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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tg78, Jan 3, 2002.
So far I am going to Rochester. Anyone else accepting and thinking about it?
No one! There must be some of you debating rochester? I am getting lonely on this thread...
I liked Rochester a lot and it's high on my list....only problem is I didn't get accepted yet! I interviewed 11/30. Tg, how long did it take for you to hear? Was it 6-8 weeks? I'm getting anxious!
I was there on 10/18 and heard a lot quicker than I expected. I think the letter came about 3 or 4 weeks after I interviewed.
I'll be interviewing there in February. What can you guys tell me about the school and the interview process there? Serpiente, why is it high on your list?
I can tell you a lot about the school--I work here! (Well, I work in the medical center, but the school is literally four floors below me.)
At first I wasn't really interested in the U of R because I intensely dislike the "city" of Rochester. I moved here because my husband goes to school here. (I came kicking and screaming.) When I applied to med school, one of my goals was to escape Rochester. But I applied to U of R because it's a great school and, since my husband and I both work here, we could get some sort of tuition discount.
Then I interviewed here.
The school blew me away.
First, the office staff, admissions director, and faculty are unbelievably nice, helpful, supportive, accomodating. The interviewers, whether old or young, are genuinely interested in you as a person. They are honestly looking for a good match between interviewee and school. What constitutes a good fit? Wanting to help people, and I don't just mean patients--the interviewers are looking for students who will help out other students and help out faculty. They will tell you that they want people who they think will contribute to the community of the med school in many, many ways. No competitive people. No gunners.
This may sound pretty typical of what everybody at every school is now saying. But then you meet the students. What the interviewers say is no joke. The students are genuinely helpful, genuinely concerned with the fates of all people around them. And they're nice. They're all different in some way or another, but none of them are weird--you know, they're people that would be fun to hang out with. (There is one class that in their first year got together and had a breakfast party once a week just to make sure that everybody knew everybody else well!) Cynically, one might think "Well, they only let you talk to the people who best represent the school." At U of R, this is not the case. The applicant lounge and waiting area are in the administrative wing of the med school, which also serves as the main conduit between classrooms and lockers--so you see everyone. And many, many students (not only the preapproved students) just stop to chat. They are friendly, open, and excited to be in school and, specifically, to be at the U of R.
The curriculum also is unique and a big selling point for most who apply here. True, the basic sciences last 2 years, but you have no more than 2 hours of lecture per day (mornings), followed by intensive PBL and hands-on patient care techniques for 4-5 hours in the afternoon. (What you learn theoretically in lecture in the AM is taught again to you physically in the PM.) But the best part is that you start seeing patients in the spring of your first year in a 1.5 year ambulatory (outpatient medicine and peds) clerkship. No waiting to try your hand at being a real medical student--you get to the good stuff quickly. (True, you only do it 2 or 3 times a week, which is why what would be 3-6 months of clerkship take 1.5 years, but you get to learn it thoroughly over a longer period of time.) This curriculum (the Double Helix) is new--3 years old--but the third years who have gone through it did better on the boards than students did in previous years.
As weather and living in Rochester are my two biggest reservations about the school, I asked a girl from LA, "How do you feel about Rochester?" She said, "I hate the weather. I don't like the city. But the school is totally worth it."
In short: good supportive staff and faculty; awesome students; phenomenal curriculum.
Side note: I have a friend who is a resident here (now a chief and will be a fellow in electrocardiology for the next 5 years). He and his wife do not like the city either. But they call the school "The Vortex." It's just so good it sucks you in.
With respect to the interview: the day is long (8-4), but the interviews have no time limit, so the interviewers aren't staring at their watches the whole time. The conversations can flow naturally. Try to sit in on a class or two (they were passing around a couple of human hearts when I was interviewing). Talk to as many students as possible--they want to talk to you! And relax--they are nice here. (You can also check interviewfeedback.com.)
Like tg78, I heard about 2 weeks after my interview. They called and sent a letter.
U of R is a great school. Good luck!
Mma are you now wanting to go there? I must agree with everything you said in your post. I was blown away by the school during my interview but the city is a BIG turn-off. The curriculum seems fantastic and truly unique (I have to say I was really impressed by the PBL classrooms, nowhere else have I seen ones that compare). The people seem genuine and interesting. But the city? I am living in Seattle right now and love it out here. Not much appeal in moving to Rochester. I hoping to get into UWashington so I don't have to move but if not, I will probably be Rochester bound...
I think I am headed to Baylor, actually. It's always been my dream school... (I work much better in the heat!)
