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midn

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Well, I'm going to go interview at UTSW this weekend and had some questions about the school.

For those that go there: how do you feel about the lack of patient contact in the first two years? Do you think it is to your benefit since you are given more time to focus on academics or do you wish that your school had more patient contact?

Also, the school is notoriously competitive because of how rigorously students are graded on a curve. How stressful is this grading scheme for you and what do you see as the advantages/disadvantages? Is the student population fragmented because of competition, or is there still some cooperation?
 

baylormed

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Well, I'm going to go interview at UTSW this weekend and had some questions about the school.

For those that go there: how do you feel about the lack of patient contact in the first two years? Do you think it is to your benefit since you are given more time to focus on academics or do you wish that your school had more patient contact?

Also, the school is notoriously competitive because of rigorously students are graded on a curve. How stressful is this grading scheme for you and what do you see as the advantages/disadvantages? Is the student population fragmented because of competition, or is there still some cooperation?
I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can.

There is no "lack of patient contact" the first two years. This year, the school implemented a small college system. Basically, we are all put into groups of 5-6 and assigned a mentor (a physician). We meet 2 hours a week and discuss things like ethics, proessionalism, and learn basic physican exam and history-taking skills. This week many of us have our first meeting with a simulated patient.

Also, there are opportunities for those who want patient contact. The Monday Clinic is a free, student-run clinic where everyone, including first-years, can volunteer.

Personally, I like the traditional 100% lecture-based system, because it means that I don't have to go to class or sit in PBL groups.

As for the curving system, I was told by one of the professors that it was implemented because prior to it they were having to assign A's to a large majority of the students. Residency programs need a way to compare students against their classmates (if everyone has A's, how do you choose?). Also, it is only for some classes, I believe Biochemistry and Genetics (I'm not sure if there's another one)...the point is that it's not a system used in every class. I don't find it stressing, but maybe that's just me. I don't see the point in worrying about everyone else, I just worry about getting a decent grade myself. If I get bumped down to a lower grade because a lot of people did better than I did, well, then it means I could have done better on the test. You have to realize that in medical school everyone is a top student, and most people tend to do very well on the exams.

As for the competition, I too was a little scared about that when I was choosing schools. Everybody spreads rumors and everyone seems to know about it. The truth is that it's not an issue. SOME PEOPLE are competitive, but you'll find those everywhere, because there's always a subset of students that are shooting for ortho or rads right since their first day. Everyone I've met so far is very nice. There's a lot of e-mailing going on about test resources, good websites, exam outlines, etc, that I found surprising.
 

MassTransport

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They started a "college" system last year, basically a small-group system, that has patient contact the first year. There's also a student-run and faculty-supervised clinic that you can get involved in early, but there are limited spots for that.

Not all classes have A caps, but they started that because some ungodly amount of students were getting As in all the classes, so they had minimal resolution of rank at the upper ranges that ended up being detrimental to students. A student I talked to said that they also made the tests very hard, so the curves actually started helping instead of hurting. I talked to some alumni from my college at the school, and there's definitely cooperation between and among the classes. People from earlier years will e-mail slides and charts to the later classes, etc.

I'll tell you this, from the students I talked to, I got a distinct Baylor-hater vibe.
 
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Nooblet

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I was there interviewing last weekend. A LOT of time is spent trying to quash these rumors, but honestly, all they did was draw more attention to the issues. I did not like UTSW because of the many things that you mentioned. They spend alot of time bashing other schools, particularly Baylor, which was kind of a turn off as well. If they are good, they should just promote that instead of spending all their time saying other schools are bad and that the bad rumors floating around aren't true. rumors, especially rumors that are THAT extensive have a component of truth to them. another telling sign that the school is ultra-competitive, it was a saturday, yet every single student was at the school studying...it seems as though none of them have lives outside of school anymore.
 

baylormed

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I was there interviewing last weekend. A LOT of time is spent trying to quash these rumors, but honestly, all they did was draw more attention to the issues. I did not like UTSW because of the many things that you mentioned. They spend alot of time bashing other schools, particularly Baylor, which was kind of a turn off as well. If they are good, they should just promote that instead of spending all their time saying other schools are bad and that the bad rumors floating around aren't true. rumors, especially rumors that are THAT extensive have a component of truth to them. another telling sign that the school is ultra-competitive, it was a saturday, yet every single student was at the school studying...it seems as though none of them have lives outside of school anymore.
A lot of time is spent talking about it because so many people ask the same questions. You don't go to UTHSCSA and ask "Is it true that students are very competitive?" So one correlates to the other, and doesn't necessarily make the rumors true. You are basing your opinion in things you have heard from third parties. Yet you are dismissing other opinions from actual students, like myself.

