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FeynmansGhost
04-10-2008, 10:26 PM
I have heard that there is basically no mechanism to obtain a good deans letter for residency applications after graduating from the Polish schools, particularly Poznan. Do any of you guys have any experience with this? Is it true, or is there a workaround?

I am looking at trying to obtain a residency in a more academic / research based program, and understand that this letter is basically critical for any of the better residency programs in the US.

Cheers

chexpool
04-12-2008, 03:08 PM
I goto PUMS, and from what i understand actually everyone gets a letter from the dean, yes its a almost purely fill in the blank; but honestly no one in the states is going to give a damn about that letter. They know exactly the level of credibility has, so its best to depend on letters of recommendation from your clinical rotations. If you get a recommendation from your target location well all the better no? Anyway this is what the upper years tell me GL...

FeynmansGhost
04-12-2008, 09:30 PM
Thank you very much for your reply. That actually does help quite a bit. Can you shine any light on the process for finding US-based rotations for your M4 year? Is there any significant bias against foreign medical students that you have been able to discern? And, are these rotations, and more specifically, their letters of recommendation, not too late for your residency applications? Is it possible to spend the 16 weeks of away-rotations in the US at the beginning of your M4 year, finishing off the remainder in Poland, or are they necessarily at the end of the year?

chexpool
04-13-2008, 03:11 PM
with clinicalls its all you, no help period. Its pretty much word of mouth from the upper years what to do.
Having said that.. everyone that passes step two from here that i know of got there residencies. Well making the match is up to you too... its all you here anyway by year 4 you expect nothing from the deans office. haha by year one you dont.

And yes people commonly do there 16 wks in the states, infact you have to go somewhere in year 4. well i guess you could stay too haha. god SOS those people. But its common for people to do it whenever i guess fall or winter.

hope that helps
GL

FeynmansGhost
04-14-2008, 01:26 PM
Yeah, that helps.

Can you tell me where you (or some of your friends) have placed for residencies? I have tried to find PUMS graduate placements on Google, and it's not easy...

chexpool
04-14-2008, 03:08 PM
well to be brief, and most accurate, i know people that went to Rochester, NY
, yale, mayo, Cleavland, detroit, new orleans, chicago, phili... and some of these people mentioned completed and are working in these places as well.

The residency thing is a hard one. unless they are a closer friend, residency is a one way door and people never look back at poznan, so you simply dont hear from them.

one key concept STEP 1 Grade: it makes you or breaks you... thats it..
GL.

FeynmansGhost
04-15-2008, 01:50 PM
You don't know where anyone has placed for their residency? That is a bit disheartening on its own. Are each of the year classes just completely insulated from other years? Also, is there not a general posting of where people placed? I would assume that this would be a major event and even sales point for the graduating classes.

LesniowskiCrohn
04-15-2008, 07:25 PM
You don't know where anyone has placed for their residency?

I think he/she just told you where.


I would assume that this would be a major event and even sales point for the graduating classes.

Mmmmm... nice try. It might be, but it ain't. The last thing a grad who has successfully matched somewhere wants to do is field random e-mails/phone calls from prospective applicants. What could they be selling?

chexpool
04-15-2008, 07:37 PM
if your asking if the classes are seperated. well, put it this way, out side of my IM group. i see maybe one other group at random so out of the 67 people in our class. I see on average tops 12, and thats only because there are in our ward, or in a combined class. I havent met anyone from year one this year... and i know some friends from a couple of other years that i play poker with or just connected. Other then that i mind my own... Mostly i guess you know the people you work with, live by, or play wiht ;)

The people that i know in residency however, are either my friends family's, my friends from other times, or associates of some sort.

Other then that there is no formal or informal, or concept of alumni.
Like i said after 4 years of POZ, you just dont want it... haha GL .

IF you want a good alumni association try going to NYU or something.

oh yeah, graduation here is more of a fizzle, not a bang. People just fade out after may 30... you see'm or you dont.

FeynmansGhost
04-15-2008, 08:43 PM
I think he/she just told you where.

No, actually, the way I read that, he/she just told me where people do their away rotations.



