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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by morris121, Mar 25, 2007.
Personally, I think there are two huge things to consider: how bad you want to live on Hawaii and how much you love PBL.
Four years in Hawaii sounds like paradise, but unless you're really in love with the idea of island living, you may find it harder than you think. I lived there for three years not too long ago. It's a beautiful place but can feel a bit clique-y. I don't think that's a slam on Hawaii but just the nature of small places. UH folks are almost all local and usually head into med school with a circle of friends they've had their whole life. There are only a small handful of out of state folks.
Also, are you single? If you're going out there with an SO, it can be a bit tough unless your SO works the travel or construction trade. The work scene out there can be dire. Not a lot of job opportunities in most industries and the pay is much lower than the mainland. I took a 40% paycut.
That said, it's a beautiful place and not as pricey as people say, once you get used to local living and not buying stuff that's expensive and getting used to what's on sale and to be had for less. You just get used to simple pleasures. It's very much beach culture, very little club/bar culture. The people there are good folks, once they have the chance to determine if you're the real article vs. a poseur.
Hawaii is almost entirely a PBL curriculum. If you like this way of learning, it's probably great, but lots of folks hate it with a passion. If you find you hate it, UH could be a very long four years.
Anyway, never lived in Philly or been to Jefferson so can't help you there.
Again, I liked Hawaii, but just try to warn people who form their opinion of the place based on a one week holiday ("it's paradise! everyone is so friendly!"). It's can be a wonderful place to live, but you need to know what you're getting into.
Hi morris congrats on your acceptance to UH! I am a Hawaii resident who is waiting on notification from UH but has already been accepted to med school on the mainland.
I know a bunch of students MS1-3 that are attending UH med now.
-Pros: Everyone I know is very happy!
-Cons: Most people I know hate PBL! From what I understand many of them feel that PBL learning does not prepare them well for the boards. A large number of students take Kaplan to fill in the blank areas.
-Pros: If you like it you like it.
-Cons: You will have to do a lot of studying on your own to fill the gaps in PBL. There are tons of threads on this so I won't elaborate more on it. (This is the BIGGEST problem that I have with the school...)
-Cons: There is no school hospital! (Second BIGGEST reservation about the school)
-Cons: You may slack off...
-Pros: People of Hawaii are insanely nice! I do not think that there is any school that can match the cultural diversity of Hawaii. The highest percentage of 1 ethnic group in Hawaii is the Japanese at ~23%. There is a very strong Asian influence in Hawaii. Ie. You will have to take off your shoes before entering someones house. Many places only give you chop sticks unless you ask for forks. Have you eaten sashimi (raw fish) before? Haha.
-Cons: As with most places Hawaii is slightly insular. I will tell you as an insider that there is a slight prejudice towards white people in certain areas. Basically, Hawaii was annexed to the U.S. against the former Queen's will and some people still hold on to the notion that the foreigners stole Hawaii. However, that being said there is almost no racial prejudice in Hawaii (I know this sounds contradictory). If you come here you will find that many people are not strictly 1 ethnic race.
Outside of School:
-Pros: Again, you will have a lot of fun here if you like to do things out doors. Hiking, surfing, windboarding, swimming, kart racing, etc etc etc. Hawaii's natural beauty is amazing...Also, if you need a break you can fly to the neighbor island and back for less than a 100 dollars. This can be good or bad but there are no seasons! Hawaii is ~75-85 degrees all year round.
-Cons: If you like snow...sorry! Also, Hawaii does not have the upscale dance clubs that are available on the mainland. Hawaii is too small for some people.
-Pros: The new med school is very nice. Wow...I seriously thought I was in a country club when I walked in the door. I loved the way that they made it so that the light streams in to the first floor. All facilities are new! Development at Kakaako is increasing and they are opening the fitness center soon.
-Cons: Med school is so new that much of the state of the art equipment is not yet worked in to the program. Kinda bummed me out that they have a holographic video room etc that is not yet being used!
-Pros: McDonalds still has a 99 cent menu in Hawaii.
-Cons: I'll be frank...UH Med out of state is expensive. I am not sure what the numbers are but they are high and getting higher. Also, I don't know what your situation is but price is usually a major factor for international students because they do not qualify for U.S loans. I know some places that you can get a studio for ~650 dollars a month...but thats pretty much the low end of everything. If you are bringing a family you might want to check the home prices.
If you have more questions about the school or location ask away!
