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The Greatest Myths of SDN Revealed

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by scpod, May 12, 2007.

  1. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    How do you ever know what to believe on SDN? Do you listen to the "knowledgeable people" who tell the same tails year after year? People who have been on SDN awhile tend to hear the same things over and over again until they really believe it…but is it true? Does anyone look at the facts anymore? On SDN, there doesn't seem to be a need to because every year the same fallacies are brought to the surface and continually written into SDN dogma. Mythbusters brought quite a few "old wives tales" to light on their TV show, so I decided to bring a few to light myself.

    MYTH- You have a better chance of acceptance to a COM if you are a URM.

    4% of applications in 1995 came from African American students, for example, but that number had increased to 6% by 2006. So, more African Americans really are applying for spots. However, there is no corresponding increase in the percentage of accepted students. While the total numbers are higher, the % of total enrollment for all minorities has dropped from 8.8 to 8.6%. Interestingly, the number of Asian/Pacific Islander students has more than doubled. It appears as if ORM's have made substantial gains, not URM's.

    Which schools , then, do have the largest percentage of minorities (and might "theoretically" give you a better chance of acceptance)? NYCOM- 43.6%, LECOM-Bradenton- 30.6%, NSU-COM- 31.5%, UMDNJ-SOM- 52.3%, WesternCOMP- 47.1%, PCOM-GA- 33.7%, TUCOM-CA – 30.2%, TCOM 36.5%. Of course, you gotta keep in mind that schools like TCOM rarely accept OOS applicants, so there are more factors involved here.

    MYTH- You have a better chance of being accepted if you apply to a school where you live.

    All these have more than 85% in-state students:
    MSUCOM, OUCOM, OSUCOM, TCOM, COMP. UMDNJ qualifies too, but since everyone gets in-state status when they move to NJ, it really doesn't count here. What is the trend? Well, it appears that that statement holds true for the majority of state-supported schools, but not for the private schools. Since there are more private schools…you decide.

    MYTH- This is really only a myth perpetuated by one COM that I know of in a letter to it's applicants, but it should be addressed. They say that the number of applicants to medical schools is decreasing.

    If you look at 1997 and 1998 then you might believe that, because there really were more applications to osteopathic schools in those years than in 2006. However, the med school application process tends to cycle, coinciding with the number of MCAT takers. The dot-com's gained more and more college graduates in the late 1990's during the online business boom, while the COM's lost a few. But, there has been a steady increase since 2002 (6,324 to 9,476).

    MYTH- Private DO schools are money-hungry whores, taking all my money and making huge profits.

    Where is your money really going? The financial side breaks down like this: Keep in mind that this is based on mean figures from all COM's. The average private COM takes in 22.1 million in tuition, while public COM's average 7.1 million. Private COM's get about $100,000 from local, state, and federal government, while public COM's get 21.8 million. Private schools average 1 million from grants and public schools get 9.7 million. Medical practice plans bring in about 1.4 million to private schools and 16.4 million for public schools. What's the total income? About 30.5 million for private and 63.4 million for public schools. However, public schools spend a lot more too. Private schools average 25.5 million in spending (5.0 million "profit") while public schools spend 60.3 million (3.1 million "profit").

    To summarize, private schools get their money from: 73% tuition and fees, 3.1 % government appropriations, 3.6% grants, 4.6% medical practice plans. Public schools get: 13.5% tuition and fees, 34.3 % government appropriations, 15.3% grants, 25.9% medical practice plans. No, it doesn't add up to 100% because I left some things out. For instance, private schools get 5.0% of their money from GME revenue, but public ones get only 2.1%. But, most of the other stuff doesn't add up to a whole lot. Private schools simply need to charge more for tution or they wouldn't exist.

    MYTH- The quality of applicants has declined recently with all the new schools opening.

    This may yet become a reality, since there are so many new schools opening next year. However, based on the only measurable quantities thus far, you can't say that. MCAT and GPA's remained virtually the same in matriculants from 2000 to 2005. 2000 matriculants had a 24.98 MCAT and 3.43 GPA; 2005 Matriculants had a 24.99 MCAT and 3.44 GPA. Four new COM's opened in that time period.

