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I honestly think it's awful how there's so much pressure to learn knowledge that for the most part isn't useful clinically or as a staff physician. However, I will agree that this will pass one day and that your performance on some basic science midterms has no bearing on how you'll be as a physician. Some of the most capable physicians I work with were never the brightest in pre clerkship and struggled with the material too. 

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On 9/29/2019 at 12:40 AM, blah1234 said:

However, I will agree that this will pass one day and that your performance on some basic science midterms has no bearing on how you'll be as a physician. 

Speak for yourself. I was recently called in the middle of the night for a trauma patient with life threatening intra-abdominal bleeding. Luckily I have memorized the entire Krebs cycle. It was the only thing that saved his life..

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  • 7 months later...

Hey I was wondering if anyone could comment if they think the curriculum has improved/were the admin receptive to the feedback?Or if they would have preferred going to another school? Recently got an offer and leaning towards western, but considering queens as well and this post has me a little worried about the brand new curriculum at western. 

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23 minutes ago, halimed said:

Hey I was wondering if anyone could comment if they think the curriculum has improved/were the admin receptive to the feedback?Or if they would have preferred going to another school? Recently got an offer and leaning towards western, but considering queens as well and this post has me a little worried about the brand new curriculum at western. 

maybe we should also ask this in the western thread - really interested to see if/how theyre implementing changes. maybe that one rep @CHG can chime in or people from the facebook group have some info

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32 minutes ago, halimed said:

Hey I was wondering if anyone could comment if they think the curriculum has improved/were the admin receptive to the feedback?Or if they would have preferred going to another school? Recently got an offer and leaning towards western, but considering queens as well and this post has me a little worried about the brand new curriculum at western. 

Hey! Thx @DrOzuma - I can try to help! 

Obviously there were some bumps along the road, as is to be expected with any new curriculum. What I found really great (and honestly unexpected) was that admin is constantly putting out surveys, talking with our student leaders, and our dean even meets with the entire class on a regular basis to get feedback, and then that feedback is implemented as quickly as possible when it's viable to do so. I was concerned coming in that admin were going to be very 'our new curriculum is the best we worked so hard on it don't question it' but it isn't like that at all. From talking with some 2022's the lecture/small group balance is way better with this curriculum. I think Western is really trying to move away from being known for a more didactic style of learning. The other thing that I really appreciate about the new curriculum is that our small groups are facilitated by physicians. I know at some schools small groups are left to work through cases on their own, but I find having a physician there to kinda lead you in the right direction or answer questions as you go helped me consolidate info from the lectures for sure. Of course there are always downsides, no program is perfect. I found that transitioning between blocks (i.e. cardio to resp) was a little difficult because each block is constructed by a different team and everybody does things a little differently. It would've been nice to see more communication between the blocks but that's feedback we put in and I expect that it will improve over time. Also there were a good chunk of components lost in the move online (i.e. those facilitated small groups became unfacilitated because physicians were suddenly much more busy than usual). I know for a fact that admin is very aware of this and is ensuring that if we have to return online in the fall the delivery of the curriculum will be much more planned out, including lining up physicians for small groups. I think there does have to be some level of understanding that of course things got a little messed up this semester, but I expect those problems to be sorted out over summer. 

It is very likely that no matter where you go you're going to feel overwhelmed in the beginning (I mean maybe you won't be I definitely was haha). Med school is not undergrad and it takes a hot second to find your rhythm and test out different study strategies and find a group of study buddies to share notes and consolidate topics. For some people that 'hot second' lasts a couple weeks and for some it lasts a couple months. In my opinion this curriculum hasn't made that transition any easier/harder than it would've been with the old curriculum. And perhaps now that we've smoothed out some of the bumps things will be even better for you guys! The great thing is that I promise you will always be able to look at a classmate nearby and whisper "I have no idea what's happening right now" and they'll nod in agreement. 

Of course this is just my opinion of the curriculum and maybe some of my classmates want to chime in as well ( @PEP2019 @yobologna @avocadomed2 any thoughts?). If you want to hear anything specific about the curriculum in more detail just shoot me a DM :) 

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1 hour ago, CHG said:

Hey! Thx @DrOzuma - I can try to help! 

