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UW-Madison or MCW

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That Wisco Kid

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Hey all. Know this issue has been hashed over many times before by others in past years, but really wanted to put it out there again in light of MCW’s recent curriculum change and other things.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be accepted by both and am honestly pretty torn between the two.

MCW’s new curriculum is systems based which I really like, and seems to have a strong clinical focus and patient exposure from day one, which is also attractive to me. Really like this cause I don’t want to feel like what I learn in the classroom/lecture is compartmentalized from the clinical setting, etc.

Madison’s curriculum seems more traditional with no real significant clinical exposure till rotations 3rd year (could be wrong on this). The basic P/F grading system first year seems great but I’m a little nervous about the curve-dictated A, B, C system beginning second year. Would really like to know what UW’s curriculum is like for students day-in and day-out. Madison is significantly cheaper than MCW and to add to that, they have offered me a scholarship.

Ultimately, just want to go to the school that will make me the better doctor, but finances are always a consideration as well.

Would really appreciate some feedback on this especially from current students at both schools.
 

RedSox10

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Hey all. Know this issue has been hashed over many times before by others in past years, but really wanted to put it out there again in light of MCW’s recent curriculum change and other things.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be accepted by both and am honestly pretty torn between the two.

MCW’s new curriculum is systems based which I really like, and seems to have a strong clinical focus and patient exposure from day one, which is also attractive to me. Really like this cause I don’t want to feel like what I learn in the classroom/lecture is compartmentalized from the clinical setting, etc.

Madison’s curriculum seems more traditional with no real significant clinical exposure till rotations 3rd year (could be wrong on this). The basic P/F grading system first year seems great but I’m a little nervous about the curve-dictated A, B, C system beginning second year. Would really like to know what UW’s curriculum is like for students day-in and day-out. Madison is significantly cheaper than MCW and to add to that, they have offered me a scholarship.

Ultimately, just want to go to the school that will make me the better doctor, but finances are always a consideration as well.

Would really appreciate some feedback on this especially from current students at both schools.

You'd be crazy not to choose UW.
 

Wisco1

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I'm originally from WI (did undergrad at Madison) and applied to both schools. UW no questions asked ;). And if I remember correctly UW has an integrated curriculum after you set the groundwork with basic sciences.
 

Zarika

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I go to MCW; really like the school.

I still vote UWisconsin if it's a lot cheaper.
 
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littlefaster

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Withdraw from UW. It's a terrible school.

Sincerely,
Guy on waitlist

:smuggrin:
 

drizzt3117

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Pretty much the only people that pick mcw over Uw are from mke, which is understandable. MCW is a good school but UW has many more resources for its students. If you've been offered a scholarship it's pretty much a no-brainer. UW has a little stronger national reputation which is nice.

Uw actually has a lot of clinical exposure during the preclinical years fwiw, I think that's not at all important, though. Pre-clinical grades aren't important, but again, fwiw, at least half the class will get A/ABs (H/HP) in 2nd year. H/p/f etc is the same thing as a/b/c/d etc, the only major differences are between totally p/f schools and non-pf. Uw has an integrated curriculum that's systems based; there are relatively few required hours so it's nice for being able to study on your own, all the lectures are webcast if that's something you like.

I spent a couple months in Milwaukee doing m3 and plan to do internship there, it's a nice city, but I like Madison a lot more. It's very outdoor friendly, has a nice restaurant/bar scene and is much safer. The statewide campus allows us to do rotations at Milwaukee hospitals to be exposed to a broader patient population while maintaining the resources of uwhc when we are in Madison (3rd largest transplant center in the us, cancer center, multibillion dollar research facilities, etc) while also giving us exposure to community/rural medicine if we so choose. Its quite nice.

As far as cons at Uw, the only ones I've run into (that might not be cons for others) is a very strong public health focus, which may appeal to many, and the fact that our anatomy lab sucks (although the faculty are great)



Hey all. Know this issue has been hashed over many times before by others in past years, but really wanted to put it out there again in light of MCW’s recent curriculum change and other things.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be accepted by both and am honestly pretty torn between the two.

MCW’s new curriculum is systems based which I really like, and seems to have a strong clinical focus and patient exposure from day one, which is also attractive to me. Really like this cause I don’t want to feel like what I learn in the classroom/lecture is compartmentalized from the clinical setting, etc.

Madison’s curriculum seems more traditional with no real significant clinical exposure till rotations 3rd year (could be wrong on this). The basic P/F grading system first year seems great but I’m a little nervous about the curve-dictated A, B, C system beginning second year. Would really like to know what UW’s curriculum is like for students day-in and day-out. Madison is significantly cheaper than MCW and to add to that, they have offered me a scholarship.

