SIU people.. opinions please.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by HamOnWholeWheat, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. HamOnWholeWheat

    HamOnWholeWheat Senior Member

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    Hey all,

    I'm interested in attending SIU but had a few questions about the school.

    1) I've heard the school focuses on primary care. Is this focus reflected in the residency placements of the students? For example, is it difficult to get a radiology or anesthesiology residency out of SIU?

    2) How bad is Carbondale, or does it even matter (I don't imagine I'll have a lot of time to enjoy the city anyway)?

    3) I've heard a lot of people say that SIU is the bottom of their list of IL schools. Why is that, do you suppose?

    Thanks!

    HamOn
     
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  3. kidmel45

    kidmel45 Member

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    I have to say that before I interviewed at SIU, it was at the bottom of my list too (probably because it had the word "southern" in it). After the interview, I knew that I'd go there over UIC. After taking and passing our first set of finals, I have to say that this school is AWESOME!! The M1 year has been great so far. Life in Carbondale is lacking to say the least, but it's not too bad since we study quite a bit.

    SIU is not too research based, which can make people think it is a bad school. You can do research if you want, but it's not a huge focus. This is exactly what I was looking for. I'd rather focus on the patient and leave the research to people who love it. Our cirriculum is problem based and kind of systems based. A group of 6 of us (plus a faculty mentor) get a case, learn the basic sciences of the case based on how the patient presents. We also learn a little pharm and path in addition to biochem, physio, etc. of normal M1s. We each get assigned to a mentor and have to spend 16 hrs per unit with them. I've actually identified a carotid bruit and discussed a possible diagnosis and treatment with my mentor. The school seems to produce a lot of FP, I think, because some students want to come back to the southern/central IL area and practice and FP is in the highest demand there. In the past, we've had students place in highly ranked programs (which specialties, I don't know).

    Carbondale has bars and deer and that's about it. The undergrads have the bars pretty well covered. People here like to hunt, which totally threw me off. Patients we see here seem to have stock in tobacco companies. Culture is minimal unless you drive to Kentucky or St. Louis (even that is a stretch. Chicago is 5.5-6 hours away). We do study a lot, but there are some nice state parks and wineries (sp?) close by that some classmates have visited and loved. It is what you make of it I think. I don't think Springfield it too much better for the last 3 yrs, but you can go to other cities/states and do rotations 4th year so it's not too bad.

    I know I seem like a big cheerleader for SIU, but it's SO not the stereotype people think it to be. Everything we learn seems important because it actually is relevant to the case we're studying. I remember things better because it is my job to look it up, explain it to classmates and learn it. It's easy to relate it to the case we're studying and apply it to future cases. One of my profs said that Harvard based their PBLM on our previous cirriculum, but that they would never admit it. I don't have any proof, but one of my classmates said they had heard the same thing.

    So....this got long quick. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to answer them!
     
  4. HamOnWholeWheat

    HamOnWholeWheat Senior Member

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    KidMel,

    Thanks for the info. That's exactly what I wanted to hear! I'm interviewing in Springfield in a couple of weeks, and wanted to make sure I could honestly say I liked what I've heard about the school. My motivations are similar to yours (hands-on, problem-based focus, not interested in research), so it sounds like SIU could potentially be a good fit.

    I can't wait to interview! Thanks again!

    HamOn
     
  5. *fatmike*

    *fatmike* Member

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    I have also interviewed at SIU..and loved it! Going into it, it was my LAST choice of the 12 schools that i applied to. The only thing that will hold me back from attending if i am accepted is the location, Springfield was extremely unimressive and i am not sure if i could live there. But the students seemed really happy and unstressed! they said that they loved PBL and everything about the school. When you go to interview, talk to as many of the students as you can, it will give you a great perspective on the school. goodluck.
     
  6. HamOnWholeWheat

    HamOnWholeWheat Senior Member

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    Hey KissAce, what day are you interviewing, and which campus? Maybe I'll see you there.

    Ham On
     
  7. odelay

    odelay Member

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    "culture is minimal?"

    what a snobby thing to say.
     
  8. siempre595

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    I'm an Illinois resident and decided not to apply to SIU. I think it is primarily a location/atmosphere thing for me. I'm from a pretty small town (smaller than Springfield) and am very familiar with the campuses. I haven't been terribly impressed with the life in that area and just wasn't something I personally wanted to spend more time living. I don't think it's wrong to say that culture is minimal there. It may sound snobby, but I think there are aspects about all areas that simply may be true. Southern Illinois has a major stigma of being lower class, poor, rural, underserved, and not too exciting. This is not an entirely bad thing. If you want to work in rural medicine or an underserved area, which is incredibly worthwhile, it is a great place, but it is not for everyone. I think most Illinois people move it down on their list because they would rather be in Chicago, where all the other Illinois schools are (except some UIC campuses). If you are used to big city life, SIU is very very different. I have an acquaintance who goes there and has some complaints regarding the PBL format. I also think this is a personal preference issue, he simply doesn't like PBL. I'd think about all that stuff, and ask for their match list to see what kind of places you'd be looking at for your future. I think it's a pretty wide range.
     
