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Interview Story at Pitt Med

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by EndSong, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. EndSong

    EndSong Senior Member
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    So I recently interviewed at Pitt Med and I was wondering if anyone else had any similar experiences... but when I asked if the school was competitive... I found out that there was a feeling of a lot of competition, in fact, my student host let it slip that there was a big cheating scandal at the school with a whole group of students having advanced copies of the exams or something... When I asked my student host what was up, she said that the environment among the students wasn't the best.

    Did anyone else hear anything like this?
     
  2. tdittyx2x3

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    This is the classic "friend of a friend" comment coming up, but for what its worth - ie nothing.

    When I asked my MCAT tutor why she wasn't applying to Pitt with her ridiculous score (we're both from Pittsburgh), she said that she has several friends at the program who described the environment as ultra-competitive.

    This could all be exaggerated hearsay. And even if the school was "competitive", it certainly doesn't mean no one is friendly and everyone is out for themselves.
     
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  3. Decicco

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    How can a school be competitive with a pass-fail grading system?
     
  4. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
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    There might still be a ranking system...
     
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  5. Scean

    Scean whats a goon to a goblin?
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    The atmosphere would fluctuate from class to class as well.


    Just seems like a subjective opinion. I would try to get the low-down on the scandal though, if nothing else for entertainment's sake.
     
  6. scarletgirl777

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    Because it's honors/pass/fail. The website says pass/fail, but when you press the students, it turns out it's really honors/pass/fail.
     
  7. Erina

    Erina MS-IV
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    Pitt Med really isn't that competitive. You're going to have competition at any school where people are used to getting high grades. People here do NOT sabotage anyone and in fact, a lot of the students will email the rest of the class study guides or links to good websites.

    As for the cheating scandal, we had a meeting about it recently. We don't know a lot of details, but from what we were told, it was only a FEW students. And those people are idiots. The majority of the students were genuinely shocked and pissed off that people would do that. I think Pitt is full of people who really believe in the honor system and what it means to be professional.

    Anyway, the cheating has been taken care of since all of the exams are now being rewritten--so any old exams that were being passed around are worthless. And our faculty have been great about it. They could be punishing everyone right now, but they really believe in trusting us. And rather than making decisions about what to do by themselves, the faculty and our honor council brought the issue to the students to generate a discussion.

    It sucks some of you have heard bad things about Pitt. I think our students are awesome and really willing to help each other (and the community) out. The cheating thing is a freak incident and I can guarantee you that the majority of the students here wouldn't even think about cheating.
     
  8. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    Besides that, when you apply for residencies, usually the dean's letter ranks you compared to your class, i.e., top 10%, 30%, etc. That's why pass/fail really doesn't change much, unlike some tend to believe.
     
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  9. shantster

    shantster Eye protection!
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    There is no ranking system for the first two years. I really don't get why that rumor gets spread every application cycle.
     
  10. 87138

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    Hahaha. No personal offense meant to you (or to anyone really) but this is always hilarious to hear. It's the very first defense/answer to the question "is your school competitive?"
     
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  11. 87138

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    Because most schools who have "pass/fail" do still rank. If Pitt truly is one of the few that doesn't, than it's unfortunate it accidentally gets lumped in there.

    But schools who "don't rank" usually do still rank. Something like "John Smith passed all his classes and finished 180th out of 180 students in his class."

    I seriously doubt students' numerical scores on exams just "disappear" after the test is taken at most/all schools.
     
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  12. Erina

    Erina MS-IV
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    i don't understand why that's hilarious?

    i like that our classmates help each other out and to me, that shows that we aren't competitive.
     
  13. 87138

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    Because it really doesn't show that a school is not competitive. It shows that maybe a few students in the class decided to help out by making a study guide. Sure, maybe every single student sends out a study guide they made (which would be annoying), but that's not the case. It's difficult to extrapolate an example of one or two people sending out study guides to be able to say whether a class as a whole is or isn't competitive. There was a thread on here not too long ago about how the "study guide" phenomenon comes up at every single school's interview days. Every single school I interviewed at had a fellow interviewee ask a version of the "is your class competitive?" followed by the perfunctory "oh no, we send out study guides" response. Without fail. Sometimes in chorus.

    That's why I find it hilarious.
     
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  14. Erina

    Erina MS-IV
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    well i can see how using 1 or 2 people as examples doesn't work. but it's also hard for an outsider to draw those conclusions without being in the class. the impression i get from my classmates, especially through our small group interactions, is that everyone is pretty willing to help each other out--and not just because one person sends out study guides. a wide variety of people have sent out resources to everyone or gathered everyone's signatures on cards for our classmates that have had family emergencies. people in our class also just check up on each other when someone doesn't come to class for awhile or when someone looks upset. i was actually very surprised to find out how nice and helpful all of my classmates are.
     
