UCLA PRIME (Westwood/DGSOM) vs. UCLA PRIME-Drew (UCLA/Charles Drew University)

UCLA PRIME (Westwood/DGSOM) vs. UCLA PRIME-Drew (CDU/Charles Drew University)

  • UCLA PRIME (Westwood)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • UCLA PRIME-Drew (UCLA/CDU)

    Votes: 2 40.0%

  • Total voters
    5
  • Poll closed .

FutureDoctorYay

New Member
Mar 15, 2016
5
0
  1. Pre-Medical
    Trying to decide between the programs. I wish I had a better understanding between the differences between DGSOM and CDU/UCLA, but thinks change a bit when considering the additional support given at PRIME. It seems like UCLA Prime-Drew comes with more BENEFITS than just UCLA Prime, but what are trade-offs or costs? Which of the two would you choose and why?

    -Points of concern for me:
    *FINANCIAL AID: Given the Future leaders of tomorrow fellowship with CDU acceptance letter, but I think the scholarship is decided and can be used with any program? Should that be the end of the conversation if it would only apply to UCLA Prime-Drew?
    * RESIDENCY: difference in residency slots and matches?
    * (related) RANKING/PRESTIGE: prestige and ranking differences? How is it recognized, some programs/physician professional think DGSOM is just more competitive that UCLA/CDU? Does what other students think of CDU affect performance/well-being of Drew Students?
    * MASTER'S YEAR: Is there any difference between where UCLA PRIME vs. UCLA PRIME-DREW students end up doing their Master's?
    * PROGRAM LOCATION: I understand the difference between UCLA vs. UCLA Drew with two years spent at DGSOM and then second two year at CDU. However, the UCLA PRIME FAQ say that " Students that have been accepted to PRIME UCLA/CDU will take classes associated with that program their final year." What does that look like? Is that less time spent at CDU, it's kind of confusing.
    * PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT: differences professional support (is too much support/advisors a thing?), would it be an additional set of advisors or would I have to defer only to UCLAPrime-Drew mentors
    * ACADEMIC SUPPORT: pre-matriculation, study skills, retention and graduation support? (Does just UCLA Prime provide any type of additional programming, etc? Also, any difference between program policies for emergency medical leaves? -> do they have policies in place)
    * SOCIAL LIFE: integration with the rest of the UCLA campus (i.e. other Drew, Prime[ucla&drew], DGSOM students), and BGLTQ, race, gender etc...
    * UNDERSERVED FOCUS: does just UCLA prime vs UclaPrime-drew really prioritze this?
    * ROTATIONS: hospital rotations (MLK vs. Ronald Reagan) (what are the other affiliated hospitals? how to compare the difference) [Pro: increased patient interaction with underserved, Con: fewer resources/tech/expensive surgeries&transplants?] [and vice versa for just UCLA Prime]
    * COMMUTE: commute time (w/ and w/o traffic) from UCLA to CDU ~45 mins w/o traffic (would need to get a car, right?)
    * ELECTIVES: additional electives and requirements from the programs (PRIME come with an elective, and so does Drew and both would be required?)
    *RESEARCH: Access to UCLA faculty vs. UCLA Drew Faculty (Some faculty are just UCLA, would they be more or less willing to work with some UCLA/Drew, what is their understanding and willingness?)


    Other Questions:
    *are 3rd and 4th year students required to move closer to CDU campus?
    * Additionally, does anyone know which program/campus is more queer/BGLTQ friendly? or have access to queer populations? (South Central/East LA vs. Westwood Area).
    * How about Spanish-speaking populations?
    * I heard that CDU gets first priority for underserved sites, but are they NOT allowed to have access to sites that DGSOM have instead? What do you LOSE from choosing UCLA-Drew?
    *Any match list out there comparing the programs between UCLA/CDU vs. just DGSOM (w/ or w/o PRIME added)?
    *Speaking with one student, they said that knowing what they know about the Drew Program, they would have chosen UCLA/DGSOM-Drew as opposed to just UCLA/DGSOM, although they weren't accepted to through the general admission. So what other reasons would people interested in serving the underserved choose DGSOM over UCLA/CDU?

