stanford med

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by rajneel1, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. rajneel1

    rajneel1 Senior Member
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    hello, any stanford medical students out there?? what is it like? where do you live? does the P/F thing work well? are the students chill? do you do research? what do you like about it? what don't you like about it? thanks.
     
  2. Jova

    Jova Member
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    Hi,

    I love Stanford. The pass/fail (and no ranking) is great; it allows more time to pursue other interests without feeling like you must study. Every class is video-taped; therefore, I do not attend class all the time, (maybe 50%). There are many very interesting electives to take, including classes at the undergrad school, law school, engineering school, business school, etc. The curriculum is very flexible and allows people to do great things while in school--have children, research, community projects, obtain an additonal degree, spend time with family, run a marathon, teach, whatever.

    The faculty are extremely supportive--and available to help students one-on-one. Everyone is nice including the financial aid staff, the Deans, the physicians, my classmates. My classmates are awesome!!

    Many students live on-campus and some live off-campus. I guess what I don't like is the high cost of living here in "Silicon Valley." However, the school makes up for this with extremely wonderful financial aid. My debt will be less than if I had attended a UC!

    I am very happy here and would recommend the school to anyone who needs to have a life outside of medschool. If you would like to retain your individual interests and be supported for continuing them, this is a great school.

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.

    Jova
     
  3. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Okay, I'll chime in too. :)

    I'm a 5th year on the 5-year plan at Stanford, so I don't remember all the details of the preclinical stuff, but I'll give you my overall impression of the school.

    First, I absolutely love it here. Stanford is a very special place with tons of opportunities in almost any area you could possibly be interested in, and people (students/faculty/housestaff/administration) actually look out for you. It's difficult to describe a typical experience at Stanford med because one of the things that attracts people here is the fact that they can individualize their education and pursue their personal interests. I took advantage of the 5-year plan and during that time I did research through the Med Scholars program, I TA'd some classes on the undergrad campus, I took Spanish on the undergrad campus, I was a freshman advisor, etc. etc. The great thing was that my life was not defined by my medical school coursework. Yes, I took all the med school classes and learned a ton from them, but I got to pursue all my other interests while I was taking classes. That does change a bit when you hit clinics (of course), but I've still been able to do clinical research and go to Stanford basketball and football games while I've been doing clinical rotations!

    During the 1st year, about half the students live on campus. Then, after that the vast majority live off campus. Typically people live in Mountain View or Redwood City, both about 10-15 minutes from the medical school. The housing prices are not as expensive as you might think, and they've actually come down a huge amount compared to 4 years ago (particularly because Silicon Valley was hit hard by the recession). Financial aid takes into account the higher cost of living here. I've actually been making money off of my financial aid because there's no way I can actually spend as much money as they calculate my yearly budget should be!

    The P/F system works great -- remember, it's even pass/fail during the clinical years, which is very unusual. We do get written evaluations by our attendings, and the positive parts of the evaluations go in our Dean's letter for residency applications. The P/F system was originally designed to encourage students to pursue other interests. The administration wants to maintain an active and diverse student body, and by de-emphasizing grades students feel like they have more flexibility to try out more things. That's not to say that students slack in class -- they still work hard and try to do well. It's just a very cooperative environment to do so.

    The students are very laid back and chill -- It's really a west-coast mentality. But that's not to say that they are not academically-oriented. What I'm trying to say is that people do work hard, but they are not in each other's faces about it, and they know how to have fun and have a life while in med school.

    The other thing I like about the school is the clinical training. I think our clinical training is excellent -- we have a huge variety in hospitals and patient populations. We see the indigent patients from San Jose at the county hospital down there, and we also see the highly rare and unusual cases that were flown in from say Reno to Stanford Hospital. Being able to rotate through a well-known academic hospital in addition to a VA hospital, an HMO hospital, and a county hospital is kind of like having the best of all worlds to get a diversity of clinical experience. In addition, Stanford is going to implement a new clinical curriculum this June which should further improve our clinical training.

