AZCOM students any questions for a current medical student

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Hi Dr. Niki. This is Gooooob (short for Goooooober). How do I find out which rotations are good and which are bad in terms of getting to do a lot and learning a lot? Also, how easy is it to do rotations at big name programs like John Hopkins as a DO from Arizona? In addition, if you have done rural rotations and plan to apply to John Hopkins, how much will they value rural rotations and evaluations? peace out.

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First in regard to getting good rotations this is easy. You speak to upper class men and there is usually a panel of students from the class ahead of you that orients you about picking rotations. Also there is huge binders in the library with our individual evals of the preceptors that as a student you can look through for guidance. It is easy to figure out what type of rotation you would get the most out of.

As a fourth year medical student you can go to pretty much any program and do a rotation. There is usually an apllication and and maybe a fee. SOme of the places I am considering are Maine Medical, Mayo Rochester, University of Michigan and Colorado College of Health Sciences. John Hopkins is very feasible to rotate at and match. I believe someone has been accepted in the past there. All of the residency programs (allopathic) have been so welcoming of me doing an elective rotation with them.

Evaluations are important. Colorado requires eval with comments just to apply for a rotation. Most students do their rural medicine 4 weeks at the end of their fourth year. They tend to be a pretty laid back rotation. Some go on the medical mission trip.

Hope this helps!

Nichole Taylor
AZCOM, for all of you questioning the rumors out there, is a great place...You will find like at all school there are always disgruntled students...Unfortunately those are the vocal ones...You get great teaching, great clinical exposure, great experiences, great support, and an awesome institution...You will find a great 2st two years, and the second two are even better...remeber though no matter where you go md/do/tcom/pcom/azcom etc your last two yeas are dependent on you...If you blow them off you can, you work hard you will work hard...Medical school in the clincial years is a combo of curric, attendings, and expsoure, the expsoure backs up the prior two. If you don't ask questions though your last two years matter where you go...GO TO AZCOM..YOU WILL BE LOVING IT ALL.

By the way If you want rumors on the opposite side, there are ones that say U of A is being kicked out of their old local hospitals due to the caliber of the AZCOM students and the laziness of U of A. believe whatever you want...If you hang out in az you will hear many...
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AZCOM, for all of you questioning the rumors out there, is a great place...You will find like at all school there are always disgruntled students...Unfortunately those are the vocal ones...You get great teaching, great clinical exposure, great experiences, great support, and an awesome institution...You will find a great 2st two years, and the second two are even better...remeber though no matter where you go md/do/tcom/pcom/azcom etc your last two yeas are dependent on you...If you blow them off you can, you work hard you will work hard...Medical school in the clincial years is a combo of curric, attendings, and expsoure, the expsoure backs up the prior two. If you don't ask questions though your last two years matter where you go...GO TO AZCOM..YOU WILL BE LOVING IT ALL.

By the way If you want rumors on the opposite side, there are ones that say U of A is being kicked out of their old local hospitals due to the caliber of the AZCOM students and the laziness of U of A. believe whatever you want...If you hang out in az you will hear many...
I also had a question about rotations. What evaluations do you need, I mean from who (from faculty, or what?) and is there an interview process for rotations? Thanx for taking the time to answer all these questions Dr. Niki and Mohel. Oh yea, one more Q. If you know that surgery is where you belong, who at AZCOM is the person to talk to (who has the connections and knows a lot about surgeryprograms and their requirements):clap:.
Evaluations are filled out by all your preceptors (doctors you have been following) at the end of your 4 week rotation. Passing your rotations depend on your evaluation from the preceptor, logs you fill out and your post rotational exam.

I have only had to do one phone interview for a out of state rotation. I have not heard of anyone flying to interview for a rotation. It sounds like it is difficult but it really is no big deal. you fill out their application and AZCOM clinical education really does most of the work in sending all the forms they need like immunizations, letter of good standing, grades, board scores, insurance coverage, CV and personal staement (if these are required).

I called, during my third year, programs I was interested in applying for residency to see what their requirements were. This is something I would not really worry about until your second or third year. Believe me you will have more immediate things to worry about and you get more time during your third year. A lot of this information is on line by the individual residency programs.

Niki Tay
Dr. Carungi is head of the surgery program at AZCOM and extremely knowlegable. He is in the clinical education office and would be happy to help you with futher questions.
Hi Dr Nicki,

I PM'd you and I'm dying to hear your response, could you please answer it???? Thanks.
mohel & nicki-- thanks for the post. I know this sounds childish but i interviewed so long ago (16 months) that i forget just how much i loved the school and people there-- that is until i read threads like the ones you've written. I am planning on visiting with my wife sometime in the near future and know that this visit will help jog the ol' memory on just how good a school azcom is.
I answered your PM. Sorry but I have not been checking my PM.


