Why does everybody (even out-of-staters) like UCSF so much?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by WaitingImpatiently, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member

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    I suppose I understand why fellow Californians like the school (high ranking, good hospital), but why would someone from, say, Iowa or Massachussetts even care? I mean, the school isn't that cheap if you're not from CA.

    Also, why do so many Californians prefer UCSF to UCLA? Area-wise, I think LA wins. Reputation, I'd say it's pretty close, with a slight edge to SF. Hospital, I think LA has a better one. Also, the fact that the undergrad campus is right there gives the thumbs up to UCLA.
     
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  3. Street Philosopher

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    probably because it's a top ten according to usnews :rolleyes:

    i'd rather go to ucla myself. but then again i live in LA.
     
  4. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    'cuz it's awesome!! :D
    ucsf can run with the harvards, penns, jhu's, columbias

    i don't prefer ucsf to ucla, i'd put them about even for me as my first choices
    i agree with all your points re: area, hospital, rep, and undergrad campus
    that being said, i don't think i'm in a position to choose just yet :D
     
  5. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    UCSF does get an inordinate amount of love from this board. I know it's high ranked and cheap for in staters (also you can become a CA resident and get cheap tuition after one year, thus an attraction to out-of-staters as well). But I think the school has some negative points that people rarely mention. The biggest one for me is the new curriculum. While I think it may be good when it is settled, this year the prologue block was a disaster, they tried to cram all of anatomy into 6 weeks and it just failed miserably from all the students I talked to. I have heard that the rest of the blocks since then (CV and renal) have been steller but you have to think that going in as round 2 guinea pig you are going to experience a lot of growing pains with their new system. Also, I think that not being associated with an ugrad campus limits the opportunities for social activities, other coursework (if you are interested in this), and more than anything, green space. UCSF is pretty much a lot of buildings, while most ugrad campuses have parts with park-like qualities, which is nice. A negative for some people is the prosectioning of cadavers in anatomy. I don't think it's THAT big a deal, i could see for some it would be missing out on that uniquely med school experience.

    Anyways, I do like the location, awesome city, and weather (I'm comparing it to my other choice, chicago, not LA). I like what I've heard about how responsive the faculty is to the students, the students I talked to really felt the faculty was dedicated to them and went out of their way to schedule extra review sessions, and work closely with students. Also the administration seems very suppportive of student groups/initiatives. Overall I got a good vibe from the place, if I get in I'll go out for a second look, but I think a lot of people on this board just love it for the price and prestige factor. I'd love to be proved wrong, so, UCSF lovers, tell us why.
     
  6. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    I think that a lot of people that say UCLA is in a far better location than UCSF have never really spent time in San Francisco. I'm not trying to take anything away from UCLA or LA, but San Francisco is an awesome city. I've spent time in all parts of California, and San Francisco is one of the best cities in this state. And the weather is a lot better than most people ignorantly believe it to be. True, UCSF has no undergraduates, nor an undergradduate campus. But the city if full of public buildings, parks, and open spaces and college-aged people anyway.
     
  7. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending

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    The new prologue was a distaster, this was recognized/conveyed/ and discussed. Next year the anatomy block will be a lot longer (atleast this is what I was told). You can't expect the first year of a new curriculum to be "pang free". I personally like the new curriculum. I look forward to the possibility of having relatively little classroom hours. And from what I've heard, the faculty there have a great desire to actually teach (and not just a great desire to be heard).

    As far as UCSF not having an undergrad campus...You are in SF. SF has a lot of social outlets, more than you can actually pay attention to in any given day. The lack of green on campus may be a downer, but walk a few blocks north to golden gate park and the problem is solved. You think UCSF doesn't have any greenery, try any of the med schools in NYC (where I live now). Atleast you can look out the window of that kick ass library and see the pacific ocean, goldengate park, marin hills, sausalito, and much of the city.

    Another plus (aside from prestige) is the age of the students. Many of the students have done something else aside from studying, volunteering, research, etc..I think that is a very attractive component of the "ucsf experience". When I interviewed there I really enjoyed the students I met (and for a top ten school, they did not seem to have a superiority complex like many other schools I've visited. there was no bashing/**** talking, bragging, etcc). Most seemed honored and glad to be there.

    Prosections...I like it. You have someone who is an expert remove the fat/goop etc.. and leave you with an equisite view of the many different layes of the body. From there, you can do all the dissecting you want. Sure, getting an uncut cadaver during your first semester of med school is the traditional right of passage, but I don't really care about tradition all that much. I saw many of the prosectioned cadavers on the day of my interview and there was plenty of opportunity for exploring. Don't worry, when you do GI you still get the pleasant experience of having to remove formaldehyde inundated stools :)

    Hey, maybe I shouldn't be trying to convince you of UCSF. Maybe I should keep my feelings to myself...Who knows. I do know that UCSF has blown away every other school that I have interviewed at.