Obviously there were some bumps along the road, as is to be expected with any new curriculum. What I found really great (and honestly unexpected) was that admin is constantly putting out surveys, talking with our student leaders, and our dean even meets with the entire class on a regular basis to get feedback, and then that feedback is implemented as quickly as possible when it's viable to do so. I was concerned coming in that admin were going to be very 'our new curriculum is the best we worked so hard on it don't question it' but it isn't like that at all. From talking with some 2022's the lecture/small group balance is way better with this curriculum. I think Western is really trying to move away from being known for a more didactic style of learning. The other thing that I really appreciate about the new curriculum is that our small groups are facilitated by physicians. I know at some schools small groups are left to work through cases on their own, but I find having a physician there to kinda lead you in the right direction or answer questions as you go helped me consolidate info from the lectures for sure. Of course there are always downsides, no program is perfect. I found that transitioning between blocks (i.e. cardio to resp) was a little difficult because each block is constructed by a different team and everybody does things a little differently. It would've been nice to see more communication between the blocks but that's feedback we put in and I expect that it will improve over time. Also there were a good chunk of components lost in the move online (i.e. those facilitated small groups became unfacilitated because physicians were suddenly much more busy than usual). I know for a fact that admin is very aware of this and is ensuring that if we have to return online in the fall the delivery of the curriculum will be much more planned out, including lining up physicians for small groups. I think there does have to be some level of understanding that of course things got a little messed up this semester, but I expect those problems to be sorted out over summer. 

It is very likely that no matter where you go you're going to feel overwhelmed in the beginning (I mean maybe you won't be I definitely was haha). Med school is not undergrad and it takes a hot second to find your rhythm and test out different study strategies and find a group of study buddies to share notes and consolidate topics. For some people that 'hot second' lasts a couple weeks and for some it lasts a couple months. In my opinion this curriculum hasn't made that transition any easier/harder than it would've been with the old curriculum. And perhaps now that we've smoothed out some of the bumps things will be even better for you guys! The great thing is that I promise you will always be able to look at a classmate nearby and whisper "I have no idea what's happening right now" and they'll nod in agreement. 

Of course this is just my opinion of the curriculum and maybe some of my classmates want to chime in as well ( @PEP2019 @yobologna @avocadomed2 any thoughts?). If you want to hear anything specific about the curriculum in more detail just shoot me a DM :) 

I agree with everything here, admin is super receptive and wants us to succeed and treat us fairly. Also the new curriculum has definitely spawned some amazing memes for our class to all laugh at together.

I will highlight that the school pairs you up with an academic coach that you meet with each month over your 4 years and they serve as a great mentor and jumping off point to network with physicians in your desired specialty or find researches for you to work with. We also had a family medicine placement in our first year (can't really happen with COVID right now) where we got to practice our clinical skills with real patients, talked to them, practiced giving immunizations, etc. I think the new curriculum is moving in the right direction of frequent, low/no stakes tests that give us feedback and focus on us being competent physicians instead of spitting out theoretical knowledge. Some things were slow to get started for our year because of the new curriculum but for 2024 its all in places so you can thank us for ironing out some of the bugs in our first term. Also Tuesdays off is such a blessing.

No one really knows what the fall will look like for y'all but admin is transparent and wants you to succeed so you're in good hands at Western.

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I can also attest to the stress of first semester because of all the independent learning modules, but it wasn't that bad. We complained enough that I'm sure they heard us loud and clear and will adjust accordingly. This semester hasn't been bad at all. The challenge they faced in the first term (Foundations of Medicine), was it was a new course in the way that they combined smaller courses into one and so they were working on kinks to make it flow better. They had a lot of really cool ideas to add (1-on-1 academic physician coaches, paired student to family physician for 12-20 half day shadowing, 4-year longitudinal research project). But with those new ideas all coming in at one time, there were growing pains to figure out timelines, get enough docs for the 1-on-1 pairs they advocated for.

The other challenge is that you're relearning how to learn. It's not like undergrad where you can memorize every fact. There's more volume of content and you have to be able to apply it, so it was stressful as people trial and error study methods - this was not a new curriculum thing, this is just a reality of starting a new program.

And to be completely honest, I think because it was dubbed a "new curriculum", people felt a lot more fired up to complain about things that weren't new curriculum issues (ex. docs not posting slides ahead of time, doc not showing up the small group and other frustrating admin things).

A final note - we went in blind. We didn't get that much support from the upper years because they just couldn't give us that much insight because it was a new curriculum. The incoming cohort will have our thoughts and feedback (ex. do not waste your time on some of those ILs for 1 Q on the exam and irrelevant clinical context), as well as relevant notes to share. We'll be able to provide a lot more support, which will hopefully help with the transition as well.

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