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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Steve203, Apr 18, 2007.
Ok, I'll bite. You won't get better clinical education anywhere in socal. Of course, I don't actually mean you, Steve, because you obviously hate USC and won't be going there. But for anyone who's ever been to the LAC + USC Medical Center, they probably have some idea what I'm talking about.
As a side note they had, hands down, the best food I've had at any interview.
steve, don't worry about it, you didn't come off as hateful at all. sometimes people do get defensive because it is that sort of "i'm here cause it's the only cali school i got into" school (i know people where this was the only school they got into period), and i think it tends to be that way because of the cost, not because of the quality of education. i do know one person who picked usc over a uc, because of the clinical experience, and just feeling "right" there. this is definitely the exception though.
Probably not. Don't get me wrong, I think LAC + USC is amazing, but I'm not sure that I could justify the price tag compared to a UC school. I'd probably still pick it over UC Irvine or UCSD, but not over UC Davis or UCSF. These picks are based more on my personal preferences than on anything else.
my student interviewer said she picked usc over ucla for the reasons stated above - peerless in the clinical experience. it's funny to hear that there are people that "ended up" at usc, considering it was my top choice. man, maybe i should retake the mcat and shoot for mid 40s instead of high 30s...
lol...you just reminded me, i know someone whose top choice was usc, didn't get an interview, and he "ended up" at ucla
It's a good theory, but it's not the reason why I'm defending it. I've actually had very good luck with the UC schools during this application cycle. I agree with Steve that it is hard to justify spending all that extra money on USC, but if you need a reason, the clinical education is a good one.
sadly, the type of future-physician that would benefit from a superior clinical education (i.e. primary care docs) are the ones most hurt by the exorbitant tuition...
Be careful about choosing a medical school based solely on the variety of clinical cases in its hospital. A good clinical education needs 3 components: clinical variety + excellent teachers + supportive administration. If the program is lacking in one area, it does you no good compared to other places.
Case in point...look at USC's Internal Medicine residency. LA County is theoretically one of the best places to train in Internal Medicine...it's hard for other programs to compete with their diversity of patients. But it's a bad program. USC's own students generally don't want to match there. Why? Poor leadership, poor teaching, and poor support. You can have the most interesting patients in the world, but if you don't have the right guidance and resources, your education will suffer.
Not saying that USC's a bad medical school, because it's not, it's a good school. I'm just saying, don't automatically associate a busy hospital with good education. Also, I wouldn't ignore the rumors about some really bad attendings at USC.
As a medical student, you do about 1 year of real rotations. Do you guys honestly think that USC's clinical experiences are going to be significantly superior to any UC's? And if so, is that one's years difference worth a ferrari's worth of debt?
The ones that really benefit from any superior clinical experience are residents, and they pay you to do that.
Here's a ferrari just for reference:
well, what my student interviewer told me, which i'm sure current students can confirm/deny is that you get hands on clinical experience pretty much starting from first year, since county is so busy and they can use all the help they can get. although i'm kind of wary as to what exactly a first year med student would be capable (and even comfortable) doing.
Early clinical exposure, now that's some hogwash, though I'm sure the UC's can offer some of that too (Davis student clinics?). I find early clinical exposure worthless. Your focus in your first two years should be on rocking the boards.
didn't mean to single you out by that statement or anything meds , but you do have to admit, most people who go to usc probably didn't have the same luck at the uc's as you have.
to respond to some other comments, from what i've heard usc students do tend to have much better clinical training than students from uc's. i'm not sure early experience is necessarily the significant factor here, rather the quality of the experience that usc students receive once they do start clinic is very good. commotion hit it on the nose though, lots of usc students do not want to go back for IM residency there.
I'm not in a position to say definitively, but as a resident of LA who has been to "county," this makes logical sense to me. I personally would much rather get some clinical experience my first two years than sitting in classrooms all day, especially in sunny SoCal. Er... sunny Boyle Heights.
