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UT Southwestern Class of 2010

Discussion in 'Allopathic Class Threads' started by apar01, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. apar01

    apar01 Certified Consumer
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    Hey all,

    I'm currently a first year medical student at UTSW, and I started this thread for the prospective class of 2010 to ask any questions about our school, considering the deadline for rank lists are due pretty soon. I'm sure there are other UTSW students from all years trolling around on these boards, so feel free to chime in!
     
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  3. potato51

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    I'm all over this thread like a bad rash! Definitely ranking your school #1.
     
  4. mdgirl2006

    mdgirl2006 Member
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    Im debating between UT-H and Southwestern, which I know some people may find strange due to the rankings, but my main reasoning in favor of UT-H is that I'm from Houston and want to be near my family, and the TMC is the best in the world. I'm still considering Southwestern though, but am concerned about the higher stress/emphasis on research/bell curve/less clinical experience in the first couple of years.... how do you (or any other Southwestern student) feel about these things? Are you truly happy about your choice and love your school? Have you had time to have friends and a life outside of school? Have the faculty been supportive and helpful? What is your clinical training like? Standardized health patients? Manequins? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm having a tough time deciding on my ranking between these two. I guess I already know people at UT-H that love their school, and I guess I would want to hear the same thing from the Southwestern students....so any thoughts?
     
  5. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
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    I'm kind of in the same situation as mdgirl. I'm stuck between UTMB and UTSW for pretty much the same reasons....
     
  6. dbzgohan

    dbzgohan Member
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    I was just curious, how much does the interview count when they are evaulating you. I have heard from some people that it is a big factor. Anyway good luck to everyone!!!
     
  7. glp

    glp Vegas Baby Vegas
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    southwestern hopeful here. i interviewed at the first of this month, and would love to go there. so now i am just sitting around hoping the get a non-thin letter before match date rolls around, after that i am assuming they wont be giving out anymore oos acceptances.
     
  8. potato51

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    From what I remember, in 2004 Southwestern accepted most of their out-of-state interviewees, with less than half enrolling. Good luck.
     
  9. Lorrayne

    Lorrayne Senior Member
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    I'm definitely ranking UTSW No. 1 on the list. I live in Dallas and know many people who have ended up there, and they all seem to love it. Only 37 more days to go...
     
  10. potato51

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    Hi Lorrayne, I remember you as one of the BCM acceptees. Do you mind if I ask which school you would prefer to attend? Good luck with your match...
     
  11. Lorrayne

    Lorrayne Senior Member
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    I think it will be a tough decision because they are both great schools. For me, location will probably be the deciding factor. I'm from Dallas and my husband has a great job here. Therefore, I'd probably pick UTSW over Baylor if accepted. But I'm not 100% sure because I really like the TMC, Texas Children's and Baylor's 1.5 year pre-clinical curriculum.
     
  12. apar01

    apar01 Certified Consumer
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    First of all, your reasons for favoring UTH are totally warranted. Location was the main factor in my decision to come to UTSW (I'm from Dallas).

    True, there is a new grading system in place at UTSW, and it basically assigns 20% A, 30% B+, 30% B, 20% C in every class. It is a bell curve, but I honestly think it's better than 80% of the class making either A or B+ (which it has been in the past). Why? B+ here is typically 87-88. Let's say you make an 86 in a certain class. You're now in the last 20% of your class. With the new grading system, you would still make a B, but your standing in the class would be a lot better. Of course, there are other variables, but the point is that residency programs need to see some separation between you and the rest of your class. UTSW sends all of its med students to great residencies, so I wouldn't worry about the grades too much.

    Our class freaked out about the curve at first, but after a semester, nobody even talks about it anymore. You will quickly realize your goals. For me, it's to stay sane, do the best I can in each class, and maybe have a little fun once in a while. If I make a C, whatever. 3rd year matters more than 1st and 2nd year combined.

    At first, I thought UTSW lacked the clinical exposure in the first 2 years, but you have standardized patients to take histories on in clinical ethics (1st year), and during 2nd year, you will have small groups led by residents in which you have clinics with actual patients (e.g. opthalmology, ob/gyn, peds...). In human behavior (spring of 1st year), you interview actual psychiatric patients. I'm really looking forward to this.

    I'm extremely happy with my decision to come here. I love my classmates and the school. The housing here is great, affordable, and really close to campus. Virtually no traffic here, unless you get on the highways, then you have crazy Dallas drivers to contend with. With 234 classmates, you're bound to make a few friends at least ;) . It's hard to have a life outside of school, when you're always studying. It gets discouraging, but I always try to look at the big picture. Its just another obstacle that you have to get through to become a doctor.

