Now that it's getting close to Thanksgiving, we're running a contest to hear advice you've received that you're most thankful for! This can be any type of advice and the advice with the most reactions will win!
To those who went to 2nd look weekend in chicago, what did you think? I wasn't able to make it out, but would love to hear what you all learned and thought of the school. Did it help you make a decision on where you'll go next year?
•••quote:•••Originally posted by silver: •To those who went to 2nd look weekend in chicago, what did you think? I wasn't able to make it out, but would love to hear what you all learned and thought of the school. Did it help you make a decision on where you'll go next year?•••••The woman that ran the 2nd look weekend mentioned that over 150 people showed up. Not that all of them will matriculate, but that is a pretty big fraction of the total number of accepted students. It was crowded and there wasn't enough room for all of us.
The best part of the weekend was when I got to spend over an hour in the hospital shadowing a 3rd year student and asking her questions. We talked about everything from her day-to-day schedule to how she liked working in such an incredible hospital. I learned the most from that experience and from the 4th year that ran our PBL session. He just made his own case up and then answered all of our questions afterwards.
I did get to personally meet with one of the deans. That was very helpful. I think that the 2nd look weekend definitely affected my overall perception of the school in a positive way. It's too bad you couldn't make it.
I went, and I thought it was a great experience. I went in thinking I would go somewhere else, and was pretty much sold on the place. I thought the best experience was meeting the other prospies (prospectives) and m1's, and seeing how great the area and school were. The conditions were cramped, I won't lie--there were two of us sleeping on the floor of my host's dorm room. And they paid for tickets, ground transportation, and about half the meals, for the one person who asked. The school is very expensive and the area even more so, but I think it might be worth it, at least for me. I really think it was great to meet the other accepted students--even though they might not all go there, you get a feel as to what Northwestern looks for and what to expect. Oh yeah, and Poindexter is awesome
I was there too, and it really was a fabulous weekend. I think a lot of people who went to the weekend undecided between two schools came away leaning toward Northwestern (myself included). It seems to me that the school and location are well worth the cost difference between it and my state school (Minnesota). Mainly, the curriculum at Minnesota is really traditional and Northwestern's is anything but. And Chicago is a really great place to spend your 20s.
silver--I think that Northwestern has accepted more than 170 at this point. I was under the impression that they outright accepted about half of those interviewed (500-600), but I really don't remember where I gleaned this info from. Perhaps interview day? No one mentioned anything about it at the 2nd Look.
My personal highlights included: sitting in the White Sox left field bleachers with a bunch of season ticket holders heckling the Orioles outfielder, watching a breast reduction surgery, and meeting Dylann FMD! :wink:
i had an absolutely awesome time there. i am definitely going next year...already sent in my housing application. the people were cool, outgoing and very social. they take advantage of everything the city has to offer. thats really why i went...to scope out those who are already students and the perspectives. im sold. i will soon be releasing my michigan acceptance.
I guess I didn't mention why I liked Northwestern over my state school. I like that Northwestern has an integrated classroom, with considerably less lecture time (2 hours a day!). I like that it is pass/fail. I personally like the ability to get your MD/MPH in four years. I like the facilities more than my state school. I love the area its in (looks like it will be fun). But best of all, I really liked the people I met. They really seemed to be down to earth, nice, normal, fun . . . . At other med schools, I met people who talked down other students (trying to impress prospies?), were immature, lacked personalities, etc. I am not saying everyone at all med schools is like this (except for Northwestern), I am just saying that I definitely encountered them more frequently elsewhere. Northwestern has a habit of picking different candidates (for example, people accepted at a much higher school might be rejected here, and vice versa). I wondered why it was, but I noticed a big difference in the students while I was there. Maybe it isn't the best medical school in the country (by rankings, at least), but I really think it might be best for me. That is why I liked it so much.
Thanks Dylan... I totally agree with your impression of the students there, though mine was only from the interview. They, to me, were actually like a breath of fresh air compared to many of my other interviews. Perhaps too, state schools are more competitive to get into and so the student body tends to have a more competitive edge. I def. value the more mature, well rounded students at NW who seemed to have a great perspective re: their medical education and practice. Is the ave age so high becuase there is a greater percent of OLDER nontrads? I think that's great. I read somewhere that it was like 30% nontrad, but that includes those who have taken 1 year off, which really, nowadays, does not seem so uncommon.
