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How do you like your med school?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Billiken03, Sep 29, 2001.

  1. Billiken03

    Billiken03 New Member

    Sep 20, 2001
    St. Louis
    I know this has been done before, but it was an old thread, so I'm going to try and start another:
    -What med school do you go to?
    -What are the pro's and con's?

    Thanks in advance
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  3. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2001
    UCSF: pros, the new curriculum is incredible, great city, lots of amazing (and really nice) classmates, supportive administration. cons, we're going REALLY fast and have lots to learn, it can be "cold" (e.g., windy) in SF - specifically the Inner Sunset (where UCSF is) - if you're from southern cal. Overall, I love it.
  4. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    I think the "really fast" part is true of nearly all med schools, esp. at those with accelerated curriculums (ie, Duke, Baylor, etc.)
  5. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2001
    C'mon Lilycat,

    Can't I vent a little at the pace? ;) Even my hardest classes in college were only a 1/3 to a 1/4 of the volume of this! (I am whining more b/c we have our first midterm on 350+ pages of syllabus material - including the anatomy of the thoracic cavity, vertebral column, upper and lower limbs - in a week.)

    Anyway, yes, all med schools will have more volume than you can ever digest - it's not specific to UCSF (although the volume of anatomy is more than what I've heard other schools do in the first 3 weeks). Bottom line, it's a great school and the new curriculum integrates basic sciences and clinical well. Off to study more anatomy ...

    -- Becky
  6. cg1

    cg1 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 23, 2000
    Besides Duke and Baylor, what are all of the schools with known "accelerated curriculums"???

    Do these necessarily include all of the top-ranked schools like Harvard, Yale, Penn, Columbia, etc...???
  7. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    By accelerated curriculums, I mean those that finish their basic sciences in less than 2 years -- Baylor has 1.5 yrs basic science, Duke has 1 yr., and I think Penn has 1.5 yrs., but I'm not sure. Harvard and Yale are the standard 2 years I believe, as are the majority of schools.
  8. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    I think I was just venting in my own way to your comment. I go to Baylor, where we have 1.5 yrs of basic science as opposed to most other schools where they have two years(including UCSF, I believe). Since my first 6 weeks just encompassed nearly my entire first year of undergrad bio classes, yeah I think the pace is pretty fast. While Duke, Baylor, and possibly Penn may go faster than some of the other med schools in the country, in general I think the volume of the material and the speed at which it is taught is the case with med school in general.

    To echo the above poster, I'm very satisfied with my experience at Baylor so far. The key is to find a school that fits what you are looking for.
  9. I go to Tufts and here is the skinny:

    Pros: GREAT city, early clinical exposure (get to start interviewing patients right away), don't take anatomy until second semester so have time to adjust to med school, neat combined degree programs, very non-competitive (Honors/Pass/Fail and passed my first Biochem exam!), lots of social events and fun classmates. Professors have been good for the most part with the exception of a few biochem lecturers who have caused me to become comatose.

    Cons: COST, COST, COST. It is VERY expensive to go here. Unless your state school is absolutely out in the middle of nowhere and has a poor reputation, I don't recommend going here over your state school. Also if you are single it sucks because there are all kinds of people here in crappy long-distance relationships. However, it is just my humble opinion that LDR's suck; if it works for you more power to ya. :)

    BTW, lilycat, I got your private message; sorry I haven't had a chance to reply; with the two exams we just had (Biochem and Mol Bio) things have been very busy here (but with time for fun too :)) I hope anatomy is going well for you; can't wait to immerse myself in it next semester (another disadvantage of Tufts is that they have us taking Anatomy and Physiology at the same time, which is a bit scary).
  10. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    chicago, IL
    for NYU:

    pros: very non-competitive (pass/fail), awesome classmates (my social life here is almost better than undergrad), great clinical training (bellevue), lots of opportunities for research, living in new york city (midtown, about 5 blocks east of the empire state building on the east river)

    cons: expensive (private school, so not unexpected), living in dorms (well, my 'apartment' has a kitchen and bathroom but it is truly a glorified dorm room)

  11. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Alexandria, VA
    I don't understand how pass/fail = noncompetitive ... doesn't everybody's school have AOA? If they don't, I guess I can see how p/f = noncompetitive, but if they do have AOA, the grading sytem could be A,B,C,D,F or Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail or Pass/Fail and there would still be a top 10-15% of class who would be nominated for AOA ... meaning there must be this mysterious 'competition'.

