Stanford vs. CWRU?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Lis, May 10, 2001.

  1. Lis

    Lis Junior Member
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    Hi--I've come down to the wire in choosing a med school and am hoping someone can give me some input. Does anybody have anything to say about the relative merits of Case Western vs. Stanford? CWRU would seem to be a better choice for me for a number of reasons (systems-based, hospitality to non-trad students, primary care orientation, and a serious significant other in Cleveland) but for some reason I just can't shake the thought of Stanford. Maybe it's just that I did an MA at CWRU (unrelated to medicine) and wasn't happy in that department. Maybe I'm just fixated on the sunshine in CA.

    Actually, the thing that's really seems to be holding me up is that Stanford has made efforts make me feel wanted and the only communication I've had from CWRU is a letter a few weeks ago letting me know that if I don't want my spot in the class, there are plenty of people who do. Is this me being petty or is this a sign of real differences between the two medical schools?

    Thanks for any input you all can provide.
     
  2. brentunc

    brentunc Member
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    Lis,
    I was in a situation somewhat similar to yours - I knew that Case Western was my favorite school, but in the back of my head I kept thinking about Hopkins. Also, Pitt treated me far and away better than any of the six schools that I was accepted at - They sent a personal acceptance letter, had a student call me to talk with me... the list goes on. Regardless of all of that, I just could not get Case out of my head. I was a little disappointed because they did not have a second visit weekend and they didn't seem overly thrilled to have me. However, once I called the secretary (Mrs. English) after being accepted, her attitude totally changed from what it had previously been. I think that she is somewhat short with people who are not accepted, but once you are accepted she will go out of her way to help you. She has already set up a housing conference, a lunch with a med student from my school, and a tour of the campus for me. She has also called apartment complexes for me. This helpful nature totally changed my view of Case. I know that they have room for improvement, but I could not get certain things out of my head, like P/F, organ based + pbl, personal desk space, class till 12:00, etc. Everything seemed so great there and I have no doubts that I made the right decision. I actually made the decision that will make me happiest in school, even though my girlfriend is heading off to Pitt next year for pt school. Just remember to do whatever will make you happiest - if weather is a bid deal for you (which it wasn't for me since I figure that I will be studying a lot), then go to Stanford. However, you are very correct in you statement that Case is perfect for nontraditional students. Good luck.
     
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  3. ckent

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    Don't be swayed by the little things, they are meaningless. Just because they are being nice to you now just means that they are practicing good marketing, it doesn't mean that they are actually nice people. I think that you guys should ignore the little stuff and focus more on tangible things like location, financial aid, reputation. Remember that every year, the student body in your particular class changes. Unless the school is weird and purposely recruits one type of person (stanford does, it recruits the very nontraditional, very extracurricular), then it is almost impossible to predict how well you will get along with your classmates. You have 2 good choices, I would definitely do more research and you might want to consider (if you have time and money (money should not be that much of an issue in visiting as spending 500 dollars to visit some place again is nothing compared to spending 100,000 over 4 years), visiting and just hanging out with the students will get you a better idea of the class culture.
     
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  4. ckent

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    I also wanted to add that I am familiar with the practice of admissions offices all the sudden going from being unfriendly to very friendly once you say that you are accepted. Again, this is marketing, remember that as a student, your interaction with the admissions people will be nil (you will never talk with them again) unless you want to be part of their committee.
     
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  5. Malftap

    Malftap Member
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    Student 515 made some great points about marketing from medical schools. As far the letter from CWRU, they are trying to make you decide. Don't read anything in to it. Seems to me that you have all the reasons you need to go to CWRU. Sorry about your MA experience at CWRU but as you know each department in a school is totally different. Though I can understand your problem because Stanford....well...is Stanford. But I'll take Student 515's advice, don't look at the small stuff and look at the big picture. Remember if you are not happy you are not going to do well in med school. Plus we all know that there are times where med school is going to be very difficult on us and you need to be in the best situation that will allow you to succeed. Good luck and congrads on acceptance to those two really fine schools.
     
  6. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Member
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    Lis, I also thought that letter from Case was weird. I'm glad to hear you felt the same. The other schools I was looking at seemed excited about having me there, but Case seemed like they could give a rats. In spite of that, I decided on Case yesterday and Brent, your post makes me feel better about things. I'm gonna call up there and see if I can set up some of the things you spoke about.
     
  7. Lis

    Lis Junior Member
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    CWRU does have its advantages--although sunshine and yeah, the Stanford "name" have their attractions, as does their new policy of treating students over 30 as independent--I'm 28 so I would have gotten almost 40K more in grants the last 2 years. On the other hand, I live rent-free here in Cleveland thanks to my boyfriend, which makes up a big chunk of the difference.

    If any of you who are going to CWRU have questions about Cleveland, neighborhoods, renting, etc. let me know.
     
  8. brentunc

    brentunc Member
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    Hey, if anyone is heading off to Case next year and wants a male roommate, drop me a line. I have come to the realization that I may have to pay for a solo apartment my first year, but I would much rather find a roomie. Thanks and good luck on your choices.
     
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  9. pcl

    pcl Senior Member
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    I thought the letter was weird also. In fact, I was having a very bad day that day so I crumpled it up and threw it away. However, in spite of that, I have decided to go to Case. I love the curriculum. The students I met there were super nice, and outside of the weird letter, my discussions with them have been excellent. The secretary was very helpful also. And the financial aid office has been easy to deal with outside of the grueling "need Access" stuff.

