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  • Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center School of Medicine
  • Allopathic Medical School
  • Richmond, VA
Individual Feedback 5 7 Responses
General Info

What graduating class are you in?

Response # Responders
2007 0
2008 0
2009 0
2010 3
2011 0
2012 2
2013 0
2014 1
2015 0
2016 0
2017 0
2018 1
2019 0
2020 0
2021 0
2022 0
2023 0
2024 0

Are you pursuing any joint degrees (MD/PhD, MD/MPH, etc.)?

Response # Responders
No 7
DO/PhD 0
MD/PhD 0

Are you considered in-state or out-of-state for tuition purposes?

Response # Responders
in-state 5
out-of-state 2
international 0
Not applicable 0

What is your race/ethnic background?

Response # Responders
Caucasian 6
African American 0
Hispanic 0
Asian or Pacific Islander 0
Native American/ Native Alaskan 0
Other/Multiracial 1

Overall, how would you rate this medical program?

Response Avg # Responders
7.43 7

0 = terrible, 10 = world class

What is the reputation of the school in the medical community?

Response Avg # Responders
6.57 7

0 = really bad, 10 = top tier

What is the reputation of the research that goes on at this school?

Response Avg # Responders
5.57 7

0 = really bad, 10 = top tier

What was your MCAT score?

Response Average # Responders
515 7

What was your undergrad GPA?

Response Average # Responders
3.32 7

What was your undergrad science GPA?

Response Average # Responders
3.41 7

What was the zip code of your residence in high school?








What do you like most about this school?

"Diversity of students, patients, and cases seen on rotations" | Report Response

"-clinical experience great -board prep excellent -strong match outcomes" | Report Response

"Some great professors and deans who are always willing to help a student in need. Linda Costanzo, physiology guru!" | Report Response

"The clinical experience really is top notch. I was allowed to do things that students at other schools never got the chance. I did multiple paracenteses, I opened during surgical cases and even got to sew using the Da Vinci surgical robot." | Report Response

"My fellow medical students here are really cool. Most of them are laid-back and have fun when they are working." | Report Response

"Solid board preparation." | Report Response

"Dr. Costanzo does a board review course for Step 1 (she is the author of BRS Physiology). The hospital is incredible for 3rd-year clerkships." | Report Response

What do you like least about this school?

"Research ease" | Report Response

"-financial aid office is not helpful -hard to schedule electives during M3" | Report Response

"Foundations of Clinical Medicine could be better integrated. Wish we had more simulation time in our first two years." | Report Response

"?" | Report Response

"THE ADMINISTRATION!!! They are totally unresponsive to student concerns. Student mistreatment is a HUGE problem at VCU. Anytime student mistreatment occurs here, the administration always sides with the faculty member who is being charged with mistreatment. Also, students are discriminated against here for everything from having ADD to outside activities." | Report Response

"Preclinical science year Foundations of Clinical Medicine course." | Report Response

"It's in the south." | Report Response

Please provide any other general comments on your school

"-had a great time" | Report Response

"The board prep is excellent." | Report Response

"I am currently interviewing for residency. I have double 99 (averaged over 250 on steps I and II) so I got interviews at competitive programs. i cannot tell you how many interviewers have never heard of VCU. I have to explain at every interview that I do not go to UVA. I would not go here unless you have no other options. I only applied to three medical schools, and ended up going here to save money on in-state tuition. Apply broadly. Good luck." | Report Response


How is the curriculum structured?

Response # Responders
Systems-based 4
Traditional 3

How many courses are taken at a given time?

Response # Responders
1 4
2 2
3 1
4 0
5 0
6 0
7 0
8 0
9 0
10 0

How long are you typically in class per day?

Response # Responders
<1 hour 0
1-2 hours 0
2-3 hours 0
3-4 hours 4
4-5 hours 3
5-6 hours 0
6> hours 0

Are courses recorded for medical students?

