QueenJames

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So there you have it folks. My cycle may be coming to close unless I get a few more II near my home state. I would REALLY like to hear from current students or others who have experience with the following schools about what they would choose.

BCOM:

Pros: faculty that is established and has been apart of MD schools set up.
- new facilities, new supplies
- Caring faculty and ability to be apart of the inaugural class
- teaching hospitals and the like apart of the rotation scheme
- affordable rent and cost of living
- affiliated with NMSU and we get to use their facilities!
- many chances to have audition rotations the 4th year
- encourage us to take the USMLE and offer prep courses! :)

Cons:
Far from home - I'm from SoCal so this would be quite the flight and drive.
First class.. guinea pigs kind of...
Can switch up the curriculum and make changes at any time...
Anymore??


ACOM:

Pros:
The medical center associated with ACOM seemed too legit to quit.
thus, the rotations should be pretty top notch?


Cons:
It's in alabama... which is quite the flight and an interesting location to be at. I liked it.. but wouldn't want to live there for 4 years.
No Match list... but the board pass rates were like 2% lower than the nation average which isn't bad i guess?

ATSU-SOM
Pros:
VERY close to home. Also affords me the chance to come back to California for years 2-4. SUPER plus for me. I
ll only be about 3 hours from home due to the Visalia CHC.
Phoenix is an okay town with good food and the school is established.
Has match list with some interesting results
good residency placement rate.

Cons:
Not too sure about the online learning we do the second year. Essentially learn everything through video podcasts.
How do the rotations work? Will we learn a lot by rotating at smaller clinics vs. teaching hospitals?
Kind of push the primary care thing which I'm totally down for... but still unsure of.

If anybody has anything more to add, please by all means do so! I hope this helps somebody else in the same boat. If there are any current students I would love to talk to you about your experiences and what you would do differently if you were in my shoes. I appreciate it!
 
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QueenJames

QueenJames

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you are right. I will do that! thank you! apologies!
 
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Mavs88

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I would pick the established school that is geographically the best anyday.
 
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In light of your situation I would cross out ACOM immediately.

BCOM Dean emphasizes specialties, and its still close by and in SW region.

ATSU SOMA is more established.

comes down to take the established "safer" choice or take the "less safe" new school whos trajectory and potential seems to far exceed what ATSU SOMA will ever be.
 
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I say take out bcom immediately. You are too good of a student to be attending a for-profit school that has 0 reputation and let's in ppl with 21 mcat's. The dean is a hypocrite and I wouldn't trust a thing he says. Bcom is a mission school about making pcp's for the southwest, not specialists.
The choice is between acom and soma. Acom is a great school with solid clinical affiliations and it's cheaper than soma (43000 Vs 50450 - not sure where 90000 came from). Acom is far from home and it sounds like you want to stay close to CA so that tips the scales for SOMA. It's older, has a better reputation, and much closer to home.
 
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IslandStyle808

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My choice would be for ATSU-SOMA, considering how long it has been around. Not sure why podcasts are a bad thing, you may not like lecture if you have a more formal MS-2 year at other schools. The rotation structure is really a variable experience, some have very excellent rotations at hospitals with GME. However, others could be at smaller hospitals that can be largely preceptors (depends on the rotation). So I would tell you to get on the CHC ASAP.

@SLC Should be able to answer questions about the school, since he has graduated from it recently.
 

DrPatriot

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comes down to take the established "safer" choice or take the "less safe" new school whos trajectory and potential seems to far exceed what ATSU SOMA will ever be.
A lot of people on here are really high on how great BCOM will be in the future. I really hope that is true and it becomes a great school. The problem is we are talking about the present. I have to point out again that there is not even a building to show people, that is how new the school is.

On all of these threads the same thought comes to my mind and that is what if BCOM doesn't turn out as advertised? As the first guinea pig class you would be in a world of hurt. You don't fully know what you are getting yourselves into.

If I had a roulette wheel and told you about how it is going to be the best bet in the future and showed you how it will pay out huge for you eventually but didn't actually have the wheel built or the data to prove it was going to be the 100% true winner that I promised would you still step up and bet $200,000-$300,000?

Bottom line OP is go with your gut and go where you think you will have the most success. If that is at BCOM then go and be happy! If it was me I would pick the most established option that fit my criteria in a med school and was comfortable(exactly how I picked my school).
 

0dee

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Forget about BCOM, it is between SOMA and ACOM. I can tell you this, if you're not familiar with the CHC and seen how SOMA does their thing, then go for ACOM as it is more traditional curriculum. However, SOMA has better reputation and I heard good things from their students.

Location wise, SOMA is in Mesa which is mehhh, but you're like 20 mins away from Tempe where there are tons of things to do, and ASU is there as well.

Never been to Dothan so I wouldn't know a thing.
 