    As far as what I don't like about the school, I already mentioned it in the other thread, and I'm too lazy to repeat myself! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
     
  4. Wahoo

    Wahoo Senior Member
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    AJM, could you please elaborate on how Stanford is adjusting their clinical curriculum?
     
  5. Cdc28p

    Cdc28p Senior Member
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    Bump.

    Any more Stanford students out there?
     
  6. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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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 Wahoo:
    <strong>AJM, could you please elaborate on how Stanford is adjusting their clinical curriculum?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Well, I've been a little out of the loop recently since I'm getting ready to graduate, so I don't know most of the gritty details. Basically, Stanford med has historically had some of the fewest actual required months of clinical clerkships compared to most med schools. Their reassoning for this was that they felt that they didn't want to limit student's flexibility in their clinical clerkship years. They also trusted students to make the right choices as to what extra clerkships they needed to take in order to get the experiences they need for their respective specialties. Now this has worked out very well for the most part -- most students take well above the required number of clerkships. The problem was that it was felt that there were too many students "slipping through the cracks", only taking the bare minimum. So the med school decided to further standardize the clinical years in a way that it ensures a high-quality clinical training for everyone with minimal impact on the flexibility of the students.

    Some examples of things they are changing -- a new required neurology rotation (most med schools already require this); a required critical care rotation that combines a critical care experience with some didactic training; they are creating 2 brand-new months of ambulatory care training in the medical and surgical subspecialties which will be required -- this will be an excellent rotation, and is currently being designed by the surgery rotation director and the internal medicine residency director. They are also working on a core radiology rotation -- the details haven't been worked out yet.

    Those are just the examples of what I'm aware of. I think overall it will improve the training that Stanford med students receive as a whole here.

    If you want to get a better understanding of what the overall clinical training is like here, click on this: <a href="http://lane-video-svr.stanford.edu:2020/ramgen/StudentResources/clerkship2002.smi" target="_blank">Streaming Video</a>
    It's a video of all the different clerkship directors talking to 2nd years (or 3rd out of 5s) about the core clerkships they will be taking. It will probably have more detail than you care for, but you can skip around to any clerkship you want to hear about.

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    One more thing --
    If you are considering Stanford med, I encourage you to come to the Admit weekend, April 19th-21st!

    It's a ton of fun, very informative, and you will be able to meet potential future classmates!
     
  8. Cdc28p

    Cdc28p Senior Member
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    Thanks so much, AJM. The streaming video is very informative.
     
  9. Wahoo

    Wahoo Senior Member
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    Thanks AJM! Good luck next year, wherever you ended up. Maybe I'll run into you at the 2nd look--I'll be there.
     
  10. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Thanks! I actually am going to stay at Stanford, my first choice, for residency. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />

    But I probably won't be here for 2nd look -- I'll most likely be out of town by then. But if you decide to come to Stanford, then I'll probably see you around! I may even be your resident in a couple of years! :D

    I just read your recent posts in the pre-allo forum about your tough decision. I think you really can't go wrong with any of the schools you're considering -- they're all great schools and will give you a wonderful education. What I think your decision really comes down to is the personal factors -- how you like the other students, if you're comfortable and have things you like to do in the area you're in, whether it's easy to get to your family, etc. If the other schools offer 2nd look weekends as well, go to those too. They will give you a much better sense of each school than you were ever able to get on your interview days.

    I probably don't need to mention that I noticed a lot of anti-Stanford biases from certain posters on the pre-allo threads. I'm not going to respond to them because I won't say anything different than what I've already said in this thread. What they are bringing up are the common misconceptions that many non-Stanford med students have about the school. The only further thing I will say is that particularly over the last year Stanford Hospital has been overflowing with patients. Their patient census has been higher than it ever has been in the past, and they almost never have empty beds! It actually makes me kind of nervous as an incoming intern, because I'll sure have my work cut out for me!

    Good luck with your decision, and let me know if you have any other questions.
     

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