Goro's guide for YOUR interview questions at a DO school

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Goro

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I've posted this over in the pre-Allo forum, but have a few extra thoughts for potential DO students.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/goro’s-guide-to-your-interview-questions.1158264/

You'd be surprised at how many interviewees ask about the osteopathic component of our curriculum. To that end, there are some COMs that only give lip service to osteopathy, and others that are quire serious about it. Mine's one of the latter. But ask about things like how many hours in OMM lab? Is OMT part of the Clinical curriculum, or siloed in OMM/OPP/OMT?

The vast majority of COMs do not have teaching hospitals. Inquire about how 3rd and 4th year curricula are set up? Do students wander the state or country like vagabonds? or is clinical training more localized or centralized. How are students assessed? What are the required rotations vs elective?

How do students do on USMLE? (BTW, NBOME reports that of DO students taking USMLE, they have 1st time pass rates identical to those of MD schools!) How do they do on COMLEX? Do they take USMLE prior to COMLEX? What percentage of grads go into AOA residencies vs ACGME? I know this is going to be moot in a few years, but it's a good window into how well trained the students are).

How many go into Primary Care vs specialties? You can look this up, but the interviewers should know this too, so you'll get an idea if they're being up front, or trying to snow you.

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FIRST. ALL HAIL GORO!
 
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So is the vagabond thing considered a negative? I always thought it'd be kind of cool to switch environments and get a more universal view of the similarities/differences between institutions.
 
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So is the vagabond thing considered a negative? I always thought it'd be kind of cool to switch environments and get a more universal view of the similarities/differences between institutions.

Ya don't want to be traveling too often, too time consuming to find a place on top of the hours spent in your rotations (depends on the rotation though). Plus your bottom of the totem pole if you do your rotation outside the system (worst case scenario is having a rotation where it is equivalent to shadowing in a doctors office). Always better to have rotations with strong OPTIs, meaning your schools students are on the top of the list for rotations at certain hospitals.
 
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Whats considered a school with "strong" rotation sites?
 
Ya don't want to be traveling too often, too time consuming to find a place on top of the hours spent in your rotations (depends on the rotation though). Plus your bottom of the totem pole if you do your rotation outside the system (worst case scenario is having a rotation where it is equivalent to shadowing in a doctors office). Always better to have rotations with strong OPTIs, meaning your schools students are on the top of the list for rotations at certain hospitals.

Sorry if this is repetitive... but do you know which DO schools do have teaching hospitals?
 
@Goro, I would have thought you should do your best to avoid any question that one could easily have looked up before going in. You do not agree?
 
Ya don't want to be traveling too often, too time consuming to find a place on top of the hours spent in your rotations (depends on the rotation though). Plus your bottom of the totem pole if you do your rotation outside the system (worst case scenario is having a rotation where it is equivalent to shadowing in a doctors office). Always better to have rotations with strong OPTIs, meaning your schools students are on the top of the list for rotations at certain hospitals.

So if we're not on the top of the list then.....we don't get to rotate at all? I don't see how the school would be accredited if you just straight up couldn't get rotations.
 
@Goro, I would have thought you should do your best to avoid any question that one could easily have looked up before going in. You do not agree?

You can google everything nowadays. Verbal questions are overrated.
 
So if we're not on the top of the list then.....we don't get to rotate at all? I don't see how the school would be accredited if you just straight up couldn't get rotations.

That right there is the scary part that I don't believe COCA is allowing to happen. If you are the one setting up the rotation and you get dropped, you will be scrambling to find one yourself to complete your core requirements (this is not true for all schools, a good chunk take an active part in helping with rotations however this is if it is within their system). For example, ATSU used to have rotations in my home state, but now they stopped this. The reason was because the local MD school would out muscle them for spots (signed contracts with the local hospitals). So they can be dropped from those rotations and have to scramble to hospitals/clinics far outside the region. You really want to be in a place where there is a high concentration of your school's students, so that you have a strong foothold for a rotation.
 
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Sorry if this is repetitive... but do you know which DO schools do have teaching hospitals?

PCOM, TCOM, Ohio have teaching hospitals. There are some schools that are pretty consistent with rotations like Nova, their students rotate with U of Miami MD students and have done so for many years.

