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Pitt Reflections

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by choker, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. choker

    choker Senior Member
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    hey all, i recently had the privelege of being accepted to pitt, and was wondering what you guys thought of it and if any other SDNers are also seriously considering going there next year.

    i especially welcome comments from current pitt students.
     
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  2. reesie0726

    reesie0726 Senior Member
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    I am seriously considering going. It is a little hard b/c I got accepted to some nyc schools so I am a little nervous about the idea of moving to pittsburgh. I also got into columbia (was gonna withdraw but changed my mind at the last minute) so I have to think will I go to pitt over columbia. Personally, I liked Pitt a whole lot better. I think it would be a better environment for me. So I am really leaning toward Pitt.
     
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  3. tmesis

    tmesis Member
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    Hello, and congrats on your acceptances. I'm currently a first year at Pitt, and here is my take on the place. As far as I can tell, I'm about the only person from Pitt who has been posting on this board, so let me emphatically advise you not to make any more of my post than is warranted--i.e. this is only the opinion of one person out of 600 or so students here.

    That said, let me say that my own overall experience at Pitt has been a mixed bag. First, the positives. I cannot praise the administration highly enough. They have been incredibly friendly and supportive, and will gladly address any concerns students have. The administration (including Office of Medical Education, or OMED as we call it here, and the Dean's Office, among others) has played a bigger role than I had intially thought it would. From finding summer research programs to starting a new organization, they have a crucial role in the med school. And it has been a huge boon to have such supportive people who seem genuinely full of goodness. The lecturers/professors, in my opinion, are also very competent and accessible for the most part, and the curriculum at Pitt, the more I think about it, is something of a work of art. It may not be the most helpful for attaining the highest Step 1 score possible, but I think it--especially the PBL component--goes a long way toward training us to think like physicians. PBL is not always efficient: there are days when I think it would be much more efficient to sit down somewhere and read the syllabus or the textbook. In the long run, however, I think it has the intangible benefits of helping us to think in a clinical context, and to solve problems as a group. And lastly, I like my classmates for the most part--they are mostly intelligent people with good intentions, and will doubtless make competent and caring physicians one day. I'll follow up in the next post with some qualms I have...
     
  4. tmesis

    tmesis Member
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    Part II.
    Okay, so when I interviewed here, I was left with the impression that Pitt is a caring place (which it is for the most part), and that it is more laid back than other schools (more on this soon). As I have said, most of my classmates are smart, talented, and generally nice people. But probably like any other school out there, there's also a contingency of so called 'gunners' who tend to spoil PBL discussions (I should say, though, that my experience with PBL has been positive), and inject a certain competitve element into the air. Is this to be expected in any medical school? I can't say for sure, having attended only one place, but the answer seems to be 'probably'. I also can't say whether my particular class is an anomaly from other classes. Perhaps it is a bit more competitive than previous classes because when the school year began, the entering class's average age was 22.8 or so, compared with last year's average of nearly 25--maybe there's a correlation between a class's gunner mentality and the proportion of over-achieving undergrads who are used to high-octane performance in the classroom, and haven't yet had time to shed some of that gunner mentality. I do not know. What I have been at such long-winded pains to say, then, is that, at the end of the day, the setting of one's medical school probably doesn't matter nearly as much as one's disposition toward education, life, and other people. No matter where you are, you can--and should--"light your own corner" as I've once read somewhere.
    I also have a minor quarrel with the school's use of syllabuses. They are outlines of lectures written by the professors who deliver the lectures. They are more than infrequently ridden with grammar/spelling errors, poorly edited, and sometimes even confuse rather than enlighten (e.g. perivascular 'root', when the intended wording was 'route'). I sometimes think that it would be better to use and supplement well edited textbooks instead, but again, this is only a minor quarrel. One last complaint is that courses come and pass quickly. We have an exam every two weeks, on the average, and cumulative (summative) exams are on Saturday mornings at 8am(!), so if you let the material slide by, it is rather hard to play catch-up. As for Pittsburgh, it tends to be what you make of it. There are certain megapolis amenities that I do miss, but I have grown to like the city quite a bit, except for its godforsaken weather, which in reality is probably not much worse than most east coast cities. I probably have more to say, and will be happy to answer any questions, but alas, I do need to hit the library, after neglecting my studies for several days. I apologize for the long-windedness, and hope you find this modestly helpful. Good luck on your decisions.
     
