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to Dartmouth (DMS) 2012 students

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by spinspinspin, May 6, 2008.

  1. spinspinspin

    spinspinspin New Member

    Jun 8, 2006
    I don't know where to post this, but I'm a DMS student and there are a few things I wish someone had told me coming in. DMS doesn't do a very good job of connecting prospective/incoming students with upper classes, so if you are considering or accepting an offer here, feel free to IM me.

    1) LIVE IN NORTH PARK. I can't stress this enough. There aren't very many spots at North Park, so you have to sign on really early, but it's ridiculously cheap and nice for it's location, and the students who live there tend to bond in a way that the rest of the class just doesn't. By week 2 my class had divided into "North Parkers" and everyone else. If you can't get a place at North Park, live on campus, and live WITH other medical students (either other 1st years, or 2nd years - not 3rd or 4th years, you'll never see them and they won't be around to help you integrate.)

    2) You'll get some form in the mail asking you what kind of experience you want for On Doctoring (shadowing a local doc every other week.) Pick family practice. Even if you know you're going to be a neurosurgeon or a pediatrician, pick family practice. The On Doctoring course is designed around having you in a primary care clinic. You will have assignments to write up things like sexual histories, or to do motivational interviewing on alcohol abuse. If you pick pediatrics or some specialty, you won't be able to complete these assignments. You'll also feel totally lost when you get to the OSCE (end of year evaluation) because you'll have never seen the kind of case you're presented with.

    3) Buy a microscope. This isn't a big deal like the first two tips, but we all end up paying $230 a year for the first 2 years to rent an Olympus CH-2. You can buy one on Ebay for $300-$400 and then sell it after two years for the same amount you paid for it. Med school is expensive enough. There's no need to pay more than you have to.

    4) If you don't have a car yet, wait to get one. When you're signed up for On Doctoring, they take into account whether or not you have a car. If you have one, they'll send you out to a clinic up to an hour and a half away. Many students end up driving three hours round-trip for a total of two hours shadowing. If you don't have a car, they'll find you a doctor that's local (e.g. you can take the free bus to.) Also, finding housing if you want to live downtown is very difficult/expensive if you have a car. The bus is free, goes everywhere, and runs every 15 minutes (depending on where you're headed.) Most people want a car for 3rd year, but don't feel like you need to get one for 1st year.

    5) If you don't have something great going on during the first week of August, sign up for their "review course." I forget what they called it, but they billed it as some kind of free weeklong session for students who think they might need a little extra help, or for those who have been out of school for a while. The people who went to this course had a lot of free time to check out the town together, get to know one another, set up their new apartments, meet the faculty in a more one-on-one way, and generally "settle in." The rest of us scrambled to do all of that during orientation, and started the year off completely frazzled and overwhelmed.

    6) Orientation is a waste of your time. You need to show up to three things - the white coat fitting on day 1 (so you get a white coat that fits,) the vaccination clinic (scheduled just after they do some kind of presentation about the student health plan,) and the financial aid session (if you are getting any kind of aid or loans.) Joe O'Donnell's speech is also worth going to, but only for the entertainment value. The rest of orientation is a complete waste of your time, and now that you're in medical school, you really can't afford to waste your time.

    7) Don't buy your books. At least not right away. The notes that are handed out are copious and complete, and most people never end up using their texts except as a back-up resource. This isn't like undergrad where you are going to be tested on the readings. You can always read or photocopy the texts on reserve (you get something like $50 a semester in free photocopies.) If you do buy books, go ahead and get old editions.

    That's it for now. I'm sure I will come up with other things. Maybe other DMS students will post as well.
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  3. franniemeow07

    franniemeow07 10+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2006
    Wow..super useful for Dartmouth matriculants! I'm nowhere near your target population but detailed information like this must be a boon for people who've been accepted :) Thanks.
  4. koolbeenz

    koolbeenz 2+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2008

    To all those DMS students out there, I am an incoming DMS 1st year and I would like to know if I need a car. I am going to be living in North Park, and I was told that they do not give parking to medical students. And I heard that the parking lot medical students are assigned to is near the medical school and is not covered. So I'm afraid that my car will freeze and not start in the winter if I park it in the uncovered lot. I would also like to know if I can get along without a car (I'm mostly concerned about getting groceries, getting around in general). Do most 1st year DMS students have cars? What do you use your car for? Would you recommend a car? Is life difficult without a car?

    Thanks! Any advice would be very much appreciated!!!!
  5. blitz195

    blitz195 7+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2007

    i'm not a DMS med student but went there for undergrad and knew a lot of DMSers so i know their area.

    my advice is definitely to have a car if you are able to, even if you're living in north park. you can walk from there to school or groceries (yumm co-op!) but you won't want to do either in the winter. furthermore, with DHMC being a 15 min drive, it's nice to have a car even with the AT (public transport). and your shadowing and stuff with community docs could be anywhere. a lot of undergrads had cars by senior year and nearly all grad students have one. and though a lot of DMSers live in north park, a lot don't so hanging out with people that live in norwich or leb would mean you need a car.

    also, i brought my car out from the southwest and my car lasted fine all winter and was never parked anywhere covered so don't worry too much about it. just get AAA and you'll be fine.

    good luck and enjoy hanover/the upper valley!!! oh and be sure to get to know dr. joe o'donnell, dr. von reyn and dr. adams...they're all fabulous!
  6. Fibroblastman

    Fibroblastman A stumble prevents a fall 5+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    Amazingly helpful! Thanks!!!

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