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ATSU/SOMA (Arizona) Discussion Thread 2011-2012

Discussion in 'Osteopathic School-Specific Discussions' started by ShyRem, 04.24.11.

  1. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee. Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Discuss away people. New thread for the new year!
  2. kson223

    kson223

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    So I was looking at the website for ATSU-SOMA and it said that the second year students participate in the community campus. Can anyone provide more information about this? Thanks!
  3. SNDO

    SNDO

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    ATSU-SOMA has a unique curriculum where students spend their first year at the Mesa campus studying the sciences and doing labs (didactic). Then as Years 2-4 students, you continue your studies along with about 10 other students in your class at a community health clinic (CHC) site. SOMA is affiliated with 11 different CHC sites across the nation (from NY, Alabama, Ohio, Washington, Hawaii, etc. Check their website for more locations).

    From what I hear, at the CHC your lectures are done via video podcasts and PDF/Powerpoint, weekly discussions with a preceptor/on-site physician instructor, and you get early patient exposure as a 2nd year.

    So it's definitely different than the traditional medical school program. SOMA's really proud of their program, and for the students who go there, they are generally happy. If you're looking for something more traditional, then you'll probably feel better applying elsewhere, however, if you're up for a challenge and something different, then apply here and read up more about the program.

    Anyway, good luck with your apps! :luck:
  4. badboy13

    badboy13

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    Year 1 you'll be going to school for 11 months in Mesa. Students will be assigned a CHC where they'll be most of the time year 2-4. From talking to students when I was there, getting your 1st choice CHC is not a guarantee. Year 2 is what is unique, students spend 4-8 hrs working in the CHC. OMT classes and small group discussion are held at each of the CHC by a paid faculty. The CHCs along with the rotation are usually in underserved areas because this is the mission of the school. I don't know much about their rotation, but being a new school this is always a concern.
  5. SLC

    SLC Lock, Step, & Gone

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    The way it was explained to me is that your core rotations will be at the CHC too. Any inpatient rotating is done at the hospital system the CHC refers patients to. You travel away for your electives if you can't get them near the CHC or you want to do one at a specific place.

    I've been involved in the CHC movement for a while now, it's a great place to do core rotations. The populations CHC's serve bring more high acuity cases than you might see elsewhere. The people who use the clinic I work at are usually much sicker than at the clinic I actually get my care at. Low socioeconomic status drives that trend.
  6. Colbare

    Colbare MS4

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    I've seen that at a free clinic I volunteer at. People let their medical problems get to be nearly unbearable before they do something about it because they can't afford to. I've seen more in the few hundred hours I've spent doing volunteer work in primary care than I have in about four years of paid work in primary care.
  7. carp56

    carp56

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    Are there many military scholarship recipients at SOMA? If so are any of the CHCs near any military bases?
  8. SLC

    SLC Lock, Step, & Gone

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    A sizable chunk of the class of 2015 are doing military scholarships. Don't know for sure about bases though.
  9. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    Loved this school when I visited. My husband is a resident and one of their new interns is a SOMA grad. She was kind enough to talk to me at great length about the program and had nothing but positive things to say about it, even though I'm sure she dealt with headaches being a graduate of their first class.

    The students all seem so happy at this school. I'd love to go here! Here's hoping!
  10. bryce

    bryce

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    You have some major military installations in everyone of the states mentioned. You shouldn't be far from any of them, given the relatively small geographic setting of all of the states mentioned.
  11. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    I got the invitation to complete the secondary today!

    Here are the essays:

    What aspects of the Osteopathic Philosophy had the greatest influence in your decision to seek a career in Osteopathic Medicine?
    (Please limit your response to 500 words or less. All information provided in this section must be the original work of the applicant and not from another author.)

    What is your motivation for participating in the activities you have described in the clinical, volunteer and community service section? How have these experiences changed you?
    (Please limit your response to 500 words or less. All information provided in this section must be the original work of the applicant and not from another author.)

