dermpathdoc

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No COMP was in a JCPENNEY mall....I interviewed there in 1982....when I parked for the interview I couldn't believe what I was getting myself into....but they did a good job with what they had!
 
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Nothing beats a bowling alley. This was the first building purchased by TCOM and renovated for classroom use:


It later became the large building in the lower right quadrant of this pic:
 
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Siggy

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It was in the mall?! I need to hear more about this...


That used to be the main building for COMP until a couple years ago, and it still holds the standardized patient department and the lecture halls for the pharm school. Prior to COMP it used to be a Buffums department store. There's actually a stock certificate located near the entrance. That sign in the back that reads "Pomona?" It was there until earlier this year when they removed that parking lot for student apartments (it might still be there... I'm a 4th year so I'm almost never on campus anyways).
 
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The OP's post is obviously in jest but it has some relevant messages:

1) DO schools are expanding at an exponential rate;
2) Regarding some of the pictures above: many D.O. schools, such as Touro and Western, have taken over old buildings like those on Mare Island, or shopping malls east of L.A., etc.., and converted them into schools or "universities." (is it sad, or just simply true?); and
3) The expansion of D.O. schools is reminiscent of dental school expansion in the 1970's, whereafter many of the newly-minted dentists went bankrupt. That resulted in a massive contraction of dental schools and spots thereafter (note that interest in the profession plummeted such that the applicant:spot ratio became ~1:1).

Tread lightly.
 
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Siggy

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2) Regarding some of the pictures above: many D.O. schools, such as Touro and Western, have taken over old buildings like those on Mare Island, or shopping malls east of L.A., etc.., and converted them into schools or "universities." (is it sad, or just simply true?); and
As much as it pains me to actually defend Western, provided the inside of the building appropriately suits the needs of the school, does it really matter what the outside looks like or what the building was originally used for? Buying, gutting, and converting a department store is a lot cheaper than building from scratch.
 
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That used to be the main building for COMP until a couple years ago, and it still holds the standardized patient department and the lecture halls for the pharm school. Prior to COMP it used to be a Buffums department store. There's actually a stock certificate located near the entrance. That sign in the back that reads "Pomona?" It was there until earlier this year when they removed that parking lot for student apartments (it might still be there... I'm a 4th year so I'm almost never on campus anyways).
Yup, this should look extremely familiar for anyone that interviewed at Western. I didn't think the campus was as bad as people on SDN make it seem. The area isn't so nice but you'll rarely find schools around here in "good" areas.
 
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Ibn Alnafis MD

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P.S. what do you mean by this? As someone who is likely going to be at Western next year, is there anything I should know? PMs are fine if you don't feel like saying it here ;)
I am interested in knowing too. I realize that every school as its pros and cons, but to say that "it pains" you to defend the school prompts my curiosity to know what's in store for me.
 

Siggy

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P.S. what do you mean by this? As someone who is likely going to be at Western next year, is there anything I should know? PMs are fine if you don't feel like saying it here ;)

I have a long list of issues regarding Western University, however, I won't feel comfortable discussing it until after I graduate and match. There are policies that make zero sense and only hurt students (such as 4th year rotations at core sites being required to follow the 3rd year schedule... which results in a vacation (didactic week for 3rd years) week every 3 months), the lack of accountability (Oh, that online quiz where we referenced question 2 on the follow up, but really meant question 5? See, the syllabus says we won't change grades, so we aren't actually responsible for how the quiz is written. The practical effect is small, but the mentality of "We're not responsible for what we do" is chilling), or the fact that anything, including curriculum delivery (the class of 2013 was sold on lectures and given PBL) can change because they want to, and with no warning (lecture to PBL isn't a small change, and being told in the middle of 1st year that 2nd year will be PBL isn't a warning worth a darn). Those are only the biggest ones, the lecture->PBL switch discussed in other threads before.
 
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Ibn Alnafis MD

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The OP's post is obviously in jest but it has some relevant messages:

1) DO schools are expanding at an exponential rate;
2) Regarding some of the pictures above: many D.O. schools, such as Touro and Western, have taken over old buildings like those on Mare Island, or shopping malls east of L.A., etc.., and converted them into schools or "universities." (is it sad, or just simply true?); and
3) The expansion of D.O. schools is reminiscent of dental school expansion in the 1970's, whereafter many of the newly-minted dentists went bankrupt. That resulted in a massive contraction of dental schools and spots thereafter (note that interest in the profession plummeted such that the applicant:spot ratio became ~1:1).

