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The most student-centered medical schools

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dnyal

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Hello!

I wanted to ask you which medical schools you think/know are the most teaching-oriented, student-centered ones. I understand all medical medical schools are, well, "schools" and care about their students, so that’s why I say "the most" and specify the teaching aspect of it.

I’m in my sophomore year and have been wondering what kind of school would be the best fit for me, and it all depends on whether I get into any school at all, but I’d like some guidance as to how to rank my list. What I’ve come up with is the kind of school I’d like to attend, and it would be a med school that is above all formative and completely devoted to ensuring their students learn (not necessarily through innovative teaching methods or low faculty-to-student ratios).

That is in contrast to some other schools I’ve read about online. Some seem to focus mainly on their research center or clinic, with students taking more of a backseat, simply following the prescribed curriculum. Some other schools appear to have faculty that is more concerned with bombarding you with loaded slides and then test you on obscure, minute details that may or may not be relevant. I know one is supposed to study independently, etc., but I’m trying to describe your typical researcher-but-not-teacher professor who sorta boasts about their class getting low scores because "medicine is hard and you need to realize it." And there are other schools that advertise all this fancy equipment they have (virtual anatomy labs, fully cushioned libraries, and such) that is supposed to enhance the learning experience, yet their students complain that their classes or rotation sites were lacking.

Don‘t mistake me: I understand no med school is perfect, and I’m not trying to find the "easy one." Medicine is quite challenging and it should be. I’m just looking to see which medical schools are more invested in their teaching and having quality faculty (the school with staff that knows their students and tries hard to get you that rotation across the country because they know you’ll thrive in it), instead of the boot camp school with renown Dr. Ahole as an instructor who totally ignores his/her students during rotations.

I appreciate your answers as to what schools would fit what I’m looking for and/or which ones definitely do not. Thanks! :)
 

LizzyM

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You might find this to be interesting reading...


Many schools, including some resesarch powerhouses, care deeply about medical education and the education of physicians on the faculty to be physician-educators.
 
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Cheezin

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I've heard that Kaiser goes above and beyond in this aspect, which is one reason why anecdotally people have chosen it over top schools like NYU and Mayo in the X vs Y sub forum. If you do some research on those threads that compile information on ~all~ the school, like this reddit one that may speak about the faculty friendliness etc, I feel like there are many schools that advertise a culture of collaboration, metorship, ~wellness~
 
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deleted1076141

When I interviewed at Creighton, they really tried to sell themselves as being the kind of school you’re describing. Not a student there, so I couldn’t say to what degree they pitch is grounded in reality though.
 
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deleted1071054

I've heard that Kaiser goes above and beyond in this aspect, which is one reason why anecdotally people have chosen it over top schools like NYU and Mayo in the X vs Y sub forum. If you do some research on those threads that compile information on ~all~ the school, like this reddit one that may speak about the faculty friendliness etc, I feel like there are many schools that advertise a culture of collaboration, metorship, ~wellness~
???? Kaiser hasnt even had one full year of classes.
 
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LeezyM

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I've heard that Kaiser goes above and beyond in this aspect, which is one reason why anecdotally people have chosen it over top schools like NYU and Mayo in the X vs Y sub forum. If you do some research on those threads that compile information on ~all~ the school, like this reddit one that may speak about the faculty friendliness etc, I feel like there are many schools that advertise a culture of collaboration, metorship, ~wellness~
Funny you cited Mayo because I have the impression that Kaiser is modeled after Mayo including the student-centered aspect.
 
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ayeayeaye24

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Case Western! I will be going there because I love their IQ curriculum and how nice and receptive all the admin I've interacted with have been. Seems like they really value their students and that's exactly what I was looking for
 
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Rheopecty

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Pitt seems, by far, one of the most student-feedback receptive schools. It seems like their students are actually happy to be there (preclinical P/F with no AOA plays a part in this).
 
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ayeayeaye24

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Pitt seems, by far one, of the most student-feedback receptive schools. It seems like their students are actually happy to be there (preclinical P/F with no AOA plays a part in this).
no AOA is so underrated from what I've heard from medical students
 
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Cheezin

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???? Kaiser hasnt even had one full year of classes.
Funny you cited Mayo because I have the impression that Kaiser is modeled after Mayo including the student-centered aspect.
From this thread of nyu vs kaiser
I ended up picking Kaiser Permanente!

In short, I had an increasingly improving gut feeling every time I thought about going to Kaiser. The individual attention (which I think will be better than any school in the country), the California weather, the new building, being pampered by their resources, it was all so so exciting.

An anecdote I'll share is that the day before the commit deadline, I was tragically undecided and emailed both Deans. I emailed Dean Schuster, founding dean and CEO of Kaiser School of Medicine, and Dean Rivera, dean of admissions at NYU, laying everything out for them to see. I was honest about my decision and the factors weighing on me.

I asked Dean Rivera if I could video call the next day, and he happily obliged, scheduled me into his busy schedule and was proactive in his replies. I asked Dean Schuster if I could visit the school on a day trip (this was only possible for California, not for New York, otherwise I would have asked the same of NYU). His reply was that he would hate to have me drive there and back home in the same day, "Let us get you a hotel for the night," he told me, "Then we can talk things over and I'll give you a quarantine friendly tour of the school."

