Temple Students - Where to Live? Commute?

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Jan 8, 2002
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I'll be starting at Temple in the fall (yeah!). Could anyone recommend places to live that are an easy commute to campus? I live about 30 min outside of Philly right now (Horsham, Pa). Does anyone commute to campus? How is the drive at rush hour? What do people recommend is the best place to live?

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Hey I work in Horsham (and live in Hatboro). I did my post bac at Temple main. Sorry I can't be of any help, but the commute anytime between 7-9 on Broad Street is pretty bad. If you end up taking Roosevelt Blvd to get to Broad it can get even worse.
hi shadowplay--i'm considering temple right now too, (yeah) and i am trying to figure out where to live. my family is ~40 min outside of city, but it takes 1.5 hours sometimes at rush hour, yuck. i've heard people live in the manayunk/roxborough areas, also in center city.
also, if you have a second, could you list the reasons why you like temple? i really liked it, but i don't know that much about it...info appreciated.
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i'm a current student. manayunk/roxborough, east falls, center city--all of these options have advantages and disadvantages. center city is more expensive (though not bad compared to D.C. or NYC) but offers more culture and the convenience of public transportation. the other areas have very inexpensive housing, but you'll probably want access to a car. parking at temple is easy--$50 per month.

as for commutes, none of these options makes for a long trip. it takes me 25 minutes from door-to-door by public transportation and foot from center city. roxborough is about a 5 minute drive from here. there are a handful of students with families who live in the outer suburbs. i know of one who lives in king of prussia and drives almost an hour each way.

temple does help set interested incoming students up with roommates. they'll send you info in the early summer.

good luck.

Thanks for the tips everyone!

Aqua- Congrats on Temple. I have to admit- the tour of the school on my interview day is what sold me on the school. The students that I met just seemed so laid-back. I also felt that Temple makes it really easy to get involved with things right from the second that you start. My tourguide was telling us how he began shadowing an ER doctor during his first week of his first year. There are also a number of free clinics that students can volunteer at (if you don't mind the impoverished communities). It seems to me that at Temple you can very easily mold your education to fit your interests.

I was also impressed with the number of affiliated hospitals: Abington, Temple U, Fox Chase, St. Luke's (in Bethlehem), Western PA (in Pittsburgh), Geisinger (spelling?) in Danville PA.

Drawbacks, however, would be the neighborhood were the school is located. And the fact that there is no commuter rail stop at the Med School campus (only stops at main).

I hope some of this helps. Hope to see you next year if you decide on Temple!
Drawbacks, however, would be the neighborhood were the school is located. ••

shadowplay-- you have formed some good impressions of temple. one minor quibble: most students here don't view the surrounding community as a drawback.

in my view, the location of temple's health campus in north philly improves the medical education. in the first two years temple students can participate in service projects that truly help the community: tutoring, needle-exchange, healh screenings, mentorships, student-run clinics, etc. almost every student volunteers in some capacity.

in the clinical years, since TUH is in many ways a hospital for the indigent, you will (1) see the sickest of the sick (patients in this community often don't come to the hospital until late stages of disease) and (2) rarely have a patient refuse to be treated by you because of your inexperience (the proverb "beggars can't be choosers" is crude, but it applies here). you will be allowed to see and do a lot in your clinical years at temple because of the population served here.

i would add to your list of temple's virtues: a basic science faculty that is committed to medical student education; a well-deserved reputation for excellent clinical training; a non-competitive atmosphere.

to your list of drawbacks: the facilities here are "no-frill;" merely average research reputation (if that's something you're looking for).

I also was accepted to Temple and am debating b/w your school and Einstein. Both schools are similar in location, so that really doesn't bother me. And living in the Bronx is a little cheaper than Center City in Philly, but I would be farther from home. The big difference is their curricula second year (Temple is subject based, Einstein is organ based.) My best friend from college is a MS-1 at Temple, so I've heard some very good things about your school, but would like to know a few more things.

1. How competitive do you feel your class is since the grading scale is H/HP/P/CP/F?
2. Do you feel that going to Temple will still allow you to be competitive in residency matching outside of PA?
3. Where do you students study if they live throughout the city, is it hard to get together with other students?
4. How often are you in class, do you have a significant amount of free time compared to students at MCP and Jefferson?
5. Which other schools were you considering before choosing Temple?

Thanks a bunch!
1. How competitive do you feel your class is since the grading scale is H/HP/P/CP/F?
--some students are gunners, others just aim to pass, but most are somewhere in between. medical students are motivated wherever you go to school. but there are differences between schools in the academic atmosphere... and it's not necessarily related to the grading system. temple is not very cut-throat. even the students who aim to honor every class are generally humble and willing to share information... plus, i think students here realize that doing well in the residency match has more to do with board scores and third-year evaluations than grades in histology or pharmacology. (after all, if every school has a different grading system, isn't the board exam the best measure of a student's performance in the first two year? makes sense...)

2. Do you feel that going to Temple will still allow you to be competitive in residency matching outside of PA?
--yes. but don't trust me; look at residency match lists for the schools you are considering. (it's tough to know what are the most competitive programs in less competitive speicalities. but a rough way to gauge how "well" students from a school do in the match is to look for the number of students matching in the most competitive specialties--ophto, urology, ortho, ENT, derm.) temple has last year's match list posted on the admissions web site... keep in mind that many students at temple have roots in PA and choose to stay in state. those who wish to leave pennsylvania have no trouble doing so.

3. Where do you students study if they live throughout the city, is it hard to get together with other students?
--students study at school (library, 24-hour study space, student union), coffee shops, other libraries, temple main campus, home, etc... most students live within 5 miles of temple. those that don't live in center city usually have access to a car. so getting together isn't a problem... i personally like living a few miles from campus. it's nice to separate my home life from the world of medicine.