Treat lightly.
I agree with you. Medical schools, not only DO but also MD (look at the number of proposed schools), are growing at an unsustainable rate. There must be a cap to limit this. For those who are already in school, this expansion won't affect them much, but for future graduating classes I foresee a disaster. Hopefully, the class of 2018 won't experience the real pressure.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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I have a long list of issues regarding Western University, however, I won't feel comfortable discussing it until after I graduate and match. There are policies that make zero sense and only hurt students (such as 4th year rotations at core sites being required to follow the 3rd year schedule... which results in a vacation (didactic week for 3rd years) week every 3 months), the lack of accountability (Oh, that online quiz where we referenced question 2 on the follow up, but really meant question 5? See, the syllabus says we won't change grades, so we aren't actually responsible for how the quiz is written. The practical effect is small, but the mentality of "We're not responsible for what we do" is chilling), or the fact that anything, including curriculum delivery (the class of 2013 was sold on lectures and given PBL) can change because they want to, and with no warning (lecture to PBL isn't a small change, and being told in the middle of 1st year that 2nd year will be PBL isn't a warning worth a darn). Those are only the biggest ones, the lecture->PBL switch discussed in other threads before.
Thank you for the insight. Any tip from a soon-to-be an alumni is a greatly appreciated.

To my knowledge, WesternU doesn't have PBL (like the one at LECOM Bradenton). Instead, they have something called system-based learning. Am I correct?

Another question, knowing what you know now, would you have chosen to attend WesternU, or would you have attended another DO school (assume that MD is out of the question)?
 

NontradCA

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I agree with you. Medical schools, not only DO but also MD (look at the number of proposed schools), are growing at an unsustainable rate. There must be a cap to limit this. For those who are already in school, this expansion won't affect them much, but for future graduating classes I foresee a disaster. Hopefully, the class of 2018 won't experience the real pressure.
I'm pretty sure it will start with c/o 2017 and continue to get worse. Residencies are being added though; 64 programs in 2013

http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/Education/Pages/new-aoa-approved-ogme-programs.aspx
 

NontradCA

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Siggy

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Thank you for the insight. Any tip from a soon-to-be an alumni is a greatly appreciated.

To my knowledge, WesternU doesn't have PBL (like the one at LECOM Bradenton). Instead, they have something called system-based learning. Am I correct?
I view it as two different things. It's systems based in the sense of the second half of 1st year and all of 2nd year is done system by system (GI, Resp, Repro, etc). It's PBL (the school prefers "small group-large group") in the sense that you get a set of cases with associated questions, get together in an required assigned small group (complete with sign-in), answer the questions using Harrisons (preferably... certain other websites were easier to access and quicker.), and then go to a lecture the next day where they answered the questions. This both significantly cut down on lecture time, but also cut down on supplied study material (no one is going to produce slides they aren't going to actually teach from, regardless of the school) and made showing up at 8am or 9am for small group required (so there goes the flexibility most people like by not attending lectures and watching the recordings).

Now, it's one thing if the school was upfront with this during interview season. The problem is it's like ordering a steak and getting a hamburger for the same price, and being told, "Too bad." Also, remember, how you do during 1st and 2nd years will have an effect on Step 1, which means that it can effect your competitiveness for residencies.
 

NontradCA

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And while 64 new AOA programs may seem like a lot, it's really not considering it amounts to about 150 slots; barely enough for one class. Then there's a new school plus 2 expansions this year, and I'm sure there'll be a school next year along with more expansions. All the while, tuition is rising yearly. And then these gluttons will tell you to go into primary care and not go into medicine for the money. I guess if you really want money, open a medical school. But beware, the bubble is sure to burst.
 

Siggy

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And while 64 new AOA programs may seem like a lot, it's really not considering it amounts to about 150 slots; barely enough for one class. Then there's a new school plus 2 expansions this year, and I'm sure there'll be a school next year along with more expansions. All the while, tuition is rising yearly. And then these gluttons will tell you to go into primary care and not go into medicine for the money.
Well, you shouldn't go into medicine for money. If you can make it into medical school you can make a lot more money doing other things for less effort.

However good feelings doesn't pay the student loans or put food on the table.
 

NontradCA

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Well, you shouldn't go into medicine for money. If you can make it into medical school you can make a lot more money doing other things for less effort.

