NSU and Pikeville help

lsudoc82

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    I was accepted to both NSU and Pikeville. Although the two campuses are very different and offer different things, I am drawn to both. I am having a tough time choosing one. I am wanting to specialize in orthopedics and trying to pick the best place for me. I love the fact the Pikeville is a small school and more contact with faculty and students, and also like that NSU may offer more opportunities with organizations and networking. I am from LA and would like to return to this part of the country whenever possible. Any input on your school would be great, such as tests, location, friendliness, notes, strength of program, etc. Thanks.
     

    DoctorDoogie4

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      As a former NSU student, I can tell you that NSUCOM is going through some changes that you may want to consider.

      1) For the most part, NSU has an attendance policy that many consider ridiculous. I have talked to my current classmates and other DO students about this subject and most find it ridiculous. There is a lot of information you must learn and understand. Personally, I thought the lectures at NSU weren't that great. Now, if you attended Oklahoma State and had the Pathology department giving lectures (Dr. Goljan and his team), I would say that is a darn good policy.

      2) Tuition. NSUCOM's tuition keeps going up, like all medical schools. The Dean once said that they pride themselves on keeping the tuition low. However, Pikeville, from what my friends say who went there, tell me that laptop, and other goodies are included in your tuition. BIG PLUS. Go to the school that will give you more bang for the buck.

      3) Location. South Florida is a great place to have fun. However, the fun can only last for so long. With the attendance policy and the demands of medical school, how often do you think you are going to get out? Pikeville is a nice country town. Very quiet and mundane. Yet, there are times where the students wanted the glory of city life to escape medical school blues.

      4) Besides tuition, look at BOARD SCORES. In my opinion, board scores are IMPORTANT. Don't think about applying to orthopedics with a 76th percentile board score unless you are the son/daughter/husband/wife/etc. of a program director. Make sure the school you choose has an adequate board passing rate. I don't know about Pikeville but NSU board passing rate is shaky. An administrative official once made the statement that he is happy with NSU's board scores being 1 to 2% below average. When you are paying $$$$$, I would want an official to say "We are doing everything we can to make sure you guys score well"

      5) Notes are provided in the first year of NSUCOM. In the second year, they are student run. From my knowledge, the noteservice from the current second years are not as good as the current 4th year class.


      PM me if you want any more knowledge regarding NSU
       
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      HoodyHoo

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        DoctorDoogie4 said:
        As a former NSU student, I can tell you that NSUCOM is going through some changes that you may want to consider.

        1) For the most part, NSU has an attendance policy that many consider ridiculous. I have talked to my current classmates and other DO students about this subject and most find it ridiculous. There is a lot of information you must learn and understand. Personally, I thought the lectures at NSU weren't that great. Now, if you attended Oklahoma State and had the Pathology department giving lectures (Dr. Goljan and his team), I would say that is a darn good policy.

        2) Tuition. NSUCOM's tuition keeps going up, like all medical schools. The Dean once said that they pride themselves on keeping the tuition low. However, Pikeville, from what my friends say who went there, tell me that laptop, and other goodies are included in your tuition. BIG PLUS. Go to the school that will give you more bang for the buck.

        3) Location. South Florida is a great place to have fun. However, the fun can only last for so long. With the attendance policy and the demands of medical school, how often do you think you are going to get out? Pikeville is a nice country town. Very quiet and mundane. Yet, there are times where the students wanted the glory of city life to escape medical school blues.

        4) Besides tuition, look at BOARD SCORES. In my opinion, board scores are IMPORTANT. Don't think about applying to orthopedics with a 76th percentile board score unless you are the son/daughter/husband/wife/etc. of a program director. Make sure the school you choose has an adequate board passing rate. I don't know about Pikeville but NSU board passing rate is shaky. An administrative official once made the statement that he is happy with NSU's board scores being 1 to 2% below average. When you are paying $$$$$, I would want an official to say "We are doing everything we can to make sure you guys score well"

        5) Notes are provided in the first year of NSUCOM. In the second year, they are student run. From my knowledge, the noteservice from the current second years are not as good as the current 4th year class.


        PM me if you want any more knowledge regarding NSU

        Just wanted to clear something up..........the attendance policy and dress code here are hardly enforced at all. The only time you have to worry is when a dean is giving the lecture which is maybe once a month.

