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Umass, Rochester, Aecom?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by precisionplus, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. precisionplus

    precisionplus Member
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    Hi guys,

    So parts of this question have kinda been answered in some form or another on these boards, but I was wondering if you could provide some input on this specific question of what you would pick if you had to choose btw these three schools: UMASS, ROCHESTER, AECOM.

    Factors I am considering: residency placement, curriculum, fun factor.

    Factors I am not considering: cost, location. (not that they aren't important)

    Thanks!
     
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  3. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    Residency placement - i'd say they're all about equal
    Curriculum - I like Rochester's the best
    Fun Factor - fun in the Bronx? the campus is really dreary... Rochester is really cold so there's a lot of hockey :)... but I think that UMass is the best...

    If it were my choice, I would be choosing between Rochester and UMass...
     
  4. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    I have heard both sides of Umass getting great residencies, and then I have also heard that some were dissapointed in the match. But you have probably heard the same thing by reading the posts on this board. I will just shut up now.
     
  5. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    curriculum: id go with rochester since it sounded interesting when i read about it. ask zekemd about since that is where he has decided to go and can be more indepth about the postive aspects of it.

    residency placement: what do you want to do? i believe umass is a tremendous primary care school if im not mistaken and rochester is pretty good as well. if you are looking into the uber-competitive residencies...then the slight edge might go roch. i think the match lists of these schools have been posted on sdn so you can search for them and see for yourself.

    funfactor: no idea. aecom since its closest to the city perhaps?
     
  6. Super Rob

    Super Rob Senior Member
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    okay, dumb question, but I'll stick it in here because I'm interested in these schools and the topic came up:

    what makes a school a good primary care school? Obviously, a good research school receives ample funding and fosters many laboratories of cutting edge biomedical research. We can say Harvard is over-all stronger in research than Who U, and it makes sense if Who U receives one gazillionth the funding of Harvard and has one twentieth the number of facilities. But how is a school like UofW or UMASS a "better" primary care school than say, Yale?
     
  7. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    This is a very good question, and one I have wondered about myself as well. Perhaps you should start a thread on this topic.

    Oh, and BTW: I'd choose Rochester. I know a lot of people who love that school.
     
  8. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    I don't think you can necessarily say that any one school is "better" for primary care than any other. However, UMass as a state school with lower tuition may prepare you better for a life in primary care simply because the tuition is low and loans are less.

    Talking about which schools are better, higher ranked, etc, is pretty much a zero sum game. Everyone who finishes med school generally does so by going to only one school, thus their impressions of this one are strongest. Most will feel that that school prepared them in a good way for the future. We also may have impressions of other schools because of some away rotations or interacting with other students, but still the full impression can only be gained by attending a school from preclinical to clinical years.

    As a pending UMass grad, which I think Super Rob also knows, I have very little negative to say about the school, especially for those who want a career in primary care. There isn't any real special "emphasis" on primary care during the first couple of years. There are classes on how to interview, you are set up with an outpatient office where you spend several hours a week starting first year, there are lots of opportunities for primary care projects. But a lot of that is true at other schools. As with almost everything, opportunities are found where you look for them or create them for yourselves. The "top" medical schools will do no better at preparing you for a specialty career or a primary care career if you don't take advantage of the opportunities they provide. UMass, for one, has many dedicated primary care clinicians on staff and has one of the oldest family practice residency programs combining rural and city practice. There is also a dedicated away rotations office so you can spend time in another country, underserved areas, whatever. However, you can also have very little to do with this if you want, and set yourself up for a career in orthopedics. UMass does have a very collegial and cooperative environment. Students work well together, attendings respect the students and work at teaching them. I have a few acquaintances at Boston med schools (all 3) and can honestly say that the teaching we got at UMass, when compared with their descriptions of what they went through, seems superior in regards to support and respect for students, learning clinical skills and judgment, and most importantly, being an individual and learning to be "your own" type of doctor. The Boston schools, conversely, do seem to provide a bit more in terms of research opportunities, support for a specialty career, and lectures from famous people, although being someone who wasn't that interested in playing the game of "can you top this" on a CV, for all I know UMass could have given this out too.