Response # Responders
Video recording 6
Free note taking service 2
Fee-based note taking service 0
Powerpoint slides provided only 4
None 0

How many days per week is anatomy lab?

Response # Responders
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
5 6
6 0
7 1

How many students per cadaver?

Response # Responders
Prosections only 0
1-2 0
3-4 1
5-6 4
7-8 2
>8 0

How long (in months) do you have anatomy?

Response # Responders
3 months 6
6 months 1
9 months 0
12 months 0
24 months 0

Is the curriculum lecture-centric or small-group centric?

Response Avg # Responders
3.14 7

0 = 100% lecture, 10 = 100% small group

Are standardized patients used?

Response # Responders
yes 7
no 0

How much patient interaction is there in the pre-clinical years?

Response Avg # Responders
5.00 7

0 = none, 10 = extensive

Are syllabi provided for the student?

Response # Responders
yes 7
no 0

What books are necessary?

"All have PDFs...Only true needed resourced are Qbank, Pathoma, SketchyMicro, and FirstAid" | Report Response

"-course texts are available for free in med school computer lab if you don't want to purchase them -easy to buy used books from upperclassmen" | Report Response

"Goljan, Micro Made Simple, First Aid" | Report Response

"Bates Guide to Physical Exam An Anatomy atlas (I like netters and Rohen) The Haines Neuroanatomy atlas" | Report Response

"Bates" | Report Response

"None." | Report Response

Location & Housing

How do you feel about the location of the school?

Response Avg # Responders
7.29 7

0 = Uncomfortable, 10 = Desirable

Do you feel safe on campus?

Response Avg # Responders
6.71 7

0 = Not safe, 10 = Very safe

How available and convenient is public transportation?

Response Avg # Responders
6.43 7

0 = Non-existent, 10 = Extensive & convenient

Is a car necessary at any point during your education here?

Response # Responders
Pre-clinical years 1
Clinical years 1
All years 4
No 1

If a car is required for education, how available and convenient is the parking provided to students?

Response Avg # Responders
4.71 7

0 = Almost impossible, 10 = Available & convenient

Is on-campus housing available?

Response # Responders
yes 6
no 1

What is the quality of available on-campus housing?

Response Avg # Responders
5.00 7

0 = terrible, 10 = great

What percentage of your medical school classmates would you estimate live on campus, if on-campus housing is available?

Response Avg # Responders
1.29 7

0 = 0%, 10 = 100%

Is couples housing available?

Response # Responders
yes 1
no 2

Is nearby off-campus housing available?

Response # Responders
yes 6
no 0

How expensive is nearby off-campus housing?

Response Avg # Responders
8.43 7

0 = exorbitant, 10 = reasonable

Please describe the on-campus housing if available (i.e., cost, type - studios, 1-br, 2-br, etc.)?

"Almost no one lives on the on-campus housing. Apartments are relatively cheap in Richmond. The more expensive apts run $1400 for a 2 bedroom. I live in a 2 bedroom about 2.5 miles from campus (10-15 min drive even in rush hour) for $1060/mo (split between 2 people)" | Report Response

Cost/Financial Aid

Are fees/tuition expensive?

Response Avg # Responders
4.57 7

0 = exorbitant, 10 = reasonable

How is the cost of living (rent, food, bills, etc.)?

Response Avg # Responders
6.57 7

0 = exorbitant, 10 = reasonable

Are many institutional scholarships/grants available?

Response Avg # Responders
4.86 7

0 = none, 10 = many

Is institutional aid need-based or merit-based?

Response # Responders
Need-based 1
Merit-based 0
Both 5


Are faculty members very open to students during office hours?

Response Avg # Responders
8.14 7

0 = Not at all, 10 = Very open

Are faculty members very available to students via email/message board?

Response Avg # Responders
8.86 7

0 = Not at all, 10 = Very available

Are there many opportunities to shadow/work with clinical faculty?

