housemd

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To pass the time, what schools do you think are the most overrated? I know this is pointless but what else is this site for.

I think Wash U and Columbia are both overrated. Very good schools but not where they should be in the rankings. I can respect number whoring but to do it to play to the rankings (inviting tons of interviewees, increasing the US news selectivity ranking, recruiting based on MCAT) is weak.
 

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housemd said:
To pass the time, what schools do you think are the most overrated? I know this is pointless but what else is this site for.

I think Wash U and Columbia are both overrated. Very good schools but not where they should be in the rankings. I can respect number whoring but to do it to play to the rankings (inviting tons of interviewees, increasing the US news selectivity ranking, recruiting based on MCAT) is weak.
I couldn't have said it better for Columbia. However, I must disagree with your WashU assessment. WashU is a fine, fine medical school. It is probably the best. Harvard is the MOST overrated school in EVERYTHING! WashU humbly accepts its second place when it really is the absolute best.
 

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I am in a special position to comment on this sort of. I went to wash u undergrad and have been working at columbia med for the last 2 and a half years. wash u med is I think one of the best around. The facilities are very new and super nice. Almost more importantly though are the faculty members who are all tops in their field and all of them who I met couldn't have been more friendly and affable. Columbia on the other hand doesn't have the greatest facalities a large part due to being in nyc where is it almost impossible to expand. However, it does have outstanding faculty--both clinically and research wise. That is what truly makes a school great, not the anatomy lab. Also if you look at the US news rankings whish you are all using to state schools are overrated you will clearly see "Research" in the title. Columbia has two recently nobel laurettes...axel and kandel. I think it's doing just fine.


GuyLaroche said:
I couldn't have said it better for Columbia. However, I must disagree with your WashU assessment. WashU is a fine, fine medical school. It is probably the best. Harvard is the MOST overrated school in EVERYTHING! WashU humbly accepts its second place when it really is the absolute best.
 

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GuyLaroche said:
I couldn't have said it better for Columbia. However, I must disagree with your WashU assessment. WashU is a fine, fine medical school. It is probably the best. Harvard is the MOST overrated school in EVERYTHING! WashU humbly accepts its second place when it really is the absolute best.
WashU is a fine school, definitely top 10. But its most definitely not the best, and it doesnt even deserve to be #2 and I think #3 is a stretch when you have schools like Duke and UCSF and Penn that are generally considered superior. Harvard and Hopkins are #1 and #2.

There is hardly anything humble about WashU... trust me.
 

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i think this thread should just be retitled "top 10 school x rejected me and im still butthurt about it"
 

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Wash U's clinical facalities are much nicer and I would saw just as good as UCSF's care wise. I was just at UCSF a few weeks ago and was actually underwhelmed by it. I absolutely love the school, but more for the feel and the research there that meshes with my personal interests better.


Fantasy Sports said:
WashU is a fine school, definitely top 10. But its most definitely not the best, and it doesnt even deserve to be #2 and I think #3 is a stretch when you have schools like Duke and UCSF and Penn that are generally considered superior. Harvard and Hopkins are #1 and #2.

There is hardly anything humble about WashU... trust me.
 

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Ok, so if Columbia is so overated where should it be and what schools that are rated below it have better match lists? Yale maybe. I think Yale is underrated.
 

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housemd said:
To pass the time, what schools do you think are the most overrated? I know this is pointless but what else is this site for.

I think Wash U and Columbia are both overrated. Very good schools but not where they should be in the rankings. I can respect number whoring but to do it to play to the rankings (inviting tons of interviewees, increasing the US news selectivity ranking, recruiting based on MCAT) is weak.
I think Yale is overrated. On the other hand, UTSW seems underrated...

Does anyone know how long it takes for ratings to react to actual changes in a school's performance?
 

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Sixdegrees said:
Ok, so if Columbia is so overated where should it be and what schools that are rated below it have better match lists? Yale maybe. I think Yale is underrated.
I don't think anyone underrates Yale except for U.S. News.
 

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Fantasy Sports said:
WashU is a fine school, definitely top 10. But its most definitely not the best, and it doesnt even deserve to be #2 and I think #3 is a stretch when you have schools like Duke and UCSF and Penn that are generally considered superior. Harvard and Hopkins are #1 and #2.

There is hardly anything humble about WashU... trust me.
Shut up!
 

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ucla gots to be in here--it is one big soap opera, most students that go here are dunces--in general---so pop...riduculously overated..

and wash u is wack, us news is a bunch of trash, but trash lauds trash.....
 

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Sparky Man said:
I think Yale is overrated. On the other hand, UTSW seems underrated...

