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UCSF: Grumblings and Second thoughts

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by caffeinegirl, May 10, 2001.

  1. caffeinegirl

    caffeinegirl Physician 10+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Hi everybody
    I'm having problems with UCSF, and it's leading me to have second thoughts on this whole deal. For those of you who are familiar with the UC system, maybe this is just the way things work, but for me it just seems that they can't get their act together.

    For example, I was on pins and needles until two days before revisit weekend about getting a student host, because the admissions office only let me know two days before my departure. For somebody coming all the way across the country, this wasn't a good thing.

    And what about financial aid? It took them two months to even look at my application, and then they tell me it's incomplete. When I finally get an estimate, it's pretty much all loans!!

    I guess I'm comparing this to Duke, who really had their act together regarding how they handled their revisit weekend, financial aid, and admissions.

    My question to you...would you regard the tardiness and disorganization of these offices as a premonition of what administrative life in the school is?? Especially since UCSF is going through a new curriculum next this just a sign of things to come??

    I'm quite confused right now. Any thoughts would be really appreciated...
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  3. Oh My God! I can't believe UCSF is doing that to you. How dare they?! You better call the AMA, AAMC, AMCAS, the MCAT folks, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the UN Security Council and let them know what an injustice has been committed.

    Get a life!!
  4. Caffeinegirl,

    Ignore this idiot. I know several UCSF students who were extremely happy with their experience at UCSF. The adminstration at many UCs can be a bit unorganized at times, but this doesn't take away from the quality of education and training you will receive.

    Be aware of the fact that some schools may appear organized and responsive to your needs while you are a interviewee, but once you are a student, things are completely different. I'm not saying that Duke does this, but my point with UCSF is that they won't make themselves look better than they really are. I wouldn't let the administrative problems worry with you. These problems will not affect your training. Good luck and enjoy NorCal for me. :)
  5. Tofu? Got any flied lice?
  6. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    C-girl, I'm sure the intent of your post wasn't to make me feel better, but it sure helped! Here I was getting annoyed that UCSD keeps coming back to me every other week with a new request on my fin. aid application, but at least they did the first review in about 3 weeks!

    Seriously though, like Stinky said, what you're experiencing now probably isn't wholly indicative of what your experience will be as a student. However, in general (I'm full of gross generalizations on these boards lately), you will find more bureaucracy and less efficiency in a public school -- that's why you pay the big bucks for the private ones -- you are typically pampered, and coddled, the administration tends to be more attentive to your needs and concerns, etc. You'll get a great education at either school, so I would say go with your gut feeling on where you think you would be happier, or what meshed best with what you want out of med school.
  7. GGale

    GGale Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2001
    Hi CaffeineGirl,
    I, too, am an out of state applicant who is starting at UCSF this fall. I ran into some of the confusion and disorganization that you mentioned, mainly in the form of massive games of phone tag with the fin aid office. However, I finally managed to talk to my fin aid counselor and explained my situation. I talked to her on Weds. and she promised to pull my file and call me with my fin aid Friday morning. She was very cooperative and I have high hopes she might actually come through.

    Hopefully, we'll only have to deal with the UCSF beauracracy a few times in our academic careers and it'll probably be easier once we're there to hound them in person :p

    G. Gale
  8. mustang289

    mustang289 Junior Member

    Mar 4, 2001
    Washington, DC
    You have actually hit on one of the major reasons why I am turning UCSF down and going back east for med school. I have had many similar experiences with the school. The day before my interview, they tried to call me to let me know that I needed to get there an hour earlier than was written on my letter. Of course, I didn't get the message because I was in San Francisco, so I missed my first interview and they had to scramble to arrange a replacement interview with someone else because they told me the wrong time!! I can only imagine the nightmare that will ensue when they try to implement their new curriculum for the first time. Personally, I don't want to have to deal with that for four years so I am choosing a private school with less bureaucracy and an administration that is more responsive to student needs.
  9. caffeinegirl

    caffeinegirl Physician 10+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Hey mustang
    So where did you decide to go?

    Thanks to everybody for your replies. I'm still mulling over this decision, and have to decide to listen to my heart or my brain. UCSF financially just does not even come close to Duke, and this whole running around bit is getting tiring...and I haven't even started school there yet!
    They're both good schools, and in the end I'll get an MD wherever I go...

    I'll let you know what wins out in the end...
    thanks again
    still confused :confused:
  10. Emily1

    Emily1 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2000
    Just thought I could maybe add something here. I was very concerned about this aspect of UCSF before I started here, because I had worked at UCSF before and found the bureaucracy in some of the offices (totally unconnected to the med school) to be terrible. I can honestly say that things within the medical school are MUCH, MUCH better -- the administrators who we actually end up seeing are great, and extraordinarily responsive to student concerns. As you have already discovered, there is bureaucracy in fin. aid and in the registrars office, but this is not a big problem once you get here -- if you register on time, you don't have to deal w/the registrar, and fin. aid is really only an issue once a year. Finally, I'm pretty sure that you'll have instate tuition after you've been here for a year, which might make it cheaper than Duke, but of course I don't know the details of your situation. Anyway -- just wanted to throw out a word of reassurance -- I'm sure that there are lots of other factors in your decision, but don't let a few annoying bureaucrats decide for you -- they're not the norm here.
  11. red fox

    red fox Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    I agree whole-heartedly with Emily. The UC system as a whole does not coddle it's students; you have to be a little more assertive here. However, in return, you get an amazing education. The issues you are dealing with now will be mostly non-issues when you get here, as almost all of the med school administrators I've dealt with have been wonderful. As everyone says, both schools are great. Ultimately you have to go where you will be the happiest. Good Luck.

    P.S. To all those who are freaked out about finding housing in SF, there is a bright side. California's power issues and the dot.combustion have caused the SF rental market to ease up. There are tons of rental listings now and prices are coming down. Excellent timing!

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