Didierdrogba

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Current ATSU SOMA student here, let me comment on some of your concerns

ATSU-SOM
Pros:
Has match list with some interesting results
as a pre-med, it is hard to understand match list. I'm a 4th year and still don't understand it so i just give up. Don't read too much into it.

Cons:
Not too sure about the online learning we do the second year. Essentially learn everything through video podcasts.
Don't worry about the online podcast, most of my class loved it.

How do the rotations work? Will we learn a lot by rotating at smaller clinics vs. teaching hospitals?
It really depends on your CHC. My CHC lets us rotate at a reasonably large teaching community hospital all throughout 3rd year, but I also know some people who have to drive hours to different clinics each month.

Kind of push the primary care thing which I'm totally down for... but still unsure of.
The school definitely doesn't push you to do primary care per se, but some of our chc's have a heavy emphasis in clinics, i suppose that will play a role in your choice of speciality down the road.
 
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Cawolf

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ATSU-SOMA has my vote.

Based on my research I opted to not apply to ACOM or BCOM; you listed the reasons already.
 

Portlandia8

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Cons:
Not too sure about the online learning we do the second year. Essentially learn everything through video podcasts.
Current SOMA student here.

My comment about this: From my talks with med students/residents/current attendings out of med school for 10+ years, there is a trend (or has always been this way) that lectures aren't meant for spoon feeding you the info you need to know to become a competent physician. The curriculum and faculty provide structure, but the majority of students need to independently learn the material. So "online learning" can be equated to video recorded live lectures that most med schools use, except, I find that pre-recorded lectures are on point, don't stray from the topic and won't be rushed due to student questions. It's more efficient in some ways. Downside of course, is the lack of learning from questions asked during lectures by your classmates and the social aspects of going to class. The SOMA faculty are always available through email etc, and they are really solid.

Keep in mind, each CHC has a regional director of medical education (RDME) and you have in-class learning a few times a week on top of lecture material and in-clinic CHC time.

It's kind of a perfect balance for 2nd year when you need to study for boards. Caveat: You need to be a self motivated learner.
 
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RurouniKarly

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A lot of people on SDN are very negative about BCOM and newer programs in general. Personally, I think BCOM is going to be a very good school, and if you haven't already, and strongly encourage you to read the feasibility report posted on their website. It's long, but it gives a lot of really good information about the structure of the school, statics about the area, and political and local support systems that the school has. Set aside an hour or so to read the report and not only will you have a detailed understanding of BCOM, but it may give you an idea of other things to find out about the other schools that you hadn't considered. I think you'll be able to make a much better decision by looking through all the nitty gritty facts than by reading through a thread of SDN opinions.
 
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A lot of people on SDN are very negative about BCOM and newer programs in general. Personally, I think BCOM is going to be a very good school, and if you haven't already, and strongly encourage you to read the feasibility report posted on their website. It's long, but it gives a lot of really good information about the structure of the school, statics about the area, and political and local support systems that the school has. Set aside an hour or so to read the report and not only will you have a detailed understanding of BCOM, but it may give you an idea of other things to find out about the other schools that you hadn't considered. I think you'll be able to make a much better decision by looking through all the nitty gritty facts than by reading through a thread of SDN opinions.
Its always best to go to the most "established" DO school that accepts you rather than going to a newer less well known school. You would be surprised that some schools have gotten thousands of applications merely because they are located in areas of the country that students prefer to live. Many students pick a school because they want the experience of living in a certain city rather than actually critically evaluating if the school will provide them with a good education.
 

RurouniKarly

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Its always best to go to the most "established" DO school that accepts you rather than going to a newer less well known school. You would be surprised that some schools have gotten thousands of applications merely because they are located in areas of the country that students prefer to live. Many students pick a school because they want the experience of living in a certain city rather than actually critically evaluating if the school will provide them with a good education.
Considering that some people on this website hold up dress code as critically important to their decision of which school to attend, that doesn't surprise me at all.

I also don't think program age is the end all be all of decision criteria. For me personally, it looks like my decision is going to be between BCOM, LUCOM, and LECOM. LUCOM left me feeling generally uncomfortable (but not because of the religious aspect) by the end of the interview, so the only way I'd attend is if no one else takes me. I like LECOM, but I think BCOM is oriented more towards my career interests and personal goals. I've done extensive service work in Mexico and I ultimately want to work with international populations, so I think BCOM's program, which is heavily focused on working with hispanic and native american population, tropical disease, and even teaches medical Spanish, is more in line with what I want to do. When I asked about service work at LECOM, the answer I got was that medical students are too busy to do service work, but some of the clubs do an annual fundraiser. LECOM was also a little sparse when it came to the facilities. So, all that to say, everyone should find out as much as they can about the schools they are considering and make a decision based on program quality, residency opportunities, school mission, and miscellaneous opportunities unique to that school. Once you have all the data, it may be that the oldest school on the list is the best fit, but it could also end up being something else. In the end every school will make you a doctor, and the most established school may not necessarily give you the opportunities or environment you want.
 