        Also, you can miss 50% of your classes before you fail that course. I know of at least 4-5 people who never show up to class and have their friends continuously scan them in.

        Our noteservice is not bad. All the information needed for exams is always covered by noteservice......regardless, it's far from being a poor service and is well worth the money you pay for it.

        In regards to board scores, I think that our pass rate is at or above the national average, but I believe our average scores are below the national average. so we have just as many kids passing, just with lower than average scores. and 1-2%??, that could be like 10 people doing very poorly.

        Another point is that we have a very strong clinical program....it is well known across florida that NSU students are very well prepared for rotations(well, this is what we are constantly told anyway, who knows if there is truth to it) as far as our science courses go, well that's a different story, they are not the greatest during 1st year.

        I'm not sure if I would pick NSU if I had to do it all over again, but I think that has more to do with the fact that you always kinda wonder what it would be like somewhere else.
         

        JMCarpenter

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          lsudoc82 said:
          I was accepted to both NSU and Pikeville. Although the two campuses are very different and offer different things, I am drawn to both. I am having a tough time choosing one. I am wanting to specialize in orthopedics and trying to pick the best place for me. I love the fact the Pikeville is a small school and more contact with faculty and students, and also like that NSU may offer more opportunities with organizations and networking. I am from LA and would like to return to this part of the country whenever possible. Any input on your school would be great, such as tests, location, friendliness, notes, strength of program, etc. Thanks.

          Hello,
          First let me congratulate you on your acceptances! The hurdle is over (for now at least :) ). I'm a first year at PCSOM and I can give you what I feel as some of the benefits:

          1) More bang for your buck: Our tuition (28K right now) includes ALL of the supplies, books, computer, OPP table, fees for boards, etc... everything you will need. We've been in school since August and I have not had to write a check/pay for ANYTHING school related (besides the occasional club T shirt :)) When you look at how much is actually included in our tuition, I would argue PCSOM gives you the best deal, hands down.

          2) We don't have a note-taking service like some other schools... all our notes are provided for us by our professors/the school. Printing is free on campus as well.

          3) Non-competitive environment. We're told at orientation on Day 1... competition stopped after acceptance to the school. I don't think I could have picked a better group of people to go through this experience with. Although every class will differ somewhat and every class will have its own problems, I truly feel that everyone in our class wants to see the class as a whole be as successful as possible. One example of this is that after our last set of exams, our class president asked for people who were doing very well who were willing to help and people who were borderline/failing to email her (with her maintaining everyone's anonymity) and she would pair up people for each class and see if those who were doing well could give tips on how they study/what they concentrate on most, etc. It was a great idea and it seems to be working out very well for everyone.

          4) Board pass rates for our 3rd years was 94% this year, an excellent figure which we're hoping to maintain :)

          5) We operate on a block system which means we have classes for roughly a month and then usually 2 days of tests for every subject at the end of the block as opposed to having staggered tests where you might have a test or 2 every week. I think blocks are preferable because in the other system I think there might be a tendency to only study the subject for the test that week and always be playing catch-up on others. Also, the week after blocks allows us at least some level of down-time so we're not constantly in pre-test study mode.

          If you have any other specific questions regarding classes, faculty, the community, etc. Please feel free to PM me any time. I'll be more than happy to help in any way I can :)
           

          classic13

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            As a former NSU student I was very disappointed at NSU. It is extremely student unfriendly. The dean has no regards for students opinions. They treat you like you are still in the kindergarden. Though this maybe the case to some degree across most DO schools but I think Nova really set a new standard on this one.

            The clinical education varies greatly depending on the sites and most have a lot to be desired. You may see great cases at Broward General but the teaching might not be there. many rotations are essentially shadowing programs. Mt sini and university of Miami rotations are generally good and I have heard from a friend that they are talking to Cleveland Clinic Florida about clinical rotations. A friend of mine in the class ahead of me once told me that the school is not unlike a diploma mill because they have the curriculum, clinical rotations,and the buildings that they can claim to comprise the elements of a school but there is not much of substance to it. Essentially Nova has the hardware but not the software.

