Oct 15, 2015
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Hi everyone,

I have to ask you for some advice. So I've been accepted to VCOM-South Carolina and ATSU KCOM in Kirksville. I need to decide by this Friday between these two schools, and was hoping you had some advice or have heard a little bit about these schools.

I loved so many things about both schools and can see myself happy at either one. I loved the "home" feel I got from VCOM-CC and they're emphasis on international missions, and possibility for rotations abroad.

I loved the Ultrasound class at KCOM, the complete DO class, and the access to work with the patient simulators every Wednesday.

If anyone has attended these schools and has some insight, please let me know. Thank you :)
 

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Hi everyone,

I have to ask you for some advice. So I've been accepted to VCOM-South Carolina and ATSU KCOM in Kirksville. I need to decide by this Friday between these two schools, and was hoping you had some advice or have heard a little bit about these schools.

I loved so many things about both schools and can see myself happy at either one. I loved the "home" feel I got from VCOM-CC and they're emphasis on international missions, and possibility for rotations abroad.

I loved the Ultrasound class at KCOM, the complete DO class, and the access to work with the patient simulators every Wednesday.

If anyone has attended these schools and has some insight, please let me know. Thank you :)
Don't get caught up in the smoke and mirrors.

Regardless, given the choice at hand, I would go to KCOM without hesitation.
 

Yadster101

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I agree about smoke and mirrors but kcom also has smoke and mirrors. The ultrasound is cool but it's not really that big of a deal. If you're interested in international work and vcom felt like "home" then I'd consider it. Med school is hard and if a place feels more like home then I would deff take that into consideration.
 
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67552931811

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I agree about smoke and mirrors but kcom also has smoke and mirrors. The ultrasound is cool but it's not really that big of a deal. If you're interested in international work and vcom felt like "home" then I'd consider it. Med school is hard and if a place feels more like home then I would deff take that into consideration.
? Hence the bolded in my previous reply...?
 

Mbeas

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I think you should go to the one you felt most comfortable, which seems to be VCOM.

Your pros about both schools really aren't significant and will not affect your chances of matching. You also will not be a better doctor because you took an ultrasound class. Just go where you will fit in the best. Either choice will get you where you want to be.


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Oct 15, 2015
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Thank you all for your advice!

Some of my bigger worries, if someone can elaborate on these, are as follows.

Like I mentioned, I really loved VCOM. I was very comfortable there, but I was also comfortable at KCOM. VCOM is graduating it's second class this year, has a 100 % residency placement, and will be on its 6th class when I arrive. KCOM has been around since 1892, and has a 99.4% residency placement, which is basically the same thing, other than the years of experience. I'm not sure if that should factor in.

Both locations are equally far for me. The only thing is KCOM is a little more difficult to get to. I flew to St. Louis and then took the little plane to Kirksville. Spartanburg, SC was really easy to get to. I flew into Greenville, it was much more inexpensive, and it was a short 30 minute drive. I'd like the ability for my family to visit me, and VCOM seems just a little more accessible. Also, my fiance hopes to be transferring with me wherever I go. His job would take him to the bigger cities like St. Louis, MO for KCOM or Charlotte, NC for VCOM.

My biggest concern is the curriculum. Both schools have completely different curriculum, from my understanding. VCOM has a stacked test situation, where they test more frequently, but cover smaller portions. KCOM has a block test situation, where they have a test day every 3-4 weeks (with 2-4 sections in it I believe, with no more than 92 questions in it?).

Can anyone elaborate on any of these concerns?

Thank you all in advance!
 

Yadster101

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Thank you all for your advice!

Some of my bigger worries, if someone can elaborate on these, are as follows.

Like I mentioned, I really loved VCOM. I was very comfortable there, but I was also comfortable at KCOM. VCOM is graduating it's second class this year, has a 100 % residency placement, and will be on its 6th class when I arrive. KCOM has been around since 1892, and has a 99.4% residency placement, which is basically the same thing, other than the years of experience. I'm not sure if that should factor in.

Both locations are equally far for me. The only thing is KCOM is a little more difficult to get to. I flew to St. Louis and then took the little plane to Kirksville. Spartanburg, SC was really easy to get to. I flew into Greenville, it was much more inexpensive, and it was a short 30 minute drive. I'd like the ability for my family to visit me, and VCOM seems just a little more accessible. Also, my fiance hopes to be transferring with me wherever I go. His job would take him to the bigger cities like St. Louis, MO for KCOM or Charlotte, NC for VCOM.

