swampthing6

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We just had the LCME people here and I was just curious and thought this would be a good place to ask: do you feel like your school teaches you well and your lectures/lecturers are really a great resource from which you learn applicable skills and knowledge, or do you feel like you're just teaching yourself from the available materials (syllabus, BRS, etc.)?

Also, what's your favorite thing about your school and what's your least favorite thing about your school.

I'm really curious what it's like at other schools after this meeting, and I understand that a lot of people will want to protect their and their school's identities so it's really not necessary to say where you're from, but I'm curious as to whether or not there are common feelings from multiple schools.
 

NAGNAM

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There isn't enough memory available on the internet for me to even write the beginning paragraph to my thoughts on this.
 

MilkmanAl

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There's certainly a lot to say on both sides of the issue, but to keep it short and sweet...

Things I like: clinical focus, M3 faculty not preoccupied with research or their own agendas (from what little I've seen, at least), student body, brand new facilities

Things I don't like: primary care getting rammed down my throat constantly, absolutely atrocious pharm and path programs*, primary care getting rammed down my throat constantly, location - not that they can change it, student parking, primary care getting rammed down my throat constantly

*Low 30th percentile on the shelf exams for 10 years running? Are you ****ing kidding me? Change the damn curricula, already!
 

Mr hawkings

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There's certainly a lot to say on both sides of the issue, but to keep it short and sweet...

Things I like: clinical focus, M3 faculty not preoccupied with research or their own agendas (from what little I've seen, at least), student body, brand new facilities

Things I don't like: primary care getting rammed down my throat constantly, absolutely atrocious pharm and path programs*, primary care getting rammed down my throat constantly, location - not that they can change it, student parking, primary care getting rammed down my throat constantly

*Low 30th percentile on the shelf exams for 10 years running? Are you ****ing kidding me? Change the damn curricula, already!
I'd like some cheaper out of state tuition rates.
 

MilkmanAl

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Well, seeing as how Mizzou was more expensive in-state than UAMS is OOS, I'm not going to complain too much. :p I also rationalize the cost by looking at how freaking cheap it is to live in Little Rock, but if they're willing to make me pay less cash, I'm all for it!
 

MeRLin443

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Lectures are hit and miss, some great, some awful. Probably the same everywhere.

Favorite thing- Focus on integrating basic science w/ clinical importance.

Least favorite- The amount of stupid bull**** that med school shoves down our throats.
 

turkeyjerky

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Gotta agree with the irritating focus on primary care. Not just primary care, but specifically family practice--what's so great about family practitioners?
 

hrandani

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The total waste of time ethics and behavioral science...basically anything "non-medical" turned out to be. I was amped for those classes but it's like nobody even believes in the field of medical ethics at my school. There's too much separation from theory and practice I guess. And with the amount of work required from the other courses taken simultaneously they become an afterthought.

Mandatory attendance and bad lecturers - sweet baby jesus. My school has a heavy component of clinic work every week and at least in the first year it is a total waste of time as nobody knows anything about anything except former techs, EMTs & nurses.
 

Jolie South

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I'd get rid of all the useless, attendance mandatory classes where we talk about feelings and things that don't matter.

I understand that some people need a place to deal with issues or what not, but to subject the rest of us to that level of time-wastage is cruel. I don't know how comfortable I'd be discussing my personal issues in front of a small group of my classmates anyhow.

Also, these classes are usually led by non-MDs that like to tout "unprofessionalism" when people aren't enthusiastic about going.
 

justdoit31

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I would get rid of some of our clinical lectures on boring topics and replace them with online lectures, I would also change the grade scale to H/P/F instead of H/HP/P/MP/F.

Other than that I love my school and am completely happy with being here but I don't think you need a section for High Passes or a Marginal Pass (if you passed you passed does it have to go on a transcript as marginal?)

Favorite things are- clinical focus, all the faculty are open to talk to students, the true family atmosphere.
 

