AZCOM students any questions for a current medical student

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Living here in North Phoenix, I can tell you that the Scottsdale commute would not be bad at all, as the traffic is favorable for the commute. The major congestion at the 101- I-17 interchanges will be in the opposite direction (I drive through that interchange everyday). Although my wife and I just purchased a house in North Phoenix (closer to the school), a Scottsdale location would be quite beneficial during the 3rd and 4th years, depending where you choose to do your rotations. The cost is pretty much the same for apartmentsl...if you compare Arrowhead prices to North Scottsdale prices.

I can say that there are some nice apartment complexes around the 101/I-17 interchange (Palm Court Apartments, ect) that are very affordable and nice. Another decent complex is around Deer Valley and 27th Ave. Keep in mind that these last two areas I mentioned are considered North Phoenix. These complexes are a little cheaper then those around the Arrowhead area, but still very nice. I live in the Palm Court complex, and have been pleased with them.

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Originally posted by cdreed
Scottsdale is certainly a very nice area, but there are a few disadvantages to living there. The actual distance on the 101 is fairly short. But there does seem to be major slowing as one approaches the I-17 interchange during rush hour. And I don't know what kind of income you'll have, but Scottsdale addresses come with a relatively high price tag. If I had the money, I would choose to live in Scottsdale as well. Right now I am in the process of buying a small home off the 101 at 35th Ave.


PS I'm living in Glendale now, so if anyone needs info pls ask.

No no no. Everyone thinks because it is Scottsdale it's expensive. Not true. Depends on where you live in Scottsdale, as north is much more expensive, but there are some decent prices in central and south (no offense to Cyndi - I'm a native and I figured I'd clear up this misconception). Plus, it's a HUGE city - so it totally depends on where you live as to what your commute time will be.

I drive 40 miles from Mesa each way every day. Seems pretty silly, huh? But I get virtually no traffic, since I am going the "wrong way," and I hate the west side. All the old posters know that, so I won't bore you with that information. But I love where I live, and I swear to you, I don't mind the commute.

A little piece of advice about buying though... I know several people who bought in the West Valley - some even far west - Suprise area - and some are a tad bummed now that we are all scheduling our rotations. A good number of them are central and east and the commute from the west to central/east is pretty hellish. All of my rotations are east/central and my commute will be much nicer!

just a different point of view...

Sorry for the long time since my last post and thanks for everyone who helped answer all your questions. I drove with my husband to Maine to start my audition rotations for fourth year and have not check in!

Elective rotations after first year can be set up by you or you can get assistance by clinical education (they have many doctor who are willing to take new second years). The time frame is completely up to you (one week till what you want). You must do a minimum of 40 hours but I did more than this and this again depends on your preceptor and their schedule. You will be able to do as much as your preceptor is comfotable with you doing. I was able to intubate and start an epidural with my preceptor close by. I am sure you would be able to splint and start IV and definately get to start History and physicals.

I do not have the school insurance I elected to have coverage through my husbands work. I personally have heard that the SOMA insurance is much better and easier. It seems the schools premiums always go up and the deductable is like 500 bucks. Every year the contract is negotiated and I would check into both because they do change year to year. I considered getting my own I would have gotten SOMA last year.

Call student services and speak with Julie High Horse she is our activities coordinator and hopefully she can give a short tour or know some student she could have show you around. They usually have a student that does wrok study that my be able to help you out. Especially if you are buying lunch! If I was in town I would, but I am a few thousand miles away. If you do not get any PM let me know and see if I can get someone to volunteer.
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yes Glendale is sketchy (very) in the southern part.

Suprise is probably a 20 - 25 minute commute.

