October 21, 2013

Columbia Medical School in the City of New York

Columbia Medical School awarded the United States' first M.D. in 1770 in New York City. The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons has since been considered one of the best in the nation.

Dissecting the Facts and Figures

  • The school enrolls 169 students in each M.D. Class, and about 775 PhD students in total.
  • Columbia Medical School is world-renowned for surgery and medical research.
  • Tuition is $49,504/year, plus living expenses. About 65% of each class receives some grant aid.
  • Salaries at graduation are generally above the average for doctors nation-wide, but vary by speciality. Expect at least $150,000.
  • Almost all students are employed at graduation.
  • Anesthesiology, orthopaedic surgery and emergency medicine are top industries.
  • On average, an admitted student had an undergraduate GPA of 3.78, an MCAT composite of 11.9: 11.2 verbal, 12.2 physical sciences, and 12.3 biological science.

Culture of Competition

As a top-of-the-top school, Columbia Medical School is definitely competitive. Students are ambitious and eager to grab the highest honors in medicine: the best residency programs, and prestigious research funding. At the same time, campus is highly diverse, attracting top students from across the world.

Columbia in the Big Apple

Just recently Columbia revamped its curriculum. Rather than structure the curriculum based on year, academics are now structured by three major subjects: Fundamentals, Major Clinical Year and Differentiation & Integration. This inspires students to own their educational experience, and is based on cutting edge research in adult learning styles.

When students aren't busy preparing for clinical or boards, they take advantage of America's largest city. Located in Washington Heights, Columbia Medical Center is surrounded by restaurants and bars. Students often say that, because Columbia is surrounded by a major city, much of the school's social life happens off-campus. In the medical school's case, many outings actually happen away from Washington Heights, which isn't considered an appealing part of New York City. The Upper West Side, however, is a short subway ride away.

Regardless of the dispersed social life, students often meet closer to campus. This includes the Jou Jou Cafe, where students get together for a quick coffee break. It's conveniently located right on campus. Alternatively, for a lunch or post-class meal, Dallas BBQ is right across the street from the medical center. It has both take-out and eat-in options. It's considered campus' prime wings location.

Up and down Broadway, just near campus, there are a series of restaurant options. Multiple ethnic options, from La Dinastia to Empire Szechuan Noodle House to Galicia Restaurant allow students to take a world tour of cuisine.

Columbia Medical Center

The Columbia Medical Center is a modern and cutting edge facility. It is considered one of New York City's premier teaching hospitals. While the Washington Heights location isn't loved for its social life, it does provide a great opportunity for community service. The Dominican and Spanish-speaking population nearby frequents the Medical Center, and students are able to provide community services to Washington Heights residents. Groups like the Columbia Student Medical Outreach (CoSMO) lead these efforts.

New York City's climate is seasonal, with four distinct times of year. Fall is comfortable in the mid-50's, and spring is similar. Summers are warm and humid, while winters are cold and snowy. The weather never becomes too uncomfortable – neither too warm, nor too cold – providing a nice medium sure to please anyone.

Landing the Job

Career planning at Columbia Medical School begins at matriculation. The primary focus of career services at Columbia is the selection of a speciality. To help students make this crucial decision by the end of their first year, the school offers shadowing opportunities, mentoring and group and individual advising sessions.

At Columbia, these opportunities are integrated right into the curriculum. Students participate in career planning as a matter of course, not as an optional opportunity. Each year offers different levels of career exploration, culminating in the third year year with residency applications. Student receive ample coaching in this process.

Additionally, the new CourseWorks portal is Columbia career equivalent of Blackboard. It provides access to webinars, course materials and other information that is critical to landing a student's first job.

If a world-class education at an Ivy League university in the city of New York appeals to you, then Columbia Medical School may be the right fit. For those hoping to embark on careers in research or surgery, there is no better school than Columbia. Consider the possibility of a medical degree from Columbia University! [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf] ...read more
August 7, 2013

