FloridaMadame

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Just curious to see if anyone is as nervous as I am about actually attending Wash U, since I have a few concerns:
1. Grading system : their already high MCAT scorerers competing with each other is pretty frightening
2. The city of St. Louis is not as safe as I would like it to be
3. The chances of matching at an East Coast residency program if I'm not in the top third of the class
4. Final and last concern: Am I better off going to a "lower ranked" school where I might perform in the upper portion of the class or to Wash U where I can conceivably be just mediocre? Where are my match chances better?
 

gbiz

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You'll be best at a place that you'd learn the best at. Whatever atmosphere you work best in. So what you do... go get a second look (some, very few, but some will even pay for it). Sit in on a class, talk to current students, try to get a feel for where you'll be spending 4 years, see where you'd preform best, where you'd fit in best.
 
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FloridaMadame

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MWillie said:
Afraid of me? Hahaha.
Ok. So you are obviously in love with the school. Is it the ranking or do you thrive on competition? Is there something else that makes Wash U so outstanding in your eyes? I guess I am really looking for an answer as to why I am choosing to "kill" myself in St. Louis when I can have a pretty nice life somewhere else and still be a doctor at the end of 4 years. Any advice?
 

MWillie

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FloridaMadame said:
Ok. So you are obviously in love with the school. Is it the ranking or do you thrive on competition? Is there something else that makes Wash U so outstanding in your eyes? I guess I am really looking for an answer as to why I am choosing to "kill" myself in St. Louis when I can have a pretty nice life somewhere else and still be a doctor at the end of 4 years. Any advice?
I don't think you'll be killing yourself if you attend Wash U. The students here aren't the gunners rumor makes them out to be, the first year is P/NP. Wash U is right next to the huge Barnes Jewish complex so its really convenient and of course Saint Louis is my hometown.
 

Syranope2

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i'm a first year at wash u so hopefully i can answer some of your questions/ease some of your concerns. first of all, as for the competitiveness/grading system, yeah, there are a ton of really smart people here. but there are also a lot of non-trads in our class, people who have never had biochem or physio, who have only done the minimum science prereqs and the like. and first year is pass-fail. in the hopes that my father won't be visiting this site, i'll admit that i never go to lecture. ever. and, except for the week before an exam, i don't really study either. and i'm smart, but i'm not that smart, and i'm doing fine. everyone wants you to do well. so don't be concerned about being in above your head, because everyone is concerned about that and everyone does fine.

next, the safety concern. there have been some robberies close to campus this year, which definitely isn't cool. but i don't think st. louis is more dangerous than any other city. the med school itself is located in a nice area, but if you get about a mile away it gets a little sketchy. as long as you live nearby and don't go wandering away from campus at night, you'll be fine. it's no different than living in any other city.

and then the whole matching question. i don't have dreams of matching to mass general or someplace huge and prestigious like that, so i haven't done a ton of research into stuff like that. what i do know is that wash u is an incredibly well-known institution and people like wash u students. they know that everyone here is smart and that even really talented students might not end up in the top half of the class. i don't think being average here would be detrimental to getting into a good residency. i think the name helps.

as for your last question, i don't think you should choose your schools based on where you think you'll end up in the class rankings. you should go to the place where you think you'll get the best education, where the teaching style fits your learning style, where the clinical opportunities are the most extensive, etc. in the end, i really think it's important to take the focus off of the numbers and onto the more intangible parts of your education. if you go somewhere where you're happy and you fit, no matter how prestigious the institution or how much smarter (or dumber) than you your classmates are, you will end up with a good residency and a good career.

pm me if you ever want to talk about wash u. that goes for anyone. and good luck deciding! :)
 

Wiggy73

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FloridaMadame, clearly you want to decline your acceptance... thereby opening a spot for me. :D
 
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FloridaMadame

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adoggie said:
what exactly does residency matching have to do with where you attend med school, location-wise?
I'm certainly not an expert on this, but from what i've read on SDN (also not experts? :confused: ,) east coast schools are kind to east coast med students when it comes to matching.
 

heeter

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Wiggy73 said:
FloridaMadame, clearly you want to decline your acceptance... thereby opening a spot for me. :D
I second this... You don't want to go, these are not the droids you're looking for.
 

Economist

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ninebillion said:
On interview feedback, I noticed that some people had one interviewer and some people had two interviewers... What's the significance of that?
They turnover about 20% of their interviewers every year, so they're always "training" new interviewers. If you have two interviews, only one of them counts and goes to the adcom. The other is a training interview and I guess the two interviewers will compare notes. For me it was pretty easy to tell which one was the real interview. One of my interviewers knew my file inside and out, looked over my AMCAS during the interview, asked detailed questions, and wrote a small novel as we talked. (It was still nice and laid back, though.) The other interviewer had just basic knowledge of my file, asked pretty general questions and we basically just talked, with them telling me about the school for about half the time. Oh, and they didn't write anything down.