UHS vs KCOM

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by drewdo, Mar 22, 2001.

  1. drewdo

    drewdo Senior Member

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    While I've mostly chosen to go to UHS, I'm having a tough time letting go of KCOM - mostly because my undergrad advisor always raved how it was the best DO school. The more I examine the pros/cons for both schools, the more it's starting to become a toss-up. Is there anyone with comments regarding the two schools?
    Thanks.


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    Drewdo
     
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  3. tiffsatt

    tiffsatt Member

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    Drewdo,

    I can't comment on KCOM, but I can on UHS. I interviewed their mid-March and I love the school. The only thing I am hesitant about is the cost and the new curriculum. The cost I suppose should not be the deciding factor, I just wish the new curriculum was 1 more year older so we could see how the students did on their boards. I personally think it sounds great, but I wonder how many bugs there are that still need to be worked out. Well, good luck with you decision.

    Tiff
     
  4. Hskermdic

    Hskermdic Senior Member

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    Well I can't really say much about UHS but I can talk a little bit about KCOM. I am a second year medical student at KCOM. Our new curriculm is in its 2nd year now and seems to be going well.

    I would definately say don't let money make your decision for you. If you aren't happy where you choose the money will be illrelevant.

    I can discuss a few pros and cons that I know of about the 2 schools (I have been there and I have a friend who is a first year there)
    1. KCOM class size in 170 compared to around 220 for UHS.
    2. UHS in in a city KCOM is in a small town ( I know that is pretty obvious but in Kirksville no matter where you are in town you can be to school in 10 minutes that saves a lot of time. Kirksville does not have a mall or an opera or professional sports but I don't know when you really have time to do those things anyhow)

    sorry I don't know much else about UHS to compare the two. I really like it here at KCOM. School is hard but I have learned a lot and have really enjoyed the process (except for around finals week) and the people I have gone through it with. The students and the faculty at KCOM are top notch. they really seem to care about everyone.

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    Carrie
    MSII KCOM
     
  5. CLASSOF2005

    CLASSOF2005 Junior Member

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    Hey Drewdo,
    How's it going dude? I was accepted to both places also, KCOM and UHS. Like you, I had a tough time turning down KCOM. KCOM is one of the best places to receive osteopathic manipulative treatment training. Also, the faculty, facilities, and curriculum are superb. In addition, their board passing rates are among the highest of DO schools. Yet, I believe UHS also possesses these great traits. The reason I chose UHS is because of the environment. Living in San Diego for the past five years, I have been spoiled with the amenities offered by a bigger city. Though Kansas City is not as big as SD, I feel more comfortable living there than Kirksville. In sum, I think your decision on either school should include lifestyle preference. That's my two cents.
    Good luck!
     
  6. fireman2DOc

    fireman2DOc Junior Member

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    First of all…Congratulations!!! I was fortunate enough to interview at KCOM, UHS, and Des Moines. For reasons I find difficult to explain I choose KCOM. All the schools seemed great. Kirksville just had this family, home cooking thing going on. Hard to explain but I felt at peace there. You have a tough decision to make and I commend you for making the grade to get to this point. If you decide on KCOM give me an email and we can celebrate together. If you go to UHS, I'll see ya in residence, god willing. Good luck! ;)
     
  7. I interviewed at both, have been accepted at both and will turned both down. I decided to go to COMP instead because I'm from Texas and California was more to my liking. Anyways, I can give you an objective opinion because I've interviewed at both programs and have no incentive to promote one over the other.

    Although KCOM is a year round program, I though it was definitely better. GO KCOM.
     
  8. KCOM2005

    KCOM2005 Senior Member

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    Wow,
    sounds like you are faced with a tough decision. I won't tell you what school to go to since I am obviously biased. When I was narrowing things down I ended up with AZCOM and KCOM. I set up a pro/con list and went to work. I put some time in doing this and I believe it paid off. It gave me the opportunity to capture my thoughts on paper. This made the decision easier for me. Once again, the important part is you. You will get a great education in either school, which will be the best for you?
     
  9. bustinbooty

    bustinbooty Senior Member

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    I would hate to see you not come to KCOM just because of the small town environment. First, the environment you will be in 95% of the time is on campus, with your classmates, or studying, now matter what school you go to.
    I have a friend who is a first year at UHS and I have no doubt that she is getting a top-notch education...similar to that you would receive at KCOM. However, she pays twice the rent that she would in Kirksville and she has a long drive to school everyday.
    She really doesn't have time to enjoy the city life of KC too much.
    Though kirksville is geographically isolated, it is not socially or culturally isolated by any means. There is a large student population in the town (with a major state university there) plus KCOM. In fact the economy of the town is based on the students there. Though Kirksville is wedged between four big cornfields, it doesn't feel like it when you are there. Choose UHS because the school is better for you and not because you are afraid of the small town environment of Kirksville.
     
  10. dieselkid

    dieselkid Member

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    Personally, I'd go to KCOM over UHS simply because it is the grandaddy of them all.

    Good Luck.
     
  11. KCOM2005

    KCOM2005 Senior Member

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    dieselkid,
    Without knowing more of the story, I don't think a change in staff should be a reason to exclude a school. Have you looked into the possibility that this was done for the benfit of the student body? I think just throwing little bits of a story out there like that will just confuse people.
     
  12. KCOM2005

    KCOM2005 Senior Member

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    Hope2001,
    Maybe it would be helpful if you explained some of your hang-ups. What are the reasons you haven't made a choice yet? I probably don't have much to offer you as far as what it is really like at either school, but I am sure there are others out there who have tidbits for you.
     
  13. Chris_Topher

    Chris_Topher SeƱor Member

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    I am a student in the first class to go through the "new curriculum" at KCOM, and am currently studying for the boards. Even though we have had some bumps in the road, I feel well prepared. The school has been flexible with the process and willing to make changes "real time" as needed. The process has been significantly refined for the class behind us, and again for the class of 05. The integration of the classes really did create a context for the information we were learning.