    About the UCLA thing. Most people who choose UCLA just don't like the bay area. They like the socal weather, etc..For me, southern california seems like sim city. i don't feel as rooted in socal as I do in the Bay Area. I think SF has a lot of culture that no other city in CA has. SF is the closest experience someone in CA will get to an east coast city (my opinion).

    I'll stop there.
     
  8. otter

    otter Senior Member

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    Having lived in both LA and SF, I have to say that I'd definitely prefer UCSF although I can understand why some people would love UCLA more. UCSF's location is simply amazing. It overlooks the Golden Gate Park and the city, and it's right near the park and Haight-Ashbury. The neighborhood is full of young exciting people and is very vibrant, yet very peaceful unlike Westwood Village. For me, being adjoined to an undergrad campus doesn't present any merits. It's not like I'll go to frat parties in my med school years and I'd much prefer a campus that is exclusive to the hard-working health science community. For that reason, I feel like I've outgrown that whole Westwood Village scene. But, as most LA natives can attest, LA is also a great city in its own right and the access to the beaches and the whole beach culture is definitely huge, for me at least. Also, there are still some affordable housing within the 3-mile radius of UCLA, but you won't find that at UCSF. I also think that SF is really horrible for drivers. All things considered, I'd take UCSF. But then again, I'm not even in a position to make that choice at the moment. :oops:
     
  9. I am a UCLA alum.... and loved my time there.

    I grew up in LA for 20 years but now took my year off to live in San Francisco. Location-wise.... San Francisco is the best city in the nation.... and far better than LA. But if you want that collegetown feel and undergrad campus (which are very important to me)... UCLA has it and UCSF does not.

    I just wanted to say that location-wise San Francisco is in a different league than LA as far as cities go.

    Also.... like someone said before... UCSF is in the same league as schools like JH, Penn, Columbia... etc..... but UCLA is not. UCLA has an amazing hospital but their teaching/training is not as good.... personally.... I think UCLA ranked #14 is a little too high for them (more like 17).

    I know this will upset some.... but it is just my opinion and experience.
     
  10. none

    none 1K Member

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    Don't forget the possibility of spending most of your 3rd or 4th year in scenic Fresno! :)
     
  11. CTSF

    CTSF New Member

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    Being a UCLA alum and a current employee of UCSF, I would definitely choose UCSF over UCLA. Coming from NY I found LA to be very pretentious, and not as laid back as everybody professed.

    SF is a great city with great people. There is just as much to do in the bay area as there is in LA if not more.

    My roomate is a third year at UCSF and he loves it. He is just amazed at the quality of his classmates. Also, he has not spent a single day in Fresno as of yet, he has a 2 month block comig up for Neurology /psych. but that is all the time he has to spend there.

    Anyway, UCSF would be my choice!
     
  12. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member

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    I am not going to argue about prestige, i think everything has been said about it, and UCSF and UCLA are pretty close in 'rankings'. I think San Francisco itself has a lot of appeal. I dunno about you guys, but I think this city has a very sentimental feeling about it--ya know, the bridges, the fog, the pretty pink and blue houses, the little trolleys, so on. When you go on the Parnassus campus, there is A LOT OF ENERGY--you can feel it's a healthcare institution--firetrucks, ambulances, cops, people in scrubs all over the place. Plus, its on the hill, and looks like a palace... San Francisco is geographically, a city, yet it feels like a small town, and Parnassus is relatively quiet.
    I love LA, but UCLA campus does not have the same aura around it. Its waaaay too spread out.
    I am not biased, (I am not a native Californian)--i've only been here a couple of year, but I've never fell in love with a city, like I did with SF, thats probably a part of the reason why i love UCSF so much. I just hope that the love turns out to be mutual... <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  13. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    hey bjc, just wanted to say that i have indeed spent a considerable amount of time in both cities, and i like l.a. better, so it's not ignorance, people just have different preferences &lt;shrug&gt;

    personally, out of the 5 uc's, i think san diego is by far the best place to live. and ucsd is a great school to boot, just not as great as ucla and ucsf

    i'm just a socal beach/warm weather/tanktops+bikinni/laidback atmosphere- loving guy :D

