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NECO vs ICO?

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by Ellowyan, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Ellowyan

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    Hey guys! So I was accepted to NECO but also have an interview coming up with ICO and need to make some big decisions soon.

    Anyone have any thoughts, opinions or recommendations to share on which program I should choose?
     
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  3. kilegna

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    First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your acceptance! :)
    Both schools are amazing! I've met several NECO OD-4 whom used to rotate at my job. I can tell you from personal experience that they are one of the most qualified set of students that have ever passed by the practice. Every time we have a NECO student and another student from another school (which I will not mention) rotate at the same time you could see the big difference on professionalism, patient care and knowledge. I've never met anyone from ICO therefore I can not speak on their behalf however they are rated #1 in the nation, but if you choose NECO you will be a great clinician. Good luck!
     
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  4. Ellowyan

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    Thanks so much! :) Jw, did you notice this in a practice in the new england area?

    I was really hoping to hear back from Nova or SCO due to lower tuition/cost of living however I think both have nearly filled up their application cycle!
     
  5. kilegna

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    No this was in a South Florida practice were NECO students rotated.
    and don't loose hope with NOVA. They have not closed cycle yet. I got accepted at NOVA and I know someone who is getting interviewed soon.
     
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  6. happyOD

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    I prefer ICO. the most important part you should think is the board exam. the passing rate for NECO 4 year program is not high, as I know for the part 1 is less than 70%. The 80s passing rate in website is after incorporated the 2 year program in August, which usually is high as most student are Ph.D, MD or OD in this program.

    The atmosphere of NECO is weird. Some faculties are really really rude, racism and bias, the student can be randomly disqualified or even dismissed, sometimes just due to your skin color.
     
  7. Ellowyan

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    I've never heard that before. I live in New England where there's a lot of NECO doctors and half of them are from Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan, India, etc and speak English as a 2nd language. They always told me great things about the program.
    How did you find out about racism, bias or dismissals?
     
  8. Ellowyan

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    That's interesting because a good majority of NECOs faculty are asian.
    I had asked you how did you find out about this information?
    Who did you hear this from?

    After checking your profile the only posts you have are all against NECO. Something smells real fishy.

    Edit: Their post was deleted. Shocker!
     
    #7 Ellowyan, Mar 11, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  9. pnw256

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    There may be some truth to what you're saying but the way in which you are presenting it really damages your credibility. Some of the things you've posted (like the info on injections and lasers) are just flat out wrong and even personal as you attack the faculty.
     
  10. Ellowyan

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    Not sure about ICO and lasers but would be interested to know.
    If a state doesn't allow certain procedures other states do then the school is still allowed to teach if they are equipped for it. For ex NECO still prepares you for glaucoma even though MA doesn't allow practicing optometrists to.

    Quarter system won't cause delay graduation. You will still learn the same amount of info as semester system except tests and quizzes will be broken up differently.
    For example w/ semester you might have some quizzes, midterm and a final exam that are worth a lot with more info on each one.
    Whereas w/ quarter you might have double the amounts of quizzes and tests except each one has less info on it and worth less points since there are more of them.
    Some people might like semester better for fewer tests, and some people might like quarter better since theres more room to pull your grade up or change study habits if you do poorly on a single test.
     
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  11. pnw256

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    Lasers, Injections, and a Little Bit of Blood: Oh M(eye)!
     
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  12. Ellowyan

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    Anyone have thoughts on SCO in TN?
    Pretty much 100% board passage rate. Better than NECO or ICO?
     
  13. percyeye

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    I don't know how much is matters but NECO is in Massachusetts which is the only state where Optometrists can not treat glaucoma. So you will learn about glaucoma but even your professors won't be able to prescribe any drops. Massachusetts has the worst set of Optometry laws in the country for scope wise. Where you can go to Oklahoma and it be the wild west doing your lasering and cutting.
     
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  14. Ellowyan

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    I can see how this can be a concern about NECO however there are a couple things I wanted to point out regarding this.

    1. In Massachusetts, doctors aren't allowed to prescribe glaucoma medicine unless they work in a VA or military branches. NECO requires a mandatory VA externship all students must complete, which is where you would be learning a lot of your valuable skills. The VA is one of the best ways to gain clinical experience on top of the glaucoma patients you will see. If you have plans to do residency, the majority of residencies are VA as well. So even if you do your residency at a Massachusetts VA, or New Hampshire VA hopsital nearby then you'll be more than qualified to practice in any state.
    2. MA is such a small state that NECO has not only a moral but probably also political obligation to prepare their doctors for glaucoma. There are plenty of students who will move, or live in MA but practice in the surrounding states especially if they live on the border of the 6 states bordering MA. Even if you're in central MA, many of the surrounding states can be only about an hour commute.
    3. Other externship opportunities not limited to the state

    I live in MA and know NECO grads from all over New England. They've never mentioned this as a red flag when I asked them about the school. One of the last doctors I worked with in practice was a NECO grad practicing in MA for 2 years and then moved down to practice in FL with no issues.

