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Stanford Med Students tell me more

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by jmejia1, Feb 7, 2002.

  1. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Hey there. I was just wondering how students use the flexible curriculum to their advantage. I have an interview there soon. I'm not too excited about research, so using the five-year plan for research is not something I'm interested in. What else can students do--any real life examples? I've surfed the stanford med website but I want to hear it from students there specifically. I've emailed at least six Stanford students and none replied. Oh well, I guess they are very busy.

    please email me at [email protected]
  2. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
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    Attending Physician
    I'm not a student at Stanford med, but I went there for undergrad and still have friends currently at the med school.

    A lot of students use the 5-year plan to decelerate their basic sciences classes, take time off to teach or work (there are a ton of TA positions that are well-funded for grad students), or just to give themselves more free time to pursue outside interests and hobbies (snowboarding, surfing, bike racing, etc.). I've also met several students who used the time to pursue an MA or MS degree in other departments of the university (like in English or History), or just to take other outside classes for fun. I think the technical advisor for "ER," Joe Sachs, got his MA in Film Production while getting his MD at Stanford.

    I also know a few students who used the time to work on volunteer/community outreach projects full-time.

    Also, don't totally discount research yet. I don't know if you have ever had any experience with clinical research, but it can be much more engaging and interesting than basic science research. Plus, if you are at all interested in competitive residencies (ie, a competitive specialty or a competitive location) research definitely help makes you a more competitive applicant.
  3. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
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    Fellow [Any Field]
    I just sent you a PM.

    Basically, Stanford expects you to at least be open to research (defined broadly). It does not have to be basic molecular biology research or anything along those lines. It can be clinical research, research or work in health policy or community service, or something like that. About 80% of all graduating students from Stanford have done some form of research while they were here, which also means that 20% have done none.

    Personally, I did the 5 year plan and spread out my preclinical classes to 3 years. During that time I did research through the Medical Scholars program (which gives you $10,000 per project), I TA'd some classes, took Spanish on the undergrad campus, was involved in several student groups, and learned how to snowboard (for starters). Everyone does the 5 year plan differently. Some people get master's degrees or PhD's, or they might go overseas on the Travelling Scholars program for example.

    I also agree with Lilycat that research experience during med school can really help you out when applying to competitive residency programs. Particularly at a school that doesn't have grades or class rank (Stanford), it's the outside experiences like research that become much more important when applying.

    As far as what electives you can take, you are allowed to take just about any class throughout the university. As far as specific med school electives, go to this website to check out the med school course catalog. <a href="http://www.med.stanford.edu/school/catalog/" target="_blank">http://www.med.stanford.edu/school/catalog/</a>

    Hope that helps!
  4. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Wow! Thanks for a different look at Stanford's curriculum. I had no idea that they were that flexible!

    Do you have any info about average indebtedness? We're most students able to come out without a lot of debt due to TA positions, research, etc? Thank you!

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