I am applying this cycle, so please excuse my scarcity of information at the moment. I will come back and update the rest of my information as soon as this cycle is over, since MDapps has really helped me up to this point.
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 06/24/2013
Undergraduate college: State School
Undergraduate Area of study: Engineering/Technology
I originally had high expectations for this place, but ended up not being blown away. The med students I met didn't seem all that enthusiastic about their school and most of them seemed to be there only because their family lived in the surrounding area (then again, I only talked to a few of them, so this is probably not a good representation of them, seeing as a majority of the school is Cali students). The curriculum was recently changed (P/F, integrated some classes together to make M1 about 8 weeks shorter, block scheduling M2, Wednesdays are either off or half days) and they seemed to really push their mannequins in place of real clinical experience during M1 and M2 years. Aside from not performing/teaching abortions at the teaching hospital, the Jesuit influence isn't that much of a big deal on campus. The class size (~175) is a little too big for my taste, and the thing that strikes me the most is that the curriculum is almost all lecture-based with very little PBL or small-group learning. Other than that, I can tell that student wellness is a HUGE deal with this school and that faculty/administration is very aware of their students' mental health and do everything they can to support the students. An impressive, diverse matchlist, coupled with a great clinical experience M3 and M4 means that this school more than prepares its students well for Step 1 and residency. Any research opportunities that are lacking, the school uses its connection to WashU to help out its students (said a med student I asked).
I interviewed with the Associate Dean of Admissions, who is literally a walking BS-detector. He asked such in-depth questions about my AMCAS activities that he almost knew my application better than I did! The conference room we were waiting in had breakfast and then after my morning interview, I sat through an M1 carbohydrates and lipids lecture. Tour groups were in groups of 10 and afterwards, we had lunch with M2 students and a short presentation on financial aid. All I can say is, bring comfortable shoes, because there's a lot of stairs on the tour!
On the day of my interview, the weather was a chilly 6F, which apparently was not normal for that time of year. My entire interview group, consisting of about 10 or so people, were all from the NE region and had all experience the cold, so I felt a little left out being the only one from sunny California. All of us, except for one interviewee had to take the shuttle off campus to the location of our interview. I had a morning interview and had to arrive at 8:30a even through my interview wasn't until 10a because the shuttle to the Montefiore Hospital took about 20 minutes or so. It gave us a little time to take in the surrounding area of the Bronx, and the directions they gave us to find our interviewer was sufficient, but I kind of wish that they would warn us individually in an email beforehand if our interview was off campus.
My interview was with Dr. Tova Koenigsberg, who I think I was matched with due to certain similarities between her accomplishments and interests that matched very well with the activities I had mentioned and emphasized on my application. It was a very relaxed interview - very conversational. Towards the end, we talked about her work in Radiology and how she ended up where she was in her field. She seemed very enthusiastic about Einstein and seemed to really want to sell the school to me.
When I came back to the admissions office at Einstein, the other interviewees and I waited until a couple MS2 students picked us up for a campus tour. The buildings are very nice and have a pleasing aesthetic. The classrooms were nice and there's an audio and video recording system set up to post lectures about 15-20 minutes after they are finished for students who want to stay at home and study. One of the MS2 I talked to seemed to really push for ECHO, the student-run clinic that most of the medical students participate in. In addition, Einstein seems very generous with research stipends and they always send many people to conferences and abroad for research during the summer. There's a tuition-free fifth year option for those interested in further research, and a Medical Spanish program that I was particularly interested in.
Lunch in the cafeteria was kosher, not surprising for a Jewish affiliated school, but I was told by numerous people that the religious affiliation did not have a strong presence on campus other than the cafeteria food and the fact that there might be a greater proportion of Jewish students on campus. Although the school is very primary care oriented, my interviewer, who was an AECOM alumni, as well as the current students, didn't feel forced into primary care and everyone agrees that the administration is very supportive if your interests happen to lie in any of the other specialties, shown by the diverse match list. Clinical experience seems to be very good. Depending on the year, MS2 students get a varying amount of time to study for STEP 1 (4-6 weeks) based on when Spring Break occurs. Rotations are based on a lottery system that assigns "blocks" of several rotations, but students are allowed to switch with other students for an entire "block." Financial aid can be very generous.
We were given a tour to see the on-campus apartments that everyone lived in - about a 5 minute walk from the Belfer Building. 28 stories tall, we got to see a penthouse on the 28 floor, which is bigger than the normal 3-bedroom apartments, but we were told the kitchen was the same size and the normal 3-bedroom apartments had slightly bigger bedrooms, even though the actual living space was less. The rent for the apartments seem relatively cheap compared to the rent in the surrounding area and the apartments are better furnished and bigger than I thought they would be.