Alienman52

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Howdy All,

I have never been steered wrong throughout my entire time on this forum, and for that I am truly grateful to the more than helpful sdn community.
I was accepted to ACOM a few weeks back, and will most likely attend.

Needless to say I am so ecstatic about the acceptance, and appreciate the offer that ACOM has extended me to become a fantastic physician.

I would like to ask what the sdn community thinks of the school as a whole, and it's quality of clinical rotations. They'll be graduating their first class this year so I'll be able to take a look at match rates before I graduate college. At this point I'm pretty interested in IM so I'm not too worried about getting "A" program, but I'd like one in NY.

What would be the comments and thoughts of sdn on the new school?
Positives and negatives? Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thoughts @Goro?


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Camaxtli

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Howdy All,

I have never been steered wrong throughout my entire time on this forum, and for that I am truly grateful to the more than helpful sdn community.
I was accepted to ACOM a few weeks back, and will most likely attend.

Needless to say I am so ecstatic about the acceptance, and appreciate the offer that ACOM has extended me to become a fantastic physician.

I would like to ask what the sdn community thinks of the school as a whole, and it's quality of clinical rotations. They'll be graduating their first class this year so I'll be able to take a look at match rates before I graduate college. At this point I'm pretty interested in IM so I'm not too worried about getting "A" program, but I'd like one in NY.

What would be the comments and thoughts of sdn on the new school?
Positives and negatives? Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thoughts @Goro?


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I go to PCOM, have a friend at Acom. Don't know anything about it but I think my friend likes it. I have heard good things about it. I don't think there is really a bad medical school in America though!
 
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The only downside I have seen of ACOM is a weak research program. This only affects you if you have an interest in perusing that while in school.
 
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Alienman52

Alienman52

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The only downside I have seen of ACOM is a weak research program. This only affects you if you have an interest in perusing that while in school.
How do you think the match will be? I've also heard that their rotations are pretty much all preceptor based.


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I really can't tell. It's tricky as each type has its positives depending on who you are working with. Preceptor allows for more options to perform and be involved but also can have drawbacks, including any problems if your preceptor isn't great...I am curious to see how they match though
 
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Are all locations preceptor focused? Or just in Dothan? I imagine it would be different near Birmingham or Montgomery
 

GBCrzzyy

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I'm also really interested to know opinions about the school. I've heard a lot of good things, much better than many other new schools. Personally, research matters to me a lot because I have a strong interest in surgery and working in an academic setting in the future. I'm a little nervous about the "growing pains" that many new schools go through so I'm still hoping to get some love from a more established school but regardless, I'll be happy just to go to medical school!
 
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I'm also really interested to know opinions about the school. I've heard a lot of good things, much better than many other new schools. Personally, research matters to me a lot because I have a strong interest in surgery and working in an academic setting in the future. I'm a little nervous about the "growing pains" that many new schools go through so I'm still hoping to get some love from a more established school but regardless, I'll be happy just to go to medical school!
Research is pretty high on my list as well. It's the only reason why this school isn't number one on my list as of now. Everything else about the school seemed nice though.
 

lnguyen1412

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I heard during the interview they said that they are building a research center right now.
I'm not really interested in research like you guys though... As long as I can be a doctor haha... But I believe their match list will be great
 
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I heard during the interview they said that they are building a research center right now.
I'm not really interested in research like you guys though... As long as I can be a doctor haha... But I believe their match list will be great
Yeah I was in same interview group with you. Congrats on acceptance btw. From what they discussed it will be basic projects and more than likely won't have any projects that I'm interested in (cancer based).
 
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MADD!!!

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Howdy All,

I have never been steered wrong throughout my entire time on this forum, and for that I am truly grateful to the more than helpful sdn community.
I was accepted to ACOM a few weeks back, and will most likely attend.

Needless to say I am so ecstatic about the acceptance, and appreciate the offer that ACOM has extended me to become a fantastic physician.