    Myth: The AOA isn't doing anything about GME.

    New osteopathic residencies are added every year. In 2003-2004 there were 552 AOA-approved residency programs with 4979 positions. In 2004-2005 there were 569 programs with 5217 positions In 2005-2006 there were 649 programs with 5769 positions. Just in that last year alone there was a 14% increase in the number of programs. While more and more are chosing ACGME residencies, the number of AOA residents has still increased in that two-year span (2327 to 2535). In 2001-2002 there were no osteopathic internships in Louisianna, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin or Wyoming. In 2004-2005 they all had them.

    It's easy to place blame on the AOA, yet they don't have the sole responsibility to create new residencies. In fact, the creation of new residencies is constrained by the federal government because most of the money comes from Medicare. Yet, new residencies are being created as we speak. There needs to be more of an emphasis on the role COM's, hospitals and even individual DO's play in the creation role.

    The AOA will never represent the consensus of DO's if the majority of DO's aren't members. If you don't go to conferences, don't network with other doctors and don't make your voice heard, then the organization will never be what you want it to be, and it will never do what you want it to do. If you want more residencies, then every individual has to do his or her own part. Simply complaining about it will never solve anything.

    Some of the references:

    http://aacom.org/data/annualreport/index.html
    http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/107/2/57
    http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/106/2/59
     
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  3. Nate

    Nate Missing
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    good post, thanks for all that work
     
  4. Dr JPH

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  5. DropkickMurphy

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    Yeah, thanks. It really is nice to see hard and fast facts on these topics.

    While I agree with most of it, I have one issue I would like to bring up: I think many of us (at least those of us with a functioning brain) have more concern for the quality and nature of the residencies (read as: how good is the training and what is it in) than in the sheer quantity of spots available. 790 new slots does not mean anything if they will not fill because they are undesirable because of location, specialty (*cough* primary care *cough*), or the supposition that they are not up to par with the ACGME programs.
     
  6. Dr JPH

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    How would you have any concept of the quality of osteopathic residencies?

    Do they frequently talk about osteopathic graduate education in respiratory therapist inservices?
     
  7. DropkickMurphy

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    You don't have to be condescending. It is a legitimate concern for many people but I did use the term supposition for a reason- because there is no easy way to judge between the osteopathic accreditation and the ACGME standards. It's a matter of opinion largely, and it depends on which side of the aisle you stand in regards to the issues facing osteopathic schools. Your position is quite well known, and while I respect you a great deal, I still question the quality of many of the DO residencies because the ones I have looked into (mostly EM residencies) have lower patient volumes and the faculty tend to not be the most active in research when you compare them to their allopathic counterparts.
     
  8. arsenewenger

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    Nice one?
     
  9. Buckeye4life

    Buckeye4life DO, MPT
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    Hey, that one was hitting a little below the belt.
     
  10. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
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    I applied to 1 DO EM program and a chunk of MD EM programs. I ended up cancelling all of my scheduled MD interviews to take the DO spot. I want to address a couple of your points.

    1) Numbers are not always what they seem. There were many programs that had high ED visit #s at their affiliated hospitals, but they had large residency classes. I think it is more valid to look at visit #s/year/resident.

    2) There are definitely good sides to having research oriented attendings, but I don't think that is in any way necesary for them to be able to train us to be good physicians in whatever field we're in.
     
  11. Dr JPH

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    Nope

    I just think people have the right to know the source of information.

    I wouldnt run around SDN posting my comments about allopathic dermatology residencies or the prescribing rights of PAs in Minnesota. I know nothing about that.

    Yet no one here seems upset about the fact that we have premeds with little or no knowledge of osteopathic graduate education giving their opinions...opinions that people take as fact and actually consider. And worse yet, they hear these things and go and repeat them like its some sort of holy doctrine.

    No matter how much you google a topic or read SDN you cant get the whole picture. Not until you have worked with DO residents in DO programs...worked with the attendings, DMEs and in the hospitals where the programs are based.

    SDN is full of premeds with information passed from one ignoramus to another, and they keep spreading it around like it were all true.

    No one here, besides me and a few others, take the time to point this out.

