2022-2023 Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM-Montana)

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PapaGuava

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Please feel free to tag a pre-medical moderator once the secondary prompt has been posted.

Good luck to everyone applying!

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Well, I'll just start this out, shall I? I currently live in Billings and submitted my primary to MCOM the day it came out. I've been emailing back and forth with one of the admins there asking questions, but he wouldn't answer much "until the primary was released." I haven't heard anything back though.

I think it's neat that Billings is getting a medical school, but i absolutely have my reservations. 80 (160 in 2 years!) Seems like a lot of med students to stick in rural Montana. Where are they all going to rotate? Who knows.

Interesting note though, MCOM is cheaper than ICOM, PNWU, and COMP-NW, so that's something.

Anybody excited for this school?
 
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Well, I'll just start this out, shall I? I currently live in Billings and submitted my primary to MCOM the day it came out. I've been emailing back and forth with one of the admins there asking questions, but he wouldn't answer much "until the primary was released." I haven't heard anything back though.

I think it's neat that Billings is getting a medical school, but i absolutely have my reservations. 80 (160 in 2 years!) Seems like a lot of med students to stick in rural Montana. Where are they all going to rotate? Who knows.

Interesting note though, MCOM is cheaper than ICOM, PNWU, and COMP-NW, so that's something.

Anybody excited for this school?
I am. Could you give some background on Billings? I'm from Florida and have little knowledge of Montana. Also, I can't find them on AACOMAS to submit the primary.
 
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I am. Could you give some background on Billings? I'm from Florida and have little knowledge of Montana. Also, I can't find them on AACOMAS to submit the primary.
Its called Montana college of osteopathic medicine
 
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I am. Could you give some background on Billings? I'm from Florida and have little knowledge of Montana. Also, I can't find them on AACOMAS to submit the primary.

Billings is the largest city in Montana, sitting right over 100k people. Picture Montana...mountains? Green? Pristine rivers? Billings is not exactly that: you're thinking of Western Montana. Billings is more Central/Eastern/more like North Dakota. We're about an hours drive from the nearest place that looks like that, which isn't so bad. Billings is a big working class town. The big industries here are healthcare (2 hospitals of around 300 beds each plus a large FQHC clinic) and an oil refinery. We have a very large native american population with several reservations just a few hours in every direction and we are constantly treating patients from 6+ hour away rural communities, so underserved medicine is a big deal. Billings, unfortunately, is a relatively bland town. There's not lots to do if you're not into outdoors stuff...it's just big enough to not be a small town, but not quite big enough to have all the amenities of large cities. Downtown is very lame and overrun with homeless people (though certainly not a la Portland). West-end Though we do have Costco, if that matters to you. We do have an airport (though, you're better served driving 2 hours to bozeman, as they're a more popular airport). Outdoor activities are pretty excellent. In town we have some rock climbing (though on sandstone) and some excellent mountain biking trails. If you drive, within 2 hours you have world class hiking (look up the Custer National Forrest near Red Lodge Montana, specifically West/East Rosebud), excellent rock climbing, fishing, skiing, whatever you want.

As for cost of living, Billings isn't bad at all. Bozeman was rated like the top place to live in the US, much to the disdain of many Montanans. (Lots of people here constantly complain about "Californians coming and destroying our state." I grew up in Oregon, so I definitely get my share of that from people up here.) Bozeman is very expensive, like more than rent in many large cities, which is nuts given its small population. Billings is fairly cheap. I'm paying $895 for a 2 bedroom apartment with garage and such.

As for MCOM, here are my thoughts.

Pros:
- Cheaper tuition than PNWU, COMP/-NW, ICOM, most OOS public schools
- Run by RVU, which is basically the top DO school (like #1 board rates and awesome match rates)
- Not their first rodeo with satellite campuses, so they may settle into it well
- Big, established school may mean good access to rotations in other locations (it Denver or Utah)
- Brand spankin new and state-of-the-art facilities
- Inagural class means that you will have full access to professors, as they won't be teaching other classes
- Billings/Montana are fairly excited for them (see problems with ICOM). Lots of people in the community excited to have a med school here.