I would like to ask what the sdn community thinks of the school as a whole, and it's quality of clinical rotations. They'll be graduating their first class this year so I'll be able to take a look at match rates before I graduate college. At this point I'm pretty interested in IM so I'm not too worried about getting "A" program, but I'd like one in NY.

What would be the comments and thoughts of sdn on the new school?
Positives and negatives? Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thoughts @Goro?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
In my opinion, it's better to ask this question if/once you've been accepted somewhere to then be able to compare/contrast which is better to attend. At this point, even if everyone says it's bad would you really not attend if it was your only acceptance?

I guess I'm saying it's better to ask your question in a more objective way so others will know how to respond accordingly.
 

getfat

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In my opinion, it's better to ask this question if/once you've been accepted somewhere to then be able to compare/contrast which is better to attend. At this point, even if everyone says it's bad would you really not attend if it was your only acceptance?

I guess I'm saying it's better to ask your question in a more objective way so others will know how to respond accordingly.
+1 to this. The best school is the one that accepts you.

If you get another acceptance, then you can objectively compare which school is best.
 
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Alienman52

Alienman52

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In my opinion, it's better to ask this question if/once you've been accepted somewhere to then be able to compare/contrast which is better to attend. At this point, even if everyone says it's bad would you really not attend if it was your only acceptance?

I guess I'm saying it's better to ask your question in a more objective way so others will know how to respond accordingly.
Agree, but disagree. Regardless of my attendance it would still be nice to see what might be ahead for myself in the coming years by asking for advice. As I mentioned, the sdn community really has never steered me wrong. It's like getting into college, enrolling, and asking older students about their perceptions of the school; I'm just trying to get a jump start on what the school has to offer from the viewpoint of sdn.

It wasn't really a question of whether or not id attend, it was more just asking for advice and perceptions of the future capability of the school.

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AnatomyGrey12

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I thought preceptor based was bad?
That's too broad of a brush stroke. The Alabama MD schools use some of the same rotations. Preceptor might not be ideal in all rotations but each way (preceptor vs. ward) has its own list of pros and cons.
 

lnguyen1412

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Let me give objective opinion on this topic since we already on it:

- from many students I talked to during interview day, they seems to like ACOM and happy with the way the school is heading.
- strong financial support from the state of Alabama: from many sources you can read from google. The governor did say it himself that he will provide more support for the school.
- ACOM is academic division of SAMC, which I think is an advantage for ACOM students because SAMC is a 420 beds hospital with its own surgical center, and trauma level 2 center.
- Many rotation sites of ACOM has experience in training other students from other school like VCOM, RVU, and PCOM in the past.

In my opinion, ACOM indeed has what to offer a good quality medical education. I'm not making my decision on feeling alone, I'm making it using what already know about ACOM. But most importantly, what you feel about being there for 2 years at least is important.

On the other hand, preceptor based may have advantages and disadvantages.
- I think the advantages with preceptor based at ACOM (from many students I talked to on SDN and during my interview), they said you will have lot of opportunity to be involved and hand-on experience - to me this is important because I love to learn how to do things and put it in practice.
- I think the disadvantage is there is no ward-based experience, so it will be hard to learn to be independent. To compensate for this, I think ACOM allows your 4th year to be your own choice of audition rotation to gain some of that experience. I really hope they do open their residency at SAMC in 2018, so by the time we graduate there, we will have some kind of ward base experience.

Just my 0.02c.
Thanks
 

MADD!!!

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Agree, but disagree. Regardless of my attendance it would still be nice to see what might be ahead for myself in the coming years by asking for advice. As I mentioned, the sdn community really has never steered me wrong. It's like getting into college, enrolling, and asking older students about their perceptions of the school; I'm just trying to get a jump start on what the school has to offer from the viewpoint of sdn.

It wasn't really a question of whether or not id attend, it was more just asking for advice and perceptions of the future capability of the school.

