Official: VCU/MCV Physiology Class of 07

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by lala83, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. lala83

    lala83 Member

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    Who else is headed to Richmond next month? I didn't see an official thread of those going, so I thought I'd start one to possibly discuss housing, classes, etc. Congrats to those of you who'll be there!
     
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  3. mprover

    mprover Member

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    I will be happy to reply to any questions you all might have. I finished the progam last year.
     
  4. lala83

    lala83 Member

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    i'm really glad you asked those questions b/c i've been wondering about the same things
     
  5. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    I finished the cert program last year in biochemistry and got into med school at MCV (VCU). DO NOT TAKE HISTOLOGY! It will NOT give you much more respect than drug dependence or one of the other electives. Plus it is one of the hardest classes in grad school. It is actually harder than the one in med school b/c the grad school still uses microscopes instead of having a digital version of all of the slides. What you really need to do is get A's in Mammalian Phys and biochemistry. Taking Histo will make you have to focus on that class more than you would have to for 'drug dependence'. Your grades will drop in phys and biochem (not good). I saw this happen to a bunch of people and it ruined their chances of getting into medical school. Grad school is hard enough without histo.

    I ended up taking 12 credits 1st semester and got in. I was initially worried about the 'light' course load so I talked to Dr H (the former dean of admissions for MCV medical school). She said the adcoms just want to see A's in the 2 major classes: phys and biochem. Trust me, 12 credits in grad school will still be a step up from Undergrad.

    Yes, low MCATs can sabotage your chances. You will prolly not get in if you get below a 27. If you end up getting a 28 or above though, I would not worry about it too much provided you do well in the program. I have heard of one person getting into medical school from the cert program with a 26 MCAT! It can be done but VCU/MCV has recently had a lot more competition (5000+ applicants last year for 184 spots).

    Just some random input on the program: it is hard. I came from an excellent school and still thought it was hard. 1/3 of those who started either failed or withdrew because of failing grades. Make sure you come prepared. To give you perspective on the program- those people who get into medical school from the program breeze through the first year of medical school. You'll be taking similar classes as M1 with the same professors.

    If you get all A's, it makes no difference if you took 12 credits or 15, you'll get in. If you get all As and a B taking 12 credits, however, you are probably not going to get in.

    Adcoms only see the 1st semester grades when they make the decision on whether to admit you. Go balls-to-the-wall for the first semester and relax the second. If you mess up the first semester, it makes no difference what you do the second semester, you are not getting in.

    VCU does not give +'s or -'s. A 90 is an 'A' while an 89 is a 'B.' A few points can give a precipitous drop in GPA.

    The year before me, 16 people from the certificate program got in. That however includes people who finished the masters (second year). I would say, around ~10 people get in from the Cert program while they are doing the program.

    More than likely, medical schools will place you 'on hold for grades,' especially if you have a low GPA or MCATs. This means you will not get an interview until Febuary (January if you are lucky).

    If you do not get in this year, the cert program easily turns into a masters program.

    MCV (VCU) is your best shot at getting into medical school. Make an appointment and meet with the dean of admissions (Whitehurst-Cook). Face time goes a long way. IF you are doing well in the program, E-mail her your grades. She will stick them in your file and you will have an easier time getting an interview.

    PM me with more questions or post 'em here
     
  6. PurpleHaze

    PurpleHaze Takin it day by day

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    Dr. Whitehurst-Cook is an awesome lady and doctor. I interned with her for a summer a few years ago. Very easy to talk to and pretty open-minded. However, I don't know her on an administrative level, so I don't know how your med school interview/meeting type things would go with her. Overall, I'd say that she'll try to give you the best advice for your situation. She helped me throughout the admissions process both for undergrad and med school.

    I'm not sure if that's any help at all. If u have specific questions maybe I could tackle those for you.
     