    Another note. When I was visiting hospitals in urban NJ for 3rd and 4th year rotations, I got a personal tour of a 800-bed hospital from the director of medical education himself. Along the way, he said that he very much wanted KCOM students to train in his hospital, and that he considered KCOM to be "the Harvard of osteopathic schools." While I don't compare myself to Harvard med students, it was OK to hear someone else do so.
     
  14. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member

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    Being a 4th year, and knowing people from both schools...and attending one of them, I will be candid.
    If I had it to do over, I wouldn't have gone to either program. Working with allopathic counterparts, you can see the disorganization of osteopathic programs in general...especially in the 3rd and 4th years. Both programs are FAR too large, I mean, how do you justify such sizes if you don't even have a university hospital to put your students in? People are sent across the country to fend for themselves in community hospitals that are adequate at best. This is the truth, ask any 3rd or 4th year. Osteopathic students are generally nomads...and it is very sad that UHS in particular doesn't even meet with the upperclassmen in person for 2 entire years. Communication is solely by email. It is really awful when you compare it to state schools, they are just so much more organized for so much less money! It is insane, it really is.
    The Harvard of osteopathic schools? What does that even mean? In the realm of medical schools in general, KCOM is barely above Meharry... and UHS, well, they are slightly better than Meharry also.
    Guys, you are gonna have to fight for your education, and fight for the best residencies (allopathic). And it is best that you know now.
     
  15. mompremed

    mompremed Senior Member

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    Another thing to consider when deciding between UHS and KCOM: KCOM has dog labs and UHS does not, so I am told by students here in KC that have been accepted to both. You have to decide what you can live with on that issue.

    As Freeedom and others have stated, the clinical rotations can be a problem either way. However, I and a friend have worked in two different level one trauma centers in KC, and we have had opportunity to assess the performance of all the med students in town, because they all rotate through the level one trauma centers at some point.

    Here is the rundown:

    UMKC (allopathic): the basic sciences suck! Clinical skills, awesome!

    UHS (osteopathic): Basic sciences rock! Clinical skills, awesome! (Don't ask me how, I think it's just because osteopathic medicine itself is awesome!)

    KUMC (allopathic): Basic sciences suck, clinical skills suck!

    My friend states it best: when the UHS and UMKC students come through, they grab the patient chart, do the history, assessment, diagnose, treat, whatever needs to be done. They know exactly what to do and they do it. The KU students sit like lumps - they seemingly have no clue.

    For myself, having lived in KC and worked in the healthcare field for the past 11+ years, and a premed for 4, I wholeheartedly believe that UHS turns out much better doctors than KU and so do some of the doctor-educators at UMKC. And a former dean of UMKC med school (a KU graduate) told me personally that UHS has VASTLY better basic sciences than UMKC - no surprise to those of us who have been going to UMKC for undergrad! Although KU is best for research (for this area), I have talked personally with med students in the 3rd and 4th year at KU, and trust me, many of them are very, VERY dissatisfied with their entire medical education: science AND clinical. I have also talked with 3rd and 4th year UHS students and they are very excited about and happy with their education (one or two on this board are not: I'm not saying it's perfect.) And the UMKC students that I have been in classes with are very unhappy with their sciences - they have a 38% fail rate on the first Step exam! (UHS has about a 3% fail rate and KU ~18% fail rate, for comparison!)

    I say all this to reiterate what others have already said: just like your undergrad education, your medical education will be what YOU make it. There are tradeoffs no matter what you choose, you just have to decide which tradeoffs you can live with. I have also talked these issues over with DO's and MD's that I have worked with, and they tell me that in large allopathic teaching institutions, all the 3rd and 4th year students pretty much just get to stand around and watch anyway. At least at UHS you can "network" and find the DO's that will actually teach you something and let you DO something - no pun intended! - or you can go to other institutions the 3rd and 4th years. And if you graduate from UHS (or any DO school) you will probably get "better" allopathic residencies than some students graduating from UMKC and possibly some other MD schools that are weak in the basic sciences.

    And don't forget, most allopathic teaching institutions have DO's in all kinds of critical positions now, teaching and attending, and lots of MD's teach at DO schools, too. As one DO I shadowed says, 20+ years ago there was a vast difference between DO and MD, both in teaching and philosophy. But both disciplines have moved toward each other, until now, most people have no clue whether they've just seen a DO or an MD when they go to the doctor! (I'm not saying that's entirely good. I hate to see DO's downplay what is unique and special about osteopathic medicine - in fact, I almost decided not to go DO because I witnessed a DO do that with an MD resident that was following him around when I went to him for OMT. And, yes, the allopathic students and residents go around to various clinics and hospitals on rotations, just like the osteopathic students and residents!)

    Anyway, to sum it up, let me leave you with the words of a KU student who came to our premed club for a student panel comprised of students from KU and UHS. The UHS students had just given accolades about their state-of-the-art anatomy lab, and one of the premeds asked the KU student about KU's anatomy lab. He said with rueful expression, and I quote: "UHS has an AWESOME anatomy lab. KU does NOT have an awesome anatomy lab!"

    Life is what you make of it, and that goes for medical school as well. Listen to and then follow your heart!
     
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  17. UHSpostgrad

    UHSpostgrad New Member

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    I've been following this freeedom guys replys for a few days now. As a postgrad orthopedic resident I can assure you students that you get good clinicals at UHS. You'll get the residency you want if you work hard enough. Hey Freeedom, get a positive attitude because we look for that in our future colleges.
     
  18. mompremed

    mompremed Senior Member

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    Hey UHSpostgrad,

    Do you by any chance work with the Barnhill/Paul group? If so, the next time you're in the surgical ICU (2nd floor) at Northtown stop by the unit secretary desk and say "Hi" if I'm the one on duty! I always wear my nametag.
     
