myself and a lot of that has to do with MCV. That said, you cant go wrong with either of those schools.
 
you gotta be kidding me? Georgetown one billion times. You would graduating with a VCU medical degree if you decide to attend VCU. VCU has a horrible reputation for undergrad. On contrast, with Gtown you graduate with a Gtown degree. Gtown is known in many fields such as poli sci, law, foreign relations, etc. The Gtown degree name is a good enough reason, despite all that VCU offers, to go to Gtown.
 
you gotta be kidding me? Georgetown one billion times. You would graduating with a VCU medical degree if you decide to attend VCU. VCU has a horrible reputation for undergrad. On contrast, with Gtown you graduate with a Gtown degree. Gtown is known in many fields such as poli sci, law, foreign relations, etc. The Gtown degree name is a good enough reason, despite all that VCU offers, to go to Gtown.


...Seriously? That's your reason for suggesting gtown? Prestige of OTHER programs?
 
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you gotta be kidding me? Georgetown one billion times. You would graduating with a VCU medical degree if you decide to attend VCU. VCU has a horrible reputation for undergrad. On contrast, with Gtown you graduate with a Gtown degree. Gtown is known in many fields such as poli sci, law, foreign relations, etc. The Gtown degree name is a good enough reason, despite all that VCU offers, to go to Gtown.
I think you're being a little harsh there--being from Virginia, I wouldn't say VCU undergrad has a horrible reputation whatsoever. Either way, the prestige factor, while it's something you can't avoid thinking about, seems too inconsequential for the purpose of deciding four years of education.
 
Ever had jerk chicken at any Jamaican spot around downtown Richmond? It's well worth the risk of getting robbed.

LOL yeah been there its good. Although I prefer the burger joints like cary town burger haha
 
Hi everyone,

I know these threads are a bit overdone, but after a good amount of research, I couldn't find a thread that specifically compared these two schools. It would be great to hear from others regarding their experiences/feelings either visiting or attending these schools. I promise that I am not just seeking confirmation of an answer that I already have and that I am truly having an internal debate as to which school will better meet my goals.

I understand that this is medical school, and situational stress is inevitable, but I am hoping to attend a school where I will not constantly be stressed and not always have coursework on the back of my mind/feel guilty when I am not in the library. I am also somebody who values a strong social environment with people who are truly friendly, willing to help, and willing to have a good time when all is said and done. Obviously, I am looking to attend a place that will provide me with the knowledge base that I need to feel well-prepared for Board exams and the clinical skill set for residency training.

Georgetown

Positives

I really appreciated the spirit of Cura Personalis and the relatively unique inclusion of more ethical education into the curriculum.

According to students I met at the interview, their clinical training in M3 and M4 is fantastic and sets them up nicely for later training.

I really like the more traditional/lecture-style curriculum that Georgetown offers.

Really impressive match lists year after year--though not particularly interested in Ortho, I can appreciate that 19 students in one class matching is almost unheard of.

Slightly smaller class.

Negatives

The grading system -- not so much that students are graded, but specifically that they are graded on a curve. Though I have come across students defending the school as not as competitive as their reputation makes it seem, I cannot imagine how such a grading system wouldn't harbor an ultra-competitive atmosphere.

Facilities -- clearly older (though sort of in an endearing way).

Cost of living/tuition -- goes without saying.

I don't know much about VCU, but I can talk about Gtown a bit.

I think you positives list is good. I too liked the curriculum, and the step preparation seems really good focusing on classes (what I've heard, currently prepping now so we'll see, but so far so good). I liked the ethics curriculum. I would say most were annoyed by it, but if you are actually interested, I think it's a nice touch. Though, it's definitely one of those classes you can put minimal effort into if you want. And the clinical training is supposed to be very good with lots of independence and hands-on learning. I have heard this from people outside of Gtown as well. The reputation is really quite good. For lay people, it is because of the law school and ugrad. But even amongst physicians, the reputation is better than the rankings would indicate (I am not from the DC area, and physicians around me were impressed).

As for the negatives. I honestly don't mind the grading system. This is a personal preference though I guess. I haven't witnessed any major gunning going on, but maybe I'm oblivious. People work hard (you can tell that), but that's not really a huge issue because it shouldn't affect you, and it really does happen everywhere. Plus, the curriculum is good for board prep so doing as well as possible in classes is actually a good thing. Facilities are older, and yes it is endearing (they really do grow on you). In the end that is not very relevant though.