As for the bashing, I have never heard such a thing, and I've been here for a while now. Maybe you notice those incidents more because you go into your interview expecting arrogance. I met a few jerks in other schools...so what? They are individuals and not the whole school.

Most medical students study on the weekends. If you expect not to do that in the future you'll be in for a rude awakening. Plus, you might not notice it in other schools since most others do not interview during the weekend. (Also, if you say you interviewed here last weekend...we have a test on Thursday...of course everyone is studying.)

I'm sure other of my classmates will tell you the same thing (if I could only get them to come here, because we have a test on Thursday and I'm sure they're all studying...I know I should be :S)

PS. Another reason we're all there on Saturday is free food. Never underestimate the magnetic power of free food for medical students. ;)
 

myKuduSlewaZulu

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I don't go to UTSW, but I'll give my impressions and you can do with them as you please. I think it and Parkland are great. I don't think that the students are competitive in the sense they are mean or anything. I DO think the school's atmosphere is more academically intense than a lot of others. As a group, I got the impression that the students were a bit more stressed and not as laid back as the students at other schools I interviewed at. In fact, I came away with the feeling there was a distinct difference in flavor between UTSW and say, UTMB/UTH. It just seemed warmer at the latter two. Funny, when last year's admissions process comes up in conversation here at UTMB, everyone I've talked to who interviewed at UTSW came away with a very similar impression of the school.

I had a 4th year tell me she thought SW's rep helped her in res ints, but felt the school was higher pressured than others. When I asked what I wouldn't like about the school, my interviewer told me there was some arrogance in the residency programs that led to med students being treated comparatively harshly at times. Some students were entusiastic, others were not. When I was touring the gym, a guy working out told us not to worry, that SW wasn't as hardcore as people say....to which my tour guide rolled her eyes and said "I wouldn't be so sure about that."

It's all about finding the place you fit....it wasn't for me, but if it strikes a chord for you, you'll get a fine education.

Baylormed, hope school is going well for you. Isn't it funny seeing interviewees walking around? It took forever to get in, now it all moves so fast. As for the weekend thing, I can't relate...haven't needed to study yet on a weekend...hehe.
 

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I dont like it when people spread these rumors. Its bad because you go in with this preconceived idea about the school. utsw is one of the nicest medical schools in this country. if you can't handle competition...then maybe its not the right school for you.
 

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I don't think that the students are competitive in the sense they are mean or anything. I DO think the school's atmosphere is more academically intense than a lot of others. As a group, I got the impression that the students were a bit more stressed
As a first year student at UTSW, I think this sums it up perfectly. No question it's a tough school, probably more intense than any other school in Texas. I personally like being around and challenged by other smart, motivated students, but do realize that the school may not be for everyone.
 

potato51

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For those that go there: how do you feel about the lack of patient contact in the first two years? Do you think it is to your benefit since you are given more time to focus on academics or do you wish that your school had more patient contact?
others have mentioned this, but there is some patient contact the first two years. My year missed out on the college system, but the school is moving toward teaching clinical skills starting the 1st year. In MS2 year you learn clinical/oral presentation skills and spend time in various kinds of clinics.

I think the "traditional" label that's tacked onto the school leads folks to believe it's strictly academic the first two years, but it's really not true, though most of it is classroom learning (or sitting-on-my-ass-at-home-and-watching-video-stream learning in my case).

Also, the school is notoriously competitive because of how rigorously students are graded on a curve. How stressful is this grading scheme for you and what do you see as the advantages/disadvantages? Is the student population fragmented because of competition, or is there still some cooperation?
Some classmates will disagree with me, but I don't feel the competition at all. And no one's grades actually get lowered from the historical cutoffs because of the grading system, especially since they've made the exams harder. MS3 year though - you're on a 20/30/40/10% grade distribution of A/B+/B/C grades so you are ranked against each other then.

To be honest some people are miserable and stressed, but except for some bad course scheduling in 2nd year, I don't think the school is being unfair about anything. But that's just me. Most people I know like it here.

good luck at interview.
 

TheRealMD

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Well, I'm going to go interview at UTSW this weekend and had some questions about the school.

For those that go there: how do you feel about the lack of patient contact in the first two years? Do you think it is to your benefit since you are given more time to focus on academics or do you wish that your school had more patient contact?