  19. drewdo

    drewdo Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the helpful insight. I personally have decided to go to UHS and am pretty excited about it. I too have seen many of Freeeedom!!'s posts and am thankful for the info. All intelligent opinion's welcomed!!
     
  20. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member

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    I am only trying to be truthful, and sometimes that stings. Many of my friends were sent to Florida were there have NEVER been students or interns...why would a school do such a thing? Why would the sole source of student communication with their clin. ed dept be through email?
    I am saying this is just a bad way to run things. When speaking with a Guest Student Coordinator from a state university, he stated
    "...they pretty much make you guys fend for yourselves don't they? That is too bad. You guys end up all over the place. Your (office of community clinical ed.) aren't very helpful to us either."

    A graduate told me last week
    "Yeah, we osteopathic students are pretty much nomads! If it weren't for us going to allopathic hospitals for some decent didactics and lectures, our clinicals would suck!"

    I am not one to sugar coat issues. There are some HUGE problems at the osteopathic hospitals that we rotate through during our clinical years. And it is unfortunate that our administration glosses over these issues.
    Our preceptors are not dedicated educators. They do not get paid. Didactics are poor compared to our allopathic counterparts etc, etc. Why do you think DO's applying to the allopathic match continues to go up each year? It is because the programs are simply better.
    How do we improve this? Well, there needs to be action of some sort, that is for sure.

    All i wish to provide are opinions that i have heard OVER AND OVER again by students. Some of the most "RAH RAH Osteopathy" student from their 1st and 2nd years are just plain sick of it by their 4th and graduating years...it aint no lie folks.
     
  21. drewdo

    drewdo Senior Member

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    Freeeedom, I know in the didactic undergraduate dietetics program in which I was a faculty member we didn't have paid preceptors either. They essentially took on preceptorship of our dietetics students as an optional part of their job description. I don't necessarily think that "volunteer" preceptorship is a bad concept. Often these can be very dedicated individuals/teachers because money is not a motivating factor. I claim ignorance here, because I have no idea how allopathic programs work, or very little about osteo programs for that matter. Obviously you are quite jaded by your experience at UHS. I'm somewhat fearful about this sense of abandonment by the school that you describe. But it seems to me that a school needs to be concerned about its students' pass rates on the boards (and not just step I), for pure business reasons at the minimum. I know a good handful of our dietetics students became quite upset about the lack of support they received from the school while out on their "rotations". Oftentimes they blamed us for not educating them enough to accomplish the tasks they were asked to do at the hospitals, nursing homes, public health programs, etc. Often these were the students that needed more coddling than any school could have ever provided. I'm not presuming you aren't a competent student. On the contrary, I would like to know how you are faring in your clinicals and if you think that has any effect on your attitude about UHS? In other words, are you finding this lack of support is completely hindering your ability to stay afloat? Just curious. What do you propose the school's long term goal should be towards improving clinical experience? Does a school need to be attached to a large hospital in order to provide the best education? Is it a matter of proximity? What other HUGE problems do you speak of? Thanks for your insight.
     
  22. drewdo

    drewdo Senior Member

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    Freeeedom, I know in the didactic undergraduate dietetics program in which I was a faculty member we didn't have paid preceptors either. They essentially took on preceptorship of our dietetics students as an optional part of their job description. I don't necessarily think that "volunteer" preceptorship is a bad concept. Often these can be very dedicated individuals/teachers because money is not a motivating factor. I claim ignorance here, because I have no idea how allopathic programs work, or very little about osteo programs for that matter. Obviously you are quite jaded by your experience at UHS. I'm somewhat fearful about this sense of abandonment by the school that you describe. But it seems to me that a school needs to be concerned about its students' pass rates on the boards (and not just step I), for pure business reasons at the minimum. I know a good handful of our dietetics students became quite upset about the lack of support they received from the school while out on their "rotations". Oftentimes they blamed us for not educating them enough to accomplish the tasks they were asked to do at the hospitals, nursing homes, public health programs, etc. Often these were the students that needed more coddling than any school could have ever provided. I'm not presuming you aren't a competent student. On the contrary, I would like to know how you are faring in your clinicals and if you think that has any effect on your attitude about UHS? In other words, are you finding this lack of support is completely hindering your ability to stay afloat? Just curious. What do you propose the school's long term goal should be towards improving clinical experience? Does a school need to be attached to a large hospital in order to provide the best education? Is it a matter of proximity? What other HUGE problems do you speak of? Thanks for your insight.
     
  23. UHSpostgrad

    UHSpostgrad New Member

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    Freeedom, you're right not to sugar coat it. All I'm saying is that when you get to your Res program or internship when the Attending and Resident pulls the "okay you go ahead and close" routine as a joke your first day, because we haven't been babied our third and fourth years we'll do it and do it well and we look good for it. Man I'm tellin' ya, A year from now it won't even matter, you'll probably be doing what you want to do, because you've travelled so much and been net-working. Just hold on for a few more months and then life is good.(Well at least better)
     
  24. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member

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    I am not having a hard time during clinicals at all! Don't you see what I am saying? I am asking to be challenged, not by making me do scut, but rather, offer me more lectures, more animal labs etc.
    Yes I can close without a problem, and as far as my clinicals go, I have recieved all Honors. But this has nothing to do with me, it has everything to do with MANY of my counterparts feeling cheated in learning opportunities and a certain feeling of abandonment.
     
  25. mj

    mj Senior Member

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    and in Freedom's defense, I'm so sick of hearing how it must "just be him" if he isn't happy about things.

    Anyone interested enough can see it over and over in osteopathic post here, and not just from Freedom...osteopathic education HAS A PRONBLEM WITH HOW IT CONDUCTS CLINICALS. The message comes through loud and clear.

