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UF versus BU

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Walter Sobchak, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Walter Sobchak

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    Hey guys, I'm trying to decide which is the best medical school. Boston U is very recongnized but has a high price tag, whereas UF, with another great reputation, would be half the price since I am a state resident. BU has pass/fail classes, and UF assigns actual grades. I think that at both schools you're in class for most of the day, and at UF you're definitely in class from 8-5PM. I think BU would be a great experience because its in such a diverse metropolitan city, but then again, maybe what I need is a quieter college town to study.
    We have spent so much time just trying to get into medical school...and now when the time has come, its hard to think of what we really want.

    Any suggestions?


    Walter :scared:
     
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  3. sendwich

    sendwich you rock!

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    it looks like you're from FL (resident?). whats the cost difference? it's probably more helpful to lay out a list of pros and cons, and weigh the factors that are most important more heavily.
     
  4. Orthodoc40

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    OMG - take the money & the sunny, warm weather!!
     
  5. Zerodegree

    Zerodegree Junior Member

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    I'm having similar thoughts with UF and feinberg. I'm really leaning towards UF though, I mean the cost difference is $150K (I'm sure its the same for BU). And speaking as a BU undergrad let me tell you these freaking winters get old real fast after living in Florida. I have met some fantastic people here, but I feel like I'll meet some great ones at UF too.

    Are you going to UF second look?
     
  6. gujuDoc

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    I don't think BU is sooooooooooo high up there that I'd turn down UF for them. if it was a top 20 school then it would be another story. There was even one year when UF went above BU and WFU in the rankings. This year they went slightly up on the rankings again as well. So they aren't that bad.

    If you want a comprehensive look into UF's program, I'd PM the poster medgator as he is a graduate of UF COM C/O 2005. Now a Rad onco resident.

    He's very insightful. I gather that UF teaches to the boards and has high USMLE averages. Their match lists also show people getting into competitive specialties. I've heard that the first two years are taught to the boards. I'd personally go there and save the few extra bucks unless its like a HMS, Hopkins, over even top 20 school like Pritzker that we are talking about.
     
  7. gujuDoc

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    Again, I'd PM Medgator if you have specific questions about UF's program. He's real knowledgable and helpful.

    I don't think you'll go wrong either way. UF has an abundance of opportunities and even if you are considering doing some research on the side, they have a lot of research opportunities. They also have opportunities to go to Orlando in 4th year for a bit at ORMC as well as two Shands Hospitals. One in Gville and t he other in Jax.
     
  8. sendwich

    sendwich you rock!

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  9. Walter Sobchak

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    Oh I'm definitely not trying to put down UF at all. And I understand that BU isn't HMS or JH- but I do think it offers alot of unique experiences because it is in a bigger and more "reputable" city. Gainesville is a college town, and I'm a bit reluctant to spend the next four years in a campus with fanatical undergraduates- but I'm also torn because maybe this smaller atmosphere will have less distractions and more time to study? I'm from Florida and so the costs would be around 20k a year to go to UF, and for BU it would be double. UF has a great reputation, no doubt- but it tends to be very conservative/traditional in its educational experience. The whole teaching to the boards, and having students spend so much time in class, obviously works really well for the grads at the end- but who is to say a more modernized, more PBL/small group oriented curriculum (with less class time) wouldn't work out as well? Will the difference be drastically different? And I think that BU's pass/fail system for the first year may make the student body a bit more cohesive and fraternal. Just a thought. The students at UF seemed really happy and friendly- so I don't think someone will backstab me there- but should I look for something different right now, or wait until residency?
    The cold does scare me- I am a native of the state of Florida- but I would like to see all the seasons, not just 1 (sweaty hot all the time). I don't know- right now I am completely undecided. UF's board scores are very high, and their tuition is very low. But there is something about Boston that catches the less objective side of my mind.:confused:
     