    Any links with concrete information would also be much much appreciated!
     
    Last edited:

    imcelroy

    eeeeh
    May 29, 2012
    18
    18
    1. Medical Student
      Trying to decide between the programs. I wish I had a better understanding between the differences between DGSOM and CDU/UCLA, but thinks change a bit when considering the additional support given at PRIME. It seems like UCLA Prime-Drew comes with more BENEFITS than just UCLA Prime, but what are trade-offs or costs? Which of the two would you choose and why?

      -Points of concern for me:
      *FINANCIAL AID: Given the Future leaders of tomorrow fellowship with CDU acceptance letter, but I think the scholarship is decided and can be used with any program? Should that be the end of the conversation if it would only apply to UCLA Prime-Drew?
      * RESIDENCY: difference in residency slots and matches?
      * (related) RANKING/PRESTIGE: prestige and ranking differences? How is it recognized, some programs/physician professional think DGSOM is just more competitive that UCLA/CDU? Does what other students think of CDU affect performance/well-being of Drew Students?
      * MASTER'S YEAR: Is there any difference between where UCLA PRIME vs. UCLA PRIME-DREW students end up doing their Master's?
      * PROGRAM LOCATION: I understand the difference between UCLA vs. UCLA Drew with two years spent at DGSOM and then second two year at CDU. However, the UCLA PRIME FAQ say that " Students that have been accepted to PRIME UCLA/CDU will take classes associated with that program their final year." What does that look like? Is that less time spent at CDU, it's kind of confusing.
      * PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT: differences professional support (is too much support/advisors a thing?), would it be an additional set of advisors or would I have to defer only to UCLAPrime-Drew mentors
      * ACADEMIC SUPPORT: pre-matriculation, study skills, retention and graduation support? (Does just UCLA Prime provide any type of additional programming, etc? Also, any difference between program policies for emergency medical leaves? -> do they have policies in place)
      * SOCIAL LIFE: integration with the rest of the UCLA campus (i.e. other Drew, Prime[ucla&drew], DGSOM students), and BGLTQ, race, gender etc...
      * UNDERSERVED FOCUS: does just UCLA prime vs UclaPrime-drew really prioritze this?
      * ROTATIONS: hospital rotations (MLK vs. Ronald Reagan) (what are the other affiliated hospitals? how to compare the difference) [Pro: increased patient interaction with underserved, Con: fewer resources/tech/expensive surgeries&transplants?] [and vice versa for just UCLA Prime]
      * COMMUTE: commute time (w/ and w/o traffic) from UCLA to CDU ~45 mins w/o traffic (would need to get a car, right?)
      * ELECTIVES: additional electives and requirements from the programs (PRIME come with an elective, and so does Drew and both would be required?)
      *RESEARCH: Access to UCLA faculty vs. UCLA Drew Faculty (Some faculty are just UCLA, would they be more or less willing to work with some UCLA/Drew, what is their understanding and willingness?)


      Other Questions:
      *are 3rd and 4th year students required to move closer to CDU campus?
      * Additionally, does anyone know which program/campus is more queer/BGLTQ friendly? or have access to queer populations? (South Central/East LA vs. Westwood Area).
      * How about Spanish-speaking populations?
      * I heard that CDU gets first priority for underserved sites, but are they NOT allowed to have access to sites that DGSOM have instead? What do you LOSE from choosing UCLA-Drew?
      *Any match list out there comparing the programs between UCLA/CDU vs. just DGSOM (w/ or w/o PRIME added)?
      *Speaking with one student, they said that knowing what they know about the Drew Program, they would have chosen UCLA/DGSOM-Drew as opposed to just UCLA/DGSOM, although they weren't accepted to through the general admission. So are there any other reasons that people with interest in serving the underserved would choose DGSOM over UCLA/CDU, besides prestige (in the ways it would superficially and at times tangibly affect their career?)

