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Northwestern vs. Rochester

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by fly79, May 11, 2007.

  1. fly79


    Dec 2, 2006
    any thoughts?
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  3. jjmack

    jjmack Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    northwestern. unless you are drawn to rochester for some reason.
  4. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

    Apr 12, 2007
  5. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
    Feinberg :thumbup:

    Gotta love the windy city.
  6. ltrain

    ltrain Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2004
    Bump. Anyone want to discuss this one? I was recently accepted off both waitlists (Northwestern just today) and need to make my decision.

    I really liked the feel at Rochester. The curriculum is very integrated, early clinical exposure (ambulatory clerkship in first year), and it just seemed very student-centered. Grading is HP/P/F in the first two yrs. I grew up in the Rochester area, so this is also like "going home" for me, which would be nice, but is not important for any particular reason.

    Northwestern has the minimized class time, the location in Chicago with an overall more diverse patient base (though not sure about at the NW hospital), and P/F in the first 2 yrs. I have spent a total of 20 hours ever in Chicago and they were during my interview day. It's obviously a much bigger, more diverse city than Rochester, but it's in the middle of the country away from my family and friends (who seem to be coast-dwellers).

    I don't have finaid info from either school yet, but thinking that Rochester will probably end up being slightly cheaper due to lower cost of living.

    I don't have a good feel for the difference in "prestige" between the two. NW is ranked higher, but not by a ton. Any input there would be great.

    I'm totally torn. Anyone else make this decision? Thoughts?

    Sorry for this massive post :)
  7. doinmybest5840

    doinmybest5840 5+ Year Member

    May 17, 2007
    The one with cheaper tuition.
  8. cgscribe

    cgscribe Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    Go wherever you feel you'll succeed. Personally, I thought Northwestern was great: faculty, students, curriculum, city. But, if you think being closer to home suits you best, Rochester.
  9. jjmack

    jjmack Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    northwestern. I don't like the rochester area at all.
  10. JuliaMDinSD

    JuliaMDinSD 2+ Year Member

    May 11, 2007
    Northwestern. Rochester seemed nice when I interviewed, but the Double Helix curriculum thing seems like it would be nice at first (extra clinical exposure the first two years) and then lose its charm when you're still doing stuff in 3rd and 4th years that most people do in pre-clinical years. Also, the diversity of the patient population seems like it would be way better in Chicago. Also, Chicago would be a way cooler place to live.
  11. mms2k7

    mms2k7 2+ Year Member

    Aug 27, 2006
    rochester sucks as a city. you will be bored socially if you go there. I am speaking from experience. Northwestern is way cooler :) go there. you'll have a grand time, and money well spent. Everytime i think of northwester i think of Richard from Van Wilder ; )
  12. whoknows2010

    whoknows2010 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    FYI, grading at Rochester is Pass/Fail first two years. No high pass.
  13. Darjeeling

    Darjeeling 5+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    No one else for Rochester???? I loved that school. I even loved the quiet city feel with pretty houses, funky downtown, great parks... I guess it's not for everybody, esp the winter.
    FWIW, Rochester students seem to pick that school because they get such a good feel from it. Everyone mentions how they felt at home and enthusiastic just being there, talking to the other students, etc. Seems to me that if you feel good about it, you would be happiest there. It's not about French restaurants per square mile. Do you love the school? If so, go there.
  14. imable24

    imable24 7+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    But how much time did they give you to make a decision?
  15. ltrain

    ltrain Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2004

    Thanks for all the thoughts, guys.

    I am leaning towards Rochester, but still trying to figure out if it's not logical to pass up Northwestern. Or are they close enough to feel okay about doing so?
  16. riceman04