    The faculty for the most part is supportive and helpful. Biochem: the professors are good and they teach it well. The tests suck, and require you to know tiny bits of minutiae to do well on the tests. I was a biochem major in undergrad, and I know it well. But I struggled in medical biochemistry because it's all details and no logic. I truly suck at memorizing, but if you can do it well, you will no doubt succeed. Genetics: The course directors are complete jerks, but they do teach the subject well. I'll give them that. Anatomy: AWESOME. All the anatomy professors are great, and they truly care about teaching us, especially in the lab during dissections. You will learn a lot in this class and lectures are actually fun to attend (at least Dr. Phelan's...)

    Sorry for the extremely long reply, but I'm often long winded. Good luck!

    apar01


     
  13. Wstar5721

    Wstar5721 Junior Member
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    I don't post here often (but lurk every once in a while) and am also a member of UT-Southwestern's class of 2009. Like apar01, I'm very happy that I chose this school for my medical school education. However, regarding the new grading system, while few people talk about it anymore, I do feel that it does add to the stress of the med school experience. After talking to several MS2s, MS3s, and MS4s, almost all say that our class is much more stressed than previous classes have been. I do not know whether this is a product of the new grading system, the uncertaintly of what the next test will be like (especially in medical biochemistry) or the general composition of our class, but I find this disturbing. For those coming into the class of 2010, I think that as long as there are no more surprises, things will be at the least, calmer.

    As far as the way the classes are run, I hated that biochemistry seemed to follow no logical pattern. By the time we hit the material for the 3rd and 4th tests, I felt that the course had exhausted it's better professors. I enjoyed genetics (and perhaps even sympathize with the professors) and loved anatomy even more.

    This school is really an outstanding institution though, and they really haven't let me down. Grades aren't everything, and I look forward to when we actually get to go on rotations...
     
  14. potato51

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    weird, I thought the grading system was done away with. Guess not. But that bell curve doesn't seem so bad. As long as residency programs know how the students are being evaluated, I'm more than okay with this. I'm not one to go nuts over grades anyway.

    now this sounds great... perhaps UTSW needs to make interviewees/applicants better aware of this as "clinical exposure" is the one of the negatives applicants have about UTSW, especially since the school claims a "traditional" curriculum.

    you have a good outlook. thanks for your insights.
     
  15. Wstar5721

    Wstar5721 Junior Member
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    The grading system hasn't been done away with completely. It has been modified to better reflect Dr. Gillman's goals for students at UT-Southwestern. To be clear, Dr. Gillman believes that having a class that makes mostly As and B+s doesn't tell residency programs anything about how you stand in relation to the rest of the class. So in order to make our grades more informative to residency programs and "recognize excellence", he encourages professors to teach concepts rather than memorization. By doing so, he expects grades to adopt a more evenly spread distribution so that roughly 20% to make As, 30% to make B+s, etc.

    Our professors initially interpreted this by instituting a curve, and by the time we got our grades back from our first biochem test (avg ~91%), it became clear that this would entail curving down a significant number of students who performed very well on the tests. The new policy involves testing concepts and the application of these concepts to clincial situtations with the aim at achieving a distribution so that roughly 20% of the class gets an A (93 or above). There are now cutoffs for the different grade points so that we are guaranteed at least the grade we earned. At the end of the class, grade points may be adjusted down (not up)as necessary to approximate those percentages.

    I for one agree with Dr. Gillman's philosophy and feel that these changes will better the institution in the long run.
     
  16. potato51

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    You make a compelling case in favor of the new policy. In fact it sounds a lot like my undergrad biochem classes at UT Austin. A greater part of me still thinks students should be evaluated on an absolute basis, but I understand why it might not be practical.

    I've heard from a couple of residency directors in Houston that UTSW students are looked on very favorably because they are worked harder than most med school classes in the country, especially with many of the top tier schools being pass/fail or H/HP/P/F and such. I imagine this new grading policy will feed even more into that perception in the future.
     
  17. idillio06

    idillio06 Member
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    About the curriculum, what is a typical day's schedule, etc? Do you have time to do clinical volunteer work or other stuff on the side during the week? And finally, if there are any 4th years around, are people getting interviews at top residency programs? Especially those who want to leave Texas? I've heard great things about UTSW and have friends who love it, but I'm holding an acceptance at Baylor and if I match into SW I'm going to have a hard time deciding...I just want to go to a school that will help me leave Texas for residency. :oops: Any tips would be great.

    Thanks!
     
  18. potato51

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    Good question. Are all days of the week scheduled similarly?

