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TCU & UNTHSC SOM vs. TCOM

moose2024

New Member
Jun 9, 2020
4
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  1. Pre-Medical
Hi,

I am currently debating between two great schools both in Fort Worth Tx but wanted to hop on here for different thoughts/opinions. I am a Texas resident. Since one of the schools will be 2 years old this year, there aren’t as many pros and cons available to list because not too much information available.

TCU & UNTHSC SOM

Pros:
  • unique and innovative curriculum (flipped classroom, required research project, etc.),
  • small class size (learning communities, 1-on-1 PI)
  • Allopathic (MD)
  • new school so updated ( which could also be a con)

Cons:
  • expensive (tuition about 85,000-90,000 a year)
  • new school (first class started last year) so no statistics on progress yet , not as established

UNTHSC TCOM
Pros:
  • #1 DO school in nation in primary care and number 72 in primary care compared to all the other schools in nation (MD and DO) (per usnews.com)
  • ranked in research as well (U.S. news)
  • Texas public school tuition ($55,226 for tx resident)
  • high match and test scores for COMLEX
  • learning OMM (that is pretty cool)

Cons:
  • stigma of DO schools still existing in parts of the country that could limit potential opportunities
  • larger class size (maybe not as much one on one time with doctors/professors)


I know that this depends on what I am looking to go into, but I am not completely sure. However, I am very much interested in OBGYN. Also not really sure is OBGYN considered primary care? or specialty? or if it is "competitive" specialty to get into for residencies like is it not common for DO to go into OBGYN?


I am super thankful for the opportunity to be able to choose between two great schools. I have to make my decision before Wednesday 3 pm central. Hoping for a little clarity and/or other opinions on the topic.
 

drgoldenboy

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May 15, 2016
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If you want to practice a primary care speciality, dont want to go into academic medicine, and want to stay in TX, I would think that going to TCOM would be a better choice because of the cost difference and the fact that TCOM is more established in TX.

What does the cost difference look like after residency and interest accumulates? Ask yourself which barrel you'd rather be staring down.
 
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red_tangoes

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Apr 4, 2016
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OB/GYN is often considered as a primary care specialty. In fact, Texas Tech El Paso considers these 4 as primary care: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, and Pediatrics.

As for choosing a school, it's a tough choice. I recently had to choose between a DO and a TX MD school and ended up choosing the MD mainly for the cost and wanting to stay in TX for residency. TCOM is known to have an awesome program and great matches, so I don't think you can go wrong choosing them.

TCOM is $13k tuition + $6k fees per year vs TCU $57k tuition plus fees per year. It's going to cost a lot more money to get the MD vs the DO. However, many people have told me extra money it will cost is worth it because of the whole competitiveness thing for residency and the DO stigma. I think you should check TCOM's match list and see where their OBGYN students are matching. If you want to leave TX for residency, how many of TCOM's grads are matching OOS vs staying in TX?

Also, are either pass/fail? Huge difference if so.
 
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moose2024

New Member
Jun 9, 2020
4
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  1. Pre-Medical
OB/GYN is often considered as a primary care specialty. In fact, Texas Tech El Paso considers these 4 as primary care: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, and Pediatrics.

As for choosing a school, it's a tough choice. I recently had to choose between a DO and a TX MD school and ended up choosing the MD mainly for the cost and wanting to stay in TX for residency. TCOM is known to have an awesome program and great matches, so I don't think you can go wrong choosing them.

TCOM is $13k tuition + $6k fees per year vs TCU $57k tuition plus fees per year. It's going to cost a lot more money to get the MD vs the DO. However, many people have told me extra money it will cost is worth it because of the whole competitiveness thing for residency and the DO stigma. I think you should check TCOM's match list and see where their OBGYN students are matching. If you want to leave TX for residency, how many of TCOM's grads are matching OOS vs staying in TX?

Also, are either pass/fail? Huge difference if so.
Both! TCU is P/F, and TCOM is P/F/ honors
For 2020 TCOM, 68% matched in TX and 11 matched OBGYN (7 out of 11 were matched in TX). Last year, 15 matched OBGYN but I don't have the number that matched in TX vs. OOS.
 
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drgoldenboy

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I think if there is the possibility that you might want something other than:
1) Primary Care
2) Stay in texas
3) Not be in academic medicine

you should go with the MD. But if you are certain that you want all of those things, I think TCOM. What is the difference in debt after you graduate from residency?
 
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moose2024

New Member
Jun 9, 2020
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I think if there is the possibility that you might want something other than:
1) Primary Care
2) Stay in texas
3) Not be in academic medicine

you should go with the MD. But if you are certain that you want all of those things, I think TCOM. What is the difference in debt after you graduate from residency?
this is all by approximate calculations by looking at each websites cost of attendance, but after 4 years of medical school in both schools, tcu is about $100,000 more in debt than TCOM (both calculated without interest and other fees)
 

red_tangoes

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Where is TCU doing rotations? Will you be staying in Ft. Worth all 4 years with TCU?

