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NECO or PCO?

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by braxton, May 9, 2007.

  1. braxton

    braxton 2+ Year Member

    31
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    Dec 25, 2006
    I know I hate these posts because they are so general but I will try to narrow it down a bit. I am trying to narrow my choice down to NECO or PCO.

    PCO

    -I like the fact that PCO students see so many patients in their clinical years. I was quoted around 3,000 patients as to 1,000 - 1,500 at NECO.
    -I would have a car in Philly so getting to the clinic would not be a problem.
    -City is not as attractive as Boston.

    NECO
    -As said in someone else's post NECO reviews some material in the first year that most other schools will assume you know.
    -Different clincs throughout Boston will expose students to more diverse patients.
    -I like the city itself better. Comes off as more attractive for living and cleaner.

    My question is this, I would say that I do not have the strongest science background but have taken all the pre-req sciences. Is the course load at PCO much more intense than NECO?
     
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  3. TH Poon

    TH Poon NECO OD2008 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 17, 2007
    Boston
    Hi Braxton,

    Wow. 3000 patients. If I knew this before I might have chosen differently about schools. It is kinda hard to believe however I do not have any evidence against this. I do know that in 2006 the American Journal of Optometric Education published a review of Optometry colleges across North America and NECO had the most time spent in clinic and one of the fewest time spent in class. PCO was second on the clinic time due to their accelerated program giving them half a year more in rotations. I do not know if you can or will see that many patients in the time set aside for clinic.
    That being said, because there is more time devote to clinic at NECO the time has to be taken away from classes to accommodate the ciriculum. NECO does go over the basic sciences however it is very quick. Physiology is done in 5 months for example. There is a certain amount of self learning that is expected of each student depending on their background.

    I hope this has helped you in making your decision. If you had any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

    T-H
    OD2008
     
  4. braxton

    braxton 2+ Year Member

    31
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    Dec 25, 2006
    Those numbers were quoted to me during the interview. About the speed of classes at NECO. I noticed that biochem is not a required pre-req at NECO so is that to say that they will spend more time on this subject as opposed to a school where it is a requirement?

    Thanks,
    Braxton
     
  5. TH Poon

    TH Poon NECO OD2008 2+ Year Member

    23
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    Apr 17, 2007
    Boston
    This is one of the classes that you will be expected to either have some background knowledge or do extra work to learn. At the beginning of class they give you a supplementary package that you are to know for the class. They then go into biochemistry more specific to Optometry such as the biochemical pathways involved in diabetes and glaucoma. The introductory package is fairly thick which includes diagrams and pictures. You can pass the course without knowing that material cover to cover. It goes over topics like what an enzyme is and the lock and key analogy. Although you can pass the course by studying the advance topics, you will need to know this material for the boards as well as for general knowledge. These are the fundamental building blocks of how you will make treatment decisions later on in your career.

    T-H
     
  6. Opii

    Opii Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Jul 16, 2005
    Pco Hands Down!
    PCO's coarse load is very possible. Anybody who completed the science pre-reqs can do it. The professors are very solid and are on top of the latest information and preparing you for the boards (can't say the same for NECO).
     
  7. TH Poon

    TH Poon NECO OD2008 2+ Year Member

    23
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    Apr 17, 2007
    Boston
    I would beg to differ and say that the professors at NECO are diligent on teaching the latest researches and materials as well as preparing you sufficiently for the boards. The administration also works to prepare each class for the board exams by catering the ciriculum to make studying for that exam easier. An example of this is that they recently changed the Pharmacology course to be taken in the summer of your second year instead of spring of your second so that the material is fresh in your head as you go to take your part 1 board exams. Many have said that NECO boards pass rate is low however I don't know where this rumor has started. I know that my class had a 82% part 1 American Boards pass rate.

    Braxton, I would say to choose a school that fits your personality. All of the acredited schools will give you the basis of what you need to be a good Optometrist. At each school you will have good and bad students as well as very successful and less successful graduates. It is up to the student to use all resources available to them to become a great Optometrist.
     
  8. di lubly

    di lubly PCO - Class of 2011 5+ Year Member

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    Feb 16, 2007
    I have a question. I was accepted to both PCO and NECO and was impressed by both schools very much. Trying to decide which one to go to was really tough on me. But my question is for students at NECO. I know that the board exam is changing and will be geared towards more clinical skills. I know PCO changed their curriculum in fall of 2001, perhaps to prepare the students for the new version of the exam. I was wondering how will NECO prepare us for the new board exam with its current curriculum? Don't get me wrong, I think NECO is a great school and students graduating from there will be great optometrists in the future. It was just that this topic was mentioned a LOT during my tour at PCO, however, when I was at NECO, this was not mentioned. Any reply will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :)
     
  9. di lubly

    di lubly PCO - Class of 2011 5+ Year Member

    19
    0
    Feb 16, 2007
    I have a question. I was accepted to both PCO and NECO and was impressed by both schools very much. Trying to decide which one to go to was really tough on me. But my question is for students at NECO. I know that the board exam is changing and will be geared towards more clinical skills. I know PCO changed their curriculum in fall of 2001, perhaps to prepare the students for the new version of the exam. I was wondering how will NECO prepare us for the new board exam with its current curriculum? Don't get me wrong, I think NECO is a great school and students graduating from there will be great optometrists in the future. It was just that this topic was mentioned a LOT during my tour at PCO, however, when I was at NECO, this was not mentioned. Any reply will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :)
     
  10. di lubly

    di lubly PCO - Class of 2011 5+ Year Member

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    Feb 16, 2007
    shoot, sorry the the double post, i'm not sure how to delete msgs. on this thing...hmm...
     
  11. TH Poon

    TH Poon NECO OD2008 2+ Year Member

    23
    0
    Apr 17, 2007
    Boston
    NECO is already a highly clinical program in which you will see patients from the second week you are here (preschool screening program). Because it is a clinically based education, the changes made to the board exams actually work in favor of this. I am sure when an official outline of the exam format is released the didactical aspect of the ciriculum here at NECO will be modified as it has this past year to make studying easier for the students.

    If you are still deciding I would be happy to answer further questions you may have. Judging by your icon and profile title it seems you have already chosen which school you are going to attending. I wish you the best of luck and please do not hesitate to contact me if you had any questions regarding the profession; especially if you are Canadian. I have created the Canadian Club here at NECO to help students with the transition to live in the United States as well as to outline the differences in practice not only between the two countries but within Canada as well.
     

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