There class is basically divided up into approximate thirds. One third comes from Northwestern undergrad, and consists of both HPLME(?)'s (50-60) and regular u-grads (10-20). Another one third is traditional, just graduating from college kids. The final third is "nontraditionals" which include anywhere from one year off-ers to people 35 or 40 years old (sorry if I overestimated your ages and you read this!). There is a wide range, and a big class, but I still didn't meet one person I didn't get along with. Overall I think its a great mix.
alright, i'm just going to play devil's advocate here, just for fun. i've realized at these schools it's kinda useless asking reps why their school is so great, cause you hear the same stuff over and over again. when i was at my interview i asked one of the students what she disliked about nu. she was very frank and told me this: 1) sometimes she wonders why she's paying 32K for only 2 hours of lecture a day, that she would appreciate more faculty guidance 2) cost of living is sky high 3) med students don't have their own "home". they share lecture halls with kellogg. 4) the school (building itself) is really old, as is lakeshore housing. 5) the way it works, the nu part of town is kind of upper-class, so the cases you'll see aren't as exciting as that which you might experience at uchicago (aka knife and gun club) now here are my concerns: 1) though i appreciate a balance between lectures and pbl/discussion, too much touchy-feely type of learning scares me. i've seen this system fail in a number of schools, as sometimes it lacks structure. 2) the P/F system makes it hard to excel. apparently it's really hard to fail, so everyone's basically a P. while this discourages competition, it might also discourage effort. 3) it seems kinda slack. one of the students was telling us how his roommate shows up to class less than half the time, and he gets by fine. 4) $$$ okay, now that i'm done you nu proponents are probably all going to tear me apart. but at least we can open up some discussion....
I had an ABSOLUTELY AWESOME TIME. The school did an excellent job of *selling* itself over the weekend. Although I haven't been to other "Second Look" Weekends, I just can't imagine a school doing a better job of giving prospectives an idea of spending four years there. So many useful activities were planned, which ranged from following third year students during clincial rotations to learning more about the curriculum.
I met some great people at the airport who were on the same flight as me heading over to Chicago. These people ended up being great friends that, in fact, I will be hanging out with over the summer. Also, during my visit in Chicago, I met some fellow SDN members. It was rather crazy because we discovered one another on accident!
If you did not go, you *really* missed out. The whole weekend was just AWESOME. Hawkeyes and others, I really suggest you make a trip there before you decide which school to attend. You won't be sorry. Oh, by the way, prospectives were assigned a student host whose place they crashed at for the entire weekend. And, yes, Matthew, Northwestern paid for the plane ticket.
•••quote:•••Originally posted by silver: • 2) the P/F system makes it hard to excel. apparently it's really hard to fail, so everyone's basically a P. while this discourages competition, it might also discourage effort. 3) it seems kinda slack. one of the students was telling us how his roommate shows up to class less than half the time, and he gets by fine. 4) $$$ okay, now that i'm done you nu proponents are probably all going to tear me apart. but at least we can open up some discussion....•••••I def. share similar concerns. From what I have heard, the students at NU are definately high caliber, yet human. It's important to me that my classmates are not slackers, yet it would be horrid if they were all gunners. I'm sure that at any med school, there would be the high quality students there. It probably doesn't matter so much from school to school. However, I heard that the USMLE is now P/F. If that is the case, then grades are the only way to objectively compare us to our peers for residency. If the school is P/F... then how are students graded? This is a q to anyone who knows... please! Regarding the kinds of clinical exposure, could NU students do some rotations at U of Chicago sites?
USMLE is not P/F. In a way you can say it's P/F in that if you get below a certain score, you fail, but you still get a number score.
I'm a at NUMS so just wanted to clarify that Sub-I has to be done at Northwestern and not at an outside hospital. I think only extraordinary circumstances can you change it to an outside rotation. However, you can do all of your electives away if you wanted to.
I went to NU's 2nd look, and it was awesome. That's it. Just awesome. The way the whole program is organized shows how much the administration cares for the students. The M1s and M2s were among the happiest med students I had ever seen. They balances both school and actually had a personal life.
The administration did such a good job at selling the school, that there were students that were accepted to top 10 schools that were going to come to NU instead.
Also, I want to respond to the negative issues that were brought up against NU.
1. Expensive. Yes, it's very expensive. However, so are a lot of other private schools. So you're gonna pay like $5000/yr more than other private schools, that only adds up to like $40K with interest...heheh... nah seriously, yes, it's expensive, but your education is an INVESTMENT.
2. only 2 hrs of lecture. Yes, this seems like it's too little, but look at their board scores. NU's average score is above the national mean in like all the USMLE I section. As for the total score, the NU students score 1 SD above the national mean. I think NU's score was like 229 (?) and the national mean is like 215...? But don't quote me.
3. The environment being "slack"... yes, they don't have a lot of lecture time, but again look at their board scores. They do fine. And the students that don't go to lecture still pass.... that's because they're still studying their asses off. Dr. Thomas (? I think that's his name) said something really important, he said although the curriculum is P/F, remember that you "want to obtain the most possible knowledge you can attain, because it will be useful one day as you are caring for a human life" or something like that... but you get the point.