How about with TCOM?

That was another factor for me. My DO school sends 30-40% students to another city/state. The MD schools keeps us all there the entire 4 years which is a major plus. I don't want to have to move 2-3 times.
 

Skittsie13

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this is all by approximate calculations by looking at each websites cost of attendance, but after 4 years of medical school in both schools, tcu is about $100,000 more in debt than TCOM (both calculated without interest and other fees)

Are you sure this is right? Living expenses should be relatively equal between the two schools since they're both in Fort Worth, but tuition alone is about $44k different per year ($13k for TCOM IS, $57k for TCU)... that's $175k over 4 years, not including interest.

Typically I always say MD > DO, but TCOM is a top-tier DO and TCU is a brand-new MD... if you want to stay in TX, I think given the significant difference in cost it may actually make more sense to go with TCOM.
 
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yellow787

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Aug 30, 2018
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Hey, so I imagine you might have already made a decision, but if not, here is my take:

I actually decided between these two programs and chose TCU & UNTHSC SOM. I have no regrets. This program is indeed unique and a new take on medical education. Everything that people say you should do to be competitive for residency (research and publications, community outreach, leadership, connections and networking, use of certain step prep resources, etc.) is all built into this curriculum, so you don't have to struggle to fit extra stuff in.

Our curriculum emphasizes lifelong learning through the flipped classroom model so you can learn the material in whatever way works best for you and then come together in class and apply it with guidance from real practicing physicians in that specialty. The "spiral" model is also very high yield and teaches to the STEP exam and then is supplemented with in-clinic experiences that start in the first year. The small class size (60 students) is also pretty great and the "empathetic scholar" part of the curriculum is pretty impactful on shaping your understanding of healthcare disparities.

That being said, the cost is definitely a factor and TCOM is a great program with a strong match list and long history of success. My choice came down to the excitement of being a part of something new and different.
 
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JBM16BYU

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I think if there is the possibility that you might want something other than:
1) Primary Care
2) Stay in texas
3) Not be in academic medicine

you should go with the MD. But if you are certain that you want all of those things, I think TCOM. What is the difference in debt after you graduate from residency?
You've probably already made your decision, but just as a heads up, you don't have to be in primary care, stay in Texas, or abandon hopes of academic medicine because you went to TCOM (or any DO school). I am currently a TCOM-alumnus resident not in primary care, not in Texas, at a very academic institution and have considered academics as a future career since I have a mentor from TCOM who is currently in an academic position at my very academic institution. Going to a DO school typically leans more towards primary care, but there are plenty of individuals who do not pursue that, especially from TCOM. Going to any school in a particular state will give you a leg up staying in that state, whether you are a DO student at a DO school in Texas trying to get into a Texas residency, or an MD student at an MD school in California trying to get into a California residency. It is true that some of the ultra-super-competitive specialties may have less DO's in them, I'm thinking things like plastic surgery, neurosurgery, ENT, ophthalmology, etc, but I know DO's in all of those specialties as well. Work hard, study hard, do research, present posters/get publications, volunteer at things, serve on committees, serve in leadership positions, do well in classes and on boards, and get good LOR's. Then rock the interview. These are the key things for getting into residency, whether you are a DO or MD, in Texas or elsewhere, or desire primary care vs. non-primary care. Best of luck!
 
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Ryze

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Jul 19, 2019
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You've probably already made your decision, but just as a heads up, you don't have to be in primary care, stay in Texas, or abandon hopes of academic medicine because you went to TCOM (or any DO school). I am currently a TCOM-alumnus resident not in primary care, not in Texas, at a very academic institution and have considered academics as a future career since I have a mentor from TCOM who is currently in an academic position at my very academic institution. Going to a DO school typically leans more towards primary care, but there are plenty of individuals who do not pursue that, especially from TCOM. Going to any school in a particular state will give you a leg up staying in that state, whether you are a DO student at a DO school in Texas trying to get into a Texas residency, or an MD student at an MD school in California trying to get into a California residency. It is true that some of the ultra-super-competitive specialties may have less DO's in them, I'm thinking things like plastic surgery, neurosurgery, ENT, ophthalmology, etc, but I know DO's in all of those specialties as well. Work hard, study hard, do research, present posters/get publications, volunteer at things, serve on committees, serve in leadership positions, do well in classes and on boards, and get good LOR's. Then rock the interview. These are the key things for getting into residency, whether you are a DO or MD, in Texas or elsewhere, or desire primary care vs. non-primary care. Best of luck!
what is "academic medicine" that everyone keeps referring to?
 

