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Second thoughts about Stanford

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by CD4, May 12, 2002.

  1. CD4

    CD4 Junior Member

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    The stars were aligned right this spring and somehow I got into Stanford and Penn. With the 15th just a few days away I'm trying to make a final decision ASAP. I was set on going to Stanford. Stanford and Penn are great schools but what tipped the balance was that I'm from LA and I would much rather be closer to home and in warmer weather. In my enthusiasm for Stanford I read all that I could about it on the web and I went to second look weekend. Much of what I have learned makes me think harder about Stanford like:

    Stanford's curriculum is way more out of it than I thought. They have a website for the curriculum reform committee. Straight from the committee, comments about Stanford's curriculum include
    -"not primed for the future"
    -"Our curriculum does not fit our faculty or our students."
    -Does not use "the most effective educational methods--i.e., simulations, small group interactive learning, online curricula."
    -"Insufficient early patient contact."
    -"Insufficient mentorship and advising programs"
    -In summary everyone agreed the curriculum needed major improvements, which won't be implemented for several years. I am concerned Stanford's curriculum is so out of touch that it really will impair my ability to reach my highest potential as a doctor. Penn's curriculum on the other hand was just redone. It's integrated, uses lots of technology, has early exposure to patients, etc. Penn's curriculum really is cutting edge
    -We have all heard about how run down many of Stanford's educational facilities are. The anatomy labs are brand new but most everything else seems like it's from the 1960s. I don't mind if something is ugly, but again I am concerned this will impact my education. All the facilities at Penn are cutting edge.
    -Also from the Stanford reform committee "Facilities inadequate for variety of teaching methods."
    -Stanford is having trouble recruiting and retaining top faculty
    "The medical school has by far the fewest number of faculty members among the 13 consortium schools -- 614 full-time faculty compared to 1,346 at UC-San Francisco, 1,844 at Johns Hopkins and 5,169 at Harvard. The result is that the faculty-student ratio at Stanford is relatively low at 1.4 faculty members for each student
    -I wonder about the culture of Stanford Med. What kind of an administration and faculty members would allow their medical school to slip into such problems. These aren't things that happen overnight. Were they just too full of themselves, sun drunk, and riding on the Stanford name?
    -To sum it all up I wonder how Stanford can possibly offer the "world class medical education" they claimed too at the revisit, when it has all these problems.
    -Is Stanford med simply perceived to be good because of the magic Stanford name? If Stanford med weren't connected to Stanford I wonder if it would still be perceived as a top med school. I don't want to go to a school just for the name to inflate my ego. I want to get the best medical education whether it's at big name U or no name U. I wonder if Stanford med is a school in decline…..
    -What I do like about Stanford is I feel the students are very happy and cool. And I love the area, the weather, and proximity to home. I'd definitely be happier in Palo Alto than Philly. But then now it feels like I'm choosing a med school just for the location. Since I'll be paying seriously $$$$$ to go to Stanford it only makes sense to me to also get an awesome education and training so I can best help my future patients. So maybe I should push myself to go to Penn. I'm don't feel fully comfy to go all the way over there at the moment. But I don't dislike the place either. I know I can learn to like it once I break out of this frame of mind (that's rapidly crumbling) that Stanford is actually all it's cracked up to be.
    I'm glad Stanford is finally looking at "reform" and fixing all its problems. However that won't happen for several years and I feel the upcoming Stanford classes just might get the short end of the stick.

    Feedback much appreciated. I'm sure all med schools have problems. Are Stanford's not as bad as they look or truly a cause for concern?
     
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  3. longwait

    longwait Junior 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 CD4:
    [QB]What I do like about Stanford is I feel the students are very happy and cool.[QB]</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Well, of course they are happy... most Stanfuurd kids got money, baby!! To live in Palo Alto, money is like air.
    But did you say that they are cool??

    uh.................................................................................................................................................................................u h....................................................uh..... (for 10 minutes)...... uh.......... sure, as long as you are not talking about the undergraduates.
     
  4. none

    none 1K Member
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    Personally, I'd go to Stanford just for the location. I REALLY did not feel like being states away from my family forever. Further, I never really appreciated Californian weather until I interviewed and saw the rest of the country...
     
  5. lemme ease ur pain bro

    <a href="http://www.amsa.org/resource/cardev/medresults.cfm" target="_blank">AMSA</a>
     
  6. Joe Joe on da Radio

    10+ Year Member

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    i worked at ucsf a few years ago. stanford residents would do there rotations through certain departments. i heard this all the time from the ucsf attending's, "med students from stanford don't know anything!"

    no looking to get flamed...only to report what i listened to quite regularly.

    i turned down stanford for ugrad for a public university...so, for me, stanford is a school you can decline. seriously, go to penn. you'll get more than your money's worth in education and training.

    good luck with your decision.
     
  7. vyc

    vyc Senior Member
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    so if stanford is so bad, then why the good reputation?

    i mean, schools don't get good reputations based on nothing...
     
  8. TommyGunn04

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    CD4, did you go to Penn Preview weekend? For me, it's hard to think about going anywhere else after seeing the wonders of Penn that weekend!
     
  9. coop

    coop Senior 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 vyc:
    <strong>so if stanford is so bad, then why the good reputation?

    i mean, schools don't get good reputations based on nothing...</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">reputations are also the kind of things that are hard to lose (good or bad) even if they are severely outdated. I can't comment much about Stanford specifically, although I heard a lot of these same complaints the OP poster has about Stanford from my premed advisor, who went as far as saying that although she doens't really like the usnews, all the top 20 or so offer a very high level of medical education, with the exception of stanford, who is the only pretender with a high ranking. I can't vouch for truth in any of these things, and I know there's a Stanford MS4 who is around who'll dispute this stuff, but I've heard it a number of times now, so it would at least make me explore a lot further before I'd go to stanford.
     
  10. moo

    moo 1K Member
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    Isn't Stanford having financial troubles as well?

    I've also heard that Stanford med is really disassociated from the rest of the undergrad school. Makes me think that all it has is the name.
     
