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Wayne State vs Toledo vs LSU New Orleans

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Deus Ex Medicine

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I’d love to hear your perspectives to help me make my decision. I am a California resident who would like to match back to California. My main interests specialty-wise are orthopedics, interventional radiology, and diagnostic radiology.

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Pros:
  • P/F preclinical grades* (*there is a Honors based on your grades throughout the year)
  • Lecture attendance is not mandatory and is video-recorded
  • Average Step 1 Score (2017): 231, which is above the national average of 228 (2015)
  • Matches (2017): high match rate to rads, ortho, and California
    • 16/288 into CA, 14/288 into Rads, 1/288 into IR, 9/288 into Ortho
  • Close proximity to several residency programs (Henry Ford, DMC)
Cons:
  • Curriculum is being changed for the incoming class
  • Reported disorganized administration, in-part due to managing such a large class size (~300 students)
  • Finances: university is having financial difficulties (hopefully will not affect medical education)
  • From interview day experience, students seemed more intense and competitive
  • Weather
University of Toledo College of Medicine

Pros:
  • Curriculum is systems based
  • P/F preclinical grades
  • Average Step 1 Score (2017) is 229 which is above the national average
  • Matches (2017):
    • 5/159 into Orthopedics, 8/159 into radiology
    • Popular states to match: 1) Ohio, 2) Michigan, 3) California
  • Finances: ProMedica merger pouring money into UToledo
  • One of only 8 approved testing centers for USMLE
  • Smaller, private school with responsive administration
Cons:
  • Lecture attendance is mandatory
  • Few research opportunities by comparison
  • Location: Toledo
  • Research: unranked & limited research opportunities
  • Students seemed unhappy on interview
  • Weather
Louisiana State University New Orleans

Pros:
  • Average Step 1 Score (2013) is around the average
  • Matches (2017):
    • 7/208 into orthopedics, 6/208 into Radiology, 1/208 into Transitional radiology, 1/208 into Interventional Radiology integrated program
    • Almost half match into Louisiana; 9/208 matches into California
  • University Medical Center is a new large teaching hospital (opened in 2015)
  • Location: New Orleans
  • Students seemed happier on interview day
Cons:
  • Grading is H/HP/H/F
  • Lecture attendance may be mandatory?
  • Have to buy specific laptop to take exams
Summary: I am most interested in the curriculum, grading, and research opportunities available at the school and hoping to match back into CA for competitive residency. Secondary importance are culture of the school and board scores. It would be tremendously helpful if anyone attending any of these schools or anyone else with insight could reply. THANKS!!
 
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Juice313

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Just based on your list, it seems like you should cancel out Toledo right now due to what you mentioned about limited research opportunities. The other 2 schools seem like they would better fit your needs.

Based on grading, curriculum, and research, Wayne State seems to best fit the bill, with lots of hospitals providing opportunities for research, a P/F curriculum, and a systems-based curriculum (albeit this will be the first year for it). I have a friend that is an M1 there and he likes it, and did not think it was overtly competitive or that financial difficulties have affected his education thus far. Rather, his main complaint was disorganization within the administration.

For LSU, lecture attendance being mandatory is annoying, as many students seem to be moving more towards watching lecture at a faster speed, but I know for my personally I feel like I would be more inclined to pay attention in a classroom than watching lecture elsewhere. Not having the option to watch is not ideal though. Additionally, if I were deciding, the grading system at LSU would be a total turn-off for me. Not only is this stressful, but it does not foster a collaborative learning environment, and rather may make things more competitive. NOLA would definitely be fun when you have free time (lol), but Detroit is also pretty awesome in my biased opinion (I'm from there originally).

I can't speak about too many specific details about the specific schools, but based on your pros/cons that's what I got. Good luck!
 
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Deus Ex Medicine

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Hey @Juice313! Thanks for your kind words and detailed write-up. I very much appreciate your perspective. This definitely makes coming to a decision easier.

Just based on your list, it seems like you should cancel out Toledo right now due to what you mentioned about limited research opportunities.

UToledo is unranked by US News and World Report and is smaller than the other state schools. The facilities (labs) available for basic and translational science research are improving in-part due to the Promedia merger. Most of my previous research is clinical though.

Based on grading, curriculum, and research, Wayne State seems to best fit the bill, with lots of hospitals providing opportunities for research, a P/F curriculum, and a systems-based curriculum (albeit this will be the first year for it). I have a friend that is an M1 there and he likes it, and did not think it was overtly competitive or that financial difficulties have affected his education thus far. Rather, his main complaint was disorganization within the administration.

Thank you so much for this insight! I’ve updated my pro/con list given the disorganization by the administration. I’ve heard mixed reports by students - that it isn’t a problem at all... or that it is a major problem. Certainly, the administration needs to be cut some slack for having to manage so many students and for making critical changes after the LCME Report. Also, it seems that the culture is changing at Wayne State which should herald more good things to come.

Being the guinea pig for the new curriculum changes is worrisome however and medical students that I have spoken to have said that this a major con. Apparently the curricular changes affect M1 more than M2 at WSU as far as I have been told.

For LSU, lecture attendance being mandatory is annoying, as many students seem to be moving more towards watching lecture at a faster speed, but I know for my personally I feel like I would be more inclined to pay attention in a classroom than watching lecture elsewhere. Not having the option to watch is not ideal though.

I absolutely agree. I think that flexibility is key and students should have the freedom to choose to attend (or not attend) lecture.

Additionally, if I were deciding, the grading system at LSU would be a total turn-off for me. Not only is this stressful, but it does not foster a collaborative learning environment, and rather may make things more competitive.

Everyone I have spoken to who is at a P/F institution or recently had the school switch from grades to P/F has told me that P/F is preferable. It really would be great to have a current LSU student offer thoughts.

NOLA would definitely be fun when you have free time (lol), but Detroit is also pretty awesome in my biased opinion (I'm from there originally).

I can't speak about too many specific details about the specific schools, but based on your pros/cons that's what I got. Good luck!

Thanks again @Juice313! I really appreciate this write-up. Makes a lot of difference. I have some more thinking to do!
 
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