  7. vanillabean

    vanillabean New Member

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    sigh. i applied pretty late and confirmed all my application materials were complete during the 2nd week of july. i still haven't heard any news. :confused: i'm in california and i'm starting to think its going to be bad news in my mailbox. :(
     
  8. lala83

    lala83 Member

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    yeah, the same thing happened to me...although i have yet to get my admission packet. if dr. ford doesn't pick up when you call his office just ask to speak to him. he seems pretty laid back and willingly told me over the phone.
     
  9. mprover

    mprover Member

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    From what I remember from last year, the details were pretty sketch regarding the start of school. I dont recall recieving anything at all actually. Id give them a call or email regarding the start date / etc. Good luck to everyone
     
  10. Omar@JHU

    [email protected] blackonionseed

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    I just bought the books. They're pretty blooming big. Must we know it all? ;) Or can Instatewaiter, mprover, or ayznshorti help out lala83, SGMD, vanillabean, and yours truly with some good-old fashioned advice on what is considered important? Also, please if anybody has taken MICR 505 Immunobiology (the 3-credit course elective) I ask for your advice on this course. Many thanks to all replies..........Oh yeah and I moved in over the weekend. To all my fellow MCV Physiology 2006 postbacs, my new pad is at 312 East Broad Street, seven blocks from Sanger. PM me for apt # and do drop in anytime after this Saturday (currently am still in Maryland packing up my computer and getting dental work done) :D ....Omar
     
  11. mprover

    mprover Member

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    Ill break down the books by the class..... I think I only bought one book, the purple phys book discussed below.


    First Semester
    PHYS They GIVE you a syllabus . Its a monster, youll need 3"+ binder for it. It would be wise to pick up Linda Costanso's book as well (Purple thing) . I found it helpful, most people do I think.

    Biochem I did NOT buy this one. All the professors post their slides from class, and I basically just studied those. Any good biochem book will help you with this class. I had several from undergrad and made use of them at one time or another. In praticular, they came in handy for Dr. Grogan's lipid series of lectures. Im not saying dont buy the book, but I got by well without it.

    Drug Dependance No book, just power points from class

    Second Semester

    Cell Phys Definatley no book, just power points . There is a syllabus I believe , you are required to print this one out yourself . If a bunch of people get together and print at kinkos , they will give you a discount

    Biochem Again, while a book might help some, I studied from power points and was fine , although a biochem book might be handy . If you dont have a biochem book for reference, and dont want drop ~$100+ on one , google.com is always good for clarifying topics.

    Cardio Phys Just go to class and study the handouts. They are good.


    Let me know if there are any other questions.
     
  12. Omar@JHU

    [email protected] blackonionseed

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    :thumbup: Thank you mprover. I owe you a cup of coffee, you can collect anytime you are in the Richmond area... :) I bought the purple Costanzo book BTW. So excited, it feels like undergrad all over again :laugh:
     
  13. lala83

    lala83 Member

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    how did you get the list of books we need omar? did you buy these online or from the university bookstore?

    and yes, i'm definitely nervous. it's kinda like being a freshman all over again in a lot of ways, but this time the academic pressure is so crazy that i hope i do alright. but i am looking forward to meeting you guys! :)
     
  14. Omar@JHU

    [email protected] blackonionseed

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    I realize that I might be a little quick here, but I couldn't stand putting it off. First, check out this link for our class room and time http://www.pubapps.vcu.edu/scheduleofclasses/schedule.aspx?sem=3&yr=2006
    You all know we're in the Physiology program, so we have to take the three required courses in the physiology postbac curriculum description, PHIS 501, MICR 503 and that research seminar in physiology (no textbook for that incidentally BTW, I didn't think there would be). I didn't want to mess around with Amazon. I went to the MCV (medical campus) bookstore on Monday morning (the day i found my apartment) and found what i expected - a typical college bookstore setup where the books are stacked on the shelves by department and course number. Go there and check it out. Be quick and get yourself a good used textbook in almost new condition for $20-$35 less than in-the-wrap. :cool: When we all ace the first round of midterms, we'll be happy enough to use that cash for gas to Kings Dominion! :p
     
  15. PurpleHaze

    PurpleHaze Takin it day by day

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    Hiya!