Mmmmm... nice try. It might be, but it ain't. The last thing a grad who has successfully matched somewhere wants to do is field random e-mails/phone calls from prospective applicants. What could they be selling?

Not for the students, perhaps, but for the school. For the university to be able to say "We placed X number of students at the following hospitals" would go far in attracting potential students. This is not for direct contact purposes - this is for raw data demonstrating a successful placement program.

FeynmansGhost
04-15-2008, 08:54 PM
Chexpool, I'm not looking for an alumni association or any of that pablum. I am a student that has worked in groups for the bulk of my upper division work, and was hoping to find more of that type of community in a medical school. From conversations that I have had with other medical students in the last couple of days, your description of not really being around people outside of your class and where you work is fairly typical. It was, from my naive perspective, unexpected though.

I very much appreciate your comments and suggestions with this, and I don't want to come across as critical or confrontational - please excuse me if I have.

The impression that I am getting from the bulk of the comments from the Poznan students is that the school provides classes, and that is all. You are responsible for your own examination scheduling (for the STEP 1 and 2), for your own extracurricular activities, for your own residency placement work, etc. Is this a fair assessment? And is this typical for all the schools in Poland (as far as you know, or if there are other students who would care to comment)?

Narcan
04-16-2008, 02:41 AM
You are totally on your own here. You have to figure it all out on your own.

chexpool
04-16-2008, 03:37 AM
haha well first off excuse my grumpiness; it was 330am when i wrote that stuff and i have a pathophys exam... I would say most schools in poland you are $$$$ and thats it. if you succeed or not or do whatever is you own problem. They just want there 50k GL and you get your shot at the steps. its all you. just like narcan says.. haha

devildoc8404
04-16-2008, 10:25 AM
I'm not a student at any European institution (yet), but from my understanding the concept of "marketing" isn't exactly well-understood by medical schools in former East-Bloc countries. Yeah, the schools would likely see long term benefits from creating an environment which would spawn alumni groups, or by keeping lists of their residency matches to entice excellent Western students to their school. However, they just aren't "programmed" to think along those lines, it's very focused on the here-and-now, pay-yer-tuition-you-capitalist, type of mindset. They have a niche market which sells their school to a certain subset of Western students every year, and they are seemingly happy with that rather than seeing what they COULD become.

When I was visiting a med school in Bulgaria recently, even with all of the booming changes in the economy there since joining the EU, customer service was almost non-existent... people simply aren't focused on their relationships with future customers very much. I think that attitude carries over to the medical schools and other institutions.

LesniowskiCrohn
04-16-2008, 10:35 PM
More students might equal more money, but more importantly more students equals more work, and though you may think that dropping $50k per student is a lot of money, in actuallity very little of it actually trickles down to the people that do the actual work. Hence, the fridgid responses most people here have experienced with the offices of these schools. They're not paid on commission, based on how many students are enrolled and what their "satisfaction level" is. Also, very little if any of that money is trickling down to the attendings that teach, unless they happen to be chiefs of their departments. The junior attending might get, literally, a few extra $ a month for their efforts. It's unfortunate, but the system still hasn't gotten out of its commie shell. Also, in case you haven't noticed here, plenty of people apply and go to places that come with giant warnings. It doesn't seem to hurt anyone's bottom lines, not the schools, not the agents. It's win-win for everyone.
Well, almost...

devildoc8404
04-17-2008, 09:26 AM
That was a great point, KluverB. The voice of experience, huh? :shock:

With regard to people paying to attend Giant Warning University... I guess it's true that there's one born every minute.

chexpool
04-17-2008, 06:24 PM
I'm not a student at any European institution (yet), but from my understanding the concept of "marketing" isn't exactly well-understood by medical schools in former East-Bloc countries. Yeah, the schools would likely see long term benefits from creating an environment which would spawn alumni groups, or by keeping lists of their residency matches to entice excellent Western students to their school. However, they just aren't "programmed" to think along those lines, it's very focused on the here-and-now, pay-yer-tuition-you-capitalist, type of mindset. They have a niche market which sells their school to a certain subset of Western students every year, and they are seemingly happy with that rather than seeing what they COULD become.