If you and your wife come in the next four weeks let me know! After that I am out of town for eight weeks. We should have lunch someplace next to the school!

Let me know

Hey Dr Nicki,

Thanks for your response, But could you specially address the questions about your duties as a 3 year at the heart hospital?

Also do you feel AZCOM tries to teach toward the COMLEX exam, do you think that's why the scores are so high?
COMLEx USMLE scores are in fact high at our school, but do they really teach to them? hard to say, boards are a basic set of questions on knowledge you are supposed to learn and understand to be a physician. Yes, we have an in house clinical ed course in 3rd trimester 2nd and 2nd trimester 4th for board/medical ed reviews, although they are not specifically board review...To be honest they are just great rehashes of what you learn in 1and2 and 3 and4. Med school material is med school material no matter how you slice...there is a lot and you need to know a bunch of it..Good luck then
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Round on your inpatients in the morning. H and P for new patients that are admitted from the ER. Scrub in for various cases carotidenderctomy, fem-fem bypass etc. I observed a CABG and mitral replacement, TEE, vein ablations, catherizations with angioplasty, echocardiograms and there are many oppurtunities for research. There is so much going on and the preceptors are so flexible you can really observe what interestes you or go for alittle bit of everything as I did.

Hey Kristing,

I PM'd you could you answer my questions, Thanks for good info.
Dr. Nikitay,
I am filling out all of the financial aid stuff and need to choose a lender for my stafford loans. Who do you recommend? Have you heard things from other students? Does midwestern charge a 3% origination fee and a 1% guarentee fee? Some of the lenders waive those fees right? Which ones?


rob-- nowloans or freeloans (i can't remember) is a sponsor so sdn so every now and then you'll see an add on here for them. They are through kirksville and they waive all fees, plus if you pay on time they lower the interest rates and stuff. If i don't get the nhsc scholarship this is who i'm going through.
T.H.E. also has no upfront fees for its staffords, and lowers interest rates if payments are timely.

Its private loan origination fee is 6% though. That seems awfully steep. Has anyone looked at private lenders to cover the gap between the stafford amount the the total cost of attendance?
I really unfortunately do not know a lot about this. I know Midwestern does not charge loan origination fees or other fees. These are actually reimbursed to the students. Some students last year used other companies. I would speak with Tammy Schmidt in finacial aid @ (623) 572-3321. She is probably has more info than I could ever add to the conversation.

Niki Tay:)

I know that you commented about some apartments earyler in this post, but i have a question.

Are there any aparments that are "popular" with AZCOM students?? Do you have any info, or know who i could talk to, RE the thoughts/perspectives on different complexes from a student's perspective (i.e. are they cheap, quiet, safe, etc.)??



Have you heard anythingabout Spring Meadow Apartments? It's on North 43rd Avenue. Thanks again.


I took a nice bike ride in 70 degree weather :cool: just to answer your question. I could not remeber the names of the apartments by campus and rode to campus to find out for you. Here are the most popular for our class:
1)campus housing
2)Sage Stone (across the street from school and down 1/4 mile)
3)Highlands (across the street with a pond in front of the apartments)
4)Arrrowhead summit (about 4 miles from school)
5)The park at arrowhead

I called some friends and these are all good choices quite and safe. Areas are very safe and 1-3 are within walking distance of school. The price for 2-3 is maybe an issue, but it depends on your particular case. I will try and get some people that you can speak with I will PM you with their email.


Could you give me the full street address of the apartment or the cross streets. Of hand the name does not ring a bell, but with more info I can research it for you!

Talk with you soon,
Thank you very much!!:)

Spring Meadow Apartments are off of 43rd avenue b/w Olive and Peoria Avenue. Thanks again!

I checked with my husband and that actually use to be his beat. He said he would not recommend the area:( . It is near metrocenter mall and a place I would not probably go shopping alone or at night. I had a classmate who lived at 19th and northern just southeast of this area and second year she had her apartment broke into:eek:. I bet the rent is a good price, but I would look further north around Thunderbird (14000 block if the address is a number). Hope this helps and send me some other options.

Hi all -

I'm a MSII at AZCOM and am also here to answer any questions. I'm going through the lottery process for 3rd year rotations. My experience is positive so far. The Clinical Ed office will work with you so you can set yourself up for a positive experience - I agree with previous posts - you get out what you put in.

Re: housing - we live in the Paradise Valley area, near the loop 101 and SR 51. My husband works in Scottsdale so we decided to split the commute and we each drive about 20 minutes. We are near most major highways in the north valley for easy access to rotations and hospitals. We are renting a house - about 1100 sq ft for under $1000 a month - in a nice quiet neighborhood, with a fenced backyard and a 2-car garage (rare in the Northwest where we are from).

