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SCPM vs OCPM vs CSPM vs TUSPM

Discussion in 'Pre-Podiatry Students' started by shoppingmoniker, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. shoppingmoniker

    shoppingmoniker

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    Hello Everyone!

    Before anyone asks...yes, I have performed a search on this topic. I found most of the threads were from a few years ago, and thus, I was unsure if the responses were still relevant.

    I was lucky enough to be accepted to SCPM, OCPM, CSPM, and TUSPM. Sadly, I am waitlisted for DMU (if I was accepted, I would choose them :) ). I visited each school and noticed firsthand their pros and cons. What I wanted to gather from everyone was what school would you choose using the following criteria:

    1. Preparation for boards
    2. Preparation to be accepted to strong residency programs
    3. Cost

    I know in the end that it all depends on how well I do. But I would like to go to a school that sets me up for success.

    Some quick observations:

    1. CSPM - early clinical experience in a very busy clinic, small class sizes, high cost of living
    2. SCPM - strong reputation, good board pass rates, slow clinic, reasonable cost of living
    3. TUSPM - old facilities, busy clinic, high cost of living
    4. OCPM - nice facilities, unsure about clinic preparation, low cost of living

    I appreciate your assistance!
  2. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    I guarentee you any Pod students response on here will only tear you up even more. Go to the school/geographical location you like the best, pass boards, and you'll be golden.
  3. Doc Foot

    Doc Foot

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    If DMU is your top choice, don't jump the gun and pick another school.... Wait a few weeks for an acceptance and go to your top choice
  4. shoppingmoniker

    shoppingmoniker

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    Thank you both for your response. I know by working hard and passing boards will be my ticket to a good residency, but which school would better set me up for that? I don't want to just work hard, but also to work smarter.

    As for DMU, I am still waiting to see if I can gain acceptance from their waiting list.

    And as for the aforementioned "POD students that may tear me up" please understand I am only trying to make the best decision I can with your input. This is a long commitment that will involve a lot of financial investment.

    Thank you!
  5. amaprez

    amaprez

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    Excellent podiatrists have come out of each school. Don't listen to people with agendas who bash one school over others or praise one school over others. Really it comes down to: cost, location, and comfort. The sum of this will dictate your fit. And if you have a good fit, odds are you'll enjoy school more and do well.

    Ask yourself these questions:

    1) Do I see myself happy living here for the next 4 years?
    2) Is the overall cost acceptable to me?
    3) Is DO integration an important factor to me?
    4) Are high board pass rates important to me (ie. DMU), or am I confident that I'll do well no matter where I go?
  6. shoppingmoniker

    shoppingmoniker

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    I've been asking myself all of those questions. It's easy when I didn't have to sign on the dotted line, but now that I have to commit it's a whole different ball game.

    I really liked DMU, but since I'm on the waiting list I will go under the assumption that I will not be accepted. So that brings me to these schools.

    The draw of CSPM and TUSPM was the early clinic experience, but the cost of living is a deterrent.

    SCPM and OCPM has a good balance of everything. I know both locations will be cold and there is not much to do, but this is okay with me since school will be the top priority. The concern with both schools is that I heard their clinics are a bit slow, would this hinder my ability to gain a lot of hands-on experience and knowledge to get a good residency?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  7. amaprez

    amaprez

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    Non-issue. It might seem like it's a big deal, but it's pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. Every school has a 'school clinic' but the truth is you'll be rotating through a number of local county and VA hospitals and clinics in 3rd and 4th years, no matter what school you pick. Focus on doing well, don't worry that you *gasp* might have more free time for a few weeks in 3rd year. You'll have more important things to worry about, like passing boards and keeping up with your studies.
  8. shoppingmoniker

    shoppingmoniker

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    Great to know! That definitely helps. I was very worried about that since it was disheartening to tour a slow clinic watching students trying to stay busy versus other programs where the students were seeing 5+ patients a day.

    Would anyone else have any insight to help me make a well informed decision?

    Thank you!
  9. hisuida

    hisuida

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    Sorry about that, will PM.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  10. shoppingmoniker

    shoppingmoniker

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    Hello hisuida,

    Very off topic. Please start a new thread and/or send me a message and I'll be happy to assist.
  11. Shinobiz11

    Shinobiz11 A boy has the right to dream

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    There is A LOT to do in Chicago brother.
  12. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

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    Scholl is in North Chicago which is a suburb of lake county. It's a 45 min drive to get downtown. Long enough to be a pain in the ass. I wouldn't say there is nothing to do in north chicago but it's nothing compared to the city.
  13. PADPM

    PADPM

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    I agree that the school clinic should not be a deal breaker. Although I did gain a lot of my base knowledge in the clinic, outside opportunities and rotations were not as strong when I was a student.

    Additionally, when I was a student, the clinics and schools often attracted some of the best and brightest in our profession to teach and be clinicians. Although there are still many bright and excellent clinicians associated with the school clinics, MANY who I know or are aware of have left the clinics for greener pastures. It's not difficult to realize that although the academic setting is great, often MUCH bigger paychecks can be obtained when in private practice (solo, group, multi-discipline). Many of these docs also can turned be off by school/institutional politics or when they get bypassed for a promotion by a colleague.