Cons:
- Brand spankin new DO school
- Brand new satellite campus run by RVU... 1/3 of their graduates from the inaugural UT class had to SOAP into residency...yikes
- For profit university (may or may not be a con) run by people associated with the caribbean schools
- I think it's absolutely insane to put 80 (and then 120, and then 160 per class) med students at Billings. Sure, we have 2 hospitals, but several other universities up here are already using those hospitals for clinical rotations (UW, PNWU, ICOM). Where are you going to put all these students for clinical rotations? For heavens sake, the in-state school (UW) only has 30 students per class! 80-120-160 is insane, and really shows the motivations behind the school. I really don't know if Billings can support that many students.

If anyone has other questions, I'm happy to answer them. I'll try and keep an eye on my notifications better.
 
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For a little perspective, here is the acceptance data from UW/WWAMI, the "in-state" school for Montana. The entire state of Montana submitted 125 applications. 125 med school applicants in the whole state. They interviewed 77, meaning that for every interviewee, there is an admittance spot. In a few years, for every Montana applicant, there will be a spot. With 160 seats, there are almost enough to award every single Montana and Wyoming resident that completed a primary application a DO school seat.

80-120-160 is insane.

 
Billings is the largest city in Montana, sitting right over 100k people. Picture Montana...mountains? Green? Pristine rivers? Billings is not exactly that: you're thinking of Western Montana. Billings is more Central/Eastern/more like North Dakota. We're about an hours drive from the nearest place that looks like that, which isn't so bad. Billings is a big working class town. The big industries here are healthcare (2 hospitals of around 300 beds each plus a large FQHC clinic) and an oil refinery. We have a very large native american population with several reservations just a few hours in every direction and we are constantly treating patients from 6+ hour away rural communities, so underserved medicine is a big deal. Billings, unfortunately, is a relatively bland town. There's not lots to do if you're not into outdoors stuff...it's just big enough to not be a small town, but not quite big enough to have all the amenities of large cities. Downtown is very lame and overrun with homeless people (though certainly not a la Portland). West-end Though we do have Costco, if that matters to you. We do have an airport (though, you're better served driving 2 hours to bozeman, as they're a more popular airport). Outdoor activities are pretty excellent. In town we have some rock climbing (though on sandstone) and some excellent mountain biking trails. If you drive, within 2 hours you have world class hiking (look up the Custer National Forrest near Red Lodge Montana, specifically West/East Rosebud), excellent rock climbing, fishing, skiing, whatever you want.

As for cost of living, Billings isn't bad at all. Bozeman was rated like the top place to live in the US, much to the disdain of many Montanans. (Lots of people here constantly complain about "Californians coming and destroying our state." I grew up in Oregon, so I definitely get my share of that from people up here.) Bozeman is very expensive, like more than rent in many large cities, which is nuts given its small population. Billings is fairly cheap. I'm paying $895 for a 2 bedroom apartment with garage and such.

As for MCOM, here are my thoughts.

Pros:
- Cheaper tuition than PNWU, COMP/-NW, ICOM, most OOS public schools
- Run by RVU, which is basically the top DO school (like #1 board rates and awesome match rates)
- Not their first rodeo with satellite campuses, so they may settle into it well
- Big, established school may mean good access to rotations in other locations (it Denver or Utah)
- Brand spankin new and state-of-the-art facilities
- Inagural class means that you will have full access to professors, as they won't be teaching other classes
- Billings/Montana are fairly excited for them (see problems with ICOM). Lots of people in the community excited to have a med school here.

Cons:
- Brand spankin new DO school
- Brand new satellite campus run by RVU... 1/3 of their graduates from the inaugural UT class had to SOAP into residency...yikes
- For profit university (may or may not be a con) run by people associated with the caribbean schools
- I think it's absolutely insane to put 80 (and then 120, and then 160 per class) med students at Billings. Sure, we have 2 hospitals, but several other universities up here are already using those hospitals for clinical rotations (UW, PNWU, ICOM). Where are you going to put all these students for clinical rotations? For heavens sake, the in-state school (UW) only has 30 students per class! 80-120-160 is insane, and really shows the motivations behind the school. I really don't know if Billings can support that many students.

If anyone has other questions, I'm happy to answer them. I'll try and keep an eye on my notifications better.
I meant to add that West-End, where the school is located, is actually very nice and well-developed. It's on the opposite side of town as downtown.
 
Picture Montana...mountains? Green? Pristine rivers? Billings is not exactly that: you're thinking of Western Montana.
Almost just ended my application cycle by choking on my coffee.
 
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does Billings have like an urban feel? CFA, targets, etc?
Billings is the largest city in Montana, sitting right over 100k people. Picture Montana...mountains? Green? Pristine rivers? Billings is not exactly that: you're thinking of Western Montana. Billings is more Central/Eastern/more like North Dakota. We're about an hours drive from the nearest place that looks like that, which isn't so bad. Billings is a big working class town. The big industries here are healthcare (2 hospitals of around 300 beds each plus a large FQHC clinic) and an oil refinery. We have a very large native american population with several reservations just a few hours in every direction and we are constantly treating patients from 6+ hour away rural communities, so underserved medicine is a big deal. Billings, unfortunately, is a relatively bland town. There's not lots to do if you're not into outdoors stuff...it's just big enough to not be a small town, but not quite big enough to have all the amenities of large cities. Downtown is very lame and overrun with homeless people (though certainly not a la Portland). West-end Though we do have Costco, if that matters to you. We do have an airport (though, you're better served driving 2 hours to bozeman, as they're a more popular airport). Outdoor activities are pretty excellent. In town we have some rock climbing (though on sandstone) and some excellent mountain biking trails. If you drive, within 2 hours you have world class hiking (look up the Custer National Forrest near Red Lodge Montana, specifically West/East Rosebud), excellent rock climbing, fishing, skiing, whatever you want.

As for cost of living, Billings isn't bad at all. Bozeman was rated like the top place to live in the US, much to the disdain of many Montanans. (Lots of people here constantly complain about "Californians coming and destroying our state." I grew up in Oregon, so I definitely get my share of that from people up here.) Bozeman is very expensive, like more than rent in many large cities, which is nuts given its small population. Billings is fairly cheap. I'm paying $895 for a 2 bedroom apartment with garage and such.

As for MCOM, here are my thoughts.

Pros:
- Cheaper tuition than PNWU, COMP/-NW, ICOM, most OOS public schools
- Run by RVU, which is basically the top DO school (like #1 board rates and awesome match rates)
- Not their first rodeo with satellite campuses, so they may settle into it well
- Big, established school may mean good access to rotations in other locations (it Denver or Utah)
- Brand spankin new and state-of-the-art facilities
- Inagural class means that you will have full access to professors, as they won't be teaching other classes
- Billings/Montana are fairly excited for them (see problems with ICOM). Lots of people in the community excited to have a med school here.

Cons:
- Brand spankin new DO school
- Brand new satellite campus run by RVU... 1/3 of their graduates from the inaugural UT class had to SOAP into residency...yikes
- For profit university (may or may not be a con) run by people associated with the caribbean schools
- I think it's absolutely insane to put 80 (and then 120, and then 160 per class) med students at Billings. Sure, we have 2 hospitals, but several other universities up here are already using those hospitals for clinical rotations (UW, PNWU, ICOM). Where are you going to put all these students for clinical rotations? For heavens sake, the in-state school (UW) only has 30 students per class! 80-120-160 is insane, and really shows the motivations behind the school. I really don't know if Billings can support that many students.

If anyone has other questions, I'm happy to answer them. I'll try and keep an eye on my notifications better.
 
need me a spicy chicken sandwich
 
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Almost just ended my application cycle by choking on my coffee.
Yeah...sorry about that...I'm definitely not in love with Billings. It has treated me very well, but it's not "Montana." My folks live over by Missoula (western part of the state) and it's gorgeous. Red Lodge is about an hour from Billings and I love that little community. Billings is the biggest small town you will every go to. No public transportation. No theater stuff. There is a big concert (correction: there is a bus system) center (called MetraPark) that gets bigger name concerts and stuff. We had maroon 5 coming here in August before they cancelled their tour.

does Billings have like an urban feel? CFA, targets, etc?
Chick-fil-a? We are getting one. Not sure when it's done. We have a few Targets. Cafe Rio. Chipotle. There is a rock climbing gym. There's...uh axe throwing...We have a scheels, but I think that's a local thing. It's a pretty neat department/outdoors store...it has a farris wheel!

No. It does not have an urban feel. There are rabbits running around everywhere. I don't know what the story is about them. But there definitely is a story there.

I'm sitting here, asking my coworkers "what cool things are there in Billings?" I'm not getting a lot of answers. Sorry guys.

The biggest thing "cool" about Montana is the outdoor activities. Again, you have excellent recreation just an hour or two in every direction.
 
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Oooo! Got a few more things from my coworkers.

#1 we're really close to Yellowstone national park (and Grand Teton National Park and sort of close to Glacier National Park). If yellowstone blows up, we'll be the first to go, so that's nice.

#2 I am a phlebotomist at one of the hospitals here. We see all sorts of crazy traumas, stuff you'll probably not see anywhere else. We had a guy hit a moose on his motorcycle. And a bear attack. We constantly have people bucked off or kicked by horses and cows and other weird farm animals. Being a level 1 trauma center in close proximity to many indian reservations, you can only imagine the kind of stuff that comes in.

#3 pretty good fresh produce. Agriculture/farm land is less than 15 minutes from downtown.

#4 Crazy high speed limits. Most of our highways are limited to 85 miles an hour. Many people drive well over 90.

#5 One of the hardest folf courses (frizbee golf) in the world...apparently...

#6 Tons of golf courses...for some reason

#7 Freeze your balls off in the winter because it's -20

#8 "You could go downtown and get stabbed"

#9 Montana has no sales tax! But frickin' massive property tax...

#10 Gambling is completely legal, so there's casinos literally everywhere. Like hundreds of little casinos.
 
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Lmfaoooo ngl you make it sound exciting. I’m looking forward to moving here except for one aspect…the weather I’m from Florida and I’ve never seen snow in my life so -20 might be a bit too rough and I might actually die lol
 
Lmfaoooo ngl you make it sound exciting. I’m looking forward to moving here except for one aspect…the weather I’m from Florida and I’ve never seen snow in my life so -20 might be a bit too rough and I might actually die lol
Honestly, the last few winters we have had have been really easy. It was only below zero for a week during January. Most of winter is between 10 and 30. The roads can be bad due to the snow, but it's not like we get mountains of snow either. But...yeah...coming from Florida, it might be a bit of a shock.

The summers are pretty much between 80-90 degrees most of the time and it's pretty dry.
 
Billings is the largest city in Montana, sitting right over 100k people. Picture Montana...mountains? Green? Pristine rivers? Billings is not exactly that: you're thinking of Western Montana. Billings is more Central/Eastern/more like North Dakota. We're about an hours drive from the nearest place that looks like that, which isn't so bad. Billings is a big working class town. The big industries here are healthcare (2 hospitals of around 300 beds each plus a large FQHC clinic) and an oil refinery. We have a very large native american population with several reservations just a few hours in every direction and we are constantly treating patients from 6+ hour away rural communities, so underserved medicine is a big deal. Billings, unfortunately, is a relatively bland town. There's not lots to do if you're not into outdoors stuff...it's just big enough to not be a small town, but not quite big enough to have all the amenities of large cities. Downtown is very lame and overrun with homeless people (though certainly not a la Portland). West-end Though we do have Costco, if that matters to you. We do have an airport (though, you're better served driving 2 hours to bozeman, as they're a more popular airport). Outdoor activities are pretty excellent. In town we have some rock climbing (though on sandstone) and some excellent mountain biking trails. If you drive, within 2 hours you have world class hiking (look up the Custer National Forrest near Red Lodge Montana, specifically West/East Rosebud), excellent rock climbing, fishing, skiing, whatever you want.

As for cost of living, Billings isn't bad at all. Bozeman was rated like the top place to live in the US, much to the disdain of many Montanans. (Lots of people here constantly complain about "Californians coming and destroying our state." I grew up in Oregon, so I definitely get my share of that from people up here.) Bozeman is very expensive, like more than rent in many large cities, which is nuts given its small population. Billings is fairly cheap. I'm paying $895 for a 2 bedroom apartment with garage and such.

As for MCOM, here are my thoughts.

Pros:
- Cheaper tuition than PNWU, COMP/-NW, ICOM, most OOS public schools
- Run by RVU, which is basically the top DO school (like #1 board rates and awesome match rates)
- Not their first rodeo with satellite campuses, so they may settle into it well
- Big, established school may mean good access to rotations in other locations (it Denver or Utah)
- Brand spankin new and state-of-the-art facilities
- Inagural class means that you will have full access to professors, as they won't be teaching other classes
- Billings/Montana are fairly excited for them (see problems with ICOM). Lots of people in the community excited to have a med school here.

Cons:
- Brand spankin new DO school
- Brand new satellite campus run by RVU... 1/3 of their graduates from the inaugural UT class had to SOAP into residency...yikes
- For profit university (may or may not be a con) run by people associated with the caribbean schools
- I think it's absolutely insane to put 80 (and then 120, and then 160 per class) med students at Billings. Sure, we have 2 hospitals, but several other universities up here are already using those hospitals for clinical rotations (UW, PNWU, ICOM). Where are you going to put all these students for clinical rotations? For heavens sake, the in-state school (UW) only has 30 students per class! 80-120-160 is insane, and really shows the motivations behind the school. I really don't know if Billings can support that many students.

If anyone has other questions, I'm happy to answer them. I'll try and keep an eye on my notifications better.
Are you saying the list on their website is a little misleading?

 
Are you saying the list on their website is a little misleading?

Yes.

Alive After 5 – as far as i know, there haven't been downtown concerts since the start of covid. Other than bars and a few eateries, downtown is very dead.

Beartooth Highway - not an hour away from Billings. At least an hour and a half. Beautiful drive though. Open only part of the year.

Dehler Park – this is true. There are baseball games.

Lake Elmo State Park - it's a large pond. It's fine, albeit kind of gross.

MetraPark – lots of cool concerts here. This one is true.

Wise Wonders Science & Discovery Museum - not really sure where this is. If it's what i think it is, I have never seen it open.

Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market – very generic farmers market. Lots of menenite/amish produce.

ZooMontana – we do, in fact, have a small zoo. This one is true, if not a little exaggerated.
 
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Yes.

Alive After 5 – as far as i know, there haven't been downtown concerts since the start of covid. Other than bars and a few eateries, downtown is very dead.

Beartooth Highway - not an hour away from Billings. At least an hour and a half. Beautiful drive though. Open only part of the year.

Dehler Park – this is true. There are baseball games.

Lake Elmo State Park - it's a large pond. It's fine, albeit kind of gross.

MetraPark – lots of cool concerts here. This one is true.

Wise Wonders Science & Discovery Museum - not really sure where this is. If it's what i think it is, I have never seen it open.

Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market – very generic farmers market. Lots of menenite/amish produce.

ZooMontana – we do, in fact, have a small zoo. This one is true, if not a little exaggerated.
Look at the amazing pictures!
 
Look at the amazing pictures!
It might be different if you're coming from Florida or some large city. Billings would be a rural paradise, i suppose. I'm just used to tiny towns. My folks live in a town of 900 people. Billings is just too big for me.
 
I sent in my primary to this school. Is there any word on what the secondary prompts will be?
 
I sent in my primary to this school. Is there any word on what the secondary prompts will be?
I sent in my primary to this school. Is there any word on what the secondary prompts will be?
From the reading of their application procedures, it sounds like there's just a supplemental fee, no secondary.

 
From the reading of their application procedures, it sounds like there's just a supplemental fee, no secondary.

Have you seen anywhere when they'll review and send out the supplemental? I applied to MCOM a week-ish ago and don't know when they'll roll out 2* or II's
 
Have you seen anywhere when they'll review and send out the supplemental? I applied to MCOM a week-ish ago and don't know when they'll roll out 2* or II's
have you emailed admissions?
 
so I actually just called and had the most pleasant chat with the director of admissions, she is so sweet and kind! She said they just updated their systems so thats why everything is delayed, they are hoping on sending portal access/secondaries by the end of this week to early next week!
I haven't emailed them lol but wanted to know if anyone knew
 
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I can already see the MCOM secondary on the portal since I applied to another RVU campus. Have not received an email yet so I won't be doing it yet.
 
I can already see the MCOM secondary on the portal since I applied to another RVU campus. Have not received an email yet so I won't be doing it yet.
where do you see it? I also applied to the other RVU
 
The prompt is the same as RVU's. Do you figure that we just use the same essay?
I’d say tailor it more to MCOM, for me mine is pretty copy and paste since my experiences fit both but I just altered my conclusion to MCOM instead of RVU
 
When y'all submitted did you get a confirmation email from RVUCOM and not MCOM?
 
Ok. I'll admit, I've been pretty negative on poor Billings. Here's some cool stuff:

I went rock climbing about an hour and a half from here at natural bridge.

Hopefully I can get some of you exited to come explore Montana.
 

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Ok. I'll admit, I've been pretty negative on poor Billings. Here's some cool stuff:

I went rock climbing about an hour and a half from here at natural bridge.

Hopefully I can get some of you exited to come explore Montana.
MCOM is one of my top choices tbh, I’ve never really seen a director as excited as when I spoke to Jaime, hoping to get in here!
 
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