Day 177: Reasons I love OUWB

Today’s inane image of the day:

Manter and Gatz [our Neuroscience textbook] broke my highlighter! 

With so many students starting to compare their medical school acceptance offers, I thought it would be an appropriate time to make a case for OUWB. Keep in mind that deciding on a school is all about fit — I selected a school based on what I thought would be best for me, and I think it’s pretty clear from my entries that I’m happy with my selection. Moreover, I believe that if you find yourself at a school that you genuinely love, you’re more likely to be successful. With that being said, here are the reasons I love OUWB:

Community/culture
It’s no secret that Dean Folberg boasts about building an OUWB culture — so far, I have to agree that there is definitely a distinct feeling tied to being a part of the “OUWB fam.” Within the class, everyone knows everyone and we have all interacted with one another at some point. Faculty and staff know each and every one of us by name [they all have a cheat sheet with our photos…], which is really quite a nice change from my experience at the University of Michigan [it’s almost comparable to my experience at Simon’s Rock].

Curriculum
I’m sure that most of you have already read my review of our curriculum thus far, and recognize that I am pretty happy about how things have been going so far. A couple of highlights:

  • Integrated/Systems-Based Curriculum
    The integrated part really helped me make the necessary connections to commit the material to memory and I am really enjoying our first system course [Neuroscience] despite the organizational issues we encountered. It makes a lot more sense in my mind to learn about everything from one system rather than bits and pieces of each one — for example, I love that in our Neuroscience block we started off with CNS/PNS Embryology, Histology, Pharmacology and Anatomy then delved into the Neuroscience portion of it. Sometimes it feels like there’s all too much information coming at us at once, but eventually the moment comes when things start clicking into place and it’s wonderful.
  • Team-Based Learning
    Keep in mind that we do not only do TBLs… they are scattered here and there [maybe one every couple of weeks, on average]. I really enjoy them since they break up the lecture time and also offer a great way to really drill a clinical pathology into our memory. I still remember details from most of the clinically-based TBLs we’ve done!
  • Capstone
    Although I am torn on how much lecture we should be getting from this course, I still see it as a great way to give us an advantage when applying for residencies. Furthermore, I am really excited about my own Capstone project [I’ll just say that it’s Social Media based!] and can’t wait to see what it becomes over the next 3ish years.
  • Medical Humanities
    I was a bit annoyed by how this course was graded last semester, but it has changed to an H/P/F system and the topics we have been discussing [Experience of Illness, Physician-Patient Relationship: Basic Skills, etc] are more applicable and interesting… so now I really do enjoy this course a lot more.
  • Art and Practice of Medicine
    This course is still a constant reminder of why I decided to put myself through all the grueling hours in front of a textbook or in the classroom. Last week we did a Neurological Examination [see! everything is integrated!] and we had a very informative Standardized Patient. It was a great experience. Also through this course we had real patient contact in our first semester!

Beaumont Hospital
Having been born at Beaumont, I am a bit biased on the subject, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is still the only level 1 trauma center in Oakland County and is consistently highly ranked nationally. It also has a great reputation as a teaching hospital [anyone I’ve talked to who did a rotation at Beaumont raved about how positive their experience was]. And all of the Beaumont physicians I have interacted with are extremely willing to take the time to help in any way they can [the residents, especially!].

Aside from how great the hospital itself is, we have our very own Clinical Skills Center at Troy Beaumont, which is modeled exactly like a clinic would be, but with extra gadgets such as video cameras to record our patient interactions for review.

Finally, another perk of being in a medical school with a designated hospital is that there is absolutely no question about where I’ll end up for my rotations. While students at most other schools have to enter into a lottery to determine where they’ll end up [and keep in mind that some of these clinical locations could be many miles away!], we know that we’ll be at Beaumont. No anxiety over a lottery for placement. Whew.

Faculty and Staff
I still find it incredible that the majority of OUWB faculty and staff are friendly, compassionate and 100% invested in our education. Where else will you find professors who are primarily concerned with teaching you? Not sure… but there aren’t too many places that can boast about this!

Student Organizations
I haven’t had many opportunities to highlight the student organizations already off the ground, but there are a bunch already. Not only do we have the best AMWA branch [Like us on Facebook!], ever [ha, I had to!], we also have Radiology, Surgical, Emergency Medicine and Anesthesia interest groups that are offering awesome opportunities for us to get hands-on experience. Plus, even though they don’t fall under the designation of a “student organization,” our medical student government [MSG] has represented our student body effectively.

Opportunity to make a difference
By joining OUWB at an early stage, you will have the opportunity to influence its history. You will mold the school’s future. Plus I’m always pleasantly surprised by just how quick the turnover for change is — sometimes we see a difference the next day.

As you can see, there are a lot of great things going for this school. Are there times when I am frustrated by how the newness sometimes translates into disorganization? Yes. But ultimately we are the guinea pigs — subsequent classes will definitely find things running much smoother. Furthermore, it’s almost impossible to find the “perfect” school — students will find something wrong regardless of where you go [this goes for more than just medical school!]. The most important thing is that the little bumps along the way have not changed my opinion of the school.

So, to all of you trying to decide where to call home for the next 4 years, the most important thing is to ask yourself is this: is OUWB the right fit for me? If not, look elsewhere. Otherwise, welcome to the family!

2 thoughts on “Day 177: Reasons I love OUWB

  • February 7, 2012 at 4:54 am
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    Seriously, with every post I read, OUWB seems more and more attractive to me… Even though I’m a lowly second year undergraduate student I can’t wait to hopefully be a part of this program. Even as an undergraduate student though, I can see the friendliness of the professors that teach my classes. Can’t wait to actually experience what it’ll be like in OUWB!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • February 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm
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    @Tommy: Don’t refer to yourself as a lowly undergraduate! You’re almost halfway done with your college education — that’s something to be proud of. Anyway, keep up this enthusiasm, and you’ll be sure to catch the administration’s attention when you’re applying!

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