However good feelings doesn't pay the student loans or put food on the table.
That's such a bs argument, no offense. Name one other pipeline profession averaging 200k (not for long). The only reason not to go into medicine for money is because student debt is outrageous.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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Well, you shouldn't go into medicine for money. If you can make it into medical school you can make a lot more money doing other things for less effort.

However good feelings doesn't pay the student loans or put food on the table.
I agree with this statement to some extent. The CLS's and Histotechs at my work are being paid $30-40/hr for a B.S. degree, followed by a year of licensing. That's 65k-80k starting. By the time you finish med school and residency and have accumulated 400K of debt, your counterpart in these field will have been working and growing their retirement funds.

That being said, if you are going to become a neurosurgeon/IR/Plastic surgeon and end up making 400K/year, then going into medicine and racking up such a debt would be financially worth it.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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That's such a bs argument, no offense. Name one other pipeline profession averaging 200k (not for long). The only reason not to go into medicine for money is because student debt is outrageous.
That's what I used to say until I started thinking about graduating med school with 450K and residency with 500K+. Between the debt and the opportunity loss, you are going to be at least 700K behind. It will take you another 10 years after residency to catch up to someone who has been earning 70K right out of undergrad.
 

NontradCA

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That's what I used to say until I started thinking about graduating med school with 450K and residency with 500K+. Between the debt and the opportunity loss, you are going to be at least 700K behind. It will take you another 10 years after residency to catch up to someone who has been earning 70K right out of undergrad.
Read the last sentence of my post. Also, I would definitely not pursue medicine if I was going to be >200k in debt. You're nuts, but hey you gotta do what you gotta do.
 

Siggy

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That's such a bs argument, no offense. Name one other pipeline profession averaging 200k (not for long). The only reason not to go into medicine for money is because student debt is outrageous.
No offense taken. However I find it hard to believe that the average medical student wouldn't be successful in business or science. Sure, it's not a linear pipeline, but the fact that there's significantly less opportunity cost (i.e. not making money while in school) alone tips the scale.

That $200k+ allows for a very comfortable living even after loans, but that still doesn't make up for the hundreds of thousands of dollars not made during medical school and residency.
 

NontradCA

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No offense taken. However I find it hard to believe that the average medical student wouldn't be successful in business or science. Sure, it's not a linear pipeline, but the fact that there's significantly less opportunity cost (i.e. not making money while in school) alone tips the scale.

That $200k+ allows for a very comfortable living even after loans, but that still doesn't make up for the hundreds of thousands of dollars not made during medical school and residency.
I'm going to disagree that the average student would be successful in science or business. I'd say they'd be making 100k/year avg throughout their career. Compare to 200k avg over a career.

Also, PHDs/MBAs aren't making squat while pursuing their education/training.
 
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Siggy

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I'm going to disagree that the average student would be successful in science or business. I'd say they'd be making 100k/year avg throughout their career. Compare to 200k avg over a career.

Also, PHDs/MBAs aren't making squat while pursuing their education/training.
Physicians don't make squat their training either, and depending on the field, it's much longer training to finish residency/fellowship (yea for essentially working 2 back to back minimum wage jobs).
 

NontradCA

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Physicians don't make squat their training either, and depending on the field, it's much longer training to finish residency/fellowship (yea for essentially working 2 back to back minimum wage jobs).
Actually I would think that residency/fellowship would pay similar to a newly working PHD, with debt of course.
 

TheWeeIceMan

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I'm going to disagree that the average student would be successful in science or business. I'd say they'd be making 100k/year avg throughout their career. Compare to 200k avg over a career.

Also, PHDs/MBAs aren't making squat while pursuing their education/training.
TBF, 100k/year is actually a pretty successful career average in most parts of the country. It's not physician money, but it blows the average person out of the water.
 

NontradCA

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TBF, 100k/year is actually a pretty successful career average in most parts of the country. It's not physician money, but it blows the average person out of the water.
Well since were comparing it to physicians and scientists it's not much. My point is it's easier to make 75th % as a physician when comparing to scientists and businessmen. Ones a matter of hours worked and the other is innovation.
 

TheWeeIceMan

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Well since were comparing it to physicians and scientists it's not much. My point is it's easier to make 75th % as a physician when comparing to scientists and businessmen. Ones a matter of hours worked and the other is innovation.
Sure, I get your point, but I was referring to the comment that the average student wouldn't be successful in science or business. You can be successful and not make as much as a physician (taking debt and lost income out of the equation for simplicity).
 
