CA123

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Hi guys,
Just acccepted to UC Irvine off the waitlist and because I didn't think it was a possibility, I neglected to research the school. Can anyone help me out with pros/cons in terms of curriculum, schedule, clinical contact, location, network hospitals, match lists? Anything you can give me would be amazing, I need to make a decision fast! Thanks so much!!
 

alwaysaangel

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Hey,

Current MSI here. May I ask what school you're comparing it against?

Congrats on being accepted. Irvine is an awesome place to be.

My first year of med school has been about as pleasant as a year of med school could be. They eased us into it (only 1 class to start, anatomy doesn't start til' Thanksgiving), lots of social activities, FABULOUS classmates, friendly admin, plenty of extracurricular opportunities. Class 8-12 most days - PLENTY of free time. Ocean 10 minutes away, plenty of shopping opportunities, a state park 10 minutes south of campus, close to LA and SD. No block exams - which can be good and bad. Means you have a test most weeks but no scary massive cramming. 3 months of summer before second year. A USMLE step I prep course right on campus at the end of 2nd year (apparently these are really rare). I honestly believe that it doesn't get any better than this (but I'm biased ).

If you guys have any questions let me know, we are putting together a survival guide for you guys about classes, profs, places to live, places to eat, things to do, so you will have plenty of resources this summer. But if you have any burning questions just PM me or better yet, post here so others can see the answers, I'll check this thread from time to time.


Here's some questions someone asked me through email a while back about UCI.

What is the overall focus of the school? Is it more geared toward producing good primary care doctors, or is it big on research, or something in between?
The residency programs here in primary care are some of the top in the country - so this does bleed into the medical school 3rd and 4th year a bit. But there is also a heavy research presence here. We have 8 people in every class who are MD/PhD, and also a lot of opportunities for research. I'd say as of right now its somewhere in the middle between emphasizing research and primary care. Its certainly not a research powerhouse quite like Harvard or UCSF but its definitely up there.
-What is the curriculum like at UCI? Is it a traditional curriculum? Does it include aspects of problem-based learning? Any unique features?
Its traditional, but not as traditional as places like UCSD. UCSD is VERY traditional with class 8-5. Here at UCI 1st years have lecture 8-12 every weekday. And about once a week we have a clinical class which is small group. There isn't a lot of problem-based learning in the strictest sense (where you have a case before you really understand the basic sciences behind it). There may be second year - but I'm not there yet :)
Second year is a bit tougher, right now they are 8-5 because of path labs. But after Christmas it will tame down so they can start studying for their boards.
I'd say the clinical training is awesome, while not unique. Once a week you work with 5 other students and a doctor on standardized patients. Its more for interviewing skills than problem based learning. Although you are learning basic symptoms and diagnoses. At the same time every 3rd week or so instead of meeting with your group and a doctor you go with one other student to a community doctor and interview real patients in their practice. Thats pretty cool.
-What is the clinical training like? (The Patient-Doctor course sounds great- really comprehensive. My aunt mentioned that she liked that she got to train in three different hospitals for her core areas and had a lot of freedom with her elective rotations.)
The patient doctor course I described above. I don't know a lot about rotations yet since I'm not there but I have heard there is a ton of flexibility. Most are done at UCI medical center by default but there are tons of other hospitals in the area that you can choose from.
-What community service activities are students involved in? (For example, from being an undergrad at UCLA, I know that they have a Mobile Clinic (provides basic medical care to the homeless in the area once a week) that they are really proud of. )
We have a lot of programs like this.
Flying Samaritans drive down to Mexico once a month to a clinic we built there to do a free clinic. Thats an awesome program.
We are in the process of opening a fully running free clinic. It will open Jan 2008, and should be fully funded and functional by the time you guys get here next Fall. Its in Santa Ana and has a ton of potential because the need there is so high. It will be relatively small and once a week at first but we hope to help it grow overtime.
There is already a referral clinic once a month in Santa Ana called Clinica Carino. It is done at a soup kitchen in Santa Ana.
-Is there anything else that I haven't asked about which you really like about UCI?
The social life here is ridiculous if you like that sort of thing. Don't get me wrong - my class is really smart but they go out a lot. So if you love having a night life - this is the place for you there is always something to do. The administration here is incredibly open and supportive - I have regular chats about life with the med ed office people, admission office receptionists etc. Its just a super friendly atmosphere.

The one thing that some don't like is that its in Orange County. Its not the most cultured place in the world. I mean its really nice. You could walk down the street at 2am with your wallet in the air and be totally safe. But it doesn't have a lot of nice little hole in the wall cheap lunch type places. Its mostly chain restaurants, and stores. I know I miss Berkeley food.

There are also a ton of electives you can do when you're here. Medical Spanish class, a program called U-Teach where you go with a pregnant woman to all her prenatal visits and her birth, a great way to get involved in OB/gyn, the Free clinic is an elective with lectures on health disparities and culturally sensitive healthcare, Health Policy class, etc.

