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chrissystar

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Hi.. I am having some trouble deciding between these schools. So far, I have been accepted to PCO and NOVA, and I have an interview at NECO in a few weeks. I liked PCO and NOVA both very much, and each school has their own pros and cons, but I still decide which one I really want yet. If anyone has any input, please post!

Here's what I have:

PCO
pros:
-high board pass rate
-leaders in optometry.. has been established for a while
-nice student centre
-very nice facilities and buildings
-excellent clinical experience
-opportunities for electives

cons:
-kind of ghetto clinic
-hard to get around without a car
-not much to do around the area


NOVA

pros:
-tuition is a little cheaper than PCO or NECO
-multidisciplinary teaching environment
-a lot to do in the city of ft. lauderdale.. can get around without a car
-nice facilities and clinic
-beautiful weather

cons:
-newer school
-farthest away from home
-unsure about the board pass rate yet!


NECO
pros:
-dual O.D/MS degree
-nice city
-strong research-based school
-closest to home

cons:
-expensive to live
-low board pass rate
-older facilities/clinic
 

odforme

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Neco has a new clinic that opened this year...you will get a tour during your interview.
 

eyedesire

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I was really impressed by NECO's new clinic, it is a fantastic site with the latest technology. They gave a really thorough tour of the facility which i really enjoyed, and got me excited just by thinking that I could learn to use the instruments.

As for the board pass rates, it's really up to you to do well on those exams. If you study and work hard to pass them you'll be fine no matter where you go.
 
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odforme

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UGH It's sooo hard to decide! I still haven't heard from PCO (probably fri) and I loved NECO partly because I lived in Boston previously, but it is so expensive. I'm leaning toward SCO, it is the least expensive of my choices and I really liked the school, people and Memphis. I keep telling myself that this is only a 4 yr decision, not forever. I'm a bit older student returning to school, so the expense is a huge factor for me. Good luck with your decisions!
 

IDoctor

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I was really impressed by NECO's new clinic, it is a fantastic site with the latest technology. They gave a really thorough tour of the facility which i really enjoyed, and got me excited just by thinking that I could learn to use the instruments.

As for the board pass rates, it's really up to you to do well on those exams. If you study and work hard to pass them you'll be fine no matter where you go.

I didn't feel the same. Yes the clinic looks nice, but the instruments there are fairly standard by now. Working as an optometric assistant in the Bay Area, I have already acquainted myself with all of that equipment shown during the tour. (only new thing I have not seen was the conference room).
 

odforme

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Well perhaps the above poster hasn't been to many other schools...NECO does seem to have more of the latest technology than what I saw at other schools. What people use in practice is not really relevant here, we are comparing schools, not private practices.
 

IDoctor

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Well perhaps the above poster hasn't been to many other schools...NECO does seem to have more of the latest technology than what I saw at other schools. What people use in practice is not really relevant here, we are comparing schools, not private practices.

Well what we toured was a clinic, and they run it as a private practice, so I think it is fair to compare it on that basis.
If just compairing other schools, you will notice that the same technology: fundus camera, stratus oct, nct, all of these are standard, and even if you look through their websites you will find pictures of this equipment at all schools.

As for the rent:
http://realestate.msn.com/Rentals/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=797247

Boston is up there as one of the most expensive. the listing for fort lauderdale seems a bit high though, as you can find alot of apartments for much cheaper. But I assume its an average, as there maybe some extremely expensive properties there as well.
 

chrissystar

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Well what we toured was a clinic, and they run it as a private practice, so I think it is fair to compare it on that basis.
If just compairing other schools, you will notice that the same technology: fundus camera, stratus oct, nct, all of these are standard, and even if you look through their websites you will find pictures of this equipment at all schools.

As for the rent:
http://realestate.msn.com/Rentals/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=797247

Boston is up there as one of the most expensive. the listing for fort lauderdale seems a bit high though, as you can find alot of apartments for much cheaper. But I assume its an average, as there maybe some extremely expensive properties there as well.



Hey thanks! That helps a lot.. Yea, Boston is highhhh up there.
 

odforme

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I disagree with those prices totally. I lived in Boston for 4 years, if you need some ideas of where to live and what not, just pm me. Boston is a great city and while it is expensive, it is not impossible. You can easily get by without a car in Boston.
 

kylee0127

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my opinion: go to pco

better rep, cheaper rent.

but boston is a better city to live in i think. i grew up here and it's a beautiful city. and i agree with the above individual...you can find reasonable apartments here. and most neighborhoods are pretty safe. if you look at listings in brighton/allston or somerville/medford...it's not bad and easily commutable.

if this helps...i work with an OD who is the new chief of residents at a VA in boston & he admitted that the staff there prefers pco students over neco in terms of applicants coming from east coast programs...
 

chrissystar

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thanks for the replies everyone - haha.. still not easy to decide though.

kylee- may i ask which school u attend/plan to?

i know pco has a good rep - but i really dont know if i can see myself in the city. the clinic did turn me off.. and the school seems isolated from everything. but i really do want to go to a school with a good rep.

wow - deciding where to go is just as stressful as the application process.

anyone else in a similar situation?
 

eyelash4

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In regards to PCO's eye clinic, when I was interviewed at PCO back in October, the student guides took us through the EYE clinic and did mention something about the facilities were soon to be renovated. I haven't been back there yet, so maybe the process has started or soon to be . Maybe a current PCO student could update us on the status of the project. :)
 

chrissystar

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hey eyelash, my interview was in february, and it didnt seem like the clinic had any renovations done to it. even so, i didnt think the location of the clinic was very convenient. they should provide a shuttle that takes students there after classes..

so - go with a school with a good reputation, but only mediocre facilities? or go to a school where the location is convenient (NOVA) but an ok rep?

decisions:scared:
 

kylee0127

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Ill be attending SUNY this fall but I applied to nova and PCO and live in Boston so I did my research...gl w decisions
 

aam0050

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I interviewed at PCO the end of January, and was told the eye clinic would be done with renovations by the time it would be important for us (2nd/3rd year). If that's true, then that would be great for us (c/o 2011+)!
 
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