hanjoko

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I wanted to find out how people choose between Wash U and NW from previous posts but since the search function is disabled...I think I might just as well post a new thread.... :oops:

If you guys get accepted to both schools, which one would you choose? I know that this depends a lot on each individual but I want to know, in general, how people compare those two schools...

Thanks!!
 

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hanjoko said:
I wanted to find out how people choose between Wash U and NW from previous posts but since the search function is disabled...I think I might just as well post a new thread.... :oops:

If you guys get accepted to both schools, which one would you choose? I know that this depends a lot on each individual but I want to know, in general, how people compare those two schools...

Thanks!!
northwestern? feinberg? wash u's med school is much better than feinberg, i dont know why anyone would pick feinberg unless they love chicago or are interested in md/mba at kellogg like me. the caliber of student who gets into wash u would probably not be considering northwestern as a top choice, more along the lines of harvard and hopkins
 

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Shredder said:
northwestern? feinberg? wash u's med school is much better than feinberg, i dont know why anyone would pick feinberg unless they love chicago or are interested in md/mba at kellogg like me. the caliber of student who gets into wash u would probably not be considering northwestern as a top choice, more along the lines of harvard and hopkins
Shredder is absolutely correct. But here are some other specific reasons:

Feinberg and WashU have VERY different teaching styles. WashU has a lot of lecture hours during the first 2 years. So basically you get a lot info in lecture and apply them in small group sessions. Feinberg, on the other hand, has minimal lecture hours (like 10 a week!) and mostly small group and PBL sessions. So I imagine a lot of new material is presented in these small groups. So it really depends on your learning style, I guess. personally, I'd rather have the small groups as a chance to let the knowledge consolidate.

Feinberg has a much bigger class ~170. At WashU, the class is smaller and the administration bends over backwards to accomodate the students requests.

I don't know about Feinberg, but the first year at WashU is pass/fail. And I have never seen so much intra-class cooperation in preparing for exams. People share notes, old exams, study strategies...etc. There no pressure to beat other people, so students work together and the result is actually improved scores since the days of non-pass/fail.

It's much cheaper to live in St. Louis--you can easily live by WashU med school for ~$350 a month with a roommate, or ~$500 if you live alone, and that area is one of the more expensive in st. louis. there's no way you can beat that in Chicago.

By the way-- did you get accepted to WashU? I am wondering when they will send out notices for their october interviewees. hey, since I'm an applicant, maybe I should try to convince you to go to Feinberg!!
 
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hanjoko

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ahumdinger said:
I don't know about Feinberg, but the first year at WashU is pass/fail. And I have never seen so much intra-class cooperation in preparing for exams. People share notes, old exams, study strategies...etc. There no pressure to beat other people, so students work together and the result is actually improved scores since the days of non-pass/fail.

By the way-- did you get accepted to WashU? I am wondering when they will send out notices for their october interviewees. hey, since I'm an applicant, maybe I should try to convince you to go to Feinberg!!
I thought Feinberg is pass/fail for the first two years...? People told me that Wash U is very competitive, and I wonder how true this statement is...

I don't think the admission office has a timeline though, and I haven't heard anything back yet...They told me that it is kind of random and it can range from 2 weeks to months. All they can promise is that you will hear something in May... :oops:
 

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hanjoko said:
I thought Feinberg is pass/fail for the first two years...? People told me that Wash U is very competitive, and I wonder how true this statement is...

I don't think the admission office has a timeline though, and I haven't heard anything back yet...They told me that it is kind of random and it can range from 2 weeks to months. All they can promise is that you will hear something in May... :oops:
I couldn't find anything on Feinberg's website about their pass/fail system so I don't know for sure. (but Pritzker's definitely pass/fail for both years, so maybe you're thinking of them?)
It's really too bad that WashU has this reputation for being competitive, because it is absolutely untrue! I dunno who made it up. The biggest competition is to get in, and after that, it's smooth sailing with your classmates. Obviously there is more pressure to do well during the second year (when the grading is pass/high pass/honors) but the grading is not on a curve, so everyone can pass if they do well enough (in fact, on the most recent renal exam, 61% of the class made the cut for honors). The first year really fosters a cooperative relationship. There's a web-system that allows people to post exams, make their own practical exams to share with the class, and it's not uncommon to get an email from a classmate "hey guys I made a review sheet to help me study for the exam, maybe you could use it too." stuff like that. It's amazing. unheard of by undergraduate pre-meds, but maybe washU just knows how to pick the best! :)

I hear the adcom meets once a month and it's either accept, reject, or throw in the pool for review for next month. Good luck!
 

