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opinions about Duke?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jnguyen0815, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. 53948

    53948 Guest
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    I've been hearing that Duke is one of those "grinder schools," where the students are worked pretty hard. Obviously med school is not a smooth ride, but I've heard that Duke stands out to be one of the harder schools. Anyone hear anything about this? Just wondering...
     
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  3. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member
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    From the people I talked with who are students there, the first year is pretty rough. But the third year is only research, which tends to be more relaxed. Also, the fourth year at any medical school is pretty easy. So I think it balances out. But either way, Duke is awesome.
     
  4. TracksuitsRock

    TracksuitsRock Senior Member
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    I would also suggest looking around for previous threads if you haven't already - I remember lots of discussion about Duke, including long posts from current Duke med students. There was a lot of informative stuff. I am trying to remember the names of the big posters. I think one of them was TommyGunn, you might want to search for his posts. Good luck!
     
  5. OwnageMobile

    OwnageMobile is just a moniker.
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    They do cram all the sciences into the first year, which must be intense. They also do quite well on the boards. I was on the site and saw that the students claim that the 2nd year is much more work than the first. I like the unothodox approach, and I am quite the crammer. I hear a lot of people claim that UNC is a league above duke.
     
  6. 53948

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    Thanks for the replies everyone... I appreciate it! :)
     
  7. badlydrawnvik

    badlydrawnvik Senior Member
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    I liked it a lot there and given the condensed curriculum, a lot of people asked questions about student stress. Every student and doctor I met said that it was really no problem. While they condense the courses into one year, they cut a lot of stuff out, I think they said something like 450 hours of anatomy are cut out of the schedule and say that if you are going to go into surgery it will give you plenty of background and you will have many opportunities to learn more later. Also the third year seems to be nice because you are essentially working. They said 50% of students get research scholarships, many with the NIH or Duke itself, and this contributes greatly to the lower student debt over four years. Also, even though it may be tougher, I found that walking out into the Duke academic quad was really relaxing, and then I saw Coach K on our tour. Great school all around in my opinion.
     
  8. solitude

    solitude Senior Member
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    Yeah there is a lot that has already been said on these forums about it...

    all of the med students I have talked to like it, if that is any indication. Apparently the first year isn't really any harder week-in and week-out, but it is just very long, and that can be draining. But as people have noted the third year is usually pretty chill.
     
  9. TommyGunn04

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    As a current 4th year student at Duke, I can comment briefly on this. There have been a number of great posts on this topic in the past few years too, so I encourage you to do some further searching. But basically, in my experience at Duke and having talked to a number of friends at other schools, we don't work any harder than anyone else. It's really a misconception that we somehow "cram" two years into one, for a number of reasons that were discussed in prior posts. Our first year is longer, and we simply don't cover certain topics that can simply be learned later on in medical school. Our first year covers what's needed for step 1, and we tend to score very well (reportedly #2 in the country in average step 1 scores). Many curricula cover topics like orthopedics, dermatology, and radiology during the 2nd year, and we simply don't cover them didactically. Students pick up such details through elective coursework during the 4th year, and through independent study. We simply feel that time is better spent on the wards, and I've definitely valued this approach, as more of a hands-on learner. I don't feel like I've missed out on anything. To the contrary, I feel better prepared to start my internship after having been on the wards earlier, with more time to process what I've learned and put it all into context. Although we spend the 3rd year doing research, we're required to do a continuity clinic, so a lot of integrative learning occurs during the 3rd year.

    I'm not sure what to make of that comment about UNC being "a league above Duke." Just look at how well we match and then compare it to UNC's list; it speaks for itself. Most residency programs LOVE Duke students, and if we didn't perform at a high level as residents then they wouldn't continue to choose Duke graduates above those from other programs.

    In short, I really LOVE Duke, and would matriculate here again in a heartbeat. I can honestly say that I wouldn't change a thing about my experience. It's been great! And I'd be happy to answer any further questions anyone has about Duke.
     
  10. bobito

    bobito Senior Member
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    My impression of duke from interview....They mean business. But they don't kill you and they have fun/are happy. If you don't mean business someplace more relaxed might be better.
    Most schools give a summer break after 1st year. Duke does not. This makes up some time. Most schools...2yrs really equals 18months. Thought that might be something to add. so really its more like 18months vs. 12 months.

    Duke is the new hotness. I love it with all the cockles of my heart. If you get in...you should go.
     
  11. amandil

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    Does anyone know if the Duke matchlist (2006 or 2005) is online anywhere? I've only been able to find the lists for 2004 and 2003...
     
  12. beetlerum

    beetlerum Senior Member
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    If you want to know how hard students work, I think it's best to find out how often they have tests and what the grading is. Everyone claims that they don't work harder (or less hard) than anyone else. No one can compare anyway, as they have experience at only one school. But the curriculum speaks for itself. Weekly tests is generally going to mean lots of work. Bimonthly P/F tests will mean less work.