    I try not to slip and say Tulane is 'not competitive' to prospective students ... I know I am competing day and night to know everything I can ... and my classmates are helping me to learn all the time! I'm helping them, too ... We find software, mnemonics, and neat ways to learn things, and we share them over the listserv ... hell, the second year class just sent us some cool stuff for this block's anatomy. Our profs join in with the dirty mnemonics and make great study sheets/handouts to learn the trickier stuff.

    I think cooperativity and competitiveness are not mututally exclusive, that together they actually aid us in becoming better. I think of my class as a team. When you play on a team, don't you want everyone to compete as well as cooperate?

    Like our anatomy profs told us - don't be grade grubbers, be knowledge grubbers. Aren't you all knowledge grubbers??? I am.

    It just bugs me to hear that particular schools are 'not competitive' ... Geez, I'd just about say the majority of schools are the same - 5% of kids who work their tails off and study day and night and don't get involved in all the great opportunities we have as med students (academically, community, and socially), 90% who try to balance everything and do a decent job of it, and 5% who are still on Bourbon St in the wee hours of the morning (not that there is anything wrong with that).

    If anyone's med school is competitive in a negative way, I'd love to hear some details ... I think stealing notes and giving misleading information is pretty passe. Kinda 80s if you ask me.

    Tulane Med '05
  12. Crafty

    Crafty Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2000
    For Duke:

    We're on a four-day weekend following our final exams in Block I, so I have a few minutes to drop back in at SDN. Hard to imagine that it's already been a year since I went through the whole application ordeal. Glad it's over.
    As for school, things are going really well. Like everyone else has mentioned, things are extremely fast-paced. We covered an entire year of undergrad Biochem in less than ten weeks. The analogy they gave us during orientation is "it's like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hose." Pretty true. Block II is supposed to be the most intense, so we're all a little nervous.
    Even though I'm studying more than ever before, most of us find/make the time to have fun too. The people here are a lot more social than I expected, and we had some pretty fun parties after each of our first three exams. Plus, many of us meet up at the gym to play basketball, workout, swim, or do whatever. And a group of us camped out for tickets to Duke basketball last weekend (the weekend right before our three finals -- yikes!), so we'll be among the Cameron Crazies during the upcoming months. So in summary, I really like the people in my class, and the bonuses of being on an undergrad campus are huge. Plus the weather rocks.
    The downside is probably the tuition. But that's true at most private schools, but at least financial aid at Duke is pretty generous. Some people probably wouldn't do great in a medium-sized town like Durham, but I really like the pace of life. Just my opinion though. Hope some of that info helps.
  13. jimmybee

    jimmybee Med/Peds Resident 10+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2000
    Wayne State University:

    My experience here has been very good so far minus all of the studying that I have been doing :). Living in Detroit has exceeded my expectations by so much and I really like it here. Here are the things that I like and dislike.

    1) The city and the metro area.
    With such a big metro area to go along with the actual city, there is a lot of things to do here.

    2) The diversity.
    At WSU, I feel the class truly is diverse and that the school does not try to front by just saying that.

    3) The clinical experiences available.
    The large DMC hospital system is amazing and is one of the best kept secrets for those who are not from the Detroit area. Whether it is the great rotations of 3rd and 4th year, or it is the student run clinic that you can be involved in during your first year, WSU gives you the opportunity to see and do everything.

    1) Going in, I knew that the grading system was P/F, but I was not aware of the class ranking that is posted for each exam. This basically nullifies the P/F systems goal to lessen competition between students. Instead of being happy about getting a certain score, I have found many students only being happy knowing that they did better than a certain percentage of students.