Redgar

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Things I like: committed faculty, systems-based curriculum, good cadaver lab, lots of affiliated hospitals, open culture, great personality for most of my colleagues and professors

Things I don't like: disorganized ordering of lectures, way too much emphasis on primary care clinical skills (8 hours each week*), no AOA, lack of resources for career counseling, childishness on the part of the professors that they won't post answers online for problem solving conferences to try to force people to show up (and similarly won't videotape lectures)**, and the bureaucracy runs anything like butter

*I appreciate early clinical training and exposure. But where we are currently at in our medical education does not warrant this much time per week. We haven't even studied diseases yet so we can't diagnose anything, hence cannot even do a proper ROS. So we end up sitting around for 4 hours once every week in the afternoon talking about our opinions on things like healthcare reform, how we are "feeling," etc -- attendance is mandatory. The other 4 hours of this 8 hours/week of clinical "training" is shadowing/working with a community-based primary care physician. That is a lot of time to see more of the same. I think those of us who want to should be allowed to substitute some of those afternoons shadowing a specialist of our choice instead of yet another afternoon of "well visits," sore throats, and diabetes. When I came to med school I had an open mind about primary care, but after getting all this thrown at me I'm dead opposed to going into it.

**I double asterixed this one because I find it, really, the most inexcusable. The one and only goal of first and second year medical school professors should be to prepare us for USMLE step 1, not to make themselves feel good by having people show up to their classes. And they undermine themselves when they do this, resulting in fewer people showing up due to frustration. I feel there are two things I have to study for: the exam, which is based on the personal interests of the faculty, and Step 1. My ONLY job right now should be studying for Step 1, and doing research.
 
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Cons:
- In-state tuition is $28,000+. On the other hand, UCLA's in-state tuition is $0.
- Heme-onc/micro/immuno are in one block -- that block has the lowest average exam scores throughout the year, and each of those subjects on Step 1 consistently result in scores below the national average -- in summary, a subject where the average exam scores are low and the average Step 1 scores are below the national average means something is very, very bad. [Heme-onc results on boards are almost 0.5 SD below national average.]
- Lecture halls are bland, boring, and started feeling like a prison cell after a while.

Pros:
- Faculty in general are very responsive to students.
- The financial, personal, and educational counseling services are absolutely ridiculously good.
- Lectures available via iTunes U as well as a separate recording system posted on the med school's site -- if you miss a day, you didn't really miss a day.
- Only maybe 2 or 3 textbooks required all year. One was written by the former dean and was short and cheap. Another was ECA. The last was a pulmonary book that was also short and cheap.
- Tons of required and voluntary preceptorship experiences -- my preceptor let me do three patient encounters -- history, physical exam, SOAP, and presentation -- the first time I met with her in January of MS1, and gave me great advice on getting it right.
- Administration is focused so hard on improving their ranking, and that means more money, more resources, and more opportunities for student feedback, etc.
- And there is a ton of required and voluntary student feedback opportunities, from individual feedback on lecturers and peer feedback to sit-down lunches (provided) with block directors to let them know what was good, bad, and ugly. Student council reps meet with overall curriculum directors several times per year and give the directors anonymous feedback about problems, concerns, etc.
- Most of all, they'll do anything possible to make sure you don't fail. There are so many fail-safes and safety nets -- it's almost scary.
- Pass/fail.
- One class per week is mandatory -- it's in the afternoon.
- One test per block -- 3-5 weeks of material, about 100 questions, 1.2 minutes per question, almost always on a Friday. We have review sessions on Wednesday, Thursdays off, and Friday morning is the exam.
- Pharmacology was awesome -- very clinically oriented.
- Everyone is always trying to convince you that their field is the best. Which means that they're actually frickin' enthusiastic about what they do. I thank the block directors for choosing people who care about what they do and who care about academics.
 
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mordounhas

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I really wish more schools could/would embrace P/F for the first two years, including my own. There's a study that shows that student performance did not suffer from the change at the University of Virginia while student well-being improved.

I would think schools would be wise to try and see if these results are reproducible- if they were, I think it would be worth switching to P/F for the pre-clinical years for the students' sake. I realize that you need a way to distinguish between students, but at least at my school the grades from the first two years hardly matter in class ranking. So their major function at the moment might just be to aggravate students (which I realize is not the intention).
 

NAGNAM

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I would get rid of some of our clinical lectures on boring topics and replace them with online lectures, I would also change the grade scale to H/P/F instead of H/HP/P/MP/F.
My school has the opposite and would love the H/HP/P/MP/F scale.
 

csmittyB

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Cons:
-In-state tuition is $28,000+. On the other hand, UCLA's in-state tuition is $0.

Don't let that fool you. Instate tuition for UC's may be $0, but there are ~$20k in "fees". Still, not too bad price wise.
 

chiz2kul

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Lectures are hit and miss, some great, some awful. Probably the same everywhere.

Favorite thing- Focus on integrating basic science w/ clinical importance.

Least favorite- The amount of stupid bull**** that med school shoves down our throats.
This.

And P/F. And videotape lectures.