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Washington University in St. Louis

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MacGyver, Nov 12, 2001.

  1. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned Banned

    Aug 8, 2001
    Havent been accepted there yet, but just curious about where you think WashU stacks up relative to other top notch med schools.

    Where would you stick WashU on this ranking?


    According to USNews, they are ranked #3 in the country, but it seems to me like most people would not rank them that high. Where would you put them? They dont seem to have the same level of prestige as the other schools on the list above, yet WashU is ranked above many of them.

    And yes, I realize theres alot more to the schools than rankings. I dont need lectures by everybody about why the USnews is flawed or why rankings dont matter. I'm just posting this for sake of discussion.
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  3. Sir William Osler

    Sir William Osler Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2001
    planet Earth
    Yeah, so i think WashU enjoys the same prestige of these places. But, I dont think they can attract the same quality of students because of one reason alone: location. The facilities are as good as anywhere in the country. They were the best that I have seen so far. The faculty is pretty top notch. The medical center is overflowing with funding. WashU attracts top talent with a few full rides on merit, but few east coast/west coast top applicants would choose it over the Stanfords/UCSFs/Penns/Yales/etc of the coasts without such scholarship. When I visited, I observed that alot of the students came from lesser known schools. I do think they had top grades and MCATS. Everyone knows that WashU has the highest GPA and MCAT averages in the country.

    Back to your question. I would put WashU in the same league of Penn, UCSF, and Duke. And, that's a small step below JHU and Harvard in terms of prestige and producing top academics and clinicians. Each of the top schools has its own niche. Harvard is just Harvard with a big name and lots of amazing students. Afterall, they pick whomever they want. JHU is a clinician factory. YOu go do your clinicals in Hopkins Hospital and you will be the best. Then, you drop alittle down to Penn, WashU, and UCSF. These schools have different things going for them. They are each good, depending on your particular preferences. Then, the next small step down is Stanford, Columbia, Yale, and maybe a Cornell. After that, i'd rank the others right there like Baylor, Vanderbilt, UChicago, UCLA and others. This is just my impression after interviewing and talking to many academic docs. Of course, if you want primary care, then that is another topic.

    any other opinions?
  4. Sir William Osler

    Sir William Osler Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2001
    planet Earth
    I'll make it easier to read:

    1. Harvard -- top students, very interesting bunch. over 1/3 students match at harvard hospitals (enuff said).

    2. Hopkins -- best clinicians. kind of stressful but that's what you want to learn medicine hardcore. the gem is hopkins hospital and you will spend 2 years learning from the best residents.

    3. UPenn -- well-rounded school. has philly has good research has great faculty and administration.

    3. Duke -- research is tops, interesting curriculum, southern city (hint: warm), (i dont know much about it sense i havent visited :( ) kind of similar to WashU but gets better students i think.

    3. WashU -- great research. good financial situation. not as well-rounded students. doesn't get much from the coasts, but faculty is tops.

    6. UCSF -- San Fran. Great studnets. probably takes the most from Harvard in applicants. good hospital, and again SAN FRAN!

    6. Columbia -- NYC, tough curriculum, good hospital, fraternity feel to it.

    6. Yale -- no grades. artsy students. laidback. ok hospital. interesting environment. Yale undergrad and grad schools are a big plus and they are right there.

    6. Stanford -- smaller school. nice location in Palo Alto. kind of suburban feel to it. students can take any type of course they want outside of medicine. students seemed great, but most did not get into the other schools that i ranked above. ALso, GREAT financial aid. i think the aid pulls some good students into the school.

    10. Cornell -- the country club of med schools. studenst are happy and pampered. upper east side manhattan. ok hospital. if you want NYC, then you're in the middle of a great erea

    10. Umichigan
    10. Baylor
    10. UCLA

    and time to finish.

    this is only my opinion from visiting. Please dont get mad if you disagree.
  5. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    Wash U is probably up in the top five if you are interested in research or a career in academic medicine. However, the one complaint I've always heard is that the clinical exposure is somewhat lacking.

    Personally, my impression is that Hopkins and Harvard are sort of the undisputed "top schools", and that after that, there is a lot of variability -- there is a group of top schools that can pretty much be agreed upon, but not necessarily the order -- each of the other schools seems to have one major flaw that detracts from its program. Just my opinion as a former applicant and current med student.
  6. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

    Nov 5, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland
    In my view, WashU's location is not a liability but an asset. Its closer to home for me, and the cost of living is pretty reasonable. WashU's specific location in St. Louis is very nice also. Theres a HUGE park (cant remember the name) nearby and all the neighborhoods surrounding the campus and medical center are very well kept up and would be nice to live in.

    The MSTP stipend goes further there than at nearly every other MSTP school that I'm aware of. In some ways, I think WashU is under the radar of the common public. Most people unaffiliated with medicine have never heard of it, but amongst the medical community it is well regarded.

    If you are talking about just MD/PhD programs, I'd say WashU is right up there with the best programs in the country. The NIH director in charge of MSTP funds has stated that in his opinion WashU has the best MD/PhD program in the country.

    Sometimes I think Harvard and Hopkins rely on their name more than WashU does. Since WashU doesnt really have a well known public image like Hopkins/Harvard, I get the impression they have to work a little harder to get recognized. Of course, Hopkins and Harvard are great programs. In the end, the top 10 med schools (especially the top 5) are really only distinguishable from each other on very fine criteria. If you were to change up the criteria very slightly, all of the schools in the top 5 could switch places. Just goes to show that once you get to a certain caliber of med school, they are so close in quality that its hard to distinguish them objectively from each other.
  7. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum 10+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2001
    KY, The Jelly State
    I just got a letter from Washington saying that they were impressed by my MCAT scores and asking me to consider applying there. Is this a fairly generic thing they send out, or is this something a little apart from the norm.

    Do you guys think I should shoot for it? I had kind of considered them out of my league because of a low undergrad GPA, but who knows? Stranger things have happened. Then there's the whole thing of wasting that money if they get my app and start laughing at my GPA.
  8. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Its pretty generic. I got one and there is a <a href="" target="_blank">thread</a> where a whole bunch of people got these with varying stats. I think they just want your $50. But if you have a strong desire to go there, it's definitely worth a shot.
  9. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum 10+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2001
    KY, The Jelly State
    Yeah, I figured it was. I think I'm gonna stay realistic. Besides, I don't really want to move.

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