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Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by smokinjoe, Nov 28, 2001.
just want some feedback, and want to know how tough the first and second years are
In my opinion, they offer some of the best clinical experiences in the first 2 years of medical school... MOre opportunities than any other school to get clincal experience and exposure... Free clinics where you can do physical exams for the underserved community during your first semester... and much more, like meeting with a community physician every other friday.. I've also heard that they have a clinic on campus that you can shadow in for more experience...
I'm just finishing my first semester at Nova. I love it.
In my opinion here are the strengths of Nova (not in any particular order)
1.) Facilities. The classrooms, labs, and everything else is brand-spankin' new. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but trust me, having a well ventilated Anatomy Lab is nice. They also have a "Harvey" simulator (a cardiac patient simulator) which is pretty cool, and a brand new library
2.) Clinical Program. We learn the fundementals of physical diagnosis from the beginning. Literally 4 weeks after school started, I was looking into patients eyes and ears. Granted, at that point it isn't really much more than "OK" or "something's wrong" (I have no idea *what*) but I think patient exposure as early as possible is important. Every other Friday PM, you go to a doctor's office and shadow him/her. As an M1, you're really not expected to *do* anything per se, but face it: learning a procedure or memorizing the signs of a disease is straightforward. It's learning and practicing how to relate with the patient that is challenging. I love being given the opportunity to start this right away.
3.) OPP (Osteopathic Principles and Practice). Dr. Wallace and Dr. Patterson have come to Nova from Kansas City (Which had a superb OPP program) and have ramped up Nova's. Dr. Wallace is one of the best teachers I have ever had...she's awesome. I'm still not a fanatical OPP'er, but I've been very impressed.
4.) Attitude. There are a few exceptions (as anywhere) but the attitude of my class is awesome. Hardly a day that goes by that a fellow M1 or an M2 sends out a study aid via email, or arranges a tutoring/review session. So far, everybody has been *really* working together to see that we *all* make it through.
Here are some things about Nova that I think could be improved (again, in no particular order)
1.) Facilities: For having an undergrad college here, the athletic facilities suck. The rumor mill has it that they're going to build a new multi-million dollar athletic complex, but we'll see. (I went to Notre Dame undergrad, so maybe I'm spoiled)
2.) Basic Sciences (specifically Biochemistry) I was generally disappointed in the biochemistry. I didn't feel like I learned that much, and I struggled to learn what I did. (I felt the lecturers and subjects were mainly poorly organized and detail oriented rather than concept and pathway oriented). I have heard before that Nova has weak basic sciences, and I think this is one of the examples.
Not so for Anatomy. The cadre of anatomy professors are awesome. This was an outstanding class.
3.) Location. Most people love Ft. Lauderdale. I, however, miss the mountains. South Florida is pretty nice, but the traffic sucks, it's hot in the summer, etc. etc. Of course, come February, I *will* be calling all my friends buried under snow in the Northeast to taunt them. Just so you know my biases: I grew up in the NE, went to undergrad in the Midwest, spent 10 years in the Navy in San Diego and Nevada. I like the West coast best.
Here's the thing, though. The only person who can decide if a school is right for you is *you*. Please take these comments with a grain of salt, and I would also caution you against the advice of fellow applicants. Most don't know any more than you do. The only thing you can do is to solicit as many opinions as you can, actually visit the places you're interested in, and try to make the best decision you can.
When you make it in, and start school, then you have to throw yourself into it and get the most out of it. My experience is that I have RARELY found anyone who has been disappointed with their choice...most seem to love the school that they're at.
Hope this helps.
Sorry, after all that I didn't really answer you question.
So far, the 1st semester has not been that hard. I think they are really easing us into this thing.
We're in the classroom from 0800-1200. It's mostly lecture, with a little bit of demonstration. The primary reference comes from handouts given to us by the proffs. I've heard of some people getting by without any textbooks. (There's no way that I could, though
Afternoons are labs: Anatomy, OPP, Histology and Clinical. You wrap up between 4 and 5 pm
Every other Friday is spent with shadowing a doctor...which means you have the other Fridays "off."
There seem to be plenty of breaks thrown in: A hole in the schedule here and there, a lab that becomes "optional" plus a handful of days off. On test days, usually the *only* thing you have that day is the test. (And the tests usually don't start until the late morning).
In my opinion, the work hasn't been that hard, and I don't have a strong science background. I was an engineering major and graduated in 1991. Of course, as a non-trad student, I don't rage as hard as the youngsters anymore (although sometimes... ) My studying is slow and steady, so I haven't had to cram yet.
Grading is a percentage scale with no curve. 70% is passing. (7-O equals D-O we like to say). Our test averages have been between 85% and 90%. 3rd and 4th years are *not* graded, BTW. Every test so far has been fair. (Not necessarily *easy*, though).
The rumor mill is that next semester's Physio gets more difficult and the M2 year of systems is harder still. It seems to me that it's supposed to be difficult, but not impossible. So, I suppose it winds up about average.
Anyway, hope this helps answer your question.