  15. htownpremie

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    qft
     
  16. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    Brilliantly put.
     
  17. htownpremie

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    I've definitely heard of this, especially when it comes to grading systems that seem to obscure actual GPA's. At one school that I interviewed at (not Pitt, and they use an H/HP/P/F grading system), a professor told me that they kept a record of everybody's numerical GPA up to a thousandth of a decimal point. Of course nobody knows what their numbers are, other than they've HP X amount of courses...but it is used to rank the students.
     
  18. jdover52

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    How do unranked schools do AOA?
     
  19. nevercold

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    Many schools have internal ranks that are NOT reported in the Dean's letter. Stop sweating it. Just find out if most students are willing to participate in a collaborative learning environment or not. Then find out if the school supports your application for residency or if they report bare facts without trying to show programs your best assets.
     
  20. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    One man's "competitive" is another man's "chill". The only person that you are in competition with in any medical school is yourself. If you strive to do the best that you can (and succeed), you are going to reap the rewards. In the end, you are responsible for your performance good or bad. In pre-med, med and residency, you have to be responsible for your learning and let the rest of the "I heard ..." go. There is just too much to do and the rumor mill is worthless in the long run.
     
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  21. clinicallabguy

    clinicallabguy PGY5 Oto-HNS
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    I agree with this. I don't understand how a school or faculty could magically root the competitive nature out of medical students, or on the flip side that there would be an entire class whose primary goal was to dominate everyone. It's hard to believe it when med students say "there are no gunners here," or "I heard that such and such school has a lot of competetive students." I'd imagine it's a mixed bag everywhere. But, Erina's posts above about Pittsburgh seem sincere, and I'm excited to go there.
     
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    #21 clinicallabguy, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  22. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Not all schools do AOA.
     
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  23. jdover52

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    So schools that don't rank don't do AOA?
     
  24. Brushfire

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  25. RSAgator

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    well some schools rank solely for the purpose of AOA.
     
  26. Erina

    Erina MS-IV
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    Yes, my posts are sincere :). It definitely is a mixed bag, no matter where you go. You quickly learn who the competitive people are and avoid them. I think the atmosphere here are Pitt is great and we haven't had any horror stories about people sabotaging others and whatnot :p
     
  27. bluesmd

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    :eek: med school here i come :laugh:
     
  28. Erina

    Erina MS-IV
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    haha craziness doesn't end with pre-med ;) but i think sabotage and whatnot is pretty rare these days, no matter what school you go to.
     
  29. geekOCD

    geekOCD passionate people rock
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    My school is P/F, no ranking, and we do AOA based on clinical grades. They start with everyone who's gotten honors in every rotation. If they have too many, they go to Step 1 scores and pre-clinical involvement and performance. If they have too few, they open it to people who've had 1 non-Honors grade.
     
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  30. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker
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    I agree. My class is known as the super competitive class but all that means is that everyone wants a 100% on the test, which I would imagine is similar to many other medical school classes. The averages are usually very high and it seems that someone always gets close to a 100% on the test (I hope its not the same person every time, lol). But despite that we still have a nice handful of people to e-mail out study guides (which often aren't has helpful as just rereading the bloody notes). There is a difference between a competitive class, and a class that sabotoges each other. Our class would never do that to each other, but the competition is definitely there. We have a strict P/F system here, but you can still see our numerical grade and know how you matched up. The school is always figure out a way to rank you.
     
  31. gujuDoc

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    A few things to note.

    A few people will always say things about schools. Doesn't mean you can know the truth to it util you attend such a school. What I mean by this is that there are people who will always say bad about a given school. In this case Pitt, in my state its UF people badmouth. But just because you find students that are actually happy doesn't mean that they must be lying. There will always be those that are unhappy and competitive with each other because of their own insecurities or natural tendency to be competitive in all things they do. there are people like that you know.

    And then there are those that will always be helpful. You have to keep in mind that just because one year's class has ultra gunners doesn't mean it will be the case with the next year's class because youd on't know your class make up until you meet your classmates. Make informed decisions by yourself not by hearsay.
     
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  32. gujuDoc

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    Good post. I think your post makes a good point about sabotaging vs. being competitive.

    Of course if you are trying to be like Tired and go into ortho or be a derm or rads or rad onco or some other comp. specialty yu are going to work hard to be comp and worry about yourself first and foremost. That's just how it is in all things in life. It doesn't mean the class is a bad class and I've never understood the whole dissing a school because of a bit of competition. Most things in life are a competition to some degree i.e. your athletic teams, your apps to med school-for each person in many more are not in, your apps to residency, your rank in classes, etc.

    You just learn to roll with it and don't do anything to sabotage someone but do your best to do well.
     
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