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Thread: A few specific and relatively uncovered questions/issues

  1. #1
    Generic is offline Newbie 510 points
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    A few specific and relatively uncovered questions/issues

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    Thank you all for your advice up til' now. As I await my interview date, there are just a few (a bunch) more things that I couldn't find answers to which are on my mind. I'd greatly appreciate insight from JUMC students. FYI, I'm an American 4 year program applicant who wants to return to USA.

    1. I've heard that most people with the drive to do so get 4th year US rotations. While browsing U Rochester's site, I found that they took 15 students from JUMC for rotations every year, which were not specified as English program or 4/6 year students (implying your chances of selection may be quite poor). When not going through schools that have a prearrangement with JUMC, how safe and explored are rotations in other US programs? I ask this because I know people who got screwed really hard by doing US rotations that couldn't be applied to their foreign degrees and thus creating licensure problems. Also, while reading up on UC Irvine's online instructions for international applicants to rotations, I found a clause that required applicants to already have prior experience in US rotations in order to apply. UC Irvine's site was the only UC school site from which I found specific information pertaining to the international rotation applicants, so this kind of clouds my whole understanding of the Jagiellonian-UC rotations agreement. It'd be great to hear that people are successful with UC rotation applications or have gotten into residency with rotations from other places.

    2. I don't think this will really be an issue but I did notice that while JUMC's 6 year English program is approved by US medical boards, some state medical boards now require a bachelor's degree for licensure of American doctors. Technically, this should present a problem to American citizens who complete 6 year programs abroad and only receive an MD, but I am kind of assuming that I'm missing something there. I'm personally going for the 4 year program, but people I know are applying to foreign 6 year programs.

    3. How does interviewing for residency programs in US during your 4th year work? Do you just try your hardest to schedule around and fly out to interview in America, and in that case what happens when you have to choose between missing school time and interviewing? I realize I may be misunderstanding the timing for residency matching, in which case it's an easy answer.

    4. There is a summer clerkship in the first year of the 4 year program. Are there any more practically mandatory things to do in Poland in the summers, and do you still have a summer break in the 3rd year? I'm assuming that official schedule and syllabus details are readily available once you're actually a student. When does the academic year usually end?

    5. Is the diploma in Polish and does it specify that you are a graduate of the School of Medicine in English? Rather, is the MD for the English program at all different from a normal Polish program JUMC MD? I'd probably prefer for it to be the normal JUMC MD rather than a different kind, but anyway it's just an interesting question to me.

    6. There is a provision in the recruitment charter that says that the program for a given year won't start without a minimum number of matriculants; is it safe to assume that this minimum (10 students for 4 year I think) is always met? I only ask because the ranking lists for accepted students make it look like only around 40 students are accepted to the 4 year program. Normally, US medical schools would expect only half of their admission offers to be accepted and therefore accept double the number of students they intend to enroll. While probably a stupid question, this is very important as it would be very crappy to turn down other med school offers and find at the last minute that your JUMC class is too small to start.

    7. Are there research opportunities with professors? How readily available?

    8. Here is the general understanding I've garnered of the attitude of classes in practice. Please correct me if I'm wrong. -The professor of a lecture class gives lectures. Sometimes these lectures can be unhelpful, but there isn't a fixation on attendance (as a counterexample, in small US colleges a lecture can be completely useless but attendance is either inherently or artificially made into a necessary factor of success, often because of the professor's personal values/ego which are irrelevant to learning). As such, there is no practical penalty for not attending inefficient lectures in order to instead study independently with your time. In the end, all that matters is that you learn the material somehow and then perform on exams (for lecture classes). Profs generally won't do things just to hurt people who decide not to attend class, and not attending does not grossly offend their pride.- This of course brings up the question of what happens when (as I've read occurs in a past post) literally nobody or almost nobody shows up to lectures. In such a case, I can only imagine that a professor would have to be uninterested in teaching that lecture to not be offended to some degree. If this is a sensitive topic, feel free to PM me about it.


    I'd greatly appreciate insight even if you're not positive on something.

    This turned out to be a pretty long post>.>. Thank you very much in advance for your help.