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It's PBL (the school prefers "small group-large group") in the sense that you get a set of cases with associated questions, get together in an required assigned small group (complete with sign-in), answer the questions using Harrisons (preferably... certain other websites were easier to access and quicker.), and then go to a lecture the next day where they answered the questions.
Looking at my interview booklet, they don't really mention small group stuff at all. I recall them going over very little of that during the interview.

How often do you meet in groups? If it's an everyday thing, that basically means mandatory attendance...
 

Siggy

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Looking at my interview booklet, they don't really mention small group stuff at all. I recall them going over very little of that during the interview.

How often do you meet in groups? If it's an everyday thing, that basically means mandatory attendance...

Every other day essentially. One day will be small groups, the second day will be the lecture. The lecture starts off with an electronic quiz (they tried to stagger the quiz questions throughout the lecture, but it was eating too much time).


Edit: Here's a small group facilitator resource from the second year of the program (2011-2012). Notice that the facilitator "is not to instruct." So basically it's screwing away 3-4 hours in the morning before lunch because... hell, we all have extra time in medical school. Also, half the time facilitator "interaction" would be the faculty members poking their heads in during the first hour, asking if anyone had any questions, and then going back to their office. Not that I blame the individual faculty members, since it was wasting their time as well (because, you know, the microbiologist is going to be able to answer clinical questions).
http://www.westernu.edu/bin/ime/facilitator_guidelines.pdf
 
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Oo Cipher oO

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For an alternate viewpoint I really enjoy small group. It really depends on what you put into it and what your group is willing to discuss. if you are just interested in answering the questions and then leaving with little discussion then it will be less useful than if you argue a good differential and look up resources that support or refute your assumptions.

Small group/large group really pick up in second year with one abut every other day so it does become close to mandatory attendance if you don't want to lose points for the quizzes.
 

dermpathdoc

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That used to be the main building for COMP until a couple years ago, and it still holds the standardized patient department and the lecture halls for the pharm school. Prior to COMP it used to be a Buffums department store. There's actually a stock certificate located near the entrance. That sign in the back that reads "Pomona?" It was there until earlier this year when they removed that parking lot for student apartments (it might still be there... I'm a 4th year so I'm almost never on campus anyways).
See it was a mall!!!!
 
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JGimpel

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COCA might as well start offering a drive-thru option soon if they keep up the current expansion plans for new diploma-mills in random locations:



Seriously, what's keeping them from doing this?
 

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COCA might as well start offering a drive-thru option soon if they keep up the current expansion plans for new diploma-mills in random locations:



Seriously, what's keeping them from doing this?

...because the conveyer belt style of Krispy Kreme is a better analogy.
 
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Mad Jack

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No, but 3 new DO schools took students who would be matching for 2017.
I would really like to see some numbers to back this claim. The class of 2018 has roughly 26000 students, MD and DO combined. Between the military (800 positions), AOA (2900 positions), SF/Urology (639 positions from what I could find), and the NRMP match (29,171 positions), there are 33,610 training positions, a few of which are pgy-2 only, leaving 30,831 pgy-1 positions. Many of the positions are transitional, but a transitional year is required for the pgy2 specialties anyway.

This also discounts the fact that there will be some residency growth in the next few years, resulting in, at worst, 1000 new positions between the ACGME and AOA. 90% of hospitals do not have residency programs. Per Medicare rules, these hospitals are free to apply for funds to start programs. Many of them are eager to do so, as residents provide high value labor for community hospitals, plus they are far more likely to practice near where they train. This is what both GME systems are targeting in an effort to both expand residency options and to provide care to undeserved communities.

The sky isn't falling yet. There will still be an excess of positions for US graduates for a few more years. If you do well in school and have decent board scores, your options will still be pretty good in a few years. Even less exceptional students should match if they cast a wide net. Caribbean and foreign graduates will likely be edged out, however, and will suffer a precipitous decline in match rates over the next decade if new positions do not become available.

So far as debt, it can be dealt with. If you work for a nonprofit for 10 years, all of your Stafford and grad plus loans are forgiven, for instance. If you choose the new method of income based repayment, your maximum payments are limited to 10% of gross income and your non-private loans are eliminated after 20 years. Many rural hospitals also offer substantial debt repayment assistance to attract physicians. If you want to be a doctor, do it. The rest can and will be sorted out later so long as you remember one timeless rule: don't panic.
 

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4098 of those Acgme positions are internships (prelim medicine, surgery, and transitional years, and 613 of those 2900 AOA positions are internships.