My school has been pretty consistent with keeping people in the same location during the third year, pretty much everyone is in the Phoenix area, there is more flexibility in the fourth year as people do elective rotations but there isn't much moving around.
 
You can google everything nowadays. Verbal questions are overrated.

The point of asking questions isn't only to gain knowledge...it's also to formulate a question that shows that you have done your homework. There is a difference between..."What is PBL?" Versus..."what type of students thrive under the PBL setting?" Or..."what are the common reasons why students may struggle with PBL?"
 
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100% agree. Details about the schools, for example, the type of curriculum, are right there on the school's website.

So then wouldn't it be bad to ask about where rotations are, how students do on COMLEX/USMLE, curriculum, etc? That stuff is almost always on the websites.
 
Um, you absolutely need to ask about rotations. My school certainly does not post in-depth information about this on their website, and many of the rotations turned out to be low-quality fiascos later on down the line. Rotations are the #1 thing you should be talking about at the interviews IMHO (not that you'll necessarily get an honest answer about them).
 
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So is the vagabond thing considered a negative? I always thought it'd be kind of cool to switch environments and get a more universal view of the similarities/differences between institutions.

Yeah, the 'vagabond thing' really, really, really sucks. For starters, it's extremely expensive as you have to pay to travel between sites regularly, get ripped off on rents for short-term housing, etc. Even finding housing can be tough at times. It also goes without saying that moving every 1-2 months in the midst of clinical rotations, shelf exams, step 2, etc just straight up sucks ass. The quality of the training can be extremely variable as the schools usually have a minimal presence at the sites and don't have much influence.

You should avoid any school that makes its students do this 'vagabond' stuff. It will make your 3rd and 4th years so much easier.
 
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You probably do not want to apply to a school located above a 99 cents store.
 
You probably do not want to apply to a school located above a 99 cents store.


touro-college-e1381517120419.jpg
 
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It's perfectly OK to ask about these because not all schools post them, or they're well hidden on the website.


So then wouldn't it be bad to ask about where rotations are, how students do on COMLEX/USMLE, curriculum, etc? That stuff is almost always on the websites.
 
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Goro, one other question for you. What if I ask too many questions at the end of the interview? Will my interviewers start getting irritated? I asked them 2 questions at the end of my last interview, but did not know if asking more would irritate them. Or is this something I would have to gauge and play by the ear>?
 
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Sorry for a dumb questions, but is it ok to take out a notepad while asking questions and write down some of the answers?
 
Sorry for a dumb questions, but is it ok to take out a notepad while asking questions and write down some of the answers?
I don't think you should take out the notepad for your interview. Have it for your presentations, and you are usually able to ask questions during the presentation. Notepad in interview I think it is a bad idea.
 
Important if you have or are going to have a family in school

Right. Though the "going to have" person might just plan ahead by asking in advance how it's gonna be.
 
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Yeah, the 'vagabond thing' really, really, really sucks. For starters, it's extremely expensive as you have to pay to travel between sites regularly, get ripped off on rents for short-term housing, etc. Even finding housing can be tough at times. It also goes without saying that moving every 1-2 months in the midst of clinical rotations, shelf exams, step 2, etc just straight up sucks ass. The quality of the training can be extremely variable as the schools usually have a minimal presence at the sites and don't have much influence.

You should avoid any school that makes its students do this 'vagabond' stuff. It will make your 3rd and 4th years so much easier.

This will be the first thing I ask about, then.


Holy f*cking **** are you serious??
 
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This will be the first thing I ask about, then.



Holy f*cking **** are you serious??

Its located on the island of Manhattan, home of the most expensive real estate in America, and apparently the school received over 6000 applications for admission. I said in a previous post that location can overshadow a school's facilities and other aspects, if they built the same type of school in Boston another highly desirable locale, they would also get flooded with applications. All they need to is find an abandoned K-Mart or JC Penney within 20 minutes of downtown Boston and it will become one of the most competitive DO schools in the nation.

That being said I do not think any school in Boston would present itself like that.
 
