I took a room in a house in the "white coat ghetto" that is virtually across the street from the hospital and nursing school.
I am renting through http://www.studenthousingrochester.com. This landlord owns a bunch of large houses in the area that are rented out on a room by room basis to med, nursing and Ph.D students. Most of the rooms have their own bathrooms and are pretty large. From what I have been told, the area doesn't have a lot of stuff to do (stores, restaurants etc), but without a car, I had to choose between slightly cheaper rent in a more "happening" area and the convenience of being able to roll out of bed at 6:30 and still be on time to a 7am clinical. If you do go on craigslist to look for places, look for listings that have UR/Strong as the area. If you are willing to take a chance on the bus, Mt. Hope, South Wedge and some parts of Park Ave/NOTA are options. If you find somewhere you're interested in, you can map the trip on http://infoweb.rgrta.com/hiwire to see how long the trip would take. Natalie, the creator of our classes facebook page, was a great source of info on Rochester to me and can probably give you even more to work from. BTW, where in northern california are you coming from? I'm originally from the Bay Area.