Also, the school is notoriously competitive because of how rigorously students are graded on a curve. How stressful is this grading scheme for you and what do you see as the advantages/disadvantages? Is the student population fragmented because of competition, or is there still some cooperation?
It's a propagation of propaganda that has gone on for at least 10 years (since my brother was at UTSW). However, I believe it merely comes from the fact that most students are just plain used to making A's in classes when the study. Then when you combine that with the fact that there are only a few A's, you do get competition. It's a fact, but you'll find that at any medical school as med students here will probably tell you.

Now, what you're really asking is if there's any of that cut-throat competition that will make you sick to your stomach. I'm talking about tearing pages out of books, purposely giving the wrong information to other students, sucking up to professors like no other, etc... You'll hear stories about that about Baylor and UTSW, because, what do you know, they are also the higher ranked schools in Texas. Maybe it's just a stupid rivalry, or the beginning of god-complexes that exist in medicine, but some people just feel entitled to boost themselves up (and their school as a side effect) by bringing other schools down.

Anyway, I'd say that it's not the SCHOOL that causes this ****, it's the people in your class. I don't think schools can create something out of nothing (it just violates some fundamental rule!), but if some students hate your guts because they see you as ruining your A, then they'd do that anyway if you were at Podunk U.
 

midn

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Hey guys, thanks for answering my question. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing UTSW now.

A quick question: for the optional program tomorrow, do most people dress up casually (shorts, t-shirts, etc.) or semi-casual (collared shirts, khaki pants, etc.)?

I would prefer the former since I'll be driving for a good part of the day.

-Edit-

Nevermind, found my answer.

Another question though: where the heck is the Research Tower? I can't find it on the map
 

sprinkibrio

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Well, I'm going to go interview at UTSW this weekend and had some questions about the school.

For those that go there: how do you feel about the lack of patient contact in the first two years? Do you think it is to your benefit since you are given more time to focus on academics or do you wish that your school had more patient contact?

Also, the school is notoriously competitive because of how rigorously students are graded on a curve. How stressful is this grading scheme for you and what do you see as the advantages/disadvantages? Is the student population fragmented because of competition, or is there still some cooperation?
I haven't read the other replies yet, so this all might have already been said:

We just had our first standardized patient interview a week ago after ONE HOUR of lecture on how to do it. It was within a day of our 2nd biochem test so no one prepared well and we all sucked. I'm not sure if this was done to humble us or give us "patient contact" like we supposedly want. Now, I don't have time to read for the colleges. Some people have to depending on their mentor, but really I think the point of the colleges is more to get us a bit of exposure to patients before 3rd year and to let us network with a doctor. Not many of us will be able to do a full history & physical perfectly after two years or anything, we still will mostly learn that 3rd year. I think the amount of science lecture vs. small group learning we have is ideal.

The grades here are pretty arbitrary in terms of A, B+, B, C. Every school has their own system, and ours seems to make people work harder for that A, but in the end everyone at every school will be compared by rank in their class. That is what you can use to tell people apart... NOT the fact that our GPA is going to be lower than people at other schools. Advatages... I aim to avoid the C. It is a capable goal for me right now. Aiming to just pass isn't as high of a goal and I like setting my goals higher, LOL. I'm pretty sure that biochemistry is the only class that's on a true curve in that they guarantee the 20 30 30 20 percentile for A, B+, B, C. In other classes they give you a grade based on what you scored (90+=A) and sometimes even curve everyone up so there are more A's in the class. However, each class aims to get that 20 30 30 20, so our tests will be harder than other schools. All this means is that we have a better idea of our percentile before our dean's letter to residencies is sent out.

I worried about all the things you are worrying about when I applied, but they are really, really not as important as you think. The city of the school (close to family friends, a city you enjoy), the atmosphere of the school (personality types, level of seriousness, focus), and how the school fits into your future career are what matters. You won't be able to predict if you'll do better with this curriculum or grading scale than the other until you try to study more than you've ever studied before with more intense material than ever. There are too many other variables that go into this.

I do think we work harder than other schools and have less free time. Take this into consideration. I have no regrets and I love the school, but I'm not going to sell you it. I'm a proponent of helping people find what fits them.
 

sprinkibrio

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I was there interviewing last weekend. A LOT of time is spent trying to quash these rumors, but honestly, all they did was draw more attention to the issues. I did not like UTSW because of the many things that you mentioned. They spend alot of time bashing other schools, particularly Baylor, which was kind of a turn off as well. If they are good, they should just promote that instead of spending all their time saying other schools are bad and that the bad rumors floating around aren't true. rumors, especially rumors that are THAT extensive have a component of truth to them. another telling sign that the school is ultra-competitive, it was a saturday, yet every single student was at the school studying...it seems as though none of them have lives outside of school anymore.
There are a lot of idiots at our school. I'm sorry you had to sit with them and they talked about "competitiveness." I agree, that's so over as a conversation topic.