Does anyone know how long it takes for ratings to react to actual changes in a school's performance?
It takes 2-3 years. Research grants are taken as a two year average from 02 and 03 for the "2005" rankings. All of the other data/rankings other than gpa/mcat come from 01,02,03 or 02,03. I think the MCAT/GPA are at least 2 years old as some schools reported scores vary from what they report for the 04 classes. IE Case, 10.6 in '05 USNEWS, 33 avg for 04 class.
 

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The most over rated is U of C Pritzker...unless you want to do research.
I think Georgetown is one of the most under rated, except for the fact that thier facilities suck.
Im on the fence as far as Yale goes...I don't have personal experience with it but I have a friend there that says its not all its cracked up to be.
 

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Just out of curiosity, how many of those of you who think Wash U is overrated are from either coast (particularly the east)?
 

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What ratings are you talking about? Research? Primary Care? Any thoughts on University of Washington being overrated?
 

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Every school that rejected me is overrated. The schools that like me are the best. I didn't apply to WashU, so I have no opinion there. Please don't tell me to shut up... :oops:
 

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jjmack said:
Wash U's clinical facalities are much nicer and I would saw just as good as UCSF's care wise. I was just at UCSF a few weeks ago and was actually underwhelmed by it. I absolutely love the school, but more for the feel and the research there that meshes with my personal interests better.
Clinical facilities wise, WashU is newer, no doubt. But so is FSU.

While schools like Columbia and UCSF have a hard time with new buildings due to their location, its the actual people inside the buildings as well as the reputation of the university that I felt were superior to WashU. No doubt WashU is a top 5, top 10 school-- but I hardly think people will confuse it for Harvard or Hopkins.
 

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SocialistMD said:
Just out of curiosity, how many of those of you who think Wash U is overrated are from either coast (particularly the east)?
What about Gulf Coast? :laugh:
 

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I know if you read my earlier post I was talking about how columbia gets a bum rap from a lot of people because the facilites are old, but the people make the school. I guess I am biased too about wash u since I went their undergrad. I was just very impressed when I read the facts about the school and saw all they were involved in within the past 50yrs of modern medicine.

Oh yeah and the new mission bay expansion at UCSF is beautiful. Right now it's only research, but they plan to add clinical stuff as well in the future.

Fantasy Sports said:
Clinical facilities wise, WashU is newer, no doubt. But so is FSU.

While schools like Columbia and UCSF have a hard time with new buildings due to their location, its the actual people inside the buildings as well as the reputation of the university that I felt were superior to WashU. No doubt WashU is a top 5, top 10 school-- but I hardly think people will confuse it for Harvard or Hopkins.
 

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This entire thread is absurd. Columbia and WashU are both top-notch medical schools that attract the best and the brightest pre-meds in the country. Who gives a crap about the appearance of facilities? It's the quality of the faculty that makes a medical school great and both schools are teeming with nationally renowned figures.

Quit knocking other people's schools. People at WashU and Columbia find this crap offensive, in spite of the stupidity of the comments.
 

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Tulane. What a dog.

Not sure why prople dislike Wash u - that place is phenomenal.
 

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i never understood SDN's incessant crusade to rag on washu. research-wise they're as good as there is (tons of funding, largest MSTP program, insane amount of institutional and external funding for student research). and what's all this about the faculty being more important than facilities? washu has both. incredible, huge new buildings, and highly esteemed faculty. at my interview, my interviewer took me to the wall in the mcdonnel med sci building with all of washu nobel winners (16 of them, by the way). since he went to med school at washu, he was able to walk past and say "he was my biochem prof...i worked for this guy.." etc. i think people just get their panties in a twist about the whole average-MCAT thing. tossers.

anyway, in the spirit of slagging perfectly good schools, i was quite underwhelmed with my visit to northwestern. it just wasn't what people had made it out to be.
 

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superdevil said:
i never understood SDN's incessant crusade to rag on washu....
boredom, stupidity, gender confusion.....

Really though, I'm sure those people knocking it would go if they got accepted....
 

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The WashU love-hate relationship is very much a regional affair. It's a great school, but like others have hinted at, many people from the east coast would turn it down if they got into a top 10 east coast school. Most people don't like to move, unless it's for a way better school.

BTW, Columbia may have crappy facilities, but it's location in NYC and affiliation with NY Presby will guarantee it a top 10 reputation for a looong time.
 

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The general consensus has gravitated towards Washington University being one of the most overrated schools around. I agree with this for one primary reason. As has been echoed above, Wash U is notorious for "number-whoring." And becoming more selective simply for the sake of pushing up the US News ranking of a school is just really pathetic. Even the undergraduate campus is desperately trying to climb in the US News College Rankings. During high school, anyone eligible to graduate received some pamphlet or brochure from WashU begging them to apply. And for med school, if you have a 35+ MCAT, the Wash U adcom will basically get on their knees, open their mouths, and tell you they have no gag reflex.

