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stitchchampion

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Hey guys,

*Sigh* What a wonderful problem to have I guess.

After being mentally prepared to attend Saint Louis University for the past few months, I just squeaked in off the waitlist to Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. I need advice from those who hopefully have experience with either school, or any experience with some of the things I'm concerned about... Here is a little list of pros and cons

SLU

Pros:
  • Pioneering efforts for student wellbeing, mental health and in general a much lower stress environment.
  • True P/F with no internal rankings
  • I like the size (larger medical school)
  • Not a research powerhouse but in close proximity to Wash U in STL
  • Low cost of living
Cons:
  • Saint Louis... (crime, weather, etc)
  • Facilities aren't too impressive, but this isn't a big deal all things considered.

FIU

Pros:
  • Step 1 scores
  • Weather/location
  • Extended family lives in Miami and the surrounding area
  • newer facilities
  • Innovative curriculum/electives and the neighborhood HELP program
Cons:
  • NOT PASS/FAIL (huge con as this has to make the experience infinitely more stressful)
  • Higher attrition rate as a small, yet considerable amount of students are forced to re-do years, some of which don't even fail.
  • high cost of living

Personally, I feel as if FIU is the right place for me in pretty much every category EXCEPT... SLU seems to have a stronger commitment to student wellbeing while making efforts to mitigate unnecessary stress (which is HUGE for me). Despite being a newer school, FIU does not seem to be on SLU's level in this regard. The whole graded system with those at the lower end of the bell curve being force to re-do a year or face expulsion isn't encouraging either.

Cost will be more or less the same. Despite being an out of state student at FIU, they gifted your boy with a sexy little scholarship which has made this decision all the more difficult. Even with the astronomical cost of living in MIA, it should even out.

If any of you can speak to FIU's graded system and the stress it may or may not cause, or either school in general, I would love your input. I hear so much about how going to a p/f medical school is the only way to go and how grades, especially at this point are worthless. I need to make a decision about what to do by early next week.

Thanks people
 
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Cinemed

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Hey guys,

*Sigh* What a wonderful problem to have I guess.

After being mentally prepared to attend Saint Louis University for the past few months, I just squeaked in off the waitlist to Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. I need advice from those who hopefully have experience with either school, or any experience with some of the things I'm concerned about... Here is a little list of pros and cons

SLU

Pros:
  • Pioneering efforts for student wellbeing, mental health and in general a much lower stress environment.
  • True P/F with no internal rankings
  • I like the size (larger medical school)
  • Not a research powerhouse but in close proximity to Wash U in STL
  • Low cost of living
Cons:
  • Saint Louis... (crime, weather, etc)
  • Facilities aren't too impressive, but this isn't a big deal all things considered.
I can assure you the students are not "low stress," in fact the way the curriculum is currently setup it's a nightmare at times for stress. That's why they've been slapped by the licensing board with academic related issues which is telling of their low board scores. Weather in STL is very hot and humid, and pretty cold with mild snow, but there's no hurricanes; FIU just had one. Crime is one of the most over exaggerated stats about STL. About the facilities comment: they are building a $500M new hospital which should be done by the time you're a 4th year. You will find research at SLU.
 
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stitchchampion

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Thanks for the reply! What about their current setup is unnecessarily stressful? I got the sense that things were improved for the better, as the statistics indicated that student depression and anxiety significantly reduced
 

Cinemed

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Thanks for the reply! What about their current setup is unnecessarily stressful? I got the sense that things were improved for the better, as the statistics indicated that student depression and anxiety significantly reduced
All of anatomy in 8 weeks and never touched again. All of micro in 4 weeks and never touched again -- the classes are killer and swift -- students repeatedly told me they didn't learn anything because of this. Now I guess it really comes down to how you want to learn. Do you want to shotgun focus one subject at a time? SLU might be a great fit. Do you want multiple courses that may have a lot of overlap but have a different approach? Somewhere else might be a better fit.
 

The_Free_Elf

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From your pros and cons list, it sounds like you would be happier at FIU. I had to choose between a true pass fail school and FIU, and in the end I choose FIU. I loved the school a lot and it had so many pros. Grading was literally the only downside I had for FIU but after talking with a lot of the students it doesn’t seem as bad as we make it out to be. In the end I think all the pros for FIU outweigh their grading system.
 

stitchchampion

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From your pros and cons list, it sounds like you would be happier at FIU. I had to choose between a true pass fail school and FIU, and in the end I choose FIU. I loved the school a lot and it had so many pros. Grading was literally the only downside I had for FIU but after talking with a lot of the students it doesn’t seem as bad as we make it out to be. In the end I think all the pros for FIU outweigh their grading system.

Thanks so much for the response. I read this horror post in the 2016-2017 class thread, where an m4 discussed how the administration makes an abnormally high about of students (around the bottom 20% of the class) repeat a year, some even without actually failing any courses. Is this something you can speak to?
 

stitchchampion

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All of anatomy in 8 weeks and never touched again. All of micro in 4 weeks and never touched again -- the classes are killer and swift -- students repeatedly told me they didn't learn anything because of this. Now I guess it really comes down to how you want to learn. Do you want to shotgun focus one subject at a time? SLU might be a great fit. Do you want multiple courses that may have a lot of overlap but have a different approach? Somewhere else might be a better fit.

Thanks for the fast reply by the way! I definitely see what you're saying. I feel as if I am leaning towards FIU at this point, and I just really need to get over this P/F thing... It just blows because you see so many students in a true P/F system discussing how they could never imagine being in a graded system
 
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The_Free_Elf

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Thanks so much for the response. I read this horror post in the 2016-2017 class thread, where an m4 discussed how the administration makes an abnormally high about of students (around the bottom 20% of the class) repeat a year, some even without actually failing any courses. Is this something you can speak to?

Yeah I know exactly what you’re referring too haha. That worried me too but it was literally the same two unhappy people posting all the time. However, I talked to students about this as well and they said that if you put in the effort and try, anyone can get above an 80 average. Some people get 100s or super high A’s. The ones that consistently fall between 75-80 over and over again are truly struggling, and to me it would be worse to just pass them and move them on so they can keep struggling. It’s not going to benefit anyone. Thus, it really is in their best interest to repeat that year. If I wasn’t doing that well in school or understanding the material I’d probably want to repeat the year too so I could make sure that I fully understood everything. But if you did really well in undergrad and continue doing the right things, it won’t be a problem at all.
 
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stitchchampion

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Yeah I know exactly what you’re referring too haha. That worried me too but it was literally the same two unhappy people posting all the time. However, I talked to students about this as well and they said that if you put in the effort and try, anyone can get above an 80 average. Some people get 100s or super high A’s. The ones that consistently fall between 75-80 over and over again are truly struggling, and to me it would be worse to just pass them and move them on so they can keep struggling. It’s not going to benefit anyone. Thus, it really is in their best interest to repeat that year. If I wasn’t doing that well in school or understanding the material I’d probably want to repeat the year too so I could make sure that I fully understood everything. But if you did really well in undergrad and continue doing the right things, it won’t be a problem at all.

Thanks so much! How helpful are the resources on campus such as the learning specialists, student tutors etc?
 
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