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Aug 14, 2019
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Hello everyone,

I have a question for everyone in the SDN universe! So I am currently an applicant for the 2019-2020 cycle. I have been blessed with the opportunity to choose between 3 schools that have already offered me a spot in their incoming class of 2020. With that being said, I am unsure of which school I should choose from and I want to make the best choices for me. I have no children or significant other so those will not play a factor into my decision. Which school should I commit to? Cost of attendance for all schools a roughly in the same range when you couple it with cost of living.
Here are my thoughts on each school:

KCU-MB (KC Campus):
  • Very prestigious school with a long history of excellence.
  • Semi-big city which would be great for me as I am an Asian man and need my Asian grocery market resources.... LOL
  • Seems like I will have a ton of opportunity to study and do whatever I want while attending medical school there aka research, volunteering, etc.
  • Overall, I know I will become an exceptional doctor and there seems to be a higher ceiling for me compared to the other 2 schools (correct me if I am wrong) by choosing this school.
  • Flights home are relatively cheap-ish and only a 3 hour flight.

PNWU:
  • This is school is close to home as I am from Seattle, so visiting family and utilizing their support will only be a 2 hour drive.
  • I have heard this school has a good reputation of producing great physicians in the PNW area.
  • When I attending this school during my interview I somehow felt like I didn't belong. I cannot natural envision myself here at this school even though it allows me to be close to my family which is everything to me.
  • Despite the school being located near home, the school didn't seem to impress me as their isn't much assistance for students to pursue additional opportunities along with their medical education such as research, and volunteer opportunities aside from their Union Gospel Mission Medical Clinic.
    • Example: one my interview day when asking about research and other activities, students and faculty simple said "it's what you make of it. There isn't anything set in place so you will have to find some on your own."

ARCOM:
  • This school is located in Fort Smith, Arkansas which is suppose to be a big city. When I toured the area , it seems more like a big city with a small town vibe.
  • Small town means transportation back home (Seattle) is tough and expensive compared to the other 2 schools.
  • New school with only pre-accreditation so that seems a little shaky to me.
  • The faculty and students seem very close and collective which I like! I dislike any super competitive, dog-eat-dog/cut throat environment.
    • The friendly vibe definitely won me over and made me consider this school.
  • ARCOM is 1 out of 2 medical schools in the state, so students have more opportunity to get involved during their clinical years. Current 3rd year ARCOM students brag about the opportunities and responsibility that are placed on them compared to other students from different medical schools in the US doing their rotations.
    • Example: "Oh my god, I had the opportunity to learn and place in an endotracheal tube a few time last month and my friends from other schools still haven't had the chance to learn and do that.

Once, again all comments, opinions, etc are welcome. If I sound pretentious, ungrateful, or snobby in anyway then I sincerely apologize. I do not mean to do offend anyone or sound ungrateful. I realized I have been blessed with the opportunity to chose from several schools. I just want to provide my unfiltered thoughts and opinions to everyone so you guys can help me think this through. This is a big decision in my life and I really want to make the best choice. If there is anything that you all think I am not considering or factoring into my decision then please let me know!
 
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Ho0v-man

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PNWU. There’s nothing magical or prestigious about most DO schools save the state funded ones. You can be an excellent or terrible student no matter where you go. Stay close to home. Especially if that’s where you want to end up.
 
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kcu brah. it's cheaper, we have non mandatory attendance, and our school barely focuses on OMM. IDK about the other 2 you have mentioned.
 
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sab3156

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  • Seems like I will have a ton of opportunity to study and do whatever I want while attending medical school there aka research, volunteering, etc.

Just FYI, research opportunities in Kansas City do not come easy to KCUMB students. There isn't much research at the academic centers in Kansas City in general, and even less that are accessible to KCU students. Every single one of my friends looking for actual clinical research failed.
 
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DrStephenStrange

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kcu brah. it's cheaper, we have non mandatory attendance, and our school barely focuses on OMM. IDK about the other 2 you have mentioned.
If you wanna go cheaper and less OMM ARCOM wins. Although I would advise OP to stay home. PNWU is a great school, so is KCU, but I don't know if it's worth the move.

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Dr.Bruh

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Just FYI, research opportunities in Kansas City do not come easy to KCUMB students. There isn't much research at the academic centers in Kansas City in general, and even less that are accessible to KCU students. Every single one of my friends looking for actual clinical research failed.
You must not know many of your classmates. I know at least 10-12 with clinical research in the city just off the top of my head. No doubt it came from persistence, connections in some cases, and pure luck in others.
 
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BlueBleck

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PNWU. There’s nothing magical or prestigious about most DO schools save the state funded ones. You can be an excellent or terrible student no matter where you go. Stay close to home. Especially if that’s where you want to end up.

This is what I did and I have no regrets. I would do it again 100%. I love the friends that i've made in med school, but pre-med school friends + family are my world. They continue to be the social support network that has kept me at basically 0% burnout. I have a friend who left for another state for grad school and floundered hard due to the change and lack of support. Some people thrive in these environments though. You just have to know you.