    The mass of the Pre-Osteo forum is innacuracies and heresay all from those who have yet to wear a white coat of any length.

    And THATS why I stepped down as moderator of this forum many years ago, and why I stepped down as a moderator altogether a few months ago.

    Whats the point?

    People want to continue to post that and no one seems to mind. In fact, its celebrated, passed on again and posted anew with a different title.

    This thread is about the myths of SDN.

    Well, the truth of SDN is that (at least in the pre-osteo forum) you would be better off getting your facts from quackwatch.org than from the great majority of posters.

    Sad but true.

    I dont know why I even bother.

    I think Im past due for a permanent SDN hiatus.
     
  12. DropkickMurphy

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    Thank you for the advice, especially since it's pertinent to the specialty that most interests me.
     
  13. Dr JPH

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    See how nice it is when someone who knows what theyre talking about posts here?

    Keep that in mind next time you want to start responding to someone with a question...and you just give your opinion rather that factual information.
     
  14. Commander Riker here.

    Do all states now have an A.O.A. residency?
     
  15. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    No. There are currently no AOA approved internships in D.C., Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont.
     
  16. Dr JPH

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    Interesting being that Vermont became the first state to accept DOs as fully licensed physicians.
     
  17. MaximusD

    MaximusD Anatomically Incorrect
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    It's not a f*ing myth. PCOM and NYCOM are private but also have a huge in-state preference and I know that many others prefer "regional" applicants.

    JP:

    I have been guilty of perpetuating false information in the past, but I don't think that it is fair to categorize all premeds as mindless parrots of false information... some of us conscientiously try to monitor what advice we give... I think that sometimes on SDN we say things just so that we give information when the REAL answer should and can only realistically be "no one knows" or "we are just as clueless as you are"...
     
  18. scpod

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    Yes, but keep in mind that Vermont only had 54 active osteopathic physicians as of June 1, 2006 (the lowest number in the US). They are ranked 49th in population at just over 600,000 (only Wyoming has less).
     
  19. scpod

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    PCOM had less than 60% in-state students matriculate in 2005-2006. They were 50/50 the year before. NYCOM has about 65 to 70% in-state students, but because of the size they have LOTS of OOS'ers. In 2004-2005 they matriculated 111 OOS students-- more than a lot of schools have total. Look at the facts, not your feelings.
     
  20. Dr JPH

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    PCOM currently has 63% in-state enrollment.

    I dont know where you get your number scpod, but mine come straight from the admissions office. That was accurate as of April 19th 2007.
     
  21. scpod

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    The numbers I used are for matriculants for 2004 (138 of 274 students= 50.4%) and 2005 (164 of 279 students= 59.6%) that were reported by PCOM to the AACOM. I use matriculants simply because some states allow students to later become state residents after they have matriculated and that would skew the figures. More current figures have not been reported as of yet.
     
  22. Dr JPH

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    Maybe not reported, but tabulated and known to the admissions office.

    Are you telling me I'm wrong? I work there for Gods sake. I know the numbers.

    And BTW, PCOM doesnt allow instate residency after one year.
     
  23. Excellent points. This man just earned my respect for a month. :D :D
     
  24. Dr JPH

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    And he doesnt even have pointy ears. Amazing.
     
  25. scpod

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    Of course not. I'm only telling you what PCOM reported for those respective years. I have absolutely no idea what the most current figures are, since I have no access to that data. However, I believe you when you quote that figure. It's not surprising at all, but still nearly 40% are OOS. TCOM, OUCOM, and MSUCOM have less than 10% OOS. You have a much greater chance of getting into PCOM as an OOS student than some others.
     
  26. Dr JPH

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    Of course you do, PCOM isnt a state school.
     
  27. gotmeds?

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    Well, if that doesn't get him SDN street-cred, I don't know what will.
     
  28. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Right! That was my point in the first place, but MaximusD didn't seem to believe it. So...I entered into this silly exchange. Perhaps it's just because I like to debate things. Then again, it might be because I'm supposed to have read two chapters of Pharm and two sections in Path today-- I'm procrastinating. :D
     
  29. Dr JPH

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    Ahh

    Well then he would be wrong.

