is this crazy rumour about baylor true?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bulldog, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. bulldog

    bulldog Senior Member
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    at an interview, one of the students mentioned that he heard that someone mention that baylor expects 15-20 students to fail out of their 1st year med class. this just sounded riculous for a medical school.
     
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  3. vivekap2007

    vivekap2007 cowtown indo hornet
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    none of the students I talked to at baylor (current and former) said anything about 15-20 people failing out. They do just as much as any school to keep their students enrolled.
     
  4. Lara

    Lara Senior Member
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    I seem to remember posts from a Baylor SDNer (lilycat?) saying that her class of 2005 experimented with a new curriculum system resulting in a much higher than normal amount of failures. Perhaps that's where the rumor came from? But by now, I imagine that must have been remedied. No school wants an attrition rate like that!
     
  5. bujji13

    bujji13 Senior Member
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    It couldn't have been 15-20.

    I saw in their admissions bulletin a few years ago that they had an attrition rate of 2 people yearly.

    Infact, I would have a hard time believing any medical school would allow 15-20 people to drop out / fail. Adcoms put a lot of time into each acceptance, so med schools generally try to hold on to people as much as possible.
     
  6. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    I did remember lilycat saying that this past year, lots of baylor students failed. 10-15% should be about right. that was not the case two years ago.
     
  7. Indy

    Indy Member
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    when i interviewd there i remember someone mentioning that 1-2 people in each class fail
     
  8. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    I e-mailed the admissions office there last year asking specifically if it was true, and if so, were there any plans to address the issue this year?

    The reply I got answered all the other questions I had asked, but not that one. Much as I like the school, I'm kind of taking that as a red flag.

    Not that they've shown any interest in ME, so it's kind of moot.
     
  9. UCLA2000

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    that seems excessive; it's prolly just a rumor.
     
  10. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    Maybe someone could do a search for the thread from last year. I think it was from November or December 2001, but I remember very clearly that lilycat was really concerned about the number of people who'd failed the semester, and how the structure of the new curriculum made it a lot more difficult to pass than in previous years. Something about how they were tested made it really difficult to recover from a single bad exam, but I can't remember the details.

    I do also know that there had been at least a small amount of concern ahead of time about the effect that the new curriculum would have. But I'm pretty sure no one foresaw the magnitude of the effect.

    I'm sure they'll work it out. What concerns me is that they don't seem to be dealing with it openly, when I really think it would make them look more like people I'd want as my teachers if they did so.
     
  11. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member
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    OK i guess the thread has been around long enough with a little too much 'conjecture'. No this is NOT true. No school wants that many to fail out, because they invest a lot more in us than what we pay. The issue last year was this- the new curiculum was implemented in full force last year, instead of just bits and pieces as in the transition stages. Like before, baylor kept the first semester as strictly pass/fail, but for some reason raised the pass mark to an 80, from the 68 the year before. 80 is a damn good score for most people, but those who scored an 80 were borderline failing. As a result, when lilycat posted during the semester many people were in danger of this. I believe that towards the end of the semester the admin went back and changed it to 68 like at many schools, and so the people who thought they'd fail never did (however like any school, some people had other issues/family probs/etc that intefered with their work). This whole thing was unrelated to the new curiculum (in fact is is VERY impressive and i can't speak highly enough of it), but was directly due to the 80 becoming the cut off for passing. I have no idea why they raised it, but that goes for many admin decisions. This has already been removed for the first years this year, and a pass is now 68 as it has been at baylor for years. I hope this is enough and any paranoia has been dispelled. --Trek
     
  12. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member
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    thanks for the clarification trek. here's the post trek was referring to:

    http://www.studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16114&perpage=15&highlight=baylor%20and%20fail&pagenumber=1

    i've copied/pasted lilycat's relevant comments.....

