Laid back med schools??

Hi all. I was hoping we could start a thread to discuss some of the “personalities” of different schools. As I’m considering which med schools I’d like to go to, one of the biggest factors for me is the environment/personality of the school. I went to both a laid-back undergrad university and a VERY competitive one, and I much prefer the first! Yes I understand that by our nature, most of us here are somewhat “competitive”…we are pre-meds. But there’s a difference between a little friendly competitiveness and just being cut-throat and way too serious. So I was just wondering if anyone has visited schools, or are at schools, that you could share some insight on.

I’ll start with what I’ve experienced and heard:

  1. Baylor - spent a couple of days there for a conference…the NICEST group of students I’ve ever met. The atmosphere of the school from faculty to students was supportive, friendly, helpful. Several students commented that it is like being part of a large family. Everyone helps eachother. Yes it is competitive in the sense that everyone wants to do well, but you can tell the students are confident so they aren’t competitive at the expense of another.

  2. UTexas-Galveston - extremely laid-back. Apparently it’s been like that for the past 20 years. I think anywhere you go with a school near a beach, you’re gonna attract laid-back people!

  3. Southwestern in Dallas - competitive and very serious. Mostly attracts research-types. From friends that have gone to school there, I’ve heard it’s not the friendliest bunch.

  4. Tulane - met a guy (non-trad) that absolutely loved it there. He said it was a very cohesive, supportive student body and very non-trad friendly.

    Well that’s all I can tell you from what I know first-hand. I’ve “heard” about other schools but maybe some of you can verify from first-hand experience. I’ve read that Yale and Johns Hopkins have a non-competitive atmosphere (suprisingly). Does anyone know anything about Georgetown, Boston U., Tufts, or Vanderbilt?


I was reading on another forum that Mayo is very unique (Rochester). They have 5 week blocks with 2 weeks off to volunteer or shadow and they really want the students to not be stressed ever.