    So the clinics are certainly helpful, but in my opinion the lack of patient volume in a particular clinic can usually be made up in a quality external rotation.
  14. flyhi

    flyhi

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    I find it so surprising that it is repeated on here time and time again that clinics should maybe not be held in as high regards as some pre-pods, students and schools hold them. Everyone learns differently and I think that if you know you are a tactile learner and do much better by either seeing or seeing and doing, that the quality of the clinics could be quite instrumental in one's education. Yes, you can get quality externships, but why limit yourself? If you can go to a program with strong clinics AND go to quality externships, aren't you just going to be that much more well-rounded for residency? The quality of clinics vary enough from school to school that it absolutely made a difference in my choice of school. There seems to be so much empahsis put on the 'top' academic schools, yet I feel where they excel in the pre-clinical sciences, they lack on the clinical side of things (compared to other schools). Some people learn great from a book, others from doing and others from a good combination.

    OP, go where you think YOU are going to get the best education and experience because what is considered best by some, may not be best for you. Also, remember that it is rolling admissions, so don't give up on DMU so quickly. They have acceptance letters out giving 4 weeks to make a decision, so when the 'no' comes back, they may be contacting you. GL
  15. amaprez

    amaprez

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    (Disclaimer: Some generalizations ahead. Obviously don't speak for every school) :)

    The reason for that is because it's such a crapshoot. They usually only show you one school-affiliated clinic when you tour on interview day. At max you might spend a month or so there for ONE rotation. (and if it's a school clinic it probably won't be your surgery ones, more likely your outpatient podiatry one). You might not even spend any time there if the lottery sends you to another clinic because where and when you do certain rotations is drawn randomly. Lastly, and more importantly, it depends on what attending you get for each rotation. If you're at a busy clinic but your attending doesn't like to teach much or brushes you off, you might as well be at home reading. If you're at a light clinic but you get an engaging attending who uses the extra time to quiz you and show you something new everyday, then you'll get 10 times more out of the rotation. And you don't know for sure what attending you'll get for a given rotation. So two students can rotate at an awesome busy clinic but have way different experiences. There's just no sure way to predict based on interview day.

    Therefore in my opinion, when in picking schools it's better to focus on sure things you can predict, such as how many externships you get before residency interviews, the grading policy, how much time you get to study for boards, etc.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  16. Shinobiz11

    Shinobiz11 A boy has the right to dream

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    My bad, I live in Michigan so a 45 minute drive to somewhere (i.e. Ann Arbor) is nothing. I forgot that other people consider that "long".
  17. SuperFeisty

    SuperFeisty

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    I am so sorry Sir Shinobiz.
  18. amaprez

    amaprez

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    :laugh: That's cold.
  19. PADPM

    PADPM

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    I don't believe I ever stated that experience in the school clinic isn't important. I did say I wouldn't let it be a deal breaker. As someone else stated above, there are many variables when dealing with these clinics. One of the greatest factors is the quality of the attending/clinician. And as per another poster, it's not always the quantity, but the quality of the patient experience. It is absolutely true that when you have the ability to spend more time with a patient, you can learn more, ask more questions, treat more pathology, etc.

    This is even true in private practice. I see more patients per hour than I would REALLY like to, but it's necessary to accommodate all of our patients. I don't believe patients get short-changed in our office, but we have proven that when the docs in our office have the ability to spend more time with each patient, they are far more productive (dollar wise).

    As corny as this sounds and I know it's been reapeated ad nauseum, but a good student and WILLING LEARNER will thrive anywhere he/she attends. Yes, I know the OP knows this and wants to stack as many cards in his/her favor as possible, but you never know truly until you attend the school. I wouldn't call it a crapshoot, but it is a bit of a gamble, since each student excels in different areas and has a different method of learning. What's good for me may obviously not be good for you.

    If you have a gut feeling, go with it, I'm confident by the way you articulated your feelings you will succeed in any of the schools. Good luck with your choice.
  20. SuperFeisty

    SuperFeisty

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    Hey PADPM or anyone,

    I've had this kinda repeated to me at all my interviews. The purpose of the clinics on campus are to teach you HOW to conduct yourself. DMU, Scholl, and Ohio all stressed the quality of the interaction rather than the number? If that's the case, is there REALLY that much competitive advantage to seeing 3-4 more patients a day? Sure you'll have experienced more variety of cases, but isn't that the point of externships and residency?
  21. PADPM

    PADPM

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    Please remember, clinic for me was a long time ago, most of you were still not even sperm. What I remember most about clinic are the little pearls some of the clinicians taught be along the way. It wasn't necessarily the number of patients, diversity of patients, etc., it was those little pearls of information that I still remember today and utilize daily in practice. Everything from clinical pearls to how to speak with patients and handle patients. Today, I believe I have an excellent rapport with the majority of my patients, and a lot of the techniques I use stem back from the clinicians. Most of my real "knowledge" and skills were obtained via a lot of reading and my external programs and residency. And an enormous amount of the things I do on a daily basis were obtained by shadowing practicing DPMs whenever I had the opportunity. I WANTED to learn, therefore I did.
  22. shoppingmoniker

    shoppingmoniker

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    Thank you everyone for your advice! So far I've been able to cut down my choices to OCPM and SCPM with your help.