    Yeah, I know that's an oversimplification, but I would definitely look at the frequency of tests. I have no idea what it is at Duke.
     
  13. TommyGunn04

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    Duke is P/F for the first of its three first-year "blocks," and then H/P/F afterwards; only about 10% or so get honors, so it's really not much of an issue for most people. In my experience, and based on what I've heard from countless other schoolmates, learning is VERY collaborative, people share notes, and there's not a competitive or stressful atmosphere. Granted, there's always a rotten apple in the group, but these few people don't dictate the tone of a class. The exam frequency varies, but last I heard Duke students were taking exams about every 2-3 weeks. It's really quite reasonable considering that it's essentially pass/fail. I really liked this aspect, because I was able to focus on learning medicine to be able to better help people, instead of keeping the pre-med mentality of "learning for the grade" and forgetting everything after the exam.
     
  14. PariPari

    PariPari You Jump, I Jump, Jack
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    i've decided I need to apply to Duke this upcoming cycle & I have some questions as well.......now if i get an interview, i'll ask these as well, but for now, if you've got time
    How long is 3rd yr research? will you tell us what you might be doing?
    When do you do boards?
    Do you get student tickets to games?
    do they really really really hate UNC? (one of my rec's is a UNC alum-PhD)
     
  15. kirexhana

    kirexhana Make Me A Sandwich.
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    at my interview, my host mentioned that season tickets are dispersed by lottery. therefore, a group of students would opt to buy the season tickets and then alternate who gets to go to what game.... i think. :oops:
     
  16. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member
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    What I can say about Duke after really learning more about the school [I'll know even more soon after 2nd look] is that it is pretty much awesome at everything. If you want to be a researcher, a primary care doc, a subspecialist...whatever you want...Duke can get you there, and do a damn fine job of it. Also, if you're even thinking about a dual degree program, Duke rocks! Their business and law schools are top notch, and their grad science programs rock too! Also, they have good financial aid. I have not received my finaid letter yet, but from everything I have heard and read it is pretty good.
     
  17. WholeLottaGame7

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    More qualified people can help you with the first few questions, but as far as tickets/Duke/UNC goes...

    Grad students get tickets slightly differently than undergrads. They have a lottery, but people still camp out (to a lesser degree than undergrads) to improve their chances.

    Duke has a "healthy" rivalry with UNC. We probably hate Maryland (or now BC) much more than UNC, because they're a bunch of punks. Duke/UNC is good, clean, high intensity fun. However, there are probably just as many if not more UNC grads working at Duke as there are Duke grads, so basketball season is always a fun time in the workplace.
     
  18. MikeShark

    MikeShark New Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm a current duke MS3, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else...

    Regarding your questions:

    1) The UNC rivalry is healthy - bball, sports, but not professional or personal. No worries about a UNC rec letter.
    2) Third year is 8-12 months long, depending on what you do with it. Getting a second degree or receiving a grant usually means you're in for 12 months. Around half of the class ends up with almost full funding (tuition included) during third year (this helps so very much with the debt load).
    3) We do step one during third year - anytime you feel like jamming it in(there isn't a timeline). Some do it early (like myself), and most take off at least 2 weeks (some get a little carried away and take off a month or more. I wouldn't recommend this). Most of us do extremely well (speaking for my fiance and I, we were happy).
    4) Duke B-ball tickets are gotten in a lottery that you need to camp out for a weekend to enter. I think around 1/3 of folks get the season ticket - so, we usually get into groups of ~10 people, and then split up the season tickets that we get. It's just as well, because you're not going to be able to make all the games (except maybe during third year).

    I hope to see a good number of you at second look (I'm one of the hosts).

    Best,
    Mike
     
  19. pcthurlow

    pcthurlow Member
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    Has anyone seen a thread that compares and contrasts Duke and UNC? If anyone has any opinions or observations (beyond the obvious difference in curriculum structure), I would appreciate them.
     
  20. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    The only thing you need to know (since you are going to be a Dukie) is "Go to Hell Carolina, Go to Hell!"

    JH
     
  21. TommyGunn04

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    Just to correct something said above about 3rd year...as of about two years ago the 8-month option was eliminated. Now you either do 10-months or 12-months. With the 8-month option some students were finishing 4th year in December/January and not having a strong enough research experience, so the 8-month option was eliminated. Not that this would really make or break one's decision to apply to or matriculate at Duke, but it's still best to always have the most accurate information possible so as not to perpetuate misconceptions (such as the notion that Duke somehow "crams two years into one," as I said above!)

    I'm graduating next week and I still say my Duke experience was amazing! I'd do it again in a heartbeat. This place is phenomenal!

    PM me with any questions and I'd be happy to help.
     

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