Why are doctors so stupid about money. Cars are depreciating assets. Put your money into an investment that will fund your retirement, not some stupid so cal chick mobile...and have the stones to attract women based upon your abs and brains not your stupid car. This is exactly why the money people laugh in derision at financially dumb docs.
hi you guys, I just thought I would add my 2 cents as I will be graduating from Keck in about a month (hooray!!). USC's clinical experience is fantastic for all of the reasons stated above. While I agree, "early clinical experience" can feel like a waste of time, but at USC you start taking full patient histories at the bedside, and at the end of 2nd year you are are required to take full H+P's on real patients. Learning these skills early is very helpful when you start 3rd year at County and you are sent in to take a H+P from the rambling homeless patient who is withdrawing in front of you (pretty standard on Medicine)
As for the Internal Med program- yeah, the residents can be kind of hit-and-miss, there are some fantastic ones, and not-so-fantastic ones. I think this is mostly because it is such a large program so they take a lot of foreign grads, and was especially rough this year as we absorbed a lot of MLK interns for the year (yikes). I have had great attendings though- but mostly on the subspecialty services like Cardiology or Infectious Disease. Besides Medicine, the surgical experience at county is awesome (especially Trauma!) and it seemed on every rotation we saw something that even surprised the attendings (we had a case of PLAGUE last year)
If any of you have any further questions, feel free to PM me. Good luck to all!!
when you get to the level of a ferrari, the depreciation is negligible; in fact, they can often increase in value. retirement's great, but it's nice to look back on the fun you had before you started collecting social security.
I agree you need to have fun along the way. But put that 200 grand into a diversified stock portfolio and then forget about it for 30 years. Then check the value of that portfolio, and you will have a hard time spending the money. At that point, money will not be a problem. Start investing young and let time work for you.
no one has mentioned the whole USC southern california connections with other physicians all over that are very supportive of other Keck grads.....
i don't know how much that would matter later in life, and it would be nice if a current student or alum could mention something about it...
Because of the tuition issue and the quality of the UC medical schools, Keck will never be considered a top level medical school because simply it cannot draw the best students. There are also some new internal problems at Keck with the departure of key faculty and the search for a new dean.
That being said, I know many people who attend Keck and really did enjoy their time there. However, I think it would be hard to turn down most of the UCs over USC unless one really wanted to live in Los Angeles for personal reasons.
I am an alumnus of USC undergrad and the 8 year BA/MD program.
Well I am choosing USC over UCSD... I have a ton of reasons (started a very detailed thread a while back about usc vs. ucsd, it explains all my motivations is detail)
basically, for reasons that encompass the specifics of each school (curriculum, attitude towards students, etc) as well as personal factors (a desire to get out of sd, my best friend matriculating to USC, among others) I honestly believe I will be a much happier person at USC (MUCH HAPPIER!) so much so that i think i will be a better doctor by going to USC...
there is a lot more to it, but i am not going to get into it all again after writing a ton in the other thread
oh - and I honestly could care less about the money difference (and I am not getting any help from parents, i am taking on all loans - my parents, and I, are far from rich, so i am hoping to get some need aid at least)... I am not becoming a doctor to buy a ferrari, if i was, i guess i would suck it up and pick ucsd... but i am not, so if i have to spend more money to be able to do what I know i will be happy doing, i guess its worth it to me
the fourth year I interviewed with said he did an appendectomy solo as a third year.
edit// also, for reference, the "average debt" numbers are really misleading for a great number of applicants. At a UC, my debt would be similar to USC (maybe $20k less each year) so maybe $80k less total. Not a whole lot when you're already borrowing 200k. I'd have to take out loans to cover 100% of expenses anywhere that I go, and I don't plan on having any problems paying them back because I'm not an idiot like 75% of SDN pre-allo.
Also, whoever said USC is not considered a "top school" is just foolish. It's ranked top-40 in the US and HIGHER than UCI and UCD. They're getting more and more funding every year, they can do whatever kind of research they want (read:stem cells) and can hire/admit anyone they want to because they're a private institution.
They have the County replacement hospital which is going to be the biggest (1.5 million sq ft) hospital in LA, and as technologically advanced as UCLA's new Reagan center.
They have an older average class than the UCs, which is helpful for people like me who find your average premed/first year INCREDIBLY annoying.
your responsibilities as a fourth year are equal to that of an intern, so then when you do your intern year, you're bitch slapping the other interns up and down the halls of whatever place you're at.
They have County and University hospital which is well-funded private hospital with private patients where they do fancy, cutting edge procedures.
They teach to the boards and their step 1 scores rise every year, and they have counselors who work with you to help you get the residency you're after.
It's not in Irvine
It's not in Davis (or Sacramento for that matter)
It's six miles from USC undergrad so you don't have to deal with those lunatics.