    It isn't just UHS that this can be seen with, but with many different osteo clinical. Is there this issue with allo clinicals? Maybe, maybe not, but I for one am glad people like Freedom and others state their opinion. It helps people like me with a choice of programs to choose wisely. That doesn't mean osteo ed is bad, just that it should be entered into with open eyes. How can that be accomplished, if these kinds of opinions aren't allowed to be heard?

    Get off him already. He is entitled to his opinion and OBVIOUSLY only wants to help others avoid some of the issues he has faced.

    mj
     
  26. libbuser

    libbuser Member

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    I am assuming that Freeedom you are from UHS, since KCOM doesn't have a training site in Fl. Anyways, you may go ahead a speak of your "individual" experiences with UHS, but please don't make remarks regarding KCOM simply based off "friends" you know. KCOM has an excellent tradition of providing students with top-notch, quality education, particularly in years III & IV. KCOM provides a SOLID clinical training experience for their medical students. All students are required to participate in peer journal review clubs, case presentations, and end-of rotation testing. KCOM is currently working on an on-line data base of clinical viginettes that students will be required to work through while on clinicals. Further, standarized patient OSCI testing is performed throughout years II, III, and IV. While most students are traditionally "done" after boards and prepare for rotations, KCOM students don't start rotations until Sept. That gives KCOM all of June and July to specificically "fine-tune" us for our rotations. I don't know of many allopathic programs (or osteopathic) that do that. We have 2 months of surgery lab, IV/lines lab, medicine/intubation labs, and many other skill enhancing excercises, including revisting PE skills; this all without the worries of boards and the heavy work load of classes. Hardly are KCOM students left "on their own, fending for themself". Please!!!

    In fact, we had the DIRECTOR of the USMLE come out here this Spring to meet with our administration and entire student body. He was curious on observing KCOM first hand. He stated that he wasn't here to promote the USMLE, but rather to learn more about WHY and HOW we do so well on board exams and clinical training. The USMLE is considering adding clinical standarized patients to steps I, II, and III. He was here because KCOM was one of the national leaders in having taped, critique reviews of standardized pts. He stated that KCOM has knowledge and skills that the USMLE folks are interested in testing on their USMLE.

    Further, AMSA has rated KCOM as their #1 osteopathic primary care institution. We are currently working with the NIH to become the National Center for Osteopathic Research. With Missouri's tobacco settlement $$, our institution will be creating a multi-million $$ senior living center that will become the focus of Geriatric Studies on a national level. Our institution is campaigning to become a National Center for Geriatric Studies. KCOM students in years I & II will even live amongst this population, building valuable clinical skills. Lastly, KCOM may be teaming up with Darmouth Medical School and an insurance research institute that is seeking to work with KCOM and Darmouth to initiate the 1st evidence based medicine curriculum in the nation. You see, you have it wrong, KCOM is actually a leader in medical education, and is doing it better than many osteopathic and allopathic programs.
     
  27. libbuser

    libbuser Member

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    Now that I defended my institution, KCOM, I have another issue with FREEEDOMs comments.

    You discuss in your posts about how osteopathic hospitals are sub-par in comparision to clinical training received at "university" based Allopathic Hospitals. You inaccurately state that osteopathic training is not good simply based on the fact that they don't have major University based training hospitals of their own.

    Fact #1: Most osteopathic residency training sites aren't "university" based, rather "community based".
    Fact #2: Likewise, most allopathic residency training sites AREN'T "university" based, rather "community based".

    So, what is your point??? Most allopathic programs aren't university based either??? If you wanted to go to a big, major, more prestigous (in your view, "better") "university based hospital", then you should have gotten into one of those medical schools from the beginning.

    Your right, they are different programs, and offer many advantages (but also disadvantages in my view). Your perception should be that "University" training is better than "Community" hospital training. That is a fair argument, and is both debatable and a big decision to make. You state many of them: having contact with more clinical faculty/residents etc, broader experiences and exposure, better didactics, exposure to newer treatments/technology (hardly could a community based system put together a strong didactic program). But, for each one of the advantages at a university program, I could state just as many disadvantages or advantages by going to a community hospital: less competition for procedures (1st assist in surgery), less traffic as to spend more time with mentors/patients, more exposure to primary care opportunities, etc, etc.

    That decision is entirely a personal choice and view, depending on what "type" of physician you want to become, or what "type" of person you are, what environement you learn best in. But, it is entirely unacceptable to simply state that osteopathic clinical training sucks because they aren't University based.

    You should be honest then, Osteopathic Medicine isn't in line with your goals and dreams. But, the osteopathic establishment doesn't boast anything they don't offer. They boast primary care primarily, holisitic opportunities to become the BEST primary care physician you can become. And they deliver on that promise!!

    It does not negate osteopathic medicine because we don't boast huge 500+ bed teaching hospitals as opportunites for training. Osteopathic medicine, in line with its philosophy and teaching, strongly desires to produce community based, primary care physicians. Or, specialist' that will go out and practice community medicine, with a primary care appreciation. That is our primary goal, #1. Further, many programs want to produce rural, primary care physicians. Your not going to be seeing many opportunities with major university-based hospitals with that kind of perspective. That is the osteopathic tradition.

    I am sick and tired of osteopathic students getting into the profession, and then wanting to go to BIG, "Major Medical Centers" to do training. Well, folks, osteopathic medicine never promised that, and never will. That is not the goal of osteopathic medicine!!!!!! Rather, you should have worked harder at getting into a "university based medical school from the beginning" if that is what you wanted.

    But, don't sit here and be unhappy because the osteopathic profession doesn't offer that to you. The osteopathic profession doesn't have to, because it is not in our interest.

    You should have done research on that prior to matriculating then if you didn't like the opportunities available. MOST osteopathic students are happy with their training, it fits their personality, goals, futures, and dreams.

    Peace!
     