Congrats on your acceptancse. I, like Xotica, am waiting for my decision from UH, but I have also been accepted to Jeff. Even though I don't know my fate at UH, I am already thinking about the pros and cons of both. The only benefit for me is that I am currently in Hawaii and am really familiar with the system at UH. It would be great to hear some of your thoughts, because right now I am at a loss.
There are a lot of strengths to both programs ... but at this point I am leaning towards Jefferson because of the strength of its match list. I'm concerned if I go to UH that my residency choices will be limited.
Is this accurate?
I am not sure if you are limited, but I believe that the factors considered for admission at UH play a big part in their match results and many of the people that go here are from here. Most of their families are here. Many don't have the desire to leave for numerous reasons.
The most important factor for me is the curriculum. I stole this from one of critical mass' post on curriculum "Step 1 is still your primary indicator of matching success even though I do agree that the clinical years are more important to your professional life. If your M1/2 curriculum blows and you suck at step 1, your options are going to be far more limited before you even set foot on the wards."
Good luck and keep me posted!
I just wanted to give you some prospective from Jefferson. I do think we have a great first two years (block system with organ system focus second year) that do prepare you well for the boards. Most students pass the "practice" diagnostic step 1 without studying and score above the mean on the actual exam. We are clinically focused school and while many choose primary care that is not our focus. Of course we are not near the water, the weather cannot compare to HI and Philly is a classic eastern city which some love while others really can't stand. Really my suggestion would be to choose what you love as 4 years is a quite a while anywhere.
1) Yeah, the class size tends to be a common concern. I actually don't feel like the class is that big, really. Because almost all of the activities are run by students, you have to work closely with a lot of your classmates to get stuff done, so you get to know them pretty well. Everything is also broken down into smaller groups - so you'll get to work in tight clusters in anatomy, neuroscience, your "doctor-patient" relations course, etc. Plus, as you said, the vast majority of people at Jeff live close to campus, so everyone sees each other all the time at the library, in the elevators, at Wawa, at the grocery store, etc.
The professors have been teaching at Jeff for years, and many are alumni. They know how to manage a large group of students well, and know how to give each student individual attention. I don't feel like another number in the system or anything - everything here is way too informal and casual to support that kind of environment.
As for it being a fun place to learn - well, it's med school. Some of the stuff that you learn here can only be so interesting. That said, there are many professors who have such quirky personalities that they've developed a certain "iconic" status. Dr. Berg, who teaches clinical skills in the 1st and 2nd year, is obsessed with baseball, the Himalayas (he ran an outpatient clinic there for a summer, I think), and physical exam "mischief." Dr. Shea, who is one of those old school anatomists, and is just...there's no description. (Any fellow Jeffersonians reading this will agree, I'm sure.) Dr. Brainard who runs the neuroscience course (yes, his name really is BRAIN-ard), and is one of the most humane people on the planet. He really looks out for students, and actually drags a reclining armchair INTO THE LECTURE HALL, so that he can attend every lecture. (And he does, too - so if you have a concern/question, no need for email! Just walk to the back of the auditorium.) Dean Nasca, who teaches 1st and 2nd year renal physio, is the dean of the med school. And Dr. Brucker, who was President of the University up until 3-4 years ago, teaches 1st years how to take blood pressures. What was funny about this is that most people don't even realize that he used to be the President, until they walk out of the clinical skills session and see his portrait on the wall.
I honestly don't know about EM, just because it's never interested me very much. I know that there is an extremely large and active student interest group, so, as a 1st year, it's really easy to talk to 4th and 3rd years who may have more experience in that field. And one of the student deans is an ER physician. The ER matches for this year were:
- U. Chicago
- Univ. Pittsburgh
- MCG (Augusta, GA)
- SUNY Brooklyn
- Morristown Memorial (NJ)
- UMDNJ (Camden) 
- Madigan Army Medical Center (WA)
- Hershey/PSU (PA)
- Geisinger (PA)
- Christiana (DE) [ER/Fam Med combo]
I have no idea what this means, in terms of "good" or "bad" locations. What I can tell you is that, at Jeff, it's very easy to find mentors and advisors very early on in. A lot of the attendings and residents LOVE to have students tag along, especially in EM. Plus, in 1st year, they have a clinical mentor program where they'll match you up with a doctor in a specialty that interests you.