  10. Walter Sobchak

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    Oh I'm definitely not trying to put down UF at all. And I understand that BU isn't HMS or JH- but I do think it offers alot of unique experiences because it is in a bigger and more "reputable" city. Gainesville is a college town, and I'm a bit reluctant to spend the next four years in a campus with fanatical undergraduates- but I'm also torn because maybe this smaller atmosphere will have less distractions and more time to study? I'm from Florida and so the costs would be around 20k a year to go to UF, and for BU it would be double. UF has a great reputation, no doubt- but it tends to be very conservative/traditional in its educational experience. The whole teaching to the boards, and having students spend so much time in class, obviously works really well for the grads at the end- but who is to say a more modernized, more PBL/small group oriented curriculum (with less class time) wouldn't work out as well? Will the difference be drastically different? And I think that BU's pass/fail system for the first year may make the student body a bit more cohesive and fraternal. Just a thought. The students at UF seemed really happy and friendly- so I don't think someone will backstab me there- but should I look for something different right now, or wait until residency?
    The cold does scare me- I am a native of the state of Florida- but I would like to see all the seasons, not just 1 (sweaty hot all the time). I don't know- right now I am completely undecided. UF's board scores are very high, and their tuition is very low. But there is something about Boston that catches the less objective side of my mind.:confused:
     
  11. TerrierToy

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    Don't think that at BU the material is "not geared toward the boards." All material in medical school should be geared to the boards, which cover just the most important basics. I was disappointed with the basic science curriculum at BU because some courses had a different professor every couple of days and many of the powerpoints were outdated, or poorly prepared, and VERY repititious but often missing major points on certain illnesses. I learned the most by reading textbooks written by professional experts in their fields such as ICU by Menino, etc . . . I would have done better academically if I had stayed home and read the authoritative textsbooks. Before attending BU I preferred a State school over any private school, because state schools appear to be more regulated and have better standards. BU's ranking is based more on research funding on parts of the campus far separated from where you will study. The infrastructure of the med school itself is very poor (however the offices of many administrators are well appointed), the med library at BU is the worst library I have ever seen in my life, no joke, and i've been in alot of libraries. It is claustrophobic, small area per floor, and no quiet areas to study. Most of this wouldn't matter, but after studying hard in college and looking forward to a positive medical school experience I found most of the attendings, especially ob/gyn and internal medicine, to be condescending to the students. BU advertises alot of community and International Health work, but from my experience tend to talk down to students. Back-stabbing at BU from students may be low, but many attendings "gossip" about medical students and this may result in poor treatment during the clinical years when attending can get away with abuse and make written comments about students that boarder on libel, the office of student affairs quietly edits some of the more choice written comments to be put in the dean's letter out of fear of lawsuits, but sometimes not. . . If you are well connected, i.e. went to the seven year program, or can stroke the attendings and dean's egos in the proper manner then you might be able to navigate life at BU, . . . often times non-seven year program i.e. traditional four year students are viewed as outsiders, I know, I felt like I was talked to like an outsider by attendings in various clerkship and in administration from day one. Don't worry about being distracted at UF, this depends if you can find a quiet place to study, the area around BU where alot of students live is VERY noisy as there are alot of undergrads that drink alot and party alot . . . I really liked taking care of patients in boston, but the attendings and the culture is very put-offish "Boston is cold in more way than one" UF is very prestigious to get into, i.e. they have high gpas and mcats, and you will really need sunny weather and a beach (a real beach, not a sand bar like in boston!) between periods of heavy studying, by all means, GO TO UF, YOU EARNED IT!:)
     
  12. sendwich

    sendwich you rock!

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    it sounds like you already made your decision about this. go to 2nd look for both schools and see if you can get a better feel for the school/area/etc. gluck!!!
     
  13. TerrierToy

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    If you do have to go to BU it is good to get an external perspective of the world, I would recommend volunteering at hospitals outside of the BU system, or engage in extra-curricular activities outside of BU in a medical setting, I did this. It is hard to get extra-clinical work or experience at BU, I tried coming in early to my inpatient pediatric clerkship but was told to come in later, although people were running around, and even though planning on going into pediatrics the attending didn't talk to me and accussed me of saying that just to get a lousy grade [email protected][email protected]? The teaching on the wards is IMHO sub-par, I don't hang out with the UpDateToDate crowd as the resource is too superficial and often misses important information, and is poorly organized. The best resources IMHO in no particular order, and you should research this, are:

