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UCSD Vs. UCLA? Need some advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by norra, May 7, 2004.

  1. norra

    norra New Member

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    I need some help with my decision between UCSD and UCLA. I love the atmosphere, environment and the students at UCSD, but I am concerned with the curriculum. My question is the 8 AM to 5 PM schedule program at UCSD as effective as the 10 AM to 3 PM schedule program at UCLA? Is the traditional style of teaching at UCSD comparable to the more integrative style of teaching that uses problem solving and small discussion groups, such as the one at UCLA? Finally, what are other strengths and weaknesses for these two schools that you see? I greatly appreciate your advice and hope to hear from you soon.
     
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  3. Hopegirl

    Hopegirl Junior Member
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    Let me preface this by saying that I have no direct experience with UCSD, and am only commenting on what I've heard from others. I was born and raised in San Diego, and I've heard many people say that the medical students at UCSD are just zombies - borderline suicidal. Now this may be true of any medical school student. I once found a website where med student's posted their satisfaction of their educational experience at their chosen institution, and the ones that I read from UCSD were horrific. People were literally begging others not to go there. So whether it's true or not, I'm not sure. Just wanted to give you my 2 cents and wish I could be of more help!

    -j
     
  4. somekevinguy

    somekevinguy Senior Member
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    I've thought about this quite a bit..along with some other comparisons, but in my opinion, what it comes down to is:

    1. curriculum/learning style: lots of traditional lectures vs. more integrated problem based +lectures approach. I think most of us know we could do fine in lectures as that is what most universities use but personally, I think the integrated/problem solving way is the better way to learn/retain/think like a doc.

    2. reputation: ucla wins in the reputation game though sd isnt a slouch by any means. if youre not thinking academic medicine im not sure how impt this is.

    3. clinical sites: ucla wins as far as the number of clinical settings you have available for rotations

    4. location/atmosphere: this is really up to you but ucsd was so far ahead of ucla in this respect for me that it basically negates reasons 1,2,3

    I'd be interested in what you're thinking.
     
  5. Dr. Xavier

    Dr. Xavier I can read your mind
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    I've heard that at UCSD they have doctoring class on Sat. I don't know about you but class from 8-5 everyday and sometimes on Sat. is kind of too much for me. I realy don't think you'll find to many people who choose SD over LA, but if you ask my classmates there are quit a few who got into SD but choose LA, me being one of them. And if you're a U.S. News ranking ***** you also know wassup wit dat. :D

    Oh yeah you can check out the Amer. Med. Student Assoc. website to see how students rate their schools here: http://www.amsa.org/premed/medsurvey/
     
  6. CalBeE

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    UCSD struck me as strong in research, but UCLA struck me as strong in BOTH research and clinical care in a wide variety of specialties.

    Even if you don't totally believe in the methodology of US News' Hospital ranking, look at the big difference between the UCLA and UCSD medical centers--UCLA's hospital's highly respected across virtually all specialties, but I think only a few specialties at UCSD's hospital's even ranked.
     
  7. Here we go again... I suggest talking to actual UCSD students and faculty and not random anonymous posters with secondhand rumors.

    Its not literally 8-5 lectures, not at all. Check out the UCSD website and look at the actual schedules themselves. The students will tell you that no one actually spends that many hours in the classroom, these are just blocks in which professors are able to schedule lectures. That being said, you don't have to attend a single lecture if that does not suit your learning style. And if you don't like the traditional curriculum then choose UCLA which is more PBL oriented. There are only 3 Saturday sessions for one of the classes, I can't remember which... although that may not be true anymore, I don't know.
     
  8. No other comments?
     
  9. I wouldn't even think it would be a question b/t those two schools. My good friend was deciding b/t UCLA and UCSD. Once he got into San Diego, he said it was a no brainer. He's almost done with his first year, and he's happy. he's also one of the smartest people I know.

    It seems like if you are the type to GET INTO UCSD, you're the type of student that should go there. Hope that made sense.
     
