7+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2009
Hi everyone,

I've been accepted to both schools, but I'm a little torn between the two. Cost will be similar at the 2 schools because I was offered a scholarship at MSUCOM. I am currently interested in primary care because of the preventive health aspect and having ongoing relationships with the same patients. I initially felt like MSUCOM with it's focus on primary care would be a great fit for me, but I've now just realized that I am a little unsure of how I would feel living in Michigan for 4 years since I am from California. My primary concern is figuring out which school would be better to go if I wanted to return to California for residency. I feel like that by going to AZCOM my chances of meeting someone with connections to residency programs in CA might be slightly higher than at MSUCOM because of the location. I also feel a little iffy about not knowing what rotation sites AZCOM has set up for us so that makes it more difficult to judge whether clinical experiences at AZCOM or MSUCOM is better.

Could anyone comment on the following topics?
-Faculty advising for residency programs and faculty mentorship for students at MSUCOM. AZCOM seemed to be pretty good on this since one of my interviewers was a faculty member.
-Clinical rotation experience at AZCOM or MSUCOM. Does anyone feel that MSUCOM's community-based hospital rotations for the 3rd year limits the breadth of your clinical exposure, which would put you at a disadvantage for some residency programs? How much control do AZCOM students have over whether they can get a hospital-based rotation or a preceptor-based one during their 3rd year?
-Pre-clerkship clinical experience at AZCOM or MSUCOM. Does the pre-clerkship clinical experience matter that much? It worries me that the students at AZCOM don't start pre-clerkship clinical experience (eg. seeing fake patients) until some time in the 2nd yr.
-Doing research during the break at MSUCOM - Are there any disadvantages to applying to do research at other programs during breaks because MSUCOM actually has classes in the summer unlike a lot of other programs?
-How supportive of each other are students at AZCOM or MSUCOM?

Thank you!
Nov 30, 2013
Medical Student
Hey, I'm from MSUCOM. A lot of what you asked about varies student to student, year to year. If you really crave faculty mentorship, MSUCOM will provide it for you. I never really was one to seek out that kind of support, but I know our school provides it. Everyone at my campus was very approachable if there were any issues. As for residency program guidance, I am not sure what you're looking for. There are multiple websites (aoaopportunities and frieda) that show you residencies and you can look into whichever program you like to see requirements and who to contact for that program (would recommend to not contact PDs until M3 though). There was one mandatory meeting in May during our third year that went over residency/match, but everyone there already knew most of the information through their own research.

Clinical experience is highly varied and depends on which hospital you are based at. I think my base hospital provided great teaching and training, and I have heard complaints about other sites (but to be fair, I think it was an issue with the student more than the hospital). I also think I received great training because I put myself out in front for procedures, asked questions, sought help when needed it, etc. So your experience will depend on you, and I think that will be true no matter where you end up.

As for pre-clinical experience I don't think it matters when you get exposed. You're going to suck either way when you first start out during M3, and you'll get better with real experiences. MSUCOM did do a nice job with recording students during standardized encounters, which helped making me feel more confident. I hear some aspects of how they are teaching clinical skills are changing, so I don't know what kind of experience you'll have if you end up at MSU. And about research... I don't think having a few weeks off will let you do any substantial research? If you can/want to do it during anatomy that would be ambitious. Haven't heard of others doing that.

My class year was really supportive and helped each other out, but I heard the year ahead of us and behind us are kind of catty. But yet again, that's just my perspective. People still made friends with each other and were respectful for the most part. There will always be some kind of drama :)