    1. Osler's John Hopkins Guide - For Internal Medicine, THE BEST!
    2. BluePrints and NMS for OB/GYN, strongly recommend getting OB/GYN case files as well, Bechman Ob/Gyn
    3. MGH pocket-guide (little blue book) readily available
    4. Harvard Guide to Psychiatry, NMS psychiatry
    5. Internal Medicine Case Files
    6. Emedicine cross-referencing for when you read something you don't understand
    7. NEJM - Case Discussions
    8. Surgical Recall, NMS Surgery
    9. Robinson's for Pathology - If you can read this cover to cover it will help when you get to clinicals as it helps alot knowing the pathophysiology
    10. Lange Pharmacology - big read, but can be done piecemeal over years 1 and 2
    11. Anatomy-this is hard one, there are alot of good computer programs out there, I would recommend getting a clinical correlations books that goes over clinically related anatomy
    12. Immunology course - the course syllabus is one of the only well-prepared syllabi during years 1 and 2
    13. First Aid for Step 1 - Essential to read before/early in years 1 and 2 to get a bird's eye view of what various disciplines compose medicine.
    Most Important is to research to death your patient in IM, peds etc . . . i.e. read 2 or 3 good review articles, read the releveant emedicine topic i.e. if your patients has a certain cardiomyopathy read the topic on emedicine, and buy a Harrison's and reference this, Nelson's is adequate for Peds if your are not going into it.
    14. Get all of the "Recall" books before the given course, (wish I had done this) to get a good perspective of how the different pieces fit together.
    15. Get USMLEWorld account early, get a long-term subscription, and do problems slowly i.e. 4-5 a day begining year one.
    16. Rely on what is printed in a peer-reviewed journal or a later edition of a reputable book, NOT what is told in rounds by residents, and occassionally attendings who are human and make alot of mistakes.
    17. Identify research project/mentor early summer before med school to lay ground work, shadow physicians outside of clerkships as you learn more but it is less stress.
    18. Teach other students and residents on a topic you have thoroughly researched, this is how you really learn.
     
  14. sendwich

    sendwich you rock!

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    great list. but i have to disagree with you on this one. Immunology was undoubtedly the WORST class ever at the medschool at BU. The syllabus was not at all well organized. She had stuff all over the whole syllabus and made it so difficult to actually learn the material. I did well in the course (and most people do) but not w/o busting my butt off to organize it myself, so I'm not bad-mouthing the course b/c I did "bad".

    ^Just a heads up to future students who take this course. Not meant to discourage anyone from actually attending BU in any way. Generally speaking, BU's classes are organized pretty well (ie histo, physio, endo, etc). This class just hit a bad spot for me.
     
  15. Walter Sobchak

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    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom on all of this. This is info I never knew and I can say it has swayed my decision alot. I think I will reconsider going to Boston and instead take UF more seriously. I plan on visiting both places just to make sure- but I am definitely looking forward to enrolling at UF. Great insights!
     
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  17. TerrierToy

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    Just to clarify, I liked the Immunology syllabus because I could actually read it, i.e. it was printed by a laser printer, and not a copy of a copy. I found all of the printed lecture materials to be very poor *print* quality, i.e. wasted too many hours trying to decipher what was written, as I remeber the physiology syllabus was printed on yellow or read paper, I read the syllabi a couple times if possible, but felt I was wasting my time because there are other better written real textbooks, btw some of the best students didn't go to class and just learned on their own, we went to college and should be able to teach ourselves anything from how to change a car battery yourself to how to make a webpage to cooking creme brulee, this may bruise alot of the professors egos that feel the need to make long-winded speaches in class, personally I felt that the lectures moved slow because you can read much faster than you can talk . . . Yes, totally 100% agree immunology syllabus was disorganized, but the print was so pretty! No squinting there! unlike histo etc . . .
     
  18. gujuDoc

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    To the OP,

    The one thing I will point out about UF and clinicals is that they have 3 different locations where they have affiliations. They have 2 shands hospitals. One in Jax and one in Gville. So you'll be able to go to Jax for things like EM and what not that may not be as big in Gville. On top of that they do have some away rotations optional in 4th year electives in ORMC, the same hospital that is soon to be affiliated with UCF and is currently one of FSU's clinical sites.
     
  19. Zerodegree

    Zerodegree Junior Member

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    I'd also like to point out is that UF won three national championships in two sports within one year.

    BU's basketball team is only slightly better than the football team, which by the way does not exist.

    These are key points to a successful medical education.
     
  20. gujuDoc

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    3 apparently seems to be their magic number. ;)
     

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