  10. Ummm. Did your friend go to SD then, its not clear. I think the majority of people would choose UCLA.
     
  11. derf

    derf Ohio Land
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    since when did SD over LA become a no brainer. I smell bias all over this post :confused:
     
  12. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    I'd say UCSD....
     
  13. a_student

    a_student Senior Member
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    r u seriously questioning which one to goto?

    c'mon u know your gonna goto ucla,

    better environment, better people, better schedule, better reputation, and theres many more things to do where ucla is at, compared to La Jolla where its boring as hell.

    additional note: ucsd students have a big reputation of being the most competitive students out of all the uc schools.

    and from my experience as an interviewer ucsd folks all felt like they were going to a second rate school, kind of a let down if your classmates have that attitude.
     
  14. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
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    I went on a conference with UCLA students last week (first year) and it's pretty amazing how much thier curriculum is almost copying ours. They will be done in April next year with ~100 days to study for boards. We did that and board scores went up by 5 points.

    I think it's a no brainer for UCLA, far and away.
     
  15. Eraserhead, he chose UCSD. I actually know 2 students that chose UCSD over Johns Hopkins! I'm sure the fact that it's in CA and their CA residents factored into their decisons.
     
  16. VCMM414

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    When in April do you guys finish?
     
  17. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I talked to several current students at UCSD and several of them passed up higher ranked schools to go to school in San Diego (I remember Michigan and Yale for sure.) I think when it came down to it, location was the difference.

    Like I said in the past, UCSD is the supermodel of med schools. Taking that analogy further, she's a supermodel with intelligence as well. :thumbup:
     
  18. Cambrian

    Cambrian Colonel/Senior Member
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    Go to any med school during exam time and all of the students will look like "zombies and suicidal". Yes, you have to study hard at UCSD but you also have to study hard at any med school. I mean med school is not a place you can coast through. People keep mentioning the hardcore curriculum and competitiveness at UCSD but have you ever went to another med school to make an accurate comparison? I cannot compare UCSD to any med school in terms of difficulty because I have never studied at any other med schools. You have to be at both institutions to make a fair comparison.

    My medical school class in particular is very competitive. I have to study my butt off to maintain the mean, which is usually 85% or above. But this is just the class of 2006. I'm in the wrong class I tell you!

    UCSD students are not cut-throat and I'm planning to change that perception. And this is coming from a UCSD med student.

     
  19. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    sounds like you really like ucsd...you should go there.
    i have a friend that goes there and he says its not that bad. he has fun there.
    sure its lecture but most of the people that go into med school are used to lecture learning and do better in that environment.
    both schools will get you good california residencies...
    you dont lose going one way or the other so you might as well pick the school you like the environment at...which would be sd.
     
  20. Dr. Xavier

    Dr. Xavier I can read your mind
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    Let me tell you a little about my school. We only have 2 hours of lecture every day starting at 10:00 A.m.(that means I get some extra Zs), and you can choose not to attend lectures. There is some girl in our class who types up lecture notes and post it on our class message board. There is also this guy who records lectures on MP3 and also post them on the message board, now that is some cooperative learning. There is this general rule that for every hour of lecture you spend about 2 hours out of class to learn the material, so rememeber if your school schedules more lectures this means more to memorize weather you go to lecture of not. I'm just an average guy and I spend about 4 hours a day studying, 5 days a week, and I pass very comfortablly. Is this enough for boards, I don't know but I don't buy text books I just memorize lectures and follow class accordingly with a good board review book, so when boards do come around I've already seen the board review books at least once. Since I've been in school I've gone out every friday and sat, alot of my classmates go hiking, jogging, snowboarding, and surfing together on the weekends, cuz we're not bogged down by trying to memorize esoteric minutia. Our school is pass/fail so no one is gunning for honors, some people are more hardcore then others but you'll get that at every school. You can get a letter of distinction for every block but that depends on a number of things combined, how you shine in pbl, doctoring group, or how well you do on exams. Oh yeah we also have this new hospital coming, and it should be open by the time the class of 2008 starts rotations, it is supposed to be the most modern and technology advanced hospital in the country when it opens. So for the the people who like rankings ours should shoot up when it opens. Those are some selling points I have more but well post them latter.
     