    How does your character, qualities, and experiences distinguish your ability and resolve to serve in underprivileged communities?
    (Please limit your response to 500 words or less. All information provided in this section must be the original work of the applicant and not from another author.)
  12. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- OMSIII

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    Anyone know what the deal is with the 'evals' versus regular LORs is? It's hard enough to get a Doc to write the LOR let alone these evals as well...
  13. SNDO

    SNDO

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    An "eval" is just another word for "letters of rec". It also means "letters of evaluation," which is a term my undergrad institution used as well haha. When I applied to SOMA last year, I didn't make my letter writers/evaluators fill out that form. I just asked them to send letters to Interfolio for my med schools apps, and I sent out letters from Interfolio. No big deal, hope that helps!
  14. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    Did SOMA require the Dr. letter to be from someone you shadowed for 20+ hours last year?
  15. SNDO

    SNDO

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    Even though they "require" it, I think of it as more of a suggestion. I believe they set the "20+ hours" guideline so that they know it's a letter from someone who presumably knows you well. I wouldn't worry about it too much if you haven't shadowed a doctor more than 20 hours. It's your call though, I mean, the longer you shadow a doctor, the more you'll learn. :)
  16. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    Well my issue isn't that I didn't shadow someone for 20 hours--I did, several doctors. One (that I had the best relationship with) passed away. The other, it's been over a year since I shadowed, and though I called her I wasn't able to get in contact with her. The third I recently shadowed and he agreed to write the letter, but I am being paranoid. If he doesn't come through with the letter, I have no backups that meet the requirement.

    The LORs is the worst part of this process--I have the least control over it. I just get to wait and nudge and hope. :xf:
  17. frescoengano

    frescoengano

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    .What is your motivation for participating in the activities you have described in the clinical, volunteer and community service section? How have these experiences changed you?

    I have a whole bunch of experiences and different motivations for each...

    did you guys describe all your activities? or did you just focus on 1 or 2..?
    .
  18. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    Does SOMA only want volunteer experiences, or do they want all clinical, including shadowing and paid clinical experiences?

    I emailed admissions but I haven't heard back yet.

    Thanks, if anyone knows the answer. :)
  19. SLC

    SLC Lock, Step, & Gone

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    You'd be best served writing this essay using a theme that describes what got you into doing all your ec's. What single thing (or small list of things) drove you to choose the activities you did. Everyone does something different, and for different reasons, what were Your's.

    For example: I am really interested in low/no income health care. I genuinely want to spend my career in a free clinic. This is why SOMA was such a draw for me.

    This desire and interest led me to doing an extensive (thousands of hours) amount of volunteer work at the homeless clinic in my hometown. I also did a medical outreach humanitarian mission with the US Navy to Indonesia and East Timor. Those were the two cornerstones of my EC portfolio, and I wrote an essay describing my motivations for choosing those particular activities. I also weaved my undergraduate training in public health promotion into the essay.

    Does that help?
  20. SLC

    SLC Lock, Step, & Gone

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    I'm pretty sure I listed all volunteer work. But the majority of mine was clinical in nature so take my advice with a grain of salt.
  21. SLC

    SLC Lock, Step, & Gone

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    The did, and it kept me from submitting my "DO" letter since it was written by my next door neighbor who was in residency up until application time. I knew her and she knew me, we talked a lot about osteopathic school etc. but I didn't get to shadow her until about two months ago.
  22. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    There is a separate section for non-clinical volunteering, so I'm set there. I only have three clinical experiences though, one is paid, one is shadowing, and the other volunteer, so I was hoping I could list all three. They are on the primary app though so I guess it's not the end of the world if I can't put them.