The alumni network is the single most disturbing thing I have ever heard of (in a good way).
I haven't met a single person who wasn't happy at Keck.
That being said, if you're goal is to be a super-brainiac IM dude, maybe Keck isn't the best place for you. It seems that the IM types and IM programs place a lot of importance on name brand people, as do competitive research positions. So if that's what you want for your career, then you'd better hope you get into UCLA, UCSF, or Stanford, because UCI and UCD certainly won't help, and USC might if only for the alumni network.
However, if you want a 'hands on' specialty, like anything surgical, derm, optho (doheny, anyone?) then County is seriously the best place to be, because EVERY hospital in California that you will apply for residencies at will know that if you can hack it in County, you can do anything and deal with any type of patient, attending, other resident, or what-have-you.
I applied to about 14-ish schools all over the country, but the only two places I really felt strongly about ending up were UCLA and USC. My alma mater did me the favor of not interviewing me, and USC offered me an interview a week after i submitted my secondary, and accepted me two weeks after my interview. Sounds like it was meant to be.
also, Irvine has no liver transplant program because they're crooked orange county douchebags, and they're so hurting for matriculants they're offering interviews to people they've already rejected.
I just graduated from med school. If I had to do it all over again and my choices were USC vs. UCSD, I'd chose USC for sure. USC's curriculum is better than UCSD's. Also, in general UCSD has more unhappy students.
USC vs. UCI vs. UCDavis? It's a toss up. Depends on your financial situation and where you want to live.
UCLA and UCSF win over USC on so many levels (teaching, cost, location, reputation, etc.)
I am having a hard time with this as well and am currently doing the USC vs UC debate. At this point, heavily leaning toward UC because
(a) USC is actually upwards of $280,000 (budget this year: $69,000!!!)
(b) Great area for county hospital, crummy selection for personal living space
(c) Great faculty interviewer but everyone else at USC has not been helpful/friendly/extending themselves, which I guess I would hope for when paying so much
- Case in point, I asked for 4th year contact info and was not provided any
- I was told that someone in admissions would talk to the dean & get back to me about a matter - she never did, I followed up, she still never returned my calls to this day
- I was surprised to see no guests allowed at second look and when I asked if I could bring my spouse because we make all decisions together & I'd like my spouse to see USC, they responded with a flat out "no." WashU even said it was not usual but that they would welcome him & even take care of our accomodations. Now there's a private school with class!
Anyways, I guess I'm a little burned. Coming from a public undergrad, I have low expectations - I know I'm a number, and that's ok. But when you're paying that much, I'd like to at least be treated nicely - not have my calls ignored, my requests for contact info pushed aside, etc. Wow.... I sound bitter.... haha, sorry guys!
EDIT: I'm sorry if that sounded harsh/bitter. I do think USC has a great clinical setting at LAC; however, I wonder about lack of supervision. Sure, students may learn a lot by doing, but do they learn the right way? Do they feel that they have proper support/guidance/supervision? Also, I think the Trojan network is a definite pro, although I'm not sure how it will play in. All in all, all UCs and USC are awesome & I'd be proud to attend any. Go where you fit in, go where your budget allows, go where you think you would be happy and thrive. If USC was the only Cali school I got into, I'd be there in a heartbeat & be happy & proud to be there. Having a cheaper in-state option does make a more difficult decision, but a decision I feel blessed to have. Best of luck, everyone, with USC, your decisions & med-school next year!
... thanks, to be honset, i dont think anyone trully 'doesnt care about money', i just think it is a spectrum... for me, i grew up fairly poor, basically my parents are the paycheck to paycheck type - not great with money and they dont earn a whole heck of a lot to begin with, at the same time, i didnt have it that bad, my grandparents have always been around when the large chunks of change were needed (paid for high school, braces, etc)...
my point is that even though i am far from an 'economically disadvantaged applicant' - and no where on my app did i claim to be - i will be happy in life making far less than the average doctor's salary...
but that is me personally, If i have a constant paycheck and a house to live in and food every week AND i get to help people, well that pretty much means i am set for life...
for the vast majority of people though, i think i would agree with you, it would be extremely tough to justify picking usc over a state option
subsequent years are closer to $60k
you can live anywhere a UCLA student would live, or you can live in south pasadena, pasadena, silverlake, etc. all really nice places
I've had the opposite experience, everyone there especially on interview day and on the phone in admissions AND financial aid (go figure) have been extremely patient and helpful.
