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SLU vs. RFUMS-CMS?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by GuitarHero1, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. GuitarHero1

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    First post here. I got into both the SLU and the CMS MD programs and am having a hard time figuring out which to go to. I thought I'd ask the seasoned veterans here for ideas to think about related to these two schools that will help me make a decision. Thanks!
     
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  3. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
    Rocket Scientist Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Personally, I would go with RFU. I'd take the rotations in Chicago over the rotations at SLU. I haven't seen the match list for SLU, but I know RFU's match list is pretty impressive. That's just my gut, I interviewed at RFU last year, never interviewed at SLU so I can't really be too objective (but I am a STL native so I do know the hospital system somewhat).

    What do you think about the currriculums for the first two years? Did you have any thoughts that swayed you either way?
     
  4. Drloveme

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    Don't know about SLU, but the grading system at RFU is letters. Heard rumors that the atmosphere there is gunnerish. Are u comfortable with that grading system?
     
  5. UMP

    UMP Recovered Under-Achiever

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    RFU gets bashed around here, and SLU tends to get over rated... I'd go with location on this one... (Chicago, duh!)
     
  6. Jccripe

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    What school is SLU, sorry.
     
  7. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    Saint Louis University
     
  8. Jccripe

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    I really like RFU but I have no Idea about SLU
     
  9. Orthodoc40

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    I'd suggest SLU because I still have a chance at RFU. That's my only reasoning.... hope it helps! :laugh:
     
  10. Karrisma117

    Karrisma117 The epitome of senioritis

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    I also received acceptances at both and I like SLU a lot better. RFU doesn't have a hospital directly associated with it, and although it is technically a "Chicago" school it is still 30 min outside of downtown, 45 min with traffic I was told. Our student guide said that they are mostly pretty secluded from the city until the 3rd and 4th year. I am from Chicago and RFU's reputation doesn't even compare to the other Chicago schools, but that may not matter to the OP. Personally I would go with SLU but just go with your gut and whereever you got the impression that you would be the happiest. Good luck!
     
  11. WCGee

    WCGee Super Awesome Person

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    I would also say SLU--hospitals right across the street, block curriculum, diverse clinical exposure being right downtown, they're building or opening (don't remember which) a new research building thing which will help their rankings even more.

    Being from the Chicago area also, I second most of the above poster's comments about RFU.
     
  12. JosephFaecesMD

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    SLU hands down.

    IMO, these two schools are in completely different leagues.

    Way back when, I interviewed at both these schools. RFU really turned me off b/c of its lack of real connection to any hospital (SLU is right across the street from a major university hospital / #1 penetrating level 1 trauma center in STL). I didn't dig the north chicago campus, reminded me of hell on a bad day. Make no mistake, North Chicago is NOT Chicago.

    SLU is an excellent school with great board prep and even better clinical training. The new research building will bring $$ and satisfy the ranking-savy folks.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  13. happy snake

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    Here's some random info/both sides of the coin stuff...

    I had this discussion with some current students of CMS. They felt that having no hospital attached to the school was not a handicap at all. In fact they felt that they were getting good variety in regards to rotation sites.

    Also, I was told that at the end of the second year, you could decide to get into the MD/PhD track, or even just do your own independent research project. That said, check this out: http://researchbuilding.slu.edu/

    Location-wise, RFU is secluded. Very much so. There is NOTHING to do in the city of North Chicago. You may take the train to Milwaukee or Chicago. But seriously, how much time will you have to kill, to be able to afford such a trip? So yes, you are out in the middle of nowhere for the first two years. I would trade a social life for some seclusion in med school. Saint Louis rotations will be good, but its a tough thing to say that it'll be better than any Chicago rotation experience. They both have a vibrant crime scene, but if you want more reputation St. Louis is more vibrant!

    About the name and reputation. Listen, in the end it all boils down to how much hard work you put in. What your scores are. So unless the school has lost its accredidation, etc, there is no reason for worry.

    How expensive is SLU compared to RFU. RFU can get pretty pricey over 4 years.

    Finally, there is high turnover at RFU come May. Some feel this counts negatively against a university; when many students leave when offered an acceptance elsewhere.

    Cheers! Sorry I confused you more!
     
  14. thedelicatessen

    thedelicatessen In Memory of Riley Jane
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    I interviewed with a faculty member at RFU who said the Step 2 scores of the students are below the national average likely and attributed that to the fact that there isn't an official teaching hospital affiliated with the school. Plus, the student host/tour guides on my interview day, though they seemed happy, said they chose that school because of family ties or because they lacked other options. However, their match list is pretty impressive. I declined my SLU interview, so I can't comment on that school. Just some food for thought...
     
  15. Moniker

    Moniker Member

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    there's no way this is 1) true, and 2) relevent at all. residency matches are chosen based on Step I (unless you do poorly on Step I and elect to take and report Step II scores early), and most programs just require that you just pass Step II before you start residency. rest assured, our clinical education is not lacking, we have several "official teaching hospitals associated with the school". Step 2? Where did that come from? honestly.