            With regards to the board scores, it appears to be a perpetual issue. When I was there a few years back, the issue was asked to the dean. Other than telling us that Nova's passing rate is on par with the rest, the dean refused to give us the average, not even a ballpark number. I was told by someone in the know that the passing rate is avg but the majority of the students don't do all that well even though they passed. That said there were 3 people in my class (I know of)who scored in the 99 percentile on COMLEX. I graduated in 2003 so this may be outdated info but from Doctor Doogie4's post this may still be an issue.

            The residency placement is probably better at NSU; however, myself and many of my classmates felt that we got the residencies we wanted INSPITE of the school not because of the school.

            In general, many of my classmates dislike the school so much that we did not even want to go to the graduation. The med school does not even have its own graduation. It's university wide ceremony with the phamacy school, dental school, MPH, etc. The administration even knows that people don't want to go so the policy is that you will not get your diploma if you don't attend the ceremony. How sad . . .

            There are probably some problems with other schools too but this is what I know of Nova from my experience there.
             

            lsudoc82

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              Thank you for all of your input. Is there anyone else that can help me? I am trying to get as much info as possible to make and informed decision. My deadline is approaching quickly. Thank you again for any input, good or bad, from each school.
               

              tara14

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                Is NSUCOM really that bad? Now I'm starting to freak out because I put a deposit towards it and I chose it over PCOM because I would get instate tuition. The last thing I want is to go to a med school where I will be unhappy and won't feel that I benefited from. I had enough of that from undergrad. It sounds as if the classes aren't very helpful - do you have to do a lot of self-learning because the faculty aren't explaining the topics well? I hope I didn't make a mistake by choosing NSU ... perhaps it's not too late to send out my deposit to PCOM ....
                 

                lsudoc82

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                  How do you feel about the testing methods at each school--block vs. once a week? It would seem that block might stress me out, like its finals again every few weeks--but just a hellacious amout of info extra.
                   

                  doc_holliday

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                    lsudoc82 said:
                    How do you feel about the testing methods at each school--block vs. once a week? It would seem that block might stress me out, like its finals again every few weeks--but just a hellacious amout of info extra.


                    Blocks are the way to go!! although all your exams happen across a 2 or 3 day span, which in of itself is stressful, i cant explain enough how nice it is to have a week or 2 not worrying about tests (maybe a suprise or scheduled quiz in a few subjects). Once finished, one only has to worry about new class materials (i personally attend about 95% of lectures), reorganize the notes, maybe pay a bill or two, and renovate the living quarters to be not so 3rd world.

                    Most of your classes cover the new material w/ cumulative topics, just to keep you on your toes. most exams are slated for 2 hours, with about 2 hours in between. there are about 8 or 9 blocks per year w/ many courses having a final (which isnt bad if you of course stay on top of the info and passing the prior cumulative/new material exams). I dont know if i'd like have an exam every single week... doesnt seem to give you much of a break.

                    Just a quick side note, PCSOM has a great OPTI Program, spanning from Washington state and Alaska (still in the works, but it might be ready), to Gulfport, MS and the deep hollers of Appalachia (along w/ all the national/state club dues).

                    Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me or other PCSOM students. Congrats on your acceptance to both medical schools! Good luck w/ your decision.

                    Jorge
                    Sophomore - PCSOM
                     

                    JMCarpenter

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                      doc_holliday said:
                      Blocks are the way to go!! although all your exams happen across a 2 or 3 day span, which in of itself is stressful, i cant explain enough how nice it is to have a week or 2 not worrying about tests (maybe a suprise or scheduled quiz in a few subjects). Once finished, one only has to worry about new class materials (i personally attend about 95% of lectures), reorganize the notes, maybe pay a bill or two, and renovate the living quarters to be not so 3rd world.

                      ...I dont know if i'd like have an exam every single week... doesnt seem to give you much of a break.



                      Jorge
                      Sophomore - PCSOM

                      Definitely agreed!! :) Now that I've taken a few rounds of blocks, I couldn't imagine going back to the "one or two tests a week" system... you just NEVER get any downtime... Also I think people tend to ONLY study the test that they're taking that week so it seems like you're always playing catch-up... which altho possible... I think would be definitely more stressful than getting it all done in 2 days :)

                      PM if you have any more Q's :)

                      JMCarpenter
                       

                      Sirius Black

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                        tara14 said:
                        Is NSUCOM really that bad? Now I'm starting to freak out because I put a deposit towards it and I chose it over PCOM because I would get instate tuition. The last thing I want is to go to a med school where I will be unhappy and won't feel that I benefited from. I had enough of that from undergrad. It sounds as if the classes aren't very helpful - do you have to do a lot of self-learning because the faculty aren't explaining the topics well? I hope I didn't make a mistake by choosing NSU ... perhaps it's not too late to send out my deposit to PCOM ....