East phoenix from school is between 40 - 60 minutes depending on north or south phoenix, and distance to the freeway. I'd need more specifics if you want a more accurate time. It would be longer from Surprise. It's west of school.
Sorry to post another housing question, but I even read all 14 pages of this thread and didn't find the answer that i was looking for. I've been looking for housing lately, and the on-campus 1 bedrooms are supposedly full. I looked at sage stone, but it was pretty expensive for a 1 bdroom ($699/mo!). The best deal/location that I've found is "Sun Creek Apartments" right on 59th. They seem really close to campus and you can get a one bedroom for less than $500/month with no rent until August (move-in in June). The pics on their website look good, and the office staff has been helpfull so far, but I've never seen them in person. Anyone live there or know more about them? I mapped it out and it looks like about 2 or 3 miles to campus. I'm coming from Michigan (33+ hour drive), so it's not like I can just breeze over there and check them out (mental note: should have done that at the interview). Thanks for any input! Oh, and I don't know anyone in AZ and I'm planning on being there by July. Anyone want to meet up and show me around, I'll buy lunch/gas.

jd, where in Michigan are you from? I'm from Niles, myself. There seem to be a surprising number of midwesterners going to, er, midwestern.
Hi jd!

I'm already in AZ if you'd like to meet. I could show you around the area as well. I did my undergrad at ASU West just before leaving AZ for TX and the Air Force. I think that the complex you are speaking of is located between Thunderbird and Greenway roads and is located just across from the School of International Mgt. The area is not that bad though. Just not as nice as the apts in the Arrowhead area. Just pm me if you'd like to meet or have any questions.


Sun Creek apartments are decent, and very convenient as far as being close to school. The area is actually pretty decent, but I'm surprised you can get a one bedroom there for less then 500 there, as i thought it was closer to $600, but perhaps this time of year you can catch a deal. If you can get in there for less then $500, that's a good deal.

The surrounding area is decent, as there are lots of shops/restraunts, ect just south around 59th and Thunderbird. I had a friend that use to live in that complex, and they seem decent. Not as nice as Arrowhead area, but then again you pay more in the Arrowhead area. I don't believe they have a washer/dryer in the apartment either, which may or may not be a down side for you.

I think for the price, you'd be pleased with the area overall. Perhaps if you contact AZCOM's student services, they can give you some feedback on that complex, and any experiences other students have to share. Good luck with your search.
Originally posted by lukealfredwhite
jd, where in Michigan are you from? I'm from Niles, myself. There seem to be a surprising number of midwesterners going to, er, midwestern.

Oh don't get me started! I was born in Detroit, lived in Birmingham/Bloomfield for 15 years, moved to Connecticut for 3 years, moved back to Michigan (East Lansing) to attend MSU, and now I'm up in Big Rapids at Ferris State. Meanwhile my parents have gone from MI to CT to CA to CO in the last 8 years. AZ, here I come! :D

