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UConn, why is it bad?

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I'm a CT resident so I attend UConn for undergrad. I was planning on applying to UConn SoM, but I've been doing searches and have been seeing threads saying bad things about it. These threads never say why though so I'll ask it.

Why is UConn SoM a bad medical school? What do people have against it?
 

CTtarheel

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I visited UConn and would not at all say it is bad. They have a well respected program and pretty good facilities. Also, you can't beat in-state tuition, though it is more expensive than in-state tuition at lots of other schools. In general, I found only a few problems with the school:

1. the class size is extremely small (~80). I didn't like this b/c that small just screams social dramma to me and also leads to . . .

2. lack of research opportunities. There is research going on at UConn, but it seemed maybe harder to get at than at other schools. This is nothing official, and nobody told me this, but it was just a feeling that I got when I was there. This could also be related to the heavy primary care focus (although that's pretty much typical for state schools).

and 3. The LOCATION. Farmington is not the most exciting place to spend 4 years of your 20's. It is also relatively expensive to live there, and absolutely necessary to have a car to commute back and forth to school. UConn is also not the major hospital in CT. It doesn't get the major city traffic (they go to Hartford Hospital/St. Francis) or the major referral cases (those go to Yale) not that you won't see plenty of cool stuff at UCHC. Good things are that you can roate in many of the CT hospitals.

For me location was probably the biggest factor, I just really wanted not to have to go back to CT, and especially not farmington. The small class size also will lock you closer into the northeast, since residency programs farther away might not have experience with uconn students. I also didn't like the discipline based curriculum or the fact that they kept you in lecture as much as any other school that I interviewed at (but those are subjective things).

In the end, if I didn't have a potentially comparable costing option in UNC, I would almost definitely be at UConn next year. It's well respected in the northeast and you really can't beat the tuition!
 

C.P. Jones

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for me, i don't like the location of the school as well.

the other thing i do not like is that they have a big focus on problem-based learning, which I am not a fan of. But that's up to individual taste.

In state tuition is still very high, which is very annoying, but still less than private schools.

Other than that, they obviously teach a very good clinical curriculum. They do lean towards producing primary care doctors....not that you can't specialize if you wanted to, but just to point out. I think it's an outstanding school, and just has a few cons as any other school may have....nothing major that is an actual "problem"....aside from not accepting me :D
 
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kmbowdoin

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i would have loved the opportunity to interview there this season...

i'm in state, but have yet to hear anything from them.

did you receive a rejection outright (if you don't mind my asking)--or are you taking the silence as being indicative of such?
 

freetheyaz

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I wouldn't send my dog there if they were giving out free heartworm pills! Living in-state, I heard so many cases of missed diagnoses, refusal to do basic tests, etc. They gave a family member of mine the run-around until I finally got them an appointment here in Boston, where the problem was so simple they laughed at UConn. Beyond producing PCPs, I don't know why else anyone would go there.
 
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resxn

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I wouldn't send my dog there if they were giving out free heartworm pills! Living in-state, I heard so many cases of missed diagnoses, refusal to do basic tests, etc. They gave a family member of mine the run-around until I finally got them an appointment here in Boston, where the problem was so simple they laughed at UConn. Beyond producing PCPs, I don't know why else anyone would go there.

Seriously, give me a freaking break.

I went to UConn, graduated 7 years ago. Now I'm not saying it was the greatest school--it isn't. But it is a good state school. I got a quality education. To address real concerns rather than this above ridiculous post:

1 - class size is small. Both good and bad to that. I know everyone from my class and we all worked together well. But if someone slept with someone else, everyone knew it within a day.
2 - PBL. I didn't mind it. It worked ok and it wasn't overwhelming. Just for afternoon classes twice a week when I was there.
3 - Farmington. Nice quiet city with the advantage of being able to go to Boston or NYC easily without living in them. Downside, if you party--not a lot to do there.
4 - Research opportunities are huge in that facility. Students can do quite a lot of it. Most of the building is actually research, not clinical. Some departments can be pretty small though.
5 - They really did push Primary Care there and so it is not the best place to go if you're definitely surgical.

PM me if you have any questions, I know I was there a while back, but not much has changed according to the friends I have there now.
 