    riceman04 10+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Los Angeles
    20. Northwestern_________
    First Year Student Budget: $62,485 (they better be offering a top notch education with out of this world facilities…no, I know this probably does not even begin to cover the cost of training us…haha I’m speaking like I have already been accepted) Score: -1
    Financial aid/etc…: Two primary university loans available to medical students, but they are not available to students unless you have already secured at least $18,500 in federal loans (what the heck is this madness…are they stingy or something…they are already expensive as hell)…the good thing is that it has a 5% interest rate, need based scholarships/grants, merit scholarship (notice singular), % of Enrolled students receiving financial aid: 74%, Average amount per scholarship/grant: $14,472, Average 2006 graduate indebtedness: $150,468 (ummm ok so this school is out of control…I bet it is b/c they decided to place their campus in the nicest part of the city…lol) Score: 1.5
    Curriculum/etc…: integrated, organ-based basic science curriculum, lectures emphasize active learning…meaning mostly small group interaction, self-directed study, very minimal in class time…no more than 10 hours per week, group seminars, PBL discussions, computer-assisted sessions (aids to student learning),…Second year curriculum is called the “Scientific Basis of Medicine,” Clinical Clerkships: Introduction to Clinical Clerkships (1 week), OB/GYN (6 weeks), Pediatrics (6 weeks), Medicine (12 weeks), Surgery (12 weeks…nice), Primary Care (4 weeks), Neurology (4 weeks), Psychiatry (4 weeks), Acting Internship (6 weeks), Emergency Medicine (4 weeks), Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2 weeks), ICU (4 weeks), many choices for electives (16 weeks)…Several opportunities for international clerkships…curriculum supplemented by several unique programs, such as “Patient, Physician, & Society (consists of 4 modules…all meant to further introduce students to medical professional skills, and perspectives…includes modules like “Culture Dynamics in Medicine, Ethics and Human Values, etc…”, early patient interaction, “Medical Decision Making,” Curriculum is very technologically advanced…several aids to student learning…including the Weinberg Informatics Training Center. Grading System: 2 interval grading scale (Pass/Fail or equiv) for basic sciences, 3 interval grading scale for Clerkships (Honors/Pass/Fail or equivalent)…they are considering revamping the scale for clerkships. Score: 12.75
    #Affiliated Hospitals/Facilities: 7 (which includes a children’s hospital that contains one of only 5 free-standing pediatric research centers in the country), plus several specialized rehabilitation centers and facilities Score: 7.5
    Selection Factors: Private, rolling, no state preference, Avg. Overall GPA: 3.72, Avg. Science GPA: 3.68, Overall Median GPA: 3.8, Science Median GPA: 3.78, Avg. MCAT: 32.8 (V: 10.7, P: 11.6, B: 11.5), Median MCAT: 35Q (Ranges: V: 6 – 15, P: 8 – 15, B: 9 – 15, writing: L – T), 6897 applications for 782 interview slots, non-trad. students make up 15% (oldest person is 30 and the youngest is 19) of class Score: 4.75
    Diversity: 14% URM, 54% Minority Score: 13.25
    Dual Degree Options: MD/MBA, MD/MPH, MD/PhD Score: 5.75
    Student Support: Several student run organizations, student counseling, established Office of Minority and Cultural Affairs (OMCA…haha what an acronym), well known SNMA (well at least I know of them from their presence at the SNMA conference in Houston.)…they sponsor programs that are meant to increase cultural awareness, cultural competency…it also sponsors many initiatives, student aids meant to support the curriculum (primarily computer-based), friend of mine says the organization of the curriculum allows for more student to student support (at least for the first two years) b/c they are constantly working together…lots of class pride, student-faculty mentoring Score: 6.75
    Housing: On campus and off-campus housing…off-campus going to be fairly expensive b/c the med school is in the nice part of town.
    Score: 5.25
    Location: Chicago…big city…nasty cold winters, diverse patient population (but the primary patient population that Northwestern supports is insured…hint hint…mostly exposed to medical practice that uses advanced technology…i.e things that you normally don’t see in other hospitals…good place to be though…and my sister lives here too. Score: 5
    Class Size: 171 (109 available through the regular admissions process)…so 22% of interviewees matriculated (much larger percentage of students are actually accepted) Score: 4.5
    Residency Match List: 40% have entered primary care residency programs, 60% have entered the more specialized programs
    Volunteer/Research Opportunities: several student run volunteer programs, the university has organized a group a Community Outreach group that focuses its efforts on improving the health and well-being of the underprivileged and homeless populations…it supports a free medical clinic, there are also other organizations that run clinics in these neighborhoods, very good volunteering opportunities…great opportunities to practice your Spanish…surprisingly Chi-town has a very large Hispanic population (way up there near Canada). Research: several medical facilities (including major biomed. research towers)…recently received a $3.5 million grant (of course it is not federal b/c of the greatest president of all…that’s right Bush and his weird ways) for stem cell research…awesome, several research opportunities…including a summer biomedical research fellowship, Total NIH funding: $115,839,699 (rank: 37th), Total NIH funding (grants) for research: $105,898,542. Score: 11
    Miscellaneous: Nice website, videos, have overall heard good things about this school, have always wanted to go to school in Chicago…hey this is my bias section…I’m trying to play up the school…hahaha…very successful alumni…just wish there were more larger lectures (but that is my beef with all schools that are mostly small group, learn on your own type schools) Score: 2.95 (hahahahahahahahaha)