I agree with you, though. The sky isn't falling...yet, muahahahahahah
 
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Mad Jack

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4098 of those Acgme positions are internships (prelim medicine, surgery, and transitional years, and 613 of those 2900 AOA positions are internships.

I agree with you, though. The sky isn't falling...yet, muahahahahahah
There is some attrition in medical school, with the most accurate source I could find pegging 10 year total attrition rate at 4%. This leaves 1,040 less graduating students. And there are 2,779 pgy-2 programs in the acgme match, leaving an excess of only 1,319 pgy-1 spots on the acgme side. On the AOA side, at least 100 of those TRIs will likely go to people that want them in order to qualify for certain state's AOA internship requirement, leaving us with a total excess of 1,932 internship positions.

Subtract those from my total figure above, and we have 28,899 residencies for 25,000 students after attrition, still a gap of nearly 4,000 spots. And if you don't match into those, you've still got piles (nearly 2,000!) of internships to scramble into to build clinical skills and your resume for next match, hardly the end of the world.

All of this accounts for zero GME growth by the way. Even with a paltry 1% growth rate we end up with over 1,000 new positions in 4 years.
 
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Unless things have changed drastically, an intern or transitional year requires you to go through another interview process that year for a much smaller amount of 2nd year Resident spots. It is the last resort for many that didn't qualify for any other sort of residency spot and is often known as the year to clean up their act and portray themselves in a much better light and most PDs know this. Trust me, being absent more than your peers to travel all over for interviews is not the thing to do when you're trying to win their support and a good recommendation from them to get you out of your predicament.

Looks like someone checked how many total PGY2 spots have been available in the last few years. Those that grabbed one of the intern spots to have a paycheck while they improve their application, a trend I see rising sharply in the near future, are probably not in the population of the applicants to competitive specialties (much of the ROAD ones and neurosurgery) that require them, so the thousands listed probably wouldn't help too many people. From my point of view, it's much better to apply to any program once that you stay at for the duration of your GME.

If I were in the above situation, I would jump at the chance to be in one of the less competitive primary care residencies, and being forced to go to an AOA primary care residency is exactly what their endgame has been for decades; it's just much more obvious now.


I wish my education only cost $2k
 

thepoopologist

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That's such a bs argument, no offense. Name one other pipeline profession averaging 200k (not for long). The only reason not to go into medicine for money is because student debt is outrageous.
Student debt at osteopathic medical schools is indeed outrageous. For the tuition I paid, a Gold Krugerrand and a bj from a Victoria's Secret model at the end of every semester wouldn't have been out of the question.
 

Mad Jack

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Unless things have changed drastically, an intern or transitional year requires you to go through another interview process that year for a much smaller amount of 2nd year Resident spots. It is the last resort for many that didn't qualify for any other sort of residency spot and is often known as the year to clean up their act and portray themselves in a much better light and most PDs know this. Trust me, being absent more than your peers to travel all over for interviews is not the thing to do when you're trying to win their support and a good recommendation from them to get you out of your predicament.

Looks like someone checked how many total PGY2 spots have been available in the last few years. Those that grabbed one of the intern spots to have a paycheck while they improve their application, a trend I see rising sharply in the near future, are probably not in the population of the applicants to competitive specialties (much of the ROAD ones and neurosurgery) that require them, so the thousands listed probably wouldn't help too many people. From my point of view, it's much better to apply to any program once that you stay at for the duration of your GME.

If I were in the above situation, I would jump at the chance to be in one of the less competitive primary care residencies, and being forced to go to an AOA primary care residency is exactly what their endgame has been for decades; it's just much more obvious now.


I wish my education only cost $2k
My calculations compensated for that. I only included intern years with a coupled pgy2 spot, which still left an excess of 4,000 residencies in the event of zero GME growth. That is more than enough positions to avoid the few hundred uncompetitive AOA primary care spots you seem to dread. There are 3,037 family practice acme positions and 875 AOA FP positions, so theoretically literally everyone could avoid FP if they so desired. IM at least opens up the chance of specialization and allows you to practice as a hospitalist if you are desperate to avoid primary care. We aren't doomed quite yet.
 

NontradCA

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Student debt at osteopathic medical schools is indeed outrageous. For the tuition I paid, a Gold Krugerrand and a bj from a Victoria's Secret model at the end of every semester wouldn't have been out of the question.
It's called supply and demand. As long as you Ibn and crew continue to pay that price they will continue to charge you the fees.