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freetheyaz

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It was not meant to be ridiculous - I speak the truth about how the reputation. I am sure they do produce some good MDs, but the overall is not quite there compared to both private and (most) other state schools. For having affiliation with UConn, a great undergrad institution, they are disappointing.
 
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resxn

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It was not meant to be ridiculous - I speak the truth about how the reputation. I am sure they do produce some good MDs, but the overall is not quite there compared to both private and (most) other state schools. For having affiliation with UConn, a great undergrad institution, they are disappointing.

Really? Really, the great hospitals of Boston look down upon other schools, particularly the nearest one to them to the south? That's absolutely shocking. I'm really stunned that the humility of the great Bostonians wasn't levied more carefully.

Look, UConn is right in the middle of the pack for state schools. No doubt. Don't take my word for it, look at every ranking out there from USNWR to Kaplan's to whoever. I would never claim it's a great school. They just don't have the resources that a program in Boston, NYC, LA, or other large cities might have.

Most of the teaching at UConn, at least after 2nd year, isn't even performed at UConn which is mostly a building of research. Most clinical rotations are at Hartford Hospital (a giant level I trauma center), St. Francis, and some other smaller clinics/hospitals in surrounding communities.

It's primary care oriented. It's relatively new (having opened in the early 70's) and continues to grow both in NIH funding and in physical size. They are limited by their location and that is probably their biggest drawback overall.

For you to provide any insight into UConn when you're from Boston is like me going to Pepsi and asking them how good Coke is.
 

foofish

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Really? Really, the great hospitals of Boston look down upon other schools, particularly the nearest one to them to the south? That's absolutely shocking. I'm really stunned that the humility of the great Bostonians wasn't levied more carefully.

Well, actually the Rhode Island hospitals and Brown are actually the nearest ones to the south of Boston. And I think what other posters actually said is that patient supply and competition/reputation is more a problem due to the proximity of the Yale system, not the Boston hospitals/schools.
 

CTtarheel

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Their reputation really is in the middle of the pack with regard to state schools. It's no UCSF, but you could certainly be from a worse state. Yes the Boston schools have better reputations in NE, but if you want to practice in NE UConn will certainly not hurt you. Of all my CT doctors that I have asked about UConn they've all said it is a great school and that you'd be stupid to pay more money to go somewhere else. If you're looking to get the hell out of dodge (like I am), then you might want to consider a school that is more nationally recognized. Just looking at UConn's match list, they match nearly everybody in New England, and might not be that well known in somewhere like California or Texas or the midwest.

It was not meant to be ridiculous - I speak the truth about how the reputation. I am sure they do produce some good MDs, but the overall is not quite there compared to both private and (most) other state schools. For having affiliation with UConn, a great undergrad institution, they are disappointing.
 

C.P. Jones

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did you receive a rejection outright (if you don't mind my asking)--or are you taking the silence as being indicative of such?

was this question for me? sorry, i didn't check back to this thread if it was. I interviewed and have been placed on hold....and w/ 3 outstanding interviews that all told me i should have been there last year....so i'm just annoyed at the school now, and since last year i was placed on hold and then at the bottom of the WL, i'm not looking to kindly upon my current status, although it is better than nothing. i hope you get an interview soon! that's one thing that annoys me about uconn, they don't really care about in-staters as much as they shoulds and they especially do not care about uconn undergrad alums such as myself. and that last part is true...there just is no advantage to being a UConn grad.

I actually wish there was a connection b/w the undergrad and med school, since UConn main campus is becoming such a good school, and has ever-increasing amounts of research, especially with all of the new construction. But I guess the distance between the two schools is too much to bridge.
 

Husky85

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Yea, as a UConn undergrad there is definately a big disconnect between our campus and the medical school, both physically and administratively.

UCHC does favor UC Storrs grads, but only on principle. When it comes down to it you have to earn your keep if you're a CT resident, both to get into UC Storrs (because they don't seem to care much about state residency either) and at UCHC (because lets face it, they want to take the top applicants but are corralled into the state resident quota).

As far as complaints about research, the research at the health center is available and they have a fairly well developed program, but because of the lack of campus atmosphere and also the primary care focus among the school of medicine, the research program isn't that physically visible. But, the faculty there are chomping at the bit for med students and undergrads to work for them because the undergrad campus is so far away and the med school class size is so small. I know of numerous labs that were looking for people (as of last spring).
 