    As for residency programs, US News (yeah, that report) had UTSW with a higher peer assessment and residency director rating than Baylor, at least for 2005.

    I think you'll have an easier time getting out of state at UTSW/Baylor than at the other schools. But it really depends on what you're applying for.
     
  19. Wstar5721

    Wstar5721 Junior Member
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    To be honest, most days are pretty full. During the first semester, MWF runs from 9am-5pm and TTH classes are usually 9am-3pm. A few days (once a week at first and then a little less later in the semester) ended at noon. To their credit though, we had no biochem or genetics classes the week of our anatomy exams, which was really helpful.

    I personally didn't have any time to do clinical volunteer work, but I know some people who definitely are able to fit into their schedules. For example, one of my tankmates volunteers at the Parkland ER about once a week on Friday nights.
     
  20. potato51

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    Dumb question, but I can't recall the anatomy room very well from interview day - do all 230+ of you really have anatomy lab at the same time in the same room?
     
  21. Wstar5721

    Wstar5721 Junior Member
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    I don't think they give a tour of the anatomy facilities during the interview out of respect for those who have donated their bodies. They may have had a video though. As far as I know, we all took it together unless there were medical issues to be considered.
     
  22. apar01

    apar01 Certified Consumer
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    Technically yes, we all have anatomy at the same time in the same rooms. There are two rooms in the UTSW anatomy lab. One big room (~150 students) and one small room (~80 students). Keep in mind that many people don't come regularly, so it rarely feels cramped. Only hectic during the week before midterm and finals.
     
  23. apar01

    apar01 Certified Consumer
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    For the most part, accurate. However during the fall, we generally had 11a-1p off for lunch/whatever. There are biochem review sessions 12-1 most days, but that's only if you seriously need extra help with the material. MWF were the hardest, with anatomy taking up 1-5pm as well. TTH aren't too bad, you have biochem and then ethics. Ethics is something you just have to do...history clinics were fun, but my small group dragged on sometimes.

    After biochem ends, genetics starts and that's only three weeks long. I thought the end of the semester was a lot tougher than when we had biochem and anatomy together.

    http://medschool.swmed.edu/ if you want to take a look at our schedule. Spring sucks so far...
     
  24. Lorrayne

    Lorrayne Senior Member
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    Thanks for the link. It's nice to see so much info available online. Does UTSW provide videos of lectures?
     
  25. potato51

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    I asked this before and was told MS2's have lectures available via video. MS1's do not (they have a scribe service though), but perhaps this will change.
     
  26. Lorrayne

    Lorrayne Senior Member
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    Now that all the rankings are set in stone, just wanted to say good luck to everyone who put UTSW No. 1... :)
     
  27. potato51

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    yeah, good luck from me too. Selfish part of me hopes if I match, then so do you guys and that y'all decide not to attend any other school so I go into med school "knowing" a few of my classmates already ;)
     
  28. Giving My .02

    Giving My .02 Senior Member
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    Good luck to everyone in the upcoming match! Hope to see ya'll at MS0 day this spring!
     
  29. Lyricist

    Lyricist Art Imitating Art
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  30. bobito

    bobito Senior Member
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    What we have here is a couple of satisfied customers. I matched. Congrats to everybody. I'll likely see you in Dallas.
     
  31. Deanmonster

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    1st post in Allopathic forum. Congrats to everyone who found out tonight!
     
  32. ClearDay

    ClearDay Senior Member
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    It's so freaking difficulty to concentrate at work today!!!
    WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!
     
  33. potato51

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    heh, me too... A coworker of mine matched to A&M last night, and some of the profs in my department are taking us to lunch today.

    can't wait to meet you folks. I should let you know in advance, though, that I'm not a real potato. Though ClearDay would tell you otherwise.
     
  34. potato51

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    Well... this thread was good while it lasted.
     
  35. Lee580

    Lee580 Member
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    I really don't understand why people worry about a relative grading curve. In reality, there is no such thing as absolute grading. Medical schools don't report a GPA to residency programs. They go by a class rank system. In the end, your actual letter grade doesn't matter, only how you perform "relative" to the rest of your class.
     
  36. potato51

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    Very true. I guess the bigger stink was made about it being made clear that students really were competing against each other for those designated 'A' spots in each class. I can see why it would add to the stress level, especially when a good number of students at UTSW are the straight A-types.

    I prefer the absolute "If you scored it, you earned it" kind of grading that Baylor and the other schools have. Since 3rd year evaluations count more anyway when it comes to residency applications, why should it matter much how you did relative to your classmates the first 2 years?
     

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