Medical Student Interviews
Michele Cabeza, MS1
The Baylor College of Medicine is located in Houston, Texas and includes the College of Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, and the National School of Tropical Medicine. The campus is on the worlds largest health center, Texas Medical Center. The College of Medicine is both a consistently top-rated program and the most affordable private medical school in the nation. Class size is roughly 185 medical students with a heavy proportion coming from within Texas. Baylor is affiliated with many of the hospitals within the encompassing Texas Medical Center, which in all is comprised of 54 medical-related institutions. The College of Medicine offers MD/PhD, MD/MBA, MD/MPH, and MD/JD degree options.
The first two terms of MS1 are dedicated to ‘Foundations Basic to the Science of Medicine’. The course integrates material from a variety of basic science courses including Biochemistry, Genetics, and Physiology. The subject matter in these courses is covered through didactic sessions, small group problem solving sessions, and laboratory sessions. The remainder of first year introduces Principles of Pathology and Immunology, Pharmacology, and Gross Anatomy. Behavioral Science and Ethics are also included in first year. MS2 year are dominated by Pathology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology in an organ-based, modular teaching style. During this year, students also gain greater exposure to hospitalized patients and clinical scenarios. The Clinical Curriculum begins in January of second year. Core clerkships include Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, OB/Gyn, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery.
— Pathways: The Baylor College of Medicine has developed Pathways that allow students to explore personal interests within the healthcare field in a systematic fashion and to receive recognition for doing so Examples of Pathways include the Medical Research Pathway and Space Medicine Pathway. These Pathways included additional didactic sessions taught by experts in the area (both from within and outside the College of Medicine) as well as associated research electives. If applicable, sessions also occur at sites outside the College of Medicine, as is the case for the Space Medicine Pathway which occurs at the Center for Space Medicine.
— Learning Communities: The Learning Communities are effectively longitudinal mentor groups led by faculty members. Students have access one-on-one advising sessions during which time faculty mentors can help students work through educational challenges and planning as well as as career options. The mentorship continues from Year 1, all the way to the culmination of each students medical education and awarding of the M.D.
Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States. Nearly 40% of Houston’s population is younger than 24 years old. Given a quarter of Houston’s residents are foreign born, Houston easily represents one of the most diverse communities in the nation. Houston is known for an extremely affordable cost of living although it is amongst the top 20 most populous cities in the country. Houston as a city is the 24th largest economy in the world with a large variety of Fortune 1000 companies, performing and visual art venues, and professional sports teams. The city has plenty of outdoor options for the adventurous including many parks and biking and hiking trails.
Foundational Sciences courses in first and second year are graded only Pass/Fail. Patient, Physician, Society courses and clinical clerkships are graded Honors/High Pass/Pass/Marginal Pass/Fail.
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