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What are important things to look for in a Med School

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by GoatBoy, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. GoatBoy

    GoatBoy Manboob Extraordinaire
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    In addition to looking to see if you will be happy at a Med School, what other things are important factors to look for? ie. clincal experience, hospital affiliations, etc.
     
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  3. Kadyra

    Kadyra Will drive for music.
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  4. GoatBoy

    GoatBoy Manboob Extraordinaire
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    Those are all good things, but I was thinking more along the lines of what should I make sure to look for and find out when I visit schools?

    Thanks.
     
  5. Hopkins2010

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    I think one important thing is to look at the program's fiscal situation.

    If a med school is affiliated with an academic hospital/med center that is losing money, then that could be an indication that the med school will not be able to invest in the school's infrastructure (i.e. more research labs, faculty, computers and other technology, etc).

    You dont need to have a detailed budget to get a general grasp on this. Just look around during the tours of the med center. Is it expanding and adding new buildings or are they contracting? Be frank with your interviewers and ask them what the financial situation of the medical center is.

    Some systems do a very good job of insulating the med school from the medical center, while others tie their budgets together. You should ask about this as well or try to find out on the internet.
     
  6. brentunc

    brentunc Member
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    1.) Type of Curriculum - Traditional vs. Organ Based

    2.) PBL - anywhere from no PBL to 100% PBL

    3.) Grading Scale - A/B/C/D vs. H/P/F vs. P/F vs. strict percentages

    4.) Clinical Experience - many schools say they offer early clinical experience, but few actually do
     
  7. E'01

    E'01 1K Member
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  8. When I visit the schools I also seem to get a better picture of what my financial situation would be if I attended that school and how helpful the school is in terms of financial aid or helping students to find outside aid. It seems like all of the brochures boast how their school doesn't make students have to choose based on finances, but of the schools that I have been to, all of them are very different. Plus, the students will not hesitate to tell you that financial aid sucks or whether the services are great and they'll do anything to try to help you.
     
  9. Dr.G

    Dr.G Member
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    That is dissapointing news about Mt. Sinai
    How can you find out about the financial siguation of a school?
     
  10. cardigan

    cardigan Member
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    When considering schools, definitely make a point of talking to some third or fourth year medical students. I think applicants often forget that the vast majority of your clinical training occurs in the final two years of medical school. I would advise you to find out if students are satisfied with their clinical experience: do they feel they had enough didactic time, clinical exposure, opportunities to perform procedures, and appropriate responsibility. Find out about the call schedule, how they are graded on clinical rotations, whether the collegial atmosphere of the first 2 years changes in third year (e.g., more competitive, gunning behavior), and if there is protected time for reading. Find out what other sites the school will send you for rotations. Get a sense of whether there is a good mix of exposure to university-hospital based and community based medicine. Also try to get a sense from 4th years of how the school and its training is perceived by residency directors.

    Good luck,
    -cardigan
     
  11. Hopkins2010

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    Let me just say that the advice I gave should come in at a distant #5 relative to the other things to look for that bretunc pointed out.

    Keep in mind that many academic medical centers do a good job of insulating med school budgets from their hospital budgets, so that if the medical center runs into financial problems, it doesnt translate directly into med school budget problems.

    But then again, not all schools do this. I would think that there would be some info about this on the internet. Arent the budgets of med schools/medical centers publically available info? Maybe I'm wrong but I thought that most places make that info available somehow.
     
  12. rajneel1

    rajneel1 Senior Member
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    i look for how happy the students are. i ask if the class is competitive. if the faculty are accesible. i like to know what the med students do outside of school like community service and doing clerkships aboard cause that i somethng i want to do. how long do they spend in class everyday. and how easy it is to do research during the summer/rsearch electives. keep your eye out for medical schools losing money and too much independant study. the grading scale doesn't relaly matter because even though it might be P/F....grades in your classes still matter for competitive residencies. also residency placements. and how safe the environment is. cost of living. and just general feeling.
     
  13. 1) reputation
    2) happiness and class environment
    3) Urban environment around school

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Focus

    Focus crazy!!
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    One of the most important factors for me is housing. Does the school supply a "Medical" dormitory or do students have to make their own arrangements? Personally, I prefer on campus dorms, I think one of the best things about med school will be making life long friendships with people in your field - and having on campus dorms will make things so much easier. That's my two cents.
     
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  15. Kadyra

    Kadyra Will drive for music.
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    This website was helpful to me when I was thinking of questions to ask at my interviews and what I needed to know about schools: <a href="http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/about/31questions.htm" target="_blank">http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/about/31questions.htm</a>
     
  16. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Thanks, Kadyra, great list of questions at that site! :)
     
  17. GoatBoy

    GoatBoy Manboob Extraordinaire
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    Thanks a lot, that is a very good site.
     
  18. Kadyra

    Kadyra Will drive for music.
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    You're very welcome, SMW and Goat Boy :)
     
  19. Tweetie_bird

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    I haven't applied yet, but I've heard from med students that two factors at top notch schools are often missing.

    1. Counseling support for problems med students face. (believe it or not, there ARE schools that don't offer this)

    2. Time off/services to help study for the USMLE. I have heard of schools that conduct classes upto two weeks before the USMLE's (thus not allocating any time for students to study for the test), and I've also heard of schools that let their students take some time off for studying for the boards. Imagine having to study for med school classes AND prepping for the boards! :mad: :mad:
     

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