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Med School Curriculum

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jon Davis, Jul 4, 2001.

  1. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank. 10+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    In your consciousness.
    I can't seem to find the other topic I created with the same title. :confused: Oh well. ;) I was just curious about which schools have good curriculums.

    I was thinking of one point: From what I've heard the amount of work to be done increases drastically. So, are there any schools that slowly ease you into medical school? Or is it just most of them strap you in and take you for a wild ride?

    Any response is appreciated. :D
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  3. gower

    gower 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    New York
    This is meant to be helpful, not insulting.

    Curriculum Singular

    Curricula Plural

  4. Hey that's good thanks. However, english is always changing and you can now officially use the word "curriculums", at least according to the Oxford Essential Dictionary copyright 1998. It's now just a matter of elegance. :D
  5. Kazzar

    Kazzar Psychiatrist 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2001
    Ventura, CA
    Yeah I am really interested in this topic too... does anybody know? I checked out the MSAR and went to quite a few med school web pages, but they dont tell you anything that is really useful. Do all schools have the 2 year, "hard-core" science curriculum?
  6. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Really? The sites I've looked at (Baylor, UTMB, others) have very detailed information - right down to the course schedule, and lecture schedule, for each year.

    I'm limited in the schools to which I can apply (have to stay in Houston area) so I only know about Baylor, UT Houston, and UTMB.

  7. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    I don't think there any medical school that truly eases you into medical school. Even the schools that are considered to have more relaxed environments will be more work than you've ever done in college. :) Also, even if a school thinks it is easing you in, it will still seem like a trial by fire when you start! :)

    There are differences, however, in how much support students give to each other, and how supportive a school's administration is to you. Some of those seemingly small things can make all the difference in quality of life while you are going through medical school. Many of those things you really just have to see for yourself when you interview to know about that school.

    As far as Kazzar's question about the 2 year science curriculum, I assume that you are talking about a 2 year preclinical curriculum? Anyway, while the vast majority of schools have 2 years of preclinical classes, there are a few exceptions. Duke has a one-year preclinical curriculum, Penn has a one and a half year preclinical curriculum. Stanford has a curriculum where you can basically choose how long you want to spend. About half of the students do the traditional 2 years of preclinical, and half spread it out over 3 years and spend their free time doing research, teaching, etc. There are probably other schools that have a different length of preclinical training that I can't think of right now.

    Then there's the whole Problem-Based Learning vs. traditional lecture-based curriculum. People have very different preferences regarding those styles of teaching, and in the long run I don't think one is clearly better than the other.

    To find out more specifics, go to the websites of the schools you're interested in. If you can't find what you are looking for, call the admissions office or office of student services and request a school catalog that would list their course requirements.
  8. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist 15+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2001

    The funny thing about this is, all three of these schools have different curricula. Baylor has the 1.5/2.5 didactic/clinical setup and is more problem-based. UT-Houston is more of the traditional 2/2 split with semesters. UTMB has an interesting setup where your classes are organ-system based. You spend an entire block discussing one particular organ system in terms of biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and pathology (at least, this is what I understood of the program when I interviewed).

    All schools are a little different. I doubt any two will place the exact same emphasis on each area. I do think most school web-sites discuss their particular curriculum, you just have to look. For those that do not, the advice posted earlier is as good as any suggestion that I can offer.
  9. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    I think one thing to realize is that there are definite advantages and disadvantages to each type of system, so you need to go with what you think will make you happiest in the long-run.

    Many of the schools that have a shortened timespan for the pre-clinical curriculum (Baylor, Penn, Duke) are somewhat "trial-by-fire." However, the perceived benefit is that you start your clinical rotations earlier, and you have more time for research, extra clinical rotations, etc.

    UCSD has a very traditional, lecture-based curriculum, and is known for being extremely intense in the beginning. However, all the students I have talked to there insist that things get "easier" (or at least more palatable) with each passing quarter, so while the first year can be brutal, they all seem to really enjoy the remaining three years.

    Wash U is a school that seemed to ease students in -- the first year is pretty much P/F, and the first-years seemed extremely relaxed. However, second year you basically have grades, and the students definitely seemed fairly stressed at that point.

    Yale probably has the most relaxed preclinical curriculum of any school -- I believe that tests are optional, and there are no grades. However, some people may need more structure than that, and wouldn't be able to succeed in that type of an environment.

    When I applied, I didn't really know how to evaluate the different curricula out there, so I just waited until the interviews. When you go to interview, each school will usually give a little presentation on its curriculum, and by going through that information, and talking to the students, you will start to get a feel for the different pros and cons of each system.
  10. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    By the way, to the person who was interested in Baylor -- they are in the process of changing their first-year curriculum, starting with this year. I think they are going to organ-based, but the information out there hasn't been very clear.

    When you go on interviews, definitely ask if any changes to the curriculum are in the works.
  11. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie 10+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2000
    Dickinson, Tx
    UTMB's curriculum is a little different, actually. The second year is the organ-systems based learning. The first year, you take 4 "blocks", gross anatomy and radiology, molecules, cells and tissues (histo, molecular, cellular, biochem, etc), pathology, and neuroscience (psych and regular neuro). So by the time you start organ-based, you already know the anatomy, biochem, etc. Also, each block has a concurrent "practice of medicine" class, where you do clinical stuff (after you learn the basics)

    As for "easing you in", UTMB and a few other schools offer prematriculation programs. They're still intense, but (here, at least) they arent "officially" graded - you get grades to tell you how you're doing, but they dont count for anything anywhere. Ours is 6 weeks long and we have GAR, MCT, microanatomy, pathology and medical spanish.

  12. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist 15+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    Thanks for the correction. I could not remember exactly the structure, but I knew it was something cool like that. I just remembered the organ system thing because I thought it was such an interesting way to teach the material. I would have gone to the website to get the actual curriculum, but I knew there were enough of you UTMB kids on this site to correct my mistakes that I decided to play it a little lazy. ;)

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