  17. riceman04

    riceman04 10+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Los Angeles
    24. University of Rochester____________
    First Year Student Budget: $54,275 Score: 0.75
    Financial Aid/etc…: have both need based university loans and need based scholarships, very few merit based scholarships. Also maintain an Alumni Fund (but most school have this). Like with the other NY schools…med students of U of R have access to the NY healthcare scholarship (up to $10,000…then you must work as a primary care physician in NY for every year that you receive the award. % of enrolled students receiving financial aid: 95%, average amount per scholarship/grant: $14,570, Average 2006 graduate indebtedness: $140,793 Score: 3
    Curriculum/etc…: U of R supposedly has a biopsychosocial tradition…Their curriculum is referred to as the “Double Helix Curriculum”: integration of basic science and clinical medicine. Emphasis is placed on active learning via PBL in small group sessions, seminars, conferences, laboratories, and computer-assisted learning. Several student aids to learning (no simulation labs though) are used to drive home the emphasis on the integration of basic science and clinical medicine. PBL complements whole-class overview. Clinical exposure (early patient contact) begins during the first week of the first year. Exposure is not minimized to simple shadowing. Rather, students begin real clinical work as part of a healthcare team. Students begin clinical exposure through their “Introduction to Clinical Medicine” and then move to their “Ambulatory Care Clerkship” (very unique in that you are exposed to the ambulatory components of family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, women’s health, psychiatry, and ambulatory surgery) for their spring semester of the first year (which end by the end of the 2nd year). Clinical Clerkships: 3rd year: focus is on acute care experiences in Adult Medicine (internal and surgery), Women’s and Children’s Health (Pediatrics and OB/GYN), Mind/Brain/Behavior (Neurology and Psychiatry). Since U or R highlights an integration of basic sci. and clinical medicine they ensure that you continue basic science concepts…during the third year there are 3 two-week basic science blocks. These blocks are used to reexamine basic science information and principles as they apply to the care of the patient (I am interested in seeing how well they perform on their boards…b/c they have a pretty sweet curriculum). 4th Year: variety of clinical electives. Requirements: Community Health Improvement Clerkship, “The Process of Discovery” course, Emergency Medicine, a subinternship and Successful Interning course….Students use 4th year to complete international clerkships. Grading Scale: 3 intervals for basic science courses (Honors/Pass/Fail), Required clerkships: 5 intervals (ABCDF or equivalent), Elective Clinical Clerkships: 2 intervals (Pass/Fail or equiv). Required community service requirement (niiiiiiiiiiice)…completed through the Community Health Involvement Clerkship. Research/Thesis is optional…but if do complete a thesis then you graduate with “Distinction in Research” honors.
    Score: 12 (I like this system…but there is no mention of any clinical skills center)
    #Affiliated Hospitals: 5 with several new supporting facilities Score: 6.25 (they have some really nice new facilities)
    Selection Factors: Private, Rolling, no known state preference, Avg. GPA: no mentioned, Overall Median GPA: 3.74, Science Median GPA: 3.69, Avg. MCAT: not mentioned, Median MCAT: 33Q (Ranges: V: 5 – 15, P: 5 – 15, B: 7 – 14, writing: M – T), 4192 applications for 679 interview slots, Average Age: 24 (Age Range: 21 – 38) Score: 5.75
    Diversity: 10% URM, 36% minority Score: 7
    Dual Degree Options: MD/MPH, MD/MBA, MD/PhD, MD/MS (several options) for MS degrees Score: 7+++++++++++++
    Student Support: Students have access to 3 health science libraries (of course none are as large as Harvard’s one biomedical library); Student Advising uses what they call the “Advisory Dean System” to pair students with one of the four advisory deans for the entire four years…they serve as career advisors as well. There is a center for Advocacy, Community Health, Education and Diversity (CACHED)….hahaha it figures that this school does not have an established minority affairs office (by itself…Rochester is not very diverse and the school tends to shy away from saying that they actively recruit URM’s…Anyway, CACHED supports programs to broaden the scope of medical education beyond the classroom….strives to cross-culturally competent physicians. One specific program sponsored by CACHED is the Summer Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. Several student aids to learning. But no SNMA Score: 6
    Housing: on campus housing assigned by lottery (booooooooo)…an adequate amount of housing is available off campus, no off campus affiliated housing Score: 5
    Location: Rochester, NY…not as a diverse patient population but there is still a fair amount…well what do you expect…from the pictures it looks nice and safe (of course I am sure there are other parts that are not so safe) Score: 4
    Class Size: 100…so approximately 15% of interviewees matriculate…so a larger percentage of interviewees are accepted.
    Score: 0
    Residency Match List: 44% of past graduates have entered primary care residency programs, 56% have entered the specialized residency programs
    Volunteer/Research Opportunities: The one thing I will say is that this school has taken the initiative to develop community outreach programs/initiatives: The HealthACTION consortium. U or R also plays a major role in the African American Health Status Task Force and the Hispanic Health Coalition; U or R maintains a partnership with JOSANA. In addition to the many of the community partnerships and coalitions mentioned, U or R departments have implemented more than 75 community service programs and interventions annually (niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice)…All of this is evident in their “Working Toward a Healthier Community” video….There are several other things that should be mentioned b/c the represent the depth to which U of R has gone to help rectify the many issues that exist within specific areas of society…quick e.g. (last one that I will mention here…but there are many more): the placement of telehealth units at seven inner city child care centers (niiiiice….super kudos…this school is doing more in a smaller city than some larger schools are doing in larger cities). Research: Students have the option of pursuing honors recognition in research by participating in a five year curriculum known as the “Academic Research Track” (implemented in 2005), there are several research fellowships available for students (both summer and during the school year)…many students now take an extra year to pursue a scholarly project (or to pursue a dual degree)…there is also the Summer Research Fellowship (SURF) Program (mentioned earlier). A fair number of research facilities exist…U of R (back in 1996) implemented a ten year program designed to further build up their facilities and attract more federally and privately funded awards….the newest additions to research facilities has increased research space to more than 420,000 square feet. Total NIH funding: $140,609,015 (rank: 30th), Total NIH supported research funding: $128,381,822. Score: 11
    Miscellaneous: The have a couple of cool videos, nice website…I am still upset about the 10% URM (since average is 12%)…but that is so much better than 4%. I am very impressed with U of R’s commitment to community service/outreach…the school even won an award for that in 2004 Score: 3