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    Rotten is offline Junior Member 517 points
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    These are all very good questions. As a recent graduate of UJ's 4 year program, I hope that I can be of some help. See below:

    (1) I did a full 12 weeks at Rochester in the late summer/early fall of my final year. Late in your 3rd year, Dr. J (from Rochester) personally interviews everyone and, based upon that interview, and in conjunction with your grade in his class, he approves you for these rotations. There was one small caveat, however: They essentially rank students and, based upon your ranking, you get first dibs on choice of rotations. Also, those near the top of the "rankings" hear from Rochester and, essentially, get the "ok" first. For example, I was high enough up the list that I pretty much knew when I was going to UR and for how long by the beginning of July or so. There were a few that knew before me, and many that knew after. Because there is a wait, people further down the list apply to many other places and end up using UR as a backup. Generally, other schools US are pretty amenable to having foreign students rotate; some are free (VCU comes to mind), some charge a bit, and some charge an arm and a leg (Ivy Schools, UNC-CH). I didn't do the California thing, though several of my classmates did. Consequently, I don't have much insight to offer with regards to that. I do know, however, that UJ has a special agreement with UCLA, UCI, UCSD, and Loma Linda, and the "prior US clinical experience rules" do not apply to us. Also, there is a UJ grad now doing residency at UCSD.

    There were people in my class who bounced around to numerous places, accumulating clinical experience (and LORs) across US and, in some cases, Canada. Because I was cash-strapped, I went for UR for 12 weeks (@ $100/week), VCU (free), and did my OBGYN weeks back in Poland at UJ. I grabbed all my LORs before September, had my ERAS submitted on day 1 and matched successfully.

    (2) Don't know about **/BA requirements, though I would think that would differ state by state. I do know plenty of people who haven't had bachelors degrees now practicing; I doubt that will change anytime soon. Perhaps this only pertains to domestic applicants when license time rolls arond?

    (3) Re: interviews. I can relay you my experience. After 3rd year (early July, I think), I went home and spent the next month studying for Step 2 CK. I started electives in Rochester in the beginning of August, and carried on there until mid-October. In early September, I submitted my ERAS. Based upon Step 1 scores alone, I managed to get some interviews straight away; some programs wait till a bit later to extend invitations. I scheduled my interviews mostly during the month of December (I was doing a peds elective then, they were cool about me missing a few days). I also managed to take a few weeks off before going back to Poland the second week of Jan; I did more interviews before/after x-mas, and before/after new years. It was very hectic, very expensive, and I recall being very relieved to have it behind me. But all-in-all, it was doable.

    (4) No just one month in the summer between first and second year. I did mine in Poland, because I liked it there, was eager to experience Krakow in the summer, and the school set it up for me. People with better connections (read: parents who are physcians), tended to go home and do something clinical.

    (5) You get the official Polish diploma and English copies. You also get an old-school Latin copy, which is pretty cool, though more or less ornamental.

    (6) This rule is archaic. This isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

    (7) Research opportunities? Well, kind of. There were people who did some work with clinical research, but it was mostly helping out with patient follow-ups and things of that nature. I suspect people did this with the hopes of getting a courtesy 4th or 5th authorship come publication time. I'm not sure that worked. The classes behind me started a research club, ostensibly to pair med students with research faculty of the same interests. Perhaps DaveMD or bigndude can comment on this more. My 0.02 on research at UJ? If it's just to pad your residency application, don't bother. First off, "ivory tower" research-heavy residencies that normally require such undertakings from their applicants aren't interested in foreign grads. Period. So, unless your research nets you a Nobel prize, skip it and kill, I mean absolutely murder Step 1. This will go a whole lot further to matching you come residency time.

    (8) I'm not a class person. I've never been one, I'll never be one. So, generally, if I could skip, I skipped. But, generally, I kept up with my work. Skipping does engender a certain lax attitude; it's important to not give into this. Sometimes, they make class mandatory; people whine and moan, blah blah blah. Some profs are very good, some not so good. Now that I'm a resident, I hear the same from the students at our med school. It really opened up my eyes that things aren't really *that* different from PL to the US. For the most part, the exams were straightforward, it not a bit overly concerned with minutae, but they were fair. I can't think of any instance under which people were penalized for not attending non-mandatory lectures. There are a few oral exams, which I actually liked. For me, the motivation to not look like a moron in front of your classmates and faculty was very powerful.

    As you can tell, I have a very positive outlook on UJ altogether. It got me to where I want to be in life, and I had a helluva good 4 years getting here. I would recommend it to anyone. But, one thing to bear in mind: THIS IS NOT A US/CANADIAN MEDICAL SCHOOL. When you go to UJ, you are implicitly agreeing to undertake your medical study in, for lack of better terms, "the Polish way." YOU have the responsibility to get all you can out of their curriculum and pass the boards. People who succeed here are those who take ownership over their destiny, work hard, and get it done. Unfortunately, not everyone does succeed and, more often that not, it is those who expect extensive hand-holding and "spoon-feeding" of material that find themselves unsuccessful. Or they party too much and flunk out.

    Hope that helped. Once again, you asked great questions that, in my opinion, show you are considering what's really important.