Cost is the issue, and honestly, I can't tell you what to do. I'm on HPSP, so cost wasn't a huge issue for me so it's hard to convince someone to bite the bullet and take on that debt. That is really up to you.

Again, I don't know anything about VCU so I can't compare. You seem to like it, and it is significantly cheaper. That is pretty compelling.
 
I can speak more about VCU. From your pros/cons list, it seems like you prefer VCU, but go where your heart is!

As for your concern about the new curriculum, I understand your concerns. There's still going to be a lecture component and many of the professors who are teaching now will still be teaching, so you'll definitely get to see what they're focusing on in terms of their powerpoint slides. The TBL/PBL should only enhance your learning and reinforce the important clinically relevant points. There might be some kinks on the way, but it's change for the better :)
 
If finances weren't an issue, I would say Gtown all the way. I am a Richmond native and have lived in DC now for 2 years. Richmond is (a lot) cheaper but it is most definitely not cleaner or safer, especially when taking into consideration the areas that each respective school is in. Gtown is in one of the nicest, cleanest, and most fun parts of DC, while the area around VCU can be a little scary especially at night and not well kept up. That being said, if you're looking to see a lot of trauma on your rotations, VCU's hospital will be better for that since it is in the inner city. At Gtown you won't see as much trauma but a lot of smaller hospitals and private practices in the metro area refer high risk patients and peculiar cases to Gtown, so if you're looking at cardiology, oncology, etc. you will likely get a lot of cool exposure there.

In general, my experience living in DC has been exponentially more positive than it ever was in Richmond. The city has been much less affected by economy issues and is full of well-educated and ambitious people who also like to have a good time. I have found this to be a more enjoyable environment overall and it is more conducive to networking, which could become important later in your career (and life in general). In my experience, people in Richmond tend to be more close-minded, resistant to change, and "stuck in their ways."

It is hard to ignore the financial aspect, and I have to admit if I got in-state tuition at VCU, it's likely I would end up choosing it over Gtown purely for that reason (and subsequently cry myself to sleep for months. just kidding kind of). But if the $$ gap isn't crippling for you, definitely go Gtown!
 
If finances weren't an issue, I would say Gtown all the way. I am a Richmond native and have lived in DC now for 2 years. Richmond is (a lot) cheaper but it is most definitely not cleaner or safer, especially when taking into consideration the areas that each respective school is in. Gtown is in one of the nicest, cleanest, and most fun parts of DC, while the area around VCU can be a little scary especially at night and not well kept up. That being said, if you're looking to see a lot of trauma on your rotations, VCU's hospital will be better for that since it is in the inner city. At Gtown you won't see as much trauma but a lot of smaller hospitals and private practices in the metro area refer high risk patients and peculiar cases to Gtown, so if you're looking at cardiology, oncology, etc. you will likely get a lot of cool exposure there.

Just to point out, we have a variety of hospitals we rotate at. So, you don't get any trauma at the ER in Georgetown. However, you can do your ER rotation at Washington Hospital Center in NE DC which is a major trauma center. Georgetown itself is a tertiary hospital and does get a large amount of interesting referrals.
 
Does anyone know which schools will give DC residents in-state tuition?
MD? VA?

Looks like DC residents are screwed out of in-state opportunities. Should i start packing my bags? I can move a few miles up into MD or move a few miles down into VA. Im usually between these 3 states every other day anyways. Im in VA everyday.
 
Does anyone know which schools will give DC residents in-state tuition?
MD? VA?

Looks like DC residents are screwed out of in-state opportunities. Should i start packing my bags? I can move a few miles up into MD or move a few miles down into VA. Im usually between these 3 states every other day anyways. Im in VA everyday.

none. move to VA. I got screwed this cycle and will now be attending a seriously expensive private school because VA schools wouldn't give me in-state tuition even though i lived there and went to school there for 22 years. it ended up making my choice easier but still not a good situation.
 
none. move to VA. I got screwed this cycle and will now be attending a seriously expensive private school because VA schools wouldn't give me in-state tuition even though i lived there and went to school there for 22 years. it ended up making my choice easier but still not a good situation.
They wouldn't give you in-state? What are the requirements for in-state eligibility?
Which schools? Why? Do you mind elaborating a lil more (perhaps via pm if you'd prefer)?
 
I went to Georgetown for my masters and it was a little competitive. VCU on the other hand is the complete opposite. Everyone is very friendly and supportive. In my opinion even though Gtown is more prestigious, I can't imagine going through 4 years of a graded system that can possibly be cut throat.
 
I don't think the admin are going to hold your hand at every step like some other schools but not everyone likes that.
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