Safety is relative. I felt very safe living there. I lived off campus (about 6 blocks north) and would walk to and from school, go shopping, go to the park, etc..and I never even felt uncomforable or in any amount of danger. I felt that there was a great sense of community in Washington Heights. All the kids play in the park, open up the fire hydrants, etc..I loved it. I did think it was kind of boring when it came to good food, bars, etc..Originally posted by ocean11
My question is... is the neighbourhood safe?
I thought the medical students that I met while at Columbia were great (I was a grad student in P&S). Although I agree that going to a top school will give you an advantage in the match, I don't think that going to a top school necessarily translates into you being a tremendous doctor. I think that has more to do with the individual. You know, many of the other top schools are P/F and do not have endless competition. I know UCSF is not very competitive at all. There is no backstabbing going on. If you say the top schools have this sort of competitive and backstabbing environment, no matter what people tell you, then I'd have to say that your school has it as well. It isn't like Columbia is immune to competition. There will be individuals in all medical schools who are very passionate and aggressive in their approach to learning. Gunners are everywhere. So, please don't come across like Columbia is like no other (when you have no true perspective of other medical schools). Columbia is a great school, but it isn't the only one. I loved living in Washington Heights (I lived on 177th and Pinehurst) and felt that there was a great sense of community in Washington Heights. As far as curriculum goes, I think I wouldn't be happy at a school that spends so much time in lecture. But, I would love to do some rotations in P&S. There are a lot of great opportunities at that hospital. The fact is that different people like different things. From some (including yourself) a school like Columbia is everything that you could ask for. For someone else (like myself) Columbia is a bit too expensive and a bit too traditional in its approach. That doesn't mean that I think it not a good school, it is an excellent school. It does have a noncompetitive environment, excellent clinical experiences, and a lot of fun students. But don't say that EVERYONE is happy at Columbia, b/c I met a few who weren't all that happy. There is no school that has only happy people.Originally posted by ValleyGal
I feel that coming out of Columbia I will be a tremendous doctor on par with those from any of the other of the top schools without having to have undergone four years of endless competition, gunning for honors and backstabbing (the top schools have this, no matter if they tell you that the school is competitive or not) This is a rarity in such a good med school.