Faculty quality - Most of our faculty are AWESOME! The director of Biochem/MCB and most of the lecturers are good, but of course you get the occasional professor who's dull or who's english skills aren't so good. It comes with being in sciences. Our anatomy professor and embryology professor are awesome. They're totally concerned with their student's well beings and I've heard our anatomy professor can often be found helping students in the lab on a Saturday at midnight before the test. Our embryology professor is amusing and makes lectures a lot of fun. Immunology professor isn't necessarily fun but he's clear, and concise. Our genetics class is a variety of professors who specialize in each topic. Basically I'd say at least 90% of our professors are the best I've had in my life. Plus they all really care - if you fail a test you'll get an email from the professor, the dean and some 2nd year tutors all checking if you need help. The faculty here definitely care about their students.

Clinical affiliates- Not in 3rd year yet so I don't really know - we rotate at UCIMC and a variety of locations around Orange County.

opportunities to go abroad - Hopefully someone else can comment on this - I don't have any interest to go abroad so I don't really know about all the opportunities. I know a group of students goes to Chiapas every year and does medical work down there.

Sensitivity to student input - the med ed office here is very sensitive to student input. In fact most of the testing styles/schedules here are based on votes from the previous class. Also, they are very responsive to students concerns about lecturers. We evaluate every professor we have, and the dean has an open lunch every month to talk to students about other major issues. Many of the electives here exist because students wanted them and we really do have a huge say in our educations.

I love studying medicine at UCI. My classmates are amazing, the faculty and administration are SOO supportive. The cooperative atmosphere is incredible. The week before an exam you receive at least 10 study guides from different classmates. We share everything and all work together to do well. Its an incredible environment to study in and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
 

DrZaius

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Seriously, every post you make about UCI makes me want to go there. Plus, one of my friends is in your class :)
 
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CA123

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Wow, thank you SO much. That repsonse was incredibly helpful. The other school I am considering is Robert Wood Johnson in NJ. Thank you again!
 

alwaysaangel

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Wow, thank you SO much. That repsonse was incredibly helpful. The other school I am considering is Robert Wood Johnson in NJ. Thank you again!
Anytime - if you have any other questions feel free to PM me.
 

Doublecortin

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Wow, thank you SO much. That repsonse was incredibly helpful. The other school I am considering is Robert Wood Johnson in NJ. Thank you again!
dude, that's a no-brainer, uci all the way
 

TRN1983

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Hey,

Current MSI here. May I ask what school you're comparing it against?

Congrats on being accepted. Irvine is an awesome place to be.
Long time lurker and wanted to say thanks for the incredible information!

:thumbup:

UCI = #1 Choice for me. *crosses fingers*
 

TRN1983

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Oh, forgot to ask. I looked around quite a bit but I couldn't find the information.

Is UCI organ based? How many classes at a time (I know they only start off with 1 class according to one post). How is the grading system?

Thanks so much!!!!!!!!
 

Doublecortin

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Oh, forgot to ask. I looked around quite a bit but I couldn't find the information.

Is UCI organ based? How many classes at a time (I know they only start off with 1 class according to one post). How is the grading system?

Thanks so much!!!!!!!!
it's honors/pass/fail, from what i understand, some classes have competitive honors, - top 10% or so, and other classes have a set scale. i don't think the curriculum is organ based, from what MS1 schedule looks like, I think it's pretty reasonable, we get out by noon or early afternoon most days.

Have you been accepted? If so you should have access to the MS1 calendar

i think there are ~3-5 classes at one time
 

TRN1983

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it's honors/pass/fail, from what i understand, some classes have competitive honors, - top 10% or so, and other classes have a set scale. i don't think the curriculum is organ based, from what MS1 schedule looks like, I think it's pretty reasonable, we get out by noon or early afternoon most days.

Have you been accepted? If so you should have access to the MS1 calendar

i think there are ~3-5 classes at one time
Thanks!

No acceptance. I'm in the 2009 app cycle. I'd be absolutely ecstatic and withdraw all of my applications if I was accepted at UCI though.
 

redbull928

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it's right by Newport Beach... July 4th it gets crazy there! LOVE Newport Beach. If you want culture, go to NB. You can live 2 steps from the oceanfront, go surfing in the morning (if you like surfing), then go to class.
 

Doublecortin

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Thanks!

No acceptance. I'm in the 2009 app cycle. I'd be absolutely ecstatic and withdraw all of my applications if I was accepted at UCI though.
well, good luck, dude/dudette! I hope UCI works out for you. It's a great school and it's getting better, there is a lot of exciting growth and expansion going on right now.

