TouroCOM Harlem vs. NYITCOM Long Island (Old Westbury)

MaleBabyYoda

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Jan 1, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
    Long time reader, first post.
    I've googled this topic extensively, and have read everything I can find on SDN as well as other forums (e.g. Reddit, etc).

    I know it's an old comparison, since these are the only two DO programs in NYC.

    The reason I am reviving this topic, is to get an updated view, given TouroCOM's Harlem program is still relatively "new" and both programs continue to undergo change (for example this year as DO/MD residencies merge, as TouroCOM recently joined NYCOMEC and is competing with NYIT for rotation sites / residency spots, and as rotation sites and curriculums for both schools have continued to evolve and as NYC has continued to stay a dynamic competitive place for medical programs with more competition from Caribbean schools and local MD programs).

    I have unique circumstances that make this particular comparison very important to me personally, I don't want to reveal too much as I worry that'll make it very easy to identify who I am... but suffice it to say this is a meaningful comparison not a 'hypothetical' (just to head off the "get accepted to both first then figure it out" responses).

    Appreciate the help. Any thoughts are very welcome. Listed questions below, but recognize it's a lot, even if you can only address some or a few of them I'd be grateful.

    Specific topics I'd love more insight on
    1) Does NYITCOM really have meaningfully superior rotational placements and residency placements? i.e. more rotation sites, better odds for getting into competitive specialties, more alumni (does this matter??), more sites in NYC/LI area (to avoid having to bounce around geographically), better relationships with NYC residency programs, etc... is that gap closing, widening, or staying the same?
    I've seen this alluded to in a lot of places, but limited stats to back it up... it looks like they do have more locations, but might just be because they have a much larger incoming class?

    2) Why does TouroCOM have such a low pass rate for both exams within COMLEX 2?? 80-85% feels pretty darn low... given you need to pass them all to graduate right? I did the math and the cumulative first time pass rate for TouroCOM is like 65%? What happens to all those candidates who don't pass the first time, presumably they can retake and eventually pass, but does that impact quality of residency placement (I know they both advertise "100% placement" on their websites, but that seems a bit of a cherrypicked stat?

    3) Heard NYITCOM has a higher than average attrition rate for academic performance, due to a very inflexible academic retake policy? Is that still the case? Any sense what % of students this impacts? Please don't give me grief ha, I don't expect to be bottom of my class and recognize that if you're failing courses 2x in a semester that's a problem... but still interested to know / go in eyes wide open.

    4) Big picture question. Does anyone know what % of students, who matriculate, eventually graduate and get MATCHed, and become doctors, from both programs? i.e. for every 100 people who step in the door, post (i) attrition from academics, (ii) attrition from failing COMLEX exams (if any), (iii) attrition from other causes, how many finish and achieve the goal of becoming a doctor?

    5) For current students of either program:
    (a) During 3rd and 4th years, did students have an 'easy time' getting placed into elective rotations / finding their own 4th year rotations? Were students generally satisfied? Did students have control over where they wound up geographically? If they really wanted to be close to home in Long Island for example, could they control that? Or 'scattered to the wind'?
    (b) How is the overall experience? Academic environment, etc? Are most students happy / satisfied? How is the program trending? More rotation sites / residency partners, or fewer / getting more competitive (i.e. because of Caribbean schools, or local MD programs, or otherwise)
     
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    calvinhobbes

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      NYCOM is older yes but people from TouroCOM match at approximately the same places, in the NYC and NY/NJ region.

      NYCOM accepts way more students than they can graduate in one year (accept ~320 a year) and bank on most students repeating the year or failing out (a graduating class never has as many as 320). Why do they accept so many? Not sure, but the high attrition rate is something to bring up, especially since many rotation spots have been lost.

      All the specific questions you ask are important , you will probably receive varied answers, but you will drive yourself crazy if you try to answer each detail because it is so dependent on an individual’s experience.

      As for rotations, this literally changes every year, especially what’s available (NYCOM has lost a lot of Brooklyn and NJ and a Bronx hospitals, but has gained more LI hospitals and “sites”). And fourth year rules change every year ,as recently as to make it less restrictive to give students more choice (before fourth year was a nightmare with plenty of rules and dos and donts, and now 3rd year is even easier I hear with more flexibility, more elective time, less focus on passing shelfs and more focus on learning on the rotation). For example before, if you failed a shelf you had to repeat it; and if you failed it again you failed the rotation. Now that’s no longer the case. Overall failure policy and curriculum changes and rotation requirements change every few years, so just realize wherever you end up, by the time you match ,everything will be different because of the merger. The merger will most likely be a net loss for DOs as less people match into competitive specialties (less choice now that DO spots are gone, and preference will prob be given to MDs), thus more people ranking less competitive specialties as backups, thus more people prob matching into primary care.
      NYCOM gives a great education but for a big price, and yes the connections to LI and NYC programs are well known, but this may become less advantageous with the merger. This year’s match lists for both schools will be very telling.

      So, prob doesn’t matter where you go. Can’t comment on TouroCOM but plenty of people succeed. Just focus on studying and boards. Good luck and PM me if you have any specific questions.
       
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      MaleBabyYoda

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        That's extremely helpful, thank you for the thoughtful post.
        I just realized you can reconstruct NYIT and TOURO's (and everyone else's) attrition rates, via:
        First year enrollment:
        Residency placement:

        Compare any given year to total placement 4 yrs later. Ignores deferrals and transfers, but over a long period of time should all net out. Supports what you're saying.