Why are my posts so long? I'm really sorry. Hopefully this helps though. I agree it's a tough decision, and I really hope that some UH students comes along to balance out my length post! Good luck!
I think that that's a good point. I agree, you'd probably become super-close with your classmates if you did PBL.
The thing is, as we go along in 2nd year, I realize more and more how much I prefer lecture to all-PBL. Yes, some lecturers are very, very boring or ineffective. (Not that all PBL sessions are effective and productive, either, though.) But, when it comes to clinical medicine, there's really something to be said for having an actual pathologist teach you pathology. Or having an Infectious Disease specialist talk about AIDS, a GI specialist talk about gallstones and hepatitis, and an EM doctor talk to you about treating acute drug intoxication. (Not to mention an ophthalomogic ER doctor show you photographs of actual ocular trauma patients that he has seen in the ER ... **shudder**) I know that you could probably learn clinical medicine by PBL just as well, but I can't help but wonder if some of the interesting aspects might be lost. It makes it a little easier for students who are trying to figure out what we want to do for residency - we can go up to our professors after class and ask if it would be possible to see patients with him/her. A lot of the professors even invite us to come see patients with them. So, while I can see advantages to an all-PBL system, I think that I'd miss that aspect of lecture learning.
But...before you think too deeply about that, remember - it's all personal preference. Some people swear by PBL, and absolutely love it.
Hopefully these will provide a good perspective from some JABSOM students:
Congrats on your decision! I know it is tough. I just got accepted to BU today so it looks like I'll be headed back to the east coast once again! It's like we are switching places!
If you have any questions (where to live, what there is to do, anything about the curriculum, etc), feel free to PM me. Hawaii is great.... I love it and the thought of leaving makes me really sad!
I didn't know you were interested in EM! I know the match list I sent you showed two of our MSIVs going to UCLA EM (one doing EM, the other doing EM/IM, which only has a few spots nationwide anyway). If you're still interested, I can try to find last year's match list, as they had 6 people match into EM, and all in their first choice programs (one in Florida, another in Mass. General/Harvard, and I forget where else), with one EM/IM person in the mix.
P.S. again, if the inability to score well on the boards as some people on this thread have pointed out scares you, consider this:
15 people in our class of 62 scored over 240, with our high scorer hitting a 268 (given the results of the NRMP residency match list+USMLE Step 1 score data, not many get that high a score, regardless of what you hear people getting here on SDN).
Wow, that would be awesome if you could find last year's match. Thanks a lot for trying!
Did you already get accepted to UH? Because I thought acceptance/rejection letters will not be sent out until sometime this month.
If you're planning on settling in the northeast anyway, then WHY DO YOU EVEN WANT TO GO TO UH? This is a public institution SUPPORTED by the people who live and will remain in Hawaii probably for the rest of their lives. The GOAL of the University of Hawaii School of Medicine is to educate physicians who will eventually care for the PEOPLE OF HAWAII. I don't mean to be rude to you in particular, but I just DON'T GET people who want to go to another state's school, spend that state's money, then not work there (AND NOT CONTRIBUTE/GIVE BACK to that state) later on.
maybe if OOS tuition wasn't so high people would be a bit more willing to actually stay there if they love it/go into primary care wherever they may be....just a thought
Oh please. What does a student care about the supposed "mission" of a particular University? Do you sign a binding contract at UH, promising to stay in Hawaii and provide free care to underserved groups?
If the University accepts you, then you have every right to go there, regardless of your future goals.
And for the record, given how much out-of-state students typically pay at State schools, I highly doubt that the OP will be spending any Hawaiian money by attending UH.
You ask, "What does a student care?" WELL I CARE because I am a Hawaii resident, I have lived there my whole life, and I know that many physicians have left the state to practice in the mainland for higher pay or better privileges...and when I interviewed there, ALL THREE of my interviewers pointed out how they are looking for students who will stay in Hawaii to practice.
Oh yeah, and your post obviously shows how much you know about Hawaii anyway, so I don't get why you're even responding. Not all people there are Hawaiian. Being from Hawaii doesn't make you Hawaiian.
So sorry JABSOM doesn't consult you when they make admissions decisions.
And there's really no need to get your grass-skirt in a bunch. UH accepted this out-of-state applicant, meaning that the "mission" you describe exists more in your own mind than it does in reality. If they want this student, he has every right to go there, your shrill little rant notwithstanding.
UH also has a primary care focus. Perhaps you would prefer all applicants to sign a pledge stating "I will not pursue a surgical career"?