as far as housing goes, i'd suggest looking into sierra canyon. they are amazingly nice there and the prices seemed pretty competitive. we didn't really check on one bedroom appts though.
good luck while your there jd!
Sun Creek apartments are decent, and very convenient as far as being close to school
I did a search for Sun Creek on Apt and it said that they could't find any "Sun Creek" Did they change their name perhaps?
Originally posted by bla_3x
I did a search for Sun Creek on Apt and it said that they could't find any "Sun Creek" Did they change their name perhaps?
I don't think so. Try!
My girlfriend is planning on coming to visit me at school late in August to help me work on the house and I wondering what the orientation days are like. I want her to meet the people I'll be spending all my time with, or as my doctor likes to say, "The people I'll be going to war with", but am not sure whether they'll be an opportunity for that or if I'll even have time to spend with her. What do you think? Should she come down earlier and leave before orientation or stick around and amuse herself with area while I do all those great icebreakers and such.
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Orientation days is pretty filled up with lectures. The first day is generally spent in a few morning orientation lectures, library tour, ID badge, Parking decals etc.. The other days were mandatory lectures in various topics from financial aid, intro to classes and professors and other subjects. To be honest your girlfriend would probably be bored if she came with you to the lectures! You will have your evenings free after say 4 or five. The great thing is our class had get togethers in the evening at local hang outs were we all got to meet each other and family was invited. It was great and your girlfriend would probably like meeting fellow classamates and their significant others. I think she should come before so she can see the campus and if she has already done this hit the high country in Sedona and explore a little of AZ together before you hit the books the next week! I think it would be great if she could come before and a little during orientation to meet others spouses/girlfriends.
Some Qs. I know that at AZCOM rotations are preceptor-based. I have heard that a lot of AZCOM students do rural rotations where they get plenty of experience working with their preceptors. But what about hospital experience and letters of recommendation. Most residency programs like to see hospital experience starting 3rd year. Also, it is important to get hospital based physicians to write you letters of recommendation. For my clinical years, especially 3rd, I don't know whether to do rural rotations for the experience or to go to out of state hospitals (since in-state won't take us thanx to U of A) where I can maybe get some good letters and needed hospital experience. Also, is it easy to get good hospital rotations as a third year student? Finally, if I want to do a certain rural rotation in AZ that has a great reputation, how do I compete with fellow AZCOM students to get the rotation (what is the chance of getting that rotation when everyone wants to do it)? This preceptor-based rotation crap is confusing. Educate me (keep in mind, I plan to apply to John Hopkins for Residency).
Originally posted by DRNickiTay
Sorry for the long time since my last post and thanks for everyone who helped answer all your questions. I drove with my husband to Maine to start my audition rotations for fourth year and have not check in!
Cool. Hope you had a good trip. How are the rotations going?

Originally posted by DRNickiTay

Call student services and speak with Julie High Horse she is our activities coordinator and hopefully she can give a short tour or know some student she could have show you around. They usually have a student that does wrok study that my be able to help you out. Especially if you are buying lunch! If I was in town I would, but I am a few thousand miles away. If you do not get any PM let me know and see if I can get someone to volunteer.
I was there last week, actually... the day before you posted your note! I wandered around on my own for a bit, with a map from the Admissions office. It was the end of finals week, so aside from one Pharmacy school lecture, there were no classes even going on. I may be back in Phoenix in September, so I'll try again then.

The place seems nice, though. Thanks for the attention. Just how wired is that campus?
The question you bring is a great one! I think there is a big misunderstanding that AZCOM students do not get hospital experience. How much hospital experience you get really depends on you. Being assigned to a preceptor means that we have the same atttending pretty much every day and work directly with the doctor. I had 11 rotations in my third year and only one was purely clinic based. I did my IM rotation at Thunderbird hospital (medium sized) down the street from the school and I spent 100% of the time in the ICU or general floor. I did a pediatric ER rotation out of Paradise Valley hospital. I did travel to Kingman and did OB/GYN, Surgery and FP with OB to get even more hospital experience. I spent a month at the AZ heart institute and hospital (Phoenix metro area). Any rotation in Surgery or OB will have hospital time throughout AZ. I also went early in my third year to Saint Cloud Minnesota a Mayo FP residency program and worked in a traditional allopathic training program for FP with OB. The rotation was awesome but I mostly observed procedures and deliveries. This was a huge contrast to performing 18 deliveries with my attending at my side the two months before I went to Minnesota. I am now at the Maine Medical Center in Portland. I feel very comfortable in my fourth year in the hospital and starting IV, attempting intubations (so far only one successful) and get a H and P from a patient. As far as letters of recommendation I plan on using one from my third year from my OB rotation and will be asking the next two rotations I have (in programs I want to apply to) within the next two months. Our school has the lottery system and you have a wish list. If there is someone you really want then you can check there availability nothing is set in stone until you start your rotstion. I ended up with prety much everyone I wanted. Hope this helps alittle. I will be happy to add more if needed.

Sorry to hear that no one showed you around. I will be back in town in September. I probably will have a rotation during the day, but I will show you around. I think it is a little better if someone shows you all the neat little things. My trip is great and I am enjoying the weather up here in Maine (it is 110 in PHX). I would not mind being up here for residency and I am surprised at the number of DO attendings. I met the only DO in the country who is a peds nephrologist yesterday on one of our cases. Take care and talk with you later!
thanks for the post niki! i'm glad to hear that you are having a good experience. When do you start applying for residency? i think our plan is to move down aug 18th, we hope to see you guys!

