whats up dawg; cool to see my name in a thread! you coulda just messaged me but yah I have the text from what that one guy posted but not the official link; I remember after reading his post i was totally psyched to go to cornell which is why i saved it. It is as follows:
>>i'm currently a 3rd year at cornell, and have to say that i am still enjoying my time here immensely. before med school i was a teacher in nyc for a few years so i've been interested in issues of education, and cornell does a pretty good job at most things, with the caveat that one has to be really motivated and a self-directed learner, to do well here.
and all in all, reflecting on my time at med school, it's been a pretty humane experience.
though everyone is different, here are some reasons i chose to come to cornell:
1) in terms of clinical settings
The New York Hospital - Top notch. The "New York" in "New York-Presbyterian Hospital." state of the art facilities in almost every respect.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center- consistently 1 or 2 in the country
Hospital for Special Surgery - tops in the country for orthopedics
The Rockefeller University - 20 nobel laureates - pretty good for this "small" institu. also, really beautiful campus/library/dining area, esp. in spring and fall!
all these amazing institutions are literally joined at the hip, being right across the street from each other. one ID badge gets you access to all these places.
1a) attendings at memorial hold positions in the medical college. so when we were learning about the thorax in 1st year, surgeons from memorial would come to discuss the anatomy and lymphatics of the breast and how the basic science histology/anatomy was essential for understanding cancer development and spread. this type of teaching situation is commonplace (i did my neuro physical exam portion at memorial as well).
1b) when we went through hand and arm anatomy, guys from Hospital of Special Surgery (HSS) stopped their practices for the 2-3 hours of classtime and came down and taught us in small groups. rheumatology was the same scenariao. during intro anesthesiology (last week), i spent the first morning at HSS in the OR with an attending during a bilateral knee replacement procedure.
1c) all the attending physicians during my time here have been really approachable. interested in bioterrorism, you can develop a project with infectious disease people/public health (as a couple of classmates did)
if you want to see a cardiothoracic operation, just call ahead and they'd be happy to have you. the same went for my experiences in geriatrics (a great, great department with supportive, talented people)
1d) columbia and cornell have a diverse array of clinical teaching settings. in cornell's case, you have the flagship hospitals mentioned above, as well as your core 3rd year rotations at hospitals in the bronx, brookyn, and queens. a very different population throughout these 4 bouroughs. for example. lincoln hospital, located in the south bronx, is the 2nd busiest trauma center in new york city (after King's county hosp.) and if you do surgery there you will see lots of knife/gunshot/car accidents, etc. the point being if you choose, you can do all your rotations at NYH or ALL OF THEM AT AWAY SITES (except for medicine, which is required at NYH).... you can of course, mix and match sites: so for example this year i'm doing peds, ob/gyn, medicine at NYH and lincoln, and surgery in queens, and psych in westchester.
2) this being said, no matter where you go, you have to decide where your quality of life as a med student will fit your lifestyle the best. in my case, a big factor was that during the first two years: almost all days end at 12:30-1:00. that gives you plenty of time to pursue outside activities such as research or hobbies or excercise/sports and still have time to do the necesssary studying. i worked part time one to two nights a week at a cooking school (i like to cook) during anatomy/physiology and still had time to do well.
3) as for where cornell is: the location of cornell is really NICE (both relatively speaking from a geographical standpoint- close to everything - and from a physical standpoint- the upper east side itself- relatively staid, but nice to live in once in your life.)
very close to resplendent central park (a huge plus), some of the finest restuarants in new york, museums galore (met, guggenheim, fick collection, whitney, etc), a quick bus ride across the park to lincoln center (performing arts), imax movie theaters, Fairway market(!) and it's 25 minutes away from chinatown (yum) and the up and coming lower east side, dance clubs, experimental plays, etc. etc.
4) as for my colleagues here. coming off a 4 yr hiatus from academics, i was happily impressed that our class really worked well together, both from returning students, and students coming straight from undergrad. the mantra really is med students have to work together, or med school will be totally crappy. that being said, i truly feel quite comfortable calling my colleagues today, 5 years, 10 yrs, 20 yrs, down the road when i need that cardiology or psych consult. cornell students are generally a varied and likeable, laid back-bunch, in my experience. the years ahead of us also have provided lots of advice and guidance on how to succeed.
5) in terms of curriculum. i felt cornell gave me a good grounding in most aspects of basic science and in the end, most of the board study time was intense, but maneageable. the two major flaws in cornell i would say would be micro and pharm: you really need to spend time on this yourself during your 2nd year to learn this on your own in a clinically/board study relevent way. it is not taught well here the first two years. that being said, 99% of students pass the boards, and match to top programs throughout the country, tho this is more a testament to the overall soundness of students and their superior clinical training in 3rd and 4th years (which factor much more in residency selection)
on the flip side: basic science biggies such as pathology, pathophysiology, anatomy, neuroanatomy and physiology, histo, cardiology, GI, rheum, are taught well here, in my opinion. I've also had very good experiences with PBL throughout my two years.
clinically speaking, the subinternship (required month) in fourth year is very very strong. highly intense but a superior learning experience from every one i've spoken to.
6) classrooms: White boards on most every wall in PBL, flat screen 22 inch plasma screens, Mac G5 supercomputers coming this fall. cornell has lots of money.
7) neat programs such as MD-MPH programs (with cornell and columbia), MD-MBA (with cornell in NYC and cornell ithaca), and MD-PhD prgrams with cornell, memorial, or rockefeller (even after being accepted as a med student only).
there are other great plusses here at cornell. if you're interested, i'd be glad to reply to any questions you may have; or direct you to the right person if i don't have the answer.
in the end, no matter where you go, be happy as a med student and that can only contribute to making you a better doctor to your patients and their families.
Thanks so much Haybrant. And yea i didn't PM you b/c my mailbox (as always) is full. Also maybe others would like to see this also. Thanks so much! Did you change your mind from Cornell? This guy's observances seem awesome! But most sdners seem to far prefer Columbia, and even Duke.