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I see what you're saying. In that case I think this question is better suited in the Osteopathic forum. MS1's and Ms2's of the school can answer your question much better than we can. There are some current students who are usually on the ACOM student page who you could message, or post the thread on the Osteo forum instead. I'm not saying this to criticize, just to help you get the best answer to your question because they would know better than anyone else.
 
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Doctor_Strange

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I thought preceptor based was bad?
The general consensus is that wards > preceptorships which yields more pathology and inpatient care. Personally, I know several people doing preceptorships at LECOM-B and it is a nightmare, i.e. multiple students to one doctor. I would say, however, if you want to go into primary care, especially FM, then preceptorships are not going to be a problem. Do search or look through the osteopathic medical student forums if you get a chance. That is how I arrived to my conclusion, plus personal anecdotes as well.

edit: I also think preceptorships are highly variable in terms of quality of teaching which also explains why they are viewed less variably compared to wards. I also think it is a function of the school. From what I know, LMU-DCOM's rotations appear to be largely a mess--similar to LECOM-B.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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The general consensus is that wards > preceptorships which yields more pathology and inpatient care
That's not it actually as a lot of preceptorships happen in hospitals. The issue is that you have no idea how to work up a patient the way a resident would and you don't learn how to function as an intern, which is a big part of what rotations are supposed to be preparing you for. It can really affect your performance in audition rotations, when you are supposed to shine. Even some preceptorships do teach these things but another issue is that it is really hit or miss and just depends on your preceptor.
 
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Doctor_Strange

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That's not it actually as a lot of preceptorships happen in hospitals. The issue is that you have no idea how to work up a patient the way a resident would and you don't learn how to function as an intern, which is a big part of what rotations are supposed to be preparing you for. It can really affect your performance in audition rotations, when you are supposed to shine. Even some preceptorships do teach these things but another issue is that it is really hit or miss and just depends on your preceptor.
Ahh, yes I forgot that nuance. I know quite a few physicians in my community here in FL, and they are all outpatient, so you are absolutely correct as well.

My view: a mix of wards and preceptors (heavy on the wards) is ideal.

This is what I was trying to remember, so I pulled the link: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/preceptor-based-vs-ward-based-clinical-rotations.544843/

edit: lol, actually rereading that thread makes me more convinced that wards vs. preceptorship is more so a function of the COM than anything else.
 
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Alienman52

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I see what you're saying. In that case I think this question is better suited in the Osteopathic forum. MS1's and Ms2's of the school can answer your question much better than we can. There are some current students who are usually on the ACOM student page who you could message, or post the thread on the Osteo forum instead. I'm not saying this to criticize, just to help you get the best answer to your question because they would know better than anyone else.
Maybe we could get a moderator to move this over to the osteo forum? @AlteredScale


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Alienman52

Alienman52

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So for any and all osteo students, what are your impressions of the future of ACOM and its match capability??


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Its really too early to tell. I haven't heard anything particularly bad, except what has already been mentioned about rotations. Its in a small area, lots of country. It makes it hard to get a full wards based core curriculum.

I doubt they will have a particularly tough time in the match. Really it doesn't matter. When you have more options, then it becomes a pressing issue. Right now its your only acceptance and you're going to attend there regardless.

Even if you learn now that rotations aren't great, you won't be going out there for another 3 years. A lot can happen in 3 years. Knowing that now doesn't really help.

Focus on the pre-clinical curriculum. Do well on Step 1, plan to do a wards-based elective in 3rd year at an ACGME program if you can, and then deal with it as it comes. If the majority of your rotations are preceptor based, it would be in your best interest to do a wards based rotation before 4th year (i.e. before auditions). Auditions aren't for ironing out kinks in your education, they're for impressing the program.

AnatomyGrey12 is spot on with regards to the benefits of wards-based rotations.