                        Don't worry, it's not that bad. I just finished my first semester, and I really enjoyed it (except for finals week). I'd say that for the most part, the faculty is excellent. There are certain teachers that really go out of their way to help the students. There are also a few professors who could take some lessons on teaching, but they usually make up for it by providing notes that are quite easy to understand. You don't have to do a whole lot of self learning; in fact the curriculum is very lecture-based so it's possible to do all your learning in class as long as you keep up. What's really awesome is how friendly my class is. If someone gets their hands on an old test or finds a website that further explains a topic, they shoot it out to the list-serve immediately. The campus is truly beautiful, and there's always something to do around town (when you're not studying). You get exposure to real patients within the first month, which I don't think is offered at many other schools.

                        On the downside, the attendance policy really does make you feel like you're in kindergarten. It's quite easy to get someone to swipe you in, but just knowing that you have to do that is kind of annoying. I haven't really dealt with the administration much, but I have heard that they can be pretty stubborn about things. They really need a better plan for handling hurricanes, as Wilma wreaked havoc on our schedule (the week off was nice, though :) ) For gross anatomy lab, there are some prosected cadavers, meaning that most of the major dissections have already been done. This sort of bothered me because I felt I wasn't getting the full dissecting experience, but it was also a blessing in that it saved me a lot of time. (Besides, you can always join another group and trim away the fat if you like). I'd say overall I'm pretty happy with NSU, and I feel that the pros outweigh the cons.
                         

                        DoctorDoogie4

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                          Sirius Black said:
                          Don't worry, it's not that bad. I just finished my first semester, and I really enjoyed it (except for finals week). I'd say that for the most part, the faculty is excellent. There are certain teachers that really go out of their way to help the students. There are also a few professors who could take some lessons on teaching, but they usually make up for it by providing notes that are quite easy to understand. You don't have to do a whole lot of self learning; in fact the curriculum is very lecture-based so it's possible to do all your learning in class as long as you keep up. What's really awesome is how friendly my class is. If someone gets their hands on an old test or finds a website that further explains a topic, they shoot it out to the list-serve immediately. The campus is truly beautiful, and there's always something to do around town (when you're not studying). You get exposure to real patients within the first month, which I don't think is offered at many other schools.

                          On the downside, the attendance policy really does make you feel like you're in kindergarten. It's quite easy to get someone to swipe you in, but just knowing that you have to do that is kind of annoying. I haven't really dealt with the administration much, but I have heard that they can be pretty stubborn about things. They really need a better plan for handling hurricanes, as Wilma wreaked havoc on our schedule (the week off was nice, though :) ) For gross anatomy lab, there are some prosected cadavers, meaning that most of the major dissections have already been done. This sort of bothered me because I felt I wasn't getting the full dissecting experience, but it was also a blessing in that it saved me a lot of time. (Besides, you can always join another group and trim away the fat if you like). I'd say overall I'm pretty happy with NSU, and I feel that the pros outweigh the cons.


                          Everyone is happy after the first semester. In my class, everyone was happy after the first semester. Just wait until second semester starts. You will feel the wrath of the Microbiology department :laugh: :laugh: . Just give it a little bit more time and the true colors of NSUCOM will show.
                           

                          classic13

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                            DoctorDoogie4 said:
                            Everyone is happy after the first semester. In my class, everyone was happy after the first semester. Just wait until second semester starts. You will feel the wrath of the Microbiology department :laugh: :laugh: . Just give it a little bit more time and the true colors of NSUCOM will show.


                            So well said :laugh: One way to be happy or remain not cynical is to believe everything that the administration tells you and do what they say. I.e. Administration: Eat sh!t! Students: Mmmm... Sh!t is good! If you refuse or dare to tell otherwise, they will rimm it down your throat.
                             
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