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by bjc:
    <strong>I think that a lot of people that say UCLA is in a far better location than UCSF have never really spent time in San Francisco. .</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  14. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    one thing i think no1 mentioned (and don't get me wrong, i love both schools and cities), is the cost of living

    yes the situation is better, but yep, you'll basically be paying a fortune for a closet in s.f.... sure you can live in the east bay, but that makes a big commute, and if you hate the east bay as much as i do, not an option

    westwood is expensive too, but not nearly as expensive, plus many students live in very close surrounding areas that are much cheaper
     
  15. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    As a current UCSF student, I feel I must reply to the people who labeled the Prologue of the new curriculum a "disaster." This is utter nonsense, as all of my classmates did very well on the exams and learned the material. The Prologue block centered around an emergency room resucitation of a patient who was in a motor vehicle accident. We followed the case from the patient's admission to discharge. The Prologue incorporated basic sciences such as anatomy, histology, cell biology, biochemistry, and pharmacology. Basically, the building blocks for the rest of the curriculum. Although it was at times stressful, I ultimately enjoyed the Prologue. This fall, I'm sure some changes will be made to decompress it a little. Another misconception was that during the Prologue we had done all of anatomy. THIS ISN'T TRUE!! We haven't done neuroanatomy yet (that's in Brain, Mind & Behavior block) and we have had additional anatomy labs at the beginning of each block so far to go over the specific organ systems in detail (i.e. heart, airway/lungs, kidneys, etc). Remember also that this is only 6 weeks of the essential core curriculum which spans two years. The Organs block (Cardio, Pulmonary, Renal) and Clinical Interlude were amazing in the high degree of integration between basic and clinical sciences. So I would suggest that anyone who has questions about the new curriculum feel free to ask about it, rather than simply go on the opinions of those who have heard about it second or third-hand.

    By the way, there IS a graduate school here, so there are many basic science courses available that one can take outside of the medical curriculum. I have taken a class on neurodevelopment, for example. Others have taken biochem, biophysics, neuroscience, etc. If you are interested in classes outside of the health sciences, then you could always take some classes at Berkeley, which is just across the bay.

    Another thing: you do NOT have to spend most of 3rd or 4th year in Fresno. There is a special program available for those who wish to do so, but this is in no way mandatory. On average, students end up doing about one or two rotations in Fresno. This is obviously highly dependent on the locations you select to do your rotations (you do get to rank your choices between Moffit, SFGH, the VA, Fresno, etc).

    The academics, clinical experience, and research are all better at UCSF compared to UCLA. (I went to UCLA for undergrad). Of course, I would say that unless you are going into academia or biotech, this should be of minor importance. What's more significant are other factors such as location, proximity to family or friends, quality and happiness of the students, etc. I think both SF and LA have unique things to offer as cities. They are quite different places and favorites always depend on one's personal preferences. I'd say that if you are fortunate to be deciding between the two, go to both revisit weekends and ask the students, faculty, administration a lot of questions. Ultimately, you will have to find the place you fit best. Good luck to all applying and hope to see you this fall! :D
     
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  17. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    vader,
    first, thanks for your detailed reply, it's nice to see someone so passionate and well-articulated about his school.

    second, I just wanted to say that I was not getting the term 'disaster' 2nd or 3rd hand. All 3 first years I met used that word to describe the prologue, though saying you did learn the material in the end, it was just disorganized. All of them seemed to expect such growing pains as guinea pigs/pioneers. About all of anatomy being squished into the prologue, it was my faculty interviewer who told me that, so I believed him. I did not intend to be spreading lies. :)

    I liked the school a lot and know I could be very happy there, if i get in I hope to see you my second look. (Is there a dedicated 2nd look weekend, if so when?)
     
  18. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Hey coop,
    Yeah, my classmates are definitely right on about Prologue being a bit disorganized. There were some pretty stressful moments, which I think won't happen the next time around due to changes being made based on the feedback we have given. That's really the cool thing though... we are really getting to help shape the new curriculum because the faculty are VERY receptive and responsive to student feedback.

    By the way, we just started the "Cancer" block and had an awesome presentation with a cancer survivor being interviewed by a world expert on colon cancer. We also just learned about the pathological characteristics of benign versus malignant tumors. Interesting stuff! This was our first day back from an interblock break, during which a bunch of classmates went skiing in Tahoe. There has been talk of a group going this weekend too. The free time the new curriculum offers is amazing. :D

    The admitted students weekend is usually in April. I'd definitely recommend going if you have the opportunity. Last year was a blast when the then first-years took us around San Francisco on a trolley! :cool: Anyway, hope to see you at the weekend or this fall. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Good luck! :D
     
  19. Wahoo

    Wahoo Senior Member

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    The 2nd look weekend is the weekend of April 27th.
     
  20. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    thanks vader and wahoo,
    hopefully I'll meet you guys on second look weekend
     

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