When I was visiting a med school in Bulgaria recently, even with all of the booming changes in the economy there since joining the EU, customer service was almost non-existent... people simply aren't focused on their relationships with future customers very much. I think that attitude carries over to the medical schools and other institutions.


Right on...

Let me add of the tradition of students being complete pooh pooh and professors being complete gods...

In poland its the master and the bat... you are the dog. 90% of the prof's hate you because you are an american, and you probably make more money from interest then they do the entire year.

They change stuff on the fly and dont tell you, and some flat out disrespect or ignore the entire class requests. like signing the god damn index's

FeynmansGhost
04-17-2008, 08:41 PM
Chexpool, Devildoc, and Kluver - all of these points are excellent, and not things that I think anyone who had not gone through the process would be as well aware of. Very much appreciated. I lived in Germany, and went to school there for several years, and think that I simply assumed that the Polish systems would more closely mirror my experiences in Munich than not. Clearly, this is not the case.

So, let me ask you this: If you had it all (from applications on, not college) to do again, would you have gone to Poland? Or would you have gone to a caribbean or other school?

devildoc8404
04-18-2008, 12:20 AM
With my experiences and readings of the programs in Poland so far, I think I will stick with Jagiellonian, or go elsewhere. That would appear, from what I can determine, to be the most comparable to school in Western Europe... and even Jag seems to have its shortfalls.

chexpool
04-18-2008, 01:20 PM
UJ has the same problem. Krakow is just nicer. For that matter there is a warning about UJ at the USA embassy; informing US nationals about student abuse that went on a couple of years ago. So choose your poison. Having said that krakow is a way more cultured (socially speaking)(international); so there is less of the kebabs (idoits/ neo nazi's). So my point being is a polish culture thing more then its a poznan/ krakow thing.

I have been trying to transfer there for two years :( haha. so yeah, if anywhere you go in poland. I would say only consider UJ, and beyond that prauge

To answer the question. If i wasnt 27 when i started here what i would have done.

Lets say you are 22 and fresh out of undergrad.

Best choice; do a masters in basic medical science in your target school, do well in the first year. you have 95% chance transfer into the MD program. So you spend a year working your medical chops; it can onlly help you, and time is not so much an issue at 22.

Next DO, yeah its less then an MD, but many school DO programs, like MSU for example are ranked top 10 within MD/DO rankings for primary care.

Following that; well its up in the air; caribbean or europe. if you have a EU passport, i say the EU may be a better option. But if you only american, well schooling in europe may sound romantic, but eastern europe is not venice.

And as for my friends at AUC, you get education, and you still get the drunk european chicks on vacation. So its a little bit of both worlds, with some deep sea fishing, and sailing involved in dec.

Price tags; well everything is expensive. But nothing is cheaper then polish medical schools.

GL ...

LesniowskiCrohn
04-18-2008, 09:28 PM
... But nothing is cheaper then polish medical schools....

That's not entirely true. Especially, now with the US $$ down in the dumps. UJ, for their part, did a smart thing recently and started charging tuition in Euros. Not sure about the 'embassy warning' chexpool refers to. At this point, UJ is the most competitive English program in Poland, especially with the Cali approval in their pocket. As for the overall education, it's been hashed over this way and that on these forums. It probably doesn't differ all that much from what you'll get at PUMS or Warsaw. Though, each has issues in their own right. Not sure what to think of any of the other schools in Poland or rest of eastern Europe. Yes, the "experience" is different than what you got in Munich (former Western Germany). The East still has some catching up to do. That isn't to say that the level of education is lower. It's not. It's just that student's expectations are higher. N.American education has gotten to a point where everything is handed on a silver platter. Hand-outs in all courses. What is asked on exams is spelled out in class and in those hand-outs, and god forbid, the course master strays from the syllabus. Students go running to their deans offices and complain. US med students literally have their bottoms wiped by their administration. Well, they spend a lot of money on their education. Why shouldn't they? Eastern Europe hasn't caught up with the times, yet. There, professors still wield a good deal of power and it's going to be a chilly day in heck before they relinquish it. Still, it's coming. I guess you can wait it out. I would do it all over again. :rolleyes:

chexpool
04-19-2008, 08:19 AM
First let me completely agree, UJ, is the only place to consider coming from the USA, the cali thing, the city, the school rep. Cant beat that.