    However one thing I do think ICO has the advantage over injections and laser labs. I can't find anything about that for NECO although idk if I'm searching the right places. I might try asking them. ICO kinda seems like it has more space in general for that as well.


    Also had a question-- Anyone know when do students normally see professors prescribing drops? Is that common during clinical rotations? Or isn't that something you mostly see done by doctors in externship?
     
    #13 Ellowyan, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  15. percyeye

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    Professors as in attendings during clinic while you are at school? When I was in 3rd year clinic multiple times I diagnosed glaucoma and we started therapy. If that was NECO I'd assame they would have to refer them out. Which is ridiculous.
     
  16. Ellowyan

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    Just found on a blog of a 3rd year NECO student who says they worked in Boston with ophthalmologists 2x a month for patients referred for glaucoma management and evaluations for potential cataract extraction and laser procedures. So that's really great.
    My NECO Experience
     
    #15 Ellowyan, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  17. percyeye

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    That is great for that one student who got to work there a couple of times a month. Or you could just go to a school where all of the students can practice prescribing drops every day of the week.
     
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  18. Ellowyan

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    Sorry so you went from saying "I don't know how much it matters but..." to implying it actually does matter now?

    Every school has its perks and it's flaws, but to imply that NECO is lesser by residing in a state where laws are different is a stretch. When majority of your clinical skills are learned during 4th year (where you can go to anywhere in the country practically at NECO, ICO, SCCO,etc...), the required VA, and the skills picked up after graduation I don't believe their clinical training and education is less caliber for glaucoma. If anything, going to a school where you're more frequently exposed to glaucoma in a diverse population is probably higher priority.
    But hey if you really think it should be a deal breaker to people then I politely agree to disagree.
     
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  19. percyeye

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    Don't know if it should be a deal breaker, and new students going into it probably don't know any better. But if you want to go to a school where you won't be able to prescribe drops and your professors can't prescribe drops which is the only state in the country where this happens it might be something to consider.

    That and the whole NECO cheated at national board exams a while back. We got a new professor at our school who went to NECO and everyone gave her a hard time about how NECO cheated. Nowadays not as big of a deal, but people applying probably don't know that story either.

    I wouldn't care if someone went to NECO. Heck the most important thing nowadays should be to go where you can be the less in debt after.
     
  20. Ellowyan

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    Students will be able to prescribe drops during school there, 3rd and 4th year. Even at the brief encounters that they might not be able to for like 1 or 2 patients, it's not like prescribing drops = master in glaucoma. They still have to detect, refer, mentor ophthalmologist. 1st and 2nd years students won't be at the level of prescribing for that regardless.

    The professor and students involved were all dismissed. The FBI was involved and a cheating network was discovered. They have no idea how many other schools were involved, but confirmed that yes there were students at other schools sharing that same information...not necessarily on purpose. Answers were handed out in study guide format. People had to take the boards twice. The people who gave your professor a hard time about going to NECO need to pipe down. Shame on them since that whole scenario is totally out of her control. Says more about the types of students making fun of it.

    Right, the 250k+ loans half of us get put into :/ not excited for that lol
     
  21. percyeye

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    I'm not sure what you mean by 1 or 2 patients. They will see quite a bit of glaucoma. And a lot more goes into it than just throwing glaucoma drops at someone. You need to know how systemic factors determine your medication. Also what if the IOP doesn't lower enough, or also a big one is managing someone who has complications from the drops or symptoms.
     
  22. Ellowyan

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    There's no way a student prescribes for glaucoma every single day in school like you previously mentioned when half of those encounters come from rotations and externships 3rd and 4th year.

    Learning about which systemic factors determine medication, complications and symptoms, is in class and applied in clinic. Just because someone can't prescribe something doesn't mean they don't know and see what will or should be done, what they are being referred for, or what complications they are currently experiencing from whatever they're currently prescribed on. Like I said NECO can't afford to create inexperienced glaucoma doctors because MA is a small state surrounded by 6 other states, also fighting for glaucoma legislature. I don't know too many other schools that require VA externship either where ODs can prescribe with glaucoma in MA...one of the best sources for anything clinical.

    I'd love for some doctors from NECO or MA to come clarify. I've been chatting with a few outside of here and on Reddit and none are making these claims. They're all saying the glaucoma patients after you graduate is much more prevalent than anything you do in school, regardless of which school you go to.
     
  23. percyeye

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    You probably come out of NECO with a fine eduction. But after going to school and practicing and knowing what I know now and having to re-pick a school I personally would cross NECO off my list. Just my personal opinion. They can't do topicals or oral medication. They are the worst state in the country for Optometry rights.

    If you someone out there wants the best school clinic experience Oklahoma would probably be up there. Those guys are doing minor surgeries and lasers. In MA you can't even prescribe some doxy for a hordeolum.
     
