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ATSU-KCOM vs. VCOM-Auburn

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bonebrokemefix

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Hey everyone, I’ve been lucky enough to be accepted to two schools and I am still trying to decide on one before the December 15th deposit day. If anyone could give me their thoughts it would be much appreciated. I am a traditional student from the midwest.


KCOM:

Pros:
Close to home
Established
Strong, recent matches in specialties of interest
Optional lecture attendance

Cons:
$89k cost of attendance
Small town, although I’m used to rural living


VCOM-Auburn

Pros:
$75k cost of attendance
More enjoyable place to live
I enjoyed talking to the faculty
Optional lecture attendance

Cons:
Newer school, less matches in specialty of interest.
Less established
 

Gonzalo de Montalvo

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KCOM student here. You’d probably be right at home at KCOM. Many of my peers are mid western natives Iowa, MO, MI, etc. Kirksville isn’t the best but you only have to be there like 22 months (including summer M1 and all your big breaks which you will likely go home for) and then can gtfo like end of April second year. And I mean it’s not terrible, the time goes by fast. Be sure to consider our rotation sites as well and idk what specialty you are interested in but if you are diehard for it I would say KCOM would be worth it (assuming it’s competitive for DO’s).

I would’ve chosen KCOM again if given a second chance because i have a rotation site where my parents are, and that’s what matters for me, but if not for that I would’ve gone to the least expensive option. I’m interested in PC and maybe psych.

I don’t have experience with VCOM. It could be a good chance for you to get out of the Midwest which if you didn’t for college could be a great experience for you. Let me know if you have any general KCOM Q’s, I‘m no expert with how things run but I can give you more details about the culture and life if you have more specific Q’s.
 
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bonebrokemefix

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KCOM student here. You’d probably be right at home at KCOM. Many of my peers are mid western natives Iowa, MO, MI, etc. Kirksville isn’t the best but you only have to be there like 22 months (including summer M1 and all your big breaks which you will likely go home for) and then can gtfo like end of April second year. And I mean it’s not terrible, the time goes by fast. Be sure to consider our rotation sites as well and idk what specialty you are interested in but if you are diehard for it I would say KCOM would be worth it (assuming it’s competitive for DO’s).

I would’ve chosen KCOM again if given a second chance because i have a rotation site where my parents are, and that’s what matters for me, but if not for that I would’ve gone to the least expensive option. I’m interested in PC and maybe psych.

I don’t have experience with VCOM. It could be a good chance for you to get out of the Midwest which if you didn’t for college could be a great experience for you. Let me know if you have any general KCOM Q’s, I‘m no expert with how things run but I can give you more details about the culture and life if you have more specific Q’s.
I think I've leaned more towards KCOM. I'm interested in a competitive specialty, but I'm keeping an open mind because nobody knows how well I'll do during preclinical years or on COMLEX/STEP 2 CK.

Would you mind PMing me any resources you have on rotation sites? During my visit day, there was a presentation that discussed the locations of the sites but nothing about the sites themselves. I can't find detailed information online either.
 

Ho0v-man

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KCOM alum here. Feel free to PM me with questions. Not sure what specialty you want. I matched rads. School really isn’t too hands on with helping you match outside of primary care. But they don’t try to hold you back from it like other DO schools supposedly do.

If you’re single, you’ll almost certainly not use the whole COA. I used the full amount, but I had a wife and kids and no family support. My rent for a 2bed/1bath I think was $450/month. It wasn’t a great place. But it was cheap!

IIRC, vcom-a has mandatory attendance, a business casual dress code, and multiple mandatory rural PCP rotations in 4th year. We didn’t have that. Can’t speak to vcom’s rotations. When I interviewed they were super new and couldn’t tell me anything about their rotations. KCOM has really good rotations in Michigan, Texas, and Arizona. The ones in Missouri are kinda meh. But this stuff changes constantly for every DO school. I matriculated with aspirations of going to a specific site that wasn’t even available for my class. Some of my classmates were hoping to go to Joplin for third year but we lost it to the new KCU campus.

Edit: at least in rads, the programs in Missouri were very familiar with our grads in a positive way. WashU doesn’t take DOs but the other ones interviewed me very early.
 
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nicobean

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    I will add that I too have been accepted to VCOM-Auburn and have friends that attend there and will say that they do match into competitive specialties, off the top of my head I can confirm ortho and rads. I don't know much about ATSU though but overall I would recommend choosing whichever location and COA fits you better.
     
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    Gonzalo de Montalvo

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    I think I've leaned more towards KCOM. I'm interested in a competitive specialty, but I'm keeping an open mind because nobody knows how well I'll do during preclinical years or on COMLEX/STEP 2 CK.

    Would you mind PMing me any resources you have on rotation sites? During my visit day, there was a presentation that discussed the locations of the sites but nothing about the sites themselves. I can't find detailed information online either.
    “Member limits who views their profile” so I can’t PM I don’t think.

    But there isn’t any one concise resource I could send really. I could remind you of the sites and look up specifics for the site afterward. but I don’t think we have any one document or anything for summaries, it’s all tucked away inconveniently in our online handbook
     
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    Ho0v-man

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    Hey here’s a list of all of our sites from when I was still in Kirksville and the number is how many students each site accepts. This is back from when I was a second year so might be a little dated. You can look up the individual hospitals and see what kind of residency programs they have at each site. Type “X hospital residency program”. It’s pretty straightforward. If a hospital doesn’t have a program in a core specialty, assume it’ll be preceptor-based and maybe or maybe not a commute.

    Our best site is probably the TX site but it only takes ten people. It’s brand new but super legit. Our sites in Michigan and Arizona are also really good. These three have residencies in just about anything. They are also all very competitive. Michigan and Texas will both fill. I’d pick one to rank first if you’re interested and don’t bother ranking the other bc you won’t get it unless it’s number one. Arizona has tons of sites and at least for my year was a reasonable number 2.

    The Ohio sites are variable. I was originally banking on a site that isn’t even available this year, but we randomly got a new one my year. I spoke for a while with the head of the Ohio sites and got the vibe that the overall experience would be solid and they’d bend over backwards for things that matter ie boards, auditions, etc. But they were very upfront that no matter which site you picked you’d likely have a commute to some of your rotations and even went so far as to tell me that bc I have a family, rotating in the ouhcom opti might be hard on my home life. It was honestly a very refreshing level of transparency.

    Our core hospital in Kirksville was until recently a very solid site. The company that owns it (CHS) was on the verge of financial collapse. CHS actually got propped up by all the Covid money pumped into hospitals. When I was there, they were losing residencies in IM, Anesthesia, gen surgery, ENT was already gone, and maybe even FM was going. So the only residency program that was going to be there was derm. I don’t know if CHS bouncing back salvaged those residencies or not.

    I’ll make an honorable mention of the Ft Wayne site as its very, very solid unopposed FM site. If memory serves correct I think they cover three hospitals.

    Most of the other Missouri sites are ok, but not amazing. We lost Joplin to KCU and that was one of our best ones. They added a bunch right before I moved for rotations in St. Louis but I don’t know anything about them tbh.
    let me know if you have questions about anything.

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