  11. po' boy

    po' boy Senior Member
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    CD4,

    As a student who faced a similar decision last May, and with a year of hindsight, I can empathize with your dilemma and offer a few thoughts.

    I'm currently finishing my first year at Columbia, which I chose over acceptances at Stanford and the University of Michigan. It was kind of a funny situation in that I heard back from all three schools right around the May deadline -- Columbia I interviewed at a second time in April to try and get off the waitlist; Stanford had offered me an interview in late April, long after I thought I was done flying around; and Michigan came up with additional funds that would have made it possible to go there as an out-of-stater.

    I'm from Tennessee, but I had a sister in SF, so weather and family were on Stanford's side. But at the time, I was kind of turned off by the idea of spending 5 years in med school (and I was kind of scared of the research-heavy environment, having not had much research experience). Michigan had an outstanding curriculum, with lots of online resources and weekly quizzes to hone skills, but I was kind of turned off by the idea of being isolated in blizzards in Ann Arbor (a great town, but a cultural oasis, with Detroit being the closest major city). Columbia was in New York, a place I was attracted to and wanted to spend my early twenties living in. I was told the basic sciences were taught well there, the students said they were extemely happy, and among medical personnel I spoke with it seemed to have the highest reputation. Finances were not ultimately an issue in my decision because my need-based aid made the cost roughly comparable between schools.

    The thing you need to take a good hard look at is yourself, not the schools. Ask yourself -- am I a city person, or do I like the peace (and perhaps boredom) of a suburb? Is good weather important to my emotional well-being? Is proximity to family something I would miss?

    These are the things you will be kicking yourself over later if you don't consider them now. They are SO much more crucial to your day-to-day happiness (and consequently, your success as a med student) than the ins-and-outs of curriculae, especially the first two years, during which time YOU WILL LEARN THE SAME STUFF EVERYWHERE. Most of your learning will not be done in the classroom then, because learning in med school is not passive like it was in college. You have to find the books, resources, websites etc. that WORK FOR YOU, and many of those will not be offered by your school. Most of us around the country actually use the same stuff -- ask the second-years on the Allopathic board what review books they're using to study for boards, and they'll mention pretty much the same things. Same goes for class materials. Even if you have the best teachers in the world, only you will be able to put all this information into your head, so don't let "innovative curricula" be the deciding factor in where you spend the next four years of your life.

    For me, Michigan had the most solid curriculum by far, with new iMacs at each Anatomy table and weekly tests every monday morning at 8am. And I'm sure all that class time and quizzing would've made me more adept at giving answers to pimping on command come third year. But if also would've had a big effect on me personally, and the grind would've absolutely killed me. You don't think it will now, but you don't know how draining med school can be until you're there. Kind of like being an idealistic 18-year-old sent off to war.

    New York seemed like it would be an amazing place to spend four years, and sometimes it is. When I go out, the restaurants are amazing, and there's entertainment everywhere you look. I've met an amazing 2nd-year here who I'm hoping I'll be together with for a long time, and I'm going to Japan this summer for a funded summer research internship I only could've gotten through Columbia. I've learned a ton this year (despite my poor memory), and so I have a lot to be thankful for in coming to P&S.

    But I don't get out that much. Perhaps it's the fact that Columbia is located so far uptown in a kind-of-crappy neighborhood, or perhaps it's the emotional/physical activation energy required to put down the books. Maybe it's because I live in a dorm instead of an apartment, with no real kitchen. Or maybe I'm just realizing that the crowds and noise, while fun, are not my personality. On the curriculum front, Columbia is pretty strong at teaching some things (Neural Science, Neuroanatomy, Anatomy, Embryology) and worse at others (Physiology, and the touchy-feely Clinical Practice course, which may just be useless everywhere in first year). Also, I've found Columbia to be resistant to change regarding curriculum and international opportunities, due in large part to overwhelming bureaucracy. But I'm working to change these things here, and I know the new med school Dean has big plans for Columbia's future (after I'm gone, of course).

    I know how run-down parts of Stanford felt, and I was deeply concerned about how the facilities would impact my education too. But in all seriousness, this is probably a non-issue. Most of the research you'll do in journals can be done on-line at Stanford, which emphasizes e-learning to a far greater extent than most other schools. All of their lectures are digitized and put online (same at Penn), and they use interactive web-based learning materials for most of their courses. You can study at any of the undergraduate libraries, which are fantastic. (At either Stanford or Penn, the fact that an undergrad campus is attached is huge, for both social and administrative reasons.)

    But most of all, the programs in place at Stanford for research (basic, clinical, international medical, social, and humanistic) are unparalleled among any other medical school I've seen. You'll have to research Penn's website to compare the two -- I'm unfamiliar with Penn's opportunities. Although I was originally turned off my the idea of spending five years in med school (and I still kind of am), the flexibility that you could have in tailoring your own medical education at Stanford is something that I sorely miss at Columbia. We only recently convinced the administration here that international summer research is worth funding, whereas the Traveling Scholars program has been in place at Stanford for years (and is much better funded -- students get paid a small fortune for the summer, over $13,000). This kind of flexibility is really important in helping you find out the kind of physician you want to become. Penn has it too -- you finish basic science in 1.5 years there, so you have additional time to pursue electives/research in whatever you like.

    This post is long enough already, so I'll wrap it up. I'll tell you what everyone told me last year, which is that you can't really make a wrong decision either way (not a helpful statement at all, and not entirely true either). I can tell you that I totally underestimated the importance of weather and family in my decision. In Columbia's defense, I have a feeling that 2nd year wil be better than first (due to a different exam schedule and more interesting material) and that 3rd/4th years will be really great here (busy city hospital, lots of exposure to underserved patients).

    But that's a ways away.
     
  12. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    First off, be forewarned, there are a lot of vehemently anti-Stanford people on this board that may trash it without a lot of concrete examples or info. Some of the people I've questioned about this admit that their general dislike of the school has more to do with their experience of the undergrad than the med school, so just keep that in mind. Although I was not seriously considering Stanford med last year, I went there for undergrad, worked at the hospital for 2 years, and have several friends who go there, so I'll try to give a somewhat balanced, unbiased opinion of Stanford.