Tell me you don't hate Baylor when they ask you during your residency or med school interview to prove that you're good enough to go to their school. Baylor deserves a lot of hate and I think our school hates more than the others because we had more people interviewed there than the class at Tech for example.

We all study on Saturday and no we don't have lives outside of school. We also have no qualms about being nerds like this, while the other schools that I ASSUME study just as much as us hide it. Or maybe they do study less. Anyone from other schools want to comment?

And if you come here you'll study at school too, because it gets lonely at home. At least we are social.
 
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TheRealMD

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There are a lot of idiots at our school. I'm sorry you had to sit with them and they talked about "competitiveness." I agree, that's so over as a conversation topic.

Tell me you don't hate Baylor when they ask you during your residency or med school interview to prove that you're good enough to go to their school. Baylor deserves a lot of hate and I think our school hates more than the others because we had more people interviewed there than the class at Tech for example.

We all study on Saturday and no we don't have lives outside of school. We also have no qualms about being nerds like this, while the other schools that I ASSUME study just as much as us hide it. We're nerds in terms of school, and always have been. That's why we're at such a great school. Does anyone from another school want to say they study less than us? I'd love to hear it, I'm wondering this myself.

And if you come here you'll study at school too, because it gets lonely at home. At least we are social.
...

Seriously.. I just interviewed at Baylor. Either both you guys are right and the other school deserves the hate that they get or you are both WRONG and need to stop this propaganda. Please pick one. This has been going on for at LEAST 10 years, so it can't be the students but instead MUST be something else. Drop the rumors, PLEASE.
 

potato51

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Tell me you don't hate Baylor when they ask you during your residency or med school interview to prove that you're good enough to go to their school. Baylor deserves a lot of hate and I think our school hates more than the others because we had more people interviewed there than the class at Tech for example.
Fact is, most people here who interviewed there probably would've gone to BCM had they gotten accepted. So I don't really sense Baylor hate - just people hating the fact they didn't get in.

On the other hand, applicants tend to exaggerate what they hear at interviews. Not lavishing complete praise on another school doesn't mean you're a hater.

We all study on Saturday and no we don't have lives outside of school. We also have no qualms about being nerds like this, while the other schools that I ASSUME study just as much as us hide it. Or maybe they do study less. Anyone from other schools want to comment?
Most med students will study on the weekends period. But spending your entire weekends is another matter. Hopefully you can take a night or two off to do something.

O-B-G-Y-N
ha... I hear the horror stories too, and not just from students.
 

TheRealMD

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Fact is, most people here who interviewed there probably would've gone to BCM had they gotten accepted. So I don't really sense Baylor hate - just people hating the fact they didn't get in.

On the other hand, applicants tend to exaggerate what they hear at interviews. Not lavishing complete praise on another school doesn't mean you're a hater.



Most med students will study on the weekends period. But spending your entire weekends is another matter. Hopefully you can take a night or two off to do something.



ha... I hear the horror stories too, and not just from students.
Most important fact of this thread.
 

midn

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I have interviewed at both Baylor and UTSW and can say for certain that I would go to Baylor over UTSW only because of the way Baylor sets up their grading scheme to be far less competitive. I kind of got the impression that everyone at UTSW was in a perpetual state of stress. People at Baylor seemed to be a bit more relaxed.

As far as the remaining aspects go, Baylor and UTSW are fine institutions. Both are in large cities and thus have great clinical exposure. The college system at UTSW looks really awesome as far as getting early clinical exposure goes. I would be perfectly fine with going to either institution.
 

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Fact is, most people here who interviewed there probably would've gone to BCM had they gotten accepted. So I don't really sense Baylor hate - just people hating the fact they didn't get in.
You honestly believe that? BCM and UTSW are fantastic medical schools, but I wouldn't think that BCM is at such a different level that if accepted to both schools, BCM would be the no brainer choice. I personally would choose UTSW over Baylor, and I know of others who made the same choice. If you were at UTH and said that students at UTH would go to BCM if they got in, I might believe that given the huge difference in reputation. Anyways, thanks to the UTSW students for their words of wisdom!
 

myKuduSlewaZulu

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We all study on Saturday and no we don't have lives outside of school. We also have no qualms about being nerds like this, while the other schools that I ASSUME study just as much as us hide it. Or maybe they do study less. Anyone from other schools want to comment?
It probably depends just as much or more on the student as on the school. You ask ten different people at the same school how hard they study and you're likely to get wildly different answers. That said, it might also be that SDN has a skewed UTSW sample, that UTSW kids in general are higher up in the nerd hierarchy than us, or that the school really is tougher.