    Let's see... they'll suggest Lehninger for Biochem... I bought it, used it... thought it was ok. You could probably get away with not using it if you're good at paying attention in class and in biochemistry in general. Word to the wise, if you do buy it, save it til spring semester before u sell it because Dr. Holmes will refer to it for his lectures (I learned this the hard way as I had already sold my book by the end of December).

    The Costanzo Physiology book.. it's a good buy if you're someone who needs to read the text to supplement lectures. But I barely used mine and I did ok in the class. However, I heard that it's super useful in med school, so if you don't use it now, you'll use it later.

    For immunology, all of your tests will be essay format. 10 lectures per test, one essay per lecture topic. Stay on top of it and study hard, you should be ok in that class. I would buy the book though because all the diagrams in class come from the book (sometimes the book explains it better than the professors do). For the record, it's defintiely one of the harder electives. For the same number of credits you could take Drug Dependence, spend less money and expend less energy studying.

    Hope that covers it! Good luck!
     
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  17. lala83

    lala83 Member

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    do you know if the elective classes fill up pretty quick? they told us we'd register for classes at orientation, but i was wondering if you usually get your first choice elective or not.
    thanks for the info mprover and ayznshorti!
     
  18. Omar@JHU

    [email protected] blackonionseed

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    Thank you very much for your time and words of advice! Much appreciated. :)
     
  19. PurpleHaze

    PurpleHaze Takin it day by day

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    Oh! One more thing... the mammalian physiology final is CUMULATIVE. One question from each lecture from the entire semester (roughly 68 questions). If you periodically review the old stuff throughout the semester, you'll be in much better shape than trying to study it all in December before the final. (things I wish I had thought of last year!)
     
  20. PurpleHaze

    PurpleHaze Takin it day by day

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    I don't think that anyone had this problem last year. Immunology is a lecture class so it won't matter how many people are in it. Histology has a lab, so it might have a cap... um.. everything else I don't think will be a problem. When you sign up for classes make sure u note where they are located. The Biostat class in the spring was held on the monroe park campus, instead of the MCV campus, which could completely throw off your schedule if you didn't realize it.

    Registration is this whole paper and pen, advisor must sign it type deal. It's not computer based or anything. Dr. Ford will give you a handout with all the classes and electives offered on it, you fill out the registration form, have him sign it and then take it to the registrars office on the first floor of Sanger. They type it in for you right then and there and voila.. registration complete. The catch will be locating Dr. Ford.
     
  21. Omar@JHU

    [email protected] blackonionseed

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    Thank you again for the words and time ayznshorti. The question now is of repaying this debt of kindness to you, to mprover, and to instatewaiter. Where are you all these days? :cool:
     
  22. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    Sorry I have been MIA recently guys, I just began med school orientation and I begin classes on monday.

    As for books:
    You can get by without the biochem book b/c the lecture notes (powerpoints) are much more helpful. The leninger biochem book sucks. It's not that good of a book so if you took a decent course in undergrad (especially at UVA) use that book. Plus it is on reserve at the library and at CBIL (mezanine floor of the medical sciences building) if you ever need it. I did use the book to flesh out some of the powerpoints but some of the material they covered was not in the Leninger book (UVA's book by Garrett and Grisham had almost everything and a lot of the images in the power points were taken straight from the Garrett book)

    Buy the phys book by costanzo. It is a nice synopsis of the syllabus and easier to understand. A good thing to do is to read the section in the costanzo book before the lectures begin in phys. and then read the syllabus.

    As for the phys tests:
    The first phys test has the easiest material by far. Do really, really well on it. Get old tests and take them. The back of the syllabus also has some old tests. Take those too.

    The cardiac section of phys (3rd test) is the hardest. It also has the most lectures and counts the most.

    The last exam w/ Kalimi (endocrine) is really easy. His tests are just like the old tests.


    As for the biochem tests:
    The first one is really straight forward. Study hard and you will do fine.