Exploring Washington University Medical School in St. Louis

Washington University Medical School can boast of being one of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States today. Located in the heart of St. Louis, Missouri, this campus finds itself in the middle of one of the biggest cities of the American Midwest. While applicants used to enjoying coastal beaches might feel wary of moving to a land-locked state, students at WashU happily declare that their city provides them with more than ample entertainment opportunities. The Basic Stats
  • There are 121 students matriculating per year.
  • While many programs excel here, Washington University Medical School is particularly well known for its stellar research programs.
  • Tuition costs $52,020 for full-time students.
  • Average salary after graduation varies extremely, as it is dependent on medical specialties.
  • Washington University can boast of having a significantly higher than average match outcome for its students; however, according to the program's official website, some graduates of this school still decide not to pursue a residency immediately following graduation
  • The most popular residency and specialty programs for the classes of 2011 and 2012 include anesthesiology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, and general surgery.
  • Average entrance scores are as follows: GPA=3.83, MCAT= VR11.1, PS12.9, BS12.5
Campus Vibe Not only can Washington University boast of being a top-ranked medical school with a world-renowned research program, but it can also toot its horn for being a very diverse campus. In fact, the student-submitted list of self-reported talents for first-year students includes impressive items like "make awesome paper airplanes," "use Microsoft Excel like a beast," and "tell the difference between butter and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter." Clearly, this medical school is filled with some very talented students! Student Life As with any medical school, the workload of students at WashU is pretty grueling. However, students still seem to find enough time to enjoy their location on the map, and the Student Perspectives section of the official website lends an idea of how current medical students might spend their time. Specifically speaking, students praise the city of St. Louis for being cheap, accessible, and humble, a place where "beer is cheaper than water." For the sports enthusiast, this campus's city is ideal, as it is home to the Cardinals, Rams, and Blues. Popular restaurants include Cunetto House of Pasta (reputed to be the perfect option for anyone looking to invest in a meal big enough to provide them with leftovers), Kampai Sushi Bar (said to be ideal for a post-exam celebration meal), and Blueberry Hill (open till midnight). Students who prefer spending time outdoors report that hiking along the Lewis and Clark Trail or biking on the lengthy Katy Trail are perfect ideas for long weekends. Exploring Forest Park—an area larger than New York City's Central Park—may be the ideal mid-week getaway. Of course, investing in a good bug repellent is recommended for any outdoor activities. Impressive parks are also spread out through the city, providing perfectly affordable group gathering or exercising sites. On the Map Located in the weather-moody Midwest, this campus calls St. Louis, Missouri its home. For the Midwest native, the "hot one day, freezing cold the next" weather pattern will seem pretty normal, but if you're from outside the region, the temperature fluctuations of St. Louis will take you by surprise. Additionally, the humidity and strong storms that are fairly typical for the spring/summer months will also be a new challenge for newcomers to St. Louis—particularly for those with frizz-prone hair. This campus is definitely right within the heart of the city, and no other word than "urban" could best describe it. As far as the lay-of-the-land goes, St. Louis may look relatively flat to the average observer, but any runner of the annual St. Louis Marathon, held each year in April, will tell you otherwise. Academic Guidance Washington University provides more than ample advisors for its students. First-year students are matched with academic advisors who meet with them and others in group settings, while third-year students are given the opportunity to select advisors specific to the residency programs they are most interested in. Academic societies, Big Sibling programs, and a diversity-specific advisory program also round out the guidance opportunities that WashU has to offer. Since post-graduation activities for most medical school students equate to entering into residencies and specialty programs, the bulk of academic advising for students is provided prior to graduation and is geared toward ensuring that students get accepted into a quality residency program. Overall, Washington University School of Medicine is a school well-loved by its students, despite being in an area more well-known for its thunderstorms and deer ticks than its beaches. While medical students aren't exactly well-known for having copious amounts of free time, the students of WashU seem to still find time to balance their studies with enjoying all that the city of St. Louis has to offer (while also enjoying the company of their fellow classmates, of course). [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf] ...read more
July 29, 2013

University of Minnesota Medical: A Research Powerhouse

University of Minnesota Medical School thrives to be a frontrunner in research as well as medicine. Located in Duluth and Twin Cities, the school's research facilities drive its advanced medical studies for students who want to be involved with the evolution of new medicine.
  • University of Minnesota Medical School is home to 2,240 students and 3,871 faculty members.
  • The medical school is known for its research in stem-cell biology, brain sciences, infectious disease, and diabetes.
  • The costs to attend are $37,128 for full-time in-state students and $48,789 for full-time out-of-state students.
  • The middle 50% of applicants invited to interview have a GPA between 3.29 and 3.92, and MCAT scores in a range of 29 to 37.
Student Culture The University of Minnesota Medical School fosters a supportive culture that helps students through their years of med school, especially the first year when students must get acclimated to rigorous class schedules. The school offers a mentorship program that pairs mentors with new students in their first two years of school. The overall culture is collaborative, with professors who not only teach but also mentor new students. Students' Perspectives Students who attend University of Minnesota Medical School say they are more interested in becoming good doctors and clinical researchers than being competitive with grades and academics. The school fosters a team atmosphere, so students are friendly and helpful to other students. To make new students feel appreciated, the school has an honorary White Coat Ceremony, where all new medical students gather with white clinical coats. The school also has a "Match Day," which is sometimes referred to as "medicine's March Madness" for students finishing their final year in medical school. Students receive white envelopes, and upon opening them, they find out the residency program that has accepted them. The campus is surrounded by bars and restaurants. With its old cowboy saloon style, Sally's Saloon and Eatery—whose motto is "come for the food, stay for the party"—offers beer and food specials. For beer connoisseurs, Stub and Herb's has a wide range of ales, dark beers, and IPAs. Got family coming to visit? Blarney Pub and Grill is a place to drink beer and eat good food in more of a family atmosphere. The school is also close to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Park Point, Spirit Mountain, and Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. Campus Life University of Minnesota Medical School overlooks Lake Superior, so students can participate in water sports, run along the edge of the lake, and socialize on the lake's outskirts. Minnesota also has several scenic areas where students can work out on hiking trails. The temperature in Duluth and Twin Cities drops to 0 degrees, and students who aren't used to heavy snow must prepare for the winter months. Summer averages are a high of 75 degrees. Campus buildings have been described as "castle-like," with Pillsbury Hall as an example. The campus spans 307 acres with buildings on the East and West banks of the Mississippi river. Job Advice and Career Services University of Minnesota Medical School has many resources to help students move from their fourth year of medical school to a career in medicine. The school has advisors that help students choose the right residency and internship program that match a student's area of interest. Doctors must first complete residency and internships, and the school has a list of residency opportunities to choose from. Taking it a step further, fellowship opportunities offer graduates a way to specialize in their area of interest. University of Minnesota's exceptional research facilities are worth checking out as you begin to think about your future career in medicine. The school's collaborative learning environment helps students succeed—and even find time for fun in Duluth and Twin Cities, too. [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf] ...read more

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