    PCOM does indeed recieve state funding but it is a private school, thus has no true statehood preference, nor should it.

    PCOM recieves applications from all over the country and in the end @ matriculation 6 of 10 students are PA residents.
     
  30. mshheaddoc

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    JP - just also to note, not many osteopathic students take the time to come back to pre-osteo to take a "leadership" position to help steer the lost pre-osteo students back to the dark side, which is why those who can help clear up some of the myths are important to this site. Until that happens, then yes, more misinformation will be spread and those of us who might know the answer that do not have the time to read every thread might not be able to help. But if we have multiple people here who each take the time to read one thread, then we're starting to get somewhere.

    This concludes my reason why JPHazelton should not take a permanent SDN hiatus and why there are myths here on SDN. We need users who can politely and cooly field questions of this nature with the understanding that much of osteopathy is fueled by myths at this moment.
     
  31. Dr JPH

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    Politely and cooly? Are you sure Im the guy? :laugh: :D
     
  32. madscientist50

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    Outside of the Interview reviews section, this has to be the most intelligent and useful information ever posted on this forum. I think some of those myths and reasons they exist and are perpetuated should be stickyed. God knows none of the new members take the time to read the stickys until they do, say, or ask something which has already been addressed. However I think that this info might be helpful in heading some off some the myth recycling that goes on so rampantly around here. As a previously guilty party (I am sure I have read and recycled something foolish on here) I hope others read these and take notice of what they post on here from now on.

    Thanks to scpod, JP, DrMOM, and all the other med-students and physicians who take time from their busy schedules to guide us foolish, uneducated pre-meds.
     
  33. Dr JPH

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    I dont mind seeing stupid questions from premeds, because to them they arent stupid questions.

    What I DO mind is when someone obviously took NO time to research before posting. I was guilty of that 7 years ago myself so I guess I cant be too upset.

    But what is REALLY ridiculous is that there are a good umber of premeds...some who havent even taken the MCAT or applied to schools...who post things on here with such conviction and attitude, yet they have no idea what they are saying.

    For a pre-med, who still has yet to apply to medical school, to tell me:
    - What the quality of DO post grad education is
    - What OMM is like in the real world
    - How DOs are viewed in medicine
    - Anything besides studying for the MCAT and organic chemistry.

    Well, for a premed to comment on those things is utterly ridiculous.

    As I said before, I stay out of political debates and religious discussion because I dont know anything about those things. And if I WERE to post there, it would be my opinions only.

    Yet we have pre-med and even pre-pre-meds here giving inaccurate information to those who deserve a correct and honest answer, NOT opinion or misinformation that is simply being passed along from one ignorant source to another.

    When these people are confronted with the "how do you know", its the same thing....my friends dad is a DO, I read Gevitz, I know blah blah blah.

    Bull$hit.

    If you havent been there, you dont know. The best you can do is quote numbers posted somewhere online. And we all know numbers can be decieving.

    There are things that some people just dont understand...theyre not in the position to understand them yet. So why do they open their mouths?

    2 reasons.
    1. They want to perpetuate misinformation and cause trouble
    or
    2. They like to hear themselves talk

    Most of them display both.
     
  34. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    In a lot of cases that's true. I know some people just get addicted to posting and can't seem to stop. Then, they just spout off the things they have heard over and over again. When new people read it over and over...well, they just assume it's true.

    Some people, though, might have a different reason. When you've been here for awhile, and you've heard the same stuff over and over, you tend to begin to think that you're an "expert" on the topic. No, you can't remember where the information comes from, and you never checked out the facts, but it's there in the back of your head and you just have to say it. You might even be legitimately trying to help people. Since they sound so much like an "expert" the new guy coming along believes it, and a year from now he'll be "helping" people with the same information.