    Peterson's test is considered one of the hardest. If you look at old exams you should be fine. He stresses in class different things than he tests. If you don't look at old exams you could get reamed

    Holmes is overall just a terrible teacher. He is terribly organized and puts so much Sh!t on his powerpoints you cannot read most of it without reading it on your computer at 200% magnification. Also, during the second semester he ended up testing us on stuff he had not yet taught. It was material for the next test that he was teaching on the following monday. Funny that he was also the course director. Organization is not his strongest attribute.

    Remember guys it could always be worse. I am looking at the material for my first 2 months of med school and the material barely fits into 7 3-ringed binders. The good part is that most of the biochem stuff I had in the Certificate program. If you guys study hard, your first year of medical school will be a breeze, so I hear.

    Good luck.
     
  23. PurpleHaze

    PurpleHaze Takin it day by day

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    Read this post... pay close attention to it... write it down... Instatewaitlister says nothing but the truth here!! Holmes.. nice guy... horrible teacher. If you go to him for clarification on anything, be prepared to be in there at least an hour...probably more because he's going to rope you into listening about his latest vacation amongst other things.

    Peterson's crap is just hard period. Point blank. He purposefully makes it that way, esp. since he's hard to understand to some degree ANYWAY! Old tests will be your crutch... rock... salvation for his section.

    Old tests are available from the physiology grad student association... or something like that. One of the masters students will have them divided by class and semester and whatnot in their office (I know that people went and organized em this summer). Don't worry, there will definitely be an annoucement about it and your classmates will also get ahold of things from previous students. So there should be plenty of tests floating around. The phys professors put a set of old tests in the back of the lecture note packet as well, so you'll definitely have one from the jump.

    As for me, I'm at Meharry Medical College.. starting the fall semester (we had a mandatory summer session, so I've been here since June). The work is comparable to that of the VCU program, so if you are able to handle the workload you should be ok in med school as well. As someone has said previously.. it's like chugging a waterfall.

    Good luck!
     
  24. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    There are 3 places you can get old tests:

    The phys program keeps a bank of them. One of the masters/PhD students will be incharge of that.

    The anatomy program also keeps a bank but are kind of anal about letting non-anatomy program kids use them. If you make friends with a person from anatomy they can copy them for you.

    The grad student association also has old tests. I think if you join you are able to get tests from them.

    Rarely are old tests posted for all students. Most people found out about the old tests half way through the year. It was kind of unfair since some programs had established banks of tests while others did not. So some students were at a disadvantage from the beginning.
     
  25. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    Good places to study:

    8th floor of sanger hall has study areas, computers and group study rooms

    6th floor of sanger has a bunch of cubicles for quiet study

    Any sanger lecture hall that is does not have a class going is open game

    The library has stacks, study carrols, and rooms. It has a basement, the first floor and a the second floor. The basement is good for quiet study while the second floor has tables that a bunch of people can sit at.

    If you live in the west end, the University of Richmond Law library is really nice to study in.

    Histology Lab in Sanger hall is generally unlocked and quiet

    Medical Sciences Building auditorium is quiet and almost always empty
     
  26. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    So this program will come at you really quickly. The material will not be that difficult but there will be a much larger volume than you are used to. It can be stressful but if you follow some simple study strategies you will get through the program with great grades and unstressed.


    Ways to stay stress free:

    Treat the program like a job. Go to class for the 4 hours and between/after class, study for 3-4 hours, everyday. Whether it seems like you need it or not, study for 3-4 hours. Study the stuff you went over in class and read the stuff for the next day. If you study for 3-4 hours a day, you will stay on top of the material so when it comes exam time you will be ready and won't have to cram.

    As you study, create study sheets. Writing sh!t down make you remember it better. Plus you will have all of the material organized when it comes time to study for the test.

    Don't cram. There is way too much material to cram. Keep up!

    When you are done studying for the day, do not open a book. Mark the times when it is time to work and when it is time to play. Once you have finished at the library or wherever you study, don't think about class time. If you create a distinct line between studying and social time, you will have much more time for your friends. You will be happier.

    Go out with friends as much as possible.