4. Chicago... VERY nice location. A lot of things to do. But yes, it has a high cost of living. But I'm guessing it's the same cost as that of other population locations, such as NY? (The weather sux though...)
5. Housing. I thought the dorms were pretty cool. They were spacious, good price (about $650/month), and pretty spacious.
6. Facilities. They were nice. They're planning to add wireless web to the lecture halls, and they already have it installed in some locations (...the library?).
Anyways, so you get the point. I really liked the school, and really liked the prospies I met and the M1/M2s (Best Medicine rocked...hehe).
In short, NUMS RoX
Shout out to California and other prospies that were at the 2nd look weekend. Maybe we'll be classmates?
i am graduating from nums. i will say that if you get into a better school - go there. i don't think nums is worth the money. our match list is okay, but u of chicago, michigan, wash u are much better. ours is not that different from rush, loyola, u of illinois. nums reputation is mainly regional - on the east and west, my perception was that though it didn't hurt, it's reputation definitely didn't impress (like harvard, upenn, etc would). so, if you want to do residency outside the midwest or the south, then take this into serious consideration.
also, in your clinical years, the hospital (NMH) is dominated by private practice attendings. this really detracts from the academic experience (e.g. surgery residents don't get to do as much, medicine residents don't get to make as many independent decisions). this trickles down to the students, and so i don't think it's as hands-on experience as other major academic centers.
overall, nums is a good school and you'll get a solid education, but there are definitely better and cheaper places. if you think you'll be happy here, then you'll have a good experience. but, try to think 4-5 years down the line and where you want to end up. if you don't want to be in the midwest, then i'd definitely try to stay in the region you'd like to live in (unless you go to a top tier school, where you'll basically get to pick and choose!).
•••quote:•••Originally posted by silver: •alright, i'm just going to play devil's advocate here, just for fun. i've realized at these schools it's kinda useless asking reps why their school is so great, cause you hear the same stuff over and over again. when i was at my interview i asked one of the students what she disliked about nu. she was very frank and told me this: 1) sometimes she wonders why she's paying 32K for only 2 hours of lecture a day, that she would appreciate more faculty guidance 2) cost of living is sky high 3) med students don't have their own "home". they share lecture halls with kellogg. 4) the school (building itself) is really old, as is lakeshore housing. 5) the way it works, the nu part of town is kind of upper-class, so the cases you'll see aren't as exciting as that which you might experience at uchicago (aka knife and gun club) now here are my concerns: 1) though i appreciate a balance between lectures and pbl/discussion, too much touchy-feely type of learning scares me. i've seen this system fail in a number of schools, as sometimes it lacks structure. 2) the P/F system makes it hard to excel. apparently it's really hard to fail, so everyone's basically a P. while this discourages competition, it might also discourage effort. 3) it seems kinda slack. one of the students was telling us how his roommate shows up to class less than half the time, and he gets by fine. 4) $$$ okay, now that i'm done you nu proponents are probably all going to tear me apart. but at least we can open up some discussion....•••••Since i'll be going to Northwestern, i feel obligated to argue several of these points:
1) Although lecture time is reduced, more time is given for labs, PBL and independent study. There will be more than 2 hours of class work per day.
2) Competition and Class Rank: The p/f system is great because it fosters a less-stressful environment, rather than a less-competitive atmosphere. I'm looking forward to the p/f system. If i do well on the boards, then i'm golden. I don't have to stress out about being the top 10% of the class. And i'm more likely to socialize and bond with my classmates. And ultimately the biggest indicator: Northwestern graduates match into top residency programs.
3). Northwestern med students use the kellogg classrooms because they are nice lecture halls and are in the adjacent building. They are also building new facilities, including a lounge and gym. (100,000$ gym equipment purchased according to an M1 I talked to)
4). The dorm buildings location, which is right ON lake shore drive and looks over the whole lake is a good thing. It has a full basketball court and gym inside it. It's right next to the school and smack-dab in the heart of the city. They even have a maid service that will clean your bathroom if you want. How dope is that?!?!
5) Clinical Exposure. I do agree that the schools near Cook County Hospital, which include (u of chi, rush, UIC), you will get less "ghetto" cases. However, the size of NMH and the fact that its a level 3 trauma center, and also with a VA hospital next to it,.. will provide more than enough clinical exposure to NUMS students. The only thing that NUMS graduates might experience is the fact that any hospital they go to after Northwestern Memorial Hospital will seem crappy in comparison.
7) PBL isn't for everyone, i agree. Yet, patients don't come to physicians with a greeting card informing what disease they have. Diagnosis takes analytical reasoning, which PBL enforces by case-based study and intellectual dialouge with peers. Yes, it may not be the most efficient way to get a high board score, but look at the averages at NUMS. 231. Way above the mean.
8). $$$. Yes. NUMS is expensive. I can not argue this fact. hahahahhaha