To clarify the embassy warning, whether it exists now anymore i am not sure, but a few years back, the "student abuses" as described by my friends at UJ, was that professors were failing students on personal grudges against them which lead to rather large drama, leading to complaints to the embassy.


just one thing about syllabus; its a legal binding contract to protect students. our schedule and respective class schedules are in constant flux. which on many occasions hurt some peoples performance. its simply unethical/ unprofessional to change the program, give one day notice, and then punish the students. In my undergrad, you could look a year ahead to find out when your exams were, they never moved, so its a shock to some to deal with on the fly school.


The thing is about the silver platter. The reason that schools produce high step scores, is because yes its spoon fed, and the bar is higher; passing is 80% or so, not the 65% or sometimes 50% at PUMS. Its not like there isnt enough work to do anyway. So schools have handouts, ppt, forums, websites to provide you the tools that you pay for. Thats how UMGs get a 93% pass rate.

So yes, lets put it this way, you can either swim across the English channel, or take a fast boat. I guess you are strong for swimming, but in the end is enthalpy no?

GL guys,

LesniowskiCrohn
04-19-2008, 09:03 PM
...So yes, lets put it this way, you can either swim across the English channel, or take a fast boat. I guess you are strong for swimming, but in the end is enthalpy no? ... Well, not everyone gets on the fast boat. Then, these individuals go to med school outside N.America and find the "english channel" instead. Yet, they're expecting the fast boat to get them across. Enter entropy. Shenanigans ensue. Some go crying home to mama. Others flock to their embassy. The rest look for solace on these forums. "If you choose the quick and easy path... you will become an agent of evil." - Yoda

chexpool
04-20-2008, 06:57 AM
lol exactly like Nike says; just do it ;)

chexpool
04-20-2008, 06:58 AM
lol, just like nike says just do it. ;)

vavachi2004
04-23-2008, 10:20 AM
I have also been wondering on regards to this topic on Gdansk Medical School. They have told me that I am accepted but I have not been sent an admission paper stating this...is this normal?

annskimd
04-27-2008, 01:19 AM
It's just that student's expectations are higher. N.American education has gotten to a point where everything is handed on a silver platter. Hand-outs in all courses. What is asked on exams is spelled out in class and in those hand-outs, and god forbid, the course master strays from the syllabus. Students go running to their deans offices and complain. US med students literally have their bottoms wiped by their administration. Well, they spend a lot of money on their education. Why shouldn't they? Eastern Europe hasn't caught up with the times, yet. There, professors still wield a good deal of power and it's going to be a chilly day in heck before they relinquish it. Still, it's coming. I guess you can wait it out. I would do it all over again. :rolleyes:

you are very right on much of this Kluver, one thing i did not expect from here. i kind of saw it the "easy way" ,no way....it is a much bumpier road to take, first term kicks everyones ***, cause you simply think it is not different then back home but it is, the whole system is different, but you get affiliated by the end of the first year when many have already left cause they simply really wanted the "easy way".

chexpool
04-27-2008, 08:58 AM
guys i generally agree with the "easy way thing- meaning the high road is harder" but i would like to stress the "easy way" is first a lot harder (actual limits to retakes, no cheating, no repeated test, less joke classes, no favoritism for students; for example crying to a prof does not produce a curve) although the provide you with more technology and paper handouts. But in the end the "easy way" produces higher grades on the steps namely 93% (Not the 71%) first time passers, and nbme scores on average +500(not the 400's). So if i had to do it all over again, i would take the space ship, not the bike... haha GL having said that; there are somethings the school has that can not be found in the USA, but hell whatever.

devildoc8404
04-27-2008, 10:08 PM
The "easy way" isn't necessarily all that easy, as chexpool pointed out. The U.S. school I attended allows two retakes TOTAL throughout the first two years of medical school. More than that and you are dismissed (or withdraw, knowing that they will dismiss you). I know a handful of very intelligent students who have had to withdraw from medical school because they missed the cut-off for a class by one or two points. Several of them will find another path to becoming a physician, but it's not all peaches and cream in North America, either.







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