C.P. Jones

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UCHC does favor UC Storrs grads, but only on principle.
very loosely based on principle then....Dr. S himself told me there is no preference given to UConn grads (not trying to argue it, but if they do say it, it must be no more than a "saying"...and just based on numbers that probably all UConn grads apply to UCHC, and a large percentage of those are CT residents, so a large percentage of UConn grads get into the class....but not a "hey, he went to UConn, let's accept him") I wish.

I wonder when they will start deciding from the hold list :confused:
 

tp709

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dude, who CARES. You people are talking like going to uconn is akin to going to the Caribbean. FYI, the quality/reputation of the hospital affiliated with the institution is only of minimal importance - that's something you should worry about for residency, not as much for med school. And I know this is anecdotal evidence, but one of my PIs at UPenn finished from UConn (he's obviously sitting very pretty now), and he had no complaints about the quality of his education. To the OP - if you get in and it's your state school, I would go...its probably worth all the money you'd be saving!
 

Husky85

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There are 3 reasons why UConn matches maybe 3/4 of its graduates in the Northeast.

1. Student Preference: since these students mainly grew up in the northeast (being a state school) and decided to stay in the northeast thus far (for med school) it is a safe bet that they like the northeast and would like to stay there

2. Residency Contacts: because #1 has been going on for ~30 years, UConn's contacts in the administrations at other schools are predominately in the northeast

3. Primary Care Focus: Since UConn, like many state schools, has a strong primary care focus, more of its graduates are going to pursue a primary care residency. And simple demographics of different areas of the country would be enough to convince some primary care hopefuls to stay in the northeast and keep the more favorable body of clients. In the northeast there is a fairly high ratio of ppl with health insurance to ppl without compared to the rest of the country, so these PC hopefuls may be staying in the northeast to avoid having to deal with having payment for their services being withheld from them. (simply an observation and might not hold any weight)
 

Husky85

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and 3. The LOCATION. Farmington is not the most exciting place to spend 4 years of your 20's. It is also relatively expensive to live there, and absolutely necessary to have a car to commute back and forth to school. UConn is also not the major hospital in CT. It doesn't get the major city traffic (they go to Hartford Hospital/St. Francis) or the major referral cases (those go to Yale) not that you won't see plenty of cool stuff at UCHC. Good things are that you can roate in many of the CT hospitals.

Hartford and St. Francis are actually where a good deal of the inpatient clinical instruction is done at UConn. And most of the faculty at each of the three locations (Dempsey, HH, and SF) work at the others locations as well during certain parts of the week. (ie. an ortho guy at dempsey may take trauma call at HH or a rheumatologist might do research at dempsey and then see patients at SF). So I guess my point is that at UConn you can see all the faculty and rotate through all the facilities if you so choose, so that shouldn't be a downside that dempsey isn't a huge clinical center.
 

VPDcurt

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UCHC is a joke. I've lived in the area my entire life and no one in their right mind would go to UCHC for treatment unless no other options were available. Yeah the students get to rotate thru st. francis/HH, etc but if the university hospital cannot attract great physicians (as st. francis and HH do), then something is wrong. The only way UCHC will improve is if they get rid of the clowns in the admissions office and relocate. I love it how they claim to cater to the underserved population...that'll be the day.
 

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i was also a class of 2000 grad, maybe we were classmates resxn? anyway. no real complaints about the school, i got everything i needed out of it. i wasnt a big fan of PBL, see that thread, and still am not. however, if you are hearing it in lecture or missing it in pbl..you still gotta memorize. regarding the first 2 years...professors etc were always accessible, admin was great...i would go flyin with the student dean (dunno if still there) on the weekends...very down to earth guy. second 2 years...was spent mostly in hartford, typical tert. referral center. did well there, and did well on rotations. learned everything i needed and had no trouble with a competitive match out of that school...plastic with 23 invites. i was also an out of state student..but they allow you to apply for residency your second year..just gotta show a years worth of rental receipts or taxes etc. so at the time tuition went from 21k for first year down to 12k. so was a very good deal
 
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