  21. What the pho

    What the pho Good to the last drop
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    word
     
    #21 What the pho, May 8, 2004
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  22. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
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    Huge sampling value in those AMSA surveys.
     
  23. Dude, take your N = 4 survey and eat it.
     
  24. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  25. OK sorry about that comment I'm in a really bad mood and I HATE this UCSD bashing!
     
  26. a_student

    a_student Senior Member
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    i'm sorry eraserhead if everyone is saying negative things about ucsd but the fact is this person is deciding between these two schools and s/he should get some honest opinion about what the school is like. you are somewhat biased because u plan to attend ucsd, but u have to realize a person's happiness may be at stake.
     
  27. Haha, I understand. I would go to UCLA if I had the chance.

    That being said, there are opinions and there are facts. Let's not base any decision on someone else's opinion especially when its not a current UCSD student.
     
  28. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
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    Here are some facts about why I wouldn't want to be at UCSD:

    1. A ton of lecture hours + 3 Saterday classes.
    2. Traditional curriculum which hasn't eliminated teaching a lot of historical items that other schools don't teach anymore
    3. Grading system that is honors/pass/fail with the top 15% of the class getting honors
    4. One of 7 schools to require a thesis for graduation
    5. (this info I got from SDN so I don't know how much to trust it) board scores significantly lower (225) than other schools with classes entering with the same MCAT and GPA.
    6. Match list has a ton of Family practice and Psych matches.

    Reasons I would want to attend
    1. San Diego is sooo friggen nice. One of my top places to live overall.
    2. Being on the undergrad campus. It is nice to be able to go to the gym and see other students who arn't medical students.
    3. Cost.
     
  29. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    from what my brother who went there said, the thesis thing is no big deal, and it actually kind of helps you....and the match list does have a lot of family practice and psych but that means absolutely nothing in terms of what you'd want to match into...he matched in internal medicine really competitively....
     
  30. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    don't let it get to you...i don't like the ucsd bashing either because I happen to know it's an awesome school......let them bash it all they want, when you go to match, you'll be able to say :p
     
  31. qwerty one

    qwerty one Senior Member
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    I don't think it's 8+ hours of lecture every day. I have a friend who is in his first year there and I spoke with him when I was at UCSD for my interview. He said at least once (or was it twice?) a week they get out early and can go do their elective or study. I forget the exact details of what he said about his schedule, but it doesn't seem to be 8-5 every single day of the week.
     
  32. What the pho

    What the pho Good to the last drop
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    dude
     
    #32 What the pho, May 9, 2004
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  33. Well, yes you did just cut and paste but any survey or study with a sample size of 4 people means nothing. Cambrian is a member of the Class of 2006 which had record highs for their test means, and the Class of 2007 had record lows for their test means. The level of competition varies from year to year, just as it would at any other medical school with the P/F/H system.

    Remember folks here is the actual UCSD schedule and you'll see, if you actually count the hours, that its certainly NOT an 8am-5pm lecture schedule. In fact, I'm going to count them up right now. Also, many of these shaded blocks aren't actually classes if nothing is scheduled by the professor. No one seems to acknowledge that. These shaded blocks also include labs, I'm 90% sure of that. When else would labs take place?

    First year-
    Fall Quarter- 25 lecture/lab hours in a typical week
    Fall Mini-Block- 20 lecture/lab hours in a typical week
    Winter Quarter- 26 lecture/lab hours in a typical week
    Spring Quarter- 29 lecture/lab hours in a typical week

    Second year-
    Fall Mini-Block- 15 lecture/lab hours in a typical week
    Fall Quarter- 31 lecture/lab hours in a typical week (note: this is where we do ANATOMY which is necessarily more time consuming)
    Winter Quarter- 24 lecture/lab hours in a typical week (some weeks 30? as there are 8 Mondays off according to the schedule)
    Spring Quarter- Same as winter, 24-30 depending, there are 5 Mondays off

    Here is the schedule http://meded.ucsd.edu/osa/resources/block_schd.pdf

    Also the so-called required thesis can be anything related to medicine, whether a clinical service project or public health project or basic science research or clinical research or whatever you can think up. Most people will do something of this nature for residency applications anyway. There is no requirement for hours spent on this "ISP."