This is my general feeling so far at UTMB. We just had our midterms (1 written and 1 lab practical). The tests were robust, but didn't ask any fineprint stuff...so I thought they were very fair. We're taking Anat/Rads + our clinical course. The written test covered ~265 pgs in Moore's ECA, 69 in the Rads book, 106 in Langman's Embryo, + an atlas for the lab. You also needed to understand the slides on the Rads CD they gave us, and have at least paid attention in PBL. That was for 4 weeks of school. They gave us the day before off, a practice test/practical, and no pbl quiz or clinical med class that wk...but I suspect most schools do that stuff.

Realistically, I doubt very many actually read all that, and depended more on the scribe noteset (covered ~160pgs) or BRS, + the blue boxes in Moore's...but it might give people an idea. I don't go to lecture, so I spend about 14 hrs in class/wk. They don't really present any new material on Fri, and I'm out by 11, so that makes it a good catch-up/review day. I could be wrong, but if most students study at UTSW like you do, I'd be hard pressed to find many students here who feel the need to study like that...though I'm sure there are some. Maybe you just haven't found a good, efficient way to study...we are all new at this:)? As far as weekends, it would be entirely possible for me not to study on them (except maybe do some practice problems watching tv and skimming through the weekly chapter from Bates) except for the one before the test.

Like you said though, it just depends on what you want...you love the school, so it doesn't really matter. Good luck to ya.
 

sprinkibrio

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I could be wrong, but if most students study at UTSW like you do, I'd be hard pressed to find many students here who feel the need to study like that...though I'm sure there are some. Maybe you just haven't found a good, efficient way to study...we are all new at this:)? As far as weekends, it would be entirely possible for me not to study on them (except maybe do some practice problems watching tv and skimming through the weekly chapter from Bates) except for the one before the test.
So, I went to a fun little study skills seminar put on by my school the other day and it is recommended that at a minimum we study 36 hrs/wk outside of class. The average would probably be slightly more because he mentioned a lot of people he helps end up needing to study 40+ hrs/wk outside of class. We have 27 hrs. of class. No one here can pull off not studying on the weekend, but I may have misrepresented my weekends. I definitely have the time to go out both nights, but most of the time, I'm so exhausted that I have a beer and go to bed...

Btw, I don't even study 36 hrs/wk outside of class... which is probably why I'm not doing so hot, yet I still don't feel like I have time to relax or make myself study more than I do.
 

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So, I went to a fun little study skills seminar put on by my school the other day and it is recommended that at a minimum we study 36 hrs/wk outside of class. The average would probably be slightly more because he mentioned a lot of people he helps end up needing to study 40+ hrs/wk outside of class. We have 27 hrs. of class. No one here can pull off not studying on the weekend, but I may have misrepresented my weekends. I definitely have the time to go out both nights, but most of the time, I'm so exhausted that I have a beer and go to bed...

Btw, I don't even study 36 hrs/wk outside of class... which is probably why I'm not doing so hot, yet I still don't feel like I have time to relax or make myself study more than I do.
Well, there's no way I could handle that "recommended" schedule without killing myself. Is the 36 hour rule kinda like in undergrad when they told us we needed to study 3 hours per hour of class, but nobody actually did? Or do most people really need that amount of time? Do you go to lecture..because if most of those 27 hours aren't required, I'd drop 'em like a bad habit...that would free up a lot of time, and you'd be fresher when you studied...I'm sure you already thought of that though:).

Hopefully they gave you some good tips. Keep your chin up. At some point, I'm sure it will click and you'll find a groove. My friends at TCOM say they don't get a noteset or have scribes, just mp3's...and if absenteeism gets too high the school's threatened to take them away. So, they go to lecture and both of them study 5-6 hours a day outside of it. They've both asked me to switch schools...I say heck no, but that I might trade cities...haha. Take care Sprinki, and try to get some sleep.
 
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potato51

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You honestly believe that? BCM and UTSW are fantastic medical schools, but I wouldn't think that BCM is at such a different level that if accepted to both schools, BCM would be the no brainer choice. I personally would choose UTSW over Baylor, and I know of others who made the same choice. If you were at UTH and said that students at UTH would go to BCM if they got in, I might believe that given the huge difference in reputation. Anyways, thanks to the UTSW students for their words of wisdom!
True. I know lots of people here who chose UTSW over Baylor and other higher-ranked schools and not just for reasons of proximity to home. But still most students, if dually accepted to BCM/UTSW, would've chosen BCM. Myself, I was so gung-ho on UTSW myself that I didn't even apply outside the Texas match.

