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UMich or UCSD?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Meddy, Jun 11, 2000.

  1. Meddy

    Meddy New Member

    Jun 10, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hey everyone!

    I was wondering what sort of feedback people have about the University of Michigan and/or UCSD for an MD/PhD. Any information would be helpful, especially feedback about the med schools at each institution.

    I'm having a really tough time deciding -- UMich has a *great* med school and a large, well-organized MD/PhD program, but its science is lacking as compared to UCSD. UCSD has an awesome location (the beaches, weather, and campus are amazing!) and is a mecca for science (with the Salk Institute, Scripps, and UCSD within walking distance), but I've heard nasty things about the med school. Are the rumors about stressed-out students and arcane curriculum true?

    Thanks for your help!!! And congrats to fellow wait-listers that are finally getting accepts right now!
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  3. bear

    bear Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    May 1, 2000
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    Resident [Any Field]
    I would talk with as many students you can at both schools--especially students who are like you (research-oriented? clinical animal? older? whatever...). Location, ranking, grading policy, and all those obvious things do not tell you how the students feel. I recommend really looking into UCSD, especially.

    Best wishes--Warnings aside, you should feel proud to have gotten into such respected schools!
  4. Cruella

    Cruella Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2000
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    I had the same dilemma of deciding between UCSD and Michigan, but was not facing it as a MD/PhD. I decided on Michigan [as a CA resident], but that said, I have to dispel any rumors about abnormally stressed-out med students at UCSD.

    I had the same impression because that seems to be the prevalent rumor mythed to be the truth among premed ranks. It also seems that the admissions office does not schedule interview days on very "friendly" days, i.e. the days of midterms.

    During the spring, they held a "welcome back" day that basically shattered any myths I was being brainwashed into believing that the students at UCSD are "super stressed beyond belief." In fact, all of the ones I met, which were quite a few, were very laid-back, friendly, outgoing, down-to-earth, and eager to talk about all the advantages to going to medical school right on the beach. They all seemed to have a lot of time to get involved in extracurricular activities and organize their own interests.

    If you look in the curriculum directory, you'll see that UCSD is actually slightly below the average in terms of numbers spent in lecture. I think what makes UCSD seem really intense, at least initially, is that they start later in the year than most schools (quarter system) and therefore they have less time to cram the same amount of information. The students I talked to said that the first semester is hard because it's a very steep fall into the rigors of fast-paced med school life.

    But if you think about it, adjusting to med school isn't easy no matter where you go.

    I agree with bear's advice- talk to people that have the same interests as you. If you call or email the admissions office at each school, they should be able to forward you the email addresses of appropriate students. I did that with Michigan and got immediate responses.

    And think about how important weather really is to you. Some people, especially californians, have very narrow definitions of what is comfortably tolerable for 4 years of medical school. If snow in the winter and humidity in the summer don't bother you, then weather should not be a factor in your decision. But there is something to be said for year-round sunshine, people ARE more laidback.

    Good luck!

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