  24. Ellowyan

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    Going to an established school in MA and practicing as an optometrist in MA are 2 very very different things. I could understand this about MCPHS but not NECO.
    I don't plan on practicing in MA. But like I said, most NECO doctors I know don't live in MA and they all told me the laws situation didn't hinder anything. I would personally take NECO over a new school in a broad optometry state with less externship, less rotation sites around the country, less network. The fact people pay 40k tuition a year for that over an established school is beyond me.

    Ideally if Oklahoma's tuition for non-residents wasn't so high then yeah I would have really fought to apply there. It'd be that much easier to live there after school which would be pretty neat to experience I guess.
     
  25. contactspecs2020

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    @ ICO we learn lasers, injections, and minor surgical procedures! =) we have labs for them too!
    quarter system doesn't delay grad but you definitely quizzed more on a weekly basis.

    also when in clinic, i've seen attendings rx medications. for me, i've mostly seen attendings start glaucoma medications but a few antibiotics and antihistamines here and there. this week alone i think i've seen a couple patients start latanoprost for glaucoma.
     
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  26. Katie0033

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    Sounds cool. I PM'd you if you don't mind!
     
  27. happyOD

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    The graduates from Oklahoma performed LASIK and LPI! The NBEO recently posted an incoming licensure exam for laser and surgical procedure, now more and more schools are able or going to provide this training but not school in MA. When choose an optometry school, you should know, as a doctor your work is to treat patient with surgical procedure and medications, otherwise you will be just like a super-technican for ophthalmologist.

    Even for schools in MA, MCPHS and NECO are both in MA, recently many great faculties in NECO left for MCPHS or chosen to retire on purposely. NECO lost more and more clinical rotation sites and MCPHS won more and more, it is really hard to say which one is better in future.
     
  28. Ellowyan

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    I will say I interviewed at both, was accepted at both and without a doubt NECO was far beyond higher caliber than MCPHS. At MCPHS it was the worst experience I had by far. All their staff kept calling us “kids” something you shouldn’t be commonly saying when you meet people in professional school especially when half the group was married. They didn’t offer lunch to the guests traveling across country even though they had tons extra. The interviewer I had was talking poorly about NECO and other schools at random during my interview. Red flags. They dont have lecture recording, hardly any work study or other common services like every other school and acted strange when asked, as if it was an uncommon resource. But then brag about being able to cram in their 24/7 lab which isn’t really needed IMO. Well maybe it is needed if you don’t have the other things like lecture recording. Personally I was very disappointed that day and so was my guest. The only thing they have remotely similar to NECO is that they’re about 1hr drive away in MA the same state.

    I ended up choosing a different school I was accepted to across the country mainly due to much lower costs, but also partly for lasers and higher NBEO.
     
    #27 Ellowyan, May 17, 2018
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  29. happyOD

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    great choice.
     
  30. pnw256

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    LOL what is your deal with neco? Pretty sure you're just happyOD on another account. Same grammar.

    I interviewed at both schools and was actually rejected at mcphs but not NECO. I think it was because of the interview. There were 3 or 4 things I asked about that they weren't able to offer or were things that the school was still working towards. It was clear that it just wasn't going to be a good match. It'll be quite a long time, if ever, before mcphs will catch up to neco in offering the same scope and depth in didactic education and clinical exposure.
     
  31. Ellowyan

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    Lol I definitely mentioned a lot of things others than petty lunch that were red flags. Sorry but I don't take back anything I said about MCPHS, especially toward a newly created account. I watched as they treated students like kindergartners during my visit. My interviewer was an OD faculty and was one of the rudest people I've come across in my optometry career. Yes, career not a traditional student here. I went on a handful of optometry school interviews and can confirm that yes, I was definitely disappointed in my day there. I write not to be a jerk but to inform. I'm sure there will be some fantastic ODs that will eventually come from MCPHS however they are not on the same scale as NECO currently in any way.

    This is where you completely lost all credit because everything claimed here in complete BS. I met president of NECO Dr. Scott during my interview and he was one of the nicest people I've ever met. He used to be the dean of NECO and I can assure would never employ anyone at who wasn't capable. Btw, he also got his MPH at Harvard around the corner. He has been leading the school in the right direction for a long time now.

    Lol oh really? And how do you know this? *cough* total bs *cough*

    Also bs.


    I hope you know that by coming on here as a newly created account and stating bs doesn't help the school look better. The more I think about it, there is a reason why the school had to tear down NECO during my interview. Because you guys want to be the new NECO, clearly. Out of all the schools I didn't even choose NECO yet feel the need to stand up to these nonsense claims. MA's glaucoma politics are difficult enough without having a small dog school rivaling the big dog. Worry about board scores and accreditation status first before barking up the wrong tree.
     
    #30 Ellowyan, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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