SLU vs MCV/VCU

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strawberry10

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Jan 16, 2011
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    I got accepted to both SLU and MCV/VCU but really have no idea which school I'd like to attend. I loved both schools on my interview days and could see myself going to either, but one day I'll be totally positive on SLU and another day I'll be totally positive on MCV. So if I could get your opinions and suggestions on either or both schools that would be great.

    I'm from CA so the cost wouldn't make that much of a difference. I also kind of prefer to live in Virginia than Missouri (esp. with the safety of STL) but maybe that's not important since I'll be so busy anyway. However, it's cheaper to live in STL than Richmond, and I want to live by myself.

    SLU is P/F while MCV is Honors/HP/P/F (I think). I don't prefer P/F over grades or vice versa. I like that SLU has electives during M1 where you can do research, shadow, or participate in some other clinical experience. I really like the Foundations of Clinical Medicine at MCV but a lot of students complain about it....

    I want to go back to CA for residency. There are more Californians at SLU so I feel like the name is better known on the west coast than MCV (?) I don't now much about the clinical years at SLU but I have heard a lot about the clinical years at MCV and how I would get great exposure there, especially serving the indigent population. I'm also interested in public health and serving urban populations, and MCV has a preceptorship geared toward people interested in urban areas. However, I'm also very interested in pediatrics and I heard/read that Cardinal Glennon would give me great exposure and experience.

    So yeah, I pretty much don't know which school to choose, any help would be greatly appreciated :)
     

    docta4life

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    Jan 17, 2011
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      strawberry,

      I'm in the same boat choosing between VCU and another school. I'm constantly changing my mind with pros and cons about VCU. I think I want to go there, but have read articles like this one that make VCU really seem like it's on the decline. http://www.styleweekly.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications::Article&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&AudID=20938C672A3049EEB0CF33069AEE1AE0&tier=4&id=1AFB05A8CF02438D81EC780A9F6AB707
      Long article but the relevant stuff is toward the end. Sounds like the problems are with the issues of the president of the entire university (Rao), not just medical school and the recent budget cuts from the governor. "Many hope Rao will restore the national reputation of VCU Health System, formerly the Medical College of Virginia, which was once known as one of the top medical colleges in the country."

      Hope that helps and maybe someone else can chime in about SLU for you. Good luck finding the fit for you :luck: and congratulations for both!
       

      Therecanbeonlyo

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      Nov 5, 2010
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        Beings as I am a fourth year and have gone through the residency interview process for Ortho, I can say that it doesnt really matter where you go to medical school in terms of where you want to go for residency. I would also like to point out that almost every school has integrated early clinical experience into their curriculum, some schools are just better at selling it.

        I would make my decision based on this if it were me going through it again.
        1. Where did you feel the most comfortable - you are going to be there for 4 years...with the same group of people..if you hated the area, probably not the best choice.
        2. How was your interaction with the students? - That culture of students is more than likely the culture you're going to join. I.e. if they were coming up to you as interviewers saying that they love the place, answer all of your questions, etc. or if they were dodging all of the interviewers or spoke of how miserable that they were. If you had 0 interaction with the students, that kind of says something also, but try to figure out why you had none - i.e. they were all in class, they were in a different building, etc.

        Here's the bottom line on med school from the other side - the first 2 years are the same...they may have subtle differences, but they are going to teach you the same stuff. Early clinical experience is super helpful when it comes to third year clerkships.

        The only other thing you could look at is where they match in residency - but there is a caveat to that, just because no one from that school has never gone there doesn't mean that you can't go there. If you are motivated in school, finish at the top of your class and kill your boards you can go from anywhere to anywhere...

        Now, i would also like to point out that I do not go to either of those schools listed.
         
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        strawberry10

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        Jan 16, 2011
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          strawberry,

          I'm in the same boat choosing between VCU and another school. I'm constantly changing my mind with pros and cons about VCU. I think I want to go there, but have read articles like this one that make VCU really seem like it's on the decline. http://www.styleweekly.com/ME2/Audi...E0&tier=4&id=1AFB05A8CF02438D81EC780A9F6AB707
          Long article but the relevant stuff is toward the end. Sounds like the problems are with the issues of the president of the entire university (Rao), not just medical school and the recent budget cuts from the governor. "Many hope Rao will restore the national reputation of VCU Health System, formerly the Medical College of Virginia, which was once known as one of the top medical colleges in the country."

          Hope that helps and maybe someone else can chime in about SLU for you. Good luck finding the fit for you :luck: and congratulations for both!

          Thanks for the article. Yeah, an M2 I met during my interview talked kind of brushed the subject. He said that because the med school is associated with VCU, it doesn't have the reputation that is reflective of how great the school really is, especially with the med school now being called VCU instead of MCV. Practically all the students there call it MCV though.
           

          vman51

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          Apr 5, 2008
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            I'm an MS1 at SLU, just wanted to chime in on the P/F for the first two years - it really is a nice safety net. Granted, no one wants to just barely pass, but knowing that spending an extra 2 hours per day won't show up anywhere on your transcript takes some pressure off (granted you may need to know alot of the material for Step 1, but not all of it by any means)

            It also makes the environment here much more friendly, but I can't compare that to MCV

            and safety really isn't too much of a concern, as most of the stats that make stl's rankings go down come from east st. louis, across the river. Granted, its not the safest place in the world, but not as bad as people make it out to be..

            With that said, I clearly love it here, but its really dependent on where you fit the best. Good luck!
             

            Gracie84

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            Jan 26, 2007
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              I just want to say that it is confirmed that VCU will adopt P/F grading system in the coming year. So you cannot compare that. Also we have plenty of people from Cali in VCU. As a public school we accept 80 something people from out of state and majority come from Cali. I don't know much about SLU but M1 and M2 electives are also offered at VCU check them out on the website. And we can shadow any dept we like and its very easy to arrange (just an email in most cases). I am not research oriented but many of my classmates are and they find plenty of opportunities to do research.
               

              Unclipped

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              Dec 27, 2010
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                Hey Gracie,

                I was just wondering if they were changing the grading system for the class of 2015. Because I know the curriculum changes are not going to take effect until the class of 2016.

                Thanks

                I just want to say that it is confirmed that VCU will adopt P/F grading system in the coming year. So you cannot compare that. Also we have plenty of people from Cali in VCU. As a public school we accept 80 something people from out of state and majority come from Cali. I don't know much about SLU but M1 and M2 electives are also offered at VCU check them out on the website. And we can shadow any dept we like and its very easy to arrange (just an email in most cases). I am not research oriented but many of my classmates are and they find plenty of opportunities to do research.
                 

                Loops Chan

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                Jan 26, 2008
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                  Hey Gracie,

                  I was just wondering if they were changing the grading system for the class of 2015. Because I know the curriculum changes are not going to take effect until the class of 2016.

                  Thanks


                  When I interviewed there a couple of months ago Dean W-C said that the grading changes will take effect starting next year (class of 2015)....
                   

                  doremi2010

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                  Aug 12, 2009
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                    I might be in the same position as you if VCU accepts me (hopefully). The two schools are very similar, so I don't think you can go wrong with either. Maybe you can wait to see what the financial aid package is like, consider things like ease/expense of flying home for breaks, proximity to other family members, etc.
                     
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