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Applying to COMP? here's something to think about

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by solid_confusion, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. solid_confusion

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    This is just something to think about. I'm NOT bad-mouthing nor am I praising the school in any way. But here's a little fact for you to think about...WesternU COMPs recent board scores for the COMLEX are not impressive. In all subjects, scores are below average but passing. And the overall pass rate, WesternU is well below the national average. What to make of this? Many things. Could be the students, could be the environment, could be curriculum, or a combination of it all. Now, someone's going to say...where did I get this information? It doen't matter, it's been circulating in our class and the class that took it. If you don't believe it that's fine, if you're concerned, then you can always call the school. If it doesn't matter, that's okay too.

    Oh, and if you want to know about the environment, here's a previous thread about that...

    http://studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=27170&highlight=comp+needs+to+change

    Note: these were previous concerns and issues. It does not mean in any way that the same issues will happen every time. To be honest, things have been okay since coming back from a nice relaxing break.
     
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  3. apgar7

    apgar7 Member
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    I'm an MSII at COMP and I must agree that I'm also concerned about the school's recent boards performance. Still I wonder, how has the school performed on the boards in past years? Is it always this low? I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that the poor performance had more to do with insufficient free time to prepare (3 weeks) than it had to do with a poorly taught curiculum. We've learned sooo many things that it's gonna take a while to bring those facts back to memory. Anyway, for the most part I feel as though I'm learning lots of good medicine, but then again, I don't really have anything to compare it to.
     
  4. Forensic Chick

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    Wow guys... All of the info that I have received from the admissions office and stuff has shown a 97% pass rate with the passing average "above the national mean." I'm wondering if the information is outdated or if they were just playing with the statistics.

    Thank you for bringing the topic to light.

    I also just read the link that Solid Confusion included in his post. I was wondering if the problems have worked themselves out or if they are still continuing. I am currently applying to COMP, and while I would not consider pulling my application, I would like to know what's going on and if anything has changed.

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  5. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student
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    COMP is the only DO school that I'm applying to.

    I just wanted to add something else. In podiatry school, my class was considered the most motivated, most anal and most competitive that anyone could remember. Our grades and boards (not the same kind as osteo and allo, but boards nonetheless) showed it. The point is that each year in med school there is a different set of students with different factors to consider. The board scores can sway either way depending on a number of things.

    To me, this is nothing to be concerned about if the most recent boards are unfavorable compared with previous years. Doing well on the boards has more to do with the individual than it does with the school or its environment.
     
  6. GoForIt

    GoForIt Senior Member
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    Do not believe solid_confusion. COMP is a good med school.

    Here are two links you may be interested regarding WesternU/COMP.

    1. COMP is the 5th highest rate to pass COMLEX.
    COMLEX 1 Pass Rate Among All DO Schools

    2. COMP Graduates matched into highly competitive programs year after year. Here's the 2002 match results, and you can contact COMP for the previous years. It's very impressive.
    COMP 2002 Match Results

    COMP is constantly bringing up its academic standard. In do so, quite a few marginal students are voicing their displeasure with the school. I suggest you read those negative remarks with a grain of salt. After all, you should judge a school by the quality of its graduates. From the above links, there should be no doubt that COMP students are doing well. :confused:
     
  7. San_Juan_Sun

    San_Juan_Sun Professor of Life
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    Personally, I'm thankful that someone would give an less-than-stellar appraisal of their own school. Of course, ANY comment should probably be taken with a grain of salt, be it positive or negative. I personally thank solid_confusion for posting his/her thoughts, especially on a very public forum where these thoughts can come back and bite you.
     
  8. solid_confusion

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    Thank you for those who are seeing this objectively. Not only will I mention the not-so-good, but I will also give a few positives about COMP. Talking to the 3rd and 4th years, it is my impression that our rotation sites are quite exceptional. Also, it is true that our residency match list is impressive. However, one should also note that the previous year's class also did not do above the national average, but did not do quite as bad as this year. Can 2 years in a row with subpar pass rates and actual scores be partly due to some of the changes being made at COMP? It is my understanding that this years class that took the boards was the first class that was required to use laptops in class. Could it be due to the fact that some of the students decided to play games in class? I highly doubt 30% of the class really played games in class. There is no real answer to this somwhat disturbing fact. With at least 165 students taking the boards and having between 25-30% not pass, in addition to below national average scores, that seems like too large a number to say it's because of the students.
    Another positive about WesternU is the fact that it is a university with multi-health degrees. By 2003, WesternU will have its first veterinary class. There's more...so please don't bash just because I'm willing to share everything about my school. It's rare to hear of someone who is willing to share the GOOD and the NOT-SO-GOOD about his/her own school. Most people in this forum only share the good. What good is it to one who wants to apply to a school and only hear of the good? It's like buying a new computer, you want to know it's positives and negatives compared to another computer before you make the decision to purchase it. The same goes for applying to a professional school, it's always good to hear both sides and form your own decision. No one is trying to sway you one way or another...at least they shouldn't.
     