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IslandStyle808

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Its always best to go to the most "established" DO school that accepts you rather than going to a newer less well known school. You would be surprised that some schools have gotten thousands of applications merely because they are located in areas of the country that students prefer to live. Many students pick a school because they want the experience of living in a certain city rather than actually critically evaluating if the school will provide them with a good education.
If the school has been long establish and has a strong curriculum like ATSU-KCOM then definitely yes. However, there are times where it can be worth the risk. I have interviewed with schools that 1) have barely any rotations with GME (like 1 residency), 2) mandatory attendance, 3) in areas with no hospitals in vicinity (these school have been around for some time). I would choose MU-COM in all instances and in some instances BCOM (if all three points are in play for both schools). It is not a recreational decision to want to be in a more urban area, but also concerning my education also.
 

IslandStyle808

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Considering that some people on this website hold up dress code as critically important to their decision of which school to attend, that doesn't surprise me at all.

I also don't think program age is the end all be all of decision criteria. For me personally, it looks like my decision is going to be between BCOM, LUCOM, and LECOM. LUCOM left me feeling generally uncomfortable (but not because of the religious aspect) by the end of the interview, so the only way I'd attend is if no one else takes me. I like LECOM, but I think BCOM is oriented more towards my career interests and personal goals. I've done extensive service work in Mexico and I ultimately want to work with international populations, so I think BCOM's program, which is heavily focused on working with hispanic and native american population, tropical disease, and even teaches medical Spanish, is more in line with what I want to do. When I asked about service work at LECOM, the answer I got was that medical students are too busy to do service work, but some of the clubs do an annual fundraiser. LECOM was also a little sparse when it came to the facilities. So, all that to say, everyone should find out as much as they can about the schools they are considering and make a decision based on program quality, residency opportunities, school mission, and miscellaneous opportunities unique to that school. Once you have all the data, it may be that the oldest school on the list is the best fit, but it could also end up being something else. In the end every school will make you a doctor, and the most established school may not necessarily give you the opportunities or environment you want.
Also remember that you can take control of your medical education. For instance, you can start a club that deals with the Hispanic populations. Since schools have international rotations, you can try to see if they do some working with Hispanic populations or even doing the Mexico rotation at Burrell as an elective at another school. These can be other factors that can tip the scale to the established school.
 

swiftjab

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I guess it kind of depends on what type of person you are. If you are an old-fashioned traditional, you're more likely to go with the more conservative choice (more established schools). If you're a hot-blooded liberal YOLO that's not afraid of taking risks, then you're more likely to go to the newer schools. There's really no right or wrong answer.
 
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QueenJames

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Hey guys, I definitely weighed everything and to me, it's about being comfortable. Seeing that ATSU-SOMA has graduated a few classes and being in the same state for years 2-4 is very valuable to me. Nothing beats free laundry and cooking from the fambam only a few hours away! hahaha I appreciate all of the help!
 
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68PGunner

I guess it kind of depends on what type of person you are. If you are an old-fashioned traditional, you're more likely to go with the more conservative choice (more established schools). If you're a hot-blooded liberal YOLO that's not afraid of taking risks, then you're more likely to go to the newer schools. There's really no right or wrong answer.
This is the worst analogy ever. So, what's the benefits of taking risks and going to a newer school? Please don't point out the lower tuition, great clinical rotations, etc... Currently, BCOM has nothing except a pamphlet full of promises. The most logical choice is ATSU due to geographical location, better reputation, and lower risk. An accumulated $40,000-50,000 difference over 4 years in the grand scheme of things is nothing when it comes to your education and your happiness.
 
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swiftjab

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This is the worst analogy ever. So, what's the benefits of taking risks and going to a newer school? Please don't point out the lower tuition, great clinical rotations, etc... Currently, BCOM has nothing except a pamphlet full of promises. The most logical choice is ATSU due to geographical location, better reputation, and lower risk. An accumulated $40,000-50,000 difference over 4 years in the grand scheme of things is nothing when it comes to your education and your happiness.
Sounds like you're a realist, not a dreamer. But you gotta admit being in a newer school really has its perks- high reward, high risk perks. That being said, ATSU is definitely the most logical choice at the moment.
 
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68PGunner

Sounds like you're a realist, not a dreamer. But you gotta admit being in a newer school really has its perks- high reward, high risk perks. That being said, ATSU is definitely the most logical choice at the moment.
Sorry, dude. Your analogy is just bad. Considering my financial background and past work experience trading stocks for a living, I know a thing or two about taking risks in order to get bigger rewards. I was and still am very successful in that financial aspect. A major aspect of my success is my analytic ability in weighing pros and cons for multiple scenarios.
 
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QueenJames

QueenJames

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whoaa let's chill out guys!! I appreciate the help seriously! Honestly, it just comes down to different strokes for different folks. BCOM will become a great school in the future, but everybody has different preferences and different situations. Good luck to everybody this cycle!!