4. How often are you in class, do you have a significant amount of free time compared to students at MCP and Jefferson?
--there are never more than 5 hours of lecture in a day, and frequently fewer hours. with labs, problem-solving sessions, and clinical activities, most days last until 3 PM. A few days per week in first semester of first year, students get done by noon, which is nice.... from my conversations with friends at jefferson, i've gotten the impression that temple has slightly less class time than jefferson... i have no idea about MCP-H.

5. Which other schools were you considering before choosing Temple?
--my long-time girlfriend is in a 6- to 8-year doctoral program in philly, so i really wanted to be here. when i was accepted at temple, i withdrew my applications from most schools outside philly with the exceptions of rochester and pitt--both great schools in my opinion. i was accepted at rochester in june off the waitlist. i was attracted to rochester's progressive curriculum and curious if rochester's slightly better research reputation meant their students matched better. after comparing match lists and talking the situation over with physicians that i know and trust, i came to the conclusion that most of what you get out of med school is "what you put into it." (the exception to this is for students interested in getting into the world of high-powered research--then you should attend the school with the most NIH money.) the physicians i spoke with were universally skeptical of the new non-traditional curriculums and felt that i could do very well at temple. so at that point, the decision was easy. and in retrospect it was the right one.

good luck with your decision. my advice: decide what criteria are most important to you (location, cost of living, curriculum, research, whatever...); then examine those criteria thoroughly at each school. also, talk to doctors; they have better perspective than medical students.
Thanks dingiswayo-

I'm starting to compile a list of the different aspects of Temple, MCP, and Einstein. I withdrew from GW and NYMed because I knew I wanted to be in Philly or NY (I don't mind the Bronx.) I'm in a big debate b/c my long-term boyfriend is a law student in Philly, but he is from NYC, so we will eventually end up there. I like many aspects of both Temple and Einstein and I'm looking for different perspectives on both to make the best decision for me. I know I can't go wrong with either.

I asked about match lists only because I'm from PA, but I'll want to go to NY, so I wasn't sure if staying at Temple would hinder me from doing so. Although I don't want to limit my future, I think I will most likely pursue pediatrics. It seemed Temple did well with those matches, but as you said it's hard to evaluate a matchlist b/c when you look at Temple's many stay in PA, when you look at Einstein, many stay in NY.

One more question, how do you feel about the facilities at Temple. I know the buildings are a little older, but if you don't want to study at the med school, can you use the undergrad campus, especially their athletic facilities?

If anyone else has any opinions, I'd love to hear them :)

study space at the medical campus is adequate, but by no means plush. the library has two large quiet-study rooms, and some other areas in the stacks with desks or tables. the 24-hour study space in the medical school building is fine, except during finals, when it gets heavy use from the pharmacy and dental students... i am told there is lots of good study space at main campus. i never use it. but your temple med ID gets you into all the facilities at all of temple's campuses.

as for athletic facilities, there are much more extensive facilities at the main campus, including a pool and indoor track. those are free for temple med students (with your $100000+ of tuition).
I go to MCPHU (chose it over Temple due to location and curriculum) and live about 30 miles away. I have kids and wanted good public schools for them so that precluded living around Temple / MCPHU. That 30 miles converts to 1 1/4 hr commute in the morning and 45 minutes in the afternoon. I've done it for a year now, so it can be done, it's just a matter of how tolerant you are to sitting in traffic. One thing that helps me use the time in the car effectively is to listen to audiotapes of the lectures. If moving from Horsham involves selling a house or breaking a good long term lease, and you can handle a commute, I'd stay there.

If you decide to move closer, I know that some Temple students, as well as a bunch of MCP students, who live at School Lane House in East Falls.

What ever you decide, good luck!
Sorry, I have another question. At Temple, are your classrooms, library, and study rooms internet ready? (i.e. am I able to connect my laptop to a connection at the seat?)

Also, do first and second years have any clinical exposure. I looked at Temple's website which hasn't been updated since 2000 which states there is an Intro to Clinical Medicine class, but I was wondering what exactly the course entailed.

Good questions, Dr. Kermit.

Many areas in the medical school building, such as the histo labs and library, have ports for internet. The main lecture halls do not. That won't change because the main lecture halls have the pull-up rests for notepads--not the countertops some schools have.

Our clinical course, Fundamentals of Clinical Care (FCC), weaves through the first- and second-year curriculum. One objective of the course is to introduce the basics of the patient-doctor relationship, history-taking, and physical exam skills. We practice in small groups with medical faculty, then on standardized patients, and then we do (brief) preceptorships with primary care docs to try out our new skills on real patients. The course also involves workshops on a variety of topics such a domestic violence, alcoholism, child abuse, etc. And, in addition, there are a few outreach activities, like a nutritional assessment of an elderly person in the community, a visit to an alcoholics anonymous meeting, etc.

We have other optional clinical opportunities in the first two years. Each semester there are elective courses in ophtho, neurosurg, path, ER ENT, othro, urology, and more. You can follow the course of a pregnancy with the OB/GYN dept. You can work in the ER. There are a countless clinical activities you CAN do. But all you MUST do is FCC.

My two cents: When I was applying to medical schools, I was titillated by the prospect of extensive clinical experience in the first two years (to be found at some progressive medical schools these days). Now that I'm at a school with about 3 manditory hours per week devoted to clinical activities, I've changed my opinion.... Temple has enough. When you are memorizing amino acid metabolism or the names of protiens found in the walls of obscure microoganisms, it's nice to be reminded of why you went to med school. These clinical experiences do just that. But it's also nice to jump through these hoops, go home, and have a small amount of freetime to feel like a semi-normal human being. A few hours a week is gratifying, but not overburdening.