    And, as I've said before, being a "top" research school doesn't mean much for med students. Every med school worth its salt is going to have a significant amount of research going on. Research advances come out of everywhere. Just going to an establishment location is not necessarily more likely to get you involved with cutting edge research.

    Now, one previous poster says go to Rochester because they know people who went there and like it. And I say go to UMass if you can get in because of my experience there. Others will disagree. You have to decide for yourself. Once you have made your decision, be happy with it and make the best of it. When I was trying to find where I wanted to go for residency I went to a few different areas of the country, eventually settled on Michigan over going to Boston or Baltimore, even though I probably could have gone there, because of various factors, not the least of which is that Michigan has a top notch path program.

    I just hate to see people make decisions on what med school to go to based on subjective rankings and hearsay. It's always beneficial to hear about someone's experiences with a certain med school, because it raises questions that you may not have heard before or issues you hadn't thought about. But remember, everyone is an individual and is going to develop different impressions. When I was applying to med schools, you could not have paid me enough to go to Harvard med, although if I had ended up going there I probably would have been happy and done well, etc.
     
  9. ZekeMD

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    I'm somewhat biased towards Rochester since that is where I've decided to go, but I will go ahead and list why I have chosen to attend there.

    Curriculum: Second to none in the country (In my honest opinion). The double helix curriculum is very unique and I think many schools will soon start to model theirs after it if they haven't already begun to do so. You'll get very early clinical experience, which I think is important since you learn by doing and it will remind you why you're there in the first place.

    Location: I only live about an hour from Rochester, so basically it is home for me. From the people I've spoken with about Rochester, location is their biggest complaint. Personally, I don't see the problem. Rochester is a great city with lots to do. The music scene is great, there are tons of great clubs, bars, coffee shops. Yes, Kodak is leaving (I think)...that strains the economy in Rochester but it's still a great place to live. As for the weather...you'll get the same thing wherever you go in the Northeast. The lake doesn't really effect the weather too much in Rochester compared to Buffalo or Syracuse. Also, another plus...the fast ferry to Toronto. Toronto is an amazing city if you've never been there.

    The others were right about residency placement. You'll be fine wherever you go....however I think AECOM and Rochester have better names as far as placement goes. I withdrew from AECOM since I couldn't live in NYC, but you may be different and love it. Anyhow, let me decide if you choose Rochester. Maybe I'll see you this fall.
     
  10. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member
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    Kodak is doing OK -- its not going anywhere. I wouldn't say that the Rochester economy is booming, but its doing OK. The cost of living is amazingly low. As for the school, it rocks. Curriculum is great. The school is dedicated to its students succeding. They don't believe in the firehose approach to teaching. Clinical rotations are solid and residency placement is amazing. Rochester has a very long tradition of producing residents who are exceptionally good at dealing with patients (we invented the biopychosocial model). Accordingly graduates are very sought after. Out of 114, only 2-3 were disappointed with their match. Virtually everyone got their top choice except for those in ultra-competitive specialties (direct plastics and ortho).

    Ed
     
  11. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    That's really not true as far as I know. UMass grads go where they choose. Every place I interviewed at across the country made it a point of telling me that they like it when UMass grads apply because of the respect they have. I know of a few "high ups" in Boston residency circles who have very high respect for umass grads when it comes to residency placement, that they are often better prepared for residency than other schools. So I don't know where your statement comes from. I really don't know about Rochester's reputation. I actually don't even know what AECOM stands for.

    One of UMass' strengths is its clinical training in 3rd and 4th year and how this prepares grads for upcoming residency. Most grads tend to stay in the area so the match list always doesn't appear to be as impressive.

    It also suffers in these "rankings" because it only accepts Mass. residents, thus the acceptance rate will always be higher.
     

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