The general consensus is that wards > preceptorships which yields more pathology and inpatient care. Personally, I know several people doing preceptorships at LECOM-B and it is a nightmare, i.e. multiple students to one doctor. I would say, however, if you want to go into primary care, especially FM, then preceptorships are not going to be a problem. Do search or look through the osteopathic medical student forums if you get a chance. That is how I arrived to my conclusion, plus personal anecdotes as well.

edit: I also think preceptorships are highly variable in terms of quality of teaching which also explains why they are viewed less variably compared to wards. I also think it is a function of the school. From what I know, LMU-DCOM's rotations appear to be largely a mess--similar to LECOM-B.
Its going to be a problem no matter what you go into (primary care/FM or otherwise). No matter where you go, you're going to have inpatient months with other residents where you'll have to work on a team and know your place and responsibilities in it. Its something you can pick up, but it will make the transition harder if you've never experienced it before.

I don't know how it is for the LECOM-B students down south, but the ones (the 40-50 or so) who come up here do pretty well depending on their rotation site. Its a shame whatever is going on down there.
 

Doctor_Strange

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Its really too early to tell. I haven't heard anything particularly bad, except what has already been mentioned about rotations. Its in a small area, lots of country. It makes it hard to get a full wards based core curriculum.

I doubt they will have a particularly tough time in the match. Really it doesn't matter. When you have more options, then it becomes a pressing issue. Right now its your only acceptance and you're going to attend there regardless.

Even if you learn now that rotations aren't great, you won't be going out there for another 3 years. A lot can happen in 3 years. Knowing that now doesn't really help.

Focus on the pre-clinical curriculum. Do well on Step 1, plan to do a wards-based elective in 3rd year at an ACGME program if you can, and then deal with it as it comes. If the majority of your rotations are preceptor based, it would be in your best interest to do a wards based rotation before 4th year (i.e. before auditions). Auditions aren't for ironing out kinks in your education, they're for impressing the program.

AnatomyGrey12 is spot on with regards to the benefits of wards-based rotations.



Its going to be a problem no matter what you go into (primary care/FM or otherwise). No matter where you go, you're going to have inpatient months with other residents where you'll have to work on a team and know your place and responsibilities in it. Its something you can pick up, but it will make the transition harder if you've never experienced it before.

I don't know how it is for the LECOM-B students down south, but the ones (the 40-50 or so) who come up here do pretty well depending on their rotation site. Its a shame whatever is going on down there.
I feel like so many schools do have preceptorships and we continue to see a healthy number of competitive matches from DO schools, that although there may be extra hurdles during 3rd and 4th year, they are certainly not insurmountable. I mean, LECOM-B has great matches and their rotations at the moment are a headache for many.
 

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I feel like so many schools do have preceptorships and we continue to see a healthy number of competitive matches from DO schools, that although there may be extra hurdles during 3rd and 4th year, they are certainly not insurmountable. I mean, LECOM-B has great matches and their rotations at the moment are a headache for many.
Most DO schools will have some exposure to wards based rotations, but its very variable. Diligent students will go out of their way to get exposure though, and as a result many are able to catch up without issue in time for either the auditions that count or by intern year. Its definitely not insurmountable, its just harder/unfortunate.
 
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walleyealx

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I'm currently a 4th from ACOM that is halfway through my fourth audition rotation. I went to one of ACOM's smaller core sites on purpose as I didn't want residents or anyone else in-between me and my learning experience. I have objectively been far more prepared than students I've met from PCOM, LECOM, KCUMB, etc... It took a few days to adjust to working the residents, but other than that I have not run into any issues. Ultimately I believe the match comes down to your boards and how well your perform on (and schedule) auditions. I'm not going into a "medicine" specialty, which may or may not make a different in that regard.
 
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lnguyen1412

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I'm currently a 4th from ACOM that is halfway through my fourth audition rotation. I went to one of ACOM's smaller core sites on purpose as I didn't want residents or anyone else in-between me and my learning experience. I have objectively been far more prepared than students I've met from PCOM, LECOM, KCUMB, etc... It took a few days to adjust to working the residents, but other than that I have not run into any issues. Ultimately I believe the match comes down to your boards and how well your perform (and schedule) on auditions. I'm not going into a "medicine" specialty, which may or may not make a different in that regard.
Thanks. Can you give me some insight of how well the school clinical experience prepared you for audition? Does it help your relationship with the preceptor and be able to obtain letter of recommendation?
 