Response Avg # Responders
8.00 7

0 = none, 10 = lots

Are the faculty willing to mentor students in regards to career guidance?

Response Avg # Responders
7.86 7

0 = no, 10 = very

Is the class ranked?

Response # Responders
yes 5
no 1

How is the instructional faculty during clinical years?

"Solid" | Report Response

"-great instruction" | Report Response

"Really excellent on average. Most attendings do teaching rounds where a few times a week you sit down and they teach a pertinent subject. Of course there are the normal teaching rounds during actual rounds where they will discuss pertinent topics about that patient and go over important clinical maneuvers." | Report Response

"More approachable" | Report Response

What is the grading scale used during pre-clinical years?

"P/F but students are also placed into quartiles. Specific classes are issued a numeric value on a 100 percent scale" | Report Response

"Honors/High Pass/Pass/Marginal/Fail" | Report Response

"Fail, Marginal Pass, Pass, High Pass, Honors" | Report Response

"Fail, Marginal, Pass, High Pass, Honors" | Report Response

"H/HP/P/M/F" | Report Response

">92 Honors 86-91.9 High Pass ~70-85.9 Pass" | Report Response

Clinical Rotations

Are the desired rotation sites easy to obtain?

Response Avg # Responders
6.71 7

0 = difficult, 10 = easy

Is desired rotation order easy to obtain?

Response Avg # Responders
5.43 7

0 = difficult, 10 = easy

Are the elective rotations easy to obtain?

Response Avg # Responders
6.00 7

0 = difficult, 10 = easy

Is there substantial hands-on experience for medical students?

Response Avg # Responders
6.29 7

0 = none, 10 = substantial

Are the rotation sites conveniently accessible for medical students?

Response Avg # Responders
6.00 7

0 = difficult, 10 = accessible

How far are the clinical sites from the main campus?

Response Avg # Responders
7.86 7

0 = far away, 10 = close

How are clinical rotations scheduled? What are the required rotations?

"Lottery. Required rotations are Ob, Peds, IM, Psych, Neuro, Surgery, Family Medicine, and Ambulatory" | Report Response

"Peds, Surgery, Family, Neuro, Psych, OBGYN, Medicine" | Report Response

"Yes they are scheduled. 4 weeks FP (outpatient) 4 weeks Neurology (both inpatient and outpt) 6 weeks OB/GYN (mostly inpt with some outpt clinics) 6 weeks Psych (all do some inpt, some do all inpt) 8 weeks surgery (all inpt) 8 weeks peds (4wks inpt, 4 outpt) 12 weeks medicine (8 inpatient, 4 outpt)" | Report Response

"Surgery, IM, FM, Peds, Neuro, Psych, OB/GYN" | Report Response

What responsibility do med students have on the wards?

"Manage their (1-4) patients" | Report Response

"-as much responsibility as you seek out" | Report Response

"Each will carry multiple patients. They will admit the pt and write an H&P when they enter the hospital (so will the intern). They will follow that patient during their entire hospital course and present on that patient every morning. During those morning presentations they will discuss the change in clinical status and offer their own plan as to what should be done. The attending will then discuss their plan and the merits and why that course or another should be taken. In the OR they will scrub for every case and will assist (generally not first assist). In OB they will help deliver babies doing a few on their own, will do tons of pelvics, ultrasounds and other stuff." | Report Response

"Pre-rounding on all patients" | Report Response

What is the status/condition of the affiliated hospital(s)?