  3. #3
    Generic is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks a lot Rotten; I really appreciate your response. Your post was great and covered everything I wanted to know.

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    bidiboom is offline Permanently Banned
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    Rotten may I ask some more details about your answers (by the way both the questions and the answers are really helpful for all of us, thanks Generic, Rotten ):

    1) Out of clinical experience part or clerkship, how is the theoretical part over there? Did/didnt you get any theoretical lecture during your 12 weeks USCE in Rochester? And who were teaching you in Rochester, school profs or attendings/residents(I am not asking about clinical experiences, its only about theoretical lectures)? And generally speaking, is it enough to do a 12-week USCE for a good residency position?
    This theoretical part may be weird for you when its asked about USCE, but I try to see the system over there.

    2) May I ask (a very personal question, if you dont reply no problem), what were your USMLE scores?

    3) How is the clinical setting and clinical experience in Jagiellonian? I know that the university hospital for adults is a 1.300-bed setting with 750.000 outpatients (forgot the inpatient no). Can the intl.students get a decent clinical experience? Is the language change from English to Polish create a serious barrier? The school, I mean Jag, in its "extramural clinical rotations" page says,

    "...However, doing core rotations abroad during 3rd year of 4-year program is not recommended by the School..."

    This made me think (regarding the successful outcomes of Jag) they think the quality of the clinical experience (and the parallel theoreticals) in university hospital and with the profs. of Jag. during core rotations is more beneficial for the students in Jag instead of elsewhere. I interpreted that way? How do you think?

    By the way, I cant help saying this: Its really great to see someone made it to a residency position successfully and feels good, this made me feel good too, congratulations

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    Quote Originally Posted by bidiboom View Post
    1) Out of clinical experience part or clerkship, how is the theoretical part over there? Did/didnt you get any theoretical lecture during your 12 weeks USCE in Rochester? And who were teaching you in Rochester, school profs or attendings/residents(I am not asking about clinical experiences, its only about theoretical lectures)? And generally speaking, is it enough to do a 12-week USCE for a good residency position?
    This theoretical part may be weird for you when its asked about USCE, but I try to see the system over there.
    During clinical years (MS3 and MS4) in the US and Canada, there are usually no didactics specific for medical students. Although, depending on the speciality and the program, you may be attending lectures geared towards residents and fellows, and may even be asked or required to give a lecture yourself, which may be part of your assessment. 12-weeks is enough to get the 2-3 LORs you'll need for the Match application.

    Quote Originally Posted by bidiboom View Post
    3) ... The school, I mean Jag, in its "extramural clinical rotations" page says,
    "...However, doing core rotations abroad during 3rd year of 4-year program is not recommended by the School..."

    This made me think (regarding the successful outcomes of Jag) they think the quality of the clinical experience (and the parallel theoreticals) in university hospital and with the profs. of Jag. during core rotations is more beneficial for the students in Jag instead of elsewhere. I interpreted that way? How do you think?
    This has more to do with some specific State rules; Illinois and NY come to mind. Though the details are somewhat fuzzy, so someone who is in the know should chime in.

    NY had a limit of 12 weeks max rotations in NY if you were an IMG (or from outside NY) enforced at the time of doing rotations as med student. Again, I don't remember the details. Some Canadian hospitals also have this limit.

    IL, on the other hand, had some licensing rules that required you to complete most of your training at one institution. Again, I don't recall the details. However, it was usually not an issue, since most of the clerkships you may do away from UJ are in lieu of rotations you would do at UJ, ie. peds, IM, surg, fam med, etc. They will allow you to do these rotations for the clinical portion, but you are still required to pass your exams back at UJ. So, ultimately, your grade in from UJ, and shows up as such in your transcript.

  6. #6
    Rotten is offline Junior Member 517 points
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    1) Out of clinical experience part or clerkship, how is the theoretical part over there? Did/didnt you get any theoretical lecture during your 12 weeks USCE in Rochester? And who were teaching you in Rochester, school profs or attendings/residents(I am not asking about clinical experiences, its only about theoretical lectures)? And generally speaking, is it enough to do a 12-week USCE for a good residency position?
    This theoretical part may be weird for you when its asked about USCE, but I try to see the system over there.

    KluverB touched upon this, but I'll contribute. Rotating medical students usually attend conferences that range from core medicine lectures, pathology rounds, EKG interpretation rounds, infectious disease rounds, resident/fellow case presentations, etc. Usually they are pretty useful, but you're here mainly for the clinical experience; that is, picking up patients, doing comprehensive H&Ps, presenting patients to the team, and formulating differential diagnoses and plans of treatment. At this level, it's more about the application of the theory you've already learned (or should be learning on your own time).

