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U of Chicago(Pritzker) students.....need insight

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by CristaGalli, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. CristaGalli

    CristaGalli Member
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    Hey,
    I am tryin to make a decision on which medical school to attend next year. U of Chicago seems like the ultimate destination; pass/fail curriculum, great location in close proximity to downtown chitown, great hospital to do rotations in, students match into great residencies, research opportunities, etc....There are negatives; very traditional curriculum and the cold weather in chicago(although chicago summers are great). I sensed an overall relaxed attitude from the pritzer students during my interview. Anything else y'all out there would like to tell moi?

    Thanks
     
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  3. el_chavo

    el_chavo Member
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    I'm a first year at pritzker and i'd say you nailed it. I got a great feeling about it when I interviewed last year and stuck with my gut, and so far it's been good. Do not under estimate the power of pass/fail. Med school is hard and mastery is required, but you will kill yourself for no reason without pass/fail. So yeah, it's good here, the class is incredibly diverse, everyone's pretty chill, and they work us hard, but then show us why we work hard because there's a million opportunities to get involved in top notch clinical stuff or research.
     
  4. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.
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    el chavo hit the key points. Only a couple to add from an MS4 perspective

    1) save time: commuting to outside hospitals or clinics for rotations is ideal from hyde park. In the AM when everyone is driving INTO the city, we are driving OUT of it and the converse in the afternoon. So you are rarely stuck in rush hour traffic!

    2) living on the southside of Chicago rather than in the loop (like Northwestgern) saves you $$$ on rent, yet still keeping the city very accesible along LSD (lake shore drive) or highway-90/94

    3) match list: our grads have great reps at outside schools, so even with mediocre board scores (like me!) as long as you thrive in the third year and get the most out of our very student-oriented clerkships, you will get amazing interviews and offers. Many go on to be chief residents (1-3 people selected to stay an additional year as the instructors, administrative coordinators, attendings for a couple months, selections committee for their residency etc.) which speaks very highly of our grads. You feel VERY reassured seeing the people above you do so well.

    best wishes!
     
  5. housemd

    housemd Member
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    As a first year at Pritzker, I would have to agree. Pass/Fail is HUGE! And the Pritzker reputation goes a long way in getting the residency that you want down the line.

    Three things more things:

    1) The smaller class size (103) is a big advantage as the administration as well as the faculty (and TAs) are able to give you as much personal attention as you desire.

    2) Chicago is an amazing city. Yes, the winter is cold but it's not that bad.

    3) Although the curriculum is traditional, you do not need to go to lecture if you dont want to. You figure out what works best for you. Some people choose that doing work on their own is a better use of their time. The lecture at least gives you the opportunity to be taught by top-notch faculty if you so desire. Why pay so much to go to school only to learn on your own from a textbook?

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  6. CristaGalli

    CristaGalli Member
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    'preciate your responses. Pritzker is an awesome institution and it seems like a great fit for a student like myself; laidback, have NUMEROUS interests outside of medicine, and self-motivated. I really anticipate meeting my classmates and hopefully future friends....
    I gotta say tho....could you imagine if Pritzker had their lectures streamlined online :thumbup: who wouldn't want to go to such a school.
     
  7. Gumshoe

    Gumshoe LARGE Member
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    Good points so far. One thing I absolutely cannot emphasize enough is the pass/fail point. I truly think it's hard for me to be objective about it, but being that the 1st 2 years are important (but not really), it is really stupid to have to be worried about those years and I have a feeling that stress is monumental in other places.

    After being here for 2+ years as well, I won't sugar coat anything. I'll only judge this school after the match because it can leave a bit to be desired at times. At that point I believe it will have been worth it, but I don't know yet.

    Good luck with everything.

    Gshoe
     
  8. Bfriccia1

    Bfriccia1 Member
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    On the pass/fail system: I go to a non-pass fail school and I really agree that it raises the day-to-day stress levels of the students. If you have the opportunity to go to a pass/fail school with a great reputation like Pritzker I would say go because grades really make your day to day more stressful (although they do force you to keep up with the material and learn better I think). Just my $0.02.
     
  9. Explosivo

    Explosivo blah!
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    I would have to agree with gumshoe even though he's a major douche bag. :hardy:

    3rd year has had it's highs and lows. None of us seems to know what to make of it. From what i understand though, the clinical training we get is highly thought of at other places. If history is any indicator, we have always matched extremely well. Can't remember anyone going unmatched in recent years.

    But yeah, P/F during the first 2 years is where it's at. We're probably less stressed during those first two years than the undergrads on campus.
     
  10. CristaGalli

    CristaGalli Member
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    I have just a few more questions;

    what is the passing rate for years 1 & 2 at pritzker? Do most students pass(not that i am worried, just curious)?
    I have heard pritzker students are very cooperative, sharing notes and such. Can anyone attest to this?
    Is it possible to approach the administrators about having lectures streamlined online? Has this been asked in the past?

    Thanks
     
  11. el_chavo

    el_chavo Member
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    I don't really know what the passing rate is for the first two years. I do know that even if you fail a test (which does happen) there are efforts made to remediate and retake in the same quarter.
    What you've heard about cooperativity is very true. I get more emails than I want full of people sharing their notes, new websites for studying, etc. We also have a student run website specifically for the students with notes, old exams, etc.
    I'm sure you could approach the administrators about the subject but that doesn't mean something will get done. I think it's very instructor dependent. For example, our physio instructor now has posted mp3 audio versions of all his lectures and video recorded the last few lectures to put them online. Really, most of the lectures are good, all the instructor provided notes are available online and are very comprehensive (it's all I use to study) and it depends on your own style.
    Hope this helps.
     
  12. CristaGalli

    CristaGalli Member
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    Alright, its official, Pritzker is definitely my destination come fall 2006. El_Chavo, you are cool as hell (as far as i know) and I hope I have classmates like you next year. Thanks everyone who has posted in this thread.
     
  13. CerealBox

    CerealBox Senior Member
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    When i visited the MS1s seemed to be stressed out despite the P/F.. They said they had about 2 exams/week! and felt like they were constantly studying for te next exam with no time to breathe in between. is this an exageration? comments?
     
  14. housemd

    housemd Member
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    Because we start much later than most schools (Sept 29th), first quarter of first year can be a little intense since we have to squeeze a lot of material in a short period of time. On the other hand, you get a month more of vacation. It's really just anatomy that takes up most of the time but it is easier to do it a section at a time rather than with one huge exam. After the first 7 weeks, it gets much, much better for the rest of the time at Pritzker. The administration is actually talking about restructuring the first quarter because they realize it can be intense. The pass/fail system helps A LOT in those first weeks of med school. It really takes most of the pressure off. I would also add that it depends on one's personality. Some people are stressed no matter what (maybe you saw one these) whereas as others are much more chill. The school wants you to pass, its not like undergrad. Most schools are like this. I hope that helps...
     
  15. DNM503

    DNM503 Senior Member
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    Any other students have any more comments on this school? I am also highly considering it. Is lecture 8-5 every day, or do you have a few free afternoons each week?
     
  16. housemd

    housemd Member
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    You are not in lecture 8-5. Again, first quarter is the most class time but you dont have to go. Its not like its mandatory or anything, all the materials you need from lecture are online. However, classes do run from 8:30-10:30. Then, you have a class from 1:30-2:20 and then anantomy lab. So, the most class time you have is 3 hrs a day first quarter plus lab. In the spring, you are done with anatomy so you have the whole afternoon free and get out much earlier.
     
  17. el_chavo

    el_chavo Member
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    So having almost finished my first quarter of first year I can tell you that there is a stretch that seems like there's an exam every other day. I took them all one at a time and did fine without having to kill myself. The past couple of weeks I have studied very little and have had a lot of time to relax, do some volunteering, work out, hang out with my wife, etc. Now I'll do the same for finals that are a week and a half away and I feel very confident that everything will go by smoothly. After having been through the worst of first year (according to all the second years) it wasn't really that bad.
    Also, the hardest thing about this quarter is we have anatomy lab every day. That eats up three hours and as with any anatomy course, you have to go if you want to pass. However, next quarter it's only three times a week and then spring quarter I've been told to get a part time job because I'll be bored.
    Bottom line is, medical school is hard, but not impossible and really shouldn't ruin your life or destroy your interests. Pritzker has things in place (again P/F) that allow everything to be placed in their proper perspective.
     
  18. letmein!please?

    letmein!please? Senior Member
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    Wow, Pritzker sounds like an amazing school! I really like the P/F grading and especialy how happy and (relatively) stress-free you students sound. Having not applied yet, though, I'de be interested if any of you know any other med schools that have a similar curriculum, grading structure, and cooperative (rather than competitive) student body, since I certainly can't plan on getting in to every school I want ;) This would be a big help for my application process. Thanks in advance.
     
  19. DNM503

    DNM503 Senior Member
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    Thanks to all the Pritzker students for the comments about the school! It helps a lot!
     
  20. frostynorthwind

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    I have to agree! Your input, encouragement, and advice has been invaluable! 謝謝, 謝謝! :)
     
  21. frycek

    frycek Member
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    Hi everyone,
    Another Pritzker student and Pritzker lover here - MS 1. I've had a great first quarter. Although the quarter system is fast-paced and there was a period in the middle of the quarter when we had three big exams spaced a couple days apart (wed, fri, mon), I've had an overall low-stress time of it. The pass/fail really does make a huge difference in the psychology of classes. I feel like I can really believe it when we're told during orientation that we should maintain outside interests, hobbies, and relationships. The best part of Pritzker is the quality of students - people here just seem very interesting and very chill. And we do have a lot of great camaraderie - I feel like everyone in the class is a friend or at least friendly acquaintance. It's been said before but classmates always send out the review notes that they make for tests - last night I finished my studying for our histology final (complete two hours ago - man, am I glad to be done with that!) with a set of notes that a classmate had sent out. The campus is beautiful and I love being integrated with the entire university. If anyone has interdisciplinary interests, U Chicago is the place to be. And I love Hyde Park! Maybe everyone doesn't see it the way I do - but to me it's the perfect blend of more relaxing neighborhood feel but with access to everything a world-class urban center offers (having a car helps.)

    So - just some thoughts. There are a lot of great med schools in this country. But you can't go wrong by coming here.
     
  22. snowgirl

    snowgirl Member
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    with all this talk of the cooperativity of students, i have to ask, are pritzker students ranked against one another despite the P/F system?
     
  23. housemd

    housemd Member
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    No ranking. No hidden ranking. Just plain old Pass/Fail. The only ones who know your numerical grades are the course directors; the medical school just knows whether you passed or not.
     
  24. Arsenic

    Arsenic posting from the future
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    that sounds awesome, the only other school i know of that did this is mount sinai.
     
  25. frycek

    frycek Member
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    on pass/fail-
    i'm not sure how it works but we DO receive some sort of evaluation that gets more specific than pass/fail during our third year rotations - i don't know the details of it, but i think i heard it is honors/high pass/pass/fail along with a qualitative (written) evaluation. and i'm not sure whether this goes into a ranking at all. in any case, the first two years are pure pass/fail.
     

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