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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by nerfornothin, Nov 1, 2001.

  1. nerfornothin

    nerfornothin Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2001
    What are your thoughts on UCSD and UCSF and why?
    Overall impressions?
    Given the chance, which would you choose?
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  3. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2001
    Hi nerfornothin,

    I'll bite and give you a biased view. First, though, I think this is a very personal decision. You're deciding between two excellent schools - you should definitely focus on the environment and where you'll be happiest/feel most comfortable. Personally, I would choose UCSF (this is where the bias comes in) for a variety of reasons. And, I am extremely glad that I am here. To answer your questions:

    1) Students - can't say much here. Not sure what you want to know. I know people don't relish the Saturday classes at UCSD. However, we dislike the Saturday exams at UCSF. So...
    2) Housing - SD is probably easier to find more reasonable housing (I think you live there). SF housing prices still are high, though the occupancy rates are much better (when you are looking for a place). Overall, SF is probably more expensive.
    3) Curriculum - I love UCSF's new curriculum. It would take me too long to go thru all the pros and cons, but overall the new curriculum is great - especially since we got into the CV block this week. I don't know much about UCSD's curriculum.
    4) Profs - ours are very accessible, love to teach, explain concepts well, stay after normal hours to meet with us (especially anatomy profs - they will stay until 9PM on a Friday night to help before an exam, etc), are very dedicated to our learning, are responsive to our needs... Don't know about UCSD.
    5) Facilities - our gym and library are great and new. The anatomy lab is very clean, doesn't smell too bad and has a spectacular view. The lecture halls are great - though we "move" around a lot - we do not stay in the same room all year or even all morning. Again, don't know about UCSD.
    6) Overall impressions - I love UCSF. If given the chance to choose again, I would definitely come here. The faculty and administration are so responsive to us and our concerns, we have a huge number and breadth of resources, the problem-based learning component is a lot of fun and informative, the faculty are brilliant and teach extrememly well, the students are very diverse and interesting, the city is a lot of fun. The only drawback for this LA girl is the weather, but I am adjusting to that.

    Hope this helps and that someone from UCSD can answer the same questions for you. Like I said at the outset, they are both great schools - you just need to find the right fit for you. Take care and good luck!

    -- Becky
  4. nerfornothin

    nerfornothin Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2001
    Hey Becky,

    Thanks for the reply! :cool: The school environment is definitely one of my top concerns. The thing of course is... I really dug the feel of both SF and SD. I went to college down here in SD and grew up in SF so I feel a real affinity for both towns. I enjoyed both interviews and was impressed by different aspect of both schools so as of now I'm really split 50:50. This is probably all unnecessary hair splitting as I haven't been accepted to either yet and in the end will probably have the decision made for me by the adcoms! :)

    Hey if you've got the time (or just want to procastinate a bit) I would love to hear more specifics about the new curriculum. Also, (if you're into yet more procrastination) what kinds of clinical exposure are you getting in your first year?

    Thanks much.
  5. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    I'll let Becky get back to learning about arrythmias and ECGs and try to answer some of your questions. :)

    I really love UCSF's new curriculum too... the first block is the Prologue and it is kind of a laying-down of the basic material that you need to understand in order to conduct further learning throughout the rest of medical school. Thus, you cover essential anatomy and histology and concepts in physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology, and other relevant areas, all unified by the presentation of a motor vehicle accident trauma victim. The rest of the blocks following Prologue are organized by system. As Becky noted, we have almost completed our first week of the Cardiovascular block. We next have Pulmonary and then Renal. Then comes a block on Cancer, and finally the Brain, Mind, and Behavior block during spring quarter. Second year, there are several more blocks (i.e. Immunology, Metabolism, Life Cycle, etc). Each of these blocks is taught in an integrative fashion, comprising normal anatomy, physiology, histology, etc as well as pathophysiology, pathology, pharmacology, imaging, etc.

    There is also another block that runs throughout the two years, called Foundations of Patient Care. In this course, we learn aspects of the medical interview, physical exam skills, ethics, and preceptorship. We have already gotten to interview and perform physical exam skills we have learned in the first several weeks on patients. It's really cool having this early clinical exposure. In addition, after the Cardio block in December, we have a one-week period called the Clinical Interlude, in which we become part of a medical service team and round on patients, kind of like MS3s!

    We have weekly PBL, several small groups or labs per week, and only 2 hours of lecture a day. Thus, there is a lot of free time, which you can use how you see fit. There are numerous extracurricular opportunities (i.e. Homeless health clinic, U-teach in which you follow a woman through pregnancy, labor, and delivery, Medteach in which you go to elementary school to teach kids basic anatomy, etc, and many others). Among other things, I'm taking a graduate class along with the regular medical school curriculum.

    There are also abundant opportunities for research, both clinical and basic, if that interests you. There are several fellowships available and tons of superb researchers and labs on campus.

    I find the environment very welcoming, my classmates absolutely amazing people, the faculty superb, and the administration very supportive of students. Therefore, I think UCSF provides a great environment to learn medicine.

    That all being said, you definitely can't go wrong with either choice. You'll have to see where you feel most comfortable. If you need any help in deciding, feel free to contact me. Good luck with admissions and hope to see you here next fall! :D
  6. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    I'm an undergrad at UCSD, can't beat the location with a stick! :)
  7. sproggin

    sproggin Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 26, 2001
    Ive been at UCSD for three years and just graduated. Im not going to this school . UCSD med students do have a say in the curriculum at all, or a voice about anything for that matter (got this opinion for a 2nd year). And if yr looking for fun things to do theres plenty... SD is awesome....just that the school sux hard. Hardly any parties, greek system is weak. Have to go to SD State to party. BUt its a great town, I love the area. Its good that the med school is on the main campus too.
  8. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    Just wanted to correct some misinformation... UCSD DOES NOT have Saturday classes anymore. I know this because I interviewed there last year. That being said...

    In general, I think the students are much happier at UCSF, so for that reason alone I would go with UCSF. I think UCSD is a great school with a lot to offer, but I don't think the student satisfaction is where it should be.

    As for location, personally I would prefer SD mostly because of the weather, and it is slightly more affordable, although I did hear they were starting to experience a housing crunch this summer, so the disparity between the two markets may not be that great.

    Basically, for me it would come down to the fact that I've never heard a UCSF student bitch about their med school, but I have heard some complaints from UCSD students. Both are good schools, so for me it would be a question of where I would be happiest.
  9. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2001
    Vader, thanks for taking that one! Thanks for the correction, Lilycat. As I had mentioned, I don't know much about UCSD. Nerfornothin, if you have more questions, please feel free to email me too. Again, good luck and take care!
  10. nerfornothin

    nerfornothin Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2001
    Thanks for all the input guys! Thanks for the specifics Vader. The new curriculum sounds like a cool way to learn.

    More questions...

    Around what time are you guys done with classes at UCSF?

    How is getting/dealing with financial aid?

    Do you guys feel that your aid packages are sufficient?

    Thanks again! Hope someone from UCSD med will jump in and provide the same sorts of insight. :cool:

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