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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by atdeben, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. atdeben

    atdeben Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
    Is anyone else out there trying to make this tough decision? Thoughts on each school?
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  3. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Well, since I'm going to MCV I'm a bit biased. I think UVA has a good educational history with a large focus on research while MCV has an excellent clinical program. MCV is not ranked, so I don't know if that's what you're looking for. If you care about ranks and research, I'd say UVA. If you want good clinical training, I'd say MCV.

  4. 12nico12

    12nico12 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    hi- i had the same quandary 5 years ago. i chose uva while my best friend chose mcv. my take is that the education at both of these places are great. the factors to consider, though, are:

    1. reputation: uva has the better name which could marginally help for residency. i say marginally b/c i don't think it's that important. it may play into getting interviews during residency since i know that programs do look at your school but if you do well (regardless of the school you go to) i don't think it makes any difference. plus where you end up for residency is more critical to your career than med school.
    2. hands-on experience: you get a much better clinical experience at mcv than at uva. my friend used to joke that i only got to see pictures of specula instead of actually using one. that is not too much of an exagerration. i feel that clinically i'm not as strong as my counterparts at mcv. this is attributable to the small semi-rural population of charlottesville compared to urban patient population of richmond. you have a bigger patient load at mcv too. and they give the medical students there more responsibility. the volume at uva is very small and i felt that the ratio of health-care providers to patients was too high. also let me just warn your family practice rotation is a rural medicine rotatation unless you go go to fairfax/nova (limited spots). so it depends on what you want.

    3. va hospital: some people hate these but uva does not have one affiliated with it (in c-ville) and i've been told that it is a great place to learn pathology. my friend hated the va in richmond however...

    4. away rotations: this killed some people 3rd year. you spend a portion of your time down in roanoke, salem, or fairfax for your clerkships. it is hard if your sig other is in charlottesville and you are hours away. i didn't really care- i thought it was cool to see other parts of virginia but as i said above, these locations are small towns (except for fairfax/nova).

    4. book smarts: okay, #2 is the biggest down-point about uva. but the biggest strength about uva is that the people i was surrounded with are super super smart. the reputation is that by the time we finish med school, we know a lot. clinically, we have some catching up to do during internship, but book-wise, we know our stuff and do well on the boards. i've been told not to worry about catching up during internship- that the learning curve is so steep that we equalize with everybody else after the first 6 months.

    5. location: i loved living in c-ville. richmond is an okay city, but charlottesville is a great town to go to medical school in. lots of places to go biking, running, very laid- back atmosphere. all your friends live about 5 minutes away from you so it's really conducive to dinner parties, study groups, and social things with classmates. plus you can't beat the cost of living (though richmond is not bad either).

    if i could do it again, i would still go to uva. i'm concerned about internship, but talking to my classmates who started last year (i graduated in 2001 and did research this year) they are doing just fine. plus they feel they know a lot and their clinical knowledge is more helpful than they realized. so i hope this helps, it really depends on what you want.
  5. BlueDevil7

    BlueDevil7 Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2001
    CA/ Washington D.C.
    I was also choosing between those schools but I will be attending UVA in the fall. I was initially concerned about the lack of extensive patient contact in the first two years. However, 90% of graduates out of UVA get one of their top 3 residency choices and people go for very competitive residencies. This tells me that whatever lack of patient contact exists in the first two years is more than made up for in the third and fourth year. Plus all those other factors the last poster mentioned. They're both awesome schools though.
  6. atdeben

    atdeben Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
    Thanks to everyone for responding!

    12nico12 -

    Thank you for your response! I have already printed it out.

    12nico12 - Your time, effort, and advice are greatly appreciated...


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