  5. choker

    choker Senior Member
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    thanks for your honesty dude. either way, i will definately try and come to the admit weekend and see for myself.

    also, what can you say about residential life? i have lived in dorms all college and am weary of moving into a house, especially with 3-6 random people for 4 years. what can you say about the dorm housing (if any) at pitt. would you recommend i stay in the dorm for a year, meet some people, and then we all go in and get a house?

    thanks again!
     
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  6. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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    Wait a second...tests on SATURDAY MORNINGS???

    Are you serious?

    Damn!

    There goes friday night <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />
     
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  7. UCLA2000

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    I didn't like the city. I didn't like the lack of parking...

    The school was aight, and the faculty seemed to be supportive of the student body. The students didn't really make an impression on me..
     
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  8. Mylaina

    Mylaina Senior Member
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    I am an under-grad at Pitt, and not planning on going to med school here. But I thought I'd make a mention of housing-- there is decent housing all over the Oakland area. Nicer, slightly more expensive places are in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside. South and North Oakland is cheaper, but pretty run down/trashy/brimming with undergrads. Two great places that are near the University are Fairfax (ask about the Annex) and Webster Hall. From what I've seen, they are clean. A bit expensive, but good location. Plus, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill (both have great stores and restaurants and coffee shops) are on the bus line and/or within biking distance if you are into that-- and we get free bus rides with our Pitt Student IDs... PM me if you have any questions!
     
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  9. Mylaina

    Mylaina Senior Member
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    There is one apartment building that is mostly taken up by Med students, but I forget the name. It's pretty close to campus...
     
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  10. tonem

    tonem Senior Member
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    Ruskin Hall is the University owned building where medical students and other graduate health science students live. If you plan on going to Pitt and want to live there, I suggest contacting them now.
     
  11. Jonny-5

    Jonny-5 Member
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    Thanks for the responses tmesis! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />

    Any more info on the exam schedule, housing, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, does anyone know when the admit/second look weekend is exactly?

    Thanks!
     
  12. E'01

    E'01 1K Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by choker:
    <strong>thanks for your honesty dude. either way, i will definately try and come to the admit weekend and see for myself.

    also, what can you say about residential life? i have lived in dorms all college and am weary of moving into a house, especially with 3-6 random people for 4 years. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hey Choker, that's the only thing I don't like about Sinai <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />
     
  13. tmesis

    tmesis Member
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    Hello again. Just took one of those exams I had mentioned earlier. Yes, we do have exams on Saturdays (to date, we've had three since beginning of the school year), and you can access the schedule of classes and exams at <a href="http://eligius.omed.pitt.edu/calendars/" target="_blank">http://eligius.omed.pitt.edu/calendars/</a>

    As for housing, most people tend to live in the neighborhoods of Shadyside or Squirrel Hill, which aren't really within walking distance. But the buses are free with a Pitt ID, and they come fairly frequently. Some people choose to live in Ruskin Hall, which is about a 10 minute walk from the school, and the closest thing to dorms here. They're not actually dorms; Ruskin has a mixture of studios, efficiencies (studio+separate kitchen/dining area), up to 2 bedroom apts (I think). Ruskin isn't bad, but it isn't located in a residential neighborhood as the above two, and tends to be a bit overpriced for the space you end up with. But then again, Pittsburgh's housing market is very much on the cheap side for a city.

    Also, I've just re-read my previous posts, and realized that I came across sounding more negative than I had intended. For the most part, I'm very much satisfied with Pitt, but I also didn't want to mislead anyone with a knee-jerk jingoism on Pitt, either.

    Lastly, someone asked me via PM about wait-lists. I don't know much about Pitt's wait-list policy--whether it's a ranked list or not, the percentage of people who get off wait-lists, etc. But I do know that a good number of people get off the wait-lists, and that Pitt continues to dip into the wait-list well into the summer. I also can't say much about what would help one get off the wait-list, but I imagine that letting the adcom know of your interests in a polite manner wouldn't hurt. Sorry I can't give you more specific or helpful advice than that...
     

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