to be fair, fourth years were dealing with residency interviews and match during our interview season.
yeah that's pretty rough, everyone in the admissions office was easy to deal with for me
I'm a little surprised about this too, especially in the case of a spouse, however, I'm pretty sure it has to do with (a) the faculty shadowing and (b) clearance into County (they can't do a background check on your spouse)
I agree with you 100%, I guess I've just had the opposite experience. Coming from UCLA, a place with probably the most satanic finaid office on the planet, I was shocked out of mind at how easy USC's finaid office was to speak to, and how nice the admissions office people were both on interview day and over the phone. On interview day I must have been offered a bottle of water by 4 different people throughout the day! It's like they have minifridges under every desk!
Not really... I mean, Santa Monica to USC? I know some people do it, but I just don't want that much car time. I used to live 8 miles from UCLA and it would take me ~45 minutes to get to/from school. It was a pain, and, when time is of the essence next year, I'd rather not be commuting that much....
Yes, I completely understand. My actual request was for 3rd, 4th or recent graduate contact information, and I received none. To contrast, the UC school gave me almost ten 4th years to contact and just asked that I wait a few weeks until the Match stuff calmed down to contact them.
I would completely understand if they said my spouse could come for part of the day or would have to sit out of certain activities or could join us for lunch or something. But the flat "no" was a little surprising. Especially since my spouse will be helping to pay for me to go! Just made me feel like USC wasn't too family/couple friendly....
See, I, too, did undergrad at UCLA, and I was just fine being a number. But I have had WAY more help from the UCs this application cycle then from USC... And no one offered me any bottled water!!! j/k
most people in this country aren't physicians. You lack perspective.
I understand. I live 30 miles from UCLA and commute every day to geffen for work Needless to say, I'm living close to keck next year enough driving with the freaks on LA's freeway system
hmm, yeah, no clue what's up with that. don't get me wrong, UC people all seem extremely friendly, I know quite a few UCLA med students, and except for the one douchebag I know personally and the few psychotic ones they're all A+ people-people. Seems like it's just a clerical problem you're running into.
Yeah I agree it's very weird, I mean I'm not in any kind of relationship (listen up, ladies ) let alone married, and I was like "huh?" when I saw no guests allowed. But believe me, the average age of a Keck freshman is 24. There are tons of older, married students, and the surrounding areas (Pasadena, South Pas, etc) are all extremely family friendly with great public schools. I think we'll find out a week from today (damn that's coming up!) what the big deal is...
I had to pee real bad halfway through my faculty interview from all the bottled water Good thing my bladder is the size of a football.
Also after my interview I went to shake hands and dropped the bottle hahaha. I'm such a putz. Good thing I already hypnotized him with my molecular bio talk.
I'm not sure exactly what you want out of this thread...
...don't go to USC if you don't want to pay for it, gee golly that was a tough one.
Methinks the OP was looking for some amazing new insight into USC. I agree - if you don't want to pay, don't go. I'm still on the fence & desperately trying to figure this one out....
maybe take a class on research design and find out what's wrong with that statement.
alternatively: they understand that paying for medical school is an investment and, wait for it, their earnings potential might be greater if they go to USC over UCI, UCD, or UCSD.
I'm sure there's some of those people there. I never want to leave LA/socal, USC's name doesn't carry anywhere near the cachet that UCLA does, and UCLA has a lot to offer that USC does not. On the other hand, you will have experiences at Keck that you just won't at UCLA. I know this because I know students at both schools. They're both very good schools. I would say if you wanted prestigious IM, or research, or wanted to be in academic medicine, UCLA is the way to go. I want to be a surgeon, the more hands on experience I can get the better. The ortho residents at UCLA barely get to operate.
Well whatever it is, I'll take a case of it!
THANK YOU PENNYBRIDGE
I agree w/ Steve I think you'd be hard pressed to find a current doc that would recommend USC over one of the UC's for the sticker cost differential. My dad's a doc no one ever asks where he went to medical school - the only thing anyone cares about is residency. Granted some medical schools may help you get a better residency but I think the UC/USC difference really isn't worth that difference in price tag. If you think USC will do that much more for you at the margin I think you're mistaken.
must have been your level-headed thinking and rational ability to solve problems that got you all those waitlists
Oh, come on, guys, play nice!
not a big fan of metaphor are you?