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  • University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Allopathic Medical School
  • Grand Forks
The Basics

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


Overall, how satisfied are you with this program?

3 out of 10

What do you like most?

"Cost, small class size, PCL, and getting to work directly with attendings." Report Response

What do you like least?

"Bureaucracy in administration, different administrators giving grossly different answers as to how tests are put together, if we're ranked and how, how AOA works, etc. - none of which is listed in any policies available to students. Overall administration does very little to address student concerns. It usually takes several years of consistent complaints from multiple classes for issues to be addressed, and when they are administration usually makes a very half-assed attempt. Outside of FM there is little to no faculty mentorship or guidance to help plan for applying to residency, and if you do seek out guidance from faculty most are so far removed from residency that they either give poor advice or none at all. The school re-uses >90% of exam questions from year to year, some of which come verbatim from resources students use to study (on one MCQ test 2nd year every single path question came word for word from Robbins Review of Pathology), some come from lectures that are no longer part of the curriculum or are now taught by different lecturers who don't cover the exact same material, or have been moved to different Blocks, and some questions have incorrect answers due to being based on old data or clinical guidelines that have since been updated and are covered in lecture, all of which just confirms that they reuse exams/questions. Current administration denies this and claim they put together new exams every year and that all lecturers are required to submit X number of questions for the exam. However, if you ask the lecturers many will say they never submitted questions, or if they did it was a number of years ago and they haven't since. The fact that the school pretty much uses the same exams year to year has been confirmed by upper classes, students who have had to repeat 1st or 2nd year, graduates, and faculty, some of whom were also involved in administration and curriculum planning (3 second year basic science faculty members and a campus dean who left after my 2nd year due to frustration with administration, as well as 2 current 1st year basic science profs. who also facilitate PCL). Test questions get passed down from previous classes and there's also a Google doc file that is shared between classes which contains several years of worth of entire MCQ and case exams and answers. It only takes 2-3 students to come up with every MCQ question after an exam, and exam reviews aren't monitored (they kind of are but VERY half-assedly) so anyone can take pictures of the exams and the correct answers with their phone or write things down. Students are also pretty nonchalant about looking-up answers on their phones during exams, which aren't supervised and are on an "honor" system. All of this has created a culture of cheating which gets progressively worse throughout 2nd year as students are preparing for Step. These specific issues, with evidence, have been reported to administration, however almost nothing has been done about it. One student who was reported to admin took the fall for one of the main students providing test questions, lied about how she/it/he got the info, and got off with a letter in it/his/her file, despite the fact that UND supposedly has a zero tolerance policy with cheating. I highly suspect that if UND addressed the test issue without making any other curriculum changes their Step 1 average (which is below the national average, but not statistically significant) would drop considerably, as the overlap between school lecture material and Step is awful, hence the wide spread cheating to allot for more Step prep. A significant amount of biochem, pharm, immunology, and embryology material is not covered in any lectures (I started making a list while studying and searched all of our pre-clinical lecture notes after taking Step to confirm) and needs to be self-taught for Step 1. Dedicated study time for Step 1 consists of 4 weeks (if you start the day after Block 8 exams and take Step the day prior to 3rd year orientation - so no time off between 2nd and 3rd year) during which the majority of the class has to relocate 1-4 hours away to a new campus. Many other schools give more dedicated study time for Step, and their student's don't have to worry about moving at the same time. In terms of Step prep, all UND offers are some sporadic, optional noon review sessions given by basic science faculty and 4th year students which mainly consist of going over old lecture PowerPoints. 3rd year rotations vary considerably between campuses. My Peds, FM, and Psych/Neuro rotations consisted solely of shadowing. I never saw patients on my own or presented patients to preceptors, even if I made the effort to pre-round during the inpatient portions. The minimum scores needed on the shelf exams for honors during 3rd year are set SIGNIFICANTLY higher compared to many other medical schools. Classes are very cliquey. If you didn't go to UND or Concordia for undergrad, appreciate actual music v. EDM, top 40 pop garbage, and country, aren't a bro, midwestern passive-aggressive, religious, or conservative you can either fake it to fit in, or accept being marginalized if you have any self integrity. In large classmates are not supportive of older/non-trad students or married students, particularly when it comes to picking 3rd and 4th year campuses. Apparently swapping campuses so classmates who have been dating for 2 months can be together takes priority over swapping campuses so the spouses of married students don't have to find new jobs, or so students with children don't have to move more than once during 3rd and 4th year." Report Response

The Details

Does the student body seem cooperative or competitive?

2 out of 10

Does the environment seem supportive for underrepresented minorities?

5 out of 10

Does the environment seem supportive for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transsexual students?

4 out of 10

Does the environment seem supportive for married students?

1 out of 10

Does the environment seem supportive for students with disabilities?

7 out of 10

Does the environment seem supportive for older/non-traditional students?

No Response

How approachable are faculty members?

6 out of 10

How do students from this program do after graduation - are they adequately prepared for practice?

"It's a community program that HEAVILY pushes primary care, so students tend to gravitate towards those programs. If a student wants an even somewhat competitive residency or specialty its up to him/her to bust his/her balls and make out of state connections. A number of my attendings (mainly IM and Surg) who were UND grads that did residency elsewhere had poor opinions about the clinical education at UND and did not feel as prepared for residency as many of their classmates in residency." Report Response

What are rotations like?

"5" Report Response

Any other information you want to share?

"There's a significant disconnect between administration and students. If you suck-up, keep you mouth shut, play the game, and are either okay with just passing Step 1, or cheating on school exams to allot for more Step prep time you're fine. And as mentioned above administration doesn't really seem to care about student concerns and it takes A LOT for them to address them. Unfortunately the issues with administration have been getting progressively worse over the past several years and most of the admin that advocated for students have stepped down out of frustration. If you want to end-up in ND doing FM and/or a low-tier residency then UND is the place for you." Report Response

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