    Edited to add, I wanted to tie these experience into my secondary essay so I feel like I need them listed to begin with in order to do that. I may put them and just be very explicit in the top of the descriptions that they are paid/shadowing. Of course if I hear from SOMA that may all change.
  23. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    Well I hope the Dr. I asked comes through. :scared: He doesn't answer my emails.
  24. Future Dr Kwon

    Future Dr Kwon

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    If you hear back from SOMA, will you post what they say? I had the exact same question! Thanks!
  25. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    Sure thing, Future :)
  26. mrosekelly

    mrosekelly

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    Ok, so it says that this information has to be verifiable. Do they need us to have a letter sent from each place we volunteered in order to confirm our volunteer experience? or do we just have to put down their information?
  27. SLC

    SLC Lock, Step, & Gone

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    Contact info is all you need.

    Best of luck!
  28. SavoirFaire

    SavoirFaire

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    .
    Last edited: 08.12.11
  29. tman1820

    tman1820

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    I agree. Even though I was lucky enough to get in somewhere else, I have to agree that this school needs to adjust the way they run admissions...I liked SOMA, but do feel like they went a little overboard with the whole accepted/accepted pending/waitlist deal. I remember calling them in January and being told that I was pretty much guaranteed a spot off the alternate list...emphasis I guess now on the "pretty much" since we basically now know we have no shot. I definititely would have taken SOMA up on their offer, but now I am pretty perturbed by the whole ATSU system...because KCOM is doing the same thing with their waitlisters...The whole accepted pending a seat thing really just says to me that this school needs to tighten up their whole interview process. I know med school admissions is a crapshoot..but this school really was obnoxious in their approach.

    Good luck on reapplying and keep your head up...it'll happen!
  30. Melomare17

    Melomare17

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    for the "What is your motivation for participating in the activities you have described in the clinical, volunteer and community service section? How have these experiences changed you?" are you writing about shadowing at all?
  31. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    I didn't because it isn't really volunteering.
  32. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    I didn't write about shadowing but I wrote about my clinical employment....hopefully this does not get me rejected for not following directions.

    I had one clinical volunteer activity and one other volunteer experience. I just didn't have much to say about them. I wrote as much as I could but felt I needed a little more.
  33. asnlady

    asnlady

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    Hi everyone. Sorry if this was already asked and answered but I did a search and couldn't find a reply.

    I only applied to ATSU-SOMA and I think I read somewhere that I should forward my Letters of Rec from interfolio to their KCOM campus because that's where all applications are basically collected. Is this true? In Interfolio, their electronic delivery has one for KCOM and another for SOMA. Should I go ahead and choose SOMA then?

    Thank you!
  34. frescoengano

    frescoengano

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    i sent it to kcom
  35. Didierdrogba

    Didierdrogba Goldmember

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    Did anyone get the completion email yet?? I submitted 7/5 and havn't heard a thing
  36. Didierdrogba

    Didierdrogba Goldmember

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    I sent it to both just to be sure, but now thinking back, I probably wasted my $$
  37. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    yeah i have been complete there and KCOM for a week now. I think it is just the confirmation number e-mail and then you see what all they have.
  38. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    Where did you send your SOMA letters to? I sent them to the physical SOMA address but they don't have them yet. KCOM does, though.
  39. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    I am using interfolio so everything is sent directly to the schools electronically the next day. Interfolio is expensive sure but I would pay for it again in a heartbeat for DO schools.
  40. SavoirFaire

    SavoirFaire

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    .
    Last edited: 08.12.11
  41. stefspets

    stefspets MS0

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    Ah, thanks for jogging my memory. :laugh: I used Interfolio as well so they were sent electronically. I think my mind makes up ways for this process to go wrong.

    I live in Tempe so applying to SOMA is not really a huge ordeal. I've been to the campus several times, spoken to many students, and my husband is a KCOM grad. I really love this campus, and I know you're disappointed with how the application year turned out, but I find it hard to believe that the school intentionally misled you about waitlist movement. Maybe last year they had a lot more movement. Maybe they accepted too many this year, but they will amend that process next year. The school has become more popular, according to what they told me anyway, so it wouldn't surprise me if their admissions practices need to be updated from year to year to reflect that. Possibly they failed to do that last year, leading to way too many acceptances. Even if half the class is already full because of that, I'm still excited to apply here.
  42. SLC

    SLC Lock, Step, & Gone

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    Just a head's up, I heard through the grapevine today that they are going to start interviews in August this year. So get those secondary's in, and make them good.