      Any links with concrete information would also be much much appreciated!



      I am a current 3rd year medical student if you (or anyone else) would like to speak with me to answer these questions please contact me at the following account: [email protected]
       
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      Mar 24, 2016
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        Trying to decide between the programs. I wish I had a better understanding between the differences between DGSOM and CDU/UCLA, but thinks change a bit when considering the additional support given at PRIME. It seems like UCLA Prime-Drew comes with more BENEFITS than just UCLA Prime, but what are trade-offs or costs? Which of the two would you choose and why?

        Firstly, CONGRATS!! What a terrific feat you've already accomplished!

        Shall we dig in? Great!

        I'm a first year medical student in the program. And I would choose Drew/UCLA all over again. In fact, I received an acceptance from DGSOM as a general admit BEFORE receiving one of the highly prized acceptances from Drew. And I simply "transferred" my acceptance to the specialized Drew/UCLA program. Like you, I had a quasi-basic understanding of the two programs, but I didn't understand any of the details. I'll do my best to share my experience and answer your questions.

        -Points of concern for me:
        *FINANCIAL AID: Given the Future leaders of tomorrow fellowship with CDU acceptance letter, but I think the scholarship is decided and can be used with any program? Should that be the end of the conversation if it would only apply to UCLA Prime-Drew?

        The first thing you should know is that ANY scholarship, grants, financial aid you receive from DGSOM can and will be used toward your medical school education should you choose Drew. I was concerned that the scholarship money I received from Geffen would be forfeited if I switched to Drew. That's not the case at all. The benefit of being in Drew is that you'll be serviced by BOTH institutions' financial aid offices and be eligible for the same exact scholarships that regular Geffen admits receive. In fact, there are 5 Drew first years who received the Geffen Scholarship, which pays for 100% of their medical school tuition. On the other hand, general Geffen admits and UCLA/Prime students do NOT get access to scholarships offered by Drew. But note, Drew-Prime students (there are only 4 seats for this program) have access to scholarships offered by Drew/UCLA, Prime/UCLA, and DGSOM general admissions.

        * RESIDENCY: difference in residency slots and matches?

        One thing physicians and 4th year students who had matched kept telling me when I was narrowing my school list was that Residency slots will be 99% ENTIRELY up to YOU. Your STEP scores, leadership positions, research projects, advocacy work and execution during 3rd/4th year rounds will determine which residency programs you match to. But one advantage Drew students have is that our Dean (Calmes) and SAO staff (Joe, Kay Lynn, etc) are constantly on the look out for special opportunities that will bolster your residency application. What's more, Dean Calmes works directly with the Dean of Student Affairs at DGSOM to carefully craft a letter that will highlight your unique strengths. This shouldn't be taken for granted because Dean Calmes works extremely hard to build a relationship with students so that she knows you very well by the time 4th year rolls around, and is thus able to contribute comments that make your letter more personal (i.e. less generic).

        * (related) RANKING/PRESTIGE: prestige and ranking differences? How is it recognized, some programs/physician professional think DGSOM is just more competitive that UCLA/CDU? Does what other students think of CDU affect performance/well-being of Drew Students?

        I completely understand where you're coming from with this question. And because we live in a world where prestige matters, it's not something that we can easily overlook. But here's the thing: you receive your diploma from both The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA AND (!!!) The Charles R. Drew University. That's TWO diplomas for the same degree! #IHopeYouHaveEnoughWallSpace :)
        Your degree does not come with an asterisk. The beauty is that you will be affiliated with a well respected university deeply rooted in serving the underserved AND an international powerhouse that brings the upper class prestige that you may be looking for. Prime/UCLA students do not receive two diplomas. They are only affiliated with UCLA. The only other way to benefit from this distinction is if you are accepted into one of the four seats in the Drew-Prime program at DGSOM.


        * MASTER'S YEAR: Is there any difference between where UCLA PRIME vs. UCLA PRIME-DREW students end up doing their Master's?