Congrats to all of you who have been accepted! I highly recommed getting together the week before orientation to met each other. There was about 7 of us that did this and we are all still pretty close.

Let me know if you have questions, especially regarding the first two years!

Thanks for posting! Question, did you find that there were a lot of rental houses in the area to choose from? Also, what is the zip code of your area so that I can map it...I am going to visit the school during my fiance's spring break (3/20ish). Thanks


There are some rental houses in the area... we found our house on Yahoo rentals. Our zip code is 85050. If you're interested in our area concentrate on Cave Creek to Tatum (east to west streets), and north of Bell Rd. Hopefully that will mean something to you if you check out a map! :) Keep in mind that most Phoenix maps are not up to date - the loop 101 is now complete and the SR 51 will be complete (connected to the loop 101) late this summer (I think). Let me know if you'll be on campus during your visit, I'd love you meet you and your fiance.

Thanks for the info, and the heads-up on the maps. Your right, the Phx map I have here does not show the loop as complete. We'll for sure see the campus while we are there. We are planning on Thur.3/20-Fri.3/21. Can't wait!
"The Springs at Arrowhead Towne Center" ?? Looks like it''s right by the mall. Has anyone heard if this has the same problems associated with mall-adjacent apartments (i.e. noise, lots of rowdy kids, etc.)? It "looks" really nice from the pics, but I have fallen victum to judging an apartment by its pics before :(
chuck-- i have heard that it does get crowded/traffic and loud at the springs, probably best to see how bad though.
Kelley, my wife and i will be down with one of our triplets from the 17-18 of march. I know we will come to see the school and would love to meet you. Is nicole gone that week? Thanks for the info on renting a house-- how have you enjoyed it??? this is an unfair question but.... would you do it again if you were just starting? With three kidlets it makes apartments rather tough:D
Chuck......One of my good friends lived there and he did not have the same complaints as I have heard about Cochise in the area (regarding noise loud parties etc..). The apartments are near the loop 101 and I would not recommend an apartment building near the freeway due to the noise. If they had an apartment more inside to buffer the freeway noise (like my friends) it would probably be okay. There is more traffic then other areas, but not too bad for heading to school. I live at 91sta nd Union Hills and the traffic can get bad on Bell Road south of my home, but you would be on the other side of the Loop and would avoid a lot of the traffic I encounter.

Kelly.....Thanks for helping with the questions and adding another perspective!

jhug.....I should be around on the 17th and 18th. I have both of those days off from my current rotation (Peds ER I work 5pm to 1 am). I don't know if you have heard about the rain we have been getting and that means snow in the high country (Flagstaff). My husband and I are contemplating hitting the slopes maybe one of the days (third year is really tough):D . I would love to meet you and the family. In regard to you question if it is worth it. I think it is and I would do it all over again. But I still had times during first year where I was like what have I done? Was this really a good choice? I felt like I neglected my husband. You adjust and get use to the number of hours you study and take it one day at a time. Third year is great and I finally feel like this is why I went to medical school. I get to see patients and come up with the treatment plan run it by the doctor. I fixed a little guys nursemaids elbow last night and sutured a huge scalp laceration on another little one. I finally feel like all that hard work first and second year finally means something and I can see what i have spent so much time reading about right before my eyes. I am going to PM some info!
Chuck - Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your post. I don't know anyone who lives at the Springs at Arrowhead. I would be hesitant to live near the mall because of the noise and crime rates... not that it is a bad area of town, I just assume that people look for cars to steal at/around malls. (Maybe Nichole's husband can give us more info about this!) Also, there are many teenagers that hang out at that mall on the weekend, which could create a lot of extra noise. All of the apartments around here are new and their pictures/promotions look great - my best advice is to get the best deal possible, and tell them you're a student at Midwestern because most of them offer discounted rates. I know the Lodge at Arrowhead is OK - I've heard of noise complants and problems with the management and utilities. I lived at Arrowhead Highlands (across the street from school) and it was pretty good. However, it is nice if you have a family to be able to escape the hoopla of school by not living right next door.

jhug - I love living in a house!!! If I had to do it all over again I would definately live in a house again. I've seen a few for rent signs in my neighborhood recently. I'll look closer next time I see one to give you an idea about rental prices. Like I said in a previous post, we pay under $1000 for a 3B/2B 1000 sq ft. I also like living a little bit away from campus. When I go home I feel like I am really leaving school behind. When I am there for 10 hours a day I like to come home and leave everything behind, at least for a few hours until I start studying again. :) And I would love to meet with you and your wife and kids when you are in town. Any day at noon is good (lunch time!). Just let me know!

Keep your questions coming!!!