    2.) The large class.
    Wayne has the largest class in the country (256) and although this is great for diversity, it can be somewhat detrimental. My biggest complaint is in the area of community service in some of the best programs. Wayne has some really good things that you can do, but the best programs are always limited to a very select number of students.

    Well, that is it.

  14. Hoosierdaddy

    Hoosierdaddy Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2001

    One correction to your post. Our first year class at Indiana has 295 students in it, which I've been told is the second largest in the country behind the University of Illinois (not sure how many they have in their class). HOWEVER, Wayne State might have the largest class in one place, as IU divides our class into nine regional centers across the state for the first two years of med school (we all do are third and fourth years at the main campus in Indianapolis). So far, I'm enjoying being at one of the small regional centers. We only have 16 people in our class, and we all know each other and the professors well. I can't imagine trying to learn this stuff in a class of 200+. One disadvantage to the regional center, though, is that attendance is mandatory. With only 16 people in the class, it's kind of obvious if someone doesn't show up for a lecture.
  15. aliraja

    aliraja Troublemaker 10+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2001
    I know we've already got one poster from Duke but I can't help but toss my opinion in too. A few points:

    Baylor, Penn, and Duke are the only schools that have accelerated programs that I know of. Penn's is a year and a third (or a half) of basics and then they hit the wards. They also have a bunch of dual degree programs (MBA, etc..) that make them a great option. Baylor has the same sort of thing but still manages to give you 6 months off in the 4 year process somehow. How they do that, I still don't know. Duke does a year of basics, a year on the wards, a random year of golf, and then another year on the wards.

    2) Speaking of golf, I'm a third year now and I'm bringing my handicap down daily. I'm doing a joint degree at the b-school, so I've gotta go to classes for a couple of hours during the afternoon but, other than that, I love it.

    You put in the hours first year, but it's no harder than the 2nd year everywhere else. You're on the wards a year after you start (yes, scary, but SO MUCH FUN) and you can do a million things third year. Plus, we've got one of the most amazing hospitals around with patients from all over the world, a class as amazing and diverse as you can get, a great university RIGHT outside our front door, and the best basketball team in the country. What more could you ask for? :)
  16. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    Hmmm, sounds like Stanford, if only our basketball team could stop choking during March madness! ;) (j/k)

    Seriously, though, Duke is a great med school with a really interesting program. I've had the chance to meet a few Duke med students who have come out here to do research during their 3rd year and they had lots of very positive things to say about the school. Their only complaint was that the first year can be a bit too overwhelming...

    Speaking of accelerated programs, Stanford is the only school that I know of that has a DEcelerated program that is taken advantage of by the majority of students. The 4-year plan here is the typical med school schedule which about 40% of med students do. Students have the option of doing a 5-year plan, where they spread out the preclinical classes across 3 years and during their extra time do things such as TA classes, pursue research, get involved in community service type stuff, take electives (within and outside the med school), or get extra degrees. In this way, they can gain tons of different experiences while actually *decreasing* debt. The last year and a half or so of school is subsidized, so we only pay 10% of tuition. Students have free time to do the money-making activities like research and teaching (for which the school pays us a small fortune) to lower their debt. That, combined with great financial aid causes our average debt to be much lower than almost every private school in the country, and lower than most public schools. (BTW -- students on the 4-year plan also have some time to reduce their debt, so the average debt is the same between the 4 and 5 year people.)

    Anyway, I'm a 5th year on the 5-year plan, and wouldn't have done it any differently. However, this kind of program is certainly not for everyone.

    Sorry for my rambling! :)
  17. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    Whoops, I forgot to mention pros and cons about Stanford.

    Pros: The flexible curriculum, the amazing and diverse students, the ability to "do other things" besides always being in class, the research opportunities, being part of an undergrad campus, the basketball team (I've been a 6th Man club member for the last 4 seasons!), the rest of the athletic teams, the weather, the diverse clinical training (we rotate through Stanford Hospital, Packard Hospital which is the affiliated pediatric tertiary care center, the local VA, the county hospital, and a major HMO hospital.), the friendly and *happy* residents and attendings.

