Is the Organ System approach really that good?

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dark knight

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Hi Guys & Gals,
Just want your opinion about curriculum. Many schools I interviewed stressed that they had an organ system approach. Is this really any better then the traditional approach? Are you at a disadvantage going the traditional route? What are the Pros or Cons of each?
Thanks
 

USArmyDoc

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dark knight said:
Hi Guys & Gals,
Just want your opinion about curriculum. Many schools I interviewed stressed that they had an organ system approach. Is this really any better then the traditional approach? Are you at a disadvantage going the traditional route? What are the Pros or Cons of each?
Thanks


While I really can't answer your questions, I will say that I prefer the organ approach because I think it makes everything more interesting as opposed to straight up biochem for 12 weeks.
 

tigress

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Personally I love it. Actually, my favorite curriculum is Drexel's "symptom-based", which is basically organ systems based with a twist. I think it's the best way to learn because it integrates the info in a way that makes sense, and it helps students remember it better in the long term. The biggest drawback is having many subjects at the same time, which can be difficult during exam blocks, but of course you have less info for each exam.

I don't think you're at a disadvantage with any approach, really. I know that personally if I were designing my ideal med school, though, I would choose this sort of approach (systems or symptom-based).
 

emmd06

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dark knight said:
Hi Guys & Gals,
Just want your opinion about curriculum. Many schools I interviewed stressed that they had an organ system approach. Is this really any better then the traditional approach? Are you at a disadvantage going the traditional route? What are the Pros or Cons of each?
Thanks

Tigress eludes to the fact that you can't go wrong with any pre-clinical med school curriculum. I completely agree. In the end, wherever you go you will learn the same material. Having a huge physiology class and a huge pathology class with some pharm, is really not that different from having CV, pulm, GI, etc. In the end, you will end up teaching yourself all of it anyway, and you will figure out the best way for you to learn everything. I'm a 4th year student, and I have to say that I cringe when I think that the pre-clinical curriculum design is even the slightest factor for people choosing medical schools. The number of small group conferences vs lectures vs whatever is not at all important. However, despite thoughts that people will "just want to pass," having a P/F pre-clinical was amazing. People can't and won't just squeeze by with a 66% on every exam - you know you need to know most of the material for the rest of your lives, and you ABSOLUTELY don't ever want to fail anything.

If I were doing it again, I'd consider where I want to live, how much money I want to spend, how I liked the students I met, and P/F the first 2 years. It's difficult if not impossible for pre-meds to ascertain an institutions real reputation at this point, especially since it may be different in every specialty. Likewise, it's very hard to get a feel for clinical rotations at the school's different hospitals. Above all, though, please don't put any emphasis on pre-clinical curriculums in your decision-making process.
 

kasha

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emmd06 said:
Tigress eludes to the fact that you can't go wrong with any pre-clinical med school curriculum. I completely agree. In the end, wherever you go you will learn the same material. Having a huge physiology class and a huge pathology class with some pharm, is really not that different from having CV, pulm, GI, etc. In the end, you will end up teaching yourself all of it anyway, and you will figure out the best way for you to learn everything. I'm a 4th year student, and I have to say that I cringe when I think that the pre-clinical curriculum design is even the slightest factor for people choosing medical schools. The number of small group conferences vs lectures vs whatever is not at all important. However, despite thoughts that people will "just want to pass," having a P/F pre-clinical was amazing. People can't and won't just squeeze by with a 66% on every exam - you know you need to know most of the material for the rest of your lives, and you ABSOLUTELY don't ever want to fail anything.

If I were doing it again, I'd consider where I want to live, how much money I want to spend, how I liked the students I met, and P/F the first 2 years. It's difficult if not impossible for pre-meds to ascertain an institutions real reputation at this point, especially since it may be different in every specialty. Likewise, it's very hard to get a feel for clinical rotations at the school's different hospitals. Above all, though, please don't put any emphasis on pre-clinical curriculums in your decision-making process.

Even when it comes down to PBL vs. non-PBL? Do you really think this shouldnt be a factor in choosing a school?
 

tigress

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kasha said:
Even when it comes down to PBL vs. non-PBL? Do you really think this shouldnt be a factor in choosing a school?

I think this should be a factor (I know, you weren't asking me :p). But the actual non-PBL curriculum isn't so important. Like I said, in designing an ideal school I know what curriculum I'd pick, but I wouldn't make that a factor in choosing an existing school. Although I do think the available resources (online lectures, etc.) are an important factor, at least in my particular situation (which I admit is a bit unique, because I have to consider balancing being a mother, a wife, and a student).

But I would not go to a school that is mainly PBL. I don't learn well that way, and it would just be shooting myself in the foot. Sure, I could still do fine, but I would be starting at a disadvantage.
 
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