PaulaMD2010

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Jul 19, 2006
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Hey all

I ended up being accepted at 4 schools, none of which I liked more that
Jefferson. I have purchased plane tickets to Philly and was planning on
packing tomorrow. Then today Rochester called me. Rochester was my top
choice, but all the planning is set for Jeff. Both schools are very
different and now I'm not sure what I should do. Below is a quick
comparison (Rochester is Second in all comparisons).

School
Jefferson
U of Rochester
Class Size
240
100

Curriculum
Lecture only (40 hours/week)
Problem Based Learning, Lecture (10hrs avg/wk), Clinicals start first year

-more
Teach to USMLE (multiple choice tests)
Essay and some multiple choice (pride themselves in not teaching USMLE)

City
Diverse, Big, and close to NY and DC
Medium Sized city with CHEAPER rent

-mass transit
Yes
Not, really

-diversity
Very diverse
Some/Little Diversity

Clinicals
Tons of option and in inner city
Lots of options, but less diversity

Reputation/Rank
50th
30th (above UCHSC, Dartmouth, Mt Sinai, NYU)

Cost of tuition/fees
40,000
36,000

Proximity to other schools (girlfriend is applying next year)
Tons
None Really


As you can see both are win/win, but apples and oranges at the same time. Let me know what you know beyond the above, and your general feelings. If you have any additional insights please post. I was really looking forward to living in a city (I have never lived in one before), but Rochester has always been my top choice. I was also looking for insight on how you think it would affect residency placement. Also thought it may be easier to be top of class in Jefferson with easy multiple choice and lower entering undergrad gpa, but at Rochester I will be more interested and excited by class. Hope to here from you by Friday, that is when I need to call them. Thanks, as always.

Paula
 
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PaulaMD2010

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2006
15
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sorry about double post, please reply in this post
 

Orthodoc40

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Oct 21, 2005
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PaulaMD2010 said:
Hey all

I ended up being accepted at 4 schools, none of which I liked more that
Jefferson. I have purchased plane tickets to Philly and was planning on
packing tomorrow. Then today Rochester called me. Rochester was my top
choice, but all the planning is set for Jeff. Both schools are very
different and now I'm not sure what I should do. Below is a quick
comparison (Rochester is Second in all comparisons).

School
Jefferson
U of Rochester
Class Size
240
100

Curriculum
Lecture only (40 hours/week)
Problem Based Learning, Lecture (10hrs avg/wk), Clinicals start first year

-more
Teach to USMLE (multiple choice tests)
Essay and some multiple choice (pride themselves in not teaching USMLE)

City
Diverse, Big, and close to NY and DC
Medium Sized city with CHEAPER rent

-mass transit
Yes
Not, really

-diversity
Very diverse
Some/Little Diversity

Clinicals
Tons of option and in inner city
Lots of options, but less diversity

Reputation/Rank
50th
30th (above UCHSC, Dartmouth, Mt Sinai, NYU)

Cost of tuition/fees
40,000
36,000

Proximity to other schools (girlfriend is applying next year)
Tons
None Really


As you can see both are win/win, but apples and oranges at the same time. Let me know what you know beyond the above, and your general feelings. If you have any additional insights please post. I was really looking forward to living in a city (I have never lived in one before), but Rochester has always been my top choice. I was also looking for insight on how you think it would affect residency placement. Also thought it may be easier to be top of class in Jefferson with easy multiple choice and lower entering undergrad gpa, but at Rochester I will be more interested and excited by class. Hope to here from you by Friday, that is when I need to call them. Thanks, as always.

Paula
Maybe some current students can list pros & cons as they see it right now?
 

Kazema

In a kingdom by the sea
15+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2004
1,850
4
Status
Medical Student
PaulaMD2010 said:
As you can see both are win/win, but apples and oranges at the same time. Let me know what you know beyond the above, and your general feelings. If you have any additional insights please post. I was really looking forward to living in a city (I have never lived in one before), but Rochester has always been my top choice. I was also looking for insight on how you think it would affect residency placement. Also thought it may be easier to be top of class in Jefferson with easy multiple choice and lower entering undergrad gpa, but at Rochester I will be more interested and excited by class. Hope to here from you by Friday, that is when I need to call them. Thanks, as always.

Paula
I lived in Rochester for a year and spend a lot of time in Philly too so I can weigh in on the cities themselves at least. I actually like both cities but for different reasons.

Rochester's a medium-sized city (like you already said) with a lot of good and bad. The suburbs are really, really nice especially on the east side (and the downtown area to the east isn't bad either) with a lot of cool cultural/musical/artistic type stuff going on; there's always some kind of festival going on from the spring to the fall. You're gonna need a car like you are well aware of (and I'm guess you're from near Rochester if it's your top choice) but it's a really easy city to navigate for the most part. The bad is that it's a city on the decline with terrible city schools (but the suburb schools are among the best in the state) and really a dead downtown outside a couple streets.

Philadelphia's a big city, but not big like NYC; it's not overwhelming. Center City, where Jefferson is located, is awesome. It has all the convenience of a big city but you can escape the hustle and bustle pretty easily. There's always plenty to do so boredom won't be an issue. Then again in medical school you're not going to have a ton of time to do a ton of things, you don't really need to be in a big city for entertainment. I'm in Buffalo which has less to do than Rochester (in my opinion) and we never have a problem with boredom; the problem is lack of time, not lack of activities. Cost of living will be a huge difference. You'll pay close to double in Center City for what you can get in Rochester. Parking is ridiculous as well, don't even bother with a car, and there are plenty of areas in the city where you should never, ever go.