I've been out and I haven't seen you post in a while. How's the triplets? Where have you decided to live?


Is it possible to set up a rotation that may not be on the school list. I may possibly want to return to SF to do a rotation and I don't think the hospital I have in mind is on the AZCOM list? You may have already answered this in the previous 23 pages. Sorry if you have.

How are the triplets and your wife doing? I will be back in town September first after all my away rotations. i apply for residency in September and I can start on my application in mid June I believe. The time goes by so fast it is really unbelievable and alittle scary :eek: when I think about all the responsibility and fun :D at the same time! I hope you are really enjoying your summer!

The school has contracts with doctors here is AZ, but if you want to follow a doctor that is not affiliated then you just let clinical education know mid way through your second year and they will send them a packet of information about the school and ask for a CV (resume) and board certification info. It is an easy process I had to do it to rotate at Mayo St CLoud in Minnesota! I love the flexibility of the AZCOM program all you have to do is put a little effort into it to get places like SF. I know there are several hospitals in CA that takes students during third year Arrowhead being one. One of my classmates did 6 month in California during her third year and she is doing her entire fourth year in CA to be with her family. hope this helps!

Everyone keep the questions coming!!

Take care

What diagnostic kit would you recommend? I assume we need an ophthalmoscope, otoscope/throat illuminator, nasal illuminator--but I am unsure of what model to get? I was looking at Welch Allyn, but there are a lot of choices.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Yeah, I just received an email stating which equipment is needed for the first year clinical medicine/clinical correlates via Arizona Webmail. I am also currious as to the best places to find the required equipment. It is mentioned that the equipment is sold in the bookstore, but I was wondering if anyone has had any success at places such as ebay, or other online ordering company's. I didn't realize how expensive that equipment is....Guess I better get use to that!
Don't worry about equipment until you get there. You don't really need anything but the stethescope. I bought the otoscope and opthalamoscope but have barely used it in my 3 years at AZCOM.
Also, I am on campus and I got a bunch of furniture I need to sell. Full size bed, computer desk + chair, bean bag chair, kitchen table. Let me know if anyone is interested.
thanks clue....i've heard that quite a bit of the required equipment isn't too necessary. When are you selling your stuff by? we'll be moving in (on campus) mid-august, but that might be too late for you.

niki--- the kids are great.....and mobile!!!!! one of the boys can pull himself around but doesn't use his legs too much yet, the other two are really good at rolling wherever they need to go. Let the crazy-ness begin!!!:D we are already baby-proofing's amazing what they can get into! we were hoping to see you before school starts, i guess sept. will have to do;) good luck on all the rotations....what a summer!
I definately agree with the previous post. I would purchase a stethoscope now if you wanted, but you will not need it until a month or more into the school year. Our class worked with the bookstore and bought in bulk for a discount other people formed groups and bought online! There is no rush. The big disappointment is besides your first year and health fairs you participate in you really do not get your money out of the equiptment (excluding your stethoscope). The hospitals and offices have the equipment you need when you go on rotations. I think most of the people in my class purchased the equipment others just borrowed from other classmates!

Glad to hear the family is doing great! I will see you in Sept!!
sorry to repeat myself but.....i was wondering if anyone knows the measurements for the on-campus two bedroom luxury appts. we are trying to figure out if we should take three cribs or figure a way to safe proof a futon for the triplets. thanks....
i pm'd you today! hope everything is going great!
2 bedroom luxury apartment rooms are about 14-15ft. by 20ft.

I'm just guessing. I'm sitting in one right now wondering how many 6 ft. me, myself, and I's can lay width wise and length wise.

You may want to at least let Jose know early and get on the waiting list. 2 room luxurys go fast!!!

I'm going to be a third year pretty soon here and I didn't purchase a stethoscope until tonight. I got by on a rinky dink $7.99 nurses stethoscope.