  9. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
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    Required?? For what, notetaking?
     
  10. apgar7

    apgar7 Member
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    Dr. Mom,

    At COMP we are required to have a lap top computer for accessing power point slides, taking notes, etc. However, there is no requirement that we have to bring them to class or even use them; only that we own them. Seems kind of stupid that it's a requirement rather than a choice.

    Hey Solid Confusion. . . I don't think the board fail rate was that low. It was closer to 12-14%, but that still worries me. Apparently the step I COMLEX was more like a step II exam (very clinical) according to the junior year class and it totally caught them off guard, whereas the USMLE was more basic science oriented.
     
  11. solid_confusion

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    Apgar,

    Yes, I do not have confirmation of the board pass rate. I've heard from others, but not directly from the individual himself who states the scores are this low. I'm sure you know who I am talking about if I give you even a minor hint. Actually, it's a couple individuals in the back right of the classroom who always seem to have information about everything. I actually came across a printout they had about last year's board scores and it was not impressive. However, I do know that someone in our class spoke with the academic enhancment office (something like that) to actually find out if all this is just a rumor. The individual stated that the office mentioned the scores were of concern (but did not actually disclose the pass rate) and that the individual subject scores were below the national average if that's of any help. So again, those reading this post...take it for what it's worth...a grain of salt.

    There's actually one thing we really need the laptops for...the labs such as pathology and histology, as for the other subjects I think the laptop is an aid and not a requirement. In my opinion, it's better to look at a screen than a microscope.
     
  12. Forensic Chick

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    Question for you guys:

    Do you think that COMP is trying to hide the low board pass rates? Their website and all supporting information shows a 97% pass rate -- which obviously is a fallacy.

    I wanted to thank all of you for the indepth information. I really like to know what I'm getting into.

    While I understand that you are not attending AZCOM, I'm curious as to how a relatively new, not yet fully established school has a 100% COMLEX 1 pass rate -- when COMP, which is established and reputable is in the 80's... hhmmm....
     
  13. aecuenca2

    aecuenca2 Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I am currently on my 3rd month of rotations in San Diego and I've been reading posts here on SDN regarding COMP. It's quite amazing that I have to see yet another post from solid_confusion regarding his grievances about COMP. (though he did state some positives, which is a bit of a difference)

    I had a meeting with the Director of Clinical Education today at COMP. He came down to meet with the San Diego group and discuss how rotations were going. I too have heard about the numerous rumors about the low pass rate and concern about boards. I asked him directly about the rumors and his answer to me was that yes, it is true that we did score below the national average, but not to the extent of the what is going around the rumor mill. According to him, our class' overall board pass rate was 88%, with the national average being 90%.

    Now, the COMLEX was quite a difficult exam. I think the problem that our class had was that we did not know the format of the exam. It's a VERY clinical exam, and you should be reading FIRST AID STEP 2 AND STEP 1. I regret not reading my STEP 2 book and doing the USMLE question book from the NMS series. I'm using it now and the questions are VERY similar to what I saw on the COMLEX.

    And yes, we were given ~ 3 weeks to study, and we had to fight to change that. But keep in mind that some schools only had 1 week to study.

    I addressed these opinions to the director and he suggested I put my opinions in writing, and I'll be happy to do so. Now, I don't know if you are a class leader solid_confusion (past posts by you don't indicate that you are) but I suggest that you or your class officers ask the Dean to come talk to you about your concerns and get actual confirmation about our pass rate and past year's pass rate. My old roommate, who is in your class, told me that no one from administration has come to talk to your class about our class' boards performance. I would also suggest that you ask for a session on the format of the exam so that you can better prepare for it. This is the responsibility of the LEAD office and in my view, they did not give us any indication of the format (again, this is my opinion).

    And one more thing. This is just my opinion, but I felt that the Kaplan COMLEX course we took was a complete waste of time. After taking both the COMLEX and USMLE, I realized that the course was nothing more than a watered down version of Kaplan USMLE. If you're going to take Kaplan, take the real thing and take the USMLE version and then prepare for COMLEX by studying up on STEP 2 stuff. Also pay attention to your clinical lectures. Your performance really depends on how and what you study. I know someone who scored REALLY well on both the USMLE and the COMLEX!!

    I hate rumors and I really dislike the act of discouraging other potential students to attend COMP. I think COMP is a great school w/ a great deal of opportunity to become the best osteopathic physician you can be. I am not saying that COMP is perfect and yes it does have it's share of problems, but EVERY medical school has it's own problems. Your medical school education is what you make of it.

    Take everything with a grain of salt. And don't believe every rumor you here about or read about on this message board. If you want the truth, contact the actual sources. COMP administration is always willing to listen and work with you. (I can say this because I have worked with them many, many times and it has overall been a very positive experience).

