Question For MSI and MS II students at UHS or other DO schools??

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Do you guys/gals have a lot of typing of papers, reports, projects (busy work) in medical school? OR is it based mostly on exams, quizzes, small group projects? I was a bio major, some classes required a lot of research on topics, but other were just tests, tests, and more tests? Does anyone, specifically for UHS, but other DO students can also give input so I have a wide range of what DO school is really like?


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Apr 24, 2002
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At my school, our grades are almost exclusively based on exams and lab practicals. There are some exceptions, but not many.


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Your grades in classes are at least 95% of your grade. The other 5% are minor projects like Group Presentations, Evidence Based Medicine Literature Review, Clinical Case Scenario Questions. These projects are only a minor part of your grade and not every system has them, but you have to participate in the projects to pass the course.

As far as what its like at a DO school, I can only speak for COMP, but its probably very similar at other schools.

You're first semester you complete all you basic science courses: Physiology, Pathology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Gross Anatomy, etc. and you won't really have any projects. At COMP there is pretty much an exam every Monday during your first semester. You will spend about 10 hours(minimum schedule class time) in the Gross Anatomy Lab. Many people spend extra time on their own, but this is the time alotted on the schedule. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are typically OMM days, and you'll spend the majority of the morning in the OMM lab. It is a nice change from just sitting in class in a lecture hall. Of course 1/2 of your anatomy grade is based on lab, where you have to identify tagged structures....just like the movie Gross Anatomy if you've seen it.:)

After the first semester, you'll start in on the Systems, where you learn about each system, with much more clinical information, and you expand a lot on the basic science information from the first semester.

At COMP the systems are arranged in this order: (this is after your first semester of your first year which is the basic sciences)

Second Semester, First Year:
(During this semester you'll also have one week called ICM - Intro to Clinical Medicine, where you learn how to do History and Physical Exams, and some basic procedures at the clinic, i.e. blood draws, EKG, Vital Signs, etc. There is also a week of Behavior Medicine after the Neurosensory System)

First Semester, Second Year:
Blood and RE System
Cardiovascular System
Respiratory System
(Psychiatry is blended in the Cardiovascular System, you'll have lectures every Friday on Psych) There are a couple of projects in Psych, which are actually pretty mundane and waste of time in most peoples opinions....but, you just gotta suck it up and finish it

Second Semester, Second Year:
Renal System
Reproductive System
Gastrointestinal System

Its a lot better once you get through the first semester of med school, because once you start the systems, you don't have a test every Monday. They are every few weeks....which is nice.

During the entire first two years you'll have practical exams in OMM, where you have to demonstrate techniques, etc. There are two a semester, a mid-term practical and a final, and the information is cummulative. Techniques that you learn the first semester will be built upon and you'll be responsible for those techniques for the entire first two years. At the end of each semester, there is a written final exam on OMM.

This is what to expect at a DO school, specifically COMP....hope it helps.


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No, there is no busy work at UHS! But you are busy that's for sure! Each of our sections are run by two different instructors, so there might be outside reading depending on who is teaching. For example, we just finished the respiratory section and we were expected to read current journal articles (Evidence Based Medicine) on how to treat TB or pneumonia, etc.

Presentations: you will be expected to do 2 pathology presentations your first year. You will do this with two other students and it is really no big deal. Your second year you will be presenting path cases by yourself.
If you are involved with any research you might be expected to do a presentation on Research Day, which is in January.

UHS also has what is called ICCS (introduction to core communication skills and early clinical experience). Your first year you will learn how to conduct a patient interview with hired actors and understand SOAP notes, and how to ask the CAGE questions. You will also have 2 early clinical experiences at various medical offices, or at Children's Mercy.

There are occasional lab reports in Microbiology- but these are not difficult (more like short answer type of lab reports) and most of it can be done in the lab itself.
I would be surprised if any medical school had a bunch of reports/busy work/typing of whatever, because you have so much reading to do. Also you will be spending a lot of time in the Anatomy lab your first year, especially if you have not had anatomy before.


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At UHS the basic science disciplines(anatomy, biochem., histology, micro., pathology, embryology, etc.) are taught by body system. Each section lasts six weeks (there are a few exceptions). Our grade is based on 3 or 4 quizzes per section, anatomy practical score, pathology practical score, lab attendance points, various points for basically showing up and the vast majority of points come from the section final exam. We don't have to write any papers or anything. I think we had one or two bichem lab reports, and we occasionally have micro. lab reports, but they are pretty easy and we all work together on them. Here is what you will see your first year at UHS:

1st semester:

Foundations of Medicine(6 weeks): basically gets everyone on the same page. A lot of genetics, basic path(very important!!), intro. to anatomy, basic histo., basic micro, etc.

Musculoskeletal(6 weeks): a lot of anatomy(all the skeletal muscles minus head and neck, path. of musculoskeletal, physio., biochem, histo. of muscle, etc.

Skin, Blood, and Lymph(6 weeks): Very path. intensive, heavy in hematology, oncology, no anatomy of course, lots of derm., histo of skin and blood, etc.

2nd semester:

Cardiovacular(6 weeks): anatomy of the thorax, lots of physio., histo. of heart muscle, path. of cardio., lots of internal medicine, etc.

Respiratory(6 weeks): anatomy of G.I.(don't ask me why), histo. of repiratory, path., physio., a lot of micro., etc.

Gastrointestinal (5 weeks): anatomy of pelvis(again screwed up, I know), lots of biochem, histo. of G.I. micro. path, etc.

Hope that helped.