  28. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member

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    Libbuser,

    Wow, you must be a psychic or you apparently were with me when I when I researched schools. Yeah, all I did to choose a program was put them on a dart board and toss a dart. Get for real.
    Some schools do not live up to their PR programs. It is not I who write their pamphlets nor do I create the videos or websites that are used to recruit students. All students go into programs fairly blinded by the idea of "med school", not really understanding that many private institutions are driven by dollar signs...why else would a school have a class size over 150 students and not be able to place all or any of them in the town with the school? Idealy, I would think, a 3rd and 4th year clinical experience could only be enhanced if you could work with the instructors that taught you. Yes?
    And as for KCOM, I am not bad mouthing it, I am only speaking to you about what no less than 15 of their students (and former students) have told me time and time again. They have spoken of the teacher walk out a year or two ago. When they bring up OMT class, they roll their eyes and laugh. Some feel neglected sent so far away, while others are EXTREMELY critical. But ALL of them are intelligent people who are gonna be great doctors. No doubt! But they are critical of their program, much like myself...there are monstrous problems. And at least 50% of the KCOM students that I talk to are entering allopathic residencies. Why?

    As for your ever so enlightening comments, but let me add a bit.
    Why do you think osteopathic medicine has a past history in rural communities? Does it have something to do with a very strong past rivalry with the AMA, FORCING osteopathic physicians into the rural communities? Does it have something to do with a previous hitory of poor acceptance of the degree? And if that is the continuing future goal of osteopathic medicine, why would the AOA put so much money into PR campaigns in such magazines as "O", Oprahs new mag?-----Do you think people in the far off rural communites give a rats ass what Oprah thinks or even read her magazine? No. Who do YOU think they are targeting, and where do these people live?
    Regarding university based hospitals...perhaps I should restate. Hospitals with University affiliations. How is that? Now do you understand? Easily the best rotations that a DO student can have are those rotations that are "piggybacked" with major medical schools...such as Temple as I spoke of previously (just an example). How can you possibly compare the learning experience at Parkview Hospital in Philly with Albert Einstein, or Thomas Jefferson, or Penn or Ohio State for that matter? Many of these programs are well established with long history of affiliations. Many of the hospitals that were purely "osteopathic" years ago have folded and are history (3 DO hospitals in KC...hell, Doctors in Columbus was recently rumored to be in trouble).
    Sure, any hospital can get into financial problems.
    With regard to community hospitals in general...wouldn't you agree that there is a major difference in a 150 bed community hospital and a 300-500 bed community hospital? The diversity in pathology may be monstrous. And why would you want to make a 100 bed hospital with no residents or interns your CORE rotation site? Don't give me that "first in line" crap. You can learn more from your intern than you may ever learn from your attending (or the "Privates" as the "House of God" puts it.)
    I understand your defense...and I understand why you feel attacked.
    But you must see the truth through clear glasses and not rose colored glasses.

    My point still remains. Many students feel cheated and ARE cheated...but to overcome this, DO students must work to learn as much as allopathic students are simply handed. We pay FAR MORE and get FAR LESS. DO schools won't help...they are too worried about how to get 250 students in to an arena sized lecture hall. It is up to you to learn and succeed.
     
  29. mj

    mj Senior Member

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    Freedom is perfectly capable of defending himself against your personal attacks if he feels so inclined, lib, but from a pure issue perspective I really think you have missed the point here.

    You reduced the whole argument to "he wants to go to a big prestigious hospital that doesn't focus on primary care" and completely ignored the crux of the issues like poor didactics, poor communication and poor organization.

    At some point it will be "in the interest of your profession" to stop blaming student unhappiness with osteopathic clinical education on "the type" of person voicing the concern and start dealing with the issues.

    I'm always amazed that people would rather spend time defending a system and all its flaws instead of looking for ways to improve it. Even if osteo clinicals are the best in the world, why wouldn't you want to make them even better?

    mj
     
  30. libbuser

    libbuser Member

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    To the previous posters:

    1. You have stated on numerous occasions, that osteopathic education is lacking because we don't offer a 4-year program in the same city. I am assuming your talking specifically about KCOM and UHS. On that issue, I am not sure what your point is??? Not too many KCOM students would consider that point as being a major complicating factor. Yes, maybe communication between administration and students is challenged somewhat, but I am not sure how that factor largely impacts the QUALITY and CONTENT of our clinical experiences in years III & IV. Notice, I said the "content". It doesn't matter if your 200 miles away, or 2 miles away from your med-school, your going to get the same experience. And, I would like to point out, 99% of the time, IT IS UP TO THE STUDENT TO MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR CLINICAL EXPERIENCE. PERIOD.

    2. I don't deny that there aren't major issues in medical education that need some serious rehaul. But, those issues aren't just exclusive to osteopathic medicine. Both osteopathic and allopathic medicine JOINTLY are struggling with these isssues. Allopaths don't have a leg up on us. I already told you that the director of the USMLE has visited KCOM to find out what we are all about, and he liked what he saw. Many allopathic programs have adopted "osteopathic" teaching principles and philosophy indirectly in their programs. The practice of medicine has changed 360, and largely medical education hasn't. That is the real issue!! I agree with you. But, to pin those valid & real frustrations soley on the osteopathic establishment is completely inaccurate. All medical students have issues, whether we are osteopathic or allopathic. Most the issues, are the SAME!! There has always been a SMALL group of students (you included) that when they encounter struggles, they blame it on the osteopathic profession. That is wrong!

    3. I just wonder how your osteopathic educational experience has honestly LIMITED your skills, practice, and future as a physician. What skills are you really lacking???? If your going to make such strong criticism of the osteopathic profession, what skills and qualities are you lacking???? What is exactly the information that allopathic students are being handed, & that we have to figure out on our own????? Not sure what that is??

    4. What are your goals as a physician?? That is bottom line!! And, in what way has your osteopathic profession limited you??