My suggestion is to wait until you get to school. That way your whole class can cut a deal with Welch Allyn or for a cheaper price.
Oh and one more thing.

The lighter and more compact your equipment is the better off you'll be on rotations. That way your coat pockets don't sag to your knees and you won't wake up every morning wondering if you should take your equipment with you on rotation.
Light compact equipment is key and a litium battery is also the way to go. I totally agree with Aloha Kid wait until you get to school. You will get a better deal as a group!

JHUG I PM you back!!!!!!!!!!

Should we wait until we get to campus to join SOMA? I was thinking of insurance and I'm not sure if I should already have the SOMA or other insurance by the time I get to campus, or if we will have time to do all of this during orientation.

Also, do you know if AZCOM has a chapter of the AMA-MSS? I know CCOM does, but I couldn't find anything about it on the AZCOM website.

I hope your rotations are going well.

Hi to everyone else--"y'all" have been a little quiet lately.


2 months, 2 days 'till orienation begins...
I think you should sign up for SOMA now and this will help expedite your insurance paperwork and will give you one less thing to worry about! There will be time to do it during orientation also. I think paying early is a good idea if you want the insurance plan. We do have a chapter of AMA on campus. I went to the convention in Chicago after first year and it was a wonderful experience. The AMA chapter at our school does the smoking tobacco education to 3-6th graders! It is a great program and there are many activities you can get involved with locally and nationally with both SOMA and AMA. There are so many clubs on campus and organization. Here are a few and I am sure I will miss some: Peds club, surgery club, ER club, AMA, SOMA, NOWPA (women's medicine), IM club, Neuro club, NCOFP (family practice), SMNA (minority assoc.), Christian medical and dental society, gay/bisexual/transgender club, student council and executive council. Tons of oppurtunities to get involved! Anyone from AZCOM that knows of others please feel free to add! Hope this helps!

One more thing.......We also have a great program that students can apply for, short essay required. It is a travel scholarship to a convention. There are a few rules, but not too bad and most first years do not fall into the rules (you can not be an officer that recieves money from the school and then apply.) Just keep this in mind if there are conventions you would like to attend for the the school year 2003-2004. The award is $250 and you can put this under awards on your CV. Great program from the executive council!

Do you know to whom we send the SOMA application? It says to return the membership application and fee to the local chapter. If you are not sure, I can always call the school and ask.

Thanks for your help.
irish-- where did you find the application and stuff for soma (i assumed the web site??) and, pardon my ignorance, what is it exactly??
what is it month and one day?? wow

The address to the application is:

The address to the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) is:

I think the webisite has information about the health/dental insurance and about the group as well.

I think the time 'till orientation is 2-months, 1-day!

Yawn--back to the lazy days of summer. Hope the summer is going well for you. Have you done any "preparing" for the fall yet? I have done NOTHING--though I did e-mail the director of the Biochemistry department (Dr. Mann <-- I think).

Talk to you later,
matt--- i'm getting ahead of myself....that is an important extra month:D wow, two months!
as far as preparing.....nothing really. i have a really neat job and have been practicing taking histories and trying to diagnose stuff (of course i'm not super good, but have suprised myself a few times:)) i even got to do a few sutures!!!!
and unless you count reading harry potter, i havn't studied anything at all.

what did you email the biochem dept about? i am starting to get a bit intimidated when i start to think of all the info that is about to be thrown at is nice to know i'll have friends to study/suffer with;)

thanks for the info on soma!

I guess you are going to be ahead of the rest of us (or ME anyway) when it comes to physical diagnosis and H&Ps. That sounds like a fun job. Are you working in an office, hospital?

BTW, do you happen to know where we would send the SOMA application? I cannot find it anywhere. It says send it to the local chapter, but the address is nowhere to be found. I called the school today and they were NO help at all. I have found that ever since I've been accepted, if I talk to the admissions office, they are extremely flippant, glib, and discourteous. I don't know if the lady answering the phones is new or what--but she is EXTREMELY CRABBY! Maybe student services would have an idea. I wonder if I can find their phone number...probably not.