My biggest concern is the curriculum. Both schools have completely different curriculum, from my understanding. VCOM has a stacked test situation, where they test more frequently, but cover smaller portions. KCOM has a block test situation, where they have a test day every 3-4 weeks (with 2-4 sections in it I believe, with no more than 92 questions in it?).

Can anyone elaborate on any of these concerns?

Thank you all in advance!
Honestly, the testing schedule is something you could get use to at either school. At both schools, the first two years will be non-stop studying. Although the the schools have different curricula, I doubt it would make a great difference. It seems like you'd prefer VCOM. If it's easier for your family to get there that can make a HUGE difference.

These are all my opinions, but it seems like the other students on this thread seem to agree.

Also, isn't this kind of late in the game? Have you already put down deposits at both schools?
 

Cubsfan10

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Uh...KCOM. VCOM-CC has been around for 2 years. KCOM is one of the best DO schools with the largest alumni network.

For your specifics...Kirksville is a bit harder to "get to" but it's only for two years. You won't have much time to visit with people anyway during those years.
Block testing is the way to go - it's like having a mini board exam ever 3-4 weeks and prepares you well. It also helps to ensure you learn little by little everyday instead of cramming which is much better for long-term retention.
 
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Yadster101

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Uh...KCOM. VCOM-CC has been around for 2 years. KCOM is one of the best DO schools with the largest alumni network.

For your specifics...Kirksville is a bit harder to "get to" but it's only for two years. You won't have much time to visit with people anyway during those years.
Block testing is the way to go - it's like having a mini board exam ever 3-4 weeks and prepares you well. It also helps to ensure you learn little by little everyday instead of cramming which is much better for long-term retention.
If parents or a s/o can come down during the first two years, and help out a bit with cooking, errands, etc. it can be a huge help. KCOM also does not let you review your exams, which means you will never know what you got right or wrong. At VCOM you can look at the questions you got wrong and then improve your score from week to week. Both schools are good, and KCOM is much older, but if op feels better about VCOM then he can still get into any residency he wants at VCOM if he works hard.
 

Rekt

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Uh...KCOM. VCOM-CC has been around for 2 years. KCOM is one of the best DO schools with the largest alumni network.

For your specifics...Kirksville is a bit harder to "get to" but it's only for two years. You won't have much time to visit with people anyway during those years.
Block testing is the way to go - it's like having a mini board exam ever 3-4 weeks and prepares you well. It also helps to ensure you learn little by little everyday instead of cramming which is much better for long-term retention.
Agree.

100% Kirksville over VCOM.
 

Cubsfan10

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If parents or a s/o can come down during the first two years, and help out a bit with cooking, errands, etc. it can be a huge help. KCOM also does not let you review your exams, which means you will never know what you got right or wrong. At VCOM you can look at the questions you got wrong and then improve your score from week to week. Both schools are good, and KCOM is much older, but if op feels better about VCOM then he can still get into any residency he wants at VCOM if he works hard.
So, you'd pick a school based upon the fact that they let you look at questions you got wrong? That's your determining factor?
Also, I don't know how it is now but up until 4 years ago, KCOM did allow you to look at your tests. This may have changed though like you said.

If you're looking for a complete medical education then KCOM leaves you with nothing to be desired. Truly, if KCOM was the exact same school but in a bigger city then it would be regarded as one of the best if not THE best DO school(s). Geography hurts but it's two years and you should be studying all the time anyway.
 
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TankTuck

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I just completed my first year at KCOM, I'll try to answer some of your questions but feel free to PM me.

The biggest con is location. Kirksville is three hours away from SL and KC, but there is a puddle jumper that flys into the town, $52 each way from SL. Columbia is half that distance. The town is small and there is not a whole lot to do. In your free time you can go to the movies, bowling ally or state park. My personal favorite is Dukum Inn, Ive never had a bar that I could goto and know half the people there. Our class is more tightnit than I could imagine and a have a very tight group of friends, probably because Kirsville is so small and boring. One reason I picked it over RVU was the lack of distractions. I would have been snowboarding every weekend. As far as testing goes, it sucks to not get wrong answers back, but I doubt there is a school that sets you up better for the boards. Our final was 324 questions broken up into 4 sections over 8 hours. If you are looking For a challenging school providing you with almost all the resources you will need, KCOM is the one. Our OTM class is four hours a week, other schools are two. We take internal medicine, ultrasound and have the CoDo class, other schools do not. KCOM is the oldest school, with the largest DO alumni base. This should factor into your desicion. Wherever I go, someone knows a KCOM graduate. The locations for clinicals aren't the greatest, but once again is it about the local or getting the best education possible? We have overall good matches, I know a graduate from class of 2016 matched ortho at Mayo.

