Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Interview Experience: Wayne State University

Wayne State University School of Medicine 9/25/12

For this interview, I was able to stay with a student host again. He actually picked me up from the airport, which was awesome. The night before the interview, we went out to dinner with some other medical students (it sounded like they did this every Monday). We had a good time, and everyone seemed down-to-earth and easy-going. His apartment was within walking distance of the school, so on the way home he actually took me on a "pre-tour" of they medical campus and the relatively newer Mazurek building, where the admissions office, library, and study areas are.

The morning of the interview, my host (he was an MS3) had to leave for rotations at about 7:30 am, so I was pretty much on my own. The tour didn't start until noon, so I walked over to the library and passed the time reading and preparing for the interview. Finally, around 11:30 am, I checked in with the security guard at the front desk (the library and first floor are public areas, but everywhere else is secured and requires an access card) and took the elevator up to the third floor. At the admissions office, I was given the usual school packet, a fairly thick pamphlet about the ongoing research at Wayne, and a 90+ page book written by students at WSU SOM that had all kinds of info about the school, curriculum, what books are needed/not needed, living in Detroit, student interest groups, etc, which was actually pretty cool.

The tour guides took our group of about eight or so through the Mazurek building, the library, the study rooms, the lecture hall for first and second years in the connected Scott Hall, some lab areas, and the anatomy lab. Everything in Mazurek was pretty new and  shiny. Scott Hall was a bit older looking, but not run down by any means. The lecture hall was a pretty good size, but apparently can't hold all of Wayne's many students--they have an overflow area for any required occasions.

The curriculum at Wayne is pretty traditional, with lectures 9 am - 5 pm most days for the first two years. Students take 2-3 classes at a time, with a "doctoring" course beginning in the first week or so. Most lectures are streamed online--actually most students don't even attend school, except for required events. There is a "course packet" given out for each class that contains pretty much all you need to know. Tests are computer based. Grading is H/P/F, with honors meaning that your score is greater than one standard deviation above the class mean. The hospital is associated with about eight hospitals/medical institutes within walking distance, including the Detroit Medical Center...and most, if not all, are connected by tunnels. Wayne has a simulation lab, and uses standardized patients for all years.

I had to leave the tour early to make my interview, so I missed the hospital tour. The interview was pretty conversational, lasting about 45 minutes and mostly revolving around questions like why Wayne, why Detroit, my application, what should I tell the admissions committee about you, etc (the adcoms, by the way, meet regularly throughout the season, your interviewer presents your file, they vote on you, and you are assigned a score that then is used to compare you with other students). It seemed to go pretty well, and I was told I'd be informed of a decision on October 24. Afterwards, I changed, walked to the nearby bus stop, and hopped on the bus for the two hour ride to the airport.

Overall, I felt like Wayne would provide a solid clinical education, and I liked the streaming option and the course packs. Detroit is Detroit, though (although it really wasn't that bad....I suppose in some areas it did seem like every fifth building was abandoned....), which can be great for education, but maybe not so much for living. It's doable, though. However, I didn't like the 9-5 pm schedule or the potential for crazy multiple test weeks (I think Temple spoiled me in that regard....), and it's very expensive for out-of-state matriculants--63k a year. Maybe with a merit scholarship....?

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