Anyway, hope all is going well.

The new SOMA president will probably be mailing the info to each of you, but maybe it has not been sent out as of yet. You can mail it to the school and they will make sure that the appropriate party recieves the check (elected president or treasure).

Midwestern University
C/O Student Services
ATTN: SOMA President/Treasure
19555 North 59th Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85308
I just wanted to let you all now that our clinical director at AZCOM, Dr. Field passed away last week:(. He always speaks to the interviewees about the 3rd and fourth year cirriculum and you may have remembered speaking with him. I just wanted to let you all know. He will be missed by all of us. He contributed a lot to our clinical teaching all throughout the four years of medical school.

Take care!

I have been away from the forums for a while. I can't believe it. The school is losing an awesome clinical director. I am so sorry to hear this news.

ted, D.O.
Emergency Medicine, PGY-2
somewhere in the city
I too am very sorry. I had a chance to talk with him one-on-one during my interview. He sounded like a wonderful person. I am sure he will be missed in many ways.
How is your rotation going? Which one are you in now? I just thought I would drop a line and see what's up, we haven't hear from you in a while.

I just read the "nursing to medicine" post that you had participated in. I found your experiences so interesting. How goes the residency? How's NY treating you?

Matt :)

I am still in Maine and love it up here. They have a great program and there housing is also very nice (an old victorian mansion). This month I have a fellow third year up here and I was shocked to see a familiar face. I am definately applying to anesthesia here and would come here in a heartbeat! I was suppose to be in Michigan at Botsford (an osteopathic residency hospital), but they had no housing available and I could not afford to pay a lot for a monthly suite. So I decided to stay here and my husband is up for a visit and to check it out! Fourth year is going well and I am very comfortable being in a huge academic setting! I am off to Mayo next month in Minnesota so it will be interesting to see what I think of their program! I think I would not recommned going on the road for four months at a time unless you are single and applying to a very competative residency program. I have a fellow classmate that is alternating months for three away rotations and I think this is a better plan. I sure did get homesick! Gotta go pager is going off and another pulmonary consult!!!!!!!!!!!

Talks soon! Only a month or so for you all!!!!!!!!! How is everyone feeling??
sorry for the double post...i'm just trying to get to as many as possible.....
i meant to ask anyone who may know....
Enroute to phoenix, I'll be driving from Salt Lake to Las Vegas (this is the easy part). From there I'll go to kingman and this is where i find myself in need of some direction. Should i continue on i-40 to flagstaff and then down i-17 to phoenix (this route from vegas to phoenix = 384mi.) OR do i take federal highway 93 from kingman to wickenburg to phoenix (this route is 297 miles)????
With a moving truck (15ft) i'm sure it will be slow regardless....but i don't want to be on the road any longer than is needed. Also, i'm only given 800 miles by uhaul before i have to pay for extra miles. But i don't want to get stuck on a super slow, small, winding road.
So, what do you think??
I'm hoping that any who have done rotations at kingman could give some insight......
Having taken both routes from pheonix to Las Vegas, you should definately take the wickenburg rout. It is not as scenic as the Flaggstaff route, but it takes much less time to make it into town. Peace out.
I would have to concur with the above message. I have driven both routes (only by mistake did I take the long Flagstaff route). I decided to take a short little nap after a stay in Laughlin, and let my wife take the wheel. Needless to say, she missed the 93 exit, and the other way is much longer (about 1hr).

Take the Wickenburg way!!

Good luck with your trip.
thanks for the help--i think we'll do the wickenburg route.

that route would have been my vote too. when I originally came to PHX, I went the I-40 to I-17 route, what a nightmare (time wise that is). I-93 all the way (watch out for hidden "smokies")

ted, D.O.
Emergency Medicine, PGY-2
somewhere in the city:cool: :cool: :cool: