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Harvard vs. UC Berkeley/UCSF Joint Medical Program

detritus

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2+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2017
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  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
Disclaimer: will be attending UCSF in the fall

I say flip a coin and see if you’re happy with the result (stole that from someone on this site, can’t remember who). Seems like you like both options so I’d go with your heart on this. HMS has that universal clout that no other place does, UCSF has the edge on clinical education/ culture. That’s about all the difference between the two career wise IMO, someone please correct me if I’m wrong/ overly biased towards UCSF.
 
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D

deleted688779

Harvard. Same prestige, one year less, closer to support system (the most important differential).

Also, SF may be a great place to visit but that might quickly change after you've lived there for a few months, though this depends on the individual and may be true for Boston as well.
 
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oioeoelgd154

Full Member
Jul 16, 2019
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  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
It sounds like your heart is with UCSF. The small cohort sounds awesome, from everything I've heard. Plus a class that is more socially minded/clinical skills focused vs research minded. Don't worry about the prestige difference, UCSF consistently ranks #1 by program directors. You can do a 5th year at Kennedy School even if you go to UCSF. Plus Cali weather >>>> Boston weather.
 
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chaim123

Almost an MD
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2+ Year Member
Dec 24, 2016
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  1. Medical Student
Cons:
  • Would have to take calculus ugh
  • Truncated preclinical, it's 1 year vs. 1.5 years at normal schools and 2.5 years at the JMP (also Fall 2020 is online so am I really going to only do half of my preclinical normally? Seems like a large chunk)
  • Seems like there's more of an emphasis on research than clinical skills/working with underserved communities and I really want to hone my clinical skills
  • Feel eh about Boston
  • There are no vacations at this school!!!!!!!

Just my comments to some of these points:

- We do a 14 months preclinical curriculum without a summer break, which is the same length at the 1.5 year with a summer break. Even with the 5 months online, that leaves 9 months in person
- While Harvard itself is a research powerhouse, the medical school is entirely focused on clinical skills. Except for a required research project in your upper years that can be as small or as large as you want, you are entirely focused on interacting with and leading patient encounters from Day 1.
- No vacations as in no summer break? Correct. Otherwise there is a week off every thing months about plus 2 weeks for Christmas.
 
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nymedschoolfan

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Apr 18, 2020
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Does anyone have any suggestions for how I get out of the calculus requirement? It's actually really stress-inducing in that I'd have to commit to Harvard before knowing how the online calc class goes, im sheltering in place with my parents who are 65+/at risk (diabetics) and there's really crappy wifi in the house. I'm recovering from COVID right now, I was really sick for 3 weeks. If anything goes wrong or god forbid they get sick, i could actually do really crappy/fail calc and then im without a med school at the end of this process. This is also the last year that they're requiring it, next year's class doesn't even have to worry about this :/

Can you ask to talk to the Dean of HMS Student Affairs?
 

oioeoelgd154

Full Member
Jul 16, 2019
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  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Does anyone have any suggestions for how I get out of the calculus requirement? It's actually really stress-inducing in that I'd have to commit to Harvard before knowing how the online calc class goes, im sheltering in place with my parents who are 65+/at risk (diabetics) and there's really crappy wifi in the house. I'm recovering from COVID right now, I was really sick for 3 weeks. If anything goes wrong or god forbid they get sick, i could actually do really crappy/fail calc and then im without a med school at the end of this process. This is also the last year that they're requiring it, next year's class doesn't even have to worry about this :/

If you are truly at risk of failing calc and not having a med school, go with UCSF. That would be tragic.
 
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