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northwestern is pass/fail for at least the first year. (i personally know some first-year med students at feinberg). for me, location is much more important, so i personally would prefer northwestern more, but yeah it will be expensive. the school is only a couple of blocks away from michigan avenue and navy pier, basically one of the ritziest shopping areas in the city, and chicago is the biggest city in the midwest (st. louis is nice, but it just can't compare). but i can definitely see how the location factor can work both ways though

wash u has a better rep of course, but where i'll be living for four years is gonna have a huge impact on where i end up choosing to go in the end. and if you work hard at either school, chances are you'll get the about the same level of residency, so unless you have your heart set on something/someplace specific, it shouldn't be a big deal which school you go to. if you get into harvard or hopkins on the other hand, they have connections that you can't get anywhere else.
 
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hanjoko

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bdubz said:
if you work hard at either school, chances are you'll get the about the same level of residency, so unless you have your heart set on something/someplace specific, it shouldn't be a big deal which school you go to. if you get into harvard or hopkins on the other hand, they have connections that you can't get anywhere else.
Ha...didn't even apply to hopkins. Guess I don't have to worry abou that. :p

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what school color does Wash U have? I know that for Feinberg, it is purple...which happens to be my favorite color. I know it sounds extremely silly to judge a school by its school color... :oops:
 

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hanjoko said:
Ha...didn't even apply to hopkins. Guess I don't have to worry abou that. :p

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what school color does Wash U have? I know that for Feinberg, it is purple...which happens to be my favorite color. I know it sounds extremely silly to judge a school by its school color... :oops:
I think they have xmas colors...red and green
 

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hanjoko said:
If you guys get accepted to both schools, which one would you choose? I know that this depends a lot on each individual but I want to know, in general, how people compare those two schools...
Hmmmm, St. Louis or Chicago? :smuggrin:


Anyways, I'm biased because I loved Northwestern, and I didn't even bother applying to WashU. They're both well-recognized schools, but yeah, WashU is higher on the US News research list. If I were you, I'd go to the school that I felt most at home at. It's your life - not a mere ranking of schools based on research dollars and such. That said - if you like the higher ranked school more because you feel supremely comfortable there - GO THERE!
 

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hanjoko said:
Ha...didn't even apply to hopkins. Guess I don't have to worry abou that. :p

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what school color does Wash U have? I know that for Feinberg, it is purple...which happens to be my favorite color. I know it sounds extremely silly to judge a school by its school color... :oops:
Yes, WashU has red and green. But the colors are mostly represented on the undergrad campus. the medical campus is not decked out for x-mas year round.

May I ask where you are from? (or where you are applying from?) Typically, people from California hate St. Louis (maybe Californians hate anywhere that's not california) and same goes for New Yorkers. People who hail from Beer Towns and sports towns generally like St. Louis.

What were your gut feelings about each place when you interviewed?
 

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At our opening info session, the assistant dean told us that the first committee meeting is Nov. 17th, and no final decisions will be made before then. I think he said that he likes to e-mail people he's interviewed who were admitted, congratulating them, but not all the committee members are like that. Official notification would be by snail mail.

He also went into some detail about how there's sub-committees set up for four regions of the country so that these members get to know that area's schools and quirks in better detail than if there were no divisions. After passing through the sub-committee for approval you move on to the main committee for final evaluation.

Oh, and something else interesting he said: he does read this site and the interview feedback section. Specifically, he said that somtimes he could tell from the questions posted in the interview feedback section who the interviewer was, and he will go to those interviewers and tell them something to the effect of "you gotta change up your questions. The kids are on to you."

Good luck, everybody, and don't sweat it for a couple more weeks at least.
 
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hanjoko

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ahumdinger said:
May I ask where you are from? (or where you are applying from?) Typically, people from California hate St. Louis (maybe Californians hate anywhere that's not california) and same goes for New Yorkers. People who hail from Beer Towns and sports towns generally like St. Louis.

What were your gut feelings about each place when you interviewed?
I am applying from Illinois. So...either city is quite close to where I am now. :)

My gut feelings...arr...that is the thing that bothers me a little. I like NW (MD/MPH program and it is in Chicago) but my family want me to go to Wash U (because of the reputation, which I fully understand).... :oops:

Did you interview at Feinberg? If so, why do you like Wash U more?
 

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hanjoko said:
I am applying from Illinois. So...either city is quite close to where I am now. :)

My gut feelings...arr...that is the thing that bothers me a little. I like NW (MD/MPH program and it is in Chicago) but my family want me to go to Wash U (because of the reputation, which I fully understand).... :oops:

Did you interview at Feinberg? If so, why do you like Wash U more?


First of all, thanks to Goodeats for the great detailed info regarding the WashU admissions process. I knew about the regional subcommittees (and that they meet more frequently) but I had no idea when the next big committee would be. This saves a lot of useless worrying until november 17 or later. I do know that for all who are accepted, Dean Dodson makes a personal phone call to you to let you know. That's a lot of phone calls for one guy!