    Arnold Cuenca
    MS-III
    Western University of Health Sciences
    College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
     
  14. einey

    einey Member
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    Where in San Diego are you doing your rotations? Were these assigned or did you pick this location? Also which rotations are in San Diego? Family Med Ob-Gyn which ones?

    Good luck in your 3rd year
     
  15. NewAgeDO

    NewAgeDO RockstarDOc
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    Enthusiastic Pre-meds,

    I have not been on these boards lately, but I would like to dispell any rumors about the recent board scores. I was one of the individuals who spoke to the Dean personally to get the facts straight. COMP's board scores are not as low a Solid claims it to be. Like everyone else in the class, he probably heard about the scores from 3rd years or other people in our class. I personally heard the same thing from a 3rd year I know who took the boards this June. But the truth is that the pass rate is around 88-90% as Arnold mentioned, and is also confirmed by the Dean. Also, the national scores did go down about 2-3% this year. In terms of the other "stories" Solid is talking about, all I can say is that many of those issues have been resolved or are in the process of being resolved. If you have any other questions about COMP, please don't hesitate to ask.

    -Rob (formerly RobbC)
    DO Class of 2005
     
  16. CAC

    CAC Member
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    Hi Rob,
    Any tips for those of us with interviews at COMP?
     
  17. NewAgeDO

    NewAgeDO RockstarDOc
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    Actually I've got a few pointers for you,

    It's kind of funny but I may actually be a student admissions ambassador. First thing's first, as with any interview, be yourself. You don't know how many times the professors in class have joked about how we were during our interviews ...regarding us trying to tell them what they wanted to hear. They can easily see through that stuff. Secondly, be comfortable in the clothing you chose. The interview will only be about 1/2 an hour but you will be there for almost half the day. Present yourself as a good candidate from the moment you step on campus, not only at the interview portion. Believe it or not, you are being watched the whole time. Be social with your fellow interviewees...it will ease some tensions and will also reflect highly on you by the committee. Lastly, be prepared for ethical questions. One interviewer loves asking really difficult no-right-answer-type questions. And make sure you know why you want to be an osteopathic doc. Try not to give the "I believe in the philosophy speech." They've heard it so many times and they know who's really into osteo med and who's not...so if you're not really into DO, they'll notice that. There's more I can say but I'll save it for another time. Good luck on your interview.

    -RobbC
     
  18. melancholy

    melancholy 1K Member
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    Ahh.. I had almost completely forgotten about the Pre-DO section of SDN until I saw NewAgeDO had posted recently. I see my classmate, solid_confusion, is back and without much of an attitude readjustment from over the summer. No offense, but there are plenty of students in our MS-II class who have positive attitudes, are being productive and contributing to the school's community/organizations, and are doing well in classes at the same time. Have you talked to many of the first year students lately? Perhaps some of them on SDN could give a taste of how their year has been going so far.

    Granted the board scores aren't impressive, they do vary from year to year and they aren't far off from the national average from what I remember. Some students from COMP do score extremely well and get impressive residencies in allopathic and osteopathic regards. Hopefully we're getting at least a few more days to study for the boards if that makes a ton of difference or not. As far as AZCOM is concerned, I figured such a new school would just happen to design and focus a lot of its curriculum solely for the purpose of a higher board pass rate. In my opinion, scoring anything else for a new school would probably be unacceptable in their books.

    Anyway, back to the books. If anyone on SDN is interested in starting a COMP 2007 thread once interviews/acceptances get rolling along, feel free to. I would be happy to help answer any questions to the best of my abilities although I do know my limitations. Amusingly enough, I'll probably be a student ambassador along with NewAgeDO.. see ya out there!
     
  19. CAC

    CAC Member
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    Thank you for the words of wisdom RobbC! Is it still very warm in Pomona? Something I know I've got to consider in picking out my most comfortable interview clothes! Thanksa again, and maybe I'll be meeting both you and melancholy soon!

    Chrissy
     
  20. melancholy

    melancholy 1K Member
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    It still does get pretty warm over here.. and probably will be like that into the fall season. During your interview, you'll be spending most of your time indoors aside from touring the campus outdoors, so don't worry about getting too warm. I remember when I went home for Christmas in December last year, it was about 80 degrees outside at least.. whew!

    If you come interview and have a chance to explore some, it's definitely t-shirt and shorts weather for most of the time so enjoy the weather!
     
  21. outgolfing

    outgolfing Member
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    chrissy,
    .....damn..i forgot what were you asking.. oh wells...welcome to comp...or sdn..or something..like that...haha i'm a MSI....any help i can give...let me know...oh the warm thing...haha melancholy is right...it will be warm but, don't worry you won't be sprinting...so don't sweat it...haha...i think someone should start a new thread...this one's been tainted...hahah
    always,
    vinh
     

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