    Everything stated above is very helpful. And trust me flyhi, I am still holding onto the hope of attending DMU, but for the time being I must go with plan B. I will be looking into the externships of each program to aid with my decision. So between OCPM and SCPM, if everything being equal (gut feeling, cost of living, comfortable environment), would one program be stronger?

    Thanks again and I hope everyone has a great weekend!
  23. amaprez

    amaprez

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    So you've narrowed your choices, but you still want someone to tell you where to go in the end? Nobody can do that for you. Nobody can sit here with a straight face and tell you OCPM is unarguably better than Scholl or vice versa. It's an individual choice. LOL. I feel like the whole point I was making in this thread went right over your head.

    [​IMG]
  24. shoppingmoniker

    shoppingmoniker

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    Haha...nice graphic. Your advice did not go unheeded. While I was looking for their curriculum and their externships, I wanted to see if there was something I may have missed that would tilt the scales in one direction.
  25. amaprez

    amaprez

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    It's not an easy decision. There is certainly no right choice for everyone. Good luck with it!
  26. flyhi

    flyhi

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    The curricula and number of externships before CRIPS is definitely different. Scholl has a legitimate 2+2 curriculum, whereas at OCPM (Kent State), you still have classes in your 3rd year. Scholl also has the most (I believe) externships prior to CRIPS. Anklebreaker has written extensively on Scholl's program and is part of the admissions deal, as a student ambassador, so he is probably a great resource (hint: PM him).
  27. flyhi

    flyhi

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    True. I did not try and imply that either :D I think it's rare for one con at a school to be a deal breaker and with that being said, it was a fairly large part of a deal breaker for me. You made some great points and one was about being too busy in clinic. I certainly felt that at one school's clinic and it I thought it might be a bit overwhelming and could perhaps take away from the learning environment. On the flip side, a dead clinic was also a turnoff, as I feel even if you were only there for a month, it is that much time you are not getting hands on experience. Residency may be where you *really* learn, but I feel clinics should give the exposure to get you prepared for externships, which ultimately can have an enormous impact on how you fare in the match.

    Your point about importance of the quality of the attending/clinician in clinics hit home and I think is paramount. The school I chose, for many different reasons, had an amazing attending at the clinic we visited. I knew prior that we were going to meet him and he did not disappoint. He personally spent 20 minutes of his time in the hallway with me and the other interviewee. His energy and enthusiasm were contagious. He made me want to be in that clinic, at that moment, learning from him. He does have an extremely good reputation that precedes him, but without knowing that, I would have felt that he is probably an excellent clinician and teacher. I'll be honest, it won me over. I have had two amazing mentors in my professional career and I appreciate the value of THAT...for I learned more from them than any of the education I received specific to the career. However, a teacher/mentor builds on a foundation and that is what I think is the ultimate purpose of the clinic for the students. Unfortunately, as pre-pods, we do not have the inside knowledge prior to making our decisions. I 'go with my gut', as it has generally been correct.

    So OP, you just gotta go with your gut! :xf:
  28. PADPM

    PADPM

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    Excellent post.:thumbup:
  29. AttackNME

    AttackNME

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    I pretty much looked at only 1 criteria when choosing my school and that was clinic volume. As flyhi said, good mentors make a difference and offer a source of information, but where do I expect to do most of my learning? It will be from patient encounters and here's why:

    1) I rather open a book than listen to a lecture. When a patient presents to me with something unfamiliar, I become inspired to read about it. A large patient volume greatly helps keep my gear rolling into 4th year.
    2) Improve practice management skills so that by the time I get to externships, I am comfortable discussing anything with my patients (including making them comfortable with surgery, persuading people to stay non-weightbearing, dealing with drug seekers, other random things that you won't learn unless you see lots of patients)
  30. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    I thought I settled this awhile ago, but *sigh* here goes again:

    Go to the school with the more attractive, single women, regardless of specialty.
  31. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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  32. Shinobiz11

    Shinobiz11 A boy has the right to dream

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    OP, you are pretty much down to this.
    Post a screenshot please.
  33. shoppingmoniker

    shoppingmoniker

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    Hahah..still digesting everyone's helpful advice. As for the octopus...it chose SCPM.
  34. SuperFeisty

    SuperFeisty

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    Congratulations! You picked a great school with some pretty awesome students! Best of luck, and keep active on the forums!
  35. Shinobiz11

    Shinobiz11 A boy has the right to dream

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    o-b-e-y.
  36. flyhi

    flyhi

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    lol..I had missed this one! Thanks, Max. As a female, I must say that the guys I saw in clinic were pretty smoking themselves! Everyone down there seems to be a good mix of nationalities and make for some really attractive people, imo

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