    2) May I ask (a very personal question, if you dont reply no problem), what were your USMLE scores?

    95/92/pass; not stellar, but good enough to match to a university based IM program, which was my goal from the start.

    3) How is the clinical setting and clinical experience in Jagiellonian? I know that the university hospital for adults is a 1.300-bed setting with 750.000 outpatients (forgot the inpatient no). Can the intl.students get a decent clinical experience? Is the language change from English to Polish create a serious barrier? The school, I mean Jag, in its "extramural clinical rotations" page says,

    "...However, doing core rotations abroad during 3rd year of 4-year program is not recommended by the School..."

    In short, the clinical experience is what you make of it. There is a lot of "go do the H&P, present the patient, talk about the plan." Typically, you will be precepted by young, bright clinical faculty at UJ who, if you are an enthusiastic learner, will reciprocate your enthusiasm. It's not quite the same experience as here, but patients are patients and, at least in the western world, illness is illness. You can learn a ton at UJ if you endeavor to do so. And, while it is unlikely that you will develop adequate fluency to be too independent, it is possible to work through a translator.

    Core rotations during third year should not be done away. This is for eventual licensing reasons.


    This made me think (regarding the successful outcomes of Jag) they think the quality of the clinical experience (and the parallel theoreticals) in university hospital and with the profs. of Jag. during core rotations is more beneficial for the students in Jag instead of elsewhere. I interpreted that way? How do you think?

    Not sure I understand the question.

    By the way, I cant help saying this: Its really great to see someone made it to a residency position successfully and feels good, this made me feel good too, congratulations

    Dude, almost everyone from my class who applied got something. If you do your work and get all your ducks in order, it really isn't that difficult.

    [/QUOTE]

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    bidiboom is offline Permanently Banned
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    Wow! A lot of feedback.. thanks a lot guys

    May I ask one more q: How many of your classmates ended up in a residency program? I ask of course about the ones who planned a future in US/CA? Is there anybody who couldnt make it?

    Besides, do you have any idea about a new hospital which is planned to be finished in 2012? It takes place as a sentence in Jag.s website and I found a news about it:
    University hospital, Krakow | Arup | A global firm of consulting engineers, designers, planners and project managers
    Do you have any idea about whether we, the intl students too, will have access to its facilities?

    Again thank you both, you're really enlightening

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    Quote Originally Posted by bidiboom View Post
    May I ask one more q: How many of your classmates ended up in a residency program? I ask of course about the ones who planned a future in US/CA? Is there anybody who couldnt make it?
    From my graduating class, everyone that I know of (one person lost to follow up) went back to US/Canada for residency. From what I know, we are all in our chosen fields, and did pretty well overall in the matches (or without them as the case may be).

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    bidiboom is offline Permanently Banned
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    Thank you KluverB, its really a very valuable feedback. I was expecting a similar success rate, but not that much. Thats an honour really for both the school and the grads. Congratulations..

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    bidiboom is offline Permanently Banned
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    Rotten said above about the USCE opportunity in Jag:

    ... They essentially rank students and, based upon your ranking, you get first dibs on choice of rotations. Also, those near the top of the "rankings" hear from Rochester and, essentially, get the "ok" first. For example, I was high enough up the list that I pretty much knew when I was going to UR and for how long by the beginning of July or so. There were a few that knew before me, and many that knew after. Because there is a wait, people further down the list apply to many other places and end up using UR as a backup. Generally, other schools US are pretty amenable to having foreign students rotate; some are free (VCU comes to mind), some charge a bit, and some charge an arm and a leg (Ivy Schools, UNC-CH). I didn't do the California thing, though several of my classmates did. Consequently, I don't have much insight to offer with regards to that. I do know, however, that UJ has a special agreement with UCLA, UCI, UCSD, and Loma Linda, and the "prior US clinical experience rules" do not apply to us. Also, there is a UJ grad now doing residency at UCSD...
    and I said about Jag and their affiliations for USCE in another thread to a friend :

    ... Jag students say only the good students go to US for clinical experience...
    and naturally he said

    ... The thing is: "good" students can get US clinical electives on their own with little help from a foreign school beyond delaying graduation a bit...
    Are the Jag students really all (generally speaking all) good? If almost all of the Jag grads can find a residency, then almost all have good USMLE scores, can have USCE, LoRs etc. So there is no need to lean on the university. Am I right?

    Also I wonder for how many students does Jag arrange USCE over its affiliates in US? In a 40-seat class for instance, (though regarding the graduates list, they drop to about 30some at the end), in 30some students in a class, how many are arranged a place for USCE by Jag, I just wonder..

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