    From what I know, the actual classes and curriculum is somewhat traditional or old-fashioned. However, if you take a look at recent match lists, Stanford students typically match very well (good number of people getting into competitive specialties, competitive hospitals or locations). This may be in spite of the curriculum, rather than because of it. I think it's really hard for anyone to tell you in this case that either Penn or Stanford will hold you back in your medical education in any way. My best advice would be to look at the match lists from the last couple of years for each of the schools and try to see if you feel like students from either school are being cheated in any way. The other thing you might want to consider is where you think you want to do your residency. Most hospitals seem to have regional biases so Stanford might give you a slight advantage with California programs.

    Some of the Stanford facilities are still pretty outdated. They are supposed to be in the process of remodeling most of them, but I'm not sure how far along that is now, or when it is supposed to be completed. Honestly, I think the significance that applicants give to facilities is slightly overrated. They do have really nice, new anatomy labs and if research is your thing, they have a ton of new, wonderful research facilities. Of the teaching hospitals, both the VA and Packard Children's are relatively new, and there are a few new wings on the Stanford hospital. Not sure about the condition of Santa Clara Valley. The med school library is kind of old and unappealing, but the undergrad library (the new wing of the Green Library) is INCREDIBLE -- leather sofas and chairs, mica lamps, big windows, huge wooden tables, and ethernet connections at every table and desk if you have a laptop. Since most of the medical journals are online now, you can do a lot of your research without ever having to go to the med school library, and the undergrad libraries are much nicer to study in.

    Cost -- I'm not sure what financial aid is like at Penn, but of the private schools, Stanford and Duke are the two that regularly come up as some of the cheapest to attend because of the excellent aid packages that they offer to nearly all of their students. Stanford can actually be cheaper than the UC system because of the grants and scholarships that you get.

    Faculty -- that is a problem at Stanford, and one that I usually list among my cons of the school. In my opinion, this is a much more important concern than the facilities. Because of the skyrocketing cost of living in the Silicon Valley area for the last few years, Stanford has had trouble attracting and retaining new faculty. Cost of living seems to be the primary reason for this difficulty , rather than any actual deficiencies with the Stanford program (this was my actual first-hand experience after having been directly involved with several faculty searches and hiring periods). As a result, you see a lot of "Stanford-lifers" -- people who have gone to med school there, or done residency and/or fellowship and never really left. This may be starting to improve slightly with the dot-com bust, but only time will tell.

    The other big con against Stanford, in my opinion, is the small class size. Personally I would go nuts with only 86 classmates, but for some people it really works. Just depends on your personality.

    The pros of Stanford -- the flexibility of the 5-year plan, if you so desire. If you have a lot of interests outside of medicine, I think Stanford is one of the best schools to attend because they really encourage you to develop those interests, whether its getting an MA in creative writing at no extra cost, or doing a community service project for a year (like a health clinic in South America). Also, if you're not a big city person, the location is really good. Palo Alto is kind of boring, but you are close enough to the city to go up on weekends (some students even live there), and there are lots of areas for running, biking and hiking close to Stanford. Also, if you're family is in LA, there is a lot to be said for taking a 1-hour Southwest flight from San Jose to LA, rather than flying all day from Philly to LA. At Stanford, you'd actually have the chance to go home on weekends, but at Penn, you're looking more at extended breaks like Christmas and Spring Break.

    My best advice would be to revisit Penn before you make your final decision, and to take a look at the match lists for each school, as well as maybe talking to some of the 4th years. My gut instinct is that neither school will hold you back professionally as you fear, so then you should go with the campus and setting that you feel most comfortable at. Good luck.
     
  13. Esco

    Esco Senior Member
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    I JUST literally put my tution deposit in the mail to Penn...I was struggling between Penn and Stanford as well but I finally came to the conclusion that I would do some seriuos bodily harm to myself if forced to live in Palo Alto for four years <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> . It's like the above poster said---"The thing you need to take a good hard look at is yourself, not the schools. Ask yourself -- am I a city person, or do I like the peace (and perhaps boredom) of a suburb? Is good weather important to my emotional well-being? Is proximity to family something I would miss? These are the things you will be kicking yourself over later if you don't consider them now. They are SO much more crucial to your day-to-day happiness (and consequently, your success as a med student) than the ins-and-outs of curriculae, especially the first two years, during which time YOU WILL LEARN THE SAME STUFF EVERYWHERE."

    Good luck with your decision...maybe I'll see you in august, two months till the ass wooping commences!
     
  14. The Fly

    The Fly Senior 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 Esco:
    <strong>especially the first two years, during which time YOU WILL LEARN THE SAME STUFF EVERYWHERE."

    Good luck with your decision...maybe I'll see you in august, two months till the ass wooping commences!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Esco-
    At the very least you'll see me in August, but I respectfully disagree with you regarding the above point. . . :cool:

    While the first two years give you most of what you need during your final two years, there are ENORMOUS differences between curricula (Duke vs. Stanford, for example). And I absolutely don't think you learn the same stuff everywhere -- Duke, for example, lacks any instruction in Embryology.

    ------------------------------------------------
    The following echos the sentiments of a friend of mine at Stanford med --
    ------------------------------------------------
    - Palo Alto is so unbelievably expensive that it mitigates my ability to enjoy myself extracurricularly.
    - Considering all of the tech companies nearby it is absolutely wonderous how absolutely technologically challenged SU is -- it's really amazing. Labs, library, etc. also are terrible (except for the anatomy labs)
    - lectures the first two years varied from absolutely astoundingly bad to outstanding. If the subpar lecturers could be given some simple teaching instruction, things would be infinitely better
    - Astounding quantities of egomanical and narcisstic medical students (and plenty of undergrads too!)
    - Curriculum is SO far behind the times that I get depressed whenever I think about it!
    --------------------------------------------

    I thought that although some of these overlap what you have to say, that it would be worth writing them here as well.