  9. odelay

    odelay Member

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    but still, in the context of that quote i was deeply offended. i come from southern illinois, and some of the "opinions" on this board of my hometown area disgust me.

    i define "culture" as a collective of intellectual and artistic activity, and to say an area has "minimal culture" is to deflect a social hierarchy in a degrading way. i believe i should refer such types to the "does medical school make one cocky" thread.

    i should reassure all of the northern Illinoisians that i am not racist, my neighbors are not racist, and correspondingly - i have witnessed more prejudice in these message boards than i ever have in my own streets and high school.

    i imagine most of you have responded in interviews that you have chosen the path of medicine because "you want to help" and your "care about all people." well, why put down some town you visited for an afternoon just because it doesn't have as many highways as your neighborhood?

    this is so ridiculous.

    i'm sorry for venting, but i'm tired of my home getting crapped on.
     
  10. ForceField

    ForceField Impervious

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    Regarding residency placements, very few students actually place into specialties, like 1 in orthopaedics, 1 in radiology, etc. out of 72 students total. It is very difficult for you to do rotations in your 3rd and 4th year in specialties, as the school wants you to complete your primary care stuff as the main rotations. They do not help you in scheduling rotations for specialties, you have to make the phonecalls, you have to put it together.

    I've applied to and have been accepted at SIU, but am not sure if I will be going there. I also have a lot of friends at SIU, and that's why I know about placing in specialties.
     
  11. siempre595

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    In response to odelay:

    If you're referring to my post, I've spent MUCH more time than an afternoon in Southern Illinois. I am from an Illinois town where the SIU residents work. I know several students who are currently students at SIU. And I have a great deal of family that live in Southern Illinois. I am NOT from Northern Illinois, nor am I personally a fan of the Chicago area, that, too, is a personal preference. However, I would argue that Chicago does offer a greater "cultural" scene as many people would define culture. I simply do not agree that you can compare the "collective of intellectual and artisitc activity" of Northern and Southern Illinois. What you enjoy depends on who you are. I am not going to argue about the definition of culture. If my post in any way had references to S. Illinois persons as racist I do not see it. However, I would argue, from personal experience, that my town has problems with racism. I think this is due to lack of education and diversity. I am not speaking for all of Southern Illinois, every area is different. Culture is hardly based on the number of highways passing through a city. And I have read the "does medical school make one cocky thread." If anything, applying makes one rather humbled, except for the few genuises on here who are getting in everywhere maybe. I hardly feel cocky for describing an area I have lived in for 22 years in an honest manner to a person who is considering going to medical school there. I am not knocking small towns or Southern Illinois. My parents chose it, my friends chose it, but I have not chosen to remain there. The original poster asked why people who had made this choice did so. And I answered.
     
  12. whatfun

    whatfun Member

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    I didn't apply to SIU and I don't know much about it, but I found the discussion here interesting and just wanted to add my perspective on the general rural vs. urban discussion.

    I grew up in a very small town in rural WI and decided to go to college in Chicago. I enjoy Chicago and decided to work here for a little while after graduating and I've decided to go to medical school here, as well.

    As for the differences between urban and rural, I think the idea of "culture" is frequently put out in terms of quantity and not in terms of comparisons in qualities or perspectives. Many people generically say there is "more culture" in the city because there are more ethnic groups in urban areas with different ideas, beliefs and customs, as a result.

    Rural areas also have their own culture, even though it may not offer as much diversity. As a result, culture is more self-contained and "provincial", not necessarily in a bad way. It just that people are mainly familiar with more similar ideas and concerns and therefore that culture is paramount. It might not be appealing to someone seeking diverse cultural offerings, but there is a culture there, and the fact that other cultures do not exist there does not make the place backward.

    I think many rural areas aren't intentionally racist and many people there would not consider themselves racist. I think they simply do not interact with many people of other races or cultures and therefore ideas are based upon misinformation (opinions of others, TV, etc.). It's not based on interaction with others. I speak from experience on this, as I whole-heartedly believed myself as not racist when I started college, but when I'd board a bus and I was the only white person on board, I felt awkward and nervous. It wasn't because I wanted to - it was because I never experienced being a minority before and I'd never lived amongst different people before. Now, after 6 years, I don't feel that way. I consider myself a part of the city, and I interact, work and play with many different people and I enjoy it. I feel my life is more interesting and fulfilling as a result of the diversity in the city.

    Sorry for the ranting, but I just wanted to share my perspective.
     
  13. kidmel45

    kidmel45 Member

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    can't say i'm sorry that you found my comment snobish. can't please everyone all the time. i know that med school has not made me cocky. i felt that so. il. had little to "do" when I was 10 (way before med school) and visited relatives down here. all i know is that when my classmates are trying to encourage me to head out to yet another smoke filled bar, i look for other things to do. it was easy when it was warmer, being outside and all, but now it's a bit harder. while i wish there were more concerts, plays, and museums to visit here, the outdoors here are awesome. I just realized tonight that i could actually SEE the stars here. Another plus is that i don't have to listen to a traffic report, because there is NO traffic. It's just that after you get outside of Carbondale, it's harder to find people with a skin color other than white. It's no one's fault that's just the way it is. At my mentor's office, we see 20-30 pts per 4 hrs on the days i'm there. I've yet to see someone who is other than white. honestly, i'm learning more about other "cultures" here with my classmates that i was in the suburbs of chicago. i wasn't bashing so. il. or being snobish or sticking any subconscious notion of a hierarchy in my post. i just was trying to jot down my thoughts on the area quick to give a snapshot of MY experience. I did say that siu isn't the stereotype that is usually portrayed. and honestly, as we get further into the year, it doesn't really matter what kind of culture there is in the area anyway. I don't see much outside of our building other than the rec center and the walmart! :) good luck kids!!
     

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