I accepted.

I drove over to California immediately that night with my wife and stayed in my wonderful Kaiser-comped hotel. The following morning I had my call with Dean Rivera and he was very direct and "took off his NYU hat" which was refreshing and so so helpful. He's a wonderful person and an excellent charmer. I was eager to go to NYU after this call. I was so excited about living in NYC, possibilities of a 3 year MD with an ortho residency at NYU Langone, I was very happy.

But then I basically got the ultra package from Kaiser. From the moment I met with the staff I felt like royalty. Dean Schuster had the most humble demeanor and welcoming, goofy personality. I got a tour of the entire building, which is absolutely beautiful. If you haven't already please look at the YouTube tour of the school. Then Schuster sat down and spoke with me for about 2 hours and answered every single question I had.

If you're familiar with how Elon Musk can answer the most specific details about rocket part XYZ, that's how this felt. He could tell me why they picked this color instead of that one, why this chair is superior, the rationale behind the amount of vacation days, locations of clinical experiences...everything.

This was the overwhelming theme that I took away from the meeting. I felt that everything about Kaiser was well thought out and had thorough research and planning behind it. It was also overwhelmingly clear that it was all built around the student experience, it wasn't working around a budget, public image, prestige, trendy buzz words. It was all built around us, the students.

Another theme from the meeting was that they were able to be very picky with everything. They planned everything about the school, and that included the faculty and students. The luxury of being very selective with faculty positions, administrative positions, and students meant that everything would be at the highest levels. This was incredibly exciting.

At the end of the meeting with Dean Schuster, I thanked him for his valuable time and told him I was very impressed with the responsiveness to my requests and willingness to spend so much time with us. He said he wanted it to be emblematic of how they want to treat students and to show us what they felt was most important. It was certainly emblematic and showed me they valued the students a lot.

This is not to say that my other choices do not care about students, but in my experience I felt that Kaiser was a cut above the rest when it came to student focus. Not just that, but they have the immense resources to actualize their focus into tangible benefits.
 

dnyal

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Thank you all for your answers! :thumbup:

@Cheezin, that post you shared describes just what I’m looking for! I looked into Kaiser. They’re a new school, but their website does reflect their dedication to student success. Since they are so new, I didn’t know they existed, but now I’ll give them some serious consideration.

I read the article @LizzyM shared, and I agree with the "threats" that some educators might exhibit. My university has some undergrad professors that do everything, and I barely see them teaching, they don’t teach too well when they do and are more concerned with their research. I loathed having to take those classes, even though I liked learning the topics. I’m glad to read in the article and from LizzyM that med schools are moving on from that sort of educators.
 
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DNAJB6

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Yale seems very medical student friendly.
 
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BRTC200

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For those who suggested Kaiser as a very student-centric school, does that take into account some issues raised regarding their remote in-patient rotations and the recent controversy surrounding the firing of Dr. Khoury? It seems like a bold statement to make for a program so new.
 
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CricB4Tube

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I asked students in all my interviews what they dislike about their school. Everyone had complaints about the school, except the UCONN students. One student even said the only complaint he could come up with was that the school is too receptive to student feedback and are almost willing to let the students dictate their schedules/curriculum. I've talked to dozens of students there since and they seem to unanimously agree that the faculty is extremely supportive of their students.
 
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Wrinklebottom

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Yale. Case Western. Rochester.

These have always seemed to be the most student-oriented IMO; if you want to be treated like an adult capable of learning medicine with some autonomy and also have an atmosphere that is more collaborative than cuthroat, these would be my top 3 suggestions to look further into...
 
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m222222

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Yale. Case Western. Rochester.

These have always seemed to be the most student-oriented IMO; if you want to be treated like an adult capable of learning medicine with some autonomy and also have an atmosphere that is more collaborative than cuthroat, these would be my top 3 suggestions to look further into...
I have heard that Case is extremely student focused but was concerned by student complaints on SDN regarding the admin’s response to student concerns during COVID (I have no idea where the thread is now lol). Anyone have any thoughts on this?
 
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dnyal

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For those who suggested Kaiser as a very student-centric school, does that take into account some issues raised regarding their remote in-patient rotations and the recent controversy surrounding the firing of Dr. Khoury? It seems like a bold statement to make for a program so new.
Wow, thank you for bringing this to my attention. As a person of color, this is mighty concerning. I read articles from several sources on the issue of Dr. Khoury and she still does not know why they suspended/fire her.
 
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HDF4K

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Wow, thank you for bringing this to my attention. As a person of color, this is mighty concerning. I read articles from several sources on the issue of Dr. Khoury and she still does not know why they suspended/fire her.
They’ve communicated that her suspension and non renewal of her contract was due to "false statements regarding your credentials and academic experience, poor judgement and other ongoing concerns in interacting with others, refusals and failures to perform assigned work, missed deadlines, poor work product, and non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols".
 

Ms Procrastinator

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For a second I thought this said self-centered. I'll see myself out.
 
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