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How do you evaluate a program's 3rd and 4th year clinical opportunities?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Apikalypse, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. Apikalypse

    Apikalypse Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I am wondering if you guys could suggest the ways that you evaluated a programs 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations? It seems to me like this is a difficult thing to do from our pre-enrollment perspective.

    It easy to suggest that larger facilities/urban settings present more diverse opportunities or that a schools match lists and board scores may be indicative of the quality, but what else have you used as an indicator?

    Sure word of mouth is useful, but word of mouth is often difficult to come by (from MS3s and MS4s)and very subjective to the individual's experience (albeit informative).

    Any suggestions? (Specific information on NOVA or UNE would be helpful)

  2. Sweaty Paul

    Sweaty Paul Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2001
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    I attend KCOM, so I can't provide you with the answers concerning UNE or NOVA, however, I am the rotations committee chair here at KCOM.

    You are right that contacting MS-III andd IV's is challenging, even if you know them! I would suggest that you get with the admissions depts. at the schools you are interested in to find out what hospitals they send their students to. From this information, you ought to be able to dig up some basic information that you might want to consider when choosing a rotation site:

    1) Location
    2) Cost of living
    3) Are all the required rotations at that hospital?
    4) What residencies does the site have?
    5) How many residents and other students attend that site?
    6) What are the didactics like at each of the sites?
    7) Are you allowed to do elective rotations away from your base site?

    Some of the above may also be related to your 3rd and 4th year curriculum so you'd have to check with your Regional Dean at each institution you are considering. More important, you have to remember that in the short term you have two years of hellishly difficult academic work that you must first wade through to get to the pay-off of rotations. Biochemistry and Anatomy do not suffer fools.
    I applaud your efforts to make a well-thought decision on where to attend school not based on the first two years, however, don't forget about them. Lastly, I have chosen where to rotate for my 3rd and 4th years soley on where I want to live for 2 years, knowing that for residency I'll want to move again in order to get a broad understanding of the practice of med.

    Good Luck.

    Sweaty Paul :)
  3. Amra

    Amra A Quiet Voice of Reason
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
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    Thanks Sweaty Paul, I learned a bit from your post as well... :)

    In evaluating rotation sites, remember to keep in mind your long term goals. Big city sites (large teaching hosps) are great and so are rural sites. In the city, you are part of a rigid heirarchy and learn the latest techniques.

    In more rural sites, the heirarchy is less rigid and your apt to do more "hands-on" work. In addition, they'll teach a lot of 'bread and butter' procedures (think horses not zebras).

    Regarding reseaching the sites, check the web. NOVA Class of 2003 (<a href="http://www.nsucom2003.com/" target="_blank">website</a>) has links to some of them (some are dead links though).

    I ended up comparing NOVA and PCOM as my top 2 choices. PCOM (of the schools I researched) probably the best rotation sites/affiliations. I spent A LOT of time looking into this - so much that I don't think I can type all my conclusions

    In my opinion, NOVA compared nicely with PCOM - so well that I choose to attend NOVA over PCOM (some other factors involved besides clinical affiliations - although that was my #1 criteria in choosing).

    Hope I helped-
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