        No, sir that isn't a darn thing different between the two. Like many Drew/UCLA students, I had already attained my Masters' degree (MBA) prior to applying to medical school, so the Prime/UCLA program was not in my purview. However, I am close friends with many Prime/UCLA students, and they have to go through the exact same process and have access to the same programs as Drew/UCLA students. There is absolutely no difference. If someone accidentally misinformed you, let me know, and I'll put you on a conference call with a student from each program.


        * PROGRAM LOCATION: I understand the difference between UCLA vs. UCLA Drew with two years spent at DGSOM and then second two year at CDU. However, the UCLA PRIME FAQ say that " Students that have been accepted to PRIME UCLA/CDU will take classes associated with that program their final year." What does that look like? Is that less time spent at CDU, it's kind of confusing.

        Another unique feature about the Drew program is that in our 4th year, we are "enrolled" in the Urban Underserved College. This is a tract that is specially crafted to aid students in intimately understanding how the health care system works for (and against) underserved populations. It will help you navigate the socio-political (and of course, economic) waters that accompany underserved communities. It will polish your advocacy skills, so that you are prepared to carry out our mission statement. In the past few years, Geffen and Prime students have requested to join the college. I'm not sure where administration will go with those requests.


        * PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT: differences professional support (is too much support/advisors a thing?), would it be an additional set of advisors or would I have to defer only to UCLAPrime-Drew mentors

        One thing I've done since matriculating into medical school is that I've dropped out of the "I can do it on my own" PhD program and am getting a second Masters in "Hey Dean Calmes (or Joe) can you help me with this.." Haha. As a Drew/UCLA student, you would receive professional support from both Drew and Geffen. As Prime/UCLA student, you receive professional support from Prime and Geffen. And as a Drew-Prime student you receive professional support from Drew, Prime and Geffen. I'll let you do the math! I am 100% happy with the support I receive being in Drew/UCLA. An advantage of being in Drew/UCLA and/or Drew-Prime that is not afforded to other programs is that when you begin your preceptorship in the spring of your first year (preceptorship = being paired with a physician in LA to gain valuable clinical experience), you can shoot Dean Calmes an email saying, these are the specialties that I'm interested in. She will then put foot to pavement and match you with a preceptor in one of those fields. Furthermore, that preceptor will be located in an underserved area. Conversely, the general admits and Prime/UCLA students are randomly matched to a preceptor in one of the more wealthy/over-served communities. This is because DGSOM has to place almost 150 students. So naturally Drew/UCLA and Drew-Prime students will have a selective advantage. Now you can certainly complain to Prime and Geffen SAO about the location of your West LA preceptor (one Prime first year student did this because she was passionate about working in an underserved area), but it isn't guaranteed that anything will change. Should you choose Prime/UCLA, PLEASE big SAO until they switch you to an underserved area because we need all of the help we can get from passionate and socially conscious students!

        * ACADEMIC SUPPORT: pre-matriculation, study skills, retention and graduation support? (Does just UCLA Prime provide any type of additional programming, etc? Also, any difference between program policies for emergency medical leaves? -> do they have policies in place)

        As a Drew/UCLA and Drew-Prime student, you have access to the same academic support that Prime/UCLA and general admits receive. DGSOM offers group tutoring, one-on-one tutors and a Sunday content weekly review that is well established. What's awesome about Drew/UCLA and Drew-Prime is that we have an additional layer of academic support because 1) we have a 2 week medical school crash course (pre-orientation) that not only educates us about health disparities but also has academic sessions led by 2nd year students that give us study tips that they wish they knew when they were first years; and 2) Drew/UCLA and Drew-Prime students have exclusive access to our very own learning specialist, Kay Lynn Cejas, who teaches us how to be more efficient (you'll see why this is paramount once you begin medical school), how to reorganize concepts and works with students to build a question bank throughout each block (if students send her Q's), so that you have a set of prep questions exclusively offered to Drew and Drew-Prime students.