I have a question: What's so bad about the city of Rochester? I mean the weather must be bad, but is that it or is there more? I am interviewing there soon and was actually under the impression that Rochester is a nice city to live in. Please enlighten me!
Rochester is and isn't a nice city to live in--it totally depends on where you come from, what you're used to, and where you are in life. For example, if I had kids, I would love to stay here--it's safe, the schools (not in the city, but in the immediate suburbs, and I mean the next towns over) are fantastic. People here are really nice. The city is clean. There is lots to do out of doors in Rochester and in outlying areas throughout the year. The Starbucks carries soy milk. The supermarket (Wegman's in Pittsford) is amazing. The housing market is unbelievably affordable. There is digital cable here. Car insurance is cheap. The city plows the sidewalks for you in the winter.
However, Rochester does not really click for me culturally. There is lots of excellent free live classical music at Eastman, but that's about it. It's not really cosmopolitan. Also, while the city is actually diverse, you rarely see it--it's a very self-segregated kind of place. (More so than other places I have lived.) You won't notice this with the patient population of the hospital, which is, in fact, extremely diverse socioeconomically, racially, ethnically, geographically, but you will notice this where you live, when you go out, etc. This may not be an issue for most people, but for me it is a big deal.
Again, it is a matter of who you are and what you are looking for in a place to live. People who grow up around here love it. People who go to med school here often stay for residencies. People who come for residencies, often stay for fellowships. (Among my group of friends, we lovingly refer to Rochester, and specifically the U of R, as the Vortex--it just keeps sucking you back in!)
When you come to interview at the U of R, which, I must reiterate, is amazing, try to wander around town to get your own feel for it. (You'll need a car--the buses are a little hard to figure out.) Go out to eat. Go to the Park Ave area. See how you yourself feel about it. (The area around the hospital is not indicative of what Rochester can be or look like. Literally half a mile away is a beautiful, green park and a very suburban-feeling neighborhood. Four miles from the hospital is the Park Ave area, which is full of restaurants, shops, coffeehouses, all built in what used to be essentially the gold coast of Rochester. It's great down there...)
I guess Rochester is really what you make of it. Most people can be happy anywhere as long as they know what they like to do.
Believe me, I don't mean to be down on Rochester at all. This is just not my type of city. But, students will tell you, the med school is worth it.
I've been a med student at rochester for a year and a half, and I have to say that I have no problems with the city at all. Its not New York City or San Francisco, but it has enough to keep you busy -- after all you would be comming here for med school. There are enough places to go on Friday nights.
I have to reemphasize what a previous writer said about the cost of living. I bought an amazing house for under 80,000. It would cost FIVE times that much in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
I went to undergrad in Rochester and absolutely LOVED the city. It is filled with art and culture, yet it is also easy to navigate. It is a very friendly city and has a lot to offer. I have lived in many other cities and would LOVE to go back to Rochester--unfortunately, I was put on the waitlist. I loved everything about the medical school program and can't imagine why ANYONE would turn it down.
mma, Wow! Thanks for all the wonderful information. I'll be going into my interview with a totally different viewpoint than I would have had you not replied. I can't thank you enough!
go to rochester and go to a restaurant called nick tahoe's. the place is a dump, but ask for a garbage plate and after you're done you will want to live there for the rest of your life.
"you'll want to live there for the rest of your life".....which won't be very long if you eat there often (massive coronary).
I have been accepted to Rochester and am seriously considering it (right now I am trying to decide between MSU, Wayne State and Rochester and waiting to hear from Stanford). I love the curriculum but worry that students have no time for life being in class, lab or PBL almost 40 hrs per week. I am also worried about the distance (7 hours from home/boyfriend), but love the people and the facility, as well as the teaching/philosophy. Deciding will be a big pain, but I do love Rochester...
I don't know who told you that we are in class 40 hours a week at Rochester, but its patently false. We generally have class (basic science) from 8-12, so thats 20 hours. Of that, 6 is usually PBL and 4 lab. We have two free afternoons a week, do clinical work (i.e. seeing patients) for two others and sometimes have lecture for the fifth afternoon. Its true that we don't have every afternoon off, but we see patients starting in January of our first year.
The other thing is that our curriculum is low impact (in my opinion). Rather than flood us with information, the faculty tries to present us with the core information. In other words, with their lectures and notes it pretty clear what's important come exam time.
I have plenty of free time
That is such a relief to hear! Thanks for clearing up the misinformation... Had another ? for edmadison or anyone else who knows...The cost of UR is way high but the average debt is actually lower than my state med school...is this because the students are wealthier or because of grant/scholarship money??