    Again about the students reasons for coming to CMS, plenty turn down other schools. however, taking the bait, to address your assertion that there are lots of people that opt for other schools given the opportunity, i'm sure the plethora of misinformation and naivete by premeds out there is a big factor. i love it here, am getting a great education, and know we have access to a lot of great opportunities.
     
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  17. GuitarHero1

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    Whoa I'm glad for all the responses. It's interesting how there are people who say SLU and people who say CMS and people who say it doesn't matter. Are there any SLUers around that can talk about their block schedule, systems based curriculum and how it prepared them for the boards?
     
  18. Vano

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    I'm faced with the same decision of SLUvsRFU and I decided on SLU, will be clearing my RFU spot shortly for you who are waiting out there:) Reputation outside of the top 10-15 elite schools doesn't matter much, both SLU and RFU have good match lists, it's more about how you study. For me major deciding factors were proximity of teaching hospitals and surroundings, since both are rather similar money wise, with RFU, I think, giving slightly less scholarship/grant money. Make no mistake about it RFU has great teaching hospitals--Lutheran General, Cook County, Mount Sinai--but they're all interspersed so you might have to do a lot of moving, driving during your rotations; SLU on the other hand also has good University hospital, good Children's next to it, and WashU hospitals aren't far either so you can do a rotation there and maybe even get a LOR from some renowned person there, at the same time, Chicago isn't that far so you could do an away rotation in Chicagoland if interested. SLU also has a number of student run clinics which could give you early clinical exposure during pre-clinical, I'm not sure if RFU has something analogous. RFU is in the middle of nowhere(I know I live 20 min away from it), nothing in terms of cultural attractions, except if you're female there's a Navy base next to RFU all girls during my interview were staring out the windows at the Navy boys:love: Downtown is probably 45min away w/out traffic, w/ traffic on I94 it can take you hours to get from RFU to Cook County or downtown.
     
  19. zelenie

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    I'll have to disagree about RFU's "middle of nowhere" statements. I'm a hardcore, born-and-raised downtown Chicago kid, and the suburbs typically offend me personally. But visiting RFU, I actually found it rather peaceful. It's clean and quiet, with running trails around the campus. It's only a 40-minute drive to the city, which is actually nothing in Chicago Commuting Terms (Example: it often takes me 60 minutes to take a bus 3 miles from The Loop to my place in Old Town. I can walk it in 55.) I'll be living in the Woodlands for the first 2 years and moving back to the city the second two. It's like a long, stressful vacation with cheaper rent (that's what I've convinced myself).

    I'm sure everyone will find friends with cars. And, if you haven't sufficiently schmoozed, the commuter train Metra is right by the campus.

    Jeez, ya'll make it seem like this is Champaign-Urbana or DeKalb. Ick.
     
  20. Vano

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    It's a subjective experience, I was born and raised in a european city of over a million people, and I've lived in Chicago suburbs for the past 6 years, I like city living much better. You only spent what a day or two at RFU, try living in that environment for months, you'll get bored after a while--and 40-45min drive to the city is under ideal circumstances which is almost never the case on I94
     
  21. Dr. Will

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    I lived in that environment for 3 years and was hardly bored. It really is what you make of it, and as I've said a million times on this board when the "location" is seen as a negative, there is PLENTY to do in the surrounding areas. People are just too lazy to explore, otherwise. And as for downtown...you aren't going to have much time to go down there, but it is easily accessible when you do. There were many nights when we'd go out downtown and it was not an issue. And if it really is, live downtown the first two years...there were many who did since attendance is rarely required for much these days. The location excuse is such a copout.
     
  22. Samosas

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    Go SLU!! i kinda want the RFU spot. :D
     
  23. Vano

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    You just proved my point that it's a subjective experience. I didn't mention downtown because I suggest people go there all the time, just for reference, some people came to an interview and were quite surprised to find out where it was located. It's not in Chicago. Also if those people plan on living at RFU all 4 years they need to know how long it will take them to get to training sites at Cook County and Mount Sinai.
     
  24. Dr. Will

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    No one stays in North Chicago for 3/4th year. The entire class moves downtown for clerkships. You aren't required to live in North Chicago for the first two years, for that matter. Hence, location is a copout. Whether it's Cook, Sinai, Lutheran, Christ, etc, you're better off living downtown b/c that's where most of these sites are located. I think there are many who don't understand that almost everyone moves downtown during the clinical years and complain about the location b/c of it. And as I said before, you don't have much time to go out your first two years anyways. North Chicago provides a nice location without distractions for the preclinical years.

    Regardless, choose to go where you will feel happiest and think about cost as well. I've loved RFU (and living downtown 3/4th year like everyone else), but choose what's best for you.
     
  25. andiluvsk

    andiluvsk Member

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    I chose SLU over RF and am happy I did. PM me if you want specifics.
     

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