        Regarding medical leaves (let's hope this will remain inapplicable to you), Drew and Drew-Prime students are under the same auspices as Prime and general admits. Policies regarding medical leaves, personal days and sick days are determined by DGSOM.


        * SOCIAL LIFE: integration with the rest of the UCLA campus (i.e. other Drew, Prime[ucla&drew], DGSOM students), and BGLTQ, race, gender etc...

        Social life in medical school is no different than social life out in the "real" world. Psychologists assert the observation that "likes attract likes." That is, the types of people you "vibe" with and with whom you hold common interests with will be the people that you choose to study, spend time and socialize with (and at times, the people you study with may be completely different than your close friends). And while Drew students are my chosen family, my CLOSEST friends/social companions are actually a general admit and a Prime student. And we've created an amazing queer group that includes queer (and queer allies) womyn from all of the programs and across classes (1st-4th year). We actually just had a brunch in Weho for one of the amazing 4th years (a general admit) who had just completed Match the day before. You can also participate in Geffen-sponsored social events put on by MSC, and attend Drew social events put on by your elected Drew Executive Board. You also can hang with your Drew big sib/grand sib, your Geffen big sub and/or the friends you'll make who aren't in medical school. It all depends on YOU!


        * UNDERSERVED FOCUS: does just UCLA prime vs UclaPrime-drew really prioritze this?

        The program with the hands down number one focus on underserved populations is by and large DREW (which includes the 4 Drew-Prime students). I can't imagine a soul who would refute that. Serving the underserved is literally our only mission. Consequently, we have access to key community members and unique connections that the other programs simply don't have access to. Not because they're any less or because we're "better;" it's simply because of what Drew chiefly and officially represent, the location of the University and the historical relationship that Drew holds with the citizens of South LA. Drew was there during the Watts uprising; it was there when the hospital opened it's doors; it loyally stood in the gap when the hospital closed its doors; it stayed when the new MLK hospital was built; and it remains there, as a pillar and a beacon of light in the community. There is absolutely no denying the contribution that the Charles R. Drew has made to underserved communities; there isn't a soul who can question the passion and ingenuity of the 24 Drew and 4 Drew-Prime students who occupy these seats. Heavy are the heads that adorn these crowns. But, thankfully, we go to bed at night and rest on the broad shoulders of giants. We awake each morning with a sense of purpose. Tired and dreary or not, our greatest achievement will not be the two diplomas we receive or the prestige hat comes with being a Geffen student or a physician. Our greatest achievement will be serving a population of people who have been left out, cut out and historically marginalized. A group of people who are often misunderstood and counted out. We will not be heroes. We will be simply be human beings cloaked in a white coat with fancy degrees on our walls: we will be physicians with an "S" on our undershirts because social justice is Drew.

        There are definitely Prime students and general admits who also want to work in underserved communities. For example, there are some general admission students whose first choice was Drew (and/or Drew-Prime), but, unfortunately, did not get a coveted seat but who have still made it their mission to advocate for underserved communities and even head the White Coats for Black Lives chapter. And there are some general admits who, to my knowledge, did not apply to Drew or Prime who are also doing work with homeless populations.

        But net-net: if working with the underserved is your primary goal, Drew (and Drew-Prime is King) and requires no extra effort on your part to build that into your experience because it is automatic when you chose those programs. Prime = Masters Degree/MD; Geffen = MD or MD/PhD. But again, should you choose those programs. Be not dismayed. You can make a concerted effort to layer in social justice work in your free time.


        * ROTATIONS: hospital rotations (MLK vs. Ronald Reagan) (what are the other affiliated hospitals? how to compare the difference) [Pro: increased patient interaction with underserved, Con: fewer resources/tech/expensive surgeries&transplants?] [and vice versa for just UCLA Prime]

        As a Drew and Drew-Prime student, you will do the exact same hospital rotations as your counterparts. But in addition, Drew and Drew-Prime students rotate at hospitals in underserved areas as well (MLK, Harbor, Olive View, etc). This is extremely important because hospitals such as UCLA's powerhouse, Ronald Reagan Hospital, does NOT accept Managed Care MediCal. Yea, I know. I was gravely disappointed too, especially when you consider that 1/3 of all Black people living in LA county are on MediCal.