        Any other views welcome.
         

        MaleBabyYoda

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        Jan 1, 2020
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          "NYCOM has lost a lot of Brooklyn and NJ and a Bronx hospitals, but has gained more LI hospitals and “sites”"

          Assume this is because of competition? From MD programs, Caribbean programs, and other DO programs (Touro)? Not like hospitals closing or anything, just core NYC and NJ continuing to get more competitive so NYITCOM finding more partners in LI closer to home and on the periphery.
           
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          hallowmann

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            There are issues with both, so to me it is a toss up. I can't recommend Touro-NY due to its history of shady admissions tactics as well as the poor rotations (based on interactions with Touro-NY students in med school) and Level 2 pass rates, and I can't recommend NYCOM for their pretty underhanded tactics to force a certain amount of attrition. Both of these may be things that have improved since, but I won't be endorsing them any time soon without a clear sign that they have changed their ways.

            You may not have the luxury of choosing neither, due either to acceptances or more likely location, so I don't want you to feel discouraged. Issues exist at all med schools, especially all DO schools. Go in aware of the deficiencies and strive to overcome them. To be honest, you won't end up substantially better or worse coming from those schools than any other DO schools.
             
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            calvinhobbes

            Attending Physician and Preceptor
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              "NYCOM has lost a lot of Brooklyn and NJ and a Bronx hospitals, but has gained more LI hospitals and “sites”"

              Assume this is because of competition? From MD programs, Caribbean programs, and other DO programs (Touro)? Not like hospitals closing or anything, just core NYC and NJ continuing to get more competitive so NYITCOM finding more partners in LI closer to home and on the periphery.
              Yeah pretty much. Some hospitals got bought out by bigger names, others merged with larger networks, others affiliated with MD schools so basically less and less spots for Nycom. Nothing to do with other DO schools actually.
              Touro never rotated with Nycom and vice versa, so it really has to do with hospital mergers and MD students coming in.
               
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              imurdocta

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              Jul 25, 2018
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                NYCOM student feedback-
                Specific topics I'd love more insight on
                1) Does NYITCOM really have meaningfully superior rotational placements and residency placements? i.e. more rotation sites, better odds for getting into competitive specialties, more alumni (does this matter??), more sites in NYC/LI area (to avoid having to bounce around geographically), better relationships with NYC residency programs, etc... is that gap closing, widening, or staying the same?
                I've seen this alluded to in a lot of places, but limited stats to back it up... it looks like they do have more locations, but might just be because they have a much larger incoming class?
                -NYCOM has a strong match list for a DO school and decent clinical sites. We have a good reputation among long island/city hospitals and a solid alumni network. A lot of classmates will stay in either brooklyn, queens, or long island. Some bounce around also.
                -Fourth year you can arrange a lot of your rotations externally.


                2) Why does TouroCOM have such a low pass rate for both exams within COMLEX 2?? 80-85% feels pretty darn low... given you need to pass them all to graduate right? I did the math and the cumulative first time pass rate for TouroCOM is like 65%? What happens to all those candidates who don't pass the first time, presumably they can retake and eventually pass, but does that impact quality of residency placement (I know they both advertise "100% placement" on their websites, but that seems a bit of a cherrypicked stat?

                3) Heard NYITCOM has a higher than average attrition rate for academic performance, due to a very inflexible academic retake policy? Is that still the case? Any sense what % of students this impacts? Please don't give me grief ha, I don't expect to be bottom of my class and recognize that if you're failing courses 2x in a semester that's a problem... but still interested to know / go in eyes wide open.
                attrition rate:
                -I don't notice a large attrition rate. I know very few people who dropped out, repeated a year, or went off cycle. If you study hard you should be able to graduate on time and match.
                -It is difficult to fail preclinical courses. If you perform poorly on an exam, you are able to redeem yourself with other exams in the block or remediate a block assuming you don't have multiple course failures.


                4) Big picture question. Does anyone know what % of students, who matriculate, eventually graduate and get MATCHed, and become doctors, from both programs? i.e. for every 100 people who step in the door, post (i) attrition from academics, (ii) attrition from failing COMLEX exams (if any), (iii) attrition from other causes, how many finish and achieve the goal of becoming a doctor?
                -See the exact COMLEX stats on the website but basically everyone who passes COMLEX and graduates matches somewhere. Our COMLEX pass rate is always in the 90s.

                5) For current students of either program:
                (a) During 3rd and 4th years, did students have an 'easy time' getting placed into elective rotations / finding their own 4th year rotations?
                -Third year students either stay at one hospital the whole year or jump around to different NYCOM clinical affiliates. Everyone gets something.
                You can plan fourth year however you want - you can apply for external rotations at other institutions, rotate at NYCOM affiliates, or rotate with private doctors. I had no problem planning my schedule.

                Were students generally satisfied? Did students have control over where they wound up geographically? If they really wanted to be close to home in Long Island for example, could they control that? Or 'scattered to the wind'?
                -You can control where you end up (long island, brooklyn, queens etc).
                (b) How is the overall experience? Academic environment, etc? Are most students happy / satisfied? How is the program trending? More rotation sites / residency partners, or fewer / getting more competitive (i.e. because of Caribbean schools, or local MD programs, or otherwise)
                -We have plenty of clinical spots. We rotate with many Caribbean and USMD students at our clinical sites. I think the quality of the rotation depends on where you are and who you are working with so I can't generalize. We have a very large class size and we are able to stream our lectures so we have a lot of flexibility.
                 
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