Of course, this is hardly a UTSW thing. Reminds me of my UTH interview where one student threw a rock in the general BCM direction (as a joke) and lamented that 'they' didn't accept him.
 

TheRealMD

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True. I know lots of people here who chose UTSW over Baylor and other higher-ranked schools and not just for reasons of proximity to home. But still most students, if dually accepted to BCM/UTSW, would've chosen BCM. Myself, I was so gung-ho on UTSW myself that I didn't even apply outside the Texas match.

Of course, this is hardly a UTSW thing. Reminds me of my UTH interview where one student threw a rock in the general BCM direction (as a joke) and lamented that 'they' didn't accept him.
Just hoping that these grudges are not how rumors start. *but of course, I know they are the very source of most FUD we hear*
 

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True. I know lots of people here who chose UTSW over Baylor and other higher-ranked schools and not just for reasons of proximity to home. But still most students, if dually accepted to BCM/UTSW, would've chosen BCM. Myself, I was so gung-ho on UTSW myself that I didn't even apply outside the Texas match.

Of course, this is hardly a UTSW thing. Reminds me of my UTH interview where one student threw a rock in the general BCM direction (as a joke) and lamented that 'they' didn't accept him.
Well, are you happy with your choice? :p
 

potato51

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Well, are you happy with your choice? :p
the school is not without its flaws, but i'm definitely happy with my choice. But MS2 year is quite the ass-kicking I'd have to say. More on that another time...
 

Beadle

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To the OP...I'm sorry if so many of these posts come off as negative...it seems people who have downsides to point out are more likely to post than those with the upsides.

Soooo, here are my upsides:

- I love school at UTSW - this fact has more to due with what I guess you could call an "inner peace" about the situation rather than something specific the school has done for me
- The administration and course directors are AMAZING. They are so open to our suggestions and very concerned about our personal/academic/emotional/physical wellbeing. Not everything runs perfectly, but they try really really hard
- So far, our classes are very fair, and our schedules are put together in a way that reflects our best interest. For example, they spread out midterms this year after complaints from last year, and either cancelled or had review sessions for our class times.
- You have to make the decision, no matter where you go to school, how much you are willing to sacrifice for grades, and how much you really want to believe those grades will effect you down the road. From what I've noticed, the people at my school who have given up many many things for the sake of studying more are unhappier in general.
- In that same vein, the people who don't branch OUTSIDE of school and make non-med school friends will quickly realize(if they haven't already) they are in a bubble of stress and non-stop school talk.
- As far as competition goes, I don't see any other than people competing for thier own individual expectations. Some people like to gather and talk nit-picky details about grades or tests, and I just try to avoid those conversations since nothing constructive comes from them.

So I kind of digressed into general tips about surviving med school, but I hope you get the gist. UTSW is a great school, but a negative attitude can change all that.
 

midn

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To the OP...I'm sorry if so many of these posts come off as negative...it seems people who have downsides to point out are more likely to post than those with the upsides.

Soooo, here are my upsides:

- I love school at UTSW - this fact has more to due with what I guess you could call an "inner peace" about the situation rather than something specific the school has done for me
- The administration and course directors are AMAZING. They are so open to our suggestions and very concerned about our personal/academic/emotional/physical wellbeing. Not everything runs perfectly, but they try really really hard
- So far, our classes are very fair, and our schedules are put together in a way that reflects our best interest. For example, they spread out midterms this year after complaints from last year, and either cancelled or had review sessions for our class times.
- You have to make the decision, no matter where you go to school, how much you are willing to sacrifice for grades, and how much you really want to believe those grades will effect you down the road. From what I've noticed, the people at my school who have given up many many things for the sake of studying more are unhappier in general.
- In that same vein, the people who don't branch OUTSIDE of school and make non-med school friends will quickly realize(if they haven't already) they are in a bubble of stress and non-stop school talk.
- As far as competition goes, I don't see any other than people competing for thier own individual expectations. Some people like to gather and talk nit-picky details about grades or tests, and I just try to avoid those conversations since nothing constructive comes from them.

So I kind of digressed into general tips about surviving med school, but I hope you get the gist. UTSW is a great school, but a negative attitude can change all that.
Hey, thanks for all the information. UTSW is definitely one of my top choice schools because I really think it does fit me best. Although I would really like to go to Baylor because it has the medical center and is in Houston, I think I have a much better chance at getting into UTSW.

I hope I get a pre-match offer, but if not, I'll definitely try to match into UTSW.
 