    As camstah said, the match list having 13 psych matches means nothing. 13 students chose to apply for psychiatry, well that's just random chance. Like UCSF, many students go into primary care but you can certainly choose whatever specialty you want. Many of the Psychiatry and Fam. Med matches were very competitive too.
     
  34. AlexOt3

    AlexOt3 Member
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    Anatomy in 2nd year? Is that a new approach? Most schools do anatomy first year, and then pathology 2nd year... :eek:
     
  35. Yep, UCSD is non-traditional. LOL.
     
  36. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    ucsd matches lots of FP cause they are a strong primary care school as well. they have students that want to do both competitive and noncompetitive fields.

    the thesis isnt really a big deal from what my friend tells me. it doesnt have to be bench work at all...and its done to help out your residency applications...
    i think this is the reason why davis is gonna do this as well.
     
  37. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
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    First year-
    Fall Quarter- 25 lecture/lab hours in a typical week
    Fall Mini-Block- 20 lecture/lab hours in a typical week
    Winter Quarter- 26 lecture/lab hours in a typical week
    Spring Quarter- 29 lecture/lab hours in a typical week

    Second year-
    Fall Mini-Block- 15 lecture/lab hours in a typical week
    Fall Quarter- 31 lecture/lab hours in a typical week (note: this is where we do ANATOMY which is necessarily more time consuming)
    Winter Quarter- 24 lecture/lab hours in a typical week (some weeks 30? as there are 8 Mondays off according to the schedule)
    Spring Quarter- Same as winter, 24-30 depending, there are 5 Mondays off


    The elective class that they need to take Tuesday or Thursday afternoon isn't added into that scedule you added up. so add 3-4 hours to everything.




    As camstah said, the match list having 13 psych matches means nothing. 13 students chose to apply for psychiatry, well that's just random chance. Like UCSF, many students go into primary care but you can certainly choose whatever specialty you want. Many of the Psychiatry and Fam. Med matches were very competitive too.


    There is no such thing as a competative Psych or FM residency.
     
  38. So getting a Psychiatry residency at UCSF and at butt-crack University in Indiana are equally competitive? That's good to know, since I'm strongly considering psychiatry. :D However, this seems odd to me.

    Yeah, the elective I'm not sure about, but I know one of them is the free clinic work, which I'd hardly call a "class" and many people do non-science/medicine related electives like Spanish or learning sign language and maybe even art/humanities electives if I'm not mistaken.
     
  39. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
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    Yeah, the elective I'm not sure about, but I know one of them is the free clinic work, which I'd hardly call a "class" and many people do non-science/medicine related electives like Spanish or learning sign language and maybe even art/humanities electives if I'm not mistaken.


    I'm also not sure I would call it an elective since you are required to spend 3-4 hours on it on top of the hours already spent in normal class.
     
  40. Well, I think the elective is the good part of the curriculum. It gives you a chance to do something else to keep you motivated. I really want to do the free clinic elective, since I've been doing similar work for years anyway and its what keeps me motivated.
     
  41. Dr. Xavier

    Dr. Xavier I can read your mind
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    I did a hypnosis elective with a beverly hills psychologist and I just fell asleep in every session. I just blamed it on his hypnosis technique being so good. I was going to do an east west intergrated medicine one too, but then I learned you only have to do one elective/selective for the first two years. So I said forget that.

    But at LA we also have all kinds of free clinics that you can do an elective at or you could just volunteer there too if you want. Me on the other hand I'm in no hurry to get clinical experience, I'm sure I'll get more then enough during 3rd and 4th year. Even without volunteering at the clinics I've already done H&Ps and presented patients, drawn blood, given flew shoots and even done a rectal exam at my preceptors office. This is all in my first year so far.
     
  42. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
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    With my elective time I go to the gym
     
  43. Dr. Xavier

    Dr. Xavier I can read your mind
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    Do they give you credit for that?
     

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