About research, outside of some touro schools, most DO schools have very skimpy research profiles. At points in their career, my former PI had more research money than the entirety of my current school. Also, unless i'm mistaken, OHSU is one of the only DO schools to have home-institution based clinical research. If DO schools have research, it's mostly basic science like touro. If a DO student wants specialty relevant research (eg derm/nsg/gas), they're basically going to have to go knocking at neighboring allopathic school doors. Which usually works out. USC for instance has more demand for research volunteers than internal supply (story from a close friend who is a recent MD alum). They still might not necessarily want an outside institution kid due to paperwork issues, but the odds are pretty okay. So what you're mostly looking for is how close you would be to neighboring allopathic programs.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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If your from Seattle Pacific is an easy choice. Especially when applying to residencies the more ties to an area you want to go, the better.
In years past I might have said KCU because of the age of the program and numerous alumni, but I am not thrilled with thier setup since expanding. Smaller classes are better. Although so is more alumni.
But ultimately I think being near your family and where you want to practice is most important.
They are both decent for DO schools. ARCOM should not be considered with the other two IMO.
 
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bioarchaeologist

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M1 at KCU. Feel free to PM me if you have questions about the school :)

But my reasons for picking KCU: no mandatory attendance (there are some required stuff here and there, but it isn't too bad in the grand scheme of things), cheapest of my choices, least amount of OMM time, no required OMM rotation, cost of living in KC was cheaper than other cities, big enough city for research opportunities (several major academic hospitals and residency programs in the area)
 
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sab3156

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You must not know many of your classmates. I know at least 10-12 with clinical research in the city just off the top of my head. No doubt it came from persistence, connections in some cases, and pure luck in others.

I meant friends as in people I regularly speak to, not just people I know of. Sure, you're right that KCU students sometimes get research opportunities in Kansas City, but the point is that it's not easy - and they're probably not going to be that productive, considering the generally low quality and quantity of research output in KU and UMKC. Just making the case that the OP shouldn't be thinking of KCUMB as some sort of gold mine for research opportunities.
 
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Aug 14, 2019
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PNWU. There’s nothing magical or prestigious about most DO schools save the state funded ones. You can be an excellent or terrible student no matter where you go. Stay close to home. Especially if that’s where you want to end up.

Thank you for the advice, I'll definitely consider where I want to practice before I choose my school.
 
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DrStephenStrange

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If I am not mistaken, you are/were a student at ARCOM yourself correct? Could you tell me more about your experience there?
You are right. I do attend ARCOM. Although I would not recommend you to attend here over a more established school. In fact, KCU was one of the schools I was hoping to get off its waitlist 2 years ago because I know how great of a schools it is and I am from KC as well. My experience here at ARCOM has been mostly good. For a new school, I absolutely love the fact that we have decent rotation sites which cannot be said for most new schools. The tuition is among the cheapest compared to most DO schools. The school emphasizes research a lot and encourages it by providing a stipend to those doing summer research. We even have a faculty member that received NIH grant for his research, so that's good for publicity and recognition. I was able to participate in summer research, although it was bench work, so it takes longer to get something out of it, but it's something anyway and the school awarded me with a 3.2 grand stipend for it. I'm hopeful I'll get at least a presentation out of it by the time I graduate. I also like that OMM is not overly emphasized (1-2 hrs of lecture and 2 hr lab a week), and they make it pretty much an easy A class, so we get the time to focus on the important basic science stuff. Additionally, I like that we get almost 3 months of dedicated time for boards which is a huge plus. The school is starting their own GME here in the state as well, but so far we only have new IM and FM residency programs starting up next year. We are also the only school affiliated with Unity health in Searcy, AR that gives us access to additional IM, FM, EM, and Psych residency spots. Unity Health is part of the mayo clinic care network, so I don't know if rotating at their hospital will help for residency spots at the mayo clinic programs or not. It would be a huge plus if it does. We have good support from the state and the community, and their seem to be a consortium between the 3 medical schools (ARCOM, NYIT-AR, UAMS) in the state to work together on residency programs. Finally, the new president of our parent institution (ACHE), Brian Kim J.D., is a very experience individual on all things related to accreditation who basically left his position as secretary for COCA to come work for us. He's brought some very positive changes to our institution.

With that said, ARCOM would be a decent choice if you didn't have better choices, so I wouldn't recommend you to attend here because outcome will be better at KCU or PNWU. For now, with ARCOM being a new school, we still have some kinks to work on, and not having any alumni yet might close some doors for you because the school hasn't proved itself to residency programs (outside of those In-state) yet. I do believe that ARCOM will be a great school in the future though once we graduate a few classes, and when most of those kinks have been fixed. Although, I do believe a lot of DO schools suffer from the same kind of problems. On a positive note, the school does try to listen to its student's suggestions though, so that's good and I hope it stays like that.

Edit: to add that ARCOM being literally 5 hours or less away from 9 major cities (Little Rock, Tulsa, OKC, KC, Saint Louis, Shreveport, Dallas, Memphis, Wichita) may also help to fine research, Sub-I rotations, and also for residency because as you may know location is big thing for residency placement.
 
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