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Schools with most rigorous/intense curriculums

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by chef, Mar 26, 2002.

  1. chef

    chef Senior Member
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    I wanted to know which schools have the most intense curriculums. By intense I mean not the competitiveness of the students but the way the curriculum is set up (eg. long hours of class, lecture, many exams, tough call schedule) Let's first identify them, then rank them.

    This is what I know:
    Hopkins-most rigorous school I know of. classes end by 1pm but 2nd yrs I know there do nothing but study. % fixed As and Bs -> drives competition

    UCSD-up there with Hopkins. Very basic science oriented, no anatomy until 2nd yr. Admin wants their students to ace the boards.

    Duke - I heard Duke's curriculum (and the hospital) was a carbon copy of Hopkins', meaning super serious, traditional, "let's train the s#%t out of our students and residents so that they can be decent doctors" environment. Eased up a bit over the last decade.

    Michigan-Busy 1st & 2nd yr (lots of classtime), 3rd year tough b/c some of the 4th yr stuff is done during the 3rd(but then 4th yr is relatively easier). Weekly quizzes (some are take home, internet based now), midterm, finals. 1st yr P/F, but the rest is H/HP/P/F. But no limit on # of Honors given out

    Any others??
     
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  3. MorningLight2100

    MorningLight2100 Senior Member
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    As far as I can tell, Columbia's curriculum leans toward the rigorous side as well. They're going P/F next year, so in terms of competition it's not bad, and that grading scheme should alleviate some of the pressure. However, it's largely lecture-based, with long hours first year. Students there have told me that they feel they're receiving a very solid education. . .although it's definitely intense.
     
  4. modemduck

    modemduck Senior Member
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    Does anyone know how rigorous Columbia is? It seemed pretty laid back, but I am wondering what other ppls impressions were. THX!

    - Roy
     
  5. vmn2

    vmn2 Member
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    chef,

    i think you might have your info crossed. duke's curriculum is nothing like hopkins'...duke only has 1 year of basic science, followed by clinical rotations in year 2, a year of independent research in year 3, followed by electives in year 4...probably one of the most untraditional curriculums out there.

    vmn2
     
  6. sorrento

    sorrento Senior Member
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    I would add, for people who are applying this year and not familiar with Duke, that it is an accelerated curriculum. The first two years are compressed into one (slightly longer) one. To me, this qualifies as intense.

    Also, chef, can you clarify what you mean by Hopkins "fixed % As and Bs --> drives competition"? I assume you mean that an A or B grade is fixed at a certain percent (eg, to get a B you must get above a 75%, or something like that.) The way you worded it made it sound like only a certain % of the class can get an A or a B, which goes against what I heard at my interview there, where students claim almost everyone gets Bs. Thanks.
     
  7. modemduck

    modemduck Senior Member
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    Whoa, that was weird ... simultaneous post!

    MorningLight, are you thinking about going there (Columbia) next year?

    The sentiments expressed about Duke earlier were part of the reason I would rather go to Columbia. I don't want 4 years of stressful competition.

    - Roy
     
  8. vmn2

    vmn2 Member
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    duke's first year of basic science is not 2 years compressed into 1 longer year...they cut out a lot of material that they believe you will pick up anyway during the 2nd year of clinical rotations. so while it does require you to do some independent learning, they don't just take the material and make you learn it twice as fast.

    vmn2
     
  9. chef

    chef Senior Member
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    For Sorrento:
    Maybe I should've said "Fixed % of A's given out". The % is different for each course, but it ranges from 10 to 25 % of As. A lot of students told me to not worry b/c everyone gets "B"s and that it doesn't matter b/c everyone at Hopkins matches at their 1st choice, but when I looked at 2002 Hopkins matchlist, only 26% matched at Hopkins, 2 into derm, 6 to ophthy(1 to Wilmer but he was MD/PhD with J.Nathans, 5 others didn't match into top5), 3 to neurosurg, which tells me that you have to be a "superstar" of your class to match into these fields. Of course if you are interested in internal medicine or peds, this won't matter to you.

    For vmn:
    B/c I am not a student at Duke or do not have a first hand experience there, I may not be right. But I heard about Duke from a doctor I worked with who went to Harvard med, intern at Duke and residency at Hopkins.(and contrary to what I believed he was not a prick..really nice guy)
     
  10. chef

    chef Senior Member
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    For Sorrento:
    Maybe I should've said "Fixed % of A's given out". The % is different for each course, but it ranges from 10 to 25 % of As. A lot of students told me to not worry b/c everyone gets "B"s and that it doesn't matter b/c everyone at Hopkins matches at their 1st choice, but when I looked at 2002 Hopkins matchlist, only 26% matched at Hopkins, 2 into derm, 6 to ophthy(1 to Wilmer but he was MD/PhD with J.Nathans, 5 others didn't match into top5), 3 to neurosurg, which tells me that you have to be a "superstar" of your class to match into these fields. Of course if you are interested in internal medicine or peds, this won't matter to you.

    For vmn:
    B/c I am not a student at Duke or do not have a first hand experience there, I may not be right. But I heard about Duke from a doctor I worked with who went to Harvard med, intern at Duke and residency at Hopkins.(and contrary to what I believed he was not a prick..really nice guy)
     
  11. Dr. Corday

    Dr. Corday Member
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    I would add to vmn's post that duke, unlike Hopkins, does not have grades for the basic science year(honors/pass/fail), which I think really helps make the only classroom year into a learning experience instead of memorizing details.
     
  12. sorrento

    sorrento Senior Member
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    Maybe "compressed" was not the right word. I didn't mean to imply that everything is squashed into one year. Obviously nobody would survive such an ordeal. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

    Nonetheless, from what I saw, this 1-yr-basic-science curriculum at Duke does entail class pretty much all day first year. And, more than anywhere else I interviewed, students admitted this might be a little scary for people without a strong science background. This is what I meant by intense. (though students there seemed to be rolling with the punches; maybe they are all just naturally brilliant)
     
  13. Rumit

    Rumit Senior Member
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    I don't know about Michigan. The student that I stayed with said that the first year is pretty laid back with lots of free time. He was a second year and said that so far the second year was busier. His comment was that he'd never played as much ping pong as he did in his first year. So, that doesn't sound too 'rigorous' to me :)

    I have heard, however, that Finch has a really tough curriculum. From what I've heard, a lot of the 'lower tier' schools work their students harder because they don't have academic standards that are as high for admissions and they want to make up for it I guess. I've also heard similar things about a couple of the DO schools. I think a lot of the higher ranked schools expect you to be more 'talented' academically and to be able to learn on your own, so in that sense they may be less rigorous.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong.

    Adam
     
  14. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member
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    I vote for UCSD. San Diego prides themselves in producing top USMILE scores, and so they tend to concentrate a whole lot on the basic sciences in minute detail.

    My interviewer said that a semester of med school at UCSD would equate to 27 units at a regular university in terms of how difficult it is. The 27units sounds like an exaggeration, but he was stressing how intensive thier curriculum is.
     
  15. grasshopper

    grasshopper Senior Member
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    I understand that WUStL has a pretty intense 2nd year. Maybe not too bad first year.

    Columbia: I think I'm going there. Are we sure at this point about the P/F thing?
     
  16. Hallm_7

    Hallm_7 Senior Member
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    Anyone else notice that all these schools mentioned are the top schools in the country? Maybe the harder course schedule has something to do with this.
     

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