Monarch Kong

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I know this may have been briefly mentioned before, but would any of you MS1's or MS2's at UTSW like to comment on the amount of free time that you or your class mates seem to have each week? I know that during the week, its going to be many hours of studying outside of class, but what about weekends? This is all assuming a non test week of course.
 

TheRealMD

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Interviewed at Southwestern this past Saturday. Quite a bit has changed since I last went there for my brother's graduation (I think for the better). It'll definitely be a hard choice if I get accept to UTSW and Baylor.
 

Monarch Kong

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Interviewed at Southwestern this past Saturday. Quite a bit has changed since I last went there for my brother's graduation (I think for the better). It'll definitely be a hard choice if I get accept to UTSW and Baylor.
I feel exactly the same way. What are your pros/cons of UTSW vs Baylor?
 

bluesTank

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I would go with Baylor hands down.

This is just my opinion:
It seems like when I visited Baylor, which was after most the other TX schools, it was everything I liked about the other schools rolled up into one.

For example:

UTMB: Half Days, Laid back atmosphere, very flexible schedule.
UTHSCSA: Very friendly student body, non-competative atmosphere
UTH: Amazing facillities, great faculty, lots of connections
UTSW: Prestigious name, high USMLE scores, very good curriculum, lots of research focus
TCOM: Laid back atmosphere, nice facilities, good food at interview!

(I didn't apply to A&M or Tech)

PLUS! You finish your basic science years 6 months early. That's freaking amazing, and it is often overlooked. That means you can take your USMLE WITH clinical experience under your belt, have very flexible clinical rotations, and tailor your experience there to your own taste. For example, in med school I want to do a lot of international work in South America, work on my Spanish etc...I have almost an extra 4-6 months to do that! Or you can do research whatever...
 
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TheRealMD

"The Mac Guy"
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I would go with Baylor hands down.

This is just my opinion:
It seems like when I visited Baylor, which was after most the other TX schools, it was everything I liked about the other schools rolled up into one.

For example:

UTMB: Half Days, Laid back atmosphere, very flexible schedule.
UTHSCSA: Very friendly student body, non-competative atmosphere
UTH: Amazing facillities, great faculty, lots of connections
UTSW: Prestigious name, high USMLE scores, very good curriculum, lots of research focus
TCOM: Laid back atmosphere, nice facilities, good food at interview!

(I didn't apply to A&M or Tech)

PLUS! You finish your basic science years 6 months early. That's freaking amazing, and it is often overlooked. That means you can take your USMLE WITH clinical experience under your belt, have very flexible clinical rotations, and tailor your experience there to your own taste. For example, in med school I want to do a lot of international work in South America, work on my Spanish etc...I have almost an extra 4-6 months to do that! Or you can do research whatever...
However, some would argue that there is basic science stuff that quite easy to forget in real clinical medicine. Gain from clinics, loose some basic science (as you aren't really going to be able to keep everything in your head).

As for the flexibility, it's definitely a plus. Again, that's what makes it so hard.
 

bluesTank

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They have some classroom based courses throughout your clinical years that help you stay on track as far as the basic science application in real world goes.
 

Monarch Kong

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The USMLE's are mostly basic science right? I've heard of UTSW's strong curriculum in basic sciences, but how would that extra half year off affect you?

Also on that note, has there been any news on UTSW considering a change to P/F or H/HP/LP/F for basic science years? I read this earlier but haven't heard anything since.
 

TheLesPaul

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Absolutely. King K. Rool is the name. Stealing bananas is his game. Too bad he sucked at it. A lot.
Ha! That's awesome! I remember playing the SNES version of the game, and I got up to the world that was on top of the snow-capped mountain...I was so angry when I found out that wasn't the end of the game!! I thought I had beaten it!

King K. Rool still rankles me, to this day.

edit: wow, I used a lot of exclamation points...
 

Monarch Kong

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Haha, yea it was hard to take him seriously because he was a clumsy, plump lizard with crazy eyes. What do lizards need with bananas anyway?
 

nomoreplz

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This is an interesting thread. I liked UTSW, more than I thought I would.

However, the new colleges really don't do it for me in terms of patient interaction. It's definitely a step in the right direction, but it's not only standardized patients and lessons in professionalism that I want.
I really want to be out in some type of healthcare environment at an early stage. Baylor does that - my friend Gillian interns (for lack of a better word) at a doctor's office. Other schools do stuff like this too (actually the coolest program was at Columbia, where they might place you not just with doctors but with mental health workers or in pallitive care etc.)

And then Baylor gives you the extra 6 months of clinicals, and I'm sold. More time for me to do international electives. Also, Baylor offers an international track and a care for the underserved track. All of these things are important to me, so....yeah.
 