After this post, I will waste no more time on you. You're not worth it. My only regret is that you get to speak your mind behind the safety of your computer screen. Too bad you couldn't talk in this sarcastic/rude manner to me in person.
Give back to the state? I was under the impression that if you live in a state and your parents live in a state they were paying the same taxes that give them the in-state status and benefits of being a resident of that state. What you do after medical school is your own decision but the costs of the school are funded by the taxes already paid.
dmk, I am a Hawaii resident, and I think tired has a legitimate point. JABSOM accepted this applicant and has the right to go there.
And whats wrong with a little diversity in the student body?
i will respond to you, since your reply doesn't seem rude/sarcastic/or abrasive. I never said that he didn't "deserve" to go there, I was only questioning why he would choose UH over another school that was in the Northeast, when he said he was planning on settling in the NE anyway.
AND I STAND BY MY POINT that UH is looking for students who will become doctors in Hawaii. Not for students who want to receive their education from UH simply for the sake of being in Hawaii, with the nice beaches, with the nice weather, and then leave to practice elsewhere.
And Hawaii is a pretty diverse state anyway, so even if all the applicants were residents, the student body would still be diverse.
I agree that what you do after med school is your own decision, but for the specific case of UH (since it's such a small school in such a small state), I believe that only people who intend on practicing in Hawaii in the future should be allowed to study there. And that is one of the goals of the school: to educate the future physicians of Hawaii. And even though non-residents do have a higher tuition, that does not necessarily mean they have "paid their dues" for being able to study at a public institution that cost $150 million to build. The RESIDENTS paid for that.
Well, to be fair to the OP, he did have some important reasons why he chose JABSOM over Jeff - he liked the curriculum better, the smaller class size, etc. I don't think he chose just on the basis of location.
I'm sure that UH is looking for people who will practice in Hawaii. But, as long as applicants are honest if their interviewer asks "Do you plan on staying in Hawaii," then it's the school's fault if they admit people who don't plan on sticking around for residency.
Dmk, I think you are getting a little to excited about this. You are right in that JABSOMs mission is to produce doctors that will serve the people of Hawaii. However, you forget that there are 6 seats reserved in the class every year for out of state applicants. There is no guarantee that these OOSers are going to stay in Hawaii. It seems like what they are interested in is finding people that will be good matches for their program and apparently Morris is! He was accepted early when very few people ever get notified that early. Obviously there is something there that you do not see that the ADCOM did!
Congrats Morris and I know you'll love Hawaii. Welcome!
While I can see dmk's point I think that his comments are out of line. Morris obviously has some exceptional qualities which the school and state will benefit from. On the flip side however, it is kind of peculiar to me that the school would select someone who has no ties to the state and does not want to practice in Hawaii through early decision. I know many of my friends who were literally forced to attend mainland medical schools because they were not accepted at UH.
Seriously though I think that those of us who know a little about the history of JABSOM admissions will agree that UH has very strange admissions policies. There really seems to be no rhyme or reason to the process...
1) My reply was mildly sarcastic, but not rude. Rude is the thinly-veiled threat contained in your reply ("behind the safety of [my] computer screen").
2) I would happily say all this to your face. And who knows, I may get the chance some day. Medicine is a small community.
3) Medical school is long, and residency is long. It is unreasonable to assume that all UH students will practice in Hawaii, even if they have that initial desire when they first start school. Plans change, circumstances change, that is a fact of life. The OP may plan on settling in the NE now, but could well decide to practice in Hawaii 4 years from now.
4) The admissions process has a variety of different objectives, not all of which are complementary in every case. UH may want to train docs who will practice in Hawaii, but they also want academically superior students, and have recently begun focusing on improving their research output. For you to assume you understand this entire process is both arrogant and myopic.
5) Diversity encompasses more than race. It also includes life experiences and regional perspective. So no, UH would not be diverse if it only accepted students from Hawaii. Why do you think the vast majority of UH students did not graduate from UH undergrad?
Good luck with your admissions process.
I'll give you credit. At least you're honest about the fact that you're still in limbo waiting for an admissions decision. Rather than giving phony advice, you're pretty explicit in stating that you simply don't want him to take a spot at UH. I appreciate that.
Many who are waiting for admissions decisions take a more underhanded approach when replying to threads like these. They might give feedback like "i heard X school doesn't prepare you clinically" or "i heard Y school doesn't prepare you for the boards" without mentioning their own interest in the matter.