I can't comment on VCOM. In the end, you should consider all options, pros and cons, but go with your gut in the end. That is what I did and it seems to be paying off.
 

Ho0v-man

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Objectively, KCOM is the better school. However, if you'd be happier at VCOM and have a spouse/significant other that wants to work, it might be better to go to VCOM. If career is important to your partner, you might want to make the call based on location.

Edit: PS: all this tiering nonsense isn't going to matter in a few years to any of us. Just because a school is "the best" doesn't mean it's best FOR YOU. Good luck.

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pmarank

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With stacked tests it'd be easier to stay caught up because the testing is frequent. You'd have less info on every test which could make the process less stressful. Also the adjustment needed to improve would be simple cuz you just look at the type of questions you're getting wrong and then improve upon those. I'm not sure how you'd improve at kcom cuz you can't even see the exams. Not saying you won't improve at kcom, just saying idk how you'd do it.

vcom is good but these are just all of our opinions.
 

Mbeas

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About your concerns:

It may behoove you to get in touch with a VCOM student to get their perspective. There's a few Kirksville students/graduates on this page so there's a little more bias.

99.4% vs. 100% "placement" rate. Doesn't matter and it really shouldn't factor into your decision. I can't speak for all fields, but if you are applying to a competitive ACGME residency, it is unlikely that the institution will have heard of either VCOM or KCOM. Some people act like everyone knows KCOM because it's been there for so long, but trust me, a lot of people have no clue about it. Only if you apply to an AOA program is there much more certainty that someone has heard of it.

Location: accessibility to Spartanburg shouldn't really matter either. How often are people going to be visiting you? Twice a year? Not really enough of a reason to pick VCOM over KCOM.

Curriculum: I would pick block testing, hands down. Having one big test every 3 weeks is the best way to do it, and I am surprised people still do the single histo test, anatomy test, etc. thing. No thanks.

OMM: not for me, so any school with 2 hours per week is gonna get my vote.

The two schools are pretty close if you weigh everything. The problem with DO schools is that there aren't tiers, regardless of what anyone claims is the best. It comes down to your personal preferences. KCOM is definitely the most established in that it has graduated and matched students for decades, but if VCOM is where you are happiest, go there.


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MedNation907

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I decided against VCOM once I really considered their curriculum. I wasn't open to stacked exams, I don't really know what it's like but just glancing at their schedule it seems like a hodgepodge of exams scattered randomly throughout blocks. I enjoy having 3-4 weeks of class before a big exam, tests are longer but stamina is something you need to build upon anyways. It's hard to keep track of random assignments and stuff as it is, i couldn't imagine dealing with a schedule like theirs.
 
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Cubsfan10

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I decided against VCOM once I really considered their curriculum. I wasn't open to stacked exams, I don't really know what it's like but just glancing at their schedule it seems like a hodgepodge of exams scattered randomly throughout blocks. I enjoy having 3-4 weeks of class before a big exam, tests are longer but stamina is something you need to build upon anyways. It's hard to keep track of random assignments and stuff as it is, i couldn't imagine dealing with a schedule like theirs.
You won't regret your choice. Good luck!
 

cbrons

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Thank you all for your advice!

Some of my bigger worries, if someone can elaborate on these, are as follows.

Like I mentioned, I really loved VCOM. I was very comfortable there, but I was also comfortable at KCOM. VCOM is graduating it's second class this year, has a 100 % residency placement, and will be on its 6th class when I arrive. KCOM has been around since 1892, and has a 99.4% residency placement, which is basically the same thing, other than the years of experience. I'm not sure if that should factor in.

Both locations are equally far for me. The only thing is KCOM is a little more difficult to get to. I flew to St. Louis and then took the little plane to Kirksville. Spartanburg, SC was really easy to get to. I flew into Greenville, it was much more inexpensive, and it was a short 30 minute drive. I'd like the ability for my family to visit me, and VCOM seems just a little more accessible. Also, my fiance hopes to be transferring with me wherever I go. His job would take him to the bigger cities like St. Louis, MO for KCOM or Charlotte, NC for VCOM.

My biggest concern is the curriculum. Both schools have completely different curriculum, from my understanding. VCOM has a stacked test situation, where they test more frequently, but cover smaller portions. KCOM has a block test situation, where they have a test day every 3-4 weeks (with 2-4 sections in it I believe, with no more than 92 questions in it?).

Can anyone elaborate on any of these concerns?

Thank you all in advance!
Go to the school with better rotations.

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cbrons

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Also ask yourself where youd be more likely to land an ACGME residency. Probably not from VCOM which is a mostly unknown garbage can in the eyes of allopathic PDs. Most of them are however familiar with KCOM.

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