        * COMMUTE: commute time (w/ and w/o traffic) from UCLA to CDU ~45 mins w/o traffic (would need to get a car, right?)

        Commute time in LA is hellish no matter what. In traffic, UCLA to CDU is about 45 minutes. Without traffic, it's about 25 minutes. In your first two years, your time is 95% spent on UCLA's campus in Westwood. And once you begin preceptorship during the first year, you'll travel to and around South LA (where Drew's campus is located) once every two weeks. You'll also travel there should you choose (I hope you would) to participate in interview days on Saturdays and/or when the Drew staff holds a mental health/social event for us. And Dr. Calmes and staff hold the Drew Selective that begins in Block 3 (it focuses on health care disparities) at UCLA, so that students don't have to travel. Dr. Calmes also comes to Westwood and takes us out for a "family" meal each block to check in with us as a group. And if the Drew Executive Board (elected students) senses that our class needs a pick me up, we let Joe know and he and Dean Calmes order pizza to campus for us and have impromptu/laid back lunches. And if you're needing some 1-on-1 time, they hold office hours at Geffen's campus, so that you don't have to travel.

        Having a car is technically a mandatory DGSOM policy (like owning a laptop). But because Drew and Drew-Prime students are a tight knit bunch, most of us carpool to our preceptors and to Drew because not everyone has a car/can afford a car yet. Considering that, you probably wouldn't have to get a car until second or third year, if you're living in Weyburn.


        * ELECTIVES: additional electives and requirements from the programs (PRIME come with an elective, and so does Drew and both would be required?)

        I'm actually not well versed in their mandatory selective, so I can't speak on it. Drew has a mandatory selective in Block 3, which I've referenced above. The end goal is to get students thinking about the scope of the longitudinal research project that is required as a Drew and/or Drew-Prime student. And in 4th year, Drew and Drew-Prime students participate in the urban underserved college. Outside of that, selectives are entirely up to you. I know some Drew folks also participated in a surgery selective offered by Geffen and sit on Geffen committee and sub-committees. You would have access to Geffen-"owned" and Drew-"owned" selectives, committees, boards, interest groups, etc. As a Drew-Prime student, the same is true. And as a general admit and/or Prime student, you have access to Geffen-"owned" opportunities. Note: The mandatory first year selective for Drew and Drew-Prime students also allows 3-4 non-Drew students to join. To date, Geffen hasn't expanded or created a health care disparities selective. I'm not sure if it's due to a lack of demand by students or if they haven't had time to add it or don't have the manpower to staff it. But should you choose Prime and there are no slots left in the Drew selective, you can personally go around school and build traction among first year general admits, Prime and MSTP, organize a presentation, and then petition MSC (Medical Student Committee) to consider the idea. And if they agree, they would petition DGSOM on your behalf to expand its selectives offered to include one on health care disparities, especially considering how important the issue is.
        I wish more folks I had networked with had engrained in me how important EMOTIONAL support is in medical school.


        *RESEARCH: Access to UCLA faculty vs. UCLA Drew Faculty (Some faculty are just UCLA, would they be more or less willing to work with some UCLA/Drew, what is their understanding and willingness?)