Other overrated schools include UCLA-Geffen, Vanderbilt, and Georgetown. I really love how medical school websites try to promote the illusion that the medical school is God's gift to academia. It is nice to think that your future medical school classmates will be Olypmic-level athletes, humanitarian aid workers that flew into Iraq to deliver aid to innocent civilians once the US began shelling, Nobel-prize caliber researchers that will discover the cure for cancer, etc. But the reality of it is that our future med school classmates will probably be people just like us right now. Hard-working premeds who are well-rounded due to extracurricular activities, but haven't done anything mind-shattering enough to warrant any national-level recognition/award. Judging from the websites of top-tier medical schools, you would think that these schools are chock full of up-and-coming Jonas Salks, Francis Cricks, etc.
 

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eulogia228 said:
And for med school, if you have a 35+ MCAT, the Wash U adcom will basically get on their knees, open their mouths, and tell you they have no gag reflex.
I wouldn't go that far but they make an effort to let you know to apply, I think WU is a good school though clearly top5.

eulogia228 said:
Other overrated schools include UCLA-Geffen, Vanderbilt, and Georgetown.
I have to agree w/ the UCLA comment but disagree on GT. GT clearly shouldn't even be near the top ten but it is far underrated due to monetary problems. Its going to be moving up for the next couple years, you can disagree but you'll be wrong.
 

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Yeah, I agree with monstermatch, Tulane failed to impress me.

Why would you guys consider UCLA to be overrated? Just curious. I think it's fabulous. But, I admit that I see the world through UCLA-colored glasses. :laugh: ;)
 

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Yeah, I agree with monstermatch, Tulane failed to impress me.

Why would you guys consider UCLA to be overrated? Just curious. I think it's fabulous. But, I admit that I see the world through UCLA-colored glasses. :laugh: ;)
UCLA might be underrated actually...

The reason WashU gets dissed is because it has done everything it can stat-wise to rise in rank, and wants to be considered JHU's peer, when in fact its not any closer than a lot of schools that are ranked behind it but don't statwhore.
 

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I'm curious to know what people think about U Alabama (#25 above Mt. Sinaii, Wisconsin, Keck, Dartmouth, Jefferson, etc). I haven't seen the facilities, but have always been surprised by its rankings.

In the interests of full disclosure, when I think of Alabama, I think of Deliverance. :oops:
 

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Fantasy Sports said:
UCLA might be underrated actually...
I think that with the recent increase in tuition the value of the schools has clearly fallen a bit (still a great deal don't get me wrong, but a little less so) and the numbers haven't been factored in yet but good students might start deciding that a more expensive prestigious school isn't all that much more...so thier draw might fall off.

Loss of accredidation at Drew medical center.... budget problems, all make other schools more attractive by comparison.
 

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TexasSnow said:
I'm curious to know what people think about U Alabama (#25 above Mt. Sinaii, Wisconsin, Keck, Dartmouth, Jefferson, etc).
excuse my forthcoming, mostly unrelated, rant.

i'd certainly say that dartmouth is underrated. i was very impressed by DMS during my interview visit. as 'boring' as hanover is, dartmouth is academically fabulous. their students match at the same prestigious residencies as students from higher-ranked schools. the hospital is the nicest i've seen (well, maybe barnes-jewish is a tad nicer--mostly b/c its gigantic).

lots of SDNers like to spout the pretentious rhetoric that "dartmouth and brown are the ******ed, inbred cousins of harvard and yale, locked up in the ivy league attic, surviving on a diet of raw fish heads", but, to me, that sounds like saying "man, 3-series BMW's suck. i'd never drive a C-class Mercedes!" wankers.
 

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I visited U Alabama and was really floored - I'll admit, its pretty bubba (this coming from a southerner) but no doubt impressive. Certainly deserves its rank - way better than some private schools out there.

I wonder if this debate about Wash U is just another red state/blue state contest. Please, no sore losers :smuggrin:
 

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TexasSnow said:
I'm curious to know what people think about U Alabama (#25 above Mt. Sinaii, Wisconsin, Keck, Dartmouth, Jefferson, etc). I haven't seen the facilities, but have always been surprised by its rankings.

In the interests of full disclosure, when I think of Alabama, I think of Deliverance. :oops:
I havnt seen Alabama, but it has always been ranked well, in the mid twenties. Which is more than can be said about Keck and Jefferson. It seems to be one of the consistantly good public med schools, and is just matter of factly located in the deep south. And to nitpick, Alabama has the same ranking as both Wisconsin and UVa.
 

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So schools nominated as overrated so far include Harvard, Washington U, Columbia, Yale, Northwestern and U of Chicago.

How many thousands of premeds out there are dying to go to one of these overrated schools?
 

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Pinkertinkle said:
So schools nominated as overrated so far include Harvard, Washington U, Columbia, Yale, Northwestern and U of Chicago.

How many thousands of premeds out there are dying to go to one of these overrated schools?
:laugh: Point taken. I don't think a single school in the USA is a bad school but clearly some schools are slightly better or worse than others.
 

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MWillie, stop being a dick and let people talk. If you dont like the topic, dont read it. If you disagree, rebuttle them. Saying "Shut up" accomplishes nothing.
 

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most underrated = Brown (their matchlist is quite impressive)
Um, nope. I think Brown is right where it should be. Any school that does not open its admissions process wide enough to outside competition has to have something to hide. Beisdes, while everyone recognizes Brown's achievements in liberal arts and related fields, it's hard to think of Brown in a hard science vein.

WashU is the best medical school for research-minded people. Ask current medical students - particularly those trying to match in neurosurgery. WashU is the best medical school, period. Do I plan on going there? Absolutely not, but that's not because I don't recognize that it's a great school.

My current overrated schools having visited: Northwestern, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell. Will I go to these schools if accepted? Perhaps. But you better believe that they greased my palms to get me to come.
 

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Tulane. What a dog.

Hahaha. as an undergrad alum of Tulane, I can understand that sentiment. While the main campus is in the most beautiful part of town (how can you not love St. Charles / Uptown?), the Med Center is in the worst part of town. In addition (man, i hope i don't get in trouble for this), I've heard from several people that the students from LSU-NO (right across the street) come out better prepared for 1/3 the tuition. then again, I am a little biased...

Jen
 

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I can't speak to the "overrated" part of this thread, but I think U of Rochester is a hidden gem that's not very well known outside of the medical community.
 

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My public high school built in the 1960s had a more attractive building than Tulane med. Not that pretty buildings make an education.

NYU is also horrendously overrated.

UF is, as well, at least in terms of schools in Florida.

Yale has a habit of underperforming on the USMLE, but they match well. Never seen their facilities, so I won't say much about them.
 

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i could be very wrong, but i get the feeling that mayo is very underrated? i mean ..one of the best clinical settings in the world, a small class size, and pretty selective admissions, i dont see why they aren't at least top 15
 

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TexasSnow said:
I'm curious to know what people think about U Alabama (#25 above Mt. Sinaii, Wisconsin, Keck, Dartmouth, Jefferson, etc). I haven't seen the facilities, but have always been surprised by its rankings.
UAB is pretty amazing, actually. Definitely deserves the ranking. I believe it's ranked even higher in terms of NIH funding as well. As far as facilities, they just built a new hospital building which is supposed to contain the latest and greatest (at least for another month until some other hospital builds one). But, seriously, some of the names at UAB are truly impressive.

--Ari
 

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linuxizer said:
UAB is pretty amazing, actually. Definitely deserves the ranking. I believe it's ranked even higher in terms of NIH funding as well. As far as facilities, they just built a new hospital building which is supposed to contain the latest and greatest (at least for another month until some other hospital builds one). But, seriously, some of the names at UAB are truly impressive.

--Ari
So, North Pavilion opened this year, and yes, I can tell you the new facilities are excellent, the ER is excellent, etc. etc. However, it's no Northwestern Memorial or WU's Center for Advanced Medicine or UCLA's Westwood Replacement - no marble, no scuptures from famous people, no granite stone - just a large, technologically up-to-date hospital expanding over 3/4 of a city block.

I should also add that a OB/GYN specialty hospital will be built across the street, and at least 3 research buildings are currently being constructed. Recently the medical school added a new education tower which is miles ahead of what we had before. If there were any weaknesses in facilties, I say it would be the comfyness of the auditorium chairs and the teaching laboratories.

As far as research "ranking" is concerned, according to the NIH, in FY2003, UAB was 16th among all medical schools. (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/award/rank/medttl03.htm)

UAB suffers from a couple of issues:

1) The quality and acceptance rate of its in-state applicants does not compare to a place like, say, California. Neither does the school accept a lot of out-of-state applicants, who arguable, may increase the schools selectivity rating in US News. Schools like Virginia, North Carolina, etc. are state schools yes, but also take significantly more out-of-state students to increase selectivity. And since selectivity is an important factor in rankings.. well you get the picture.

2) The state and especially the University of Alabama system uses the medical school and the hospital to essentially leech funds out for their own use. The medical center is a huge cash cow for the state and the folks in Tuscaloosa. The medical school competes with other interests for paltry endowment funds (Duke's for example is 20 times as large as UAB's). Neither does the state provide funding for capital improvements in the form of a building trust fund, nor does the state provide significant research funding like, say, Michigan does (http://medc.michigan.org/ttc/LifeSciences). UAB lives on the fame of its people and the money they get from the NIH; they have to squeeze enough out of those funds and beg for federal pork to retain its people and build its new buildings.

IMHO, the medical school is being used for cash, while the return it gets from the state is paltry in comparison to other institutions in its class.