A couple of my friends grabbed me as soon as we had a break in lecture yesterday.
“Hey, so do you know anyone at Research Med? They’re partying all the time!”
“Yeah, we’ve both been talking to friends there – apparently all they do is have fun.”
“What the hell, right?”
Yep, what the hell. Honestly, I didn’t even bother applying to Research Med (exactly zero research experience in college, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way), but since Metropolis Med is also mostly focused on research (I applied here on what amounted to a dare), I guess most other people here DID apply to both.
But it seems to me that if you ask the right 30% of people here, we are partying all the time. Plus, we’re Pass/Fail and Research Med isn’t. Apparently they only have 6 hours of class a week, but since all of our classes are optional, I pointed out that, again, I don’t see how they could possibly be doing much less than us. Or why we should care if they are.
I didn’t think much of it until tonight, when another friend was bemoaning the fact that her mother’s friend’s son is apparently at State Med, and he’s having fun! Lots of it!
Maybe we just have a very heterogeneous class, but I can honestly say that, if you ask the right people, we have the entire spectrum of experiences represented here. There are people who have plenty of free time 1, people who love that they have no free time and enjoy filling their schedule with every commitment possible 2, and people who may be just one bad day away from a nervous breakdown 3.
But I guess the truth is, I can’t know what it’s like at other medical schools. Yeah, my gut feeling is that they’re all going to be pretty much the same, and it depends on who you’re talking to – but some of these schools have completely different grading systems and curriculums. At the end of the day, I guess I chose Metropolis Med because it had a grading system and a curriculum that fit me well – maybe everyone at Research Med is partying every night, but they have to do PBL during the day and that would make me miserable. (Actually, so would partying every night.)
So even if these schools are totally different, I don’t think it’s worth it to second-guess your decision after you already get there. We all have to learn the same material eventually – you can choose whether you want it spread out over 1 year, 1.5 years, or 2 years, and whether you want to have lectures, small groups, or the freedom to learn it yourself most of the time – but it’s still just basically hammering information into your neurons until they remember everything they’re supposed to.
But it’s my opinion that Pass/Fail grading helps.