    5. You make it sound like osteopathic medical students are jumping on the allopathic band-wagon. Lets be honest here. Most students that are opting for allopathic programs, are USUALLY doing that because there isn't an osteopathic program where they DESIRE to live. Most of us want to head closer to home. Period. That is the real issue. Students going into allopathic programs are really going that route because of geography, being closer to home. Not as you think, because they are unhappy and really think that osteopathic medicine is shamming them. Give me a break!

    6. Sounds like you have issues with UHS. UHS is NOT the entire osteopathic profession. There are 18 other schools out there. It not fair to generalize your personal experience with UHS to the entire profession.
     
  31. UHS03

    UHS03 Senior Member

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    There are things about osteopathic medical education that can be generalized, one of the most important being the size of affiliated hospitals. You claim this is a non-issue and in-keeping with the "osteopathic philosophy" to train at these smaller, community based hospitals. You and I have clearly different ideas in regards to what constitutes good training. How can you even begin to compare the opportunities one gets at a 150 bed hospital with the opportunities available at a 500+ bed hospital? Regardless of your future intentions, the larger hospital offers you more pathology, more opportunity to do procedures, exposure to new or cutting edge therapies, research, and more residency and fellowship programs. Regardless of what you intend to "make of your own clinical education" if the opportunities aren't there, there is nothing you can do about it. This isn't to say that there aren't large hospitals affiliated with DO schools, but I am saying that they are few and far between. To say that DO schools have it set up that way on purpose is nothing more than a way to justify to yourself the inadequacies of the DO clinical years. If this is the aim of DO schools in general (which it is not) that is sad. I find it quite prophetic how many osteopathic students are willing to justify mediocrity. Regardless of what your future goals are, the more exposure you get during the clinical years and residency, the better prepared you will be in ANY environment in which you practice.
     
  32. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member

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    Thank you MJ, I am glad that at least you are willing to hear criticism.

    Libbuser,
    I guess I will address each of your points.

    1. Well, I think I am getting to the point of "Why accept so many students, if we are forced to send them out of state to train?" Good grief Libbuser, don't you think it may be beneficial to actually talk to academic faculty, talk to your advisor by simply walking to their office, or study in a large medical library? I mean, what is hard to understand about this advantage? There are many advantages, I mean, come on. The point is simplicity in scheduling rotations...the advantage to knowing where you will be, and what to expect. Why is this hard to understand?
    2. Uhh, how am I encoutering a struggle? I am pointing out problems that are very unfortunate for many D.O. students. Like I said, MANY students have commented, and when we talk about it together, we laugh about many of these silly situations we have to deal with. Nomads we are, touring the country for clinical rotations. Am I blaming the entire Osteopathic profession like you say???? No, unless you think osteopathic medical schools make up the entire osteopathic medical profession.

    3. Ok, this question is about "What skills am I lacking and what are allopathic students handed that we aren't" ...have you ever heard of Didactics during your 3rd or 4th year? Well, many osteopathic/community hospitals that we rotate through, have not. Ask ANY recent graduate or 4th year to compare didactics from an allopathic rotation to a completely osteopathic rotation. There is a difference, and like I said previously, D.O. schools pay little if anything to our preceptors...there is NO incentive to teach. I can tell you personally that there is a HUGE difference between large and small hospital didactics.

    I had one graduate tell me the difference between residency interviews at a D.O. spot and that of an M.D. spot was like comparing "J.V. to Varsity". To him, the interview experience was that different.

    4. Huh? Any D.O. would note there is a stigma to being an osteopathic physician. You would be lying or blind to say there isn't one to overcome. That just makes me work harder to be better!
    5. What is an allopathic band wagon?? And no, I have met D.O. students that have matched to allopathic programs in the same cities as D.O. programs...from FP to EM to Radiology!! You couldn't be more wrong about this point!! What year of a med student are you? Most students attempt to go to the BEST PROGRAM THEY CAN (not the one closest to home)... I mean if you lived in Chicago and wanted to do EM, would you rather match at CCOM (D.O.) or Christ Hospital or U of C, or U of I at Chicago, or Northwestern, or Cook County or Resurrection (all ACGME residenies)? Please...are you a first year?

    6. Actually I have problems with your inability to recognize the obvious. Large teaching hospitals allow for experiences that may be once in a lifetime. They offer opportunities that are unique, scholarly, and diverse. Yes, you could learn medicine in a 50 bed hospital...but why? Don't you think you deserve nothing but the best and don't you think you deserve every opportunity that a Harvard student has...why should we as Osteopathic students be happy with rotating at a 150 bed community hospital with 60 % census?

    Thank you and have a pleasant evening
     
  33. libbuser

    libbuser Member

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    You just proved my points!! Your describing qualities of allopathic teaching institutions. You shouldn't be comparing those programs, yes, they are different. We don't need anymore of those programs. Osteopathic medicine isn't trying to compete with those programs, or the experiences they provide. Osteopathic physicians are trained to practice community based medicine. Those larger academic facilities are the ones community based docs send to when they are stumped. That doesn't make them better though!!

    Read more:
    I agree with you to an extent. There are some big differences between a larger, university based hospital system vs. a community based hospital system. I think your glorification of large allopathic hospital programs is open for interpretation. It is all relative to your stated goals and future. That environment does not necessarily produce "better" physicians, or the physicians in which the osteopathic community is trying to create.

    The fact is, most American hospitals out there are "community based hospitals". Only around the major cities are the "larger", and yes, more prestigious "academically" based hospitals. In the US, MOST MD's and DO's alike are actually practicing out of community based hospital systems.

    Osteopathic medicine's philosophy and values have always been in line with physicians practicing community based medicine. You can't negate that or argue that. There is no shame in a profession striving to produce primarily primary care docs, with the intention that most of us will practice in community health centers. That is the primary goal of osteopathic medicine. That is no secret. How did you not know that prior to going to UHS. You should have known that prior to matriculation. In fact, most of us osteopathic physicians are going into Family Practice.