Its located on the island of Manhattan, home of the most expensive real estate in America, and apparently the school received over 6000 applications for admission. I said in a previous post that location can overshadow a school's facilities and other aspects, if they built the same type of school in Boston another highly desirable locale, they would also get flooded with applications. All they need to is find an abandoned K-Mart or JC Penney within 20 minutes of downtown Boston and it will become one of the most competitive DO schools in the nation.

Badda ba ba bahhhh.

(Med School McDonaldization)

The Carib guys had it right in principle; just wrong on the location :D
 
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Badda ba ba bahhhh.

(Med School McDonaldization)

The Carib guys had it right in principle; just wrong on the location :D

Its more the DO schools are opening up campuses like fast food outlets, the MD school aren't. MD schools are titans that build hospitals and research centers. DO schools are more about catering to the mid and lower tier pre med applicants, so I guess they really do not care if they provide first class facilities to their students.
 
Its more the DO schools are opening up campuses like fast food outlets, the MD school aren't. MD schools are titans that build hospitals and research centers. DO schools are more about catering to the mid and lower tier pre med applicants, so I guess they really do not care if they provide first class facilities to their students.

Either that or they just don't have to dough to do the latter like the well-established MDs do.
 
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Either that or they just don't have to dough to do the latter like the well-established MDs do.

That and Manhattan is really expensive, a one room apartment can be like $4000 dollars a month in rent, so imagine what it would cost to build a medical school campus and make it really nice, it would be financially unfeasible. MD schools can also milk the Federal government for dollars, DO schools cannot.

Then again schools like AZCOM and ATSU SOMA provide state of the art facilities and a beautiful surroundings for their students, but Arizona is cheap as far as real estate is concerned, it might get expensive if San Andreas starts shaking up next door in CA :).
 
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There's no such thing as too many questions. If you have any concerns, you should always ask about them!

Goro, one other question for you. What if I ask too many questions at the end of the interview? Will my interviewers start getting irritated? I asked them 2 questions at the end of my last interview, but did not know if asking more would irritate them. Or is this something I would have to gauge and play by the ear>?

During interview? NO. After interview for Q&A, yes.

Sorry for a dumb questions, but is it ok to take out a notepad while asking questions and write down some of the answers?
 
That and Manhattan is really expensive, a one room apartment can be like $4000 dollars a month in rent, so imagine what it would cost to build a medical school campus and make it really nice, it would be financially unfeasible. MD schools can also milk the Federal government for dollars, DO schools cannot.

I don't know if real estate is usually their biggest overhead cost. I'd think it would be faculty.

As far as the gov thing, this may change in the future for the public schools. All it takes is a little lobbying money.
 
I don't know if real estate is usually their biggest overhead cost. I'd think it would be faculty.

As far as the gov thing, this may change in the future for the public schools. All it takes is a little lobbying money.
I think Manhattan runs $3.00/sq ft. I remember wanting to go to NYU and then balking at the cost. Touro's NY campus actually seems quite nice locationwise. Do class, go downstairs, grab some food, take a walk in the garden to burn off the calories.

Do all DO schools offer the same rotation electives?
 
I think Manhattan runs $3.00/sq ft. I remember wanting to go to NYU and then balking at the cost. Touro's NY campus actually seems quite nice locationwise. Do class, go downstairs, grab some food, take a walk in the garden to burn off the calories.

Do all DO schools offer the same rotation electives?

Interesting stuff here: http://www.millersamuel.com/files/2015/04/Rental_0315.pdf

They're saying $55/sqft but I'm assuming that's annual? So then monthly it'd be like $4.5 or so.
 
Its more the DO schools are opening up campuses like fast food outlets, the MD school aren't. MD schools are titans that build hospitals and research centers. DO schools are more about catering to the mid and lower tier pre med applicants, so I guess they really do not care if they provide first class facilities to their students.

Eh maybe "low tier". Mid tier applicants in the whole pool of med school applicants are pretty strong 31/3.7 great EC kind of applicants.
 
For DO? Not really, no.

Hes talking about the whole pool of applicants that are applying to both MD and DO if I am understanding his post correctly.

Out of all the applicants that are applying to both MD and DO medical schools, a mid tier applicant is still pretty strong.
 
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I think Manhattan runs $3.00/sq ft. I remember wanting to go to NYU and then balking at the cost. Touro's NY campus actually seems quite nice locationwise. Do class, go downstairs, grab some food, take a walk in the garden to burn off the calories.