    Cons: The class gets split up towards the end of the 1st year due to people deciding on the 4 or 5-year plans, and the class pretty much stays split, so it's easy to lose touch with classmates who are ahead or behind you in training. The med school facilities and library leave quite a lot to be desired. They say that there will be a new med school building that will be built, but that won't happen until around 2005 or so. There will at least be a new student lounge this spring.

    Overall, great school. I'm kind of sad that I will be leaving in June... :(
  18. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2001
    I have to agree with one of the skeptics above, in that med school students are somewhat "competitive." It does not mean that they sabbotage each other but instead, many people work super hard. I have heard of this from my friends at various med schools, including Albert Einstein, Vanderbilt, Duke, Penn, Yale, etc. etc.

    It is hard to imagine a non-competitive school because of the things inherent in the admissions process (quite heavily number-based) and med school (i.e. the sheer amount of materials to learn).

    Also, I personally know people currently attending top 10 schools and others who have in fact gotten into several of them at the same time. Yes, you get some amazing people there but you also get bookworms there. A lot of times, one could predict who would get into the top 10 vs top 25 based on their GPA and MCAT. And honestly, it is not hard to pull off two 30-min interviews and appear to be very decent human beings even if you have locked yourselves in your dorm room en route to obtain a 3.9 GPA and 38 MCAT. With that kind of numbers from an Ivy-caliber school, you can pretty much get into a top 10 schools with little EC's and personality (in fact, I have not known a single person with that kind of numbers not getting into at least a top 25 med school and more likely a top 10 school anyway). If Hopkins and Duke won't take you, Columbia or Yale will. And you are disillusioned if you think that these students don't make up a sizable portion of the student population at these schools. I personally just think that med schools in reality are not as rosy as the picture that the admissions committees try to paint.
  19. DrMakes

    DrMakes Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    I can't speak for other schools, but I know AOA is not at all determined by basic science grades (we are pass fail). Therefore, AOA is completely determined by third year clinical grades.

    Take that as you will!
  20. WSU02

    WSU02 Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2001
    Detroit, MI
    For Jimmiebee and Hoosierdaddie:
    WSU is the largest single campus medical school. There are other US medical schools larger than Wayne's, but they spread the class over more than 1 campus. So you are both right.

    My med school is (obviously from my name) Wayne State.
    Pros: Amazing clinical years. Friends at other med schools drool over what I consider routine.

    Administration that will bend over backwards to help (I had to take an emergency medical leave my 2nd year literally without notice. There was absolutely NO problem with this, in fact, they suggested to me how to arrange affairs such that I would be able to graduate with my class).

    Cons: Detroit. I'm going to disagree with Jimmiebee here. It sucks. But the burbs are nice - assuming you can reach them after spending hours in a traffic jam! :p

    Cliquish feeling. Just like high school.

    Size. It isn't everything :eek: :D
  21. TCOM-2005

    TCOM-2005 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2001
    Take a guess what I think of my school...
  22. Street Philosopher

    Street Philosopher freebird 10+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2000
    ann arbor
    I've been reading the first few posts, and I'm left wondering...


    Are you not expected to know everything (like you are in college), or do you have to study 48 hours a day?
  23. Szkwicz

    Szkwicz Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 7, 2001
    Hot's pretty cool to see so many students from Wayne State in this thread.

    I interviewed at Wayne State this week and am really really really hoping to get in there...I absolutely loved it.
    I've also interviewed at Michigan and am waiting to here from MSU, but at this point I'm pretty sure Wayne is my number 1 choice.
    I was floored by everything Wayne has to offer. Before applying and checking schools out, I thought Wayne would be my #3 choice out of the schools in Michigan but wow was I ever wrong.
    I'm told that I'll know my status on November 28th, so I can't wait.
    Hopefully I'll be seeing some of you guys from Wayne next year :)
    It looks like a great school to me!
  24. WSU02

    WSU02 Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2001
    Detroit, MI
    I'm a 4th year at Wayne, so you won't be seeing me next year!

    Anyhow, Wayne was actually lower on my list of med schools, but I matricked because of the $$$. And I haven't regretted it. I would come back again.

    Hope you get good news. But if you get waitlisted, don't worry. I got in from there! :D

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