Ultimately, just want to go to the school that will make me the better doctor, but finances are always a consideration as well.

Would really appreciate some feedback on this especially from current students at both schools.
 

Lacipart

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UW Advantages
Madison is a college town, full of restaurants, bars, cafés, parks, and it's between two gorgeous lakes.
Meanwhile, MCW is simply an isolated building alongside a highway outside Milwaukee. There is no real "campus" there and your school will be pretty isolated from other students since there is no university there. Milwaukee as a city has little public transportation and it was recently ranked "most segregated" in the United States : \

UW definitely wins in the location contest. As for academic quality, both are pretty solid schools, but I do believe UW is ranked slightly higher overall. UW is also cheaper, as you said.

The advantages for MCW
As you said, their new program really gets you patient experience on Day One, which is nice since you really know why you are studying. I imagine it will be easier to stay focused and you will have more motivation when you are visiting patients every week.

MCW also has the advantage of being connected to Froedtert, which is one of the largest hospitals in the Midwest. It is also attached to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, arguably one of the best Children's Hospitals in this hemisphere. An advantage for the students is that all rotations are done in sprawling medical complex attached to MCW. This is great since unlike UW, you won't be driving to locations all over the state during your 3rd and 4th year. You will spend all four years in Milwaukee, which is nice if you wanna buy a condo or whatever.


Different people prefer different schools. Most people do take UW over MCW, probably due to tuition cost and US-NEWS ranking, but MCW does have some nice perks, especially if you are looking to go into pediatrics.

(Full disclosure, I worked at MCW as a research tech for several years and I went to undergrad at UW)
 

drizzt3117

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It isn't true that MCW students do all their rotations at froedert; they rotate at St. Lukes with Uw students, St joes, and the VA. UW has it's own brand new children's hospital as well.

Also, I spent only 3 months away from Madison during my entire med school experience; it's not like you're moving around all the time. If you have a family or are married you can choose to do all of your rotations in Madison.

UW Advantages
Madison is a college town, full of restaurants, bars, cafés, parks, and it's between two gorgeous lakes.
Meanwhile, MCW is simply an isolated building alongside a highway outside Milwaukee. There is no real "campus" there and your school will be pretty isolated from other students since there is no university there. Milwaukee as a city has little public transportation and it was recently ranked "most segregated" in the United States : \

UW definitely wins in the location contest. As for academic quality, both are pretty solid schools, but I do believe UW is ranked slightly higher overall. UW is also cheaper, as you said.

The advantages for MCW
As you said, their new program really gets you patient experience on Day One, which is nice since you really know why you are studying. I imagine it will be easier to stay focused and you will have more motivation when you are visiting patients every week.

MCW also has the advantage of being connected to Froedtert, which is one of the largest hospitals in the Midwest. It is also attached to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, arguably one of the best Children's Hospitals in this hemisphere. An advantage for the students is that all rotations are done in sprawling medical complex attached to MCW. This is great since unlike UW, you won't be driving to locations all over the state during your 3rd and 4th year. You will spend all four years in Milwaukee, which is nice if you wanna buy a condo or whatever.


Different people prefer different schools. Most people do take UW over MCW, probably due to tuition cost and US-NEWS ranking, but MCW does have some nice perks, especially if you are looking to go into pediatrics.

(Full disclosure, I worked at MCW as a research tech for several years and I went to undergrad at UW)
 
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Midwestern Blot

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Any particular reason?

I just got the impression on my interview day that MCW doesn't care as much about the students as they should. I was really offended by how large their interview groups were; that's so impersonal. Also, their interviewers gave me a really negative impression of the school. They were cold and discouraging. I wasn't too much of a fan of their dean either, but I think he has moved on. It really seemed that MCW is only concerned about moving students through their system as a statistic rather than a person.
 

That Wisco Kid

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Hey guys. Just wanted to thank you for the helpful input (especially drizzt3117 and Lacipart). Please keep the posts/advice coming if you have anything to add. Planning on going to the second looks at both these schools and making a final decision after that.
 

FearlessHyena

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Hey guys. Just wanted to thank you for the helpful input (especially drizzt3117 and Lacipart). Please keep the posts/advice coming if you have anything to add. Planning on going to the second looks at both these schools and making a final decision after that.