Do all DO schools offer the same rotation electives?

NYU is a solid medical school, you cannot go wrong with an MD from NYU. Its one of the top 25 ranked Allopathic schools in the nation. Only Columbia and Cornell are ranked higher in New York. The opportunities you will find after graduation will be far better than from any DO school.
 
You probably do not want to apply to a school located above a 99 cents store.

I was going to apply to Touro NY then I saw the school... I'm just baffled... I get they're serving undeserved populations but I didn't think the facilities would be uhh... lets just say taking the word undeserved too literally...
 
Eh maybe "low tier". Mid tier applicants in the whole pool of med school applicants are pretty strong 31/3.7 great EC kind of applicants.

I think a midtier applicant generally still is someone with a 3.5/28. I.e a person who will pretty much be in a position akin to flipping a coin end up in either a DO or MD school. ( mind you that a 3.7/31 is an accepted average, not a matriculate average which still remains actually closer to a 3.6/29.5)

But yes, the newer DO schools draw from the more low tier. The established schools however get their picks pretty well and will efficiently score and preform identically to their MD counterparts.
 
I think a midtier applicant generally still is someone with a 3.5/28. I.e a person who will pretty much be in a position akin to flipping a coin end up in either a DO or MD school. ( mind you that a 3.7/31 is an accepted average, not a matriculate average which still remains actually closer to a 3.6/29.5)

But yes, the newer DO schools draw from the more low tier. The established schools however get their picks pretty well and will efficiently score and preform identically to their MD counterparts.

Wat. Why does it matter what the matriculation average is when we are talking about applicants that are accepted out of the large pool that is DO and MD applicants?

Even a 31/3.7 applicant is defintely not top tier. Those are solid numbers for low tier MD schools. Mid tier MD schools have averages closer to the 33/3.8 range. And there are so many many schools on MSAR with >32/3.7 average that arent the top 20 schools in the nation.
 
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I was going to apply to Touro NY then I saw the school... I'm just baffled... I get they're serving undeserved populations but I didn't think the facilities would be uhh... lets just say taking the word undeserved too literally...


I'll put it this way, if you're big on a school having a campus or having a well... "university" feel, then you're better off applying to KCU or DMU than Touro, LECOM, or many other schools .

One of my biggest dislikes in my interview cycle was finding how little I liked many DO schools and how many of them failed to really appeal to me or make me feel like I was at home. When I interviewed at KCU and even now after a month I feel very happy with my decision to attend and a good deal of that does have to do with being a location and having facilities that make me feel happy.

But anyways, Touro-Ny does however look better on the inside and it is a very strong DO school.
 
Wat. Why does it matter what the matriculation average is when we are talking about applicants that are accepted out of the large pool that is DO and MD applicants?

Even a 31/3.7 applicant is defintely not top tier. Those are solid numbers for low tier MD schools. Mid tier MD schools have averages closer to the 33/3.8 range. And there are so many many schools on MSAR with >32/3.7 average that arent the top 20 schools in the nation.


I'll let you reread your own post and I think you'll more or less get it yourself without too much effort.
 
I'll let you reread your own post and I think you'll more or less get it yourself without too much effort.

Well since this isnt a one up contest, how about you tell me what you think is wrong about my post instead of making me play Sherlock Holmes with my own "crimes"?
 
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Well since this isnt a one up contest, how about you tell me what you think is wrong about my post instead of making me play Sherlock Holmes with my own "crimes"?

Nah. It's more fun to make you work to find out how inferior you are.
 
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Nah. It's more fun to make you work to find out how inferior you are.

Whoa....

I'm trying to figure out if you have a personal vendetta or are being sarcastic.
 
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I'll put it this way, if you're big on a school having a campus or having a well... "university" feel, then you're better off applying to KCU or DMU than Touro, LECOM, or many other schools .

Not big on this at all -- I get far too much of it currently, as it is. I have no problem going to TouroNY above the 99 cent store or being told to bow my head and pray before an exam if it means ditching the 2000-person lecture halls scrunched between people in the middle of the aisle like we're at the f*cking superbowl.
 
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