    It comes down to location and type of curriculum. Palo Alto is a better location but you pay the price (philly is cheap!). Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, Penn has a much much better hospital -- and this is critically important!!!!!!!

    Maybe I'll see you in the fall! :)

    Good luck with the choice and keep us posted!
     
  15. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year 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 The Fly - aka GG16:
    <strong>

    ------------------------------------------------
    The following echos the sentiments of a friend of mine at Stanford med --
    ------------------------------------------------
    - Palo Alto is so unbelievably expensive that it mitigates my ability to enjoy myself extracurricularly.
    - Considering all of the tech companies nearby it is absolutely wonderous how absolutely technologically challenged SU is -- it's really amazing. Labs, library, etc. also are terrible (except for the anatomy labs)
    - lectures the first two years varied from absolutely astoundingly bad to outstanding. If the subpar lecturers could be given some simple teaching instruction, things would be infinitely better
    - Astounding quantities of egomanical and narcisstic medical students (and plenty of undergrads too!)
    - Curriculum is SO far behind the times that I get depressed whenever I think about it!
    --------------------------------------------

    I thought that although some of these overlap what you have to say, that it would be worth writing them here as well.

    It comes down to location and type of curriculum. Palo Alto is a better location but you pay the price (philly is cheap!). Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, Penn has a much much better hospital -- and this is critically important!!!!!!!

    Maybe I'll see you in the fall! :)

    Good luck with the choice and keep us posted!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Interesting points... however, I'm not sure how all of them are really that Stanford-specific.

    1) Cost of living in Palo Alto -- expensive (definitely more expensive than Philly), but not unbearably so, and not significantly different than attending school in New York, Boston, San Francisco, or LA. You definitely have to have housemates if you want to live in a halfway decent place, but in terms of restaurants, bars, shopping, etc., Palo Alto is absolutely no more expensive than any other city (based on my experience of living in PA on a student budget, and spending extensive time in other cities such as SF & LA, and then relocating to Houston).

    2) Technologically challenged -- Honestly, this didn't make a lot of sense to me. Even when I was taking some med school classes close to 5 years ago, I was amazed at the amount of integration of materials on the web, streaming video of classes, etc. Not to mention that the undergrad libraries have been refurbished to provide ethernet connections at every desk and table, plus all of the computers available for use at the libraries, computer labs, student lounges, etc. When I was interviewing last year, I was really disappointed because most of the schools did not seem to be as technologically integrated as Stanford.

    3) Quality of lectures -- your friend's statement is probably 100% true. It also is probably 100% true at every single med school in the country.

    4) "Egomanical [sic -- is this even a word??] and narcissistic med students (and undergrads)" -- again probably 100% true. However, again I think it's 100% true at a vast majority of med schools across the country, certainly at nearly all of those that make up the "top tier." If you think that's not the case, you may be in a for a very rude awakening in the fall. Or you may be immune to it, in which case if it doesn't bother you at one school, I don't see why it would bother you elsewhere.

    5) Curriculum may be less progressive than a lot of other ones out there right now. May or may not make you a better doctor, and may depend a lot on what you want out of med school -- ie, traditional, lots of PBL, no PBL, etc.

    I'm not saying that these aren't valid points -- they are. I just think that many of these criticisms are just as applicable to LOTS of other med schools as well, including Penn. To think that any med school is in some way immune from some of these problems -- you're probably just deluding yourself.
     
  16. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels
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    CD4 -- just to add to the mix, I have 2 friends that recently turned Stanford down for reasons that sound awefully similar to the ones you listed.

    lilycat -- wow, gotta respect how much time and effort you put in defending your school. :)
     
  17. The Fly

    The Fly Senior 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 lilycat:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by The Fly - aka GG16:
    <strong>

    ------------------------------------------------
    The following echos the sentiments of a friend of mine at Stanford med --
    ------------------------------------------------
    - Palo Alto is so unbelievably expensive that it mitigates my ability to enjoy myself extracurricularly.
    - Considering all of the tech companies nearby it is absolutely wonderous how absolutely technologically challenged SU is -- it's really amazing. Labs, library, etc. also are terrible (except for the anatomy labs)
    - lectures the first two years varied from absolutely astoundingly bad to outstanding. If the subpar lecturers could be given some simple teaching instruction, things would be infinitely better
    - Astounding quantities of egomanical and narcisstic medical students (and plenty of undergrads too!)
    - Curriculum is SO far behind the times that I get depressed whenever I think about it!
    --------------------------------------------

    I thought that although some of these overlap what you have to say, that it would be worth writing them here as well.

    It comes down to location and type of curriculum. Palo Alto is a better location but you pay the price (philly is cheap!). Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, Penn has a much much better hospital -- and this is critically important!!!!!!!

    Maybe I'll see you in the fall! :)

    Good luck with the choice and keep us posted!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Interesting points... however, I'm not sure how all of them are really that Stanford-specific.

    1) Cost of living in Palo Alto -- expensive (definitely more expensive than Philly), but not unbearably so, and not significantly different than attending school in New York, Boston, San Francisco, or LA. You definitely have to have housemates if you want to live in a halfway decent place, but in terms of restaurants, bars, shopping, etc., Palo Alto is absolutely no more expensive than any other city (based on my experience of living in PA on a student budget, and spending extensive time in other cities such as SF & LA, and then relocating to Houston).

    2) Technologically challenged -- Honestly, this didn't make a lot of sense to me. Even when I was taking some med school classes close to 5 years ago, I was amazed at the amount of integration of materials on the web, streaming video of classes, etc. Not to mention that the undergrad libraries have been refurbished to provide ethernet connections at every desk and table, plus all of the computers available for use at the libraries, computer labs, student lounges, etc. When I was interviewing last year, I was really disappointed because most of the schools did not seem to be as technologically integrated as Stanford.

    3) Quality of lectures -- your friend's statement is probably 100% true. It also is probably 100% true at every single med school in the country.

    4) "Egomanical [sic -- is this even a word??] and narcissistic med students (and undergrads)" -- again probably 100% true. However, again I think it's 100% true at a vast majority of med schools across the country, certainly at nearly all of those that make up the "top tier." If you think that's not the case, you may be in a for a very rude awakening in the fall. Or you may be immune to it, in which case if it doesn't bother you at one school, I don't see why it would bother you elsewhere.

    5) Curriculum may be less progressive than a lot of other ones out there right now. May or may not make you a better doctor, and may depend a lot on what you want out of med school -- ie, traditional, lots of PBL, no PBL, etc.

    I'm not saying that these aren't valid points -- they are. I just think that many of these criticisms are just as applicable to LOTS of other med schools as well, including Penn. To think that any med school is in some way immune from some of these problems -- you're probably just deluding yourself.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Answering the above --

    As far as my misspelled word, I was going for egomaniacal, which is most certainly a word. Definition -- (noun) -- the quality or state of being extremely egocentric (Webster's)

    lilicat-

    These were absolutely NOT my points, but rather paraphrased quotes from a friend of mine who graduated from SU Med -- He's doing his residency at Columbia now and he's noticed that the kids are EXTREMELY DIFFERENT from those at Stanford and when I suggested that he just had a different perspective, he vehemently denied this idea and said (definitively) that there was a very different atmosphere there. I am just passing on what he said -- none of the numbered points were my ideas!

    I totally disagree with your points about costs of living -- while Palo Alto might be nearly as expensive as NYC it's absolutely NOT a comparable place -- c'mon you can't compare it to NYC !! Boston is cheaper than Palo Alto and LA is definitely cheaper. I've spent time in Palo Alto (good friend went to med school there, cousin is an undergrad and I have a lot of family in the bay area) and have lived in NYC, LA and Boston. I can say (with some certainty) that Palo Alto is the sort of place that embodies all of the most superficially bothersome qualities of Los Angeles without any of the culture and diversity.

    I'm not trying to be harsh of Stanford, but at the same time, I did have a friend and cousin that are/were absolutely miserable there. . . as such, I am just trying to pass on those sentiments. I think you're taking the proverbial 'stanford bashing' a little too personally.

    Oh, BTW, you never commented on the inferiority of Stanford's hospital versus other top tier medical schools . . .

    (I feel like I should spell check this before posting, but I am feeling reckless today! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> )
     
  18. LBJeffries

    LBJeffries Senior 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 The Fly - aka GG16:
    <strong>

    (I feel like I should spell check this before posting, but I am feeling reckless today! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> )</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Don't you just hate the [sic]! Newspapers stopped using it because it conveys intellectual superiority and diverts attention from the purpose of the quote. Just a little trivial information for everyone, I'll leave now!
     
  19. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    The Fly -- I wasn't trying to harp on spelling issues -- I usually don't care. It just stood out to me while I was trying to type my response. I'm sorry if you found it insulting in any way.

    I wasn't trying to say that were your points personally -- I realize that you were attempting to paraphrase comments a friend had made. I don't think I'm "taking the Stanford bashing" a little too hard -- I don't really have anything invested in that school since I am not a med student there, and I wasn't gung-ho about the undergrad experience. That being said, I think I have a reasonably balanced perspective on the school, which you don't often see on these boards. There is a lot of Stanford bashing, much of it I find to be undeserved, or at least not well founded in actual experience or facts.

    As to my first point regarding cost of living -- I was not trying to equate quality of living with cost of living -- I think that was quite a misleading leap of logic you took there, and not one that was supported by my post. My point was that living in Palo Alto was not any more expensive than living/going to school in many cities throughout the nation. This purely talking about COST alone. However, intentionally or accidentally, you did make the very good point that Palo Alto is not a city, and thus does not have easy access to things that people may considered justified by the cost of living in SF, NYC, LA, such as opera companies, museums, theater, etc.

    However I totally stand by my point that Palo Alto is not any more expensive than Boston, SF, NYC, or LA, assuming you are living in a half-decent area in any of those cities. My basis for this -- renting and apartment-hunting in Palo Alto for nearly 3 years, renting and apartment-hunting in San Francisco, helping friends apartment-hunt and relocate to: NYC, LA, SF, and Boston. Actually one of my friends from undergrad is just now relocating to Boston to work at Mass General -- she is actually paying slightly more for a comparable situation in Boston to the one she left in Palo Alto. You can disagree with me if you like, but I think it's only fair to point out that there are two very different perspectives on this issue from sources who appear to have done some research on it. If cost of living in Palo Alto is a serious concern, I can only advise someone considering Stanford to research it fully themselves and not give too much weight to internet message boards.

    I have no doubt that your friend was really unhappy at Stanford med -- but, I can only wonder was it just because it was Stanford, or did it have to do with other factors? I ask this because I have matriculated at med school, and from personal experience (based on my experience, that of classmates, and that of friends currently attending a variety of medical schools throughout the country) -- displeasure at medical school or with aspects of medical school is not an uncommon thing. Some people get over it after the first year or two; some never get over it. The easy way out is to blame it on the med school specifically. When I was interviewing, I readily bought into this simple explanation. But my actual experience has taught me that it's not that simple. Basically my point is that at nearly every school I am familiar with, I can find some students who positively hate it there. However, I'm not sure that they would have necessarily been that much more happy elsewhere, even if they have convinced themselves otherwise.

    As for your own personal hospital comment (I'm assuming that was your comment and not your friend's this time -- if I'm wrong and offending you in any way, I apologize in advance) that Penn is the superior hospital, I have no knowledge, so I feel it is unfair of me to comment. I wasn't trying to dodge your point. I didn't bother applying to Penn last year, so I did minimal research on the school, and I have no direct first-hand experience with it. Penn may very well have superior clinical teaching. Penn may very well not have superior clinical training -- but, I will avoid commenting on things which I do not have direct knowledge of. My only advice on this point, which I believe I've alluded to in any earlier post, is that someone should take a look at the matchlists from both schools, and try to talk to as many 4th years as possible, and get their take about the clinical training. I know for a fact that Stanford students generally match well; I assume that Penn students also match well. Thus, at a certain point I think you are splitting hairs here -- if Stanford had drastically inferior clinical training, I think this would show through the matchlist eventually. Finally, clinical teaching in medical school will not be the end-all, be-all of your clinical career. If you are lacking in certain skills and acumen upon starting internship, you should be able to pick up the necessary skills quickly during your internship and the rest of residency. You may be at a disadvantage initially, but it is something that should balance out during the course of the first year.
     