    ===============================


    It's not the accelerated curriculum that's the problem -- they've been doing that for a while now. However, they changed the first semester so that it's all integrated, and they changed the grading system so that it is completely P/F the first semester -- sounds good so far, right? Except the cut-off for a P is an 80%. Previously it had been a 68%. Anyways, we were supposed to be helped to meet the 80% goal with specific "learning objectives" for each lecture, but that's basically been a joke, so it's sort of come down to sink or swim -- 15 people failed the first exam, and 21 failed the second. As a result, 4 people have already been asked to leave this year and try again next year because it's numerically impossible for them to pass the semester at this point (our last exam is Dec. 15th), and there are a lot of people in a "gray area" where they have to score in the 90's on the next exam to pass, or they can choose to withdraw before the exam and start again next year so as to avoid any chance of failing the semester.

    I should probably add that with the exception of biochem, the tests are not substantially different from those given in previous years, which is leaving some people wondering why the hell they raised the pass cut-off in that case.

    Anyways, apparently the numbers of people failing and people being asked to leave class at this point is unprecedented for the school. So, I'm assuming something will have to give next year.
    ====================

    Part II

    Whoa, I didn't mean to freak everyone out.

    In all honesty, I would never use "cutthroat" or "competitive" to describe the class. Everyone can get a 90, and that's fine with the school, and fine with the students. So there's no stress with your classmates, and it is noncompetitive from that standpoint. My classmates definitely don't want people to fail, and the overall goal is for everyone to make it through together. When I think of "cutthroat," to me that means that my classmates are unwilling to help me, or feel that my success jepordizes their own, which just isn't the case here. Hard does not equal cutthroat. When I interviewed at Wash U, the MSII's seemed pretty stressed out by the transition to "grades," but their stress wasn't induced by competition with their classmates -- rather it was because they were trying to succeed in a challenging system. I think prospective applicants need to recognize that difference and not jump to the conclusion that just because there is stress in med school, or aspects of the curriculum are tough, that means that the place is cutthroat or competitive. Not only would that be an oversimplification, but it's just not true.

    As for the people who are leaving class, they were asked to leave because it is numerically impossible for them to pass at this point. Going from sheer numbers alone, that means some of them probably scored in the 40's or 50's on at least one of the exams. Obviously if they had to shoot for a 68 or 70 to pass, that might be more attainable than going for the 80. But, it's not like these people all have 78's. Also, it's sort of proactive on the administration's part -- these students can come back next year if they want, and this way they don't run the risk of receiving an "F" on their transcript.

    The problem is that some people are clearly not making the 80%, regardless of their classmates' performance. Since these changes are new this year, I think the administration clearly wasn't prepared to deal with that scenario because in general, schools really, really want to keep their attrition rates low. My guess is that if somewhere around ~10 students leave this year because of academic difficulty, changes will be made.

    For anyone considering Baylor, despite my irritations with the new curriculum changes, it is a good school and I would still come here knowing what I know now -- all the upperclassmen I know here are extremely happy, and there are huge positives to the school. The administration is trying to make improvements to the curriculum -- in that process they may have made some mistakes, but I wouldn't completely bash the school for that. My best advice would be that if you are deciding between Baylor and another school in the spring, call and ask them about their plans for the fall curriculum. My guess is that it will go much smoother next year and they will have made some changes. It's never fun to be in the "guinea pig" class.

    ==========================
     
  13. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    Thank you, Yogi and Trek! I knew I wasn't quite remembering it right.

    Trek, I totally agree with you about the curriculum in general, and I truly have nothing bad to say about Baylor. It's one of those schools that are more impressive the more you learn about it. And when I worked in one of their teaching hospitals, I was always struck by how friendly and positive the students were, and how well the attending physicians managed to teach without belittling them. I think it's an outstanding school, with many truly great people.

    But I've been a curricular guinea pig before, and it IS a huge red flag to me if a school that was previously very open and student-friendly suddenly tries to clamp down on the information provided to prospective students, whether via official channels or word of mouth.

    So I'm glad to know that the issue was resolved. I still think that it would reflect well on the school if they were to talk about what happened and what they did about it with prospective students. Openness never hurts.
     
  14. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    Yeah they definitely should be more open about this kind of thing. Especially if the problem is resolved, there is no need to deny its existence (and not respond to it, even when stated directly in Samoa's email). Im sure they dont want to hurt their reputation though, that's all.
     

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