    Whatever you decide, I hope that you go where you think you will be happiest and most successful.

    And like brentunc, I need a roommate in cleveland...Pref. female although I live with two guys now & that's working out OK other than the toliet seat wars!
     
  10. Snoopy

    Snoopy Senior Member
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    It's great to see so many future Case students on the boards. I have been very happy with my decision to go to Case. Aside from the great people in my class, the single most important thing to me has been the pass-fail system. Going into med school I knew that the first two years would be tough (I'm a non-trad with minimal science background) and they have been. If Case had not been pass-fail I would have been absolutely, thoroughly miserable. That's not necessarily true for everyone, but for me it was. I am very glad to be finishing my second year with my sanity intact. Beyond learning environment and teaching style, I don't think there's a huge difference between most schools in the first two years, but they begin to set themselves apart in the clinical years. I think the clinical training at Case is excellent--good hospitals, doctors who love to teach, diverse patient population. Plus, your ENTIRE fourth year is elective. There are some other schools who offer this but not many. I am so excited to start third year!

    There was another CWRU thread a while back you might want to look at. As always, I'm happy to answer questions on the board or by email at [email protected]

    Good luck to all!
     
  11. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Member
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    Hey Snoopy,
    Do you have any inside info on the UH affiliation talks? Also, I was wondering if you could comment on what the first few weeks of med school are like at Case.
     
  12. Snoopy

    Snoopy Senior Member
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    For some reason the administration has been deliberately vague about what is going on with the affiliation talks. Even the faculty don't know what's going on. Last week the president of the university resigned (read: was forced out) and there is a bit of a buzz that the hospital talks were part of the reason. The affiliation with UH is not going to go away, though it may change. I doubt that these changes would affect students when it comes to clerkships. They are more likely to affect research dollars and the faculty. The affiliation with MetroHealth will continue and I have not heard about any real changes there. The big unknown is Cleveland Clinic (CCF). The idea was to bring CCF into an affiliation with CWRU, giving CCF physicians academic status and providing CWRU research dollars to CCF. Students would then be able to do rotations at CCF once the OSU affiliation ends (May 2003, I think). Since then, CCF has renewed its interest in developing its own medical school. Frankly, I just don't see that happening. Ohio has 6 M.D. schools and 1 D.O. school and there just isn't a demand for more doctors in the state. Even if they went completely private, I think CCF is a less-than-ideal place to do a rotation as a medical student.

    Currently, students can rotate through UH, Metro, CCF (OB/GYN only), the Cleveland VA, Henry Ford Health Center (Detroit), St. Vincent Charity (Medicine only), and Brecksville VA (Psychiatry only). There were some problems with Henry Ford this year. CWRU was always told that it was Henry Ford's first priority and that it would accept as many students as CWRU wanted to send. Well, they went back on that promise this year and I believe several people who had planned to go to Detroit for their 3rd year are now being told they cannot.

    Case does a good job of easing you into med school. The year begins with biostatistics and epidemiology and a group project on a public health issue. At the end of the committee (block in "Case speak") the school throws a big party for the first-year class. Then you have four weeks of biochemistry. This is the best committee of the entire first two years. The same group of faculty has been teaching biochemistry for years and they do a great job and have a lot of fun while they're doing it.

    That's about all I can think of for now. Keep 'em coming!
     
  13. Snoopy

    Snoopy Senior Member
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    Art Vandelay,

    I sent you a second email the other day about housing, but it bounced back as undeliverable. If you didn't get it, let me know and we'll figure out how I can get the info to you.
     
  14. WSU02

    WSU02 Member
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    There were some problems with Henry Ford this year. CWRU was always told that it was Henry Ford's first priority and that it would accept as many students as CWRU wanted to send. Well, they went back on that promise this year and I believe several people who had planned to go to Detroit for their 3rd year are now being told they cannot.
    ****************************************
    Henry Ford just started an affiliation this year with Wayne State's med school. And since Wayne State is in Detroit, it's easier for us to rotate there than folks from other schools.
    Kristi
     
  15. pcl

    pcl Senior Member
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    HFH also has affiliations with MCO as far as I know, and Umich for Peds I think too... You see a lot of CWRU, MCU,Wayne & Umich students around here. I am surprised that they have been able to establish any affiliation with Wayne because of the ties to the DMC...
     
  16. kmy

    kmy Member
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    I haven't had time to read all the posts on this topic yet, but I still wanted to add my thoughts, I apologize for any redundancy. I work at CWRU doing research now and I was an undergraduate there. A few of my friends are also med students. In my experience looking into tons of schools, Case has a lot to offer. The atmosphere is decidedly laid back but the prestige is still huge. The curriculum, teachers and students are awesome and dedicated. There is a lot of flexibility to do whatever interests you such as time, money and support for independant study projects etc. I wouldn't think too badly of this "letter" thing. If it was from Dean Kirby definitely don't worry. He is the sweetest most laid back guy ever but Ive had a few correspondences with him that made me wonder what the heck was going on. I think their letters to me have just always tended to be blunt. Good Luck with your decision and WOW - I cant believe how many past/current/future Case people participate in this forum. (BTW I live in a great apartment 5min from campus called Lake Park Tower with views of downtown and the lake, and its cheap, if anyone is looking and wants advice.)
     

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