any questions for a current CCOM student?

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Jan 16, 2003
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Hi CCOM "MS-0's"

I'm a MSI at CCOM, and I remember how many questions I had about housing, classes, the area around campus, instruments, financial aid, etc., before starting school. So if you have any questions I'd be glad to answer them!

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1) First of all, thank you so much for offering your time!! I have been waiting a while for someone to offer to answer questions about CCOM!! Although some students, such as claymore, have offered their advice, my question for u is more specific seeing how you do live in the on-campus apartments right now. I was wondering if u could provide a description of what the apartments look like inside, what furnishings/appliances are included, etc.. Also, if u could tell me when you applied last year for the housing and if you know at all how good the odds are for getting an apartment over a dorm? I know this is a lot to ask someone as busy as you, but any info u could give would be greatly appreciated!!! :)

2) Are parents and significant others allowed to attend the white coat ceramony?

3) Since you have already been thru the financial aid process, I was wondering if u could shed some light on to how much in loans is necessary for a first year in the apartments to live off of ( this question is assuming you needed loans, please disregard if the opposite is true).

Thanks once again for your help, and I know I will probably have more questions for u in the future!! :)

Anyway, take care and I hope your classes are going well!!! :)
Hi Braids!

I'd also like to thank you for extending the offer to answer questions about CCOM. How does CCOM rank in terms of diversity (age, gender, race/ethnicity)?

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Hi DO2007 (ER) and femdoc. Hopefully these answers to your questions can help.
The on-campus apartments are small, with one larger room for kitchen/dining/living area, and a bedroom that is big enough for a queen-sized bed, a dresser, and maybe a bookshelf or two. They are unfurnished, with fridge and small oven, but no dishwasher. There is a washer and dryer for every 8 apartments, and I've never had a problem using it when I needed to. The best part is that the bathtub is larger than in any other place I've lived; it's large enough to take a nice soak after a day of exams.
For the white coat ceremony, family and significant others are very much encouraged to come.
As far as loans, I would recommend taking out the maximum allotted to you by the financial aid office. If you don't use all of it, you can take out less next year. Unless you have another income source, like parents or a spouse, you will probably need the full amount, unfortunately!
For femdoc, our class is of course predominantly white, but there are significant amounts of people who are Asian and Indian, a few Latinos/Hispanics, and very few African-Americans. I don't know of any Native Americans. However, most of these people are all American, and there are only a couple that grew up in other countries. There is an even mix of male and female. As far as age, most people in my class are 23-28. There are probably 10 or 15 that are older. There is a significant amount of people (male and female) who are married, engaged, or seriously attached. There's a few students with children.

I hope this information helps! Let me know if I can answer any other questions for you. :)
Hey anyone at ccom have any info on where a good place to live off campus is. My wife will need to be able to travel to the city but I want to live pretty close to school. Any ideas or advice?

If your wife wants to drive to the city, the expressway is close to campus. Also, the commuter train goes through Downers Grove. My husband takes that every day to downtown Chicago. There isn't much parking by the train station, so look for apartments that are either walking distance to the train, or have a bus that takes you to the train station. Let me know if I can help with anything else...we're living on campus right now, but want to move to an apartment close to the train and still close to campus. So I'm kind of in the same boat as you and your wife are!
Hey Braids,

thanks for the help. I am coming from Boston so I have no clue what towns are good or what areas are the best in each town. Money is not too much of an issue, because coming from boston everything is cheap. Can you recommend any towns beside Downers Grove or any apartment complexes?
Hi Braids,

Thank you so much for your offer to help!

I am in the middle of my year off, and I wanted to start studying anatomy before school starts in Sept. I was wondering if you can please tell me what book you guys use and where I can get it. Thanks!!!!! :)
As others will agree, you really should spend your time enjoying your free time rather than reading anatomy. There will be plenty of time for that, and frankly studying now without some direction as to what's important, makes your studing very low-yield. I really would recommend enjoying yourself instead!

However, if you absolutely have to have your nose in a book, here are some Anatomy texts that are used frequently by our students:

Rohen's Photographic Atlas
Netter's Atlas
Grant's Atlas
Moore's Clinical Anatomy
Moore's Essential Anatomy
Chung's Board Review

Most people probably have Rohen, Netter, and Moore. I personally prefer Clemente's Anatomy atlas in lieu of Netter's, because I like the muscle charts and radiographs. The images seem less cluttered as well. The Rohen atlas is awesome for preparing for practical exams, and the Essential Clinical Anatomy is a great textbook without being overwhelming. I would start with one of the Moore books if you're looking to get an early start. Have fun!

Thanks so much for your response! It's people like you that make SDN such an invaluable resource and outstanding community.

Best wishes toward your studies, femdoc

Thank you SOOO much for the advice on the anatomy texts! I really appreciate it.

I know I probably shouldn't be studying ahead of time, but honestly, I think it may make my life in med school easier if I review the material now. I have a lot of free time on my hands this year so it's ok. I'm doing a lot of fun things too. ;)

Thanks again, that was really nice of you!!!!

Good luck to you!

There are actually several towns that are closer to campus than Downers Grove is, since we are on the very edge of DG! The towns that most of my classmates live in are Lombard, Downers, Lisle, Wheaton, and Naperville. Naperville really isn't super close, but it's a really nice town, so a lot of people like to live there. I can't personally recommend any apartment complexes because I have never been in any of them, but there are several people who live in the Yorktown in Lombard, the Green Trails apartments in Lisle, Four Lakes in Lisle, to name just a few.

To NUgirl...I agree with claymore. Don't worrying about studying too much right now! Especially with will spend so much time doing that. If you study anything, maybe review some physiology...I hadn't taken physio before but some of my classmates have and they said it has really helped them this quarter with Cardiac Cycle and EKG stuff. Enjoy your year off! Read some good books that will get you inspired about being a doctor and excited for the next two years of hard classroom work. Good luck!
Hey Braids.....or anyone else at CCOM :)

When is move-in day into the dorms or on-campus apartments?