        Drew and Drew-Prime students have access to ALL UCLA and Drew faculty. And Prime has access to ALL UCLA faculty. I have not *personally* experienced or heard about a faculty member that turned away students looking to do research due to their status as a Drew or Prime student. BUT it is no secret that implicit bias and institutional/individual racism, sexism, queerism, socioeconomic-ism exist. And being a member of Drew, Drew-Prime and Prime implicitly connotes being a person of color. As a person of color, you most likely already have been a survivor of racism. As a MALE of color, you most certainly have dodged the poverty and death trap that is the privatized industrial prison complex. So the tools and socio-political savvy that you have acquired and used to journey to medicine can and should be used to navigate your way through the rigors of attending a historically white medical school/entering a historically white career field.
        And while I cannot personally speak on any issues gaining access to faculty research mentors/labs, I will say that DGSOM (the field of medicine and America for that matter) is a work in progress. At times, you may feel you the familiar sting of bias or wonder if a closed door is due to your skin color, no matter what program you're in or no matter what specialty you ultimately go into. However, it's the Drew bond that picks you up, dusts you off and says "Hey, I understand your struggle. Let me show you another way." And it's the EMOTIONAL support that being in Drew and Drew-Prime that is the unsung hero. There is no way to properly give justice to the amount and quality of mental and emotional support that being a Drew student affords you. But is what separates Drew and Drew-Prime from any other Geffen program: not only will you have access to UCLA faculty and research labs, you will ALSO have exclusive access to highly accomplished Drew faculty/researchers who have already succeeded at the goal you're going towards as a male of color as a physician of color and who have been through a common struggle.

        So again, you will be able to work with BOTH sets of highly esteemed faculty, each having their own strengths and weakness. And it is YOU who gets to decide who all you wish to work with. In essence, you will not be alone. You will be surrounded by greatness on all fronts.

        And as for Geffen, I can say that the current DGSOM leadership are making great strides in ensuring that there is equity among its student body, no matter the program, no matter your skin color, no matter your sex or sexual preference. And passionate students across ALL programs are leading the charge.


        Other Questions:
        *are 3rd and 4th year students required to move closer to CDU campus?

        Absolutely not. Hopefully someone didn't misinform you of this! As a first, second, third and fourth year student YOU and your wallet will determine where you live! DGSOM suggests living in Weyburn your first year, but several students don't (I'm one of them). It's definitely convenient to live close to Geffen in the pre-clinical years. But totally up to you. And once you hit third year, you could live virtually anywhere in LA because your rotations will be scattered throughout the county. And the course(s) taken at CDU don't meet every day. I believe it's actually only 1-2 times per week because most of your time will be spent at a hospital. Call and ask Joe to confirm the exact number of days. But I am 10000000% positive that you will NOT have to move closer to CDU for 3rd or 4th year.


        * Additionally, does anyone know which program/campus is more queer/BGLTQ friendly? or have access to queer populations? (South Central/East LA vs. Westwood Area).

        I would argue that BOTH campuses are queer friendly. Both campuses have queer staff and students. I honestly can't say one over the other. And since Drew and Prime students both do pre-clinical years at DGSOM, we all have access to the exact same people, resources, clubs, etc. MEDGLO operates out of DGSOM, and ALL programs and classes are represented. If you're interested in queer life, Weho and MEDGLO will most likely be in your future :)


        * How about Spanish-speaking populations?

        California residents are incredibly diverse. And it feels like every student throughout all programs speaks Spanish as a first, second or third language! I'm working on it though :) Between Drew and Prime, my best guess is that Prime definitely has a greater percentage of Spanish speakers but that Drew and Drew-Prime, together, have roughly the same number of Spanish speakers (but Drew has more seats than Prime). But in truth, it may be that general admissions students have a greater number and percentage of Spanish speakers. In terms of communities, Westwood is very college-like. You'd have to venture out to really appreciate the diversity that LA has. And in terms of working with *underserved* Latino populations, there are many Latino students in CDU who have the same aim and are fully supported by the mission statement and by CDU deans, faculty and staff. I can ask my friends from Prime who have similar aims how much support they feel. Ideally, we could all get on the horn together at the same time so you can hear varying perspectives at the same time!

        * I heard that CDU gets first priority for underserved sites, but are they NOT allowed to have access to sites that DGSOM have instead? What do you LOSE from choosing UCLA-Drew?

        Working in underserved areas is how we carry out the CDU mission. However, we actually have to rotate through the exact same sites as gen admits and Prime. But in addition, we rotate through underserved sites.