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I'm currently a 4th from ACOM that is halfway through my fourth audition rotation. I went to one of ACOM's smaller core sites on purpose as I didn't want residents or anyone else in-between me and my learning experience. I have objectively been far more prepared than students I've met from PCOM, LECOM, KCUMB, etc... It took a few days to adjust to working the residents, but other than that I have not run into any issues. Ultimately I believe the match comes down to your boards and how well your perform (and schedule) on auditions. I'm not going into a "medicine" specialty, which may or may not make a different in that regard.
Thanks so much for your advice and contribution.


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I'm an ACOM OMS-I and love it here. I feel very well prepared for all my exams, we've already had multiple standardized patient encounters, and I can't wait to get into my rotations (which I am certain we will be more than ready for). All our preceptors have reported that they are very impressed with the performance of our third and fourth years.

Keep in mind, as DocWinter said, that despite ACOM being a young school, it is the successor institution of a medical education program that's been around for over a decade, so our rotation sites are well established (and ever growing).
 
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I'm an ACOM OMS-I and love it here. I feel very well prepared for all my exams, we've already had multiple standardized patient encounters, and I can't wait to get into my rotations (which I am certain we will be more than ready for). All our preceptors have reported that they are very impressed with the performance of our third and fourth years.

Keep in mind, as DocWinter said, that despite ACOM being a young school, it is the successor institution of a medical education program that's been around for over a decade, so our rotation sites are well established (and ever growing).
This definitely sounds very promising. Thanks for the info!


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isn't this one of the schools with mandatory class attendance? Understand that this will leave you with substantially less free time your first 2 years than most other schools.

anyway, most ACOM students on this site seem happy with the school. That being said, I believe there have been a few negative reviews here and there fwiw.
 
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isn't this one of the schools with mandatory class attendance? Understand that this will leave you with substantially less free time your first 2 years than most other schools.

anyway, most ACOM students on this site seem happy with the school. That being said, I believe there have been a few negative reviews here and there fwiw.
We have mandatory attendance. There's no consequence if you make 80% of lectures, but miss more than 20% and there's serious grade penalties. Most lectures are enjoyable though. Every now and then we'll get a boring one, but usually the only classes that I would want to skip anyways are the ones right before an exam in a different subject (for example, anatomy lecture the day before a molecular medicine exam).
 
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And if for whatever reason you really don't want to listen to a lecture, there's free earplugs in the hallways outside lecture halls. Grab a pair, pop em in, and pretend you're in the library and study however you want.
 

lnguyen1412

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And if for whatever reason you really don't want to listen to a lecture, there's free earplugs in the hallways outside lecture halls. Grab a pair, pop em in, and pretend you're in the library and study however you want.
This is interesting fact. Haha.
For me, going to lecture is not a problem. I love going to lecture since undergrad. To me, it's the second exposure to the materials to reinforce what I proof-read before lecture. Not so many ppl like it, but I enjoy going to lecture.
And I will most likely to skip the class before the exam anyway!!
Thanks for your input
 
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Can anyone tell me about the amount of moving around for clinical rotations third and fourth year? If say I get location X to rotate at and it was my first choice, are ALL of my rotations located at this hospital? Will one have to reapply for another rotation site after this one depending on the sites rotation availability???


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lnguyen1412

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Can anyone tell me about the amount of moving around for clinical rotations third and fourth year? If say I get location X to rotate at and it was my first choice, are ALL of my rotations located at this hospital? Will one have to reapply for another rotation site after this one depending on the sites rotation availability???