    30 minutes before bedtime, relax. Listen to some music, watch TV or do whatever you do when you relax. You will sleep better and it will make your study time more productive. You will do much better and be much happier.

    Make sure to sleep 8 hours a day. Unless it is the day or 2 before a test, you need to be getting sleep. You will be happier and more productive. Even if you had a late night and have to miss phsyiology, sleep. Phys is taped and should be available online by 3pm. Watch it then (or just read the syllabus, it;s all there),

    So the cut offs between A and B for Phys and Biochem for last year were
    Biochem 82.7
    Phys 88

    Expect the biochem cutoff to be around an 84-85
    The Phys cutoff at best will be an 87 but that is rare. It usually is an 88 or an 89.
     
  27. dreamedove

    dreamedove New Member

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    Hey guys,
    I actually just found out a couple of days ago about being accepted into this program and now I'm scrambling to get my act and self together and into Virginina. I didn't even know an admission packet was coming and I'm kind of worried about financial aid stuff. Is anyone out there still looking for a roommate this late in the game? Any advice at all for say someone that knows next to nothing? :(

    also, does anyone know how important the school of graduate orientation is? my family is out of town that day and they already bought the plane ticket.
     
  28. dreamedove

    dreamedove New Member

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    hi mprover,
    so i think i read somewhere on this thread (they're all merging together) that you got accepted into mvc after your first semester at vcu's physio program. Actually i think there's a couple of you guys out there. how early did you apply? Would you recommend us do anything aside from setting up some meetings dr. ford, dean, etc?

    thanks for any advice
     
  29. PurpleHaze

    PurpleHaze Takin it day by day

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    I went to it last year. You won't miss anything. I think the only productive thing I did at that orientation was get my ID made, but you can do that at another time on the MCV campus. I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  30. lala83

    lala83 Member

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    congrats dreamedove!
    you have no reason to worry b/c none of us have much info about anything right now. i talked to dr. ford and he said that we'll pretty much get everything we need at orientation on the 21st. i'm not going to the orientation on the 18th either b/c i'm taking the mcat.

    as far as housing goes, i looked at the housing guide on vcu's website and mprover had suggested checking out craiglist (and said the fan & west end were good areas to be in), and SGMD1 told me to take a look at apartmentguide.com. hope that helps, and i'll see you soon!
     
  31. dreamedove

    dreamedove New Member

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    Thanks a lot to all of you guys! That was pretty fast! I'm definitely looking forward to meeting you guys and thanks to the veterans for all of the advice. It's a little overwhelming!-->the program, moving, etc i mean not the advice =)
     
  32. mprover

    mprover Member

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    Dreamedove, I have not applied to MCV yet. I am currently in the process of applying. I am taking the MCAT this sat.

    I probably wouldnt worry about the Grad orientation, its worthless.
     
  33. mprover

    mprover Member

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    oh yeah , I think instatewaiter had it right with the simple stategies. I pretty much did what he outlined, and it worked out a whole lot better than my undergrad study plan (which involved making time only to drink and sleep)
     
  34. chak1x58

    chak1x58 Chakie

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    Hey. what's up? i'm doing the postbac physiology as well. anyone know if we go to the med school orientation? or is it just the physiology one? Thanks for all the good info too!
     
  35. nraouf

    nraouf Junior Member

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    im in the process of sending my application material. is there an interview? how long before they start sending acceptances out?

    any input is apreciated.
     
  36. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    So you're sending your application to VCU Certificate program?

    Well it depends on the program to which you applied and your credentials. I have heard of people having to meet w/ Dr. Ford to get into the physiology program but usually there is no interview.

    I applied to all 6 and was accepted to all 6 w/o any interviews. Unlike Med or dental school, they are not really worried about people dropping out so the interview is not really necessary.

    I applied relatively late (in march or april I think) and recieved word from them in a little over a month.
     
  37. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    So for everybody in the program, how is it going?
     
  38. nraouf

    nraouf Junior Member

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    i just got my acceptance for the physio program. im really excited..
     

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