ok, so i just had a two hour conversation with someone who's a third year at YSM. She basically said that Hopkins is just a little too intense and competitive for most people, and she gave a lot of reasons to back it up. To start, this is all anecdotal, based on friends she has at hopkins and residents she's met from hopkins. Furthermore, these are not my own opinions. I'm most likely attending, and so far I love Hopkins, but I would love someone who knows firsthand about the school to offer their opinions about the following... First off, having the H/HP/P/F tiers already sets the bar high. People study harder, people fight harder to stay at mean or above, even. People who have useful materials (tests, study notes) only pass them out to friends. This would all be especially true at a place like hopkins, where the kids who get in have been doing that their whole lives, or so they say. Internal rankings. She said that once people start getting ranked, and they know their ranks, it makes for some real intense competition. Since rankings will no doubt play some role in the residency match, someone can't take it too easy or go with the flow for the first two years. That just sucks, if its true. To dispute all this, I brought up a conversation I had with a Hopkins grad. I happen to be great friends with her cousin. Anyways, this girl spent her plastic surgery residency at Yale, became chief resident, and is now practicing in New haven. This grad said she loved Hopkins and everything about it. My friend tells me not to listen to her cousin, considering shes a typical surgeon type--she thrives on intense competition. The YSM girl agreed, saying that Hopkins students aren't going to tell you not to go, because it takes a certain competitive type of person to go in the first place. Bottom line here: its hard to take the advice of some students from hopkins cuz they themselves are of a certain breed. Disputable points: do preclinical year grades matter thaaaat much? Can, say, #120 in the class still land a spot in a top notch surgery program or derm residency (i use these as markers of competitiveness) in NYC? If that were true, nothing I've said would hold water. Kids would study hard, but all be confident that they'd do well in match. Gunners can gun for whatever suits them. To each his own. OK, so that's preclinical. now onto clinical... She said that the third year at hopkins is set up so that residents arent spread out enough (say, only one resident for many units) and interns have a ton on their plates. With med students working with these overworked interns, they will surely get a lot of their own time to learn first hand. But it also means having interns who are overworked and make for grumpy/bad teachers. Overall, when your interns are overworked and not there to watch with you often, it makes for a bad learning experience. Can anyone from hopkins corroborate or disprove this? I heard much better of the program.. there has to be some concrete reason for why people say Hopkins clinical training is second to none. Something more than the simple fact that they seemingly throw you into the trenches to learn on your own. Finally, she said that the people she's met from hopkins are "dicks." Residents and interns who just walk around like they own Yale New Haven and work the med students according to their old school culture. Listening to her, it sounded like these people were just coming out of a hard-core old school system where it's dog eat dog and hierarchy is how it is. Again, can anyone comment on this? Thanks in advance for any constructive thoughts anyone can offer.