I interviewed at UWSMPH last Friday. The research opportunities are amazing. You would be making a big mistake by not attending. They have great residencies and will help you match anywhere. The facilities are amazing and Madison rocks. TBH, this is a no-brainer.
 

drizzt3117

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To be honest, I think you're focusing on the wrong things when deciding between schools (and these 2 schools, more specifically)

I would say the following issues are paramount:

1) Location: Do you have ties to either of these cities?

2) How are the clinical years structured? How much time do you have for Step 1 preparation? UW gives about 6.5 weeks, and you have a 3 week winter break and one week spring break as well. Starting with the 2014 class, all core rotations can be done during m3 except the medicine sub-I, leaving the entire 4th year to pursue things you're interested in. 30% of students can honor each rotation and 50% can get high pass or above. That's far more generous than many schools and helps for residencies. Pre-clinical grading is even a bit more generous than that.

3) How involved are students in research? MCW did start this new research track; but UW is a much stronger research school. 8 students from my class had their own NIH grants. We also funded 108 students for summer research with a stipend of $6000.

4) What's the national reputation of the school? UW has a bit stronger national reputation in most fields except peds.

5) What is the class culture? UW has a smaller, tight knit class. My cousin went to MCW, and said that the class size promoted more clumping, although their class is more geographically diverse.
 

drizzt3117

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Focusing on Pre-clinical curriculum isn't of much value bc it's so standardized; every school will be essentially the same experience except those that are accelerated (duke)
 

Thoracotomy

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I also think it's important to think of the patient population when making the final decision as well. Milwaukee will give you are more diverse patient population inlcuding more of an urban/inner city feel. Something else to consider is that you can live in a very nice and safe area near MCW and still see this inner city population and never be in harms way yourself. On the other hand UW will expose you to more community and rural medicine with it's away rotations. Some students have really enjoyed these rotations outside of Madison and actually prefer them, while others don't enjoy having to leave their home for 1-2 months at a time.

The pediatric experience seems more broad at MCW as does your emergency medicine experience if you so desire it. UW might give you more exposure to more specialized medicine being the referral center it is. I can't speak for MCW research but I'm sure it's good, however as drizz said above UW does give you plenty of opportunity to get in on projects and even pay you for it should you choose.

Regarding the class size, larger might be better as you can find people you will get along with. A smaller class might be more tight knit as said above but more like high school and "clicky."

Pre clinical exposure IMHO isn't that crucial. It's fun to break up the class room learning in years 1 & 2 but it's not where you're going to care for patients, which will happen in years 3 and 4. That being said there are opportunities to see patients through a program at UW to see underserved patients occasionally.

Long story short both are great and produce great doctors. Med school will be what you make it. Can't go wrong with either one!
 

drizzt3117

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To be totally clear, UW's Milwaukee main rotation site is at Aurora Sinai, which is much more "inner city" than Froedert, St. Lukes (which we share with MCW), or St. Joseph's. UW also has the TRIUMPH program which puts you in Milwaukee for the entirety of the clinical years, with rotation sites at 16th st clinic (only med students that rotate there to my knowledge) as well as Sinai/St. Luke's. If you want experience with an urban/inner city population, you can easily get it at UW. UW is also the primary transplant center for the state (actually the largest transplant center in the Midwest and 3rd largest in the country) so all of those Hep B/C patients that would normally be at an inner city center come to Madison.

I also think it's important to think of the patient population when making the final decision as well. Milwaukee will give you are more diverse patient population inlcuding more of an urban/inner city feel. Something else to consider is that you can live in a very nice and safe area near MCW and still see this inner city population and never be in harms way yourself. On the other hand UW will expose you to more community and rural medicine with it's away rotations. Some students have really enjoyed these rotations outside of Madison and actually prefer them, while others don't enjoy having to leave their home for 1-2 months at a time.

The pediatric experience seems more broad at MCW as does your emergency medicine experience if you so desire it. UW might give you more exposure to more specialized medicine being the referral center it is. I can't speak for MCW research but I'm sure it's good, however as drizz said above UW does give you plenty of opportunity to get in on projects and even pay you for it should you choose.

Regarding the class size, larger might be better as you can find people you will get along with. A smaller class might be more tight knit as said above but more like high school and "clicky."

Pre clinical exposure IMHO isn't that crucial. It's fun to break up the class room learning in years 1 & 2 but it's not where you're going to care for patients, which will happen in years 3 and 4. That being said there are opportunities to see patients through a program at UW to see underserved patients occasionally.

Long story short both are great and produce great doctors. Med school will be what you make it. Can't go wrong with either one!
 
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