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I think that what they say in the interview dates. You stay in one location for your core clerkship. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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I think that what they say in the interview dates. You stay in one location for your core clerkship. Correct me if I'm wrong.
When you say core clerkship, do you mean all of your clinical rotations in your 3rd and fourth year? It would be nice if i only had to move once between 2nd and 3rd year.
 

DO2015CA

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You get a core rotation site for 3rd year where you stay the entire year and go to the different sites in that area. X hospital for IM, X clinic for FM... I think there might be some commuting to different sites at your core site but not more than 20-30 mins

Then 4th year is yours to do whatever you want with it. I recommend doing auditions then for the last part after interview season go back to that core site. That way you move only once after 2nd year. But if you choose SAMC that's in Dothan you won't move between 2-3

You even get 3 elective rotations at the end of 3rd year

Edit: dang autocorrect
 
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You get a core rotation site for 3rd year where you stay the entire year and go to the different sites in that area. X hospital for IM, X clinic for FM... I think there might be some communizing to different sites at your core site but not more than 20-30 mins

Then 4th year is yours to do whatever you want with it. I recommend doing auditions then for the last part after interview season go back to that core site. That way you move only once after 2nd year. But if you choose SAMC that's in Dothan you won't move between 2-3

You even get 3 elective rotations at the end of 3rd year
Appreciate the advice. Thank you.


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billeboi31

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Currently an OMS-I at ACOM. Lack of research was the biggest drawback for me when I chose ACOM but there are certainly opportunities in the health care community if you're willing to put in the time to find them. That being said, the school just completed construction on the new research facility and several faculty members are eager to get their benchwork up and going in there. The school is also doing a better job lately at partnering research opportunities for students with physicians at SAMC (ACOM's associated hospital). ACOM knows they need to be more focused on research to succeed and they will get there eventually.

A few of the rotation sites do have residency programs (largely primary care) but other than that they are mostly preceptor-based. As several of the OMS-III/IV on this thread have said, ACOM students so far have a great reputation at their rotation sites and (most) really enjoy their experiences. SAMC is starting an IM residency in the next year or so, and there has been talk about FM soon after. *so there will be home match spots soon*

Location was also another really big drawback for me as I have lived in various places large and small throughout the country, but Dothan grew on me quickly. The community absolutely loves the medical school and is a thriving health care center for the larger area. Not only are fun/bigger cities within an hour or 2 away, but a significant silver lining to small and quiet Dothan is a lack of convenient distractions from studying!

ACOM is growing. There have been a few grumble-worthy growing pains but I am honestly far more impressed by the support and general flow of things than I expected to be. Please PM me if you have any questions!
 
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Alienman52

Alienman52

Straight from the Mothership
5+ Year Member
May 10, 2014
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Medical Student
Currently an OMS-I at ACOM. Lack of research was the biggest drawback for me when I chose ACOM but there are certainly opportunities in the health care community if you're willing to put in the time to find them. That being said, the school just completed construction on the new research facility and several faculty members are eager to get their benchwork up and going in there. The school is also doing a better job lately at partnering research opportunities for students with physicians at SAMC (ACOM's associated hospital). ACOM knows they need to be more focused on research to succeed and they will get there eventually.

A few of the rotation sites do have residency programs (largely primary care) but other than that they are mostly preceptor-based. As several of the OMS-III/IV on this thread have said, ACOM students so far have a great reputation at their rotation sites and (most) really enjoy their experiences. SAMC is starting an IM residency in the next year or so, and there has been talk about FM soon after. *so there will be home match spots soon*

Location was also another really big drawback for me as I have lived in various places large and small throughout the country, but Dothan grew on me quickly. The community absolutely loves the medical school and is a thriving health care center for the larger area. Not only are fun/bigger cities within an hour or 2 away, but a significant silver lining to small and quiet Dothan is a lack of convenient distractions from studying!

ACOM is growing. There have been a few grumble-worthy growing pains but I am honestly far more impressed by the support and general flow of things than I expected to be. Please PM me if you have any questions!
Thanks for the great input.


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