Friday, August 26, 2011

Back in Business

Congratulations on finishing the first full week of school, UB students! I want to focus this much awaited update on medical education and what different schools and organizations are doing to make med school and residency better.

First, let's talk about UB! This year, we can get credit for volunteering as medical students in the community through Service Learning. Write up a short response to your experience and spend an hour talking with your peers, and get an automatic "H" in your transcript! If you missed the lunch lecture on Wednesday, e-mail Debbie Stamm for more information, at

At other schools… Long Island's brand new Hoftstra SOM is certifying its entering student body as EMTs. Throughout their preclinical years, they get to/have to take ambulance shifts to gain clinical and team-building skills. Virginia Tech Carilion, another new med school, is spicing up the interview process with multiple mini-interviews: Instead of 30-45 minutes with one interviewer, applicants will spend about ten minutes per interviewer with several interviewers. This system is not new -- Stanford, UCLA, and others do it -- but it shows a trend at looking "past the numbers." University of Michigan Med is also changing the application trail: It has a smart phone app for applicants to track their admission progress. "M.D.Stat+" lets you check the status of application receipt, interview invite, and acceptance -- if you apply to U Mich.

On the GME front, the AMA is encouraging the NRMP to better standardize residency applications. Read the AMA's letter to figure out what we're concerned about. Also, CMS is planning to redistribute residency slots to weigh more heavily in underserved areas with low resident-to-population ratios.

Finally, check out The.Hidden.Curriculum, a "semi-anonymous" blog written by NYS med students to offer a cache of advice from med school social mores to wrapping your head around policy-speak.

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