If it were me making the decision, I'd factor in whether friends/family are near each school. First year is stressful, and being far away from your family or any close friends can make it even more so. Also, I would consider the "comfort factor". If you're from Rochester and have a pretty solid social network there, that can be a good source of support for you during the year.

Both schools are pretty well regarded as far as I know, so I wouldn't make a huge deal over reputation - both schools do well in matching. Same thing with your idea about class rank - maybe Jefferson has lower average stats but it also has a larger class so if being at the top is important for you, you have more competition, just by going on the numbers. But really, that should be just about the very last factor toward your decision, it's kind of a silly game to try to figure out at which school you have the best chance at being #1. Your decision should be based on which school you think you'd be happiest at, the most comfortable at, and fits you the best. This is a very personal decision - don't make it based on USMLE scores, perceived reputation, or your predicted class rank.
 
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PaulaMD2010

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Jul 19, 2006
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Anyone gone to either of these schools and have anything to add that I should think of??? Thanks for all your input.
 

tinkerbelle

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Hi there,

I go to UR so here are my thoughts:

Overall, I think the teaching at UR is pretty good. The faculty really wants you to do well and will help you if possible. If you're struggling with a subject, not only are the teachers happy to meet with you, but they can also set you up with a tutor (for free!). The students here are pretty awesome. Right before tests, you'll always get e-mails from classmates passing out old tests or study guides.

I think this school really tries to get you to think and familiarize yourself with the critical thinking required on the wards (hence, we have a lot of PBL). However, the amount and quality of the PBL cases varies from course to course. Some courses will have PBL 3x a week, other classes will have maybe 3 PBL cases for the entire course. Some PBL cases teach you a lot, others may as well have been written in Swahili (cause you don't get a damn thing out of it). But students do say they feel more prepared on the wards after PBL... just because you get into the habit of taking in all the facts, coming up with differential diagnoses, etc. Plus, it's a good break from classes.

We're a pass/fail school, and therefore people aren't as stressed as other schools. It's very easy to pass, so instead of memorizing stupid little details, you can focus on the basic ideas.

My class is sort of diverse... but the city as a whole sucks. It's definitely a negative for me.

Also, there isn't much to do around here. When I applied, everyone told me how there were awesome festivals all the time and how there are great restaurants. Well... maybe I'm just picky, but the restaurants here are just ok. Yes, there are a few good places, but most of the restaurants are bland and overpriced. Some festivals are a lot of fun, others are super boring. I don't think there's a great bar scence (but then again, I'm from the DC/Maryland area). However, Rochester does have a great salsa/latin dancing community. So if you like to dance, you'll find some decent places to go.

Fortunately, my classmates are very good about holding parties and other social events, so during the year, you will have things to do.

One of the pros about UR is that we start preceptership during our first year. During the first semester you take a class showing you how to do basic examp skill and history taking. And then the next semester, you get to practice :) It's helpful learning with real patients. Before you know it, you'll feel reallly comfortable walzing into a patient room (on your own), and getting a history and doing a relevant physical exam. Also, a lot of us volunteer at health fairs and free clinics, so you get to work with disadvantaged populations while also working on your skills.

Where is your family located? Med school is stressful and it's nice having family close by. Also, you're right, there aren't a lot of schools close by which can be problematic if you and your gf want to be in the same area.

I think both UR and Jefferson are good schools and you'll get into a decent residency no matter which school you decide to attend. So go to whichever school you like the best.

If you have specific questions, feel free to PM me :)
 
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PaulaMD2010

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Just to let you all know, as it has come up in both threads, all my immediate family is in colorado and extended in Illinois. That makes the hole proximity to family a null point.
 

sk8bored

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i've considered applying to both of these schools. Do they both use human cadavers for anatomy for the first year?
 

burlypie

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Class is NOT 40 hours per week at Jefferson. On average there are 3-4 hours of lecture in the am and the afternoon varies from nothing to small group to labs to clinical skills -- none of which ever adds up to 40 hours. Maybe on average (across the first 2 years) there is 25 hours of lecture/afernoon stuff per week?

Also, just having taken the boards, you would thank the gods above that Jeff tests are like board exams -- you're used to the format by that time. And just because they're multiple choice doesn't mean the questions don't make you think!

Another think about jeff, which I really would consider, its the strength of the physical diagnosis and clinical skills curriculum (in fact I just had to explain the difference between different types of particular breath sounds to my senior resident the other day) You also can get some really amazing "pre-clinical" experience at JeffHOPE treating real people, learning to present, and trying to manage illnesses in complex populations before you even hit third year. It's great.

Lastly, speaking as a serious transplant, i have really come to love Philly. It's a great city. Center city is totally walkable. and it's so cute and historical. and the restaurants are great. and there are inde-film theatres nearby. Remember, you will want to have fun in your time off :)

but hey, go with your gut. you need to do what's right for you. I did, and I don't regret it a bit.
 

tinkerbelle

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sk8bored said:
i've considered applying to both of these schools. Do they both use human cadavers for anatomy for the first year?
UR uses human cadavers
 
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PaulaMD2010

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Thanks all for your thoughts and opinions. I have decided to go to Rochester. Good Luck next year to all.