    Last year, when I applied, they explained to me that they don't interview applicants in the order that they submit their apps. They told me that they take a look at every secondary they get, and invite the good ones out for interview right away. I got an invite the day after my secondary arrived at SOMA. This means that if you have a stellar app, and you got it in already or you get it in quick, you could be interviewed and accepted by September or so.

    Best of luck, and hope to see some of you on campus this fall!


    There was some confusion. I think they did go pretty deep into the alternate list during the first few years. But last year was different. Almost everyone in my class chose SOMA over other acceptances, so they didn't have nearly the turnover on the accepted-pending list that they may have anticipated. Last year was a beast for medical school applicants across the board it seems.

    To everyone else, don't let one person's experience deter you; we have an awesome thing going at SOMA. It's definitely a place I think you should give some real consideration to.
  43. SavoirFaire

    SavoirFaire

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    It's not just "one person's experience".

    It happened to basically everyone on the alternate list.

    All I can say is, you may share the same fate applying to this school. I am personally saving my money for other schools that are truthful and have a realistic admissions process. The actual school is like a University of Phoenix, or tech school, building as well. Not a normal college campus.
  44. DJack

    DJack

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    Not many private medical schools will be a "normal college campus". If they are not affiliated with a public university, then they will be their own entitiy.

    ATSU, LECOM-E, LECOM-B, WVSOM are just a few examples.
  45. SLC

    SLC Lock, Step, & Gone

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    That's why they call it an "alternate" list and not an accepted list. I'm sorry you didn't get off the alternate, I'm sure you would have been an awesome classmate. But the nature of waitlists dictate that sometimes you make it off, other times you don't, it's got nothing to do with the school or any "unrealistic" admissions practices.


    It's a great campus, extremely well maintained and very high tech. It's not a normal college, it's a health sciences university, so I'm not sure what you're trying to intimate with that comment. Also, what do the facilities have to do with anything anyway? Will the architecture or landscaping, or the lack of a "normal college campus" impede someone from becoming an excellent doc? Not trying to be a jerk, but I'm not sure your comments should hold much sway for people thinking about this school.

    There are 100+ of us in the class of 2015 who would tell you just how awesome this school is. There are tons of great and unique aspects of SOMA. Again, I'd encourage you all to come check it out!
    Last edited: 07.21.11
  46. DJack

    DJack

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    Just submitted my secondary!
  47. tman1820

    tman1820

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    While I did share my thoughts about this school previously, as I too am/was on the alternate list...please don't mud sling. While I think that the ATSU system really needs to change their admissions policies and reform their system, as it is broken, there is no need to trash a school just because they didn't accept you. Yes, this schools campus is different, but if you look at most DO schools, they're small and quite similar. Also, SOMA's campus was built to basically house you for a year and then "kick you out" to your CHC site. I personally loved the feel of their campus.

    Yes...I feel that the admissions office mislead those of us who were put on the alternate list, but again, there is no need to be childish and talk trash about the school...when you post things like this online, it just makes you look bad.

    Needless to say, if I were to get a call from SOMA today, I would turn them down...but not because of their program, which is pretty stellar, but because I already am committed somewhere else.

    So while I stand by my previous comments about this schools admissions policies...the school itself is great and has the backing of the most established DO school in the country. SOMA is truly an innovator and I believe many schools will learn a thing or two from the way's they are teaching.
  48. SavoirFaire

    SavoirFaire

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    .
    Last edited: 08.12.11
  49. SLC

    SLC Lock, Step, & Gone

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    Actually I've been quite surprised to see how many of my classmates interviewed between March and May. They took people from those dates, it appears a fair amount actually.
  50. VCMaude

    VCMaude

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    Has anyone been able to find a residency match list from SOMA's last graduating class? I looked all over their website and couldn't find one. Thanks!

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