    My problem (or maybe it's a good thing) is that I don't tend to believe things that I hear unless I can corroborate them with available data. My other problem is that I like to debate a little too much. OK...I have other flaws, like being opinionated as hell-- but that's just me :)
     
  35. Vix206

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    yes, NYCOM does have out of state students - and that may even be how many (i don't hunt for statistics too often). however, a lot of those students are from the tri-state area. they first look for many new york students to interview, and then they go to the tri-state area. so even though there is a decent amount of OOS students, many of them are from NJ and some from CT (aka the tri-state area). someone from CA probably does not have the same chance of admission as someone from those 3 states (unless their stats are way above the average).

    i'm not saying this information is infalliable, but i have made my generalizations from it.

    all other things being equal, i do agree that people need to realize that ALL of us are NOT know-it -alls. therefore, not everything said on SDN is true.
     
  36. mshheaddoc

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    Maybe I'm trying to drop some hints? ;) :D
     
  37. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    I agree - information without condescension is a rare thing on SDN. Here's my take since I also went for EM and did not ultimately choose a DO EM residency.

    I have a feeling that aside from quality of the training site, location is key in many people's decisions. I think DrMom wanted to stay in OK, and I'm originally from the East Coast, and that played a huge role in applications and rank time.

    The DO EM residency requiremements mirror, I hear, the ACGME EM RRC requirements almost to a "T". There was one DO EM program that I would've gone to in a heartbeat - it had lots of resources, lots of technology, good volume, and great didactics.

    I wanted, however, to be closer to MA and since there were no DO EM programs in MA, ME, NH, or VT (actually there are no MD EM programs in NH or VT, either), I had to make a tough choice and go with the ACGME residencies since there were a *lot* more in my preferred neck of the woods.

    I wound up in Buffalo and it was high enough on my rank list in a year that seemed pretty competitive that I'm very happy.

    Had I hedged my bets and matched my #1 DO program I would be equally satisfied. But it does take some research. I think you are asking the right questions, although the faculty research I wouldn't place as high on my list of desirables.
     
  38. Dr JPH

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    Almost as rare as a post by DKM that doesnt involve DO bashing, OMM bashing or flat out innacuracies. Dont stand up for the disease.
     
  39. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    Then I ask that you not feed it, either. Thanks!
     
  40. Dr JPH

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    Oh give me a break.

    Dont patronize me.

    Youre one of only 3 mods who never stood up for me when I was a mod.

    You should meet Riker. You two would get along famously.
     
  41. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    This really isn't the appropriate venue for this discussion. If you want to continue it, please PM me. Otherwise I suggest we keep it on-track and not personal.
     
  42. Dustbunny

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    It is my understanding that this is because the University of Vermont graduates more MDs than the state itself needs.

    I could be wrong, though.
     
  43. Dr JPH

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    Vermont has fewer than 1700 docs, not even 40% are primary care.

    But Vermont is in the top 10 as far as Physician per 100,000 people ratio AND their graduation of new docs is #1 in the country as far as medical school grads per capita.

    Doesnt look like they need a big influx of physicians to keep everyone healthy.
     
  44. MaximusD

    MaximusD Anatomically Incorrect
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    That's not what's important. What's important is how many in-state applicants were interviewed and accepted vs how many OOS students were interviewed and accepted. What you find is that PCOM interviews a MUCH higher percentage of in-staters as opposed to OOSers.
     
  45. Dr JPH

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    I dont know about that.

    The 60/40 breakdown pretty much holds true throughout the interview process as well.
     
  46. MaximusD

    MaximusD Anatomically Incorrect
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    grr

    yes when looking at IS:OOS applicants the actual people interviewing is 6:4

    But when you look at total applicants -- let's say there are 3500 total it is more like this.

    For THOSE granted interviews, there may be 1000 IS applicants and 400 of those are granted interviews. This means that 40% of instaters are interviewed.

    Conversely, out of 2500 OOS applicants, 250 students will be interviewed. This means that 10% of OOSers would be interviewed in this hypothetical situation..

    Thus, the proportion of in-state interviews, in this hypothetical but not-unlike-PCOM's-numbers situation, is 4X greater than it is for out-of-staters.

    I know these aren't real numbers but I am NOT paying for USNews again, sorry. You'll have to trust me.

    I'm home for the weekend.. when I get back to state college I can get real numbers.

    AND NYCOM... don't get me started on NYCOM. They don't even interview OOS applicants until late January!! They're not state-funded!
     

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