    UCLAMAN Air Jordan Collector 7+ Year Member

    Sep 13, 2002
    Corona, CA
    northwestern memorial hospital has quite a bit of patient diversity. also keep in mind we rotate through the va and evanston and children;s memorial. i had a post a while back on what each of these rotations brought to people's educations. search for it. northwestern garners a lot of respect on the residency interview trail.

    the curriculums between both schools are probably fairly similar. in retrospect, medical schools seem to try to sell on how their curriculum is somehow better. however, in the end(after discussing with many colleagues from other medical schools), you will learn the same anatomy, the same pharmacology, the same pathophysiology. and these days everyone seems to have some form of PBL. early clinical exposure will not make a difference in the end in my opinion. the bulk of your clinical learning is still done as a 3rd year. with that said, northwestern eases you into patient contact. 1st year you are with mock patients(paid actors and actresses) weekly and as soon as second year starts you are on the hospital floors seeing patients once a week every week.

    i think northwestern is a better choice than rochester. but thats just me, and obviously i am biased. chicago is a great city that i decided to stay another 4 years.

  19. spygal

    spygal Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    My thoughts on Rochester....excellent clinical training, great faculty and a cheap cost of living. Does it really matter if it's not the most exciting city? You'll only be there for 4 years.

    If you're gut feeling says Rochester, go with it. Northwestern's a great school, but maybe it's just not the right fit for you.
  20. turkleton

    turkleton Capeless Crusader 2+ Year Member

    Dec 26, 2006
    I think Northwestern has a better match list which is actually a good reason as any to go to a school. Chicago is obviously the better city, but you make friends where ever you go and you find out how to have fun. That being said while I didn't go to a school in a huge city, it was close to a huge city and we went there a lot. If it were me, I'd pick Feinberg.
  21. Chief10

    Chief10 7+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Riceman you mind post similar info for vanderbilt, emory, and case western. Thanks.

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