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Western Michigan 'Unique' Curriculum

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tymont12, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. tymont12

    tymont12 But it can't be two illnesses! 5+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Just want to hear people's thoughts on what they think of Western Michigan University's curriculum. I applied here and after digging into their curriculum a bit more, it's making me have second thoughts. If you're not familiar with it, here are some highlights:

    PDF of curriculum layout & link to general info page

    1. No summer break between M1 & M2 - classwork straight through with a week off ~ every 6 wks
    2. Step 1 is taken at the end of M3, not M2
    3. M3 appears 'locked in,' with no room for electives or away rotations

    As a whole, the curriculum looks creative but definitely troubling to me. there's no room for research (or other opportunities) since there is no summer break. I don't necessarily see the benefit of taking Step 1 later. Also, don't people try to fit away rotations in during 3rd year in order to build rapport with certain residency programs?

    Does this program make more sense than the traditional curriculum? I almost get the vibe they are purposefully doing this in order to be 'innovative.'
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  3. sinombre

    sinombre Physician 5+ Year Member

    May 20, 2012
    Honestly I would hate having no summer between ms1 and ms2. I loved spending 2 months relaxing while doing research. It allowed me to decompress and get ready for the marathon that is ms2. I also would rather take step 1 at the end of second year, because there are definite deviations between what is tested on step 1 and what is actually done in practice.

    By the way, most schools have no (or very little) flexibility during 3rd year, as the clerkships are basically standardized by the LCME. As long as your 4th year consists of mainly electives, all is good.
  4. whatbout2morrow

    whatbout2morrow Is there anything you would not do for your family 7+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2008
    From the medical student handbook pages 82 & 100 ( it seems that the fourth year electives can include up to 8 weeks of research and you could request deferral of a third year clerkship (other than medicine or surgery) to complete this research elective during the 3rd year.

    As tempting having a week off after every unit is, I'd much rather have that first summer off to do research and decompress as @sinombre mentioned.

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