  20. The Fly

    The Fly Senior 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 lilycat:
    <strong>The Fly -- I wasn't trying to harp on spelling issues -- I usually don't care. It just stood out to me while I was trying to type my response. I'm sorry if you found it insulting in any way.

    I wasn't trying to say that were your points personally -- I realize that you were attempting to paraphrase comments a friend had made. I don't think I'm "taking the Stanford bashing" a little too hard -- I don't really have anything invested in that school since I am not a med student there, and I wasn't gung-ho about the undergrad experience. That being said, I think I have a reasonably balanced perspective on the school, which you don't often see on these boards. There is a lot of Stanford bashing, much of it I find to be undeserved, or at least not well founded in actual experience or facts.

    As to my first point regarding cost of living -- I was not trying to equate quality of living with cost of living -- I think that was quite a misleading leap of logic you took there, and not one that was supported by my post. My point was that living in Palo Alto was not any more expensive than living/going to school in many cities throughout the nation. This purely talking about COST alone. However, intentionally or accidentally, you did make the very good point that Palo Alto is not a city, and thus does not have easy access to things that people may considered justified by the cost of living in SF, NYC, LA, such as opera companies, museums, theater, etc.

    However I totally stand by my point that Palo Alto is not any more expensive than Boston, SF, NYC, or LA, assuming you are living in a half-decent area in any of those cities. My basis for this -- renting and apartment-hunting in Palo Alto for nearly 3 years, renting and apartment-hunting in San Francisco, helping friends apartment-hunt and relocate to: NYC, LA, SF, and Boston. Actually one of my friends from undergrad is just now relocating to Boston to work at Mass General -- she is actually paying slightly more for a comparable situation in Boston to the one she left in Palo Alto. You can disagree with me if you like, but I think it's only fair to point out that there are two very different perspectives on this issue from sources who appear to have done some research on it. If cost of living in Palo Alto is a serious concern, I can only advise someone considering Stanford to research it fully themselves and not give too much weight to internet message boards.

    I have no doubt that your friend was really unhappy at Stanford med -- but, I can only wonder was it just because it was Stanford, or did it have to do with other factors? I ask this because I have matriculated at med school, and from personal experience (based on my experience, that of classmates, and that of friends currently attending a variety of medical schools throughout the country) -- displeasure at medical school or with aspects of medical school is not an uncommon thing. Some people get over it after the first year or two; some never get over it. The easy way out is to blame it on the med school specifically. When I was interviewing, I readily bought into this simple explanation. But my actual experience has taught me that it's not that simple. Basically my point is that at nearly every school I am familiar with, I can find some students who positively hate it there. However, I'm not sure that they would have necessarily been that much more happy elsewhere, even if they have convinced themselves otherwise.

    As for your own personal hospital comment (I'm assuming that was your comment and not your friend's this time -- if I'm wrong and offending you in any way, I apologize in advance) that Penn is the superior hospital, I have no knowledge, so I feel it is unfair of me to comment. I wasn't trying to dodge your point. I didn't bother applying to Penn last year, so I did minimal research on the school, and I have no direct first-hand experience with it. Penn may very well have superior clinical teaching. Penn may very well not have superior clinical training -- but, I will avoid commenting on things which I do not have direct knowledge of. My only advice on this point, which I believe I've alluded to in any earlier post, is that someone should take a look at the matchlists from both schools, and try to talk to as many 4th years as possible, and get their take about the clinical training. I know for a fact that Stanford students generally match well; I assume that Penn students also match well. Thus, at a certain point I think you are splitting hairs here -- if Stanford had drastically inferior clinical training, I think this would show through the matchlist eventually. Finally, clinical teaching in medical school will not be the end-all, be-all of your clinical career. If you are lacking in certain skills and acumen upon starting internship, you should be able to pick up the necessary skills quickly during your internship and the rest of residency. You may be at a disadvantage initially, but it is something that should balance out during the course of the first year.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hmmm. Indeed, Liliyat, I appreciate your well thought out and cogent remarks in response to my hastily written last post.

    Furthermore, I DO agree with much of what you have to say. As far as the cost of living issue, I would argue that it is IMPOSSIBLE to separate quality of living with cost of living in this particular context ?- If a given town (X) is as expensive as a much larger and desirable town (Y) then it would seem nearly senseless to compare the relative costs if town X is completely undesirable ? indeed, the cost of living may be comparable, but it is entirely irrelevant. This is an extreme case, to be sure, but it nonetheless gets at my point. Palo Alto may not be more expensive than Boston, NYC or LA but even if it is nearly as expensive, that should say something if the town bestows few positives when compared to the other cities in question. These cities may or may not be more expensive to live in than Palo Alto but to say that quality of living can be separated from cost of living seems entirely ludicrous to me ? the combination of the two factors is precisely what is and should be important when selecting a place to live (assuming other factors aren?t pertinent).

    Of course, you know that the cost of living at Stanford is a really important issue on campus, and I would argue, more important than many other comparable urban institutions precisely because of the expense and relative lack of available housing due to the small size of the area.

    With respect to unhappiness at SU vs. other schools ? indeed, it would be inappropriate and incorrect to assume he would have been happy anywhere (or somewhere) else. However, when considering the topic of this thread, all I can do to offer advice is to compare the experiences of friends at this school in contrast to other similarly ranked schools. If I came off as trying to make Penn sound like it is all that and a bag of chips, then I must apologize. For me, Penn was the best choice relative to my other options (Yale, WUSTL, Pitt. . . ) but I didn?t receive an acceptance or waitlist for Stanford, and as such, I am guilty of not knowing as much about the school as I would have had I been considered for something other than rejection ? I can only relay the experiences of those who I know went to the school and compare it with those who attended similarly ranked institutions.

    And the comment regarding the hospital is less my personal feelings and more those of my dad?s best friend (residency director in ortho at UCLA) who brought this up at dinner the last time I was home and we went out ? we got into a huge discussion about academic hospitals and their relationships with their respective schools and SU was prominently featured in our talk. I can only assume that he knows far more about these hospitals than I do and that formed the basis for my hospital comment. Lastly, regarding match lists, I think it is a fallacy to use match lists as an indicator of the strength of their respective schools? hospitals ? indeed, there are a great many factors that come into play here. Furthermore, one may gain a desirable residency and STILL not have as good a clinical experience as they would have had at an institution of comparable reputability. I would argue that these two years (when the jr. clinician still has a great deal of plasticity) are essential in the creation of the qualities that will form the persona that this future physician will embody.

    Regardless, I have enjoyed our discussion and you have given me much to think about in these posts. I wish you the best in your medical school endeavours and thank you for an intellectual discussion.

    Sincerely,

    Geoffrey
     
  21. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Geoffrey -- It has actually been a pleasant exerpience discussing this with you as well.

    Quality of life vs. cost of living -- I see your point that it is misleading to try and separate the two. However, that of course would lead to a consideration of how to define quality of life, which we probably can both agree is a highly personal and subjective definition. For me, while I enjoy some of the things that large cities have to offer, I know I do not take advantage of them nearly enough for them to really factor into what I personally define in my quality of life -- ie, symphony, opera, theater, museums, good nightclubs, etc. However, I do really enjoy outdoor activities such as running, hiking, and biking, and having the feel of open space around me, even if it is a somewhat illusory feeling. Thus, for me, I consider Palo Alto to have a fairly good quality of life compared to many cities. Suburbs may be boring, but everything I have to have is right there (good restaurants, decent bars, good coffeehouses, good bookstores, fairly decent ethnic diversity in the surrounding areas, good shopping, good level of safety), and things that l like having access to (outdoor recreational areas) are right there as well. Plus, I feel that the city (San Francisco) is close enough that I did not feel deprived of the lures of the big city -- the nightlife, live music clubs, the arts, etc. However, for someone craving a truly urban experience or a truly rural experience would be dissatisfied with Palo Alto because it would fall short of their expectations and needs.

    I totally agree that cost of living is and should be an important factor, and the lack of on-campus housing available to entire graduate student population at Stanford has been a source of concern for many years, even before the dot-com boom. However, while the cost of living near Stanford is high, it is manageable and is not necessarily any more than in other cities and suburbs throughout the country.

    I did not mean to imply that matchlists of a hospital or specific program are indications of the strength of that program necessarily; rather my point was that the matchlists of a graduating class do give you some idea of the relative strength of that class. If Stanford continually produced subpar clinicians, I think that would ultimately affect their matchlist -- certain hospitals and programs, if they felt continually burned by students from a certain school, they would no longer continue to interview or rank students from that school. The fact that this hasn't happened, and that Stanford students continue to match well (numerous matches at UCSF, the Harvard hospitals, UCLA, etc.), considering that these are some of the most competitive and sought-after programs to get into, tells me that Stanford must be doing something right, both in the preclinical and the clinical years. If Stanford really had subpar training, I honestly doubt that they would continually match well -- the bad reputation would have to catch up with them at some time.
    (By the way, if you are interested, here is the

    <a href="http://216.239.33.100/search?q=cache:tRGBJSDJNLcC:hungover:eansnewsletter.stanford.edu/word_docs/2002_Residency_Match.doc+stanford+match+list&hl=en" target="_blank">Stanford 2002 Match</a>

    As for anecdotal evidence, we could probably go on for hours -- I could tell you what our friend, the chief of neurosurgery at UCLA said about Stanford, you could come back to me with another friend and colleague, and on and on. But, I think ultimately it would detract from the original point of this thread and would not really answer anyone's questions.

    Stanford, like all medical schools, has lots of good points and bad points. We've been spending a lot of time covering its bad points, and very little on its good ones. For someone who has serious interests outside of medicine, and would like the opportunity to develop those interests, I honestly feel that Stanford is an outstanding place to attend medical school, because of it's five-year plan and the flexibility, creativity, and originality that is encouraged by the administration with this five-year plan. Whether or not that's enough to overcome some of the bad points of the school must be a personal decision for those fortunate enough to decide. :)
     
  22. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year 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 matthew0126:
    <strong>CD4 -- just to add to the mix, I have 2 friends that recently turned Stanford down for reasons that sound awefully similar to the ones you listed.

    lilycat -- wow, gotta respect how much time and effort you put in defending your school. :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Matthew, I put a lot of time and effort into defending any school or issue that I feel has been unfairly represented. UCSD (the school I believe you are planning to attend) is a perfect example. I interivewed there last year, liked many parts about the school, but honestly encountered many unhappy students. However, I posted about it earlier this year to warn people that they may want to take some of those impressions with a grain of salt -- I've met enough bitching and whining med students this year at many different schools, plus experienced my own disappointments, that I feel that some of UCSD's negative reputation is undeserved. I have nothing invested in UCSD (never attended a single program there), besides the fact that I feel it gets a somewhat undeserved bad rap.
     
  23. CD4

    CD4 Junior Member

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    You have all been incredibly helpful and generous in helping me with my decision. I have an exam tomorrow so I can't write much but I just want to say a very heartfelt THANK YOU! I know everyone is busy and the fact that you're all willing to write so much to help me despite how busy you all must be is deeply appreciated.
     
  24. CD4

    CD4 Junior Member

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    I would like to quickly add though Geoffrey, that your claim about Stanford's hospital being "inferior" did surprise me. I have always thought that Stanford University Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the country. I know it's not exactly bustling with patients in the middle of NYC, Boston, or San Francisco, but it is still a major referral center and they do some awesome medicine there like some of the newest transplant techinques, nuerosurgery, and cancert treatments, etc. Whenever U.S. News has done it's Best Hospitals issue in the summer, Stanford Hospital has always been a "top ten" hospital, often ranked higher than HUP and even Columbia Presbyterian. Rankings are far from everything but you gotta think there is something right about Stanford Hospital to always be ranked so high. This year's rankings are at

    <a href="http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/health/hosptl/honorroll.htm" target="_blank">http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/health/hosptl/honorroll.htm</a>

    Do you perhaps mean that even though Stanford Hospital may be a great hospital, for whatever reason it may not offer good, hands-on, clinical training for medical students?
     