To Hanjoko: I did not apply to Feinberg because I went to U of Chicago undergrad, and there's no way I'd live that down, if I applied to NU. Also I knew that I wanted a change of scenery. I loved Chicago, but medical school is already a stressful 4 years, I don't need to be in a high stress locale too. The hustle and bustle would be too much for me. And living right next to the Mag Mile would absolutely KILL me in my four years of poverty. I'd either end up begging on the streets for money to go shopping or be driven insane from coveting the goods.
I went to high school in St. Louis, so I know the city well, but it's still new enough (since I left) that I can explore. It's got a nice small-town feel. After getting to know many of the students here, i am most impressed by the class camaraderie, and the extensive accomodations offered by the school staff.

The downside is that there's not MPH program here. But they are well aware of this blind-spot and a program plan is under way.

but if you feel more comfortable at NU, by all means go there. Like someone else said previously, you have to be happy there, for 4 years, and not have any regrets afterwards. And your family will understand that, I'm sure.

good luck. i know it's a tough decision.
 
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hanjoko

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I seem to recall a thread a while back ago about the status on Feinberg webpage...(or maybe it is a different school, don't remember), about whether it *somehow* indicates their decision through different wordings, e.g. your decision is pending or something else.

Does anyone recall this? Or is this just my imagination...?

Thanks for all the replies. :)
 

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You can say all you want about the US News list that comes out ever year, and no doubt Wash U is an excellent school, but I am a 2nd Year at Feinberg and know that quite a few of my friends chose to come here to Chicago over St. Louis, simply because Chicago is a much, much more exciting city to live in, not to mention there are a lot more residency options in this city versus St. Louis and it is easier to get your foot in the door if you are a Northwestern grad (not only due to reputation, but due to the huge network of residency directors that are Northwestern graduates). Northwestern is also true pass/fail for first two years, unlike Wash U which has honors/pass/fail the 2nd year, and the curriculum at NU is much more progressive (max 2 hours of lecture per day, which gives you a lot of time to study and do well on the boards, and yes, actually do normal things like date and have a life).

I question why your parents want you to move away from them to go to a school they perceive to be more prestigious. THIS IS MEDICAL SCHOOL. IT IS ALL PRESTIGIOUS. I have a sister who graduated from a "low research ranked" medical school and she works side by side with guys/gals from places like Harvard, and, guess what? THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME SALARY. And guess what? They are all MD's. Do your parents seriously think you are going to have a brighter future and make more money with a degree from Wash U? This isn't college we are talking about, this is getting your MD. This is serious training that no one looks down upon and where salary is not directly tied to what school you sat in lecture.

As far as making the decision, listen, it is a very different world now, sitting on your computer looking at magazines and books trying to decide what looks best on paper, then later on when you actually get in both schools and have to really make the decision of where you want to spend the prime years of your life (20's). The reality is is that your life will be very different with Northwestern's curriculum and living in downtown Chicago then it will at Wash U. The reality of your LIFE is something that can't be judged or predicted on a computer. In other words, location location location. Choose which one that suits you best and the one you could see yourself doing residency in, because take it from me it totally sucks moving from place to place every 4 years. If you see yourself in St. Louis 10 years from now by all means go to Wash U. If you see yourself in Chicago 10 years from now by all means go to Northwestern.

All things being said, the reputation of NEITHER school is in ANY way poor, so there is no way you can lose unless you are truly unhappy with where you are living.
 

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hanjoko said:
If you guys get accepted to both schools, which one would you choose? I know that this depends a lot on each individual but I want to know, in general, how people compare those two schools...
I would pick the one with a better financial aid package. ;)
 
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hanjoko

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ctwickman said:
I question why your parents want you to move away from them to go to a school they perceive to be more prestigious. THIS IS MEDICAL SCHOOL. IT IS ALL PRESTIGIOUS. I have a sister who graduated from a "low research ranked" medical school and she works side by side with guys/gals from places like Harvard, and, guess what? THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME SALARY. And guess what? They are all MD's. Do your parents seriously think you are going to have a brighter future and make more money with a degree from Wash U? This isn't college we are talking about, this is getting your MD. This is serious training that no one looks down upon and where salary is not directly tied to what school you sat in lecture.
To be honest...I don't know why they prefer Wash U over Feinberg, either. I guess it is easy for them to rank the med schools based on US news, because that is the only info source that they can have...But I definitely agree with your point of view. :)

ctwickman said:
All things being said, the reputation of NEITHER school is in ANY way poor, so there is no way you can lose unless you are truly unhappy with where you are living.
Thank so much for the post...I think I will follow my gut feelings because this SHOULD be my life. ;)
 
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hanjoko

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QofQuimica said:
I would pick the one with a better financial aid package. ;)
Ha...ya. Well, both are private schools so...the tuition is always way up there. :p