    But, if you don't want primary care medicine, yes, you will have to find alternative choices for residency. And, you have no restriction on you. Go for it! But, don't turn around and tell the rest of us that community based medicine sucks, and that we are doing terrible work.

    It is kind of like surgeons looking down on primary care docs thinking that they better, simply because they think they do more important work. Grow up!!

    These hospitals are actually very crucial for the American public health. You obviously have no clue on the current status of American healthcare.

    Of course, at a larger hospital, academic center (whatever you want to call it), they are going to have better organization, better research, exposure to the newest treatments, better didactics. That is what they are there for. How could a community based hospital compete with that?? There is no way!! There should really be no comparison. The are both integral to American healthcare. It is just that osteopathic medicine isn't here to fill those hospitals with DO's. Most hospitals in the US couldn't provide those experiences for students. The point is, though, that most of us won't be practicing in those centers for the rest of our lives anyways. We will be at community hospitals, doing very important community medicine, which is the aspect of medicine that needs MORE PHYSICIANS. In fact, all of the newly proposed osteopathic medical schools are located primarily in areas that need MORE osteopathic physicians practicing primary care. Period.

    Osteopathic medicine is thus unique in that way. That is appealing to most of us, that is why we have choosen osteopathic medicine. You obviously haven't. Was it that hard to do some research and look at the rotation sites you'd be going to???? Did you ask any questions prior to matriculating?? Obviously note.

    You actually fit the profile of the few medical students that didn't choose osteopathic medicine, it unfortunately chose you.

    There is always those few that go into osteopathic medicine thinking they are going to have all the same opportunities as our allopathic counterparts have. NOT TRUE!! That is not to say we can't go that route. You have that choice as a DO, arguably you have more choices as any MD out there. Seriously!! If you as a DO want to practice in a larger, suburban hospital setting, go for it. There are absolutely NO restrictions on you. I agree with you, community based hospitals are just note equipped to give the training necessary to practice that type of medicine. But, that is a different type of medicine, not BETTER THOUGH. Osteopathic medical schools curriculums aren't concerned with training physicians in the larger, academic institutions. Allopathic programs are handling that just fine. If you wanted that route, you should have went that route then!!!!

    The practice of medicine is different there. So you can't compare necessarily your experiences between hospital "types". It is all relevent to what your future goals are. You have control over that. But, osteopathic medicine, regardless, is better equipped to fill this country with primary care physicians. That is our goal and mission. And the profession is damn good at it as well!! There are over 3 osteopathic med schools ranked in the top 25 by US News and World Reports. Pretty damn impressive considering there are only 19 schools, out of the over 150 allopathic programs. Think about that for once.

    You don't produce community based physicians by sending them predominantly to large, academic centers. Just as much as you don't produce future research and academic physicians to smaller community based hospitals. Pick your choice as a DO.

    But, it is no skin off those that DON'T want to practice in those facilities.
     
  34. mj

    mj Senior Member

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    Lib,

    I posted in the other thread on this issue (which can be found here. It is kind of a pain to post in both threads.

    What I find most troubling about your posts is that you want to write off those who don't agree with you as MD wanna be's who don't understand osteo philosophy. You don't know these people, their goals or their backgrounds well enough to be making those kinds of assumptions.

    You seem so hung up on the number of beds of the hospital and the comparison to allo programs that you completely by pass the main issue: the community based programs these students are rotating through aren't making the cut as TEACHING tools.

    Isn't that what rotations are for -- to teach students?

    What these people are saying to you is that THEIR programs didn't TEACH them.

    NOT that they didn't teach them like or better than an allo program in a big hospital, but that they didn't teach them. PERIOD.

    What these people are saying to you is that there is ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT in the clinical programs.

    What I don't understand is why you are so affraid of that.

    UHS said it best: "I find it quite prophetic how many osteopathic students are willing to justify mediocrity".

    mj
     
  35. UHSpostgrad

    UHSpostgrad New Member

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    MJ's right. Improvement is always needed. All of you have good points, and all of you are right. But here's the bottom line.....We are all Doctors doing what we want to do. Congrats and don't stress to much about it.
     
  36. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member

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    Dear God help me!!!

    Libbuser,
    You really don't read my postings do you? And it is very apparent that you have zero clinical experience.

    You just don't listen.

    It is really funny how you think small community hospitals are this thriving force that you make them out to be. Well, they aren't...larger community hospitals (300-500 beds with >60% census and busy emergency rooms easily provide greater pathology, attract a wider range of physician referrals because of a larger physician base, have larger Labor and delivery wards, and have residents. ALL MEDICAL STUDENTS NEED THE DIVERSITY OF TRAINING...ALL OF US!!! (please listen.)
    Smaller community hospitals just don't. Period end of story.
    Furthermore, this conversation seems to be getting away from the fact of didactics.
    For didactics to be SUPERB they need interns, residents, and attendings willing to teach, as well as a Med. Ed. budget to sustain teaching. That is pretty much found exclusively at larger hospitals (whether they are University or not). The unfortunate thing is that probably only 50% of each D.O. class get to experience good didactics because their rotation site just doesn't have them.
    And that is a shame. Really...as I have pointed out time and time again, we as D.O. students deserve better.

    The old busy, inner city D.O. hospitals are mostly closed...that is where the graduates in the 70's and 80's trained. (Detroit Osteopathic, University Hospital in KC, Normandy North in St. Louis etc.). So don't give me this bull about "community hospitals create the best community physician" Ha.