Do you think that the Arrowhead Highlands was worth the money? The pictures of the complex look AMAZING!!! Is it true that all major utilities are included? Thanks again.

fred-- i spoke with arrowhead and they said that was bad information-- i was ready to sign up for the full 4 years!!!:D
kel, if you don't mind looking around your area i would be very grateful-- why don't we (my wife and i, nikki, & you) get together for lunch--obviously all are invited!! :)

jhug is right - Arrowhead Highlands does NOT offer free utilities. Was it worth the money? I don't know... being so close to school is great for early morning tests or late nights at the library. But I'm sure there are better deals out there. I guess it just depends on what you want. The Lodge at Arrowhead is about the same price, if not a little less, and they have a movie theater you can rent out, and a pool table/bar area in their club house. If you want to save money and live near school then consider the on campus housing. I think it's a lot cheaper than the area apartments and you get free high speed internet and some other perks. Good luck in your housing hunt!

jhug - You and your wife pick a date and time, and I'll be there for lunch! It would be best to meet on campus or closeby, maybe Rubios or Subway... ??? Nichole, can you make it?

Darn! I guess I misread the sounded too good to be true. Anyhow, are there any drawbacks to living on campus? Since I am single, I dont really have that much stuff so I dont need a tremendous amount of space. My main needs are:

1) proximity to school
2) safe area
3) washer and dryer in the apt (pet peeve of mine...haha)
4) money

I'm also thinking that staying on campus would be a good way for me to meet other students.

I guess I am leaning towards living on campus at least for the first year but if I could find a better deal that meet my criteria off campus I may consider that too. Anyone have any insight?

Oh yeah, what utilities do you have to pay on campus? About how much do they run you? Thank again.


I'm not sure about the specifics of on-campus housing. Call Kathy in Student Services at 623-572-3210 and she can answer all of your questions. I know the campus apartments can get noisy, but I think that goes for any apartment complex. It doesn' t have as many 'bells and whistles' as the new apartments in the area, but it still has a workout room, pool, clubhouse, etc. The good thing is that they are much less expensive than Arrowhead Highlands or Stagestone.

:) Kelley
Hi everyone,
I am an MS-III at AZCOM also, and would be happy to help you out w/ any questions that you have.
I've noticed quite a few q's about housing and I'll try to address some of those. Some of this might be repetitive since I haven't read all the posts.I lived in the on-campus housing for my first 2 yrs of med school. Like others,I found it to be very convenient, esp. for those late nights in the library and for getting to class in the a.m. The apt.'s aren't very fancy, but they have the essentials. Plus, it was good for me as an MS-I since I moved to AZ from the midwest and didn't know anyone. By living on campus, I'd met some people b/f orientation even started.
As an MS-I, I lived in a studio apt. in one of the new bldgs. It was kind of cramped but that was mainly b/c I had too much furniture! But it was comfortable. As an MS-II I lived in a 1-BR apt., complete w/ washer-drier and laundry. This was great, though the rent was pretty high at around $700/month, though likely comparable to nearby apt. complexes. (I think they dropped the rent in the bldgs. since I moved out.) The place was huge, so I had tons of space. For utilities, I paid electric and phone, nothing else. The high-speed internet was free. The 1-BR apt's w/ W/D were a little more expensive than the ones w/o that, if I remember right. The studios were the cheapest, and I forget how their prices compare to the rent of the older apt. bldgs on campus (A-D). The apt's are so convenient though that I'll likely rent a studio for the last half of my 4th year, when I'm finishing up rotations in Phx. The main drawback I felt was that living in the on-campus apt.'s felt a lot like living in a college dorm, but that wasn't really a big deal.
I guess that's it fornow. Let me know if I forgot to address anything.I'm right in the thick of 3rd year rotations, and am planning my 4th year ones, so feel free to ask me about that, rotations abroad, on-campus housing, classes, or anything else!:)
All we need is a nice one bedroom @~800sf, with a mature, quiet community, in a safe area, with good management, lots of amenities?.for about 600/mo!! +utilities ::D :D :D

oh well:)
Be prepared to commute if you want all that for onnly $600.

That' s was actually just my Utopic Dream:) I know that I will likely have to dish out some more $$
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

AZCOM Clas of 2003 100% pass rate on STEP 2

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
That is GREAT! Congratulations to all of them!

Hey Nicki, I had a question about the step II's. I just had a MD interview and they were talking about USMLE IIb, an examination of clinical skills. I had not heard about this at any of my other MD or DO interviews and was wondering if you had heard anything about this? Is it just a rumor or actuality for next year? Also, have you heard anything about implementing this for the COMLEX II?

Thank you,
I'm sorry if I spelled you name wrong. Is it spelled Niki or Nicki?