"Medical University and a Veterans Hospital" | Report Response

"-both MCV hospital and VAMC are in pretty decent shape, though the VA is a bit run-down" | Report Response

"MCV Hosp is a roughly 800 bed hospital on the medical campus. The vast majority of rotations are here. It is attached to where you take classes first and second year. The hospital is in good shape. We have a large level 1 trauma center that sees the major trauma for central Va, we have a new critical care tower (that is gorgeous) so all of our ICUs are brand new. This hospital has been taking students since the 1800s so it is a great place to train. There is also a VA medical center that is one of the largest VAs in the country. That is right down the road (10min drive) and you can choose do do some rotations like surgery here. All students must do 4 weeks of in patient medicine there. Outside of that 4 weeks, you can choose to do some rotations there. INOVA- 24 students choose to go up to northern virginia to do rotations here. This is almost universally people who grew up in northern Va so they stay with their parents. There are a ton of students each year from NoVa so there is often a waitlist for this program. You will not be forced to go if you dont want to." | Report Response

"Average" | Report Response

"Excellent condition." | Report Response

"Both are huge (even the VA is >400 beds)" | Report Response

What is the typical patient population medical students work with?

"Underserved / Minority" | Report Response

"-at MCV hospital it is largely a mix of inner-city indigent and the poor with lots of referrals for weird stuff mixed in, great mix -the VA is a mix of 50+ older male vets with chronic conditions as well as active-duty injured soldiers" | Report Response

"For the most part, the patients are the indigent, underserved patients of Richmond. MCV/VCU serves almost all of the indigent patients of Richmond and more than half of the indigent patients in the state of Virginia. I would guess 60% are African American, 10% are latino, and 30% are white." | Report Response

"Poor. Urban. Non-compliant." | Report Response

"Inner city population." | Report Response

Social Environment

Do students do a lot of activities outside of school together?

Response Avg # Responders
8.43 7

0 = none, 10 = lots

How would you rank student involvement in extracurricular clubs?

Response Avg # Responders
6.57 7

0 = none, 10 = lots

What is the range of extracurricular clubs available?

Response Avg # Responders
7.57 7

0 = almost none, 10 = wide range

Is the student body cooperative or competitive?

Response Avg # Responders
6.57 7

0 = competitive, 10 = cooperative

Is the environment supportive for underrepresented minorities?

Response Avg # Responders
6.86 7

0 = no, 10 = very

Is the environment supportive for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transsexual students?

Response Avg # Responders
5.29 7

0 = no, 10 = very

Is the environment supportive for married students?

Response Avg # Responders
6.86 7

0 = no, 10 = very

Is the environment supportive for students with disabilities?

Response Avg # Responders
4.86 7

0 = no, 10 = very

Is the environment supportive for older/non-traditional students?

Response Avg # Responders
6.86 7

0 = no, 10 = very

What do the students typically like to do in the area?

"Socialize, City festivals, Hike/Run/Bike, Outdoor Activities, River Activities, Beach trips, ski trips" | Report Response

"-lots of outdoor activities -drink/party" | Report Response

"Play sports together (basketball, golf) volunteer at free clinics, go out, go to shows or plays, hang out at Belle Island, run (lots of marathoners) and normal everyday life stuff." | Report Response

"Drink heavily. Hike. Mountain bike. Go to VA Beach. See live music. Wine tours. Team sports." | Report Response

"Abundant outdoor activities available. James River runs right through the city." | Report Response

Post Graduation

What do you believe residency directors think about graduates from this program?

"Solid but not the best" | Report Response

"-during residency interviews I got very good feedback from program directors about graduates from VCU" | Report Response

"Generally it is a well respected program especially in the Mid-Atlantic where many of our graduates stay. I have interviewed at almost all of the top programs in my field including 2 Harvard programs, Johns Hopkins, Penn, and a slew of others. I had no problems with interviews. I'll let you know how the match goes." | Report Response

"Most directors at top programs have not heard of VCU" | Report Response

Is this school known for producing physicians strong in a certain area? If so, which area?

"-internal medicine, radiology, PM&R, OBGYN, surgery are very strong programs -neurology by far the weakest program" | Report Response

"Transplant and GI are traditionally very strong. The Internal Medicine program is very highly regarded nationally." | Report Response

"No" | Report Response

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