Nonetheless, I disagree with the point you're making. Not only will he be paying substantially more in tuition in order to mitigate the expense to taxpayers, but in attending UH, he will be fulfilling another mission of the school that you're completely neglecting. State schools bring in a limited number of out-of-state students for a reason: they do it to bring in stronger students and to increase the diversity of the class. The end result is that it enhances the medical school experience for everyone.
In all likelihood, they have a pre-defined number of OOS students (6? is it really this low?) that they're going to take. So if he declines the acceptance, they'll give his spot to another OOS applicant. Don't view him as a threat.
To the OP: If I were in your situation, I would probably pick UH, too. Jeff is better known in the northeast and will probably open more doors for you, but living in Hawaii could be a life-changing experience (in a good way, in contrast to living in Philly). Also, EM is a non-academic field; you don't need any research at all to be competitive. I think you'll be fine wherever you go.
got my e-mail rejection today....third time wasn't a charm oh well, better luck to you all!!!! congrats on the acceptances!
waitlist for me...
instead of john a.burns, i'd choose c.montgomery burns...
I got my acceptance today too~.
Now I have to decide between home and syracuse.
Well it looks like you're going to choose Hawaii (unless I misread everything above)! Being an OOSer here myself I share your sentiments, and look forward to meeting you when you come in! Actually, I'll be in Los Angeles doing rotations when you come in, BUT I am planning on being one of the PBL tutors towards the end of your 1st year, so I may see you after all!
Congrats to those that got in, and good luck to those who didn't/are waitlisted!
P.S. I'm in the process of getting that match list for last year's class ready for you morris121, just waiting to get it from one of the people at my school.
I live in Hawaii and have been for the past 2 1/2 years. I'm originally from California. The pace of living here is quite unbearably slow. You won't notice it in the beginning. But, as you live here, you'll find that the people here function at about 2/3 the normal speed: driving, getting things done etc...... The way people here drive is insane....let me put it this way, people drive much slower than Cali...but I find it much more dangerous to drive than Cali due the the way people do not follow common driving etiquette or rules of the road. In terms of the school...I don't know how it is. But, if like PBL, you'll be ok. But, I certainly don't like the idea of learning from students. It certainly is a good way for the school to save money from what one of the doc said here.
uhh, i'm not sure what that means (the part that i bolded). are you insinuating that premed was hell and youre looking for joy in medical school?
man are you in for a very rude awakening.
morris, If you're sure about EM, then Jefferson's the place to go. Latest MSAR: 11% matched to EM, out of a class of ~250. That's pretty impressive.
Thanks guys for the awesome discussion, especially the pros and cons by xotica. This was an extremely difficult decision for me also.
Jefferson c/o 2011
Sorry to hear that honey xx
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but please do not make out-dated and inaccurate references to people and places (i.e. grass-shack, grass skirt, etc). While you may have been "only" responding to dmk, it's plain to see where that remark was going. Otherwise, good luck with applications and admissions!
Now this debate has gotten a little heated and although both sides have made their opinions clear there are also some other things that were not mentioned. As a Hawaii resident who will be applying to JABSOM I'm also applying to many other schools because In all honesty its a small school and I want to be an MD first regardless of where I end up.
1) Going to med school somewhere is not a perfect indicator for where they will end up practicing medicine.
2) Hawaii has a limited selection of residency programs so if all the doctors that practiced in hawaii had to have gone to JABSOM then residency in hawaii then there would be a lot fewer total doctors here and a we wouldn't have a number of the specialized physicians (ie cardiologists; i just picked one I'm not sure which residency programs they have).
So all in all we here in hawaii are lucky to have physicians from other states that have come to hawaii. I myself am very open to the Idea of coming back to hawaii and would even prefer it but I also understand that med school + resisdency is a period of growth within the feild and as a new doctor. I might very well become enthralled with the place I went to school and abandon my hopes to go back to hawaii. It might very well happen to those 6 out of state students especially since its hard to believe that someone wouldn't fall in love with hawaii?
thats my two cents go musubi
umm, so no one actually bothered to check the date of the thread... May 15 has long since passed.
To any OOSers at JABSOM...what is the tuition situation? Any grants? Any chance of claiming HI residency after one year?
Also for OOSers - did you have to establish some sort of link or connection to Hawaii in the application process? Any of you speak Japanese or something useful like that?