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Questions regarding CCOM/Chicago area rotations.

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by NonTradMed, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    So, I put this question into the osteopathic forum and got no takers, maybe this forum will find more people who can answer my questions....

    I have just been accepted into CCOM and a couple of other schools but I'm keeping CCOM as a top choice for a major reason: I keep hearing about its great rotation sites.

    I had been doing some research on what the various DO schools have to offer in terms of rotations and many schools seems to farm out their students 3rd and 4th year. I do NOT want to move around too much my 3rd or 4th year but I also don't want to sacrifice my education for convienence. It seems CCOM would offer a chance to stay in one city while still allowing for good rotations at well known teaching hospitals.

    However, I have some questions regarding these clinical rotation options for CCOM, and I haven't been able to find answers to them in the forums:

    1. How much of CCOM's rotations are traditional, ward-based ones and how much of it is preceptor-based? Is it possible to do rotations that are ALL traditional ward-based rotations?

    2. I would like a structured curriculum for 3rd/4th year with set lectures/syllabus etc during these last two years (hey, paying 30k!). I saw on the CCOM's website that they require mandatory attendence for lectures during rotations, does this mean there will be strict curriculum and structure as to what I should be learning during each rotations? Or is it going to be some guy who spits back stuff when he feels like it?


    3. Are the people that are teaching me during 3rd/4th years in the rotations getting paid? Or are they volunteers? I can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere.

    4. Regarding doing rotations with the other medical students in the city, how difficult is it to get these "shared" rotations? Do CCOM get last pick? first pick? Is it a general lottery for all the med schools in the area? Or is space for rotations even an issue in such a large city?

    5. Can most CCOM rotations be done at major teaching hospitals/academic centers? I know there are tons of area hospitals but I have heard the best places to do your rotations is in the academic centers. And how difficult is it to get these rotations? How many students actually get the 'good spots' during rotations?

    6. Lastly, can anyone give me their general experiences with CCOM rotations? How much guidance do you get from the administration to set up these rotations? How much legwork do you have to do to set them up---i.e do you just sign up for them and wait, or do you have to make the calls yourself?

    Please correct a lowly premed's misconceptions of how all this works.

    Any other comments are also welcome. Thanks so much!
     
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  3. Claymore

    Claymore Yankees Suck
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    1. As medicine is not solely a ward-based profession, you won't do only ward based rotations. For things like Medicine and Surgery you probably will stick to the floors/OR only, but for things like Peds and Family you can (and should) get a lot of outpatient experience. Rotations are for the most part skewed towards inpatient care, but there is ample outpatient exposure where appropriate. I would say you have very few rotations where you are solely following around 1 "preceptor". For subspecialties you might get assigned to a group (ie, the Nephro group at Cook County) and you would work with those attendings/residents whatever their schedule may be.

    2. There is a structured lecture series for things like Psychiatry, Family, Surgery, Peds, EM, and OB. This means there is a half day each week where all the students at all the sites come together and spend an afternoon going over lecture topics, cases, etc. What you do with these lectures is up to you, but the "structure" is there for you if you want to follow the school's curriculum. I found it more useful to read about things as they came up in patients I saw on the rotations.

    3. They are volunteers, unless they are on faculty already at the school.

    4. We have affiliations with several of the larger teaching hospitals in Chicago including the Advocate system (Christ, Lutheran General) and Cook County. Rotations are assigned through a lottery system among the students, so your chances of getting any particular rotation depends on the number of other students who want it as well. If you are talking about going to one of the other med schools' hospitals, you basically can take whatever is left over after their home students choose things. For instance, Rush students get priority over all other students for rotations at Rush. After they are assigned, things are kind of a free-for-all, so it helps to be on top of things if you are seeking a competitive away rotation.

    5. "Good spots" are relative. I used to think that the only good spots were at the big name places, but no longer think that is necessarily true. Instead I prefer places where I can learn a lot and do things myself, that is within easy driving distance and the hours aren't horrible. I think some of the above mentioned hospitals are excellent examples of great rotation sites, and there are certainly others as well. Everyone however gets stuck with a few crappy ones here and there. I'd say about 50% of my rotations were my first choice, 25% were second or third choice, and 25% were lower than my 3rd choice.

    6. Rotations are completely set up for you (except for electives), you just have to pick which ones you want. Basically what happens is you are given a list of all possible sites where you can do, say, OB/Gyn. You then go and rank all the sites (there may be 8 or so to choose from, more for some specialties). You then repeat this process for all required rotations. All students' lists are fed into a computer, which then spits back your rotation schedule for the year. Some people have more success than others, depending on what your preferences are, I'd say my results (see above) are pretty typical. Now, electives are done differently. These are NOT set up for you, you basically call around to wherever you want to go and set them up yourself. However most people like this flexibility...you can rotate at any hospital in the country in any specialty you want. We get 1 elective month during 3rd year, 5 months during 4th year, and it is during these electives that you can really tailor your schedule to your interests. Good luck.
     
  4. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Thanks for replying!

    I had only asked this question because I was told preceptor based rotations were not as educational as the ward based ones. The dean of one school I was considering and the professor at another school I interviewed at both favored ward based rotations over preceptor based ones so I figured it was something worth investigating.

    When you say the students all come together....are you referring to CCOM students who come back to the school for lectures? Is that common among other medical schools? Or just something CCOM cooked up? ;)

    What percentage would you say are the people who take you on rotations 'volunteers' vs. faculty? I only ask because I was told a better ratio of paid faculty makes for a more educational experience. However, the person who told me this was saying that their school offered absolutely no structure in their 3rd and 4th years and they had only their preceptors' words to go by in their rotations. So perhaps the structured offered at CCOM mitigates any negatives associated with utilizing volunteers in rotations (or maybe I'm just blowing smoke since I haven't even stepped foot inside a med school yet....).

    Ok, that's what I assumed. I was told doing rotations at a teaching hospital was very helpful. Do you mind telling me how 'easy' it is to get rotations done at these teaching hospitals? Are there a significant number of students who end up doing their rotations at non teaching sites (not by choice)?

    Yeah, I've been told that crappy rotations are just a fact of life. LOL. It's like getting crappy college profs. If I was a masochist and decided to only do my rotations at the 'big names' as much as possible....do I stand a chance to get them? I'm not saying I would only follow the 'big names' if I was to go to CCOM, but I'd like to have that option open in a worse case scenario.

    That doesn't sound too bad. As long as there aren't a lot of hassles (just call and set up a date), I guess it's a small price to pay for flexibility.

    Thanks so much! It was very informative. :D
     
  5. Claymore

    Claymore Yankees Suck
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    :)
     

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