Monarch Kong

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This is an interesting thread. I liked UTSW, more than I thought I would.

However, the new colleges really don't do it for me in terms of patient interaction. It's definitely a step in the right direction, but it's not only standardized patients and lessons in professionalism that I want.
I really want to be out in some type of healthcare environment at an early stage. Baylor does that - my friend Gillian interns (for lack of a better word) at a doctor's office. Other schools do stuff like this too (actually the coolest program was at Columbia, where they might place you not just with doctors but with mental health workers or in pallitive care etc.)

And then Baylor gives you the extra 6 months of clinicals, and I'm sold. More time for me to do international electives. Also, Baylor offers an international track and a care for the underserved track. All of these things are important to me, so....yeah.
UTSW is also offering opportunities to work in a "Monday Clinic" a free clinic where students of all 4 years get involved with treating patients. There will be residents or attendings there to oversee the whole operation, but theres another chance for patient interaction as early as first semester first year.
 

OMFB

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With all the UTSW pre-match offers out, I thought I would share something humorous that might apply in this thread. hehe.

Sometimes medical school applicants (my previous self included) just don't have their heads on straight. Lets imagine a hypothetical situation. Instead of choosing medical schools, our unaware premed is now deciding on the right track and field coaching/training programs to help him/her reach the next level.

On avoiding "competitive" environments in favor of "chill" ones:
"You know I like this team and coach a lot but everyone is always trying to beat each other. Why can't we just hold hands and help each other cross the finish line together?"

On integrated curriculum:
"I don't like working on specific events one at a time. I like working on all of them at once."

On grades:
"I like this program, but why are they always timing my runs? I don't like the pressure. A lap is a lap. Finishing should be all that matters."

On problem based learning:
"I don't like the coach telling us the workouts. The athletes should be able to get together to talk about making our own workouts. Why should be have to listen to the coach?"

On early patient exposure:
"Why can't I be on the relay until I learn how to pass the baton? The best way to learn is to drop the baton over and over during crucial moments when my teammates are depending on me until I get it right."

On research:
"I want to be a fast runner, but what kind of bodybuilding opportunities do you offer here?"

On being a doctor:
"Do you know what the slowest runner in the race is? An athlete."
 

lainapox

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With all the UTSW pre-match offers out, I thought I would share something humorous that might apply in this thread. hehe.

Sometimes medical school applicants (my previous self included) just don't have their heads on straight. Lets imagine a hypothetical situation. Instead of choosing medical schools, our unaware premed is now deciding on the right track and field coaching/training programs to help him/her reach the next level.

On avoiding "competitive" environments in favor of "chill" ones:
"You know I like this team and coach a lot but everyone is always trying to beat each other. Why can't we just hold hands and help each other cross the finish line together?"

On integrated curriculum:
"I don't like working on specific events one at a time. I like working on all of them at once."

On grades:
"I like this program, but why are they always timing my runs? I don't like the pressure. A lap is a lap. Finishing should be all that matters."

On problem based learning:
"I don't like the coach telling us the workouts. The athletes should be able to get together to talk about making our own workouts. Why should be have to listen to the coach?"

On early patient exposure:
"Why can't I be on the relay until I learn how to pass the baton? The best way to learn is to drop the baton over and over during crucial moments when my teammates are depending on me until I get it right."

On research:
"I want to be a fast runner, but what kind of bodybuilding opportunities do you offer here?"

On being a doctor:
"Do you know what the slowest runner in the race is? An athlete."

This is a little late, but...
I think there's something fundamentally wrong with comparing medschool/becoming a doctor with a race. That implies that, on a very basic level, the goal is to win (hold the #1 class rank), and not to get into shape (become a good doctor), and I think that sucks.
 

d1ony5u5

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I agree.
I might have this wrong, but I think a lot of the current problems with Doctors and healthcare in general are rooted in this unnecessary competition that medical students/doctors get themselves into, and that has been fomented in medical education since time immemorial.
At the very core, people interested in this profession should be interested first and foremost in helping patients. A cut-throat, unnecessarily competitive athmosphere seems to be at odds with this primary objective: no Doctor, no matter how good, can ever handle cases him/herself. There will always be a need for interaction and collaboration (think radiology techs, diagnostic laboratories, specialty consults, etc), which is somewhat incompatible with the medschool/track team analogy. Ideally the best care should come from a team, not from individuals that are primarily interested in competing for the sake of competing...

Maybe I'm an idealist...

P.S. I'm not impliying anything about UTSW, I'm barely finding out about it through threads like this. Keep coming the good info, please!
 
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