What do you think is the best place to live on campus?

What are the first year volunteer experiences? Are the hands-on clinical experiences?

Thanks for the help...
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Last year, move-in day was sometime during the last week in August. I assume it will be similar this year.

Although you will hear differences of opinion on the best places to live on campus, most people prefer the LLC and therefore this place usually fills up first. However, the rooms are sometimes bigger in the traditional dorms.

There are numerous volunteer opportunities that the school offers, and individual clubs have additional service projects. These include tutoring local children, working at area clinics, and many more. You will not find a shortage of opportunities.

Good luck and let us know if you have any other questions.

CCOM-Midwestern University
I was wondering how students at CCOM end up spending their summers and breaks. Is there research or quick jobs that one could possibly do during those times to get some quick cash?
I will be attending CCOM this fall and I was wondering how many books I can expect to buy my first year and also in addition to the amount of tuition what is the max amount of financial aid I can get.
I'll try and address some of the recent questions.

As far as what students do over break, I think you will find that people do all different things. Some choose to take a well-deserved break, and spend the summer sitting on the beach or enjoying the city. Others travel home or to exotic places. Some people work in non-medical related summer jobs, to make a little extra cash. Still others find research or clinical opportunities for a couple of months.

One nice thing about CCOM is that we have a pretty long summer break (3.5 months), so you really have a long time to do whatever you want. The school provides some opportunities to shadow local physicians or particpate in basic science research with the faculty; some departments such as Biochemistry also have paid summer positions for lab work. Some other people take internships through various professional organizations such as the Illinois Medical Society or others. So, whatever you're interested in you can probably find.

As far as books and money, the max amount of Stafford loans you can take out is $38500 for the year. If you need more than this you'll have to find scholarships or private loans. The amount of money people spend on books varies widely, some people buy everything while others rely primarily on class notes. However it would be extremely difficult to spend less than $100/quarter on average, and many people spend closer to $200. This does not include the cost of equipment (stethoscope, oto/ophthalmoscope, blood pressure cuff, etc). Yes, it is expensive, but you will keep most of these books for a long time! Hope I could help a bit.

Midwestern University-CCOM
Here's another question:

Do we really need the otoscope, opthalmascope, and blood pressure cuff?

I've heard that those are unnecessary. I do have a friend who is going to give me his otoscope and opthalmascope. But I already know how to take a b.p., should I buy the blood pressure cuff anyway?
I would definitely buy a stethoscope. You can buy a very good one for around $100, and you will use it frequently throughout your time at CCOM (including first year).

As far as the oto/ophthalmoscope and bp cuff, you can get away without them at least for the first year. I don't know if they will be more essential next year or not, but so far we've hardly used these instruments at all yet. And when we do, you can undoubtedly borrow them from someone else.
Rstar, I would highly recommend Oak Park for a happy medium, close to the city/close to school (10miles each). D.Grove is a good 20 miles from downtown chicago! About a 25to55 min. drive depending on the time of day. I lived in Oak Park before I started at CCOM. It is a diverse and fun town. There are two accesible els (blue/green) line, right to the loop and downtown in 20mins....15 in a car.
Good Luck in the move

P.S. I live downtown, if you need some numbers for apartments in the city let me know!
Braids,Claymore, CCOMers in general -

I was wondering if u guys would recommend a finaid counselor who is good to work with before school starts. thanks in advance for the info!! :)
The head of the financial aid office is Kim Brown, who just came into the position within the last year or so. She is pretty good and brought a lot of organization to the dept! Another good contact is Christine; unfortunately i can't remember her last name. From what i remember, i believe that you are assigned a finaid counselor based alphabetically upon your last name.
i know ccom disburses the financial aid during the third week of classes or so but i was wondering if they give you the full amount that you borrowed for the year, minus the yearly tuition, or do they give you the excess amount in installments throughout the year?
Loans are disbursed in 3 equal installments in September, December, and March.

Midwestern University-CCOM
Hey, all you CCOM'ers:

How strict are the gpa cutoffs? I read that the min sci gpa is 2.75. My sci gpa is 2.72. Should I bother applying, or spend whatever time it takes in a postbacc situtation to pull it up? This could take at least a year's worth of classes to make any difference, right?
I think it depends in part on the strength of the rest of your application. Not to be discouraging but you need to realize that your GPA is significantly below the average, and you will need to be pretty solid in other areas of evaluation to compensate. I really don't know how strict they are with the cutoffs, though, you may want to make a call to the admissions office. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.

Midwestern University-CCOM
Thanks, Claymore! I just called and was told that they are in fact very strict about the gpa cutoff numbers. However, I am still meeting with someone from admissions to discuss my application next week. If it all boils down to spending more time to put myself in the competitive range for CCOM, I am there.
Hey guys,

I was debating on getting a laptop before med school and was wondering if it is useful to have one at CCOM. I going to be living off campus and have a desktop already. But didn't know if the lectures are available online for classes and whether it's feasible to take notes during class on a laptop and if there are ethernet connects in class?


I would not recommend getting a laptop for classes at CCOM. There is no need to take any notes during class; they are all handed out to you beforehand. Also, there is no ethernet connection in the classrooms (only in the library), but there are plenty of computers in the library that you can use whenever you need them. Lectures and other study resources are available online, but you can download these at any time. I see no advantage of having a laptop at CCOM and don't recall seeing anyone bringing one in last year. Save your money for rent and books, or upgrade your current desktop.

Midwestern Univeristy-CCOM
Thanks a lot Claymore. I really appreciate the advice.