  25. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    CD4 -- I can't speak for Geoffrey, but I have heard a few criticisms of Stanford's clinical training -- however, they don't impress me as being that distinctly different from complaints I've heard at many other schools, so I'm not sure how much credence to give them.

    One complaint actually from students there is that you don't actually get to do that much on your rotations at the Stanford Hospital, probably because it is a private hospital, as opposed to the public sites like Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the VA. This seems to be a pretty common theme with most schools with large private hospitals. I've heard similar complaints at Wash U and Harvard. However, obviously this can vary greatly with the rotation and the attendings. And you're right in that Stanford (as well as Santa Clara Valley) are huge referral centers for the area, all the way down to San Luis Obispo county, I believe.

    Another complaint I've heard about Stanford's clinical training is that there is not a lot of diversity in patient care. I personally think this is more of a misconception. In my job there, I worked on a daily basis with a large portion of the pediatric population, and there was a ton of diversity. People tend to assume that because Stanford Hospital is in a wealthy area, that that is the primary patient base which just isn't true. While I was working there, I heard that the majority of Stanford patients were on Medicare, Medicaid, or CalMed. You see pretty much every ethnic group and socioeconomic group at all of the hospitals in the Stanford system. Again, this was my first-hand experience working there, as well as my experience while my mom was a patient there for the last 10 years, both inpatient and outpatient. This experience has also been backed up by the few Stanford students that check these boards, so I feel this is a pretty fair description. Honestly, I'm not sure how the diversity of patient population compares to a big city hospital -- my guess is that you will see more in an urban location. But for a suburbran location, I think it actually offers a tremendous variety of experience.

    I can't think of other critiques off of the top of my head. Again, I would advise you to look at the matchlist and talk to students at both schools. Penn may very well have an edge on clinical training -- with the condensed curriculum alone, Penn students have an extra 6 months that could be spent on additional clinical training. But, to an extent I really do feel that you are splitting hairs here. Good luck with your decision.
     
  26. choker

    choker Senior Member
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    if you can't decide, pick freakin penn already so i can get in off stanford's waitlist. at least give the spot to someone who is dying to go.
     
  27. The Fly

    The Fly Senior 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 CD4:
    <strong>I would like to quickly add though Geoffrey, that your claim about Stanford's hospital being "inferior" did surprise me. I have always thought that Stanford University Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the country. I know it's not exactly bustling with patients in the middle of NYC, Boston, or San Francisco, but it is still a major referral center and they do some awesome medicine there like some of the newest transplant techinques, nuerosurgery, and cancert treatments, etc. Whenever U.S. News has done it's Best Hospitals issue in the summer, Stanford Hospital has always been a "top ten" hospital, often ranked higher than HUP and even Columbia Presbyterian. Rankings are far from everything but you gotta think there is something right about Stanford Hospital to always be ranked so high. This year's rankings are at

    <a href="http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/health/hosptl/honorroll.htm" target="_blank">http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/health/hosptl/honorroll.htm</a>

    Do you perhaps mean that even though Stanford Hospital may be a great hospital, for whatever reason it may not offer good, hands-on, clinical training for medical students?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Indeed, inferior may be too strong a word, and I wish I could point you to a body of research that I conducted. However, all I can offer is my assessment of all the physicians I know in CA that deal with residents -- and the consensus seems to be that the quality of care has suffered greatly since the disasterous merger with UCSF that ended in complete failure and a quarter billion in losses for the two hospials -- which, for hospitals, is an exceedingly high price to pay.

    Also -- Remember that US News is a horrible publication!!!!!!!! Ever tried reading an issue that wasn't a 'best this or best that' issue ?? It's terrible! US News and world distort should never be used as proof of quality! :p :)
     
  28. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy 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 WatchaMaCallit:
    <strong>lemme ease ur pain bro

    <a href="http://www.amsa.org/resource/cardev/medresults.cfm" target="_blank">AMSA</a></strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">GREAT WEBSITE!!!! THANKS! :D <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  29. rajneel1

    rajneel1 Senior Member
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    stanford students are known to be very happy, match very well, benefit from the flexible curriculum, and graduate with low debt. so stanford must be doing something right!
    i think this post could be about any medical school. it's all about what you want from a medical education which is obviously different for each person.
     
  30. MissMedicine

    MissMedicine Senior 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 CD4:
    <strong>You have all been incredibly helpful and generous in helping me with my decision. I have an exam tomorrow so I can't write much but I just want to say a very heartfelt THANK YOU! I know everyone is busy and the fact that you're all willing to write so much to help me despite how busy you all must be is deeply appreciated.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">So what did you decide? What were you trying to decide between anyway?
     
  31. schaunard

    schaunard Junior Member

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    Lilycat, thanks for balancing the scales with respect to Stanford. Granted, Stanford has its problems, but I'm a little weary of people bagging on the school based on limited exposure and biased anecdotal evidence. Stanford has a lot to offer to the right kind of student, just like any other school of its caliber.
     
  32. The Fly

    The Fly Senior 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 schaunard:
    <strong>Lilycat, thanks for balancing the scales with respect to Stanford. Granted, Stanford has its problems, but I'm a little weary of people bagging on the school based on limited exposure and biased anecdotal evidence. Stanford has a lot to offer to the right kind of student, just like any other school of its caliber.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Indeed, Lilycat did provide a very balanced argument and put her thoughts together very nicely.

    Thanks Lilycat! :)

    That being said, I am going to play devil's advocate and say that a good friend's sentiments regarding stanford med (who went there) and those of a residency director at a major LA teaching hospital hardly qualify as advice "based on limited exposure and biased anecdotal evidence." That's simply not the case of most (all?) of the information presented here . . .
     

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