JBM16BYU

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what is "academic medicine" that everyone keeps referring to?
Academic medicine can mean a few things. Academia usually means that you are apart of a large institution (think Mayo, Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, or University of “fill in the state”), you have clinic time where you see patients / procedure time, administrative duties/positions, likely involved in research, and usually are involved with teaching at a medical school / residency program / or fellowship program. Being involved with large institutions tends to up your credentials some and also make it easier to network and take leadership roles in the large medical societies, such as the AMA or other specialty-specific societies, such as AAFP. Usually it’s some combination of the aforementioned items. This is in comparison to private practice, where primarily you just see patients and do procedures, maybe have another role doing something else. They both have their pluses and minuses. A lot of people like academic medicine because of the accolades involved and it really plumps up your CV and make someone feel important, plus you can really have a major impact on the direction of your field. Others like private practice more because they can usually practice how they want, for better or for worse, and typically you can make much more money.
 

Ryze

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Academic medicine can mean a few things. Academia usually means that you are apart of a large institution (think Mayo, Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, or University of “fill in the state”), you have clinic time where you see patients / procedure time, administrative duties/positions, likely involved in research, and usually are involved with teaching at a medical school / residency program / or fellowship program. Being involved with large institutions tends to up your credentials some and also make it easier to network and take leadership roles in the large medical societies, such as the AMA or other specialty-specific societies, such as AAFP. Usually it’s some combination of the aforementioned items. This is in comparison to private practice, where primarily you just see patients and do procedures, maybe have another role doing something else. They both have their pluses and minuses. A lot of people like academic medicine because of the accolades involved and it really plumps up your CV and make someone feel important, plus you can really have a major impact on the direction of your field. Others like private practice more because they can usually practice how they want, for better or for worse, and typically you can make much more money.
Wow that was very in-depth! Interesting. So I'm actually interested in TCOM. Would it be the best fit for me if I am only interested in IM, EM, or FM. And wanting to stay in Texas for residency. I have aspirations of precepting and teaching at medical schools at a later age in life. As well as possibly starting my own practice (if I end up in IM/FM). Can I accomplish these things by going to TCOM?
 

JBM16BYU

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Wow that was very in-depth! Interesting. So I'm actually interested in TCOM. Would it be the best fit for me if I am only interested in IM, EM, or FM. And wanting to stay in Texas for residency. I have aspirations of precepting and teaching at medical schools at a later age in life. As well as possibly starting my own practice (if I end up in IM/FM). Can I accomplish these things by going to TCOM?
In short, yes. Attending TCOM will definitely set you up well for careers in family medicine, internal medicine, or emergency medicine. I have many classmates of mine that matched into all of those, both into community programs and more academic programs. Like I mentioned above, if you are interested in residency and future practice in Texas, attending a medical school in Texas can definitely help that. It enables you to make connections, get a feel for the areas, network, etc. This is true for really any state. If you want to practice in New York, going to medical school or residency or fellowship in New York will likely help, since you make connections. As far as precepting and teaching at medical schools, I think the bigger question you, and many on these threads, are asking is... can I do this as a DO? And the answer, again, is yes. Being a DO is equivalent to being an MD. They are equivalent degrees, much as a DDS and DMD are both dental degrees. Historically, if you wanted to do anything super subspecialized, you almost certainly needed an MD, but that is not always the case anymore. Some institutions and individuals still hold that bias, but that is definitely not the case for FM, IM or EM. Being a DO means that you are a physician. There are many prominent DO's throughout the US who are doing great things (ex. the newly placed Chief Medical Officer of the Olympic and Paralympic Committees is a DO), just as there are many prominent MD's who are as well. It's all about (A) the work you put into your job/career, (B) the connections you make, and (C) the skills you gain.
 
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Ryze

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In short, yes. Attending TCOM will definitely set you up well for careers in family medicine, internal medicine, or emergency medicine. I have many classmates of mine that matched into all of those, both into community programs and more academic programs. Like I mentioned above, if you are interested in residency and future practice in Texas, attending a medical school in Texas can definitely help that. It enables you to make connections, get a feel for the areas, network, etc. This is true for really any state. If you want to practice in New York, going to medical school or residency or fellowship in New York will likely help, since you make connections. As far as precepting and teaching at medical schools, I think the bigger question you, and many on these threads, are asking is... can I do this as a DO? And the answer, again, is yes. Being a DO is equivalent to being an MD. They are equivalent degrees, much as a DDS and DMD are both dental degrees. Historically, if you wanted to do anything super subspecialized, you almost certainly needed an MD, but that is not always the case anymore. Some institutions and individuals still hold that bias, but that is definitely not the case for FM, IM or EM. Being a DO means that you are a physician. There are many prominent DO's throughout the US who are doing great things (ex. the newly placed Chief Medical Officer of the Olympic and Paralympic Committees is a DO), just as there are many prominent MD's who are as well. It's all about (A) the work you put into your job/career, (B) the connections you make, and (C) the skills you gain.
Thank you so much for the insightful answer! You have definitely reassured me in wanting to apply to TCOM. Thank you so much :)
 

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