        *Any match list out there comparing the programs between UCLA/CDU vs. just DGSOM (w/ or w/o PRIME added)?

        That's a great question. Your best bet is to call up Joe to inquire about where students placed. Historically, students matriculating into CDU have wanted to go into primary care. However, there has been a shift whereby students and CDU are recognizing the need for specialists as well. So in recent years, CDU students have matched to anything from family Med to orthopedic surgery. And I know a number of students in my class have their sights set on Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Interventional Cardiology, Urology, Anesthesiology, and Orthopedic surgery and of course many want to do primary care as well. I couldn't make it to the Match because first years had a mandatory lecture at the same time. This year and have been so busy studying that I haven't asked Joe how the Match went for our 4th years. I know one of our 4th years announced on an interview day that she had Matched to the #1 Ophthalmology residency in the country (certain specialties match early). But honestly, the waaaaaaay more important questions to ask a) what STEP score, leadership experience, research and advocacy work do I need to Match into a certain residency program/medical specialty. And again, that will 99.9% be up to you, which is why having an added layer of professional, academic, social and emotional support during medical school is SO important. In medical school, those factors can make or break you. Med school is unlike anything you have ever experienced. When people would say that to me, I would think to myself "I've worked full time while getting a graduate degree. I've been poor. Heck, I've even lived in middle America. I won't need all of this extra support." Legit, within the first block, all of that goes out of the window. Haha

        *Speaking with one student, they said that knowing what they know about the Drew Program, they would have chosen UCLA/DGSOM-Drew as opposed to just UCLA/DGSOM, although they weren't accepted to through the general admission. So are there any other reasons that people with interest in serving the underserved would choose DGSOM over UCLA/CDU, besides prestige (in the ways it would superficially and at times tangibly affect their career?)

        In a word: No.

        Any links with concrete information would also be much much appreciated!


        I'm so sorry I didn't have time to cite my statements with links, BUT any and ALL of this info can be answered straight from the horses mouth: CDU. Pick up the phone and give Joe a call. He was my go to when I finally got accepted to CDU. I was SO excited but also SO SO confused and completely misinformed by well meaning/not so well meaning non-Drew folks. Also, getting a few Drew, Drew-Prime, and Prime students on a conference call shouldn't be too difficult. That way you get full transparency all at once from all programs. Shoot me an email at [email protected] if you would like me to set something up :)

        P.S. I'm not sure if you've been offered one of the four Drew-Prime seats or if it's wishful thinking. But if you're choosing between Drew or Prime, I would choose Drew. If you're choosing between Drew vs DGSOM, I would choose Drew. If it's between Prime and DGSOM, I would choose Prime. If you're choosing between Drew and Drew-Prime, but don't want a Masters, choose Drew. If you're choosing between Drew and Drew-Prime and want a Masters, choose Drew-Prime.

        But I'm gonna be candid for a second: if you want a Masters, want to work with the underserved, and also want internationally recognized prestige AND have actually been offered one of those elusive Drew-Prime seats, when I say you better hop, skip, jump, somersault, cartwheel, hit up Obama and ask to borrow Air Force One so you can get to your laptop across the room so you can immediately ACCEPT. I don't care if you have to knock on Mother Nature's bedroom door while she's making love to Father Time, so she can turn night into day so you can see your phone's keypad to call and say "Yes." I don't care if you have to travel back to 4th grade and sneak on the cordless phone to make a long distance phone call to Joe in the present day, tell him to "hold on! Don't hang up! I'm bout to call Emma on 3-way. But I'll call you back if she don't pick up" just so you can accept that seat in one fell swoop. I don't care if you need to go to church to hear a Word and spin around 3 times, so long as you turn to your neighbor and say "I'm choosing Drew-Prime." Ok, I'm done.

        In case my ridiculousness above wasn't clear, if you're trying to decide between Drew-Prime and just Prime, there is no decision. Choose Drew-Prime. But in all seriousness, congratulations on all of your acceptances. That, alone, is a huge feat. We don't know each other, but I'm deeply proud of you.
         
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