I might interview you as an MSI ;), lemme know if you have any questions
 

TRN1983

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well, good luck, dude/dudette! I hope UCI works out for you. It's a great school and it's getting better, there is a lot of exciting growth and expansion going on right now.

I might interview you as an MSI ;), lemme know if you have any questions
Awesome! Thanks for the offer... I'm sure I'll have questions :D

(edit: and its "dude" :thumbup: )
 

RySerr21

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it's right by Newport Beach... July 4th it gets crazy there! LOVE Newport Beach. If you want culture, go to NB. You can live 2 steps from the oceanfront, go surfing in the morning (if you like surfing), then go to class.
i didnt realize UCI med school was so close to the beach. I live in So Cal and dirve through Irvine all the time but never taken time to figure out where the campus is....the part why I drive through is pretty far inland(I drive through on the 5) Where exactly is the med school? near the 405 or somethig?
 

redbull928

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Yeap, it's where 405 meets 73. And very close to the beach. There are a bunch of houses along the beach where students live. But the Medical Center is more inland, about 20 mins away from the school, about 5 mins from Disneyland. All the SoCal UC's are close to the beach - UCSD, UCI, UCLA, and UCSB (altho no med school). UCSB is about 2 steps away from the beach.

i didnt realize UCI med school was so close to the beach. I live in So Cal and dirve through Irvine all the time but never taken time to figure out where the campus is....the part why I drive through is pretty far inland(I drive through on the 5) Where exactly is the med school? near the 405 or somethig?
 

RySerr21

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Yeap, it's where 405 meets 73. And very close to the beach. There are a bunch of houses along the beach where students live. But the Medical Center is more inland, about 20 mins away from the school, about 5 mins from Disneyland. All the SoCal UC's are close to the beach - UCSD, UCI, UCLA, and UCSB (altho no med school). UCSB is about 2 steps away from the beach.
UCLA is in beverly hills i thought (or right next to).....??

I am very familliar with UCSD since i am from san diego. there isn't a more beautiful place in the country to go to med school...no joke.
 

redbull928

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UCLA is next to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. It takes about 10 mins to get to the beach at 6 AM. Otherwise, 1 hr due to the infamous traffic. And I don't doubt that UCSD is the most beautiful. I love SD because it's very beautiful. I love LA more though, for various other reasons :rolleyes:

UCLA is in beverly hills i thought (or right next to).....??

I am very familliar with UCSD since i am from san diego. there isn't a more beautiful place in the country to go to med school...no joke.
 

Craig McDermott

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UCLA is in beverly hills i thought (or right next to).....??
UCLA is west of Beverly Hills, south of Bel-Air (you can see the entrance arch to the bel air mansions from the dorms i think), east of Pacific Palisades. We are also 3.9 miles from the beach parking lot, so I guess 4.2 miles from the actual water.

Yeah I think we have it pretty good here! :laugh:

UCLA is next to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. It takes about 10 mins to get to the beach at 6 AM. Otherwise, 1 hr due to the infamous traffic. And I don't doubt that UCSD is the most beautiful. I love SD because it's very beautiful. I love LA more though, for various other reasons :rolleyes:
True. But once you've been here for a while, you know when the best times to drive are. And, you learn some of the little side streets that go parallel to Wilshire/SM (Ohio, Colorado, etc). ;)
 

RySerr21

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UCLA is west of Beverly Hills, south of Bel-Air (you can see the entrance arch to the bel air mansions from the dorms i think), east of Pacific Palisades. We are also 3.9 miles from the beach parking lot, so I guess 4.2 miles from the actual water.

Yeah I think we have it pretty good here! :laugh:



True. But once you've been here for a while, you know when the best times to drive are. And, you learn some of the little side streets that go parallel to Wilshire/SM (Ohio, Colorado, etc). ;)
wow...there really is no better place to be than california.thats a fact! haha. maybe i'm biased, but that doesnt matter i guess

i didnt realize how close UCI and UCLA were to the water. I thought i'd only have the luxury of surfin if i went to UCSD!!!!
 

EpiPEN

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UCLA is next to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. It takes about 10 mins to get to the beach at 6 AM. Otherwise, 1 hr due to the infamous traffic. And I don't doubt that UCSD is the most beautiful. I love SD because it's very beautiful. I love LA more though, for various other reasons :rolleyes:
I'll say one thing about UCLA though, it's close to the Getty Museum. That place is magnificant. It's definately on par with the scenery at Balboa Park. Although I guess Balboa Park would be a better comparison with Griffith Park...
 

DrJD

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UCLA is minutes walking distance from Diddy Reise though... :thumbup::thumbup:
 

redbull928

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all this talk about LA makes me depressed because we all (those from LA) may have to leave LA in a year. :(

UCLA is minutes walking distance from Diddy Reise though... :thumbup::thumbup:
 

DrJD

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And what was once called "Mongol King", although I think now it is just Mongol... :thumbup: