Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
Hello you pre-med grinders!

I’m an OMS1 at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. We just finished our final exams, and now we have some time to chill and reflect on the amazing experience of being in medical school. Trust me, it is amazing! So I wanted to give back to this community, like many other OMS1’s did for me over the years on here. Ask me any questions about what its like to be in medical school, DO training, admissions, whatever. I don’t care what you are curious about, I will see if I can be of some guidance!
 
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
What was your first two weeks of medical school like? Did you adjust to the pace quickly?
Well I would say the first two weeks were extraordinarily overwhelming. The professors come out swinging, throwing you everything they possibly can. This was especially true of anatomy. In that class we learned every muscle, nerve, vessel, bone, and the functions of everything involved with the superficial and deep back and upper extremity in a little over two weeks time. Not only this but we had OMM, BECOM (which at my school includes everything from biochemistry and immunology to physiology and microbiology), and our clinical class as well. But it is all very doable, and I feel like I adapted very quickly to the pace. The goal is to be completely focused whenever you study! In the beginning I studied an extra 40+ hours a week plus our class time which was about 25 hours a week, and I became more efficient over time and started doing about an average of 30 extra hours instead. It does depend on the person though, not everyone learns the same. For me, I have to draw EVERYTHING out. And I suck at drawing mind you lol. I just need the visual if I am going to remember it, and having a picture in your brain of your very own synopsis of the material can be very helpful for you to learn the vast amount of material.
 
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
How’ve you been doing academically? How do you study? What do you wish you had done during the summer before M1?
Well I am doing pretty well I would say. My study habits have yielded me mostly A’s in my classes and a couple of mid to high B’s. My grade on the cumulative BECOM final was within the top 10% of the class. And you can read about my study habits in my previous post, but it was to draw everything out over and over again. Go through everything in your head, and put marker to white board for hours on end. I would also re-watch lectures and follow along in my PowerPoints while I did this. Listening to those lectures again, I would recommend doing it at 2 x speed. It works like a charm, and you get used to the pace quickly. Lol sometimes, I found it easier to understand the professor at 2x speed! And man, I did absolutely NOTHING but work, get married, and vacation the summer before school. Just enjoy your life before this thing called medicine takes it over. Take a vacation! My wife and I went to Florida. So much fun.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 4thtimeretaker
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
Al
How’ve you been doing academically? How do you study? What do you wish you had done during the summer before M1?
Also note this: I didn’t lose a single wink of sleep the entirety of my first semester. I made sure to go to bed no later than 11 every night, often going to bed at 9:30 in fact. Then I would get up at 6 every morning and just enjoy myself before I went to class. My wife and I also had date night EVERY week. Even during finals. It’s all about efficiency when you play this game.
 
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
What is your favorite part of ARCOM? and least favorite?
Why did you choose ARCOM?
Do you feel that it is moving in the right direction?
I think my favorite aspect of ARCOM so far has to be how closely knit the community is. The faculty are amazing, and you can tell they truly care about their students. Each student is assigned a group called an Academy made up of basic science and clinical faculty, upper classmen, and your cohorts. We meet a couple of times a semester just to hang out, and once even had a dinner party at one of the professor’s houses. It’s a great way to get to know people, and also to get much needed advice on how to deal with the stress and difficulty of medical school.

My least favorite part is the fact that, yes, ARCOM is a new school that is still blazing a path for itself. There are still some kinks in the curriculum to be worked out. This mainly has to do with the clinical curriculum, because many times we the students find ourselves getting second hand advice from multiple different professors and other students on what is and is not important to do during patient interviews. I understand that real life is never exact and every patient must be individualized, but we need some more cohesiveness in what we learn so that we can be more confident that what we are doing is well within the scope of what would generally be considered “correct” amongst clinicians. I think the basic sciences are being taught superbly though, and look forward to performing research. One of our faculty members just received a $300,000
NIH fund for his project, so that is very exciting!

Overall, the school definitely seems to be improving on its faults all the time. Our faculty are always looking for constructive critiques, and do implement corrections consistently when indicated.

I chose ARCOM because I believe in their mission, and I found the atmosphere to be one of great encouragement. It just *feels* like home to me, and that led me to choose to attend ARCOM anyway in the face of one other acceptance I received. My wife and I also wanted to make sure we lived in a town we could easily integrate ourselves into that didn’t differ much from home, and Fort Smith fit that vision.
 
Last edited:

Goro femme

2+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2017
29
30
21
Status
Attending Physician
You mention the faculty is “amazing”. ARCOM is developing a reputation of having a high turnover rate for faculty, especially clinical, for such a young school in osteopathic medicine. You do mention other inconsistencies in the clinical teaching. Do you have any other concerns given the high rate of faculty and dean turnover? Does the administration address this high rate of turnover?
 

WhereMyLiberalsAt

2+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2016
243
425
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
You mention the faculty is “amazing”. ARCOM is developing a reputation of having a high turnover rate for faculty, especially clinical, for such a young school in osteopathic medicine. You do mention other inconsistencies in the clinical teaching. Do you have any other concerns given the high rate of faculty and dean turnover? Does the administration address this high rate of turnover?
I imagine you're extremely plugged into the local Fort Smith scene... because ARCOM is literally too new to have any "reputation" (at least around these parts.) I have seen one post on SDN about about turnover from a pretty credible user (goes to a different school but is from the area.) However, I have yet to see anything that affirms this information. Before I applied/interviewed this cycle I looked at the faculty to scope out their teaching pedigree. Skimming through ARCOM's faculty page I see very little change.

Additionally, the dean was moved/promoted to provost... I guess this can be viewed as turnover, but with the previous dean not leaving the organization, turnover is the wrong word.

I'm interested in hearing an answer if any of the statements are true. But without any evidence besides "word on the street" your post poses too many fallacies; loaded questions, straw man, equivocation. This years UNECOM thread has shown me how SDN has a lot of influence on a school's reputation... Founded or unfounded.
 
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
I have not noticed a high turnover rate with faculty this past semester, and it’s not exactly something that has been generally discussed among my classmates either. BECOM/Anatomy faculty have all been very consistent, and are slated to continue lecturing to us next semester. Many of the professors have been teaching since the school opened and started classes in 2016. We do have an OMM professor leaving, but they have promptly hired another to take her place.

Yes, we are still hiring some faculty to cover some of our needs. We are still looking for a permanent chair of microbiology although we have professors available that can teach the subject very competently. Some clinical positions in particular specialities are still being sought out as well, so obviously it that lends credence to the idea that our clinical courses are one of our weaker links.

Our original dean Dr. Stowers has been promoted to provost, that is correct. Given his age and the amount of work that must be done at this level, it seems right for him to step into a role that would allow him to perform his job well. So it seems logical to hire a new dean to cover those responsibilities.
 

DrStephenStrange

OMS-I C/O 2022
Bronze Donor
Oct 25, 2017
1,105
1,325
41
Somewhere I like
Status
Medical Student
You mention the faculty is “amazing”. ARCOM is developing a reputation of having a high turnover rate for faculty, especially clinical, for such a young school in osteopathic medicine. You do mention other inconsistencies in the clinical teaching. Do you have any other concerns given the high rate of faculty and dean turnover? Does the administration address this high rate of turnover?
Also OMS1 from ARCOM, and I haven't noticed high turnover rate in our faculty like you mentioned. The basic science professors that taught the inaugural class are still here, and they taught us during our first semester. About OMM faculty, one professor just left on her own because she had personal things she wanted to focused on and didn't find that at ARCOM; somewhere during first or second semester of the inaugural class, they added one really good professor from LMU as the course director, and he is just making the OMM course and lab so easy for us by making really concise and comprehensive study guides for our exams and making lab fun and enjoyable. We got some 3rd year LMU students on rotations in the area come visit us sometimes during omm lab, and they say people got upset that he left their school as his study guides delivers COMLEX' OMM on a platter. I wouldn't consider these two cases to be bad moves, they didn't have any impact on the continuity of our education at all. The core clinical faculty are still the same from the inaugural class.

The dean move was made because of the development of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE), ARCOM's parent institution. That being said that move was already pre-planned and was going to happen after we graduate our inaugural class in 2021 (because that's when the other health programs were going to open their doors), but because of early funding by our generous donors to develop these 3 programs earlier than planned, Dr Stowers had to be promoted to Vice president of academic affairs (VPAA). Now, all 4 deans will be reporting to him, meaning he will still have a say in everything our new dean will be doing. So there you have it, that's the reason why we have a new dean now.

Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Quackery445
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
Also OMS1 from ARCOM, and I haven't noticed high turnover rate in our faculty like you mentioned. The basic science professors that taught the inaugural class are still here, and they taught us during our first semester. About OMM faculty, one professor just left on her own because she had personal things she wanted to focused on and didn't find that at ARCOM; somewhere during first or second semester of the inaugural class, they added one really good professor from LMU as the course director, and he is just making the OMM course and lab so easy for us by making really concise and comprehensive study guides for our exams and making lab fun and enjoyable. We got some 3rd LMU students on rotations in the area come visit us sometimes during omm lab, and they say people got upset that he left their school as his study guides delivers COMLEX' OMM on a platter. I wouldn't consider these two cases to be bad moves, they didn't have any impact on the continuity of our education at all. The core clinical faculty are still the same from the inaugural class.

The dean move was made because of the development of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE), ARCOM's parent institution. That being said that move was already pre-planned and was going to happen after we graduate our inaugural class in 2021 (because that's when the other health programs were going to open their doors), but because of early funding by our generous donors to develop these 3 programs earlier than planned, Dr Stowers had to be promoted to Vice president of academic affairs (VPAA). Now, all 4 deans will be reporting to him, meaning he will still have a say in everything our new dean will be doing. So there you have it, that's the reason why we have a new dean now.

Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
Well explained. I don’t keep up with the politics much haha.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrStephenStrange

I'mJustCurious

2+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2015
627
236
81
Status
Pre-Medical
1. What are some amazing experiences you've had so far while in school?
2. How do you push yourself to study on days you don't feel like studying?
3. How has your approach to studying changed or did they remain the same?
4. What's your daily schedule like?
 
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
1. What are some amazing experiences you've had so far while in school?
2. How do you push yourself to study on days you don't feel like studying?
3. How has your approach to studying changed or did they remain the same?
4. What's your daily schedule like?
1. In my opinion, anatomy was one of the most humbling experiences. It’s a class that really provided me with greater reverence of the fragile human form, and brought me greater appreciation of the intricacies within. Performing the brain dissection was a surreal experience. As I held the brain within my hands, it was just such an odd feeling knowing that each crag, swelling, line, and division is important for basal function of both the body and of thought, and here I held all of the profundity that must have marked the life of our late donor. As you can tell, I am very much interested in psych/neuro!

2. I keep a motto above my desk that states “we rise by lifting others, and every concept learned is another physical and mental ascent.” That’s something I dwell on from time to time to remind me that this process is not in vain, and that my degree of knowledge will be needed soon enough to make a positive difference in a patient’s life. I also tend to read inspirational writers or watching inspirational videos during my study breaks or off times. You need to find that quote or speaker that really touches yours heart. Just something to remind you of your purpose.

3. My approach to studying has changed quite a bit. I used to be a passive studier, just re-reading my notes and PowerPoints. Now, I am very involved in the process through drawing everything as you can see from my previous replies. I’m much more efficient because of the change, and I ended up studying relatively less than I thought I would have in medical school.

4. My daily schedule starts at 6 am every morning. I make breakfast, eat, relax and see my wife off to work. Classes usually start at 8 or 9 am and last till 12, then we may come back in the afternoon for a TBL (team based learning) activity or laboratory session depending on the day. Labs for OMM last 2 hours while anatomy lasted 3. Our clinical class FOPC starts at 7 and lab is immediately after and lasts two hours. TBL’s can last as long as 3 to 4 hours. Overall, the latest we are done is 5 pm and the earliest is 10 am, just depending on the group. Once I am done with class, I come home and relax for an hour doing whatever I want, then I put my nose to the grindstone for 4 to 5 hours on average, never surpassing 11 pm. I get most studying done on the weekends though, and I keep my schedule the same (get up at 6 am etc) just to stay disciplined. So basically expect about a 60 hour work week or more depending on your study style (studying and class combined).
 
Oct 6, 2017
88
68
31
Status
Pre-Medical
How good are the rotation site? I know you are only a first year and no one has been on rotations at ARCOM yet but is there any talk that they are good hospitals? Are they mostly community hospitals I guess?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
  • Like
Reactions: WhereMyLiberalsAt
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
How good are the rotation site? I know you are only a first year and no one has been on rotations at ARCOM yet but is there any talk that they are good hospitals? Are they mostly community hospitals I guess?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
It’s really difficult to say at this point, but I would recommend you follow the link I have provided. Here they give you some links to the different rotation sites they are partnered with, and you can determine this question for yourself. Otherwise, we won’t know how good these sites are until probably winter of next year.

Clinical Rotation Sites | ARCOM
 

DrStephenStrange

OMS-I C/O 2022
Bronze Donor
Oct 25, 2017
1,105
1,325
41
Somewhere I like
Status
Medical Student
Also, these sites are subject to change from what I heard from 2nd years. More will be added, and some might be taken out if they do not live up to expectations after they get reviewed by the inaugural class.

Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
 

DrStephenStrange

OMS-I C/O 2022
Bronze Donor
Oct 25, 2017
1,105
1,325
41
Somewhere I like
Status
Medical Student
How good are the rotation site? I know you are only a first year and no one has been on rotations at ARCOM yet but is there any talk that they are good hospitals? Are they mostly community hospitals I guess?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
To answer your question, like mentioned we won't know for sure now, and yes we have good amount of community hospitals, but we also have some decent teaching hospitals in our list as well. Sites like Baptist health in Fort Smith (used to be Sparks health system and recently bought), Baptist health in Little Rock, Unity Health and Chi St Vincent, both also in the vicinity of Little Rock, are all decent size hospitals (with ~500 beds or more) that are either already teaching hospitals or currently seeking ACGME accreditation for new residency programs. Baptist Health in Little Rock for example is a big Hospital with 814 beds, and already have their new internal and family medicine programs running this year in coordination with UAMS. Unity health also have new residency programs running as well in Internal medicine, Family medicine, Emergency medicine and psychiatry. So these sites, I think, will provide a very good clinical education to students that are rotating, and they might be popular choices as well.

Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
 
Last edited:
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
How is it with mandatory attendance? Do you feel you have enough time to study?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
Personally, I do feel like I have plenty of time to study. However, not everyone is going to be the same in this regard. We also have board prep to contend with, and it’s easy to see that if mandatory attendance persists then we OMS1’s may have issues with getting our studying in. I’m sure the OMS2’s are feeling that heat right at this moment, wishing those policies would lighten up more. It used to be worse in that EVERY class was mandatory no matter how good you were performing, and so it’s obvious that ARCOM listened to the plight of students for more leniency in the attendance policy by making BECOM skippable if you maintain an average of an 80% or better.
 

DrStephenStrange

OMS-I C/O 2022
Bronze Donor
Oct 25, 2017
1,105
1,325
41
Somewhere I like
Status
Medical Student
Personally, I do feel like I have plenty of time to study. However, not everyone is going to be the same in this regard. We also have board prep to contend with, and it’s easy to see that if mandatory attendance persists then we OMS1’s may have issues with getting our studying in. I’m sure the OMS2’s are feeling that heat right at this moment, wishing those policies would lighten up more. It used to be worse in that EVERY class was mandatory no matter how good you were performing, and so it’s obvious that ARCOM listened to the plight of students for more leniency in the attendance policy by making BECOM skippable if you maintain an average of an 80% or better.
Just a slight correction (sorry bro). I know the attendance policy has been confusing all year, but I think if you maintain a 70% average on BECOM you're fine to miss classes (from the last update by dean Stowers). Also, at least for the first semester of OMS1, people should know we get done early (at the earliest 10am - 12pm on other days) most days, and BECOM is one of the classes you have the most after you get done with anatomy, so you'll have some leniency if you're a 70+ student.

Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
 
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
Just a slight correction (sorry bro). I know the attendance policy has been confusing all year, but I think if you maintain a 70% average on BECOM you're fine to miss classes (from the last update by dean Stowers). Also, at least for the first semester of OMS1, people should know we get done early (at the earliest 10am - 12pm on other days) most days, and BECOM is one of the classes you have the most after you get done with anatomy, so you'll have some leniency if you're a 70+ student.

Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
According to Stower’s October PowerPoint it’s this: “Mandatory attendance is required until the completion of a course when the cumulative average of any required component falls below 80.” So maybe I missed another email he sent us that stated otherwise?
 

DrStephenStrange

OMS-I C/O 2022
Bronze Donor
Oct 25, 2017
1,105
1,325
41
Somewhere I like
Status
Medical Student
According to Stower’s October PowerPoint it’s this: “Mandatory attendance is required until the completion of a course when the cumulative average of any required component falls below 80.” So maybe I missed another email he sent us that stated otherwise?
Haha, maybe I got it wrong. I was under the impression it was 70%. Let me check again. Did they email us a copy of that PowerPoint by any chance? I can't remember.

Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
 
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
Haha, maybe I got it wrong. I was under the impression it was 70%. Let me check again. Did they email us a copy of that PowerPoint by any chance? I can't remember.

Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
It’s cool man! But yes, that’s where I found the quote I just gave you. Just check the school email and it should be available.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrStephenStrange

DrStephenStrange

OMS-I C/O 2022
Bronze Donor
Oct 25, 2017
1,105
1,325
41
Somewhere I like
Status
Medical Student
Ok, my bad, yes, it is 80%. If you fall below 80% you have mandatory attendance for BECOM. I was confusing the tutoring requirement with the mandatory attendance, if you fall below 70% you have to get tutoring. Good thing is I think now you can move up the ladder from the high risk category (below 70%) to moderate risk (below 80%) to low risk (above 80%) during a semester (instead of being permanently placed into a risk category for the whole semester after falling below 80% or 70% average) according to Dr Stowers last meeting he had about that. Meaning if you're in the moderate risk after your first exam (scoring 78% for example), you can be moved back to low risk if the average of the 2 exam is >80%. Before that you would be in the moderate risk category for the whole semester which was stupid.

Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Quackery445

crangel

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2012
69
36
161
Status
Pre-Medical
Question: if I stayed at the Residents apartments on campus would there be an issue if my parents visited for a weekend and brought my German Shepherd To visit me? I know the weight limit is 20lbs but he wouldn’t be living there, just visiting. If this would be an issue, I’ll need to look off-campus
 

DrStephenStrange

OMS-I C/O 2022
Bronze Donor
Oct 25, 2017
1,105
1,325
41
Somewhere I like
Status
Medical Student
Question: if I stayed at the Residents apartments on campus would there be an issue if my parents visited for a weekend and brought my German Shepherd To visit me? I know the weight limit is 20lbs but he wouldn’t be living there, just visiting. If this would be an issue, I’ll need to look off-campus
I don't see how that's gonna be a problem since they are just visiting for just a few days. It's not like they're gonna come to your apartment and inspect what you have in there. That would be violation of privacy. No one ever comes to my apartment unless it's for a fire alarm drill, replacing air filters, or fixing something.
 

crangel

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2012
69
36
161
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't see how that's gonna be a problem since they are just visiting for just a few days. It's not like they're gonna come to your apartment and inspect what you have in there. That would be violation of privacy. No one ever comes to my apartment unless it's for a fire alarm drill, replacing air filters, or fixing something.
Thank you! That's what I was thinking - however, they just responded to my post on their FB page and said the 20lb limit is also for visiting dogs. I'm torn because I really wanted to live on campus. And I was thinking it wouldn't be an issue but he'll have to go out to potty a couple of times in the day when he visits and I don't want to get kicked out if they see him :/
 

crangel

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2012
69
36
161
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't see how that's gonna be a problem since they are just visiting for just a few days. It's not like they're gonna come to your apartment and inspect what you have in there. That would be violation of privacy. No one ever comes to my apartment unless it's for a fire alarm drill, replacing air filters, or fixing something.
Do you know where most students stay off-campus? I'm looking for a nice area that's safe since I'll be alone...
 

DrStephenStrange

OMS-I C/O 2022
Bronze Donor
Oct 25, 2017
1,105
1,325
41
Somewhere I like
Status
Medical Student
Do you know where most students stay off-campus? I'm looking for a nice area that's safe since I'll be alone...
Most students off campus stays at The Haven or The Reserves. Also, you could try calling the residents office lady, Ms. Beverly, to explain this at 479-629-2319 or 479-755-6955.
 

Medic741

2+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2017
744
875
81
Status
Medical Student
Hello you pre-med grinders!

I’m an OMS1 at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. We just finished our final exams, and now we have some time to chill and reflect on the amazing experience of being in medical school. Trust me, it is amazing! So I wanted to give back to this community, like many other OMS1’s did for me over the years on here. Ask me any questions about what its like to be in medical school, DO training, admissions, whatever. I don’t care what you are curious about, I will see if I can be of some guidance!
Have you visited Bentonville yet?
 
OP
Quackery445

Quackery445

King of the Onion - to - Foot Detoxification
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2015
153
265
81
Status
Medical Student
Have you visited Bentonville yet?
Not yet. My wife and I went on a trip to Eureka Springs for spring break though. It’s a great place to relax and take in some of the beautiful nature Arkansas has to offer.