    Who said community hospitals aren't important? Let's look at indianapolis, Westview Hospital is the only DO hospital and is considered a "community Hospital". It has roughly 70 operational beds. Now, look at St. Vincents hospital indianapolis. 500 beds and is community based. Which one do you think allows 3rd year DO students? DING DING...had Libbuser a prize, she guessed Westview. Now do you think the educational experiences comparing the two hospitals are similar?
    My point is that to get the best education for your clinical years, you must choose a well established, devoted, med-large hospital with a wide range of services and facilities. This is elementary. And what I have said time and time again, is that MANY DO students don't get that opportunity and that is a shame...that is not what you paid for.

    Libbuser, I chose osteopathic medicine, I only applied to D.O. programs. Sometimes you sound like AOA propaganda instead of a rational medical student.
     
  37. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator

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    As UHSpostgrad has posted, I say let's us agree that we all disagree.... Things are lacking and things are being done....
     
  38. libbuser

    libbuser Member

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    Hey Freeedom,

    If you think that "community" based hospitals are so horrible, why don't you call up the students in Detroit at hospitals such as, these hospitals provide wonderful educations:

    Genesys Regional
    Detroit Riverview
    Detroit Riverside
    Pontiac Osteopathic
    Botsford General
    Garden City
    (am not listing all of them)

    In Lansing:
    MSU-Sparrow Hospital
    Capital Regional Med Center

    Not to mention the opportunities in MO, OH, NY, NY, IL, AZ, CO etc etc etc.

    Those are all "community" hospitals, and you will find nearly all the students at those hospitals being more than prepared for the most rigorous and intesive residencies there are in this country.

    Are you willing to tell these students at these community based hospitals that they somehow have been cheated by the osteopathic profession??
     
  39. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member

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    Why don't you listen? Really? Please tell me you listen better in class.

    Yes, those hospitals are good, and yes I know students at EACH OF THOSE HOSPITALS.
    Do you think all 3rd and 4th year students are at those hospitals? No.
    Since my initial message, my point has been that DO programs are too large to accomodate students into appropriate 3rd and 4th year clinical sites. Why should a school accept 180-250 students if that same school can't send all students to similar 3rd and 4th year clinical sites?? One guy goes to Mexico, MO and the other to Bostford, MI. One girl goes to Farmington, MO the other goes to Grandview, OH. Do you see what I am getting at...there is a difference in pathology and learning when you compare the two sites. And that is very unfortunate and unfair.
    Wouldn't you want a doctor that recieved diverse training, in a diverse population and was taught by residents and interns and attendings. There are many DO students, that by pure luck of the draw, were sent to hospitals that have few interns or residents.
    Much of this is due to large class size.

    Give me a break Libbuser. Debating a first year med student without any experience is silly. You really don't know what you even talking about.
    As a medical student, you should be attempting to recieve the best education that you can, at the best hospital...regardless of Osteopathic or Allopathic affiliation. If you want to go into surgery, I would hope you would want the best training program (don't tell me you would chose Grandview, OH over Wright State).
    If you wanted EM, I would hope you chose UMKC over MCI in MO.
    get for real.
     
  40. UHS03

    UHS03 Senior Member

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    libbuser, I'll grant you that most of those Michigan hospitals you mentioned are good training sites. They are also anywhere from 300-400 bed hospitals, they have residents and interns, and to my knowledge they have scheduled didactics. To compare those hospitals to (for example) AZ is silly and shows you don't know anything about AZ. I assume you are talking about either Mesa General Hospital or Tucson General Hospital in AZ. Well, Tucson has closed (it's tough to run a 150 bed hospital just down the street from the University of Arizona's University hospital ya know.) Mesa is a dead end. Small hospital surrounded by MUCH bigger hospitals. I know many doctors at Mesa General and they all say the same thing, it is not a good place to learn. If you are hospital based, you will be bored. Do you see the diversity? One community hospital is so different from another..you just can't compare a Pontiac or Botsford to a place like Mesa General. What is sad is that most DO schools are affiliated with more Mesa General's than Botsford's.
     
  41. Pikevillemedstudent

    Pikevillemedstudent Bengals Fan

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    Freedom,
    Are there any specific problems at Grandview you know of? I have always heard it was an excellent place to train. I have met several physicians (mostly surgeons) who trained there and went on to top fellowships, such as retina surgery at Stanford and others. What are your specific complaints?
    Just curious.
     
  42. double elle

    double elle Senior Member

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    WOW! There is way too much to read in this particular topic! However, as a student entering KCOM in the fall, I want to tell you what I (as an entering student) expect from them.....I expect access to information that results in knowledge expected of any physician. I expect to be taught clinical skills needed by any physician. I expect a supportive environment that results in optimal learning and retention of all this material. THE REST IS UP TO ME. It doesn't matter WHERE I choose to go to medical school. The point is that it is my responsibility to learn this stuff...no matter how unhappy I am with things. And, lets face it...NONE of us are completely happy with EVERYTHING. It's completely okay to be unhappy with parts of a program, especially one that is full of general over-achievers in both the student body AND faculty!

    AND, PLEASE don't form an opinion about ANYTHING based on what just a few people say about anything. Being able to form an objective opinion based on YOUR knowledge and experiences is a critical part of being an intelligent individual.

    Personally, I find it great that KCOM (and many other medical schools) has clinical sites away from the school. This gives any unhappy people a chance to get away from an environment that they may not find favorable. City people that came to KCOM have a chance to go back to the 'city', etc..

    I guess my point is that this thread has exists of an arguement that will NEVER be solved. I honestly think it comes down to how YOU interpreted 'promises' of your prospective school.

    I agree that exposure to different experiences are more likely to happen in an urban clinical facility, and all of us should be exposed to that at least somewhat. However, not all medical students want to eventually work in an urban hospital. Also, not ALL patients want to be treated in an urban hospital.

    I think all posts on this topic have had very quality opinions...but an opinion is just that........it's not going to please everyone. Please settle down out there! Medical education